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'What's the weirdest bug you've ever encountered?'
'What's the weirdest bug you've ever encountered?'
May 2, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

Bugs are an inevitable part of game development. All programming contains mistakes; all programs, even when implemented as planned, will have unintended consequences. Sometimes they can be incredibly frustrating to deal with. Sometimes they can become a genre-revolutionizing feature of the game's core gameplay. Sometimes, they're just funny and strange, and nobody but the developers will ever be aware of their existence.

Well, that's a waste, isn't it?

Earlier today, Gamasutra asked its Twitter followers this question: "What's the weirdest bug you've ever encountered?"

The answers are, unsurprisingly, very entertaining. We've collected below the answers that the respondents came up with. If you want to participate in our next question session, be sure to follow @Gamasutra on Twitter. If you don't use Twitter, feel free to share your own bugs in the comments of this article.

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Shea Rutsatz
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I think an interesting question would be: What bugs eventually DID become a feature? or What bugs influenced a future design feature?

Evan Hartshorn
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I'm a hobbyist, but in my Space Invaders clone, you can shoot down your enemies' bullets. So keeping that.

Michiel Hendriks
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Rocket jump was a bug

Wes Jurica
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Oh, you are talking about "emergent game design". ;)

Stephen Horn
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Several of Saints Row IV's open-world "glitches" were directly inspired by bugs over the course of the franchise. I think some were even triggered simply by toggling off the fix for them.

One of my favorites seen over the course of the franchise, though this wasn't put into SRIV, was a bug where dead NPCs would start to drift upwards. This was ages ago and I don't remember the specific cause, but I think it had something to do with the water physics system interacting badly with ragdolls. We fixed it well before shipping, but it was amusing while it lasted.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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I think SF II's combo system is a grand example of this. It was a bug that developers discovered on play test but it made gameplay more engaging so they left it as it was.

Funny enough, now combo system is a basic gameplay mechanic that every fighting and action beat'm up games must have.

Chris Dias
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Forcing your PC to reboot sound like the kind of thing you'd expect from Psycho Mantis.

Javier Degirolmo
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That last bug sounds like when my sound engine crashed the entire hardware so hard that even the Reset button wouldn't respond (that's what I get for programming on old-school hardware).

As for weirdest, well, this is self-explanatory (may look a bit NSFW):

The robot tries to climb up the wall completely ignoring it's the end, so it ends up grabbed onto nothing so it falls, then it regrabs on the wall and resumes climbing up, then falls, then climbs, then... you get the idea.

R Hawley
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In Combat Helo all objects were given some kind of default destruction behavior. That included when an object explodes it does proximity damage to nearby objects. Unfortunately we forgot to exclude terrain, when it took damage in milliseconds it made EVERY object in the game world explode in a cascade. Basically the screen when white and the most awful heart stopping explosion could be heard for a fraction of a second till the whole system ground to a half processing and queuing every cascading event. Totally awesome.

One feature we did leave in as an Easter egg, the exploding cows.

Bart Stewart
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While I didn't work on it, pound-for-pound I will guess that Soldner has the greatest bugs of all time:

Bart Stewart
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[duplicate post bug!]

Taric Mirza
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Regarding "One version of XNA and MonoGame handle colors per pixel backwards from each other. Meaning: RGBA = BGRA. It was funky.":

I had a very similar bug in my game that I had worked on for about a year when demoing it to a major game company during an interview. Apparently my graphics code was too low-level and hard-coded for one particular architecture, which matched my PC as well as my school's lab computers but not the game company's. The colors were so messed up it was basically unplayable, looked terrible.

Surprisingly, they didn't hold it against me. I remember wishing I had also brought the source code + C compiler (this was a long time ago, back before people had laptops) on a disk so I could of fixed the bug and re-compiled it right in front of them in minutes. Ah well.

Jonathan Jennings
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This is a personal favorite I made while working on a personal project. I was working on an enemy AI that was supposed to see the player once they entered a certain range, locked on, and tossed a snowball at him .....this was infinitely better lol .