Fed2 Star - the newsletter for the space trading game Federation 2

The weekly newsletter for Fed2
by ibgames

EARTHDATE: February 11, 2018

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by Hazed

Last Friday, the game failed to fire up after the reset. It remained down for several hours, until Alan was alerted to the problem and started to search for the cause. Fortunately it didn’t take him long to figure out what was going on, and fix it.

It turned out to be a rogue piece of punctuation that brought the game to its knees.

To be specific, a player had started to build a Blish City, and they had included an ampersand character – & – in the city name. This is not allowed because the names are supposed to be letters and numbers only. Obviously the game should have complained when the player typed in the command and told them to choose a different name, but it didn’t. The name was allowed and saved to the data file that holds city names.

Then when the game reset, it tried to load in that data file, stumbled over the illegal character, screamed and fell over in a faint.

Alan edited the file and replaced the illegal ‘&’ with the word ‘and’, and then the game fired up with no problems.

Now he needs to amend the code so that when you request a Blish City build, the game won’t let you use non-standard characters in the name.

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