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View Full Version : Emitter and captured object bug - how to avoid it



Taffey
09-27-2012, 06:51 PM
Apologies if this has been posted somewhere else but I haven't found much definitive information. Might as well start a thread to consolidate things! This will eventually need to be posted on getsatisfaction I imagine, but for now this will serve as an information gathering source as well as a warning to people who encounter this same issue.

If you have experienced this bug, please reply to this thread and provide as much information about it as you can.

Remediation and preventative information is at the bottom of this post.


Overview
Simply put, this bug is related to emitting captured objects (as well as photo stickers) and seems to be somehow related to corrupt data in a user's profile. When this bug occurs, all emitters in a given level that meet certain criteria (detailed below) will stop working. It will also cause a "failed to load level" error message when attempting to edit or play a level from the Create Moon, and will prevent a level from being downloaded from the community.


My experience with this bug
While building my Space Corps: ReVITAlized (http://vita.lbp.me/v/ht5h) level, I encountered this bug a few times at an early stage and then again much later on while making an update. Somewhere in the process of saving the level in create mode and testing it in play mode, the level failed to load. Upon tapping the icon a few more times the level did eventually load, but most of the emitters had stopped working and some photo stickers appeared as plain white. Also, the photo sticker I was using for my level icon changed itself - sometimes it would be blank, sometimes it would be a yellow "!", and sometimes it would be a cartoon flower.

Upon investigating the malfunctioning emitters, the objects they were attempting to emit were not available in My Captured Objects. Instead of the object thumbnail, only a red "!" would be displayed. This happened with more than a dozen objects and affected most emitters in my level. Some emitters would still work, namely those emitting premade impact bomb objects. It seems apparent that the bug is related to captured objects and not emitters. I had to spend the next several hours re-capturing objects and reselecting them in each emitter, but I did eventually get the entire level working again. Once everything was fixed, the level once again loaded normally and was downloadable once published online.



Potential causes
I do not know for certain what exactly triggers this bug to occur, but I have been able identify some specific circumstances. The most important criteria and one that I am 100% certain about is that this bug typically occurs when emitting an object in one level that was captured in another level. As is the habit of many LBP creators, I maintain separate levels where I go to create and capture objects, set pieces, etc, in order to keep random clutter out of whatever main level I am creating. I will then switch back to my main level and emit said captured object(s). Without fail, eventually every single object captured and emitted in this way was affected. My guess is that the game has trouble loading up objects that do not natively exist within the level in question, but that's nothing more than a hypothesis.

The captured objects in question varied greatly. Some contained logic, some were stickered and/or decorated, some were dephysicalized, some were static, some were combinations of all of these, and some were none of the above. The one common thread all of my bugged objects shared is that they came from a different level. The first time I experienced this bug and had to fix all my emitters, I just recaptured and re-emitted the objects but the bug occurred again shortly afterwards. The second time I had to fix emitters, I brought over all of the objects I had recaptured and placed them somewhere out of the way in my main level, and this seemed to solve the problem. The emitters operated normally over the next 50+ hours of creating and did not malfunction again until after I had deleted the spare objects to save thermo.

An interesting side note is that, when this bug occurs, any and all photo stickers placed in the level stop displaying and appear as plain white. They are not selectable with the sticker edit tool, but the sticker scrubber tool will remove them from whatever they are stuck on. Only photo stickers actually used in the level (or for the level icon) were affected - all other photos were unaffected. Like the bugged captured objects, these photos also show up as red "!"s when viewing them in the sticker section of the popit menu. I received "recent changes to your profile was not saved due to an unknown error" error messages periodically until all the problematic photo stickers and objects were deleted.



What to do if you experience this bug
Just like the cover of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says: DON'T PANIC. Your level can be fixed! It might be a bit of a pain, but we'll get through this together. Just breathe deeply and keep reading.

You are likely experiencing 'failed to load level' error messages when trying to edit the level, but don't worry - just keep tapping the level badge and eventually you will get in. It might take a dozen tries or more but it always seems to eventually work. Once you are in the level, you will need to check EVERY emitter and EVERY photo sticker. Emitters that are malfunctioning will need to have their objects recaptured and re-emitted, and photo stickers that are showing up as white will need to be removed using the "sticker scrubber" tool (or just deleting whatever they're stuck to).

It is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that every object you want to emit be placed somewhere in your level, or else you are at risk for encountering this bug again. Better yet, skip the capturing step altogether and use the "select object" option within the emitter tweak menu. Once you have repaired every emitter and removed every bugged photo sticker, your level will return to normal - you will be able to load/edit/download it without error messages. Don't forget to check the level icon as well if you happen to be using a captured photo or screenshot for it.



How to avoid this bug
As of yet I have not come up with a 100% reliable method for avoiding this bug, but the following steps seem to be very effective. Even when my level was hit with the worst this bug had to offer, emitters meeting the following criteria were still working.

NEVER build objects in one level and emit them in another.
If you simply must build objects in a separate level (or have already done that and it's too late), bring them over to your main level, place them somewhere out of the way, and leave them there. This will not be optimal for thermometer, but your emitters will be much more reliable.
Avoid emitting captured objects. Use the "select object" option for your emitters instead, and select an object that already exists in your level. (It's way more convenient than capturing anyway.)
MAKE BACKUP COPIES OF YOUR LEVELS. If you have only one version of your level going at a time, you are asking for trouble. Every 20 or 30 minutes, save your level, exit to the Create Moon, and create a backup copy in a different crater somewhere. This will not necessarily prevent the emitter bug from occurring, but it's still a smart thing to do.

IVIaster220
09-28-2012, 02:44 PM
Okay I don't know if this is related and I don't know if I should post this here, but my experience is very similar in a way.

Well I start up LBPV and I notice something very strange. When I had left off I was in my pod which I has decorated as a nice forest type theme. But upon coming back my pod was blank and the floor was covered in "chewed gum." I found that very odd and have no idea how it got there. Why chewing gum?

I had 5 saved pods and the one I was using and another pod I had saved were no longer on the saved pods list as well.

Well I remade my pods and decided to go work on a level I was making. So I go into the level and everything is working fine. I added a few things and made some small changes. At that point I decided I was going to go work on my space arcade game I had been making as well. It uses a controlinator to move a small ship around that shoots things and such.

So there is an emitter on the ship that I was making. I used it to shoot plasma for now as I was just testing things. This is the only emitter in any of these levels so far. After completely designing the users ship in 4 different colors and getting it to run smoothly I saved and wanted to add an idea I had for the other level.

Well upon trying to edit the other level it tells me that it has, 'failed to load level.' I've been trying and trying to get into the level but to no luck so far.

Also this morning when I tried and it didn't load, I went back to the space shooter level. I found that all my ships were completely gone and nowhere to be found. Either some young sacklings decided they wanted to play Grand Sack Auto and steal my ships, or this is part of some glitch. Everything else was there, just not the ships.

I have no idea what happened on the inside of the other level because I have yet to be able to get into it. I don't know if mine has anything to do with emitters because I only had one and it was just emitting plasma.

This may be a completely different bug, but either way I thought you guys should know about it.

blastroid
09-28-2012, 03:19 PM
Strange I have not seen this bug and emitters are my life line to creating. I have one level I am working on that has every part of the level emitting and destroying itself. It would easily take over the thermometer twice but in create I am not even hitting the first line. I will keep my eye out for wierdness like this and cross my fingers. I make backups constantly of the levels I am working on and suggest others do this to.

Taffey
09-28-2012, 04:25 PM
Okay I don't know if this is related and I don't know if I should post this here, but my experience is very similar in a way.

Well I start up LBPV and I notice something very strange. When I had left off I was in my pod which I has decorated as a nice forest type theme. But upon coming back my pod was blank and the floor was covered in "chewed gum." I found that very odd and have no idea how it got there. Why chewing gum?Hmm, interesting. It's hard to say but it sure sounds like it's related to the same bug. Stickers and decorations deciding to change themselves is definitely a bit odd, as is the other behavior you described.




Strange I have not seen this bug and emitters are my life line to creating. I have one level I am working on that has every part of the level emitting and destroying itself. It would easily take over the thermometer twice but in create I am not even hitting the first line. I will keep my eye out for wierdness like this and cross my fingers.This particular scenario scares me, as the one known workaround I have found won't work. I guess just hope for the best and make sure to keep those emitted sections handy for if/when you need to recapture them.



I make backups constantly of the levels I am working on and suggest others do this to.The worst part about this bug is that level backups really don't seem to work. The level itself was still fine, but the captured objects it was trying to emit went all wonky and broke it. There's no way to back up a profile that I am aware of right now. I'm sure there's a way but I imagine it will be clunky.

yugnar
09-28-2012, 10:56 PM
MAKE BACKUP COPIES OF YOUR LEVELS. If you have only one version of your level going at a time, you are asking for trouble. Every 20 or 30 minutes, save your level, exit to the Create Moon, and create a backup copy in a different crater somewhere. This will not necessarily prevent the emitter bug from occurring, but it's still a smart thing to do.

If a creator didn't do this back at LBP PSP, he can't call himself a PSP creator.

cakito123
09-29-2012, 04:59 PM
If a creator didn't do this back at LBP PSP, he can't call himself a PSP creator.
lol
Why not? Levels there disappear?

ythyth
09-29-2012, 05:13 PM
lol
Why not? Levels there disappear?

Nope,They would break on a regular base,If you made a level that didn't break in some way in LBP PSP (Pistones going crazy,Etc),Your considered very lucky.

cakito123
09-29-2012, 06:00 PM
Oh.
Seems very annoying...

Sackrates
10-03-2012, 05:53 AM
it was... I had to remake one level about 10 times when **** would break.. I was livid with the game and only got to release 1 level..

nysudyrgh
10-03-2012, 11:34 AM
It's even more fun when you try to make a PSP level while using a bunch of glitches. :3

comphermc
10-03-2012, 12:51 PM
Hm, this is no good. Did you, by chance, switch over to Play mode before it was completely finished saving? If you updated the emitted objects, they need a moment to completely save. If you don't wait, it's possible that you'll get a resource error when the level is calling for a resource that does not exist. That is a complete guess, since the way emitters work is a confusing mess to me. They have what is called "plan files" and if those are missing, then you're going to have a bad time. Not sure what would cause them to go missing. Please make a Get Satisfaction submission.

Secondly, a trick to storing reference objects in the level itself: if your object has a bunch of logic tucked away on a microchip, you can disable it on the reference object pretty easily. Place down a Toggle Switch somewhere persistent in the level that is not part of the reference object. Generally I just place a piece of static material nearby and plop it on there. Wire the Toggle (which should remain off, per the X symbol) to the bottom input on any microchips on your reference object. This will disable the logic within, but when the reference object is emitted, that wire will be absent, so it will not interfere. Boom, magic!

fullofwin
10-03-2012, 02:51 PM
Place down a Toggle Switch somewhere persistent in the level that is not part of the reference object.

Great tip comph, I'll definitely use this!

I've been using emitters extensively in my current project and copying stuff between scratch levels as is my normal LBP2 workflow...no problems so far.

I wouldn't think it would be possible for an incomplete save...the game makes you wait when capturing complex objects, and then there is the explicit prompt to save pending changes when switching from create to save?

Taffey
10-03-2012, 04:22 PM
Hm, this is no good.Hey comph! Yeah, agreed... It's a bad one. I'm still having the problem too - I wanted to publish a few minor updates to my level but the emitters decided to break again. And by that I mean all emitters in all backed up copies of my levels, all at once. It definitely has nothing to do with the level files themselves, but rather those pesky captured objects in my profile. I am effectively locked out of making any updates to my level, because any small change will require me to spend 3 hours reconfiguring every emitter... again. :frightened:




Did you, by chance, switch over to Play mode before it was completely finished saving?I'm glad you asked that, because I forgot to mention it in my original writeup. I can say with 100% confidence that this is definitely not the case, as I am hyper paranoid about things like that after doing all that work in the PSP's fragile create mode.

My process is always the same: Every 20 or 30 minutes, I save the level and then patiently wait until the spinning save icon disappears. I then select 'return to pod' and make a copy of that level and place it into a separate crater as a backup. Once that's done (and the save icon has stopped spinning) I then playtest the level to make sure everything is working. I explicitly never use 'switch to play mode', and I also never rely on the 'save changes' dialog box when exiting create mode.

I prefer the game to worry about one thing at a time, not saving-exiting-loading all in one continuous sequence, because when something goes wrong you're never really sure what gave it indigestion and whether or not your save files were corrupted.




If you updated the emitted objects, they need a moment to completely save. If you don't wait, it's possible that you'll get a resource error when the level is calling for a resource that does not exist. That is a complete guess, since the way emitters work is a confusing mess to me.Yes, that was my thought exactly, so after the first time I encountered the issue I was very careful to make sure the system was done doing/saving whatever it was doing before saving and exiting the level.




They have what is called "plan files" and if those are missing, then you're going to have a bad time. Not sure what would cause them to go missing. Please make a Get Satisfaction submission.Interesting... It sure sounds like that's where the issue lies. I did also submit a copy of this post on Get Satisfaction (https://getsatisfaction.com/littlebigplanet/topics/lbpv_emitter_captured_object_bug).




Secondly, a trick to storing reference objects in the level itself: if your object has a bunch of logic tucked away on a microchip, you can disable it on the reference object pretty easily. Place down a Toggle Switch somewhere persistent in the level that is not part of the reference object. Generally I just place a piece of static material nearby and plop it on there. Wire the Toggle (which should remain off, per the X symbol) to the bottom input on any microchips on your reference object. This will disable the logic within, but when the reference object is emitted, that wire will be absent, so it will not interfere. Boom, magic!Ah, so they will emit correctly... I've been storing objects in my level exactly as you describe by using a toggle set to X but I wasn't sure if the logic would be reliable if emitted that way. Thanks!

comphermc
10-03-2012, 06:25 PM
You know, I wonder... perhaps the problem is copying the levels in the first place, Taffey. My understanding of emitters and plan files is rusty, but plan files are tied to a specific level in some way. Copying the level to a new crater may break the connection between plan files and the level itself. I never saved new copies of levels in that way, and instead used the Save As option when already in the level to save to a new slot. Does the problem persist when you make edits to the working crater? Try making edits, and selecting Save As.


I wouldn't think it would be possible for an incomplete save...the game makes you wait when capturing complex objects, and then there is the explicit prompt to save pending changes when switching from create to save?

It was just a guess, really. As far as I know, all of that should work fine, but I'm a bit paranoid of losing work. I had one instance of a level not saving by selecting Save as I exited a level. It's not happened since.

Taffey
10-03-2012, 06:52 PM
You know, I wonder... perhaps the problem is copying the levels in the first place, Taffey. My understanding of emitters and plan files is rusty, but plan files are tied to a specific level in some way. Copying the level to a new crater may break the connection between plan files and the level itself. I never saved new copies of levels in that way, and instead used the Save As option when already in the level to save to a new slot.Yes, that's a possibility, but based on the behavior I am seeing they are not necessarily related. In most cases I don't actually do anything with the saved copies - they are just held off to the side in the event I need to revert to a prior version. When I began encountering problems I used the 'save as' function a few times but that didn't seem to make any difference one way or another.

Throughout the course of creating the level I made somewhere between 50 and 60 backup copies (but I only retain the latest 3). I encountered the emitter/captured object bug 3 times in total, and none of the instances occurred directly after making, opening, or editing a backup copy. This does not rule out copying/moving as a potential cause of course, but I did not experience any direct cause-effect correlation.

The third and final time this bug occurred is the one freshest in my mind. I published my level on the evening of Sept 26th, then went to bed. I spent the next day browsing the web and reading various feedback about my level, taking notes of small things to fix. Then, on the evening of the 27th I went in and made a few various fixes - perhaps 30 minutes of create mode work. (I had not made any level copies since I had published.) I selected 'save', then 'return to pod', and immediately noticed that simultaneously all of my levels - not just the one I was working on but also the copies made the day before - were displaying the cartoon flower sticker for the level badge instead of the custom photo I selected. My playtest revealed that all but 2 "captured object" emitters in my level had ceased emitting, and all custom photo stickers were displayed as white squares. Emitters using the "select object" feature were all functioning normally.

It seems apparent that whatever sort of profile corruption I experienced happened while editing and/or saving the level. Now the cause of this could be due in part to the level copies and the general breaking of the plan files as a result of moving/copying the level itself, but it doesn't appear to be a direct trigger.




Does the problem persist when you make edits to the working crater? Try making edits, and selecting Save As.I did try to go into the original level as well as some of the copies and 'save as' to new locations to see if that would help but it didn't. As I mentioned above all levels glitched simultaneously, which makes sense in a way as all of the levels are attempting to reference the same file(s) related to captured objects and custom photos.

fullofwin
10-03-2012, 08:06 PM
Taffey, so your emitters are messed up currently? I wonder if you ought to be sending your save data to someone to look at?

Taffey
10-03-2012, 08:14 PM
Taffey, so your emitters are messed up currently? I wonder if you ought to be sending your save data to someone to look at?Yeah, or at least the objects those emitters are trying to emit are messed up... I'd definitely be willing to send off my save file to the powers that be if it'd be helpful.

L1N3R1D3R
10-03-2012, 10:04 PM
I really hope an update fixes this issue! I am currently using a puzzle storage level on my moon for cross-level transfer, and I need this to work! I guess I just have to wait for it.

Taffey
10-03-2012, 11:48 PM
I really hope an update fixes this issue! I am currently using a puzzle storage level on my moon for cross-level transfer, and I need this to work! I guess I just have to wait for it.I would say go ahead with your level anyway but there's a risk..... I dunno. Maybe just build as best you can so that it's relatively easy to fix. If thermo isn't going to be a problem then forget capturing altogether and use the 'select object' function - that seems to be very reliable.

Lordwarblade
10-05-2012, 10:38 AM
This is the exact issue i am haing right now. I am trying to emit medium sized mapes for a level i am making in the style of Worms.

My level badge has turned yellow with an exclamation mark and i do sometimes get te failed to load level errors.
Another major issue i am having is that when i go to play mode or back to the pod it sometimes kicks me out of the game.

I will try these tips but still we need this fixed as emiters are a big part of LBP creation.

fullofwin
10-08-2012, 03:02 AM
Taffey, did you move your level to another crater by any chance? I've determined that moving levels with emitters is what makes them fail to load (and no amount of retries will load it). Copy is totally fine...I'm definitely going to start doing a copy+delete if I want to move a level from now on...

fullofwin
10-12-2012, 01:22 PM
I experienced the dreaded emitter bug last night...and I don't think it's quite as catastrophic as suggested. It was exactly as described, all the emitters in the level couldn't find their objects, all photo stickers turned white, and all the levels on my moon would fail to load without a few retries, etc.

Before making any changes to your level in an attempt of fix it...RESTART THE GAME FIRST! Everything was fine for me after a restart. The game in memory has gotten into a bad state, I don't believe there is anything wrong with the level save data until you edit it after the game engine has gone berserk.

Taffey
10-12-2012, 04:25 PM
Taffey, did you move your level to another crater by any chance? I've determined that moving levels with emitters is what makes them fail to load (and no amount of retries will load it). Copy is totally fine...I'm definitely going to start doing a copy+delete if I want to move a level from now on...Oops! I thought I had replied to this post already... sorry!

No, all of my levels are just copies with the main level remaining stationary. I just work on the main one and make copies on the side from time to time. It's possible this could be related in some way I suppose.




I experienced the dreaded emitter bug last night...and I don't think it's quite as catastrophic as suggested. It was exactly as described, all the emitters in the level couldn't find their objects, all photo stickers turned white, and all the levels on my moon would fail to load without a few retries, etc.

Before making any changes to your level in an attempt of fix it...RESTART THE GAME FIRST! Everything was fine for me after a restart. The game in memory has gotten into a bad state, I don't believe there is anything wrong with the level save data until you edit it after the game engine has gone berserk.Ah, interesting. I did try restarting my game but it didn't seem to help. Your explanation however totally makes sense, and the fact that the situation rectified itself on restart certainly narrows down the nature of this bug to a few specific categories - like a memory leak or something.

Thanks fullofwin!