Forums  /  Kingdom Hearts  /  DS/GBA Emulation Discussion
  SaiyanzSaiyanz

Due to recent discoveries with GreenTY's methods on emulating Re:coded the mod team is in strong consideration for now seperating console and emulator as seperate leaderboards on Days & Re:coded and allowing particular changes to emulator settings to have more consistent loads and lag between other emulator runners.

Originally when emulator was pushed by myself and Draz around 5 years ago the main argument was that emulator was considered to be equal if not slower than console which seemed fair competition wise and also allowed the game to be more accessible which would help the games growth with runners. Although not many new runners came along Jel was one of the first to approach me with issues emulating Re:coded. Since I was eager for new runners I allowed him to modify his emulator so it would be runnable, so naturally when Green came to the scene he applied the same methods which is fair since WR at the time was the only person using different settings which was apparently saving time on lag reduction and loads.

The only alternative solution is to force default emulation settings like was intended from the start and sadly remove Jel and Green's runs to create an even playing field, which I'm strongly against since these 2 are very dedicated to Re:coded and it seems unfair to take their hard efforts away. However changing the rules on the emulator settings will now make most runners times minutes handicapped since they have not used the settings change, but I believe if the game is more accessible I strongly push for the growth of the DS Games since they are insanely fun to run

On top of that Zwanzig recently achieved WR in COM Sora Story using VBA Emulator, from our knowledge VBA has been considered a perfectly fine and competitive emulator to use for most GBA games so I believe leaving Emulator and Console combined should be fine.

At least now both of these ideas are open for people in the community to discuss and give us feedback before we make the changes.

Pros
- DS Games are more accessible and will run more consistently the same between each runners emulators
- More people will have the chance to run the games

Cons
- Existing runs will be handicapped and lose time to new runners due to not applying the new changes
- A lot of category leaderboards will become empty due to the splitting, but can be filled when new runners come along

Thanks guys!
The Mod Team

 
  TimmiluvsTimmiluvs

I’ll touch on GBA first since I think that’s more clear cut. I see no reason not to allow it, but I really don’t think we should be using VBA. A lot of GBA communities that I’ve seen have been saying that the most accurate emulation for GBA is using the mGBA core on Bizhawk with the GBA bios. An example of a community that does it (along with their reasoning) is Minish Cap: https:/​/​www.​speedrun.​com/​tmc/​thread/​ev4wd/​1#z44mc

I think that should be the way to go, especially since VBA has gotten a bad rap for being quite inaccurate (primarily for GB/GBC games). Maybe it’s gotten better in recent years, but I think the Pokémon community used to ban VBA outright for its issues.

Now onto DS...

First I think that it should probably be it’s own category since as we’ve now seen, it’s not a perfect comparison to console. I don’t see any reason to outright ban DS emulation, but allowing it opens up a choice (which I think you’ve already laid out).

If we allow it, a decision needs to be made about either standardizing the settings or using whatever settings you feel like. If we standardize the settings, it will probably result in Jel and Green’s runs being removed if they used non-standard settings. But it levels the playing field.

If we use open settings, that may allow us to create faster runs, but the problem I see becomes what kind of computers each person has. If we allow people to use whatever settings they want, what if someone else’s computer can’t run the emulator with those settings? It essentially means they could never compete at a high level and that is counterproductive to allowing emulator to boost competition in the first place. Maybe DS emulation isn’t that resource intensive even with the best settings so this may be a moot point, but I think it should be considered.

To summarize, I think we should allow GBA emulation, but only allow Bizhawk with mGBA. As for DS, I think we should separate it from console and we should standardize the settings we allow and make sure that the settings don’t require too many resources to run on weaker computers. It will invalidate a couple runs that may not have used the decided upon settings, but I think opening the settings leaves more questions than answers (but remember, this latter concern may not be an actual thing depending on how resource intensive DS emulation is).

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  ColeQuilColeQuil

Couldn't really find any information on what settings were being used by potential runners. Decided to open Days on Emulator, going frame by frame to test loading times. The load I used to test (as well as on console) was the Cutscene skip just before starting Ruler of the Skies (no real reason, just where my last save state was).
Results of only modifying the "Config > Emulation Settings" options: https://i.imgur.com/lFcbrmc.png
- The frame count on DSME is 60fps so the console frame count is adjusted as such.
- The only settings I didn't mess with when doing the timings were the Firmware and BIOS.

I would be alright with a split with the leaderboards between console and emulator as this load alone can save up to 1.2s just by playing on emulator with settings abiding to the current rules. Who knows which other ones load faster, but going off this even with having the worst combination of settings it's still slightly faster.

My run 3:12 Proud run of Days had all emulation settings in this tab off, which could be a main reason why I saved so much time over my previous golds without knowing. That said, I don't know what I would do with Days without emulator just because it's very accessible and incredibly easy to practice with. Which is why I'm more in favor of the pros rather than the cons.

SaiyanzSaiyanz and TimmiluvsTimmiluvs like this. 
  GreenTyGreenTy

I’m one of the Re:Coded runners mentioned here, so my response and ideas might be a bit biased. Regardless, it’s important to share my own opinion on the matter, and as long as emulator is allowed, regardless of how settings are ruled, I’ll still be running Re:Coded. If I have to run the game again, I will, and I’m fine with that. I’ve got a variety of points on emulation, settings, and console that I’m just going to lay out. I can’t speak for GBA emulation, nor can I speak for Days, but I like to think that most of my general points on emulation transfer over. I’ve written a bit on the topics at hand at this link: https:/​/​pastebin.​com/​Q26Hbx7w

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  SaiyanzSaiyanz

Another thing I wanted to mention was Console capture

Now I know DS Capture Card companies no longer exist so you basically either buy a ds with it from a third party site or you homebrew a 3DS/2DS and stream the gameplay to your pc. The issue I hear with the homebrew method is that it overclocks your 3DS/2DS which may cause the game to run more efficiently and with less lag, I have no reason to confirm this just morely lets say a rumour for now. Keep in mind 0 testing has been done for this however I am going to homebrew my console soon and test this myself if it is the case should we just outright ban that method of use or filter it again or?

 
  DrazerkDrazerk

If homebrewing does improve the speed of the hardware it would be hardware manipulation and we should ban it like we would a PS2 or PS3 improvement. If there are no actual speed increases then I think it is fine to leave it.