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 Stability of ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4

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Unknown_Hero
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PostSubject: Stability of ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4   2016-03-28, 08:47

The original Heroes 2 program is very very stable, you can play it all day long for weeks without a crash, it's very exceptional when it crashes.

I have played ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4 with different scenarios for around 40 hours, and it crashes quite often (for no particular reason), more than 20 times during this play time.

And it's difficult to report these crashes as there is no particular reason to "activate" them.

What can be done for this?
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Darmani
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PostSubject: Re: Stability of ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4   2016-03-28, 10:26

This is a pervasive problem. Very subtle bugs can come up as we mod the game, things that don't happen in normal programming. It doesn't help that the original game's code was very poorly written, and so we also get bugs that would be impossible if the code was well-designed.

I think a lot of these bugs are what are called memory errors. There is a very good tool for detecting these kind of errors. It's called Valgrind, and it only runs on Linux and Mac. I once tried to use a similar tool for Windows to debug some Ironfist crashes, but it didn't work well.

Trying to solve this with effort is going to be very hard. The only solution is going to involve technology.

Probably the most popular kind of technology that can help is crash reporting, so that we can automatically capture more details about why the game crashes, and have it sent to us (so you don't have to report them individually). We are currently in the process of adding analytics to the game (to help inform us about game balance, popular features, etc). This will bring us one step closer to adding crash reporting. Hopefully, with fancy enough crash reporting, some of these errors will become short work.
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ComputerPhreak
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PostSubject: Re: Stability of ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4   2016-03-29, 14:29

Unknown_Hero wrote:
The original Heroes 2 program is very very stable, you can play it all day long for weeks without a crash, it's very exceptional when it crashes.

I have played ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4 with different scenarios for around 40 hours, and it crashes quite often (for no particular reason), more than 20 times during this play time.

And it's difficult to report these crashes as there is no particular reason to "activate" them.

What can be done for this?

When you refer to the original game, do you mean running on a modern machine? I play the original H2 Gold Edition and it crashes on me all the time, especially right after clicking on a unit to cast a spell. The binary was modified to use h2cdplay, so that possibly could be the issue, but I wonder if it isn't something related to compatibility with newer versions of Windows.
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Darmani
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PostSubject: Re: Stability of ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4   2016-03-29, 17:58

I definitely feel Ironfist crashes a lot more than the original. Once every 2 hours is a lot better than what I've seen in the past though -- it's possible to finish a Medium map in 2 hours.

I'm remembering one of the few times I tried to play Heroes II with networked multiplayer. It crashed....a lot. Super annoying.
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Unknown_Hero
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PostSubject: Re: Stability of ironfist.exe ver 0.8.4   2016-03-30, 03:15

ComputerPhreak wrote:
When you refer to the original game, do you mean running on a modern machine? I play the original H2 Gold Edition and it crashes on me all the time, especially right after clicking on a unit to cast a spell. The binary was modified to use h2cdplay, so that possibly could be the issue, but I wonder if it isn't something related to compatibility with newer versions of Windows.

I use them on Windows 7 Home Premium Edition SP1, Music Type set to Midi, with the Gold iso in DAEMON Tools Lite, original Heroes 2 ver 1.3 copied pasted from the original CD (then patch applied), for Gold Heroes 2 ver 2.1, I don't remember if it was an install directly on Windows 7 or installed first on Window XP and then copied pasted on Windows 7.

They both are extremely stable, I don't remember the last time one of them crashed, perhaps one time per year for around 500 hours of play time, so they work really fine, it's a pleasure to play the game, you just play, it works.

From what you said, "especially right after clicking on a unit to cast a spell", it's perhaps related to the sound of the spell, when the program try to play it.

@Darmani

The Windows maintenance center reports 26 crashes in 5 days for around 30 hours of play.
I have never finished a complete scenario (mostly Medium maps and some Large maps) without at least one crash with ironfist.exe; it's why I made this thread. Wink
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