Category splits
1 year ago
New Mexico, USA

We have our first-ever run by someone who isn't us! Congratulations Ditherian!

This did, however, raise some interesting questions comparing the newly-submitted run to ours. We played ours on hardware with a standard gamepad/D-pad controller, whereas Ditherian's run was emulated on MAME with an XBox controller with analog stick. I mentioned even as far back as in the commentary of our 100% run that the D-pad controls are slow and clunky and that any kind of mouse-like controls would provide a huge advantage. I was thinking of something like the Roller Controller, but apparently Stone Age Gamer now makes a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into a CD-i's controller slot and then pairs with any modern controller supporting Bluetooth (including computer mice.) So we already knew that was going to shake things up.

What we hadn't counted on, though, was just how much faster the load times were on emulation--Ditherian's run has something like two seconds per room/screen transition, whereas ours has a little over three. That adds up!

This, of course, presented a conundrum of how to categorize these runs. Lump them all together, advantages be damned? Hardware vs. Emulation? D-pad-controllers-only vs. any-controller-goes?

In the end, after discussion with Ditherian and a few other friends, we decided it was worth a Hardware vs. Emulator split, but (in the interest of not having like sixty categories for a game that very few people even currently run) all controllers are allowed with no distinction for controller types within each category. Load times are such an innate part of the experience with such a profound effect on the overall time that category distinctions are necessary, but controllers... well. Look at Mario Paint (SNES), which can be played on a D-pad rather than a mouse, but that is a horrible idea. Mario Paint's leaderboards don't have D-pad-only categories, and so I don't think this Story of Jonah needs them either.

All of this is to say that we're going to have to pick up one of those Bluetooth adapters from Stone Age Gamer and do better in the Hardware categories. :)

EDIT: That said, we also clarified in the rules that one should describe their setup in the run details, including the CD-i player's exact model number and a description of your controller setup (D-pad? Roller? Bluetooth adapter?) in the hardware categories, along with the OS/emulator version info in the emulator categories. Currently there are no banned setups--Roller or Bluetooth on Hardware is fine--but we should at least know.

Edited by the author 1 year ago
Ditherian likes this
Texas, USA

A separate possibility that occurs to me here is whether postprocessing could be used to exclude room transition time entirely, by counting only frames on which the yellow cursor appears. 🤔

New Mexico, USA

It... maybe could, but that would involve a lot of postprocessing work, wouldn't it? And I think the precedent is usually to accept load times as part of the experience, but I could be wrong.

Texas, USA

I didn't mean manually, if that's what you were thinking! I was thinking throw the video into a program, verify by having it generate an overlay that you can rewatch with. I thought some of the discussion earlier involved other games (New Super Mario Brothers and Sonic '06, I think?) where a timing source that excluded load times was used…

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