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Old September 10th, 2010, 04:53 PM

ExplorerBob ExplorerBob is offline
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Default Resolution to Tan Ru Demolisher bug - granted ships must be unique

People who've read my latest topics may have noticed my reference to what I've named the "Tan Ru Demolisher bug" -- the Odd Adventures Tan Ru Demolisher ally's failure to consistently appear after being given to the player (whether via an ALLY or SHIP command).

The bug materialized in a test version of Odd Adventures. I was frustrated enough by this bug to overwrite it with the release copy (effectively undoing all the work I've done since February, which, fortunately, wasn't anything I can't easily reproduce). Unfortunately, this strategy failed; the problem persisted, and I realized it's a problem that has apparently existed ever since the original release.

With that in mind, I decided to try to figure out what makes it different from the other ships and allies the other quests give out. I tried to alter the order that the ALLY/SHIP command appears in the quest file; this didn't work out.

Finally, after spending a few days in design limbo and with no idea as how to proceed, I recalled another difference between the Tan Ru Demolisher ally and my other ones.

With all of the stock allies, and even the three I added (the Urluquai fighter and corvette, and the alternate-universe Frigate Dragon), they share something in common -- they have their own entries in their race files.

The Tan Ru Demolisher ally didn't. Its SHIP/ALLY command gave you a straight, stock, unnamed Demolisher. I was skeptical as to how this could be a problem, but I decided to test it all the same.

After testing this four times, I'm willing to proclaim this hypothesis as engine law. The named, unique version of the Demolisher regularly appears. Testing it isn't easy, or I would have tested it five or seven times, to be safe, but I still think this seems to be solid enough evidence to support this conclusion:

A ship given to the player by SHIP/ALLY commands must be unique -- that is, listed separately from the ships used in AI fleets. If it isn't, it will inconsistently appear, for as of yet unknown reasons.

This gives us unfortunately little insight as to the fundamental reason why this is the case, but at least I've discovered the underlying reason for the ship's failure to appear.
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