Home > Game Update, Programming > Decompilers Good, Hibernating Bad

Decompilers Good, Hibernating Bad

So I haven’t done any work at all on my game since last weekend. Mostly because losing a week’s worth of work on it was depressing me. I believe I’ve found a way to fix it, but it’s still a pain in the butt.

Hibernation Fail
Here’s what happened. I loaded up my computer on Tuesday night to start doing some coding. FlashDevelop was open when the computer put itself into hibernation due to a low battery. I pulled it up to see this:

FlashDevelop post hibernation

There might not appear to be anything wrong with that at first. The only problem is that when I shut down my computer on Saturday night, I had about 14 classes and there’s only 6 in that picture. I figured, “Well, that just must be because that’s what I had open.” So I browse to the folder where I had been saving all my files. Which I had been saving regularly. And what did I see? 7 files with the last modified date listed as 1/29/2012. Even though I had been working on my code as recently as 2/4/2012.

Looking For The cause
Now I can’t say for sure that it was the hibernation file that caused the issue. I don’t see how loading the contents of RAM should affect a folder full of files saved on the hard drive. I suppose it’s possible that “Saving” was only occurring in FlashDevelop’s memory, but that seems unlikely.

The odd part about it all, was that the compiled swf file – the one that’s created every time I try to debug the game – was still showing a last modified date of 2/4/2012. I loaded it up and, lo and behold, it was the same file I had pulled screenshots from last Saturday.

I still don’t know for sure what happened. But I’ve turned off all hibernation on the laptop just in case. I really don’t mind shutting it down every night when I’m done working. It forces me to save more often anyways.

Finding a Fix
I did try downloading a trial for a deleted files recovery tool. But it acted as if the files had never existed as well. I knew about the importance of securing your code before releasing it into the public. This is because it’s supposed to be really easy to decompile unencrypted flash files. I figured I would look for a decompiler and see what my finished swf file could give me.

I can tell you to NOT try sothink’s swf decompiler. It will let you see your code, but the local variable names will be changed and you can only copy out the code if you buy the full version.

I knew there had to be a free decompiler out there, so I googled “free actionscript 3 decompiler” and was led to F.L.A.S.W.F.. He had links to several decompilers and the one I decided to try was ASDec. Looking at the output I was surprised to find that every variable name is identical to the original version.

My Code Is Reborn!

The decompiler isn’t perfect though. It still has to leave out all the comments because those aren’t compiled at all. It also has many extra lines added in declaring variables and then initializing them on separate lines. Fortunately, it should recompile fine for now and I can update it as I go. I was really concerned for a couple days, but I’m ready to return to coding my game once again.

I’ve learned to appreciate decompilers, so long as they aren’t used to steal my game and pass it off as someone else’s. Anyone else every have computer nightmares resulting in lost code?

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