Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators


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Offline THC98

Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:43:57 PM »
The Dreamcast emulators are currently allowed for Sonic Adventure competition, under the conditions that it runs the game at full speed. But when I watched some videos of emulators running Sonic Adventure and when I tested it myself, I spotted some huge inaccuracy in comparision to the real console. I've tested NullDC, Chankast and Demul emulators, and all of them had this same issue. This inaccuracy is basically how the emulator handles speed while the character is in mid-air, watch it yourself:



This was recorded in NullDC 1.0.4-389 emulator.

The first part of the video was done by simply spindashing over that gap (without jumping). You should fall down and die around in the middle of the gap, but in DC emulators you can barely clear the gap.

In the other part of the video, I show how that issue affects Tails's flying. I show how Tails flies without the flying upgrade then how he does it with that. You can spot that both of them had pretty much the same speed, although flying with the upgrade should be around 2 times faster than flying without it (which flying without it was already much faster than it should ever be).

This inaccuracy also affects automated script sections, which may end up on the character flying off of the ground and falling for his dead or landing on a later spot in the stage.

I've also seen some runs of Speed Highway as Tails (although I can't find them anymore) that beat the current legit WR by 7-8 seconds by abusing that emulator issue.

My suggestion about this all is to completely ban DC emulators for Sonic Adventure competition, unless someone finds an emulator that fixes this issue (which I couldn't).

Offline TheRealShadnic

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Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 05:57:18 AM »
does that air effect affect on all characters? that really seems like a major advance :/ also does this affect RAs etc?

I'll wait until this is solved, before changing my times back to SADX ones, I was using emulator nullDC_104_r136
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 06:05:57 AM by TheRealShadnic »
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Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 07:18:53 AM »
i tried it NullDC 1.0.4, it happens with all characters when you press up and left or up and right or down and left or down and right at same time :P
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Offline THC98

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2015, 08:31:37 AM »
It would also affect RA and SA, as it would be possible to get some rings that you should never get or to get some faster (making the score higher).

Offline S-MS32X-S

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Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 09:31:11 AM »
I NEVER encountered that issue, even though the Emulator was slow when you get outside the train, when battling Characters, and the first 20 SEC from the first stage for each character slows down into a Crawl, this issue SAVES many seconds.
but it's only GOOD point is that Speed running stuff DON'T work on the Original DC games, they did that after Sonic Adventure 2 (or start with that game)
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Offline Anon7906

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 06:41:07 PM »
I know for sure that a much older version of NullDC fixes the scripted paths issue.  I think it was called 1.0.0 beta 1.6 or something like that.  I'm not sure about the other issues.  If I can track it down again, I'll test it. 

Edit: Found it.  It appears to be accurate, but I'll upload somewhere for other people to test.  Maybe I'm not doing it right.  If only my Dreamcast wasn't borked right now so I could know for sure.  I can't tell if it's a little bit off or what, but the scripted paths issue is definitely fixed.  This version of the emulator also has controller support so I played the game using a DS4.

https://mega.co.nz/#!mQtizZBS!jkFznAvIrShCqIy-iweN1YOGy6c-FShc5CRFyd4JovE

Video of the same part in Emerald Coast:

« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 10:14:20 PM by Anon7906 »

Offline THC98

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 08:17:00 AM »
Oh, that emulator version definitely looks more accurate. I'll download it and test myself soon, then I'll post here what I think about it!

Edit: Actually, that emulator doesn't fix the issue. It does run Sonic Adventure better, but if you hold up-left, up-right, down-left or down-right you still get that insane speed up that you shouldn't get.

Maybe it should be possible to make a plugin that fixes this issue? Or maybe there is a plugin like that?? I have to search a little more about it. But so far, no emulator runs Sonic Adventure well enough, unfortunately.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 09:52:56 AM by THC98 »

Offline S-MS32X-S

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Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 10:28:26 AM »
I tried it on NullDC 1.0.6
the config i used was to make the Emulator gets faster
i usually get around 50 for Sonic and Tails (pun not intended)
Knuckles for some reason gets Full 60
Amy gets 45
Big oddly gets 60
Gamma gets a massive 30 for NO REASON (maybe because too many things on Screen)
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Offline Anon7906

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 10:54:06 AM »
Actually, that emulator doesn't fix the issue. It does run Sonic Adventure better, but if you hold up-left, up-right, down-left or down-right you still get that insane speed up that you shouldn't get.

That's a shame.  I don't have any other version to try either.  I wonder why this issue is a thing anyway.

Offline Starlight_Glimmer

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2015, 08:17:50 PM »
THC98 I would like to sincerely thank you for your hard work. you brought to light something so many have tried, but failed to do, due to bashing, flaming, and eventually getting squashed/suspended/banned.

*high fives* you got the dreamcast emulator banned!

I hope you continue ur work and I wish you would expand into the dolphin and study, and eventually ban that, if not all emulators!

truth is the console for all emulators is the PC ( maybe mac or w/e too) there is hundreds of thousands of diferent graphics cards, cpus, and, motherboard, etc. combinations you can combine to these... there is a trillion possible inconsistencies.

and to the emulator advocates... I would like to say, this is were it has come to, orginally we simply wanted proof by video of your emulated run, just in case~ of inconsistencies. but you refused, and now a whole emulator has been banned with no exceptions. I expect the rest to follow suit, how long has the DC emulator been out and we just now discovered this? how long until the rest are banned?

again I would like to thank you THC98 you are doing Gods work, keep it up.
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Offline hfactor66

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Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2015, 09:16:14 PM »
I hope you continue ur work and I wish you would expand into the dolphin and study, and eventually ban that, if not all emulators!
Thing is, not all people want to shell out the money for the games they want to compete in, like many games I play, I don't want to have to shell out the money to get the classic games off Steam when I can get them for free online and play them on software I don't have to spend a cent on. 
Personally I see it fit for an emulator to be banned if it allows the player to do things in-game that aren't possible to achieve on console, as described here in this thread. Take away emulators, and all I got for competition is Sonic Rush & Sonic 06, I'd have to pay for the iOS version of S1/2/CD for future competition.

Offline THC98

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2015, 02:20:38 PM »
I hope you continue ur work and I wish you would expand into the dolphin and study, and eventually ban that, if not all emulators!

Thanks a lot! But about banning other emulators, I don't see why that would happen. Most of the emulators are very consistent and accurate to the real console, and the ones that aren't accurate are banned on TSC.

If you run Mega Drive games on Steam re-release (an original SEGA release) and run them on Kega Fusion or Gens (we at TSC prefer running on Kega to avoid issues with rerecording on Gens), you'd notice that the games are exactly the same, no difference. The same applies to Dolphin (I have a lot of experience on Dolphin, as I TAS using this emulator since some years ago), although the loading times aren't completely accurate, which is something that shouldn't matter for speedrunning.

But still, if you find an inconsistency or unaccuracy in any of these emulators (or in ones that are allowed on TSC but I didn't talk about here), you should talk to any TSC mod or create a topic like this so the mods can ban the emulator as well. I don't think that any other emulator will be banned though, Dreamcast emulators were banned because Dreamcast is a really weird console because it's so different to the other ones, so it's hard to make it accurate.

Offline blazethecat

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Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2015, 04:47:08 PM »
If you're talking about the diagonal directions (Up-left, Up-right, Down-left, Down-right) It's common to note that the Dreamcast and GameCube both use a joystick to control with. I'm thinking that the reason why you're getting extra speed, is because of the inaccessible dead-zone you get from maximizing the inputs of both the vertical and horizontal directions, which you cannot achieve with a standard controller due to the nature of the circular joystick pad. This issue exists in Doom as well, where mixing two directions nets you bonus speed, because it doesn't account for the additional vertex movement.

If I did my math correctly, you should have 41.4% extra input direction at the corner than a perfect circle. This is comparing a square with width and length of 2 with a circle of diameter 2. The games were meant to be played on the console anyway, so I can see why this is an oversight. We do have a PC version though...

Offline THC98

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2015, 10:00:48 AM »
If you're talking about the diagonal directions (Up-left, Up-right, Down-left, Down-right) It's common to note that the Dreamcast and GameCube both use a joystick to control with. I'm thinking that the reason why you're getting extra speed, is because of the inaccessible dead-zone you get from maximizing the inputs of both the vertical and horizontal directions, which you cannot achieve with a standard controller due to the nature of the circular joystick pad. This issue exists in Doom as well, where mixing two directions nets you bonus speed, because it doesn't account for the additional vertex movement.

If I did my math correctly, you should have 41.4% extra input direction at the corner than a perfect circle. This is comparing a square with width and length of 2 with a circle of diameter 2. The games were meant to be played on the console anyway, so I can see why this is an oversight. We do have a PC version though...

Oh wow, that makes a lot of sense. But in Dolphin, even though the inputs go beyond the circle of the joystick pad, the game reads the input normally. Maybe the emulator converts the input to avoid the issue, I don't know. If Dreamcast emulators could also convert inputs that way, this issue would be probably solved.

Thanks a lot for the idea!

Offline F-Man

Re: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) - issue with emulators
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2015, 11:27:30 PM »
Back when I was competing, we didn't allow DC emulators for this very reason. I suppose now with the Maple input plugin for nullDC it might allow accuracy to the actual Dreamcast, but even that I wouldn't be so sure.

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