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Author Topic: TI re-recording emulators?  (Read 1671 times)

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Offline Juju

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TI re-recording emulators?
« on: August 09, 2016, 02:55:23 am »
I was thinking of this the other day, as far as I know, there is no emulator yet that supports re-recording. (Well, yes, there's BizHawk, but its TI-83 emulation is very preliminary.) By re-recording, I mean, mainly being able to record input in a file to be replayed later and other tools useful for making TASes. Recording input would definitely be useful as you might even build a device that emulates a TI Keyboard and send the movie file to the calc. Wouldn't that be great?

Well, that's my thoughts, take note emu developers, I want to see this happen.


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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 03:05:10 am »
From what I remember:

-WabbitEmu, CEmu and TilEm both has speed settings allowing slowdowns, but no frame by frame advance (except maybe via breakpoints?).
-TilEm allegedly supports programming key input sequences in advances, but I never got it to work.
-BizHawk doesn't work (at least, not with any 83 ROM I tried, and it's not 83+/84+ compatible)
-Other emulators lacks speed settings altogether
-No TI emulator supports re-recording. Savestates are not a viable alternative, because they require pressing keys or mouse buttons to open the save/load menus, and save/loading interrupts GIF capture AFAIK.

So yeah, we're kinda limited in TAS'ing for calculators. Granted, we can do partial TAS by slowing down emulation or by adding a savestate feature to specific games, but we're not getting the most out of TAS'ing that way. With real tool-assisted speedrun tools, that Calcuzap speedrun would last much shorter and feature nearly perfect gameplay.
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Offline gameblabla

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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 03:11:57 am »
Just why ?
Almost the TI games outhere are not even worthy for speedrunning due to how uncomplex and unremarkable the games are.
But maybe you can prove me wrong.
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 03:31:02 am »
@gameblabla I think you should remove your TI-Nspire CX and Call of Duty blindfolds and look at Ticalc.org POTY section. By your logic, 90% of the NES, Game Boy, Colecovision and Atari games that got speedrunned are not even worthy for speedrunning. Granted, most calc games don't feature wall-jumping/zipper glitches or stuff like that, but many speedruns are entertaining even when no glitch is abused.
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Offline Juju

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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 03:32:05 am »
There is indeed a few games that could prove you wrong.
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 03:33:18 am »
I think he either only looked at the BASIC games section or he thinks that anything monochrome is worthless. In any case, such remark isn't really welcome on CodeWalrus considering the hard work some people spent on some calculator games.
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 03:36:54 am »
I think he either only looked at the BASIC games section or he thinks that anything monochrome is worthless. In any case, such remark isn't really welcome on CodeWalrus considering the hard work some people spent on some calculator games.
It doesn't have anything to do with monochrome games, after all a lot of people are doing speedruns of gameboy games.
I was just saying that the most ti games (including good ones) were so easy and primitive that speedruns would not add much to them, hence
why no speedruns tools and options were developed for TI emulators.
Of course, some games could make use of TAS but i'm not sure who will even have the effort to do such thing.
We'll see
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 03:39:42 am by gameblabla »
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 03:44:42 am »
We have a sceptic over here. Well, the only way to know is to try it. Also, it might probably be useful for teachers as a demo mode.
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2016, 03:52:46 am »
I don't think it's the reason why no TI speedrun tools exist. It's more because there are so few TI programmers out there and TI programmers who work on emulators are more interested in providing development tools such as debuggers rather than speedrunning tools.

The way your previous remark was written implied that almost every TI game out there weren't good, hence my rebuttal. Also, while most calc games look more primitive than console games, you can't judge games 100% based on graphics, and while many calc games have no ending and are all about racking up your highscores like in Atari games, this is why there are multiple categories of speedruns for games that cannot be beaten or that has secret areas (eg 10000 points in X minutes, Any%, 100%, all items, no death, no damage, reverse boss order, etc)

Also if such emulator existed, then calc speedruns could be included on TASVideos or on other speedrunning sites.
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2016, 07:42:22 am »
@gameblabla I think you should remove your TI-Nspire CX and Call of Duty blindfolds and look at Ticalc.org POTY
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@Juju: if you realy need something like this you could always just use any regular screen capture program.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 08:34:41 am by c4ooo »
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 03:37:32 pm »
@gameblabla I think you should remove your TI-Nspire CX and Call of Duty blindfolds and look at Ticalc.org POTY
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@Juju: if you realy need something like this you could always just use any regular screen capture program.
I think according to what you added on WalrusIRC you missed the point of my earlier post @c4ooo , but anyway we should get back on topic.

A regular capture program is innefective for a TAS because what if you need to rewind during recording? A TAS recording tool needs to record all your key inputs frame by frame during a specific game rather than the image. On the NES they sell special devices on which you can even store TAS recordings and when you boot a real game cartridge the device will automatically processes all key inputs from the recording, resulting into the game being TAS'ed on real hardware.
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 05:02:20 pm »
Well my autotester "plugin"/feature in CEmu allows for scripten inputs, but I doubt it would be extremely accurate from a computer to another... Though it would be nice to try how much it varies from one to another. I don't think there would be big/noticeable differences, but who knows... for games, adding milliseconds delays here and there can do something very different eventually.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 05:03:59 pm by Adriweb »
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 06:36:14 pm »
Maybe a very sensitive keylogger could work? If it could log stuff like the exact amount of time a key is held down then it would be elementary to write a java program to then read the log and then replay keystrokes; but ime not sure this is what your going after.
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 07:06:46 pm »
Yeah I think key input and when they get processed by the OS should be recorded at the exact frame where they happen. I guess it could still be a problem on calculators where the battery level, VAT content or saturated flash has a direct impact on speed, though.


That said, I would be fine if an emulator allowed us to advance frame by frame and manually press keys on that frame (we could look at the source code in the debugger to see when the key input commands kick in) and still saved the previous frames in a GIF file (and continued saving after reloading saved state), so that for example in Calcuzap we could shoot bullets as fast as the game code physically allows). If you notice, in my speedrun I sometimes stop shooting, and it's because key input sometimes stops working (although I think GIF capture causes keys to sometimes not register).
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Re: TI re-recording emulators?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2016, 08:13:41 pm »
By frame by frame advancement do you mean pausing every time the screen finishes updating? (The screen automatically updates around 60 times per second). Othetwise, it would be next to impossible to actually when a new "frame" has begun inside the game engine.
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