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Mandalore
Jet Vermilion
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Flashcards & Emulation
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Root Topic

 Recently the topic of flashcards and emulation has been brought up in the Discord chatroom. It's a fast moving chat where messages are quickly buried under walls of text and a lot of older FZC members don't use it, so I think it's much more appropriate to have the discussion here.

Historically, both emulation and flashcards have been strictly forbidden on F-Zero Central. However a significant influx of new players over the last few years come from speedruns.com which allows both. There is frustration over the lack of activity in many of the games which has lead to people calling for them to be unbanned.

Should one or the other, or both be allowed? If yes to either, then what new rules should be put in place to maintain the integrity of the competition?

edward406
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To clarify, I also agree now that marking times as unoffical and/or hiding them by default would be pointless at this point as well. I should clarify that when I said "...I'm in agreement with fully combining all console, flashcart and emulator times on the ladder" in my previous post, by saying fully combined, I also meant it in the sense that console, flashcart, and emulator times should all be listed visibly by default on the ladder now. My apologies for not making that more clear and causing any confusion.

"It's the F-Zero spirit!" -Yazzo
Yazzo
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superSANIC: Firstly, I think you have a point with the issue being about proof, but I will have to disagree with you that screenshots is enough proof, especially for WRs if that's also what you meant with your statement. I think having the requirement to show video of your WRs is essential; not only because it's superior to screenshots when it comes to proving you did your times legitimally, but also because then people get to watch the times that's being set -- which in turn I think helps a lot with bringing new people into the scene (often providing they are of a certain quality as well). Screenshots might be sufficient for lesser records though, but at the same time I don't really think it's that neccessary for a player to show proof for those records anyway.

The reason why I hesitate with agreeing that WRs can be set on emulators as well is -- as you mention already -- probably because of the efforts required in providing such proof. It seems to me like it would not only be a huge effort on the player, but also on the moderators who need to make sure the time is set correctly. So if someone is capable of setting WRs, then why not have them be encouraged to get the proper equipment to play on the console instead, and in the process make it easier on themselves as well as on us? At that point, it sounds to me like the way more convenient solution for all parties involved. Not to mention that by playing on such equipment, you get the benefit of not having to handle the input delay -- which probably is pretty essential these days if you want to set WRs on these extremely precision-required games.
 
I think having rules that are making sure the competition between emulators and consoles are comparable is a good idea, and one worth seriously considering. I could also see myself agreeing upon only allowing emulators for the 2D + X games in the series if that's what most people want. GX isn't really the reason why I want to see these changes put in place anyway, since that game is the exception when it comes to its activity-status. However, I do like the idea of being consistent, and to me there don't really seem to be any benefits of playing GX on an emulator, other than introducing people to the game and its competition -- which of course is the goal of what we're discussing. So I think I would still prefer if we allowed emulators for all games because of that reason.
 
As for flash-carts/USB loading... just like Vallkyr, I think I would also be fine with allowing those for setting track-specific WRs after further deliberation, as there's basically no difference to them in comparison to the actual console-games from what I understand.
yoshifan
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GX screenshots are especially suspect now that there's an active modding scene. There's currently no graphical distinction between, say, GX Unleashed and regular GX screenshots; and Nintendont makes it easy to play such mods on console as well as emulator. Videos make it possible to detect stat differences or other hacks.

AKC12
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Emulators should not be allowed for GX here on this website, mainly for the reason supersanic stated already. In lower levels of play, a slowdown may prove to be advantagous despite it being unpredictable. And if someone happens to run it on a shit PC running it at a constant FPS lower than 60, pretty sure that's a big advantage for players starting out. Even if a player can provide live recording while keeping the game running at 60 FPS at all times, while I can't back this statement up, I think allowing emulator would entice more players to use save states and playing the game frame by frame which is something we want to try to avoid as much as we can.

I don't like the idea of times set on emulator being ranked towards the GX AF/SRPR because there competition should be fair among everyone, so ban it all together instead of going through the trouble of labeling times as unofficial or somehow managing it to show up on the ladder but not have it impact a player's rank.

The concern regarding of finding out players who uses cheats or modifying the game itself isn't a big deal. It seems if you use the infinite energy cheat, the game straight up doesn't save the time and doesn't allow you to save the replay (not sure if this happens all the time though). The same may happen if cheats to up your speed were used. If the player can work around that using more hacks, then requesting for a video or replay data should seal the deal. Replaying a run that had machine stat alterations (Unleashed/GXtreme) will clearly be noticable if run on vanilla GX. And there is a way to view the machine's energy levels while playing a replay.

With regards to speedruns, while runs set on emulator can be submitted, it shouldn't be recognized as the official WR if it happens to be the best time. But with regards to flash carts, I think a WR time run on a flash cart should be official. While flash carts likely has faster loading times compared to running it off the GC/Wii, I have seen drastic differences between PAL and NTSC in loading times (not sure if it's the difference in console or the difference in ISO). Loading time differences would be minimized if it turns out that a PAL player running a flash cart version of the game is nearly the same/identical to a NTSC console running the game.

All of my GX times with various machines: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12c92zTykQvGwPoCU6yGuOb7lwxFENUC9ELbHZcse1qE/
AKC12
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 So then, let's make USB loading/flash carts official for GX at least right now? No one is against it. And speeding up these decisions is kinda important for GX since it is fairly active.

All of my GX times with various machines: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12c92zTykQvGwPoCU6yGuOb7lwxFENUC9ELbHZcse1qE/
Uchiha Madao
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 https://fzerocentral.org/viewtopic.php?p=102912

 

since the GX thing is more about USB loaders and not emulation, i made a separate topic over the GX forum.

it will also help map the rules for flashcarts for the other 5 games.

"Patience is useful in any moment"
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