Bug Replications

Discuss how to use the Ren'Py engine to create visual novels and story-based games. New releases are announced in this section.
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PyTom
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Bug Replications

#1 Post by PyTom » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:43 pm

One of the hardest parts of fixing bugs in Ren'Py is actually finding the bugs in the first place. A lot of times, I spend more time trying to reproduce an issue than I do fixing it - and sometimes it's not even a bug at all. Spending that time slows down bug fixes - since I can only work on one thing at a time - and also slows Ren'Py development. When the community can provide me with good bug replications, it will help me and everyone else out.

A replication doesn't need to be the first thing you send me - if you post the error message or traceback, I or someone else will often be able to help you out. But if I ask you for a replication, this is what it should be like.

For Ren'Py, a replication should consist of three things:

A standalone game that quickly demonstrates the problem.

First off, the game must be standalone. I should be able to download it and run it with Ren'Py, and have the game work. This includes having images, music, etc - or at least placeholders. It's not enough to just provide a script excerpt - finding art and other assets to make that script run will often take a long time.

Secondly, the game can be quick. When fixing a bug, I often restart Ren'Py many times, with code that tells me what's going on. If it takes me 15 tries, and 2 minutes to replicate the bug, that overhead added half-an-hour to the fixing process. If i can get the bug in 4 seconds, the wasted time is a minute. There's a couple of things to consider here:

* Disable splashscreens and other time-consuming portions of the program.

* If the bug doesn't show up at the main menu, consider disabling the main menu with the following code:

Code: Select all

label main_menu:
    return
* Ensure that the bug show up within a click or two of program start. For example, you might want to add code right after label start to jump to a bug.

It's not necessary to build distributions, and doing so can be problematic if it causes code or assets to be archived. Instead, please zip up your game and send it to me, either by email to pytom@bishoujo.us, attaching it to a forum post, or uploading it somewhere and adding the link to a github bug.

Instructions on how to replicate the bug.

Make these as clear and concise as possible. For example, "click twice, then roll back."

A description of what you were expecting, and what you got.

This helps me make sure I'm looking at the same things you are.


With the Ren'Py community growing, dealing with reported issues is taking up more of my time. I'm hoping that by providing this guidance, I'll be able to deal with issues more efficiently, so I can spend more time improving Ren'Py and making VN development easier.

Thanks.
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Re: Bug Replications

#2 Post by mjshi » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:17 pm

Interesting. But what if the bug is not because of the game's problem but because of an operating system incompatibility or something?
Since once, Ren'py and almost all other programs refused to start running, apparently my %temp% folder got corrupted somehow. A system restore fixed the problem.
My concern is this- it's impossible to re-create everything about a bug report, right?
I guess if it was a common bug then it would be easy to re-create, rarer ones from people with unique system configurations must be harder to fix.

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Re: Bug Replications

#3 Post by PyTom » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:33 pm

That's right, but I think I've gotten fairly good at telling what sort of bugs are system-specific, and what bugs are likely to be exercised by a game. There's a certain amount of discretion required here, but I think we'll be able to manage that discretion.
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Re: Bug Replications

#4 Post by jayel » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:50 am

As a former game tester, here's the basic form we used.

Summary: A quick sentence or two describing the issue

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Boot the game.
2. At the game Main Menu, select BEGIN NEW GAME
3. (and so on, step by step)

Results: What happens when you follow the steps.
Expected Results: What *should* happen.

Repro %: x/10 (Try it ten times. Does it happen each time in the same way? Narrow down your steps until you can get the issue to happen regularly.)

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Re: Bug Replications

#5 Post by jack_norton » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:21 am

Agreed, the hardest problems are bugs like memory leaks, where the crash doesn't always happens in the same point of the game. Still trying to find out the bug on Planet Stronghold, since had many report of crashes on 6.15 from players but none on 6.14. I'm almost sure is something related to the old ui. language but not sure what yet :(
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Re: Bug Replications

#6 Post by PyTom » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:09 pm

jayel wrote:As a former game tester, here's the basic form we used.
The sort of form you use is great for testing completed games, especially ones where you can't change the game itself.

But what I'm trying to do here is to come up with a way to more easily support Ren'Py in a developer-to-developer fashion, so I'd like someone simpler reports. Rather than making me play through the game, I'd like people to change the game so the replication becomes easier - 1-2 steps. And ideally, the replication percentage should be 100%, even if it means fixing the results of random-number-generators.

It's a different level of testing/replication is all.
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Re: Bug Replications

#7 Post by PyTom » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:13 pm

If you disable parts of the standard Ren'Py interface (such as save/load/skip/rollback) I will probably not help until you produce a version of your game that has those features restored. That's because I may use them in my debugging process, or simply to make my life more efficient.

Basically, if I feel that I'm spending more time working around your game's interface than I spend testing, then I'm going to stop testing. (And usually, I expect an actual test to take me ~10 seconds to run and evaluate the output of.)
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Re: Bug Replications

#8 Post by Keinart » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:34 pm

So, about this, where do we report bugs? Here in this thread? Do I create a new thread? Or is there a bug database to report everything? I have a couple of bugs that, after creating threads here the answers I got were that they were probably bugs, so I was thinking about reporting them since I haven't find a way to fix them. What should I do? :?

The threads are this one and this one.

Thank you and sorry for the bother

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Re: Bug Replications

#9 Post by PyTom » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:35 pm

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Re: Bug Replications

#10 Post by Keinart » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:36 pm

PyTom wrote:Our bug tracker is at:

https://github.com/renpy/renpy/issues
Oh awesome, thanks. I will use it then. Thank you.

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Re: Bug Replications

#11 Post by Hurrdurr » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:31 am

Does renpy have support for unit testing? If so you could set up testcases Test driven development is awesome, its a bit of a headache to set up but once its done you can refactor the code as much as you want and you get instant feedback on what doesnt work and why.

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Re: Bug Replications

#12 Post by SmartAppleGames » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:27 pm

i found a bug in latest version. If you change the textbox.png to have transparent edges like lower width, and load it up the engine freaks out and creates a enlarged image of the textbox.png and still not transparency or lower width but BIG IMAGE of textbox. only way to change it back is to load GUI default then copy paste old textbox.png you made to get back to previous textbox size.

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Re: Bug Replications

#13 Post by Oracle » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:33 pm

The tutorial is just not working for me. The code windows won't appear and now the blue text thingies in the begging disappeared. HELP!
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