Forums  /  Sonic  /  Proposed timing/LB changes (affects S1, S2, S3D) (Locked)
  SegaJunkieSegaJunkie

So having come back onto the mod team for these games there's a couple of loose ends that I intend to tie up in the leaderboards themselves. From least controversial to most controversial, they are as follows:

1) 3DB - Change end time to be on fade out of PP3/Final Fight
The difference between the final hit and the fadeout of these two stages is exactly 360 frames, according to Kyd who made the recent TAS. This therefore requires no labour to retime apart from going in and adding six seconds to everyone's times. The logic for making the change is essentially that the game isn't over until the screen fades out, as noted by the in game time in that final stage itself. (It's also easier to split, which is less important.) It created weird issues with manual IGT for console runners where that stage's time wasn't being counted at all until it was added manually at the end. On balance, especially if IGT is being kept as a supplementary piece of data on the leaderboards, it makes sense to have the IGT in the final stage be accurate to what the game actually displays.

2) 3DB - Separate any% runs by platform
Somewhat contradictory to the previous point, but since real time is the preferred timing method for the game, in the interest of fairness you can't have Saturn (or PC) runs on the same board. It's still worth having IGT as a point of comparison, but it has its own timing and verification issues (especially in the event of there being a death in a run) and it doesn't make a lot of sense to rely on it entirely.

3) Sonic 1 and 2 - Add RTA-TB as, at least, a secondary timing method
This is the one that is likely to cause the most conjecture, as it has come up several times and not a lot has been done about it. In the interest of full disclosure, here's a (non-exhaustive) list of pros and cons I came up with for preferring RTA-TB for timing these games:
Pros: Accurately times stages to units less than a second, changes pausing from a "free" way to line up tricks to a process to be optimised
Cons: Unfair on old runs performed to existing rules, introduces mild randomness with the capsules, potential differences in lag between emulator and console

I've already talked a lot about the pros when we changed S3&K over, so to consider the cons for these games in turn:
• Unfair on old runs - This is never a good excuse not to make a change. If the change is for the better overall, the longer you wait to make it, the more runs are affected, the harder it is to make the change, the more inertia there is against it. Rinse and repeat. I'll be collecting data on how this would change the order of existing runs, if at all, over the next day or two.
• Mild randomness with capsules - Annoying, yes, but less than a second between various runs, according to research by Zurggriff. Much less than the potential variance between runs due to not counting fractions of a second.
• Lag differences - This is not completely well understood yet but BenInSweden has been working on it. It appears that pretty much every other release of the games, including the Steam version, has less lag than playing on an original Genesis, which makes the case for IGT stronger. This is largely why I'm not proposing making RTA-TB the primary method right now, but I'd like to have more points of data to make an informed decision from.

leandrom90leandrom90, BenInSwedenBenInSweden and 5 others like this. 
  BenInSwedenBenInSweden

My thoughts on IGT vs RTA-TB are very simple.

If you want a fair comparison across all versions of the game then IGT is fair play.

However, speedrunning is about going fast, and completing the game skillfully in the fastest (legitimate) way possible. Many other games use one platform over another due to lag or load times. Some run on different languages because it saves time over the course of the run. I think we can agree on for these games that straight RTA rewards going slower on certain levels, which we don't want. So RTA-TB is the best representation of skillfully going fast.

Given that with the testing that was done the Steam release in the majority of games tested was the fastest, and that the Steam release is legitimate and widely available. It comes down to choice - want to run on the fastest? Run the steam release, want to play on Genesis/Gamecube/Retroarch? accept that it's not the fastest version to get the very best time.

The research is here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NFh3eRnRK1lT_X142esNWcS43mtYPAZ6QqIjYLGMwhc/edit

If anyone wants any clarification on any points or has any suggestions for further tests that will provide more info in Sonic games, then let me know. We already did a test between everdrive and real cart, and the difference was within the margin of error (1 frame over about 6 minutes).

SegaJunkieSegaJunkie likes this. 
  SegaJunkieSegaJunkie

First two changes have been implemented to the 3DB leaderboards. Kickasspancakes and I will work on adding the RTA times to the Sonic 1 and 2 leaderboards in the coming days.