Games updates and patches

#1
Hi all,
I'd like to ask some help about patching my game.
I've noticed that if I change something in my level (to fix some bugs) the savegame doesn't work anymore and the game crashes when the level is loading.
This problem forces the player to restart the game from the beginning and this is not good.
Is there a way to solve this? I'd like to minimize the impact of updates for the customers.

Thank you

Re: Games updates and patches

#2
Here is my take on this.

To keep things on the low side i would recommend to have anything regarding Menu, UI, HUDs etc.. in one PAK file called Gamename_UI.PAK, so when a change is needed in the menu or UI, then patching shouldn't be a problem in regards to file sizes. All Scaleform related things shouldn't take more than 50 MB's. I always split Scaleform stuff from GameData.PAK in regards to patches (i always use the Textures directory under Libs\UI to store anything related to Menu, UI etc...). Same goes for anything regarding Particles or Textures associated with particles. There is always going to be changes with particles in terms of optimizations. So split the Particles directory out of GameData.PAK too and call it Gamename_Particles.PAK or something.

I always split out Music and Audio too and create a Gamename_Music.PAK and Gamename_Audio.PAK. To keep things simple again with patching, no point in patching both Sounds and Music if only one simple sound file needs changes is there? That only increases patching size.

I use a custom PAK build script using the Resource Compiler batch jobs when dealing with this, so everything is automatic. Nice and tidy.

To solve the crashes ... Do you have checkpoints in your game? What type of changes have you made? You can always use GameTokens to save data or points in gameplay, or use XML. Then restart at checkpoints instead?

Re: Games updates and patches

#3
Hi Laviz, thank you.
I'm getting this error:
err.jpg
err.jpg (24.11 KiB) Viewed 204 times

At the end of the game.log there are this: (there are many of them)
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '338'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '343'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '344'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '345'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '347'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '349'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '11'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '73'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '74'
<20:40:36> [Warning] [flow] Flow graph has changed between save-games
<20:40:36> [Warning] !BeginGroup( Local ) not found

To save the game I'm using the save node that is triggered when the player complete an action. Here an example:
flow.jpg
flow.jpg (150.25 KiB) Viewed 204 times


The changes I've made are: some flowgraphs and materials changed.
Can you help me?

Re: Games updates and patches

#4
Yeah probably crashed due to Flowgraph changes where what is stored in the savegames are different from what you are currently using, hence the crash. I would advice users that changes made during early access and development are quite common and that they can't expect saves to be perfect during development. Perhaps saving progress should be implemented at the very end of the dev cycle? Is it crucial to have right now?

Re: Games updates and patches

#5
Yes it is crucial now because my game is finished in all aspects and I'm ready to release it on Steam. It will be released as completed, not early access.
The savegames works well until I change something in the level for an update. I'm working hard but I can't find a solution.

Re: Games updates and patches

#6
After many trying, I found this:
If I load a savegame, the game crashes even If I don't change things in my level.
I've only opened the level in editor,then saved it and exported to the engine. That causes a crash when you load a savegame done previously.
Can anyone help me to understand what causes that?

In game.log there are errors similar to this:
<16:14:19> [Warning] [flow] Flowgraph '' has changed between save-games. Can't resolve node named '3'

And similar to this:
<16:14:19> [Warning] [LoadGame] Missing Entity ID=2625

Is there a way to discover what is the node named "3" and the "entity ID=2625" ?

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