Should we enforce the removal of nvram files before recording? : LUSENET : MARP Editors : One Thread

I just recorded an attaxx game with an existing nvram file, and it would not playback with the same nvram file(s) before (nor after) recording... I recorded again with out an nvram file and it worked when i removed the nvram file. The problem might be that the nvram you had before recording is different from the nvram you have after recording. the nv files can change during recording!

qan's twotiger recording is a recording that will not work with out an nvram file, it happens to be that this game does not change the nvram file so anyone can generate a default nvram file (that qan has included in the upload.) I don't see a major probem with this, other than now that the rules coordinator is doing it everyone will do it.

I think allowing people to include nvram files even if they work a bad thing because this introduces a nasty problem if the mame team decided to utilize the nvram file like ataxx does, and breaks any recording made that had an nvram file in there to begin with.

enforcing a rule [to make sure you have removed the nvram file before recording] makes sense to me because it makes all games work (except for the truly broken ones) even the ones that don't care about nvram files, and there won't be any hard feelings when people record and find out oh !@#$% that nvram file i saved doesn't work, i should have removed it in the first place!

what's everyone else think?

of course i know qan is vehomently opposed :)

-- Anonymous, July 09, 2000


Easy skito, easy.

Anyways, I'm not vehemently opposed to this idea, I'm rather for it. However, I do think that included .nvs that work should be the exception to the rule of wiped .nvs, instead of it being the other way round as it is now.

That means score is zeroed on playback problems, but if the player can include an .nv file that works afterwards, the score is reinstated. Same as what happened with my TwoTigers. Official policy would be zeroing or deletion, but exceptions would be allowed. Same as the way it is now with fussy .inps.

I hope this doesn't sound like too much of a compromise. :)


-- Anonymous, July 09, 2000

I'll agree with Mr. Quazar's motion :)


-- Anonymous, July 09, 2000

I don't mind accepting a file set inp/nvram/cfgs that work, now that i actually setup my playback script to detect an nv file in the zip :)

But, I think we should post/put somewhere that it is desired to remove the nvram file before recording, because you put your recordings at risk of being tossed if they don't playback with the nvram file when they would have played back if recorded with out one (i.e. this is true for some games like ataxx.)

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2000

oh one more thing: those windows users (you know who you are) that always record/playback games with nvram files sitting there, better be sure they try to playback all recordings with the nvram file removed as well. (This vehoment opposal doubles the time we have to playback inp files that don't playback the first time because there is yet another possibilty of playing back files that DONT include .nvs.)

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2000

Gee, whomever could you be referring to, skito?

The reason I don't always clear my .nv files (all right, all right) RARELY clear my .nv files, is because I don't usually set out to break a high score on a game; I'm more interested to see how well I can do. This isn't a great excuse, but it is somewhat of a justification for my actions.

Anyways, I will modify the rules page to include your amendment. When I'm done, we'll post to the main message board an also have gb9 write up a link on the news page so that hopefully we can reach most of MARP's community.

I will be repsonsible for my faulty recordings and if you find more I encourage you to contact me so that I can rerecord, skito. I hope my new Waku Waku 7 works for you as well, because if not, I'm gonna have to get to Fernandeath just to get an .inp that plays back. (anyone know why mame35tg3b gives me a display error when I try and run it (so does mame35final)? this wasn't happening for my brief stint in T3)


p.s. vehomently should be vehemently, and quinticential is quintessential (Quinntessential Productions is the name of my contracting company :) )

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2000

Yes, I think the .nv file should be deleted. I have not really been following in detail what everyone has said so far, so I might repeat some arguments given by others. I am merely answering the original question. Also, most of this I will simply copy and paste into the Hyper Sports thread on the main MARP board, because my arguments are based on that game, assuming the arcade machine works the same way as in MAME.

As I have already indicated, the final score depends on the .nv file. More exactly: The better the top 3 on the individual events, the higher your final score will be. Since we should have a standard to go by (so that the score will be the same regardless of who plays the recording back), that leaves only two possibilities: (1) The final score is the one that is achieved when deleting the .nv file first and then playing back the recording. (2) The final score is the one that is achieved using the .nv file of the person who recorded it.

The first clearly is the one we should go by. I can immediately think of several arguments against using the second alternative:

- We have been talking recently about confirmers not having to jump through a lot of hoops to get a recording to play back. Copying someone else's .nv file first (and making a backup of your own, in case you don't want to lose your own scores), then, afterwards, restoring your own is more work then simply temporarily renaming your own .nv file (if there is any to start with) and later on restoring it.

- Alex Weir claimed a score of 362,060 on Hyper Sports, and I have no doubt that that was really the score he got when he recorded it. However, if he had played it back then (without deleting the .nv file), he would have seen his own recording produce a score of 378,060. Had he then included the .nv file resulting after that playback with his .inp, he could have claimed a score of 378,060. Obviously, this is a very easy way to "artificially" get a higher score, and there is no real way of detecting it, except if the person using this trick overlooks one simple thing. Again, Alex, clearly you did not do this (or else you would have claimed 378,060), so please do not take this the wrong way. I am merely using your recording as an example.

- Take the previous point one step further: Download a lot of different "good" Hyper Sports .inps, play them all back without deleting the .nv file in between, and, lo and behold, you'll end up with an .nv file containing a lot of great top 3 times/scores on the individual events. Then record a Hyper Sports recording yourself, and all the work done by others will result in you getting a higher score. Is that fair? No. Is it detectable? No. Unless, again, the person doing this overlooks one simple thing.

So: In the case of Hyper Sports, the .inp will play back correctly, regardless of whether the .nv file is deleted first or not. The only thing that may differ is the final score. If you don't want to lose all your scores, then, at least in the case of Hyper Sports, don't delete the .nv when you start recording, but temporarily rename it before you play back your own, and claim the score that results from that playback. Then you can restore your old .nv file and you won't have lost any of your scores, while at the same time keeping the playing field even.

As a final note: I don't know if the actual machine behaves the same way, so if, on the actual machine, getting a top 3 height on pole vault will never cause the mole to appear, but if so, then the TG people may have to have another look at the rules for getting and accepting world records on Hyper Sports. Because, assuming the actual machine behaves the same way, the following scenario is possible: Let's say Alex Weir starts a game of Hyper Sports on an actual arcade machine that has just been reset. At the same time, I start a game on a different machine, one that has really great top 3 times/scores on every single event.

Now, Alex is a much better player than I am at Hyper Sports, so let's say that on EVERY SINGLE EVENT, he does at least as good as I, or even better. And let's say that for both of us, the game is over at the 5th round long horse. There is a chance then that, even though I never outperformed Alex on a single event, my final score will be higher than his... . Clearly this is not fair. And, clearly, not everyone has access to a Hyper Sports machine on which the top 3 on every event is very good. This makes the playing field uneven. This makes it possible to break a world record while never performing better on any single event than the previous world record holder. Since this "trick" of getting higher scores is not available to everyone, it should not be allowed. So, I repeat, in my opinion, the TG people should have another look at, and revise the rules for Hyper Sports world records. (Again, assuming that the mole on pole vault works the same way on the actual machine as on MAME.)

Cheers, Ben Jos.

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2000

Hey that's a 2-2 vote, zwaxy? I still think removing nvrams are good, however now that my script automatically detects if there is a nvram file in the recording and makes the necesary copies and backups i'm not so vehEmently for this motion.

For what it's worth either way we don't make it easier on the confirmers. With the nvrams deleted windows confirmers will have to remove the files by hand. With nvrams allowed, windows confirmers will have to check if the recordings that do not have nvfiles in the zip then the nvram file may or may not need to be removed. of course they have to check anyways and replace the nvram file if it does exist.

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2000

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