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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
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Devlog: I Hope You Never Notice My Work

Posted by Keith Cross on Mar 20, 2009  | Comments

Devlog: I Hope You Never Notice My Work -

The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have posted a new devlog which looks at how the tech guys deal with crashes and error reports.


If you’ve been unlucky in M13, you will have noticed a new feature in Pirates: the Send Crash Dump dialog. In the regrettable case that the Pirates client should crash to the desktop, we automatically create a crash dump, and the next time you log in, we ask you to send that crash dump directly to us. This devlog will attempt to explain the motivation and mechanism behind this feature. Note that I will be venturing into some technical depth, but I’ll do my best to keep things interesting. Let’s start with some background info.

Windows Error Reporting

In Windows, when a program crashes, a dialog pops up asking you to send the error report to Microsoft. Microsoft then collects these reports, processes them, and displays them to the company that released the product – in this case, us. Registering to view the reports is pretty simple; whenever you release a new version of a program to the public, you upload some identifying information to the error reporting site. You can then examine all the errors reported by users, sorted into buckets representing similar errors, and you can retrieve any crash dumps from that version of your program in order to debug the problem for your next release. The service also includes statistics and graphs so you can track error reports over time, by OS or program version, etc. You can even register a message (such as “Hey, we’ve fixed this crash in version 2.8, you should upgrade!”) for a specified error code and future reports of the same error will display the message to the user. This is actually a really cool service, and it’s nearly free, requiring only a Verisign certificate to verify your status as a real company.

Read more here.

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