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Lakshmi Tahat
Lakshmi Tahat

How to use SteamAPI WriteMiniDump to report crashes in your game



How to use SteamAPI WriteMiniDump to report crashes in your game




SteamAPI WriteMiniDump is a function that writes and uploads a minidump to report crashes in your game. A minidump is a small file that contains information about the state of your program when it crashed, such as the call stack, the registers, and the exception code. Minidumps can help you debug and fix the issues that cause your game to crash.




SteamAPI WriteMiniDump



To use SteamAPI WriteMiniDump, you need to include the steam_api.h header file in your project and link to the steam_api library. You also need to initialize the Steamworks API by calling SteamAPI_Init before you use any other Steamworks functions. You can check the return value of SteamAPI_Init to see if it succeeded or failed.


When your game crashes, you can call SteamAPI WriteMiniDump with the following parameters:


  • uStructuredExceptionCode: The exception code that caused the crash. You can get this from the exception information structure that is passed to your exception handler.



  • pvExceptionInfo: A pointer to the exception information structure that contains details about the crash. You can cast this to a MINIDUMP_EXCEPTION_INFORMATION pointer.



  • uBuildID: The build ID of your game. You can get this from Steamworks by calling ISteamApps::GetAppBuildId.



For example, you can write something like this in your exception handler:


__try


// Your game code here


__except( EXCEPTION_EXECUTE_HANDLER )


// Get the exception code and information


DWORD uExceptionCode = GetExceptionCode();


PVOID pvExceptionInfo = GetExceptionInformation();


// Get the build ID of your game


uint32 uBuildID = SteamApps()->GetAppBuildId();


// Write and upload a minidump


SteamAPI_WriteMiniDump( uExceptionCode, pvExceptionInfo, uBuildID );


// Exit the process


ExitProcess( uExceptionCode );


SteamAPI WriteMiniDump will create a minidump file in your game folder and upload it to Steam. You can view and download the minidumps from your Steamworks partner site under Error Reporting. You can also add an optional comment by calling SteamAPI_SetMiniDumpComment before you call SteamAPI WriteMiniDump.


For more information about SteamAPI WriteMiniDump and other Steamworks functions, you can refer to the Steamworks API documentation[^1^]. For more information about minidumps and how to analyze them, you can refer to the MiniDumpWriteDump function documentation[^2^].


In this article, we have learned how to use SteamAPI WriteMiniDump to report crashes in your game. This can help you identify and fix the issues that cause your game to crash and improve the user experience. However, SteamAPI WriteMiniDump is not a magic bullet that can solve all your problems. There are some limitations and best practices that you should be aware of when using this function.


Limitations and best practices of SteamAPI WriteMiniDump




Here are some of the limitations and best practices of SteamAPI WriteMiniDump that you should keep in mind:


  • SteamAPI WriteMiniDump should be called from a separate process if possible, rather than from within the target process being dumped. This is especially true when the target process is already unstable, such as when it just crashed. Calling SteamAPI WriteMiniDump from within the target process can cause side effects such as loader deadlocks or corrupted minidumps.



  • SteamAPI WriteMiniDump only writes user-mode minidump information. It does not include kernel-mode information such as drivers or hardware. If your game crashes due to a kernel-mode issue, you may need to use other tools such as Windows Error Reporting or DebugDiag to capture a full memory dump.



  • SteamAPI WriteMiniDump only uploads the minidump to Steam. It does not send any notifications or alerts to you or your users. You need to monitor the Error Reporting section of your Steamworks partner site regularly to check for new minidumps and download them for analysis.



  • SteamAPI WriteMiniDump does not handle any user consent or privacy issues. You need to make sure that you have the permission of your users to collect and upload minidumps from their machines. You also need to make sure that you do not include any sensitive or personal information in your minidumps, such as user names, passwords, or credit card numbers.



  • SteamAPI WriteMiniDump does not guarantee that the minidump will be successfully written or uploaded. There may be cases where the function fails due to network issues, disk space issues, or other reasons. You should check the return value of SteamAPI WriteMiniDump and handle any errors accordingly.



By following these limitations and best practices, you can use SteamAPI WriteMiniDump effectively and responsibly to report crashes in your game. e0e6b7cb5c


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