Author Topic: FRUA stability  (Read 1252 times)

Offline Adam

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FRUA stability
« on: November 23, 2015, 12:38:03 PM »
Yesterday I was about to test the look of the new stone walls, quickly changed the global settings started a quick new game and had a rather unpleasant surprise. The events were gone. Or rather got corrupted, as I hastly checked the module I've seen that the events were there, but not accessible anymore.

Has anyone experienced such bugs? More importantly, has anyone a solution for it? There was not much work in there, but I'd be happy not having to redo all of it.

Note: After starting a game, DOSbox freezes if I want to quit FRUA.


Offline ProphetSword

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 01:33:53 PM »
I have often suspected that sometimes hacking can cause issues with modules.  I've never been able to prove it and it never seems consistent, but I've seen strange things happen over the years with my own modules.  I've noticed it most recently whenever I try to create modules that use drop-in walls, particularly if those drop-in walls are the kind where you can get multiple types of wall from the same wall slot (the kind where different walls show up depending on the FRUA selection slot you use).  If you were doing that, I wouldn't be surprised it happened.

Last time it happened to me, even removing the walls didn't fix the issue.  So, I just avoid doing that anymore.

It's all theoretical at this point, and as I mentioned it's not always consistent. 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 01:35:32 PM by ProphetSword »
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Offline Adam

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 02:21:05 PM »
I've noticed it most recently whenever I try to create modules that use drop-in walls, particularly if those drop-in walls are the kind where you can get multiple types of wall from the same wall slot (the kind where different walls show up depending on the FRUA selection slot you use).  If you were doing that, I wouldn't be surprised it happened.

Last time it happened to me, even removing the walls didn't fix the issue.

Just checked this, and I guess I have met the same fate. I have set all three sets of a wall slot just before editing the module and corrupting my data files. I've tried to remove one of the sets now and FRUA doesn't crash anymore while quitting. Sadly the geo data file is still corrupted...

Offline hans

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 02:42:23 PM »
I'm afraid that I don't know any tricks to get back those missing events.   :( 

A personal rule that I follow is to keep multiple backups of my mods at different points during their construction.  I number them to keep from getting confused, and keep them handy until I have a fully playtested version released. 

It's also now my habit to have all my hacking done before I start putting in events.  I keep story notes in little real-life notebooks while I finish the hacking, --that way I don't lose any good ideas or details.  Usually, I only have some Pics, Sprites, and Combat Icons left to add or change by the time I start putting events into dungeons. 

I think most FRUAuthors have lost significant work in computer crashes or other unexpected calamities.  I know I have.  My experience was so painful that I could never bring myself to begin my lost mod again.  Now I take plenty of precautions against such misfortunes. 

But please forgive me if this post sounds like something Captain Hindsight might've written.   :-[

Offline hans

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 06:39:42 PM »
Just checked this, and I guess I have met the same fate. I have set all three sets of a wall slot just before editing the module and corrupting my data files. I've tried to remove one of the sets now and FRUA doesn't crash anymore while quitting. Sadly the geo data file is still corrupted...
 

What size was the offending file?  The largest individual UA default wallset *.tlb files are 37kb.  Any drop-in wallset files larger than that are risky to use. 

Animations and music files (*.xmis) can also cause problems when too big.

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 09:14:09 AM »
What size was the offending file?  The largest individual UA default wallset *.tlb files are 37kb.  Any drop-in wallset files larger than that are risky to use. 

It was probably your hacked wall sets. If the files are too large (more than 37 KB) they can start to use the same memory locations as the text for your events does.
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Offline Null Null

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 12:22:34 PM »
I believe there was a known bug from a while ago that if you used a drop in in the third slot or all three slots (I forget which), your events could be corrupted. I remember knowing about it when I was making Library of Segrob and working around it.

Offline Adam

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 01:38:40 PM »
Okay, it seams I just brutally transgressed all the unwritten rules to hack wallsets. I used all three sets for a slot, with file sizes well over 37kB. I've now tried to replace the third set with a smaller file (44kB->26kB), and the quit game crash disappears.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 04:36:22 PM »
This explains a lot of the issues I've seen over the last few years as well.  Now I know how to avoid these issues.

Out of curiosity, does this issue occur if you use the old-fashioned method of importing walls into FRUA?
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Offline hans

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 06:41:26 PM »
Out of curiosity, does this issue occur if you use the old-fashioned method of importing walls into FRUA?
 

It's been quite a long time, but I believe that Dan Autery did once warn me not to create any *.PCX wallsets over a certain size before importing them the old way, via Walledit or TLButilities. 

Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 10:37:16 PM »
These things seem fairly unpredictable. I have a design I am working on at the moment that uses three different sets of walls in drop-in TLB wall slots, with file sizes ranging to upward of 37KB, and I am not experiencing any in-game crashes (so far). Not sure why that is: perhaps I am just lucky. But my advice would be to keep making backups and experimenting with different combinations.

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2015, 02:57:20 PM »
I imagine this issue has to do with running out of the 640 KB of conventional memory available to DOS.

CKIT.EXE itself uses 575 KB of RAM and the GEO*.DAT file you currently have open uses another 13 KB of RAM. There is very little room left for anything else.
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Offline Adam

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 02:58:32 PM »
Out of curiosity, does this issue occur if you use the old-fashioned method of importing walls into FRUA?

What is this "old-fashioned method"?

Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2015, 03:23:49 PM »
Is there.a way to increase the 640kb conventional memory? I am running through dosbox but I presume that doesn't increase the conventional memory? I would hate to find that my design works on my computer but would crash in actual ms-dos.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: FRUA stability
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2015, 03:46:32 PM »
Out of curiosity, does this issue occur if you use the old-fashioned method of importing walls into FRUA?

What is this "old-fashioned method"?


Repeating what hans said:



Quote from: hans
It's been quite a long time, but I believe that Dan Autery did once warn me not to create any *.PCX wallsets over a certain size before importing them the old way, via Walledit or TLButilities.

Doing it this way creates replacements for the original FRUA wall files (8x8DB.tlb and 8x8DC.tlb) versus having separate files for each wall.  The disadvantage, as far as I'm aware,  is that you can only have one wall-set for each wall-set that  (instead of tricking FRUA into thinking it's three different sets based on which slot it's in).


This is how walls were done until someone figured out another way to do them.
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