TAP MASTER scores only valid for 62Hz runs from now

Thread in 'Discussion' started by Amnesia, 23 Jan 2017.

  1. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    So I have decided, after more than 2 months of a painfull struggle on myself, to only accept scores on the TAP MASTER leaderboard where players specify that they have been playing on a correct running MAME at 62 Hz, or 61,7....Whatever. This looks very egocentrical, well it must be....But this is still to make it more fair for people who invested...400 ? 500 ? in the real game. € or $.
    You know I am not honnest in saying this, I just don't give a shit.

    3% of difference is not really significant at this stage of skill, not only for me, but also for non-Death GM, 3% is far below the variations of our mental capacity in considering our health and well being on one specific moment.

    But 3% is certainly a much higher pain for our brain to re-adapt, than if it was 8%...
    8% would just be a different game, so our brain would immediately start to create and edit a new frame data list.
    3% is visually the same, our brain tends to use his old frame data list, and just fuck up constantly because of this invisible delay that we almost don't even feel, but at the end your 0-100 is 2sec slower and you wonder how is it possible after perfect section (perfect for you).
    So removing all the scores who were not running at the correct framerate would be insane, there won't be such a crazy intention, but from now, be updated please, you can pretend to have the right version even if you don't have, I don't care.
    For my case don't expect any new score before next year because this is the time I need to re-adjust the 3%.

    PS for Muf : Was is also the case for TGM1?
    d4nin3u likes this.
  2. People are talking about it in IRC and might chime in, but I'll at least put my vote in. Can we just start labeling runs as 60hz (Old MAME) vs. 61.68hz (PCB / New MAME) instead? I think as long as you make it clear that accurate timings are preferred and new builds have accurate timing, no one skilled is going to go out of their way to play on an old one for that 2~3% advantage. But, if someone starting out makes a simple mistake, we wouldn't want to reject their first scores just because of that.

    I don't imagine many people are going to be submitting 60hz scores anymore, but our community is small enough as it is that active restrictions would be counterproductive. I think accepting more scores and being clear about the version differences is a nice way to implement this without turning any scores away.

    (Also, TGM1 is basically unaffected, it runs at ~60hz ± some neglible percent, like the majority of arcade games do.)
    Cublex (CBX) and colour_thief like this.
  3. I agree with Kitaru. When I started posting here, the tgm1 leaderboard actually listed MAME or PCB for the top scores, and I thought that was cool. It's probably impossible to figure out which was which from the scores that have already been posted, but an additional column listing that information for more recent posts seems fine to me.
  4. So...is there documentation somewhere for getting the right version running?
  5. That's a good point. Any recent build of vanilla MAME is already set to go, but I don't know if the "modded MAME" builds (mametgm, shmupmame, shmupmametgm) have been updated to reflect the change.

    Can someone comment on which point release of vanilla MAME added the fix? Does anyone know the lag-reduced/keyboard-adjusted builds of MAME for TGM have been rebuilt against this version or have had the framerate adjustment backported? If so, can someone make sure the wiki page with the appropriate builds is up-to-date? TIA
  6. Yep. :) That has the framerate fix.
  7. I think the only correct way to handle this is to restrict submissions to those that can prove their run through a non-interrupted VHS recording that includes the player showing a closeup of the PCB to confirm its authenticity.
    Qlex, PARTY MAN X, K and 4 others like this.
  8. Hmm, it deos however say this:
    That, to me, indicates a change has been made from the original emulation to reduce lag. If this affects input lag, then it is not comparable with what Amnesia called "the real game some people paid for, £ or $." (<- I simplified his statement some)
    I know quite well how reduced input lag makes the game play easier, as one got more time to adjust to faster lock delays, or anything really.

    As a game designer myself, I would like to make a challenging game where at the end it is so hard, but yet possible to make it till the end. I might have set the rules to allow for 8 frames of movement, and somehow the hardware swallows the first 3-4 input frames. It made the game super hard, but some people have skills to beat that from time to time. Great, but the game allowed 8 frames, shouldn't that be the main rule to go after? It isn't cheating to fix the hardware or emulator to play against the true game's rules?
    But it is unfair. Because the hardware owners would never go back to playing an emulator. Why? Because they can finally compare themselves to the selected few that doesn't own an emulator.

    I am not against forcing only ~62 Hz emulation in hiscores. In fact, I don't feel the difference between 60 Hz and 62 Hz, as I play as bad on both. However, if one rule is enforced, shouldn't all rules be enforeced at once? Like, taking an example here, how some people complain about the input lag on real TGM3 hardware, and figuring out fixes for that to make the game more enjoyable, or like it was meant to be if you don't count on any hardware.

    -So we know TGM2 was built to be played on 60 Hz, as the in-game timer updates one second in 60 frames. But the hardware was messed up or was done wrong.
    -So we know TGM3 has input lag, as some have made research about that, see: https://tetrisconcept.net/threads/tgm3-input-display-lag.1802/ But the hardware was messed up or was done wrong.

    At some point, the hardware, the emulation, or the game messed up something. The one who validates the hiscore should have clear rules about what is allowed and what is not. It is not fair for all the real owners of the game to compete against all the non-owners/owners that play on emulation or even on modded devices such as keyboards or gamepads; I hate bringing that up but that is what this topic might eventually end up with. Please note that I can only play well on a keybaord, but I feel fine competing against myself. It is just nice to compare to others even though they use the exact real arcade stick.

    (I might go to far here?)
    I could go on forever about what an advantage is, how people that never cheated once to achive GM in TGM2 are more pure hearted than people that uses Mame cheats to "train invisible Tetris" and more easily and faster learn and get GM, how being born Japanese allowed access to TGM earlier, how being born left handed is not the same as being right handed... But no. This simply doesn't make playing TGM more fun, or hanging out in the Tetris Community.

    TGM is frustrating, especially when you make it "your main thing". But I kinda like that. It is both a challenge not to be frustrated -and- stacking Tetris blocks in a nice way :)
  9. Muf


    The lag partially compensates for lag that a PC-based MAME setup has. The total lag, even with the ShmupMAME patch, is still higher than a real PCB.

    Practise more! 4% difference is huge, it sounds like you have a lot of untapped speed potential.

    My non-representative opinion on this is that because Ti runs as a Windows application on generic hardware, it is extremely difficult to verify or enforce a certain way of playing. Thus, I would encourage everyone to play the most competitively optimised way, that is, minimising the input lag for their system configuration. The only thing that can be verified is the frame rate the game is played at (that is, recording a video and comparing real-time vs game time). Personally, in choosing such a fragile ecosystem as the Type-X with its well-documented dongle failures, Arika has sort of forfeit the option of having a lasting reference platform. Things as the amount of frames of lag, as well as slowdown when drawing too many fireworks on-screen for the Radeon 9500 to handle, are difficult to reproduce on generic hardware. So instead of going for authenticity, I would suggest everyone to play on a most capable system, with the least possible lag, as long as the game runs no slower than 59.940Hz (VESA timing) like it is supposed to.
    LOst likes this.
  10. In my opinion none of this matters. Accept all formats but label it. We all know each others' setups in the upper ranks. Let people look at the leaderboard and filter/rearrange in their heads however they want. Rank means nothing, absolute skill is the only real thing.
    FreakyByte, LOst, Muf and 1 other person like this.
  11. Is MAME's input written wrong or is the real PCB doing something that a PC can't do? Just curious.

    I notice this espeically when playing Death mode as that is where I need that speed (I have actually measured your up-to-date Death plays on Twitch against my fastest, and I am usually 10 seconds away in the first section alone), and it calls for a different kinda of playstyle. I am just afraid that a new playstyle will screw up my cleaner and thoughtfully built-up stacking which I find more interesting to develop. This is one reason, but there might be others, or simply that I don't push myself to insanity, which is a conscience move.

    Well said. I totally agree. Same goes for colour_thief's opinion below.
  12. I don't know a whole lot about how PC inputs work, but what I do know is that every button press has to go through a whoooole lot of layers.
    When you press a button it gets encoded by a PCB in your controller before sending the signal via USB. On your PC this signal is then handled by the operating system through a bunch of software drivers that communicate with the computer's USB controller, and translate the data into controller buttons that can be accessed by the emulator via libraries that communicate with the OS. Finally, whenever the game running in the emulator polls for pushed buttons, it reads from the data that the emulator prepared for it, via all the channels mentioned above. AFAIK This is where various different builds of MAME is able to cut away some lag, but the rest of the chain is out of their control.

    The above is probably not entirely correct, but should give you an idea why there are a lot of levels that could each introduce their own tiny amount of lag, eventually adding up to probably more than a frame. And that's not even getting into even more lag you could get from a bad LCD monitor.

    Compare a JAMMA PCB, pressing a button shorts a connection on the PCB circuit that is possible to be immediately read by the assembly code running on the game's CPU. I'm guessing there's also a chip on the PCB between the inputs and the CPU, but this is pretty much negligible in comparison to the PC's chain of commands.
    LOst likes this.
  13. I strongly disagree with you when you say that 3% isn't a difference we can "feel"
    I personnaly don't have the impression I'm playing the exact same game on mame and on the pcb.
    However ! Due to the inherent lag of Mame, I think the "handicap" of playing on Mame compensates the 3%, making it harder to get a better time on mame than on arcade so I don't know if making two different rankings is that relevent since... we only do rankings for fun and keeping up the motivation :)
    LOst and colour_thief like this.
  14. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    well, there's now an official port running at 60Hz.

    Make of that what you will.
  15. Muf


    For the 2 people that still care about TC's leaderboards, we'll continue to mark which variant the game was played on to keep track of the frame rate. I'm not sure if theabsolute.plus has reached consensus on how to treat the ACA port.

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