February 27, 2011

Amusing software bugs in games

So I'm finally playing through the 2007 release, Bioshock, on my 360. This is after two false starts over the years -- for some reason the first few times I tried it, it just didn't "grab" me. I decided to give it one more go, and now that I finally progressed further into the game, I'm very glad I did.

One thing that has always amused me about games is the bugs. Computer/video games ARE software, after all, and software means bugs. Sometimes, it can even lead to an unwinnable game.

In the case of Bioshock, though, it led to this amusing moment. In this game there are "Little Sisters" that you need to either rescue or harvest. In each section, the game will tell you how many there are supposed to be. In one part, there are 3. I got them, and then through a glitch a 4th appeared. I dealt with that one, too, and then when I tried to exit the level I got a message warning me that I HADN'T dealt with them all, and the game would be difficult if I proceeded without doing so.

So, this tells me that the developer who worked on that message clearly assumed that a check (harvested == expected) was sufficient instead of (harvested >= expected), which WOULD be correct if it weren't for the other glitch that gave me an extra.

This amuses me far more than the aforementioned Impossible game, but you'd think both would have been caught in QA...