Issue with cruising fish

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Issue with cruising fish

Postby paul » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:32 pm

Hey, folks. Doc pointed out an issue in which fish tend to vanish from a site. This applies only to fish that are set to cruise around, and the faster they cruise, the fewer and shorter pauses they're set to take, the sooner the fish vanish. The code intends to give cruising fish a slight tendency to move farther away, like picking locations farther from you 60% of the time and closer to you 40% of the time, just to avoid having cruising fish pass right by your feet. A bug in the code is causing them to pick new destinations farther from the angler 100% of the time, so they consistently swim their way out of reach or even out of sight. In cases where a site quit producing after a few minutes I'd always attributed that to the population having been spooked by all the casting, and that can happen too, but this bug can also account for the premature end of the action in a site.

The fix I have in mind would have the cruising fish pick locations in any direction, coming closer to the angler just as often as moving farther away, except when the fish are within 20 feet of the angler in which case they would usually pick a location further away, or when they are more than 60 feet from the angler in which case they would usually pick a location closer to the angler.

This is an easy change in the code, but it would affect many existing outings that have cruising fish. Today you really only have a chance of catching those cruisers in the first couple of minutes of fishing a site before they've moved out of reach. The fix would mean it would be easier to catch those cruisers. That would make it less common to get stuck on a site in challenge mode. Of course one could still spook all the fish in a site, but at least you wouldn't get stuck due to the fish just migrating away.

Before making this fix I'd like to hear from some outing creators. Any concerns with shutting down the unintended migration?

Paul
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby wyldechylde77 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:33 pm

Hi Paul,

Well, now I feel kind of sheepish :oops: I actually noticed that myself a long while back when I first started making outings, but thought it was just one of those things and not a bug. My apologies.
But to get right down to it, I see this as a double-edged sword. On one hand, a bug gets fixed and it helps with the challenge sites. On the other hand, we've had this bug for so long that people (outing creators in particular) have basically learned to ignore it. All of my outings have cruising fish. It is a natural part of life underwater. The way I see it is since only the outing creators really know that fish disappear, I always looked at it as the fish gets spooked and does not come back, a kind of realistic feel actually. Even though fixing this big would be of help, I fear unless there is some other way, this would ruin or affect hundreds of outings that are in place already. Figure, Martin himself recently completed his 1000th outing. How many of those would be rendered useless? That's a lot of man-hours gone!! This is just my own opinion. Sometimes, bugs are around so long and are adapted to that you can actually ruin a game by fixing them. I do feel that by fixing this bug, at least at this time it would do more harm than good. With as quiet as the forum and everything is, the last thing we need are links to outings that do not work anymore due to a patch. Too many outings would be useless. Just my thoughts bud ;-)
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby Doc » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:05 pm

Hi all

Must disagree lol - all sites with moving fish, and let's face it, fish do move, lose almost all of their fish in around 5-8 minutes, any left have gone as far upscreen as possible. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to fish these sites for more than 10 minutes? These sites have not had their full potential released. Also why make new sites with this deffect knowingly built in. Personally I would like my fishing experience to be as realistic as possible and not to be frustrated by something which isn't natural and can easily be avoided. Surely having the best experience we can get is far more important. :)

Many avoid expert level because they can't catch much, if anything - not surprising if they don't get a decent run at a site. Also knowing that all the fish are going to either disappear or migrate upscreen takes away a lot of the fishing element and instead of trying to fish well we are becoming 'gamey' and just take advantage of
[1] knowing this is going to happen
[2] switching up a site and then instantly back down again to get the fish back into the first site

Much better to fish the first site and learn how to be successful there surely?

With regards to Challenge sites, i think sorting this out will make 'normal' outings far better - a bigger improvement than Challenge sites where you catch 1 fish and move on! I would like to fish a brilliant outing taking in each site as a great experience - being able to know that I'm not just wasting my time at an almost empty site everytime a few minutes are over - to find out what is biting and what food is doing the job - a real fishing experience- not try for a few minutes and then reload or move on!

Anyway, that's just my opinion. This is a great game, but has a couple of 'bugs' in my opinion. Paul has fixed them, so why not make it an even greater game? This would make the game as Paul intended originally. Programming games is a very tough job, I know lol. You never manage to get it to market without something lurking there:) Many thanks Paul for a very realistic product mate.

Surely the integrity and the quality of the experience of the game is more important!

Cheers

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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby wyldechylde77 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:45 pm

Dave, gonna do my best here, but know that it is very tough to convey emotion of lber the Internet, and what I say here I do mean with the utmost respect. But honestly, look around. How many new signups are we getting a day? Besides the spambots? What you are proposing is to basically say screw the 1500+ outings available now, throw em all in the trash, and start all over again. We'll see how well that goes over with the outing creators such as myself who are still around. Throw away 5-6 years worth of creations because of one bug that isn't really that big a deal. The fish disappear after 5-8 minutes? Good. Makes the user move on to the next scene in an outing instead of spending an hour on one scene. Now, if Paul finds a way to fix it WITHOUT it ruining the existing outings (ruin is too strong a word, lets say render obsolete LOL), then of course I am all for it. But right now, for as long as we have coexisted with this big, I really feel it is too much collateral damage to the game, at least at this point. Maybe if there were more than just a few of us members around and creating, it would be more justified. And believe me, I know as a programmer this drives you mad. But, think of it like this: what if PAC MAN was suddenly found to have a bug that upped scores? Do you really think all these years later that it would be fixed? ;) Again, just my opinion and I mean no disrespect whatsoever.
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby paul » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:05 pm

I think we can find common ground here. The game currently doesn't work as intended in this case, but a vast collection of content has been developed with the current behavior in place. Dave made it clear in his emails to me that pointed out the issue that we don't want to negatively impact existing content, and of course nobody wants to throw out existing content. So how about this:

We add a new parameter: "KEEP CRUISING FISH IN AREA = yes". Put it in a site.def or outing.def and the fix will be applied there. Without that parameter (no change to existing content needed) the cruisers cruise as they always have. When creating a new outing people will have the option of enabling that change. It will be up to content creators whether or not to apply that change to any or all of their existing work. Creators who like the behavior as-is don't need to do anything. Those who want to apply the fix can do so by adding one line to the outing.def.

Will that work for everyone?

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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby Doc » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:13 pm

ok, no probs mate. This was not as a programmer but only as a creator and user. I have one question. Please tell me how stopping having fish vanishing and the rest all heading up screen ruins all of those outings. I would have thought it would have made them even better to fish.

Also, Paul, could you add a parameter into the outing.def file that the creator could set to 'Y' if they want the update. Then any outing without it set runs as now and any with it set runs as per your update? All pre-update outings would not have that parameter unless the creator wanted to add it. If it's not there then the update does not run.

This would seem to keep everyone happy:)

Also, I think that it might help get the odd new player. It can't help that when they trial this they can't find fish after the first few minutes. Also I am doing as much as I can to bring some variation to this great game, not only for the guys who have been here for years but also to try to attract new guys. Once all my programmes are sorted my aim was to trawl for new players using
- the Chat room (I don't mean the current small one lol)
- the seasonal outings
- weather change and RL fish reaction to it etc. etc. etc.
as attractions. So I, for one, am looking for a future for this game and am prepared to put a load of hours in creating developments. This is all selfish, of course, because I love this game :) But honestly I can't see much point if the sites all collapse after 5 minutes or so.


Cheers

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Last edited by Doc on Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby wyldechylde77 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:26 pm

That would work Paul. This way no ones work gets compromised in the process, and the bug is still fixed. Works for me bud.
Dave, it WOULD make the fish work out better as far as cruising goes, that's for sure. But the reason it could of ruined all those outings is because of the way the program itself works. The game would be patched, with a new setting in place for all of those outings. The program could very well have trouble reading the new patch on the old files, which would render the outings useless then. See what I am saying? What Paul suggests above, to just introduce as a new parameter, would be the way to go. This way, the program doesn't have to read something that isn't there. I hope that made sense. Writing this quickly as I am at work LOL
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby Doc » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:34 pm

I see your problem mate - but never was there any suggestion that outings already made would not run because of the patch. the idea was that they would run, but without the vanishing fish and the migration upscreen, which i would have thought would have just been an improvement. I would be here screaming NO! NO! NO! if current outings would not run!!! But a parameter would leave current outings running as they currently do unless the creator want to add the parameter. All new outings would have the option to set it or not.

This assumes that Paul can do this.

So relax mate, no way will you outings not run :)


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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby paul » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:38 pm

Looks like Dave and I were typing our earlier replies at the same time. And with the same proposal.

I also wouldn't say this change would ruin or even render obsolete the content that already exists, though. As Dave suggested the program would still read all the current content just fine, and the only difference would be that the fish wouldn't migrate away, which the casual angler would never even notice since most people don't spend all that long fishing a site. But at the same time I understand how people will feel strongly about anything that changes the creative works they've made in any way. If people created outings with the expectation that the fish may be gone from the area after a few minutes, then I wouldn't want to make a change to that behavior without making it optional, and defaulting the behavior to the way people have known it.

I certainly would never publish a patch that would be incompatible with the content that people have already created. In fact I hope to one day develop a new edition of the game that would use full motion HD video rather than stills to animate the site, but even with such a fundamental change as that I would still want to make the new edition backward compatible with all the content people have already created. That is, the full video version would also support outings made with 3 to 6 still shots as they are today.

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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby wyldechylde77 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:59 am

That works for me, Paul. I didn't really think you would put out a patch that would render the existing outings obsolete, was more a major concern. I hope others will also weigh in on this, as the forum is on the quiet side at the moment. I'm all for anything that will progress the game. Until I fell on hard times and computer problems, I was doing the same as Dave, trying to get new members by visiting various fishing sites/forums and having a link in my sig. That's one way to market without stepping on anyone's toes and obeying forum rules of other sites. ;)
On a different note, to me one of the game's biggest charms is its simplicity in design yet challenging in its gameplay. I do think that having full HD motion video as outings and fish animations would propel this game into the upper echelons of fishing simulators, even though in my opinion it's already there. We were makin strides with the Beta v139 patch (whatever happened with that anyway? Curious), and I think that we can continue to make this game much more realistic without going overboard!
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby Doc » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:08 pm

Here's another suggestion I may well try next: A "Go Fishing" Series for specific popular fish, for example :

"Go Trout Fishing"
I'm thinking of 3 places in the outing - each with 5 developing sites. While there are other species present the aim is to catch trout. This outing would come with a file included giving detail on how to fish for trout - details about the fish, how it feeds in different types of scenarios - river, lake, still water. Something with added interest for those who want it, something to help those trying to learn the fish, and just good trout fishing for those who know it all already.

Any comments welcome guys. I don't want to start this until the vanishing/migrating fish problem is sorted. It needs the option of fishing a site for quite a while without restarting it.

Cheers

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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby Yellowstone7 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:16 pm

Hi Paul, Chuck, Doc and Everyone:

I just returned from the hospital after some much needed maintenance work and I am surprised (and pleased) that there is so much passion demonstrated during my absence! :P I think this is great for the RWFF game and our Forum.

First of all, I think the addition of the cruising parameter (chosen by the outing makers) will add to the game as well as fixing a long time bug. Chuck is correct in saying that maybe this slight imperfection built into our game did add a lot to its charm and character. Sometimes we've learned to live with, and to love a game because of all the little quirks. (kind of like most Italian cars) Doc is also correct to say that while this can be fixed, why not? I think both points are equally valid.

When I started to read this post in it's sequence I never felt Paul would issue a "bug fix" that would render all the previous outings obsolete. It is just not Paul's way of doing things. After reading further I saw that Paul was going to add a parameter to fix the cruising bug, and it will be up to the outing makers to elect whether to apply it or not I was relieved. That would be the perfect solution for everyone. Actually right now the outing maker can elect for the fish not to cruise at all by not setting the cruise and cruise speed parameters which are not mandatory. This is particularly useful if we want to keep the target fish in a definite feeding lane like those we would find in a real trout stream. So the choice rests with the outing maker and not the software.

Personally I think people would like a certain degree of difficulty (and luck) built into their "Challenges" as it is not at all predictable. But on the other hand, one might have to hit the exit button after half an hour of non action and many of us have come to realize that this is part of a RWFF Challenge, and may blame our own bad luck, or the Solunar phase for it. :P

I think the availability of the added cruise parameter would be the perfect solution for everyone. Those who would like to have fish returning could have it, and those who prefer some vanishing fish could have it as well. In real life fishing a pool, a usually productive eddy, or a likely feeding spot could go completely dead for inexplicable reasons and this is a very real part of fishing and we have all experienced it. With the new parameter the outing creator can chose the way he prefers to set up his outing and this is just fine.

I think Doc has many interesting ideas and they may result in some interesting outings for all of us to try. New ideas are always the life blood for any kind of software development and we are happy to have them, and to try them out. That is as long as we respect the integrity of the original software and only make changes from within it.

Those are just my humble opinions re this issue and I hope you will find them useful. :lol:

Regards,

Stanley
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby Doc » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:18 pm

The problem, for me at least, was that while it was an interesting quirk, it happened everytime - which for me was more than just a quirk, it stopped me ever getting a reasonable go at any site. If in RL everytime you went fishing you were ok for 5 minutes but after that they had all vanished you would soon give up the sport lol! I think that it would be great to have the population changing and sometimes getting very low - but then that is what my Site Evolution software is for - it is part of the realism I am trying to develop :)

As the game stands none of the things I am developing make much sense - with the fixes (how Paul originally intended the game to be lol) they will all help to add a lot to the game. That is why I spent so much time researching the bugs and setting up sites specifically for Paul to see what was happening more clearly.


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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby Yellowstone7 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:27 pm

Hi Doc and Everyone:

I am confident that Paul will be able to make some simple code adjustments and resolve the cruising bug. It will be a welcomed addition to our updates. However, I would like to say this about the little "quirk" that seemed so persistent in our present RWFF software. Most real flyfisherman would not spend a lot of time waiting for the fish to bite in the same spot (same scene?). If the action goes dead he would be taking off and trying the next likely spot. Same with RWFF fishers, if the scene goes dead he would just go on and try another scene. The exception here being the Challenge Mode where one "has" to catch a fish before he can go on to the next scene. So your idea of having a "skip" button might be a very interesting one as then the fisherman can give up on the scene and go on to the next scene without having to terminate the entire Challenge and start afresh. This is certainly something worth thinking about?

By the way, the old standard for our Challenge tournament series have always been done in Expert Mode, rather than the Experienced Mode. We made the last tournament challenge in Experienced Mode to attract more players and it worked great. Most of the diehard RWFF fisherman still take pride in finishing the Challenge in Expert Mode and they think this is real challenge requiring patience and fishing skills. However, if most people prefer the easier fishing in Experienced Mode and ask for it, the VFFL Committee will only be too happy to oblige as we would like to see a lot of people participating and having fun in our friendly bi monthly competitions. :P

Would love to hear what other RWFF members have to say about all this. C'mon guys, this is your chance to make our game better so say your piece now! :lol:

Regards,

Stanley
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Re: Issue with cruising fish

Postby rwwalleye » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:16 pm

Hi Everyone,
I kind of agree on putting the continuous cruise on for the new outings by makers choice. Everyone has gotten use to the little bug about the fish disappearing. To just add the continuous cruise for the fish in new outings would be great. As you can see by my postings, I'm use to the little bug and like doc said if you don't get a bite either jump one site either way and come back again. No problems. When I fish an outing, I try to catch at least one fish in each site, sometimes if it's really good and I want to try to catch all species in that outing, I may go through it 2 or 3 times.
All the ideas that have been mentioned are great as (I myself believe) long as it doesn't effect the 1000 + outings that a lot of people spent a lot of time on. I think Paul's quick fix with the continuous cruise is the best bet. How much work will it take to make it work or can it just be added as stated and the game will automatically enforce it. Roger
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