Rambling on Glitches

 What do you think is going on here?

What do you think is going on here?

So as you know, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make glitches be a useful and fun thing as opposed to something that makes you want to break your console.  I also like them to somewhat accurately reflect the kind of issues that can arise in real software, and a lot of this has to do with taking advantage of how RAM and VRAM are laid out.

At some point in the past, I was presented with a unique way of analyzing crash dumps:  Someone had found that if you converted them to images, you could actually spot patterns indicating if there was a problem in the stack or the heap based on how it looked.  I remembered this and was unable to find that.  But!  In my searches, I found something even better.

 I found this browsing through Chrome's memory.

I found this browsing through Chrome's memory.

It's called Haywire, it's by Jamie Fenton, and it is good.

If you've ever used an emulator (PSSST, I wrote one at one point), you might have noticed tools built in to let you see the VRAM contents.  Haywire is kind of like that, but for the RAM of running programs in Windows.  You can actually watch the contents of RAM update in real time!

What's more, you can open and view files.  It doesn't "know" how to read images, but if you know the line width of your image and whether to interpret it as 32, 24, or 16-bit, you can see ... something.  And it will be righteously scrambled.  Here are some dumps I made today:

 Here's one of the bosses.

Here's one of the bosses.

 A scrambled shot from the intro cutscene.

A scrambled shot from the intro cutscene.

 Some random part of Photoshop's memory where it stores icons.

Some random part of Photoshop's memory where it stores icons.

 You can also set it to interpret at unicode!  I found this in UltraEdit.  I couldn't find the text of my currently open document, though!

You can also set it to interpret at unicode!  I found this in UltraEdit.  I couldn't find the text of my currently open document, though!