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0004151Dwarf FortressVegetationpublic2011-03-06 23:262011-03-27 02:01
Toady One 
normalminorhave not tried
32bit LinuxDebian6
0004151: Bamboo flickers because the ALT_PERIOD value isn't being defaulted properly
Most of the time, bamboo looks like normal grass, but at odd intervals, in flickers as the "bent f" symbol. This only happens when the game is running, not when it is paused.

Save is here: http://dffd.wimbli.com/file.php?id=3915 [^]
1. Load save.
2. Navigate to outdoors.
3. Wait a while looking at the grass.
This can be fixed by adding [ALT_PERIOD:1:0] to the bamboo raws, as described at 0004151:0015949.
No tags attached.
related to 0004467new  GRASS_TILES is ignored when VARIED_GROUND_TILES option is set to NO 
Issue History
2011-03-06 23:26AbuDhabiNew Issue
2011-03-07 00:29FootkerchiefNote Added: 0015879
2011-03-07 00:29FootkerchiefTag Attached: AWAITING UPDATE
2011-03-07 00:31AbuDhabiNote Added: 0015880
2011-03-07 05:40Knight OtuNote Added: 0015888
2011-03-07 07:51greycatNote Added: 0015895
2011-03-07 09:35takaratikiNote Added: 0015899
2011-03-07 14:42DoctorZuberNote Added: 0015927
2011-03-07 15:01Knight OtuNote Added: 0015928
2011-03-07 15:26AbuDhabiNote Added: 0015929
2011-03-07 16:00greycatNote Added: 0015931
2011-03-07 16:54DoctorZuberNote Added: 0015934
2011-03-07 20:34QuietustNote Added: 0015937
2011-03-07 20:47FootkerchiefTag Detached: AWAITING UPDATE
2011-03-07 21:05QuietustNote Edited: 0015937bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0015937#r5987
2011-03-07 21:05QuietustNote Edited: 0015937bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0015937#r5988
2011-03-07 23:57DoctorZuberNote Added: 0015942
2011-03-08 05:53QuietustNote Added: 0015949
2011-03-08 05:59QuietustNote Edited: 0015949bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0015949#r5995
2011-03-08 05:59QuietustNote Edited: 0015949bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0015949#r5996
2011-03-08 08:56takaratikiNote Added: 0015958
2011-03-08 09:32QuietustNote Added: 0015962
2011-03-10 07:15greycatNote Added: 0016043
2011-03-10 07:33FootkerchiefTag Attached: Probable Quick Fix
2011-03-10 07:33FootkerchiefTag Detached: Probable Quick Fix
2011-03-10 07:38FootkerchiefSummaryBamboo flickers => Bamboo flickers because the ALT_PERIOD value isn't being defaulted properly
2011-03-10 07:50QuietustNote Added: 0016046
2011-03-10 07:52QuietustNote Edited: 0016046bug_revision_view_page.php?bugnote_id=0016046#r6014
2011-03-26 13:09FootkerchiefAdditional Information Updatedbug_revision_view_page.php?rev_id=6191#r6191
2011-03-27 02:01Toady OneNote Added: 0016658
2011-03-27 02:01Toady OneStatusnew => resolved
2011-03-27 02:01Toady OneFixed in Version => Next Version
2011-03-27 02:01Toady OneResolutionopen => fixed
2011-03-27 02:01Toady OneAssigned To => Toady One
2011-04-07 16:12FootkerchiefRelationship addedrelated to 0004467

2011-03-07 00:29   
Grass is supposed to flicker between tiles to simulate blowing in the wind or whatever. Do you have reason to believe that's not what you're seeing?
2011-03-07 00:31   
I'm unsure. It's kinda annoying, since it's similar to an irregular strobe light. Best not look at it if you're epileptic.
Knight Otu   
2011-03-07 05:40   
Bamboo does not have alt tiles the way the evil grasses do, so it shouldn't flicker that way. Furthermore, the crooked f and the tree sapling tiles should be the default tiles for bamboo, and not the standard grass tiles, but it flashes between both sets. It almost seems like there might be two sets of grasses on the tile, and the game can't decide which one to display.
2011-03-07 07:51   
I'm seeing this flashing as well on Linux. I haven't seen any pandas yet, so I don't know whether the bamboo is functional as such.
2011-03-07 09:35   
Likewise, seeing this on .20 on Linux (Ubuntu 10.10). Flickering is random between default grass tiles and bamboo. Very disconcerting, visually.
2011-03-07 14:42   
are you sure this isn't just caused by a firefly or some similar critter?

loo(k) closely.
Knight Otu   
2011-03-07 15:01   
The flickering is on every single bamboo tile, doesn't move, happens every few ticks, and looks nothing like a vermin.
2011-03-07 15:26   
Looking closely is how I determined it was bamboo in the first place.
2011-03-07 16:00   
Imagine you're looking at a screen mostly full of grass tiles. There's a mixture of dark green and bright green, mostly dark green, plus your typical gray/red/brown tiles for non-grass, etc.

Now imagine fully half of the dark green tiles flashing BRIGHT GREEN for about a tenth of a second, and then going back to dark green. Over and over.

It's actually not that predictable. Sometimes it doesn't flash at all. Other times it stays bright green for a second or two before going back, rather than strobe-lighting.

I can live with it, but I could easily see how others could be disturbed by it. Easiest workaround, of course, is not to spend much time looking at grassy areas.
2011-03-07 16:54   
humm... I don't have bamboo on my map that I know of, I did notice a similar flickering effect which turned out to be a particularly active firefly. It was not fully half the tiles however.
2011-03-07 20:34   
(edited on: 2011-03-07 21:05)
It's possible that all types of grass are causing this sort of flickering, except we never notice because almost every type of grass looks exactly the same.


I've just confirmed that all types of grass are displaying the ALT_GRASS_TILES values by default (which are seemingly being initialized to the standard characters); presumably, they are occasionally flickering back to the GRASS_TILES values every so often, and the initial values in memory for ALT_PERIOD are determining exactly how often this happens (if they're both 0, then they stay on the alt tiles forever).

2011-03-07 23:57   
Could you clarify where you're seeing the [ALT_GRASS_TILES] and [ALT_PERIOD] tags? I took a quick look at the raw files and didn't see anything like this.
2011-03-08 05:53   
(edited on: 2011-03-08 05:59)
ALT_GRASS_TILES and ALT_PERIOD are normally only used with "wormy tendrils" and "staring eyeballs", the [EVIL] grasses, but if you don't specify them, the game uses default values instead - specifically, it uses "."/","/"`"/"'" for ALT_GRASS_TILES and presumably uninitialized memory for ALT_PERIOD. If the first value for ALT_PERIOD happens to be greater than the second value, then the grass will occasionally flicker between the normal grass tiles and the alt tiles, but since only bamboo and bubble bulbs use non-default tiles, those are the only ones you'll ever notice.

If you add the token [ALT_PERIOD:x:0] (where "x" is any number greater than zero) to every single type of grass (except for the ones that already have it, of course), then they'll display using the proper tiles.

2011-03-08 08:56   
Confirmed fix above. Adding [ALT_PERIOD:0:0] in the raw/objects/plant_grasses.txt for bamboos caused them to stop flickering and remain visible constantly. Much less epileptic-esque now.
2011-03-08 09:32   
takaratiki: do the bamboos show up as .,`' or as ƒτƒτ? If the former, then you should change it to [ALT_PERIOD:1:0] since they're supposed to show up as ƒτƒτ.
2011-03-10 07:15   
[ALT_PERIOD:1:0] also eliminated the flashing for me.
2011-03-10 07:50   
(edited on: 2011-03-10 07:52)
Using a large number (e.g. [ALT_PERIOD:1000:0]) might give marginally improved performance.

Toady One   
2011-03-27 02:01   
The ALT_PERIOD value was being defaulted, but there was a local variable that wasn't, and that tends to act up more on linux (as with the kill order crash, I wasn't seeing this on Windows, though it could also happen there). It should be fine now, hopefully.