OK well it might take a while to track the bug down but in my experience leaving the game sit is the best way to make it happen, just checking back every once in a while & going back in the cave that it had a problem at....

If you are willing to test it leaving the environment up & just every once in a while like every half hour or maybe once you wake up go back in too it should happen by the next day....

Just tell me whatever you need if your willing to take the day to do it, not exactly dedicated to doing any actual actions in the game, basically leave it run then go back in the cave every once in a while or after waking up...

It seems to happen like clockwork after I wake up from having slept & go back into the cave...anytime in-between it seems kinda random but since I do go in the cave from time to time after letting it sit it maybe just random and the last few days ive been lucky...or the timing isn't as short as I thought previously...

---Anyways the icons will re-appear usually after getting close to something else using the icon...seems to come back sooner for icons which have less used....but as for the cave even if u walk around a lot, change floors....w/e since the floor is used everywhere basically I guess it doesn't re-appear even when changing floors...but if u exit the cave & come back it usually re-appears although sometimes it takes a few times going back in for it to do so.

--If you need the code just tell me the e-mail if your willing to do the testing & if you just need to debug dream seeker & it doesn't matter about the code then byond://99.178.137.84:5000 is my 24/7 server of the game...

The bug also happened in Two Steps BYOND offline so I don't think it has anything to do with networking problems but it may appear more often on or offline...I wasn't playing that game all that long but it happened & although I wasn't very good at understanding what to do(the colors & everything with fountains, the wizard guy or what not...the light walls around the treasure...blah blah blah...

I may have been away for 5mins from the fountains figuring out stuff which is the apparent time it should take to clear icons no longer needed.
In response to Lummox JR (#19)
Alright anyways, as for the bug I made a post about how to re-produce it, takes less than a day though & every time I come back after doing other things, it's messed up...

Anyways has happened over 20 times today already while bug testing the same area & happens in software & hardware rendering modes just the same...

I will send the code if you need it otherwise my game server is up 24/7 & displays the error...

I don't know how much time to wait in-between because i'm not timing it & trying to enter at regular intervals, just whenever basically is when I go back to it, enter the cave...and the bug is apparent...

I will try & make a small testing environment to test it though & try to time it better so you can see the bug in action without feeling that it could be a programming issue even though multiple games are showing the issue, 3 out of 3 games ive played show similar issues, just one of them has spell icons that have dissappeared...so it looks like the enemies are being killed without anything killing them, and some have tiles that dissappear....
In response to Lummox JR (#4)
I have tried replying to your messages to get any kind of response & want to know what you need to test this...

It happens at least 20 times a day to me so it's not like it would be time consuming for testing on your own PC...

I have done further testing to determine if my video card is having the issue or not by switching to software rendering mode instead of video rendering mode & the issue persists...

I have not done testing with other versions but I am 99% sure it started in this version of BYOND....

What do you need so you can test this & get it fixed...?
We've had the same problem with NEStalgia. Basically it's completely random in triggering the bug, but I've seen it happen when transitioning between maps that are in separate map files by setting a players loc via locate().

When the bug hits the game blacks out certain /areas. I'm guessing in your screenshots the water tiles are contained in a different /area than the land areas?

By what i've seen I am pretty sure icons are dissappearing by the icon file the icon is in, not how the icons/turf are coded in...

All the objects/turfs are all coded in mass for the most part and aren't grouped by what they are...so they are just /turf/grasspart1 & /turf/waterpart1 ... not /turf/water/piece1 or /turf/grass/part1 for example...

I was gonna group them(this code is old code based off work someone else did) & I didn't re-code everything so....they are not grouped together at all basically...

---I can have an icon on the same z_level dissappear though(when it's not on-screen...)

The icons in my game dissappear with all ICON FILES at a time...it's not based on what object it is...it dissappears based on what icon it uses....
Superbike, I don't know what you're expecting here. You're replying frequently but not adding significant new information. You've offered a few screenshots and some information about the mechanics, which is helpful, but I still don't have any kind of solid list of steps to follow to try to reproduce it, or even a test case that can make it happen on a semi-reliable basis without playing through a game for long periods of time.

I understand the difficulty of acquiring that test case, but surely you must also understand why I'm not jumping into working on a bug I can't test. In addition, I'm still working on some site-related things and as I said previously, not testing software bugs at this time. All that said however, I think this is a software bug of high importance and I even think your theory of the garbage collector's involvement is likely.
Alright...for steps...

1.Go to http://www.byond.com/games/Xerse/RiseOfHeroes
2.Download the game.
3.Click the button to play locally.
4.Make your character....
5.Now theres a cave entrance directly above you...go inside...
6.Go back out...

Now you wait every half hour or so then check on it by going back in the cave, and there, it's all black in there like in the screenshots...or almost every single time it is at least....

It doesn't matter whether your in software rendering mode & hardware rendering mode...it happens all the same...

---If you need the code his code is freely available but needs a few changes...such as making an includes for s_damage & deadrons character handling...

This is the link to the source...

http://developer.byond.com/hub/Xerse/RiseofHeroesSource

A fix for indentations may be needed however & a few comments removed regarding the includes for the login system so if you need working code I can fix his up very quickly or send you my own...

If it doesn't matter if it's tested locally or connected to a game server, I host 24/7 at the following link...

byond://99.178.137.84:5000

---The bug happens consistently with those steps and happens to me over 20 times a day using those steps....if I wasn't hosting or had another pc for testing I would test which version this last appeared in as well but I don't have a second pc for testing...

--When you are ready just tell me what information or code...or just whatever you need & I will get it to you...

I know you are busy...just inform me when your ready for testing...

If anything needs to be more clear such as steps, etc...just ask me but it should be clear now....I listed them as numbered steps this time...
When you say wait for half an hour, is literally nothing else happening? Do you have to go explore the world some more, or are others playing or showing up while you wait, or does this happen even in an empty world with no other players when doing absolutely nothing for that half hour?

These things are highly relevant to the garbage collector, since if you're just sitting doing nothing and nothing happens, the client is not accumulating any new Appearances or icon references. But if players are appearing, or you're going around playing the game in other areas, obviously the client is loading new icons and such and there is incentive for the GC to trigger.

So that's my big question, because my likely testing method would be to leave it running for half an hour doing nothing, with no one else around, while working on other code in another window, waiting for the GC to go off. It would help if you could confirm this happens even under those circumstances, not just on a live server.

I don't know if testing locally vs. a remote connection is relevant. If it is, I believe a remote connect is probably the better way to trigger the bug, but I can do that just by hosting in DD and joining.
In response to Lummox JR (#28)
I will do further testing but it does happen locally...I have not tried those steps however with local & was going around doing other things...the bigger question here is if you need the code for testing or if you will just download the games host/play files & use that...

If you use the version for download I will use that for my testing using the steps...otherwise I will send my code to you & use those steps & see if it triggers without even wandering around...

However I wasn't under the impression the GC had to be waited on to trigger & that it triggered itself in a timed manner...not only when it decided it needed to clean stuff up for other resources to be loaded into memory or because it decided too much stuff was loaded up & hitting that limit made the GC do its work...

I was under the impression that the GC routinely cleaned it up automatically in a timed fashion...

---The steps that worked routinely though was on a hosted server(people walking by & such) however all the icons are in one icon file for everyone...just different icon states so i'm not sure if that factors in or not...
Unless it needs memory for something new, there's no real cause for GC to run. Processes don't get improved performance for keeping their memory footprint as small as possible, GC on a timer as well as on-demand would just mean wasted cycles while you idle, and slightly odd looking CPU behaviour when nothing really is going on.
In response to Lummox JR (#28)
OK it happened doing nothing but sitting during my testing...it happened on the version for download from the website...the code version I don't know so if you need the version with the code to show the bug I haven't tested that version...

But this is confirming my steps do work on the version for download(host/single player local play) version....even when not moving around, just go in the cave check a half hour later....also I tested it while un-hosted only me in the game, no moving around...it bugs just sitting there when you go back in it's black...
In response to Superbike32 (#31)
Okay, great. That means this should be a lot easier to test when I get to it. Hopefully it should just be a matter of going to the right place, setting my breakpoints, and waiting for the GC to run.
Hello. I'm sorry if this is the wrong place, but I believe I may be experiencing this same bug in a game I am currently developing and can offer additional information about the bug.

I'm using BYOND 493.1117 on Windows Vista Home Premium, and I have also tested on a linux shell running BYOND 493.1116. After running or hosting my project everything appears to be fine, but after roughly 5-15 minutes some turf icons that are Not in view turn solid black. This applies to every copy of the icon on the map, and each icon is in its own icon file. It occurs whether you roam around or wait; either way. I've seen it occur with up to four different icons during testing, and they don't ever seem to turn black while in view. It is also worth noting that relogging into the shell caused the icons to return to normal, but leaving their view and returning did not.

A friend of mine has tested this as well, and had a theory that the icon_state was becoming null, but he has also confirmed that that theory is not the case. While the amount of time to occur is not fully consistent, this bug does occur every time and for everyone online or whom tries it.

I hope this information helps, and if you need me to host the game, or provide you with host files, I can do so as long as it is kept private as this project is still in development. If not for that, I would include links here. Thank you for any time spent reading this unfortunately lengthy reply.
Sadly I have been unable to reproduce this in any way, even after ramping up the garbage collector to operate extremely frequently. I tried going in and out of the caves in Rise of Heroes, and did so while playing in DS alone, while using a remote connection to a DD server, and while using a remote connection to my external IP instead of localhost.

I still think the garbage collector theory is a likely explanation for the issue, but I can't get it to occur. I can verify in my own tests that the GC is being triggered, but it's not producing the visual problems you described. So there's obviously more to this, but I couldn't tell you what.

I have some followup questions:

1) Does this happen with objs and mobs, or only with turfs?
2) Does this happen only on the same z-level, or when changing z-levels, or both?
3) If going in and out of the caves in Rise of Heroes doesn't do the trick, do you have another test case that reliably produces the issue?

These followup questions apply to all. Toddab, if you can send me a zip with the files I'll need to run the game and a set of instructions on how to get to the place I need to be to see the issue happen, that would be ideal. (Code would also be helpful, but may not be necessary.) You can send me any files at LummoxJR@aol.com.
Alright. I've sent two emails to your address via the email address toddab502@aol.com. One contains the steps to reproduce, and the other contains the zip; since I had forgotten to attach it.

I have no information regarding those three questions at this time, but if you have any trouble reproducing the problem please let me know and I will continue testing and try to find that information for you. My untested theory, however, is that it is limited to turfs and possibly objects.
Man, this was a tricky bugger. I finally was able to reproduce it and solve the issue though. Thanks Toddab for the test project. That project and the clear instructions you provided were critical to being able to reproduce this on a reliable basis. I had trouble at first with the accelerated garbage collector not causing this even though your test case in the official build did--until I realized one of the things I was changing to accelerate the GC was also obviating the bug.

The issue I found was that the GC was letting go of icons belonging to Appearances that were not in use. The client's GC however doesn't actually delete Appearances until it tells the server it's done with them, and it doesn't do that until it's gathered enough of them to bother telling the server. So there was a sweet spot where this bug could occur. According to my results, further wandering to gather more garbage Appearances would cause the problem to disappear, but not gathering enough new garbage would not cause a reset--which is consistent with all the reports.

This was not limited to just any one kind of atom. I believe it may be responsible for at least one other issue however.
Lummox JR resolved issue with message:
Icons could disappear when out of sight in some rare cases.
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