Bad News for Scons Fans

We have been talking a lot about Scons recently at the Power of Two Games World Headquarters. MSBuild has proven to be quite a pain to work with for our asset builds and eventually left us dissatisfied (that’s material for a whole other entry). So we kept looking over to Scons as a possible solution. Continue reading

Stupid C++ Tricks #2: Better Enums

So much for the new year’s resolution to write some sort of an update every week. That went out the window pretty quickly. Especially now that I’ve taken over the Inner Product column for Game Developer Magazine and that’s taking away some of my writing time (check out the May issue for my first column!).

It turns out that Charles’ old article Stupid C++ Tricks: Adventures in Assert is one of our most viewed entries, even after all this time. So I figured I’d follow it up with a really, really simple C++ trick. It’s almost trivial, really, but I’ve totally fallen in love with it. At first, when Charles introduced me to it, I was kind of lukewarm. But now I’m finding myself going through refactoring rampages in the code changing things to be this way. Intrigued? Read on. Continue reading

LeChimp’s Secret Weapon: Lint

LeChimp has been rocking my world lately. I’ve been checking in code that passes all the unit tests, confident that everything was fine, just to find out the functional test fails loudly and obnoxiously [1]. The other day it even managed to put the game in an infinite loop (yes, my fault). It might sound annoying, but I love it how LeChimp keeps us honest and makes subtle problems immediately obvious.

A couple of months ago something unusual happened: The functional test failed but I wasn’t able to reproduce the problem right away. The failure was not a crash, but an object in the world ending up in a different state than expected. That’s always tougher to track down. To make things even more fun, was object was affected changed depending on whether the game was run from the command line or the debugger. Oh, and did I mention it only happened in release mode? I’ve got a baaad feeling about this! Continue reading