Mickey's Safari in Letterland Forum  /  Allowed hardware/software
  LRock617LRock617

There seems to be quite a bit of controversy over this as of late, but I want to make sure I understand here... what is the deal with allowed emulators for NES games? I have on good authority a list of valid emulators, but none of them seem to approve emulation on non-computer devices, i.e. phones/tablets. It's more or less common knowledge that touch screen provides way too much of an advantage in terms of input speed. Not only that, certain emulators also seem to eliminate the need for grinding good RNG because they're not cycle-based (FCEUX being a perfect example).

Are these going to be accepted for this game at this point, or any point? Or will it fall in line with other NES games? It seems as though most games just don't allow them to begin with.

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  LRock617LRock617
(edited: )

Here's a suggestion... how about separating controller and special controller (touch screen, keyboard, etc.) runs into separate categories as a compromise?

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  JkLoserJkLoser

Is the RNG really different between console and emulator? There's a real good way to check.

The letter RNG changes every frame on the title screen(screen with mickey before blue start screen). hard reset your console, try and hit A as early as possible and hold it until first stage select. Then look if you got any of these 5 letter combinations:

Y U H O K C
W S F M K B
W T F O K A
Y R G O L A
V R F O L D

(I've started to map out the frames in this game, and getting help from a lot of helpful people).

For me the two issues is wether the phone emulator is accurate, which it does seem to be from just watching it, so that's not an issue. But the issue for me is the touch screen.

Most people will most likely think "Why is touch screen better?". Mashing, especially mashing dpad. now we might be talking about 1-2 frames per button move. optimal mashing in the choosing of letter is 20 presses per sec, and I think most of us can say we are no where close to that. I'm at 11(and that's not on dpad, dpad is more like 9-10 I would assume) myself a good day. People have reported to be able to go from 10-11 up to 18+ on touch screen.

so almost 3 frame movement for touch, lets say 3.5 vs 5 on dpad. Optimal movement is: 13, that's almost 20 frames(0.333 seconds). however we haven't found the optimal letter seed yet, the most optimal we have found is frame 212, with 2 extra move. we are up to 23 frames. lets check on WR letters at the same time, with 17 moves, which is 25-26 frames, starting to near half a second.

I'm all for splitting, but I would rather see a split that doesn't make this game pointless to play on emulator with controller. maybe have one category for emulators that allows any controllers, and the other category basicly force players to not be allowed to remap/double button mapping and that movement gotta be done with dpad(or anything that exist for the original NES). Unless the RNG is completly different on console, then I agree with splitting the two categories, but still split the emulator category as well.

I do also realize this is basicly me calling out the WR in this game. However, the player here is spot on in every spot, and this game can be pushed down 2 seconds more with god rng. The player is good enough to get WR with controller, and the touch screen wr isn't unbeateble, YET. so we need to put this fire out before it gets to that stage.

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  XtremePrimeXtremePrime

Splitting could work, however if we do it, IMO it would end up being emu runs and hardware runs, which will be a little harsh. I ran this game using FCEUX 2.2.1 with an appropriate controller, following close to the way it would be on a the real hardware. Should my run be boxed away in a different category?

- One solution would be to follow the guideline of SRL and force players to only use FCEUX for NES emulation. That can be controversial in itself with the current WR holder, assuming most of their practice is on mobile emulators.
- Another solution would be to give an extra field when submitting and ask for the controller type: Keyboard, Controller, Touch, etc, and that way people can determine with what type of input that time was achieved. Doesn't solve much sadly.
- And the other one is as you guys suggested, to split emulators and real hardware and double our categories on the page. Now I'm not sure how many people own this game for the NES, but it's pretty clear a little more than 50% of the runs on here are emu runs.

What do you guys think?

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  LRock617LRock617
(edited: )

Well, as I mentioned in my second post, a separate category for special controllers would probably be the right call, I would think. NES d-pads and PC controllers simply can't compete with that kind of d-pad mashing speed. It would likely take a keyboard to get on pace with that.

I redacted my post about emulators in general, as I feel those are fine overall. Emulators have inherent downsides that are generally accepted for their upsides (more affordable, easier access, easier to stream).

Now, in the current state, the WR is beatable on original hardware, and I don't even mind having to grind to do it. The problem would come from the possibility of the run being topped again to something unbeatable by a controller. So yes, for specialized controllers (i.e. touch screen, keyboard), I'm all for a separation, if that's an option.

EDIT: Is it not possible to add sub-categories for each current category, one for standard and one for specialized controllers? Or what about adding specialized controllers as a misc category and moving it there? Does it necessarily have to be a difference between original hardware and emu? That's not really the schism.

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  JkLoserJkLoser

If you check another game the recently did emu and real hardware seperation because of this issue, is Ninja gaiden 3, which imho was BS, cause the issue wasn't emulator vs real hardware, but keyboard vs controller. So in that game they basicly made emu players forced to use keyboard if they wanna compete, which is something I would recomend avoiding.

I think the best way would to just have as LRock is suggestion, just add standard(Basicly anything with a dpad or stick(?), not allowed to re-map direction to a button) and specialized(basicly any controller and re-map however you wanna).

Emulators players shouldn't be pushed into the same category as keyboard or touch screen only cause those two are possible on emulator, and will hurt the competition in the long run. Cause I have a 3:45 on emulator, grinding for a 3:43, but if I know I'm competing against keyboard and touch, there's no reason for me to submit my current time or keep up the grind as I'm playing at a disadvantage.

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  LRock617LRock617

I'm definitely with Chambers here, and I'm honestly still wondering how this conversation dropped off.

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  DugongueDugongue

Hi,
Sorry for my absence. I know I haven't been a very useful moderator on the site.

I COMPLETELY agree that there needs to be universal templates for speedrunning leaderboards, including emulator usage.
There has just been too much leniency all around. On my part especially.
Unchecked emulator is just going to lead to:
1) TASed runs that are indistinguishable from real runs (extremely easy to do without strict guidelines)
2) people submitting runs with unfair advantages (hardware advantages, inaccurate emulation, etc), either intentionally or out of ignorance.

I mean, at the VERY bare minimum, any emulator runs submitted to this should be required to state the name and version of the emulator, but most don't (again guilty of this myself)

So, what actually needs to happen is, the most active & knowledgeable NES mods need to discuss this together and come up with a general Rule set concerning acceptable hardware, so that it can be applied universally to all NES boards.

It's probably going to upset a lot of people if it results in their runs being taken off or the leaderboards they moderate being radically changed but it but it needs to be put in motion.
Personally, I have very little knowledge of emulation so I'm not qualified to make the call on which should or shouldn't be allowed. I actually wish I didn't have mod on so many games because of this.
But I know that even some very old runs of mine ought to be rejected for being done on emulator without taking the right steps to ensure they were accurate.

At the very least, I now agree that the phone run is just too incomparable to real hardware and that it was a poor decision to approve it so easily.
For now I've rejected it and added a disclaimer to all categories.

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