ChipWits: Robot-Programming Fun - Bring Your Brain!

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Build 192 bugs - post 'em here

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Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 22
Location: Munich, Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Build 192 bugs - post 'em here Reply with quote

Hi everybody!

Well, I just spent some time playing around with ChipWits 0.9 (Build 192) and noted the following (in no particular order):

* The start-up can take quite a long time (several seconds), while the window simply stays empty.

* 'Register' window at startup: if I enter the wrong number, say so immediately. I entered several fake numbers, got no response at all, clicked 'Cancel' - and received a series of windows saying that the register number was incorrect. Had to click every one away, only to see the next one pop up...

* Don't put the "n Trial uses left" on the beta version! You want people to test for a week, at 18h/day! And they can't do this if they only have 9 or so times where they're allowed to start the game. Hey, you might even find a crack on the net... ;)

* The 'Start' takes you straight into the explanations. Yes, only once, but I don't want to see them. They somehow immediately drag you into things, without allowing you to look over the whole things first. Put the initial training option into the menu, and point at this option with a large red arrow the first time somebody starts the game.

* If I press [Esc] while viewing these explanations, the game drops straight back into Windows, without confirmation. Thus another trial use goes down the drain...

* The first training mission: place the 'Pickup' icon. And what if I don't, clicking 'START' instead? It starts. Then I click 'STOP', place the 'Pickup' icon into the brain, start again and... nothing happens. Doesn't work. And yes, I have to press [Esc] and restart the entire game... again... ;)

* Opening a ChipWit can take quite some time. Typically, you thus click that menu option several times. Quite a few seconds later, the 'Open Chipwit' window pops up. And again. And again. And again...

* I like the 'X-ray' option. Disadvantage: try it on the 'ChipWit Caves' map, on the first screen, while editing your code. The map seems more or less unreadable. It only really works in 'Zoom' mode. Perhaps a 2D-view might be useful? It would give a lot more overview, really.

* The ChipWit talking (comic bubble) is very cute initially. After an hour or so, the cuteness wears off - how about an option to turn it off, without having to use 'Hummingbird' speed?

* Why are your Stacks limited to 256 items?

* Help screen, IBOL Dictionary: the new Register functions don't fit on the window, and disappear to the right. Furthermore, they are not explained in the help system (which is rather good otherwise - I like the creature descriptions, too).

* Help screen: the Decrement function has the icon of the Increment.

* Help screen: the very last entry makes no sense: "ARGUMENT_RIGHT45 - You just got the RIGHT45 chip!..."

* Selecting several chips (no explanation how to, but Shift-Click does work for me): after selecting a nice block, you can't simply move the block (even if you didn't let go of the mouse button). If you try, only the chip directly under the mouse cursor is moved. You *have* to use the Copy button at the top right.

* Clicking around the chips more or less at random, it happens that a selected chip is simply deleted. Actually, it happened quite a few times when I had several chip selected (which leaves a nice clean, empty block in the code). Unfortunately, I didn't manage to find out just how this happened. On the other hand, this showed just how useful the 'Undo' button is Smile

* Are you sure the ChipWit in the upper right belongs there? Your window is already pretty small (containing large icons), so your screen space is scarce. Being able to select the ChipWits colors (and to view it from all directions) is nice, but belongs into an options screen. Which reminds me: in one of the very first betas you could give your ChipWit an evil, vampiric appearance - please put this back in, it was very funny Smile

* Apropos small windows with large icons: it is such a pity that you cannot have the large code view next to the large map view. Perhaps you should shrink the icons a bit? Or allow this if the window is maximized? Perhaps generally redesign the GUI? For example, the map has a nice background with two screens and all - but quite unneeded. I know it's rotated 45° which maked space usage around it difficult, but still... perhaps not rotate it after all?

* Viewing in 'Zoom' mode displays the info in the bottom left incorrectly... the window is juuuust that bit not high enough. Causing a scroll bar to appear, which we don't need. The tab text font at the top is also too large - the left one is labelled "Stats & S...". Oh, and the Registers also don't fit in the small window - another scroll bar...

* Loading a new ChipWit restarts the map. Okay, but the map info screen also pops up again, which is certainly not needed. Besides - shouldn't any change in the ChipWit code cause a map reset? On one of the forums I read a programmer saying that this would allow some 100% successful clickfest: write code to reach the first object, stop, rewrite the code for the next object, and so on. He's right - not a good idea. Boring, too.

* Say I've written an entire ChipWit. I now want to test it - meaning, find out what its average score for this map is over, say, 1000 runs. Your debugger can't do that. How about stealing my 'Fly' option, which runs the chip at maximum speed, without displaying *anything* except the score at the end (and some other stats). You could also couple it to the 'Start Series' menu option, which flies the ChipWit 1000 times. Takes nine seconds on my outdated office PC, and is really good for comparing several ChipWits.

To anybody else reading my feedback, hey, I'm a perfectionistic computer programmer, thus I always complain about programs, and will continue to do so here even if the program is stunningly good.

See, I rather like ChipWits. Not just this one (it *is* rather nice, a lot better than the early beta versions), but also the Mac original. Sufficiently to write my own Windows version about it ( And, yes, I consider Doug's version to be better!
And, yes, of course I'm registered ;)


"What, I need a *reason* for everything?" -- Calvin
"Should I or shouldn't I? Too late, I did!" -- Hobbes
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Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent list of bugs and design flaws. Thanks a bunch, Klaus.

I will go through these in more detail soon.

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Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Waco, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:52 pm    Post subject: Build 192 Bugs Reply with quote


I am running Windows XP Professional SP2 on an AMD Athlon 64 with a 1GP of RAM. I have been playing with ChipWits about a day or so and have found a few bugs that were not listed in Klaus's post.

- PushNumber (RangeFinder) freezes the ChipWit and any ChipWits loaded after the freeze. Forces restart of the program.

- Not sure what caused it, but my map went blank. All I can see is a green board. Closed the app and restarted with a new ChipWit and it went back to normal. Loaded the ChipWit I had when the map went blank and the map went blank again. Forces restart again.

- Copying Junctions do not save the location of the cursor arrow. If I move the cursor arrow to the top, copy the junction and paste it onto another slot, the new junction's arrow points to the left.

- The Move(Forward) - IfFeel(Pie) causes an infinite loop sometimes because when he tries to run into the object, he does not always say "That Smarts".

That's all I have for the moment, but I will continue to play and let you know if I come across any more bugs.

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Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 22
Location: Munich, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:31 am    Post subject: Blank Map Reply with quote

Hi Aaron!

Interesting bugs. I'm sure Doug could use the ChipWit file which causes the map to go green - perhaps you could zip it and send it to him?
Or you could simply post it here (it *is* a text file, after all).

Greetings from far-off Octoberfestcity,


"What, I need a *reason* for everything?" -- Calvin
"Should I or shouldn't I? Too late, I did!" -- Hobbes
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