A Mystery Solved

I’ve watch quite a few playthroughs of Carmeana on Youtube, and one of the things that appeared odd to me is that sometimes the sky seems to go black on the screen captures.

Originally, I figured that the capture software is interfering with the graphics state in some way (and, actually that probably is it), but today I was debugging an issue where the sky wasn’t showing up on my end, and I realized I was doing something astronomically stupid.  The graphics drivers I was using had been “doing the right thing” (which is to say, they were doing something that was either invalid or undefined according to the OpenGL standard, but generally was what you wanted to happen) but they were actually hiding a bug.  I ended up changing something slightly that prevented the drivers from “doing the right thing” and it showed up on my end.

The graphics drivers that some people were playing through on were not “doing the right thing” at all (or were being hindered from “doing the right thing” due to the screen recording), which is to say, what they were doing was perfectly valid.  It’s just that my code was buggy and I didn’t realize it because my own graphics hardware was “protecting” me.

Bah.  I have a little pet peeve for drivers that “do the right thing” even when I do the wrong thing, and this is why.

However, in fairness, one of the lesser graphics drivers that I was testing on was an Intel i910, on a now seven-year-old refurbished laptop that was old for a refurb when I got it.  I keep testing the game on this laptop because A. it keeps me grounded–the game runs full speed on the laptop most of th time, and B. it has crappy graphics so I have an idea what my LCD should be.  But even the lowly Intel i910 drivers have protected me from this bug.

Anyway, bug should be fixed now, and playthroughs of the released game should show blue skies even on older, dumber hardware.

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