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Author Topic: Debug a game with crash report files  (Read 390 times)

Debug a game with crash report files
« on: 15 Jan 2020, 15:51 »
Hi everyone,

During my free time in the last two years I made and develop an AGS game (my first one  :-D )
Unfortunately, even if the game code seems to be ok, I experienced several crashes during the gameplay. The same happened to several people played the game.
I collected some crash report files but I don't know how to use them... :(

Could someone help me, please?
I can share the crash report files and also the game source code, if necessary

Thank you in advance!

Re: Debug a game with crash report files
« Reply #1 on: 15 Jan 2020, 16:15 »
When crash dump is created, this means there's a problem in the engine too (it cannot handle some situation and crashes).

These crash dumps can be seen my Microsoft tools, such as MS Visual Studio or WinDbg. To analyze their contents you'll also need engine source code of corresponding version, and also *.pdb files (usually attached to AGS release).

AGS saves not full crash dumps, but "minidumps", and they are mostly only capable of pointing to the crash location in the engine. So, usually context is very important. If you don't remember what were you doing, or player was doing, when it crashed, which point of the game it was (at least room, and some actions), then it's mostly useless.

The best case is when you can repeat the crash (know which actions lead to it, at least approximately).
« Last Edit: 15 Jan 2020, 16:18 by Crimson Wizard »

Re: Debug a game with crash report files
« Reply #2 on: 18 Jan 2020, 12:49 »
When crash dump is created, this means there's a problem in the engine too (it cannot handle some situation and crashes).

These crash dumps can be seen my Microsoft tools, such as MS Visual Studio or WinDbg. To analyze their contents you'll also need engine source code of corresponding version, and also *.pdb files (usually attached to AGS release).

Thank you for the clarification, but I havo no experience at all in debugging...  :confused:
From which I can remember the crashes happened mostly in the first part of the game (approximately in the first 25-30 minutes) and during dialogues with a precise NPC.
The strange thing is the crash frequency depends on which OS you use... Almost no crashes in Win7 Professional, many crashes in win8 and win10

AGS saves not full crash dumps, but "minidumps", and they are mostly only capable of pointing to the crash location in the engine. So, usually context is very important. If you don't remember what were you doing, or player was doing, when it crashed, which point of the game it was (at least room, and some actions), then it's mostly useless.

So, which is the use of "minidumps"? Do I need real programming skills to analyze them? :sad:


The best case is when you can repeat the crash (know which actions lead to it, at least approximately).

I never managed o repeat a crash repeating the same actions... Maybe I can try...

Re: Debug a game with crash report files
« Reply #3 on: 18 Jan 2020, 12:56 »
So, which is the use of "minidumps"? Do I need real programming skills to analyze them? :sad:

Yes, because these dumps contain information about engine, not the game. They allow to know where in the engine the crash occured. Normally you would open engine's source code and investigate the situation.

I could maybe try looking in these dumps, but I need to know which exactly version of AGS were you using (and hope we still have got PDBs for that, if it's an old version).
Not sure if much could be told from these without knowing a context...
« Last Edit: 18 Jan 2020, 12:58 by Crimson Wizard »