Friday, May 20, 2011

Black screen of death on HTC Desire

It seems that my version of Elite [edit - no longer available] on Android is not behaving very well on the HTC Desire. The comments speak for themselves:
Black screen on start up, freezes phone, have to remove battery on HTC desire. I loved this game back in the day too.
by starbuck (May 20, 2011)
Don't download this app, this app has crashed my f*cking htc desire
by Marco (May 19, 2011)
I am giving it a 4 , but it has crashed a few times and clearer instructions would help. Desire hd
by Thomas (May 7, 2011)
Intro music played but black screen and phone locked. Had to remove battery. Desire
by Robert (May 6, 2011)
Black screen lock-up on starting. Had to remove battery to recover. Not good. Desire.
by Grampian (April 26, 2011)

If there are any HTC Desire owners who want to help fix this problem then please get in touch. I'm obviously doing something wrong, but the platform shouldn't crash to such an extent that you have to take the battery out! Especially when the game does run on some HTC Desires as well as on many other types of phone.

I don't know which is more frustrating: the crashes themselves or the attitude of the people leaving these drive-by 1 star reviews. Writing such a comment may make them feel better (hey! my free stuff doesn't work!) but in the long term it doesn't help anybody.

So if you have a Desire and are experiencing crashes, please, please try and send me a "logcat" of the crash so I can work out what's going on and fix it. There's an application in the Market called aLogcat that lets you capture the log and email it out. Check that no personal information is in there (there shouldn't be any) and send me the info if you can. Otherwise there is nothing I can do, short of blacklisting Desires.

On a happier note: A new version of Chaos is out that fixes all the bugs that were reported, except one. The Nintendo DS and GBA versions are based on this same code. Fixes on all platforms are:
  • Make sound fx volume more consistent
  • Fix dismount wizard bug
  • Speed up magic bolt
  • Add a message when Meditate's side effect kicks in (it freezes the wizard)
The one bug that I can't reproduce is (surprise) Android only, and seems like another "Android hates me" oddity:
  • black screen after pause/resume
I've made a change that may help, but who can tell. Interestingly, a lot of commercial games seem to just kill the activity when you move away from it instead of dealing with this issue.

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