Forums  /  Commandos series  /  Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines  /  Game/speedrunning related questions
  MolotokMolotok

1) What is the normal speed that the game is supposed to run at?

If you watch some old videos on youtube like here:

Compared to a run I did last year (I have the GOG version):

2) Can we be sure that the game runs at the same speed on all computers and that it is not hardware related?

 
  DeadShotDeadShot

Lol haha. The run of Soda its in normal Speed. And your run its in normal speed. But your run its very funny haha. In all computers we can play in the same speed. Its the standart speed.

 
  MolotokMolotok

Look at the sections where the enemy soldiers run around the station. You will notice that in Sodas game they run faster than in my game and it is also same with the soldiers I control. So thats why I ask. I also don´t remember a speed option in the game.

Some rule need to properly define the correct game speed for the runs to be comparable. Otherwise in this case even though my strat is faster than Sodas he is faster in real time because his game runs faster.

Edit:
After a bit research and comparing to the runs on the leaderboards I found this: http://steamcommunity.com/app/6800/discussions/0/882960771705386900/?l=german and https://www.gog.com/forum/commandos_series/bel_speed . it looks like the GOG version is the normal speed that it is supposed to run. Also your game runs faster than gltzs and his version seems to run properly.

 
  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

Hello!

I'd like to speedrun this game as well, but it's difficult since Commandos BEL lacks an in-game timer, and it seems to run at differnent speeds with different settings.

Time measurement proposal:
1. All use GOG version of the game, otherwise timing tests has to be made to confirm legitness
2. Patrolling groups' / patrollings' vehicle locations are completely parallel in each run (however facing directions seems to vary a little bit). Undisturbed patrol groups are our only hope to measure elapsed time in this game.

Example:
The topleft patrol groups' move the same distance during these times (the leader just started facing right in the end):
Soda88's video: 00-34 seconds (34s in total) ->
Molotok's video: 06-23 seconds (17s in total) ->
My video: 05-24 seconds (19s in total) ->

Since Soda88's video is clearly faster, for him the group had already made a full circle at this point. A full circle takes 30 seconds at normal speed (I measured it).
- do the math here -
This concludes, that Soda88's video is 47/34 = 1.42 times faster than Molotok's, due to not using any framelimiter.

However I cannot explain why my video is 2sec slower than Molotok's. I'm hoping the problem is on Molotok's side 🙂. I can see many lags/framedrops in his video, therefore it could have been a recording problem, or perhaps he used a virtual machine.

My testing config looks like this:
Windows 10 64bit / Commandos BEL GOG.com version / Recording with Microsoft DVR (the XBox recorder built-in-windows)
The only change I had to make was renaming the "Comandos.exe" to "Commandos.exe". This fixes the "Directx 5 not found" error apparently.

Yours sincerely,
Mr. Assman

 
  EwilEwil

Wasn't the speed patch of GoG version done unofficially? I know they fixed it on Steam version, which could be "official.

 
  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

I think neither the GoG, nor the Steam versions are official (none of them are called that).
Has anyone compared the 2 versions btw?

I suggested GoG, because less people had flamed it in forum posts.

 
  MolotokMolotok

Hm, that is really weird. I definetely had lag as you can see in the video, but no frame drops. If anything it should make my run a tiny bit slower and not faster. I recorded with OBS on Win7 64 bit and had the Ammo Pack version from GOG which is no more for sale as far as I know because of the nazi symbols that are forbidden in Germany.

About your run: Did you record the video on 30fps or did your game actually run on 30 fps or both? I don´t remember what fps my game was running at.. need to check. But it would of course be interesting how it compares to the Steam version.

Edit: Just checked, seems like the fps is messed up on my system, it fluctuates from 15 to over 100 and has occasional lag. The GOG version doesn´t run properly on Win7 64bit it seems...

 
  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

I have investigated further. I watched both videos side by side, frame-by-frame.

HINT: It's easy to detect lag or frameskips watching the movement of the green enemy line-of-sight triangles frame-by-frame (or anything that moves, even scrolling the screen).

Oddly enough, Commandos BEL seems to operate at 16 frames per second for me. In my video every other frame was the same as the previous frame (except for one frame each sec).

In your video the game frame rate varied between 18 and 20 frames per second due to the lag.

This opens up another debate. Which framerate is correct? We both did record our games at 30fps, but the games themselves ran at 16fps and 18-20fps respectively. Can the same game run at different fpses on different computers?

What fps does the Steam version have?

In Soda88's video each frame is unique. It seems his game operates at 30fps. So it could be that the joke's on us, this is the correct playrate and DeadShot was right all along.

I counted unique frames manually in a 2-3 second sample in each video. Is there an automatic way of detecting identical frames in a row?

 
  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

ffmpeg - remove sequentially duplicate frames
source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/37088517/ffmpeg-remove-sequentially-duplicate-frames

Using this tutorial I have removed duplicate frames from each of the 3 clips (Molotok's, Soda's and mine).
This isn't 100% accurate either, but it's a hell of a lot better then counting on hand.

I have created a comparison video on youtube:
I suggest to watch it frame-by-frame to see the details.

Unfortunatelly this did not syncronise any of the videos, not sure why.

Edit: Mouse movement seems to have higher fps, which distorts the results unfortunatelly. 2 identical screens will not be removed, if the mouse is at different locations.

Edit: Gltz's official run seems to run at 19-20 fps. (https://youtu.be/IrRniVqYXf0)

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  MolotokMolotok

The mouse movement is probably the reason why i sometimes saw it go over 100 fps. So what to do now? We need a retail version to be played on some older hardware on Win 98 to see the result and if possible on more than just one to see if it made a difference on different hardware in the past too.. I don´t have such hardware unfortunately and probably not too many people. lol 😕 Or we agree to a certain fps rate (hopefully the "correct" one) and find a tool that can actually guarantee that the game is played at that fps.. otherwise makes little sense to speedrun this game.

 
  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

What program do you use to measure fps in Commandos BEL, Molotok?
It would help if I could use some program to measure it.

I tried to use fraps, but it didn't work with commandos for me.

Right now I'm working on a method to measure fps of recorded footage, but it's not as accurate as comparing patrolling soldiers.

Commandos 2-3 has a steady 25fps.
Commandos BEL, BCD GoG version: steady 16.13 fps
Commandos BEL retail version: fluctuating 20-26 fps (23,08 avg), which is clearly unacceptable
Commandos BEL Steam version: ???

Next up I will try running commandos on diffent machines to see if it makes a difference.

If it was up to me I would say 20 fps looks nice for this game, 25 looks a little fast, 16 looks a bit slow.
What fps was intended for this game originally? It seems to me it was made dynamic, so it can adopt to faster/slower machines, so there isn't one proper answer to this question.

 
  ROMaster2ROMaster2

In the future I may be able to write something for LiveSplit to record in-game time; that'll let you know when there's lag.

 
  MolotokMolotok

@Dick_Assman: I used Dxtory. It didn´t recognize the game first but when I used Commandos with dgvoodoo I could get it into windowed mode and then see the fps. I think it was mostly 20 fps, but as said it isn´t stable at all.

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  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

@Molotok Thank you! It all makes sense now. I think I've managed to unravel the great mistery.

You need no extra software to run the games in windowed mode. Just create a shortcut of the exe file and use Windows 98/Windows ME compatibility mode and 16bit/65536 color compatibility mode. Then you can switch to windowed mode using alt+enter, which causes crash the first time you use it.

I have got my hands on the steam version. I think I can make order in this chaos.

(I used decimal comma instead of decimal point)
http://i.imgur.com/dk6o7sf.jpg

This image shows my tests on 3 different machines. I could dig deeper and try this on older XP/Win98 machines, but I don't think it has practical use.

Conclusion: Ewil had a good intuition, the steam version is the most stable of them all, rock solid 20 fps. The GoG version runs 20 fps in windowed mode and 16 fps in full screen mode.

------------------------------

Details:
I have measured FULL SCREEN MODE using a 10 second recorded footage and this ffmpeg command: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -an -vf mpdecimate -loglevel debug -f null - (this one outputs which frames are duplicates of the previous ones, for this I have recorded 15 second footages of the game while the mouse didn't move) I am not able to use Fraps in full screen mode. I don't know other recorders than Microsoft DVR, that works in full screen.

You may download these test recordings from here:
https://drive.google.com/embeddedfolderview?id=0B8_Z_EbKUdPlU2dLQXlfeXRQb0E#list

I have measured WINDOWED MODE using Fraps. Fraps is better than DxTory in this case, because Fraps doesn't count mouse movement into the fps measurement. However I think windowed mode is less stable then full screen mode.

Windows 10 windowed modes are UNPLAYABLE. If you make any move with the mouse, fps will drop to 0 instantly.
Windows 8.1 windowed mode works perfectly fine, but the game instantly crashes when I hit the record button (tried with DxTory). I don't know any program that works.
Windows 7 windowed mode recording works for Molotok, but it has fluctuating fps.

Steam has 2 gameversions, a default and a legacy. The default only runs if you log in to Steam. I've used the legacy versions on other machines, because I could run the games from a pendrive.

The legacy version has different fps if you run the Steam App in the background.

I've made some tests on BCD as well, showing that it's similar to BEL. Except it has a built-in gamespeed setting. I assume that needs to be set to the fastest level for speedruns.

-------------------------------

Bottomline: I suggest using the steam version Win10 full screen mode with the build-in Microsoft DVR recorder.

QUESTION #1: Can FULL SCREEN mode be recorded in any other operating system, than windows10 (without a capture device)?
QUESTION #2: Is the steam version any good in other operating systems than windows10?
QUESTION #3: Can we agree on 20 fps as a standard?
QUESTION #4: The steam version introduced 1280x720 widescreen resolution. Is this legal for the speedruns? (the original game had the max resolution of 1024x768)
QUESTION #5: Is it legal to put a timer over the top bar of the game, where there is no movement anyway? Or the rules are strict, and timers have to be outside the recorded footage?

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  MolotokMolotok

Good job with the testing and what was the 8.1 fullscreen mode fps? I think it would still be interesting to see what fps it has on an older machine with Win98 (not XP).
About the conclusion, I ran my game in fullscreen mode and it had 20 fps. It just had some lag because of the recording.

The Alt+Enter doesn´t work for me, the Alt button is a hotkey for the camera and if I press this combination during the menu or the briefing nothing happens either. In fullscreen mode the game seems to run without lag, until I start recording.

1) My run was recorded in fullscreen mode with OBS on WIn7, I made a regional recording or whatever it is called and made it record 1024x768 pixels in the upper left corner, so that it covers the whole game.
3) I think it makes sense since most games run at this fps. But how to make properly sure it does that?
4) Probably keeping it at 1024x768 max would be a good compromise, widescreen gives some advantage as you don´t need to scroll the screen that much in most situations and can click faster on further points.
5) I don´t remember that ever being an issue in any game. That is just personal preference.

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  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

I don't know the Win8.1 fullscreen fps, because I haven't figured out how to record at fullscreen mode yet. If OBS worked in Windows 7, then it just might work in 8.1, I will give it a try when I can. (Or is there an fps-meter like fraps that I can run in fullscreen mode too?)

I might dust off my old Pentium1 if it still works, but I can probably only install the retail version. The GoG and Steam:Legacy versions might work from a CD (if my old cd-rom drive works that is).

Alt+Enter only works (in Win8 and 10) if you set a) Win98/ME compatibility mode, AND [ b1) set 65536 color compatibility mode OR b2) set your desktop to 16bit colour depth]. Alt+Enter does not work with the Steam: default release at all, only with GoG/Steam: Legacy/Retail.

Contents

[Hide]  

3 Record a sample. Open in video editor. Watch it frame by frame. Count how many times the screen changes during a 1 second period. Measure at multiple places to make sure. (My full screen measurements were based on this, except I've automated the counting process using ffmpeg. Currently I can only count with ffmpeg, if the mouse stands still.)

It would be really nice if there was an fps-meter in fullscreen mode, we could even recommend to record it with the game to prove its legitimity.
In practise of course, you will have an eye for this, and know patrol positions for various timings. Therefore all you need is one reference video, for which you have proven its legitness.

About question #5, I meant this. Is this legal for a speedrun? (the stopwatch is hovering over the topbar):
http://i.imgur.com/rHTVpGZ.png

 
  MolotokMolotok

I only have Win7 and the gog version, but I prefer to play it in fullscreen anyway.

I don´t think OBS has any fps display, at least I don´t remember it having any. As for the stopwatch it doesn´t change anything in your game so it doesn´t matter.

 
  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

Hello!

@Molotok I have recorded some gameplay with my Pentium1 machine for you, however this machine is way too slow to be taken seriously:

I have made some more precise framrate testings too:

Steam is the best again, though versions other than retail are also within 1% error radius.
This video is also a reference point for others to compare their own gamespeed to mine.

Running SteamApp in the background alters other version's framerate too, now my GoG runs almost the same speed as the Steam version. I haven't installed SteamApp on WinXP, thus it has less consistent results (not a recording issue, on XP I have recorded via external device).

Working recording softwares: BandiCam (for all windows), Microsoft DVR (Win10)

Windowed mode sucks (except the steam version) both for gameplay and recording, do not ever use those.

OBS is a bad recording software, because it always wants to record in desktop resolution, even if I start the recording inside the game. This somehow conflicts with the game and causes lags. Good recording software can start the recording from inside the game and records only the game itself (for example, BandiCam, Microsoft DVR).

Mr. Assman

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  MolotokMolotok

Thanks for the comparison! I`m not sure what to make of the Pentium1 setup, is it faster than 20fps (it looks so after you decrease the resolution)? Then again it is probably the retail version and that has speed problems, maybe that is why.

The other versions look consistent "enough". So I guess GOG, Legacy and Steam versions are comparable and should be suitable for speedrunning. Maybe it might make sense to make an extra category for the Retail version and define some fixed fps (for example 30 like Soda did in his speedruns) so that those with only the retail version can run it too?

 
  Dick_AssmanDick_Assman

Your welcome!

The Pentium1 setup is the retail version. 800x600 is about 14fps, 640x480 ~ 20fps, 512x384 ~ 25fps. You can verify this if you frame-by-frame step the youtube video, using hotkeys , (comma) and . (dot).

I don't think the retail version is suitable for speedrun since its speed is very inconsistent, even on the same machine.

The other versions are at least consistent on the same machine. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some people with higher/lower speed then mine, but at least there is my video as a reference.

If the Legacy/GoG version has the wrong speed, try installing the Steam App and running it in the background. It might help.