10/10/2008

10-10-08 - 5

At Oddworld we set up a thing where any crashes on the artists or designers machines would grab a stack trace and email it to all the programmers. It was super awesome and handy and part of why we ran so clean all the time. For all of you who don't have that kind of system set up, you should, and I just found a really easy way for you to get on it : BlackBox at CodeProject is a DLL that hooks in minidumping; all you have to do is LoadLibrary on it in your app to pull in the DLL and it makes you behave ten times better.

Another thing I really liked was just a stupid option I had in the game that would optionally load an arbitrary text file and echo that file to the output window. That way I could tell it to echo any error logs that I got from artists, and all the errors were logged like " file (line) : string " so that I could just go through the VC output window and double click them and go straight to code.

These kind of things don't actually save you a huge amount of time, but they make debugging and responding to errors much much more pleasant, which makes it far more likely that programmers will actually respond when the artists are running around like chicken little with their hair on fire saying "the build is broken! the build is broken!".

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