Random notes: 2014-11-06

Updated the 20+ studio list with ISI

It took far too long, but I finally realized that when trying to filter categories from the front page, the index.php that the howtos are referring to is the index.php of the template.

Coding today: found some bugs, fixed some of what I found.

One was a genuine stack overflow — the stack pointer was being decremented by more than the entire size of the thread’s stack in the prologue to a particular function, landing in the land of unmapped pages. The fix was simple (once I found the right stack size to adjust), but the cause wasn’t clearly obvious to me. In hindsight, I was debugging in the wrong direction.

The way it happened: something like this was causing the crash half way through the function:

mov qword ptr [rbp-4040h], rdx

I was fixated on what that rdx was to try to work out why this was happening (completely overlooking the presence of rbp and the roundish nature of the constant). A quick trip to the ABI docs led me to believe that rdx was a function argument that was entirely unused in the function. And that left me second-guessing my own interpretation — what did this mean? What critical purpose does this instruction serve?

Actually, none.

The data was being pushed to the stack because that’s the sort of code that compilers generate (i.e. the odd instruction that serves no apparent purpose).

It did all become extremely obvious after rebuilding the function in question without optimizations and seeing a cluster of mov [rbp 0x40??], all resolving to unmapped memory.

Other issues: NULL member vars where they were not expected (which was fixed by not me), mismatched sizes for a variable being passed through an opaque interface, a warning at shutdown where some objects were not being explicitly destroyed, more adjustments to filesystem code so that things compile and function [more] correctly on all the necessary platforms.

One rather not-awesome bug that remains unfixed is some serialized game data with alignment problems. A bunch of structs changed size recently — it looks like at least one of them needs some realignment counselling. (Finding the hash of a string inside a counter fills me with delight*)

I spent some time debugging problems with our navmesh generator (aka navbuilder). Right now, we uncritically pass geometry to recast even if the vertical range of the geo is beyond what recast’s heightfield (as configured by us) can represent. Exceeding that range  causes problems – for whatever reason, all generated navmesh ends up being pushed to a low extreme, and then the tools that consume the generated navmesh choke. It’s something that needs to be fixed, but there are more pressing issues right now. And there are workarounds :\

10 Awesome Indie Games of PAX Australia 2014  #straya

Andreas will be doing the shuffle at GDC next year

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