Depch

Gens Re-Recording

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This version of Gens emulator did not have it's own thread so it might be lost for MANY.

If you are not aware, there is another version of the Gens emulator that is found on the site package. This is a Gens emulator that has much more options for recording movies and still has the very same netplaysave options that the basic one downloaded from the site nhl94online.com.

What this Gens does have is the ability to change settings from Graphics menu -> Latency compensation

You need to be aware that this can be of great help to balance your gaming out. It has been around for quite some time so several might have been able to take advantage of it and as it is compatible to the gens version found on site, you can never tell if anyone is using it to your advantage.

It has been posted in this setup at least, so it's been available for at least 4½ years, I just found it out a couple of months ago and been testing it some in plablegs. It has helped me to improve my timings on B-checks and goalie control that I was struggling with previously. The version without netplaysave has been around for much longer.

Theoretical: I think the faster response also helps with the AI play, but I cannot confirm this. But it "feels" like it provides better initiative for your players that they can be all around the opponent players. If it feels like you're getting hopelessly run over by your opponent and your guys are not doing anything, this could be the case. Try this out then.

Perhaps things like this could support even the move to Kega if it emulates the play better compared to original Genesis version and is closer to live experience, if only it could have the netplaysave option and in similar forms to gens so the data can be read easily for reporting.

https://storage.googleapis.com/google-code-archive-downloads/v2/code.google.com/gens-rerecording/Gens11svn.zip

Edited by Depch

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We were having a discussion of rerecording in the upcoming Brutus league chat and Jer suggested that can't you spot if someone is using it from the login screen. I did a test on this with 2.14, 2.12b netplaysave & rerecording.

A ) 2.12b netplaysave host and rerecording connecting
Connection Request from Depch (Gens 2.10)...
Connected to Depch (Gens 2.10)
 
B ) 2.14 host and rerecording connecting
Connection Request from Depch (Gens 2.10)...
Connected to Depch (Gens 2.10)
 
C ) 2.14 host and 2.12b netplaysave connecting
Connection Request from Depch (Gens 2.10)...
Connected to Depch (Gens 2.10)

So there is no way to prove if someone is using it. Without having the knowledge of it, it can provide unfair advantage if the other player uses only 2.12b netplaysave and lag compensation is used as that option is not available in 2.14 or 2.12b netplaysave.

It looks like that the information for the netplay has been left as it is at some point and hasn't been updated since. If this could be updated and we'd start to use that as an enforced version to play the game we could disallow rerecording from being used. Someone could change it to their own version of rerecording for sure, so if there was a way to make the games incompatible with other versions it would work.

If the above just does not work, I recommend everyone moves to rerecording and you play with the settings that feel allright to you yourself as this is something that cannot be enforced.

Other options are moving to Kega (include netplaysave in proper form on that somehow).

 

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Explanation of "Lag compensation" <- The setting that 2.14 or 2.12b netplaysave does not have.

It's under Graphics -> Lag Compensation

#0 - Default (Set to adjust for 0 frame of video lag)
#1 - Best GUI lua sync in some games (Set to adjust for 1 frame of video lag)
#2 - Responsive / Recommended (Set to adjust for 2 frames of video lag)
#3 - Over-responsive (Set to adjust for 3 frames of video lag)
#4 - Heaviest / Expensive (Set to adjust for 4 frame of video lag)

At best this is a beneficial option for everyone to have. To me it seems to provide better response to my controls in online game, perhaps it's true at least for more latency.

The negative side of this is that if over-used, having more or equal to the frames you have in online game it has some skewy effects and can cause harm to your opponent. This is a setting that can be used maliciously if only one side is aware of it and does not negate the effects with his options.

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I played Jack Vandal and Aqua a couple nights ago using this version.

It had a big effect on their end as they both said it was laggy and usually I don't get any complaints of lag.

We seem to have pretty good internet here in "Rural" Nevada.

Anyway, it was also funky on my end, with some strange graphics coming up like ghost players and lines of jumbled stuff across the rink.

The 3 settings I used 0, 2, 4 made the gameplay way different on my end.  Not really an advantage for me as all emulator play feels like 95 to me.

The Original Hardware rocks!  Viva Las Vegas is going to be great.

Lastly, I then played Jer33 using the Regular version of Gens and all seemed good on both ends.

I would be happy to test more if anyone wants to.

I personally think we should try Kega.  It looks and feels better to me.

Though I have heard some negatives about using it online.

 

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25 minutes ago, CoachMac said:

It had a big effect on their end as they both said it was laggy and usually I don't get any complaints of lag.

I think that this version has vsync on by default, so you could try unchecking that and check if it does any difference.

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In my experience the ideal online settings are like this:

Graphics settings:
Vsync = unchecked
Render = double or full screen (performance can be enhanced more by using interpolated 25% scanline)
Lag compensation = 0-2 (I don't want to push it farther for skewy stuff, I like 1 or 2)

Sound:
Enabled = checked
Rate = 11025
Stereo = unchecked

-I could even play sound off for even better performance, but it cannot be enforced as someone will play with sound & I don't want to get too handicapped.

If anyone uses more expensive sound settings it would be a bit worse on my end than the opponents, but lag compensation will help there at least if he is not using lag compensation to compensate that. Equal settings should somehow be enforced for equal experience and response. If the game feels too heavy on my side in comparison to my opponent, then I will adjust my sound settings a notch up (stereo on & 22050 or 44100) untill I feel it being even. Moving lag compensation to up to 3, 4 would be the final stretch. It's a pity if I have to do that since the response could be so much better for both with just the low settings. This is my take on the gens lag/online latency. I could be wrong on a few of the theories, but this is what I will do from now on untill / if something is settled officially and there is a way to enforce it.

Edited by Depch

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I have learned to spot now some of the effects better and I know that this has been used by at least by one player the past few years (perhaps a few, don't want to name anyone). As there is no way for a clear cut proof of any way to say if anyone is using it by version numbers or anything I can only see that it is serves the community to try to be as much open about it as possible so people will learn and force people to use them by using it yourself as well so no one will have the advantage of knowledge in this case.

Settings I will be running during Et' tu Brute are the following:

Gfx:
Vsync = off
Render = interpolated scanline (it looks quite bad, 25% is still ok)
Full screen (you can change the render in full screen with F11-F12)
Lag compensation = 4 (It's maxed out. I noticed I needed to up this from 3 when I use sound off or I'm seriously behind in team AI performance vs Habs & FPB at least)

Sound = on, stereo 22050hz (I had to change this from having it off even with lag comp 4, leaving it on off just felt like it gave too much advantage to opponent AI initiative so I just put it to default settings, the game still feels very smooth with the low render even with this.)

Explanation:

The latency I usually get to play with NA guys varies from 100ms to 220ms so that is in between 4-7 frames of delay to your controls from latency alone. If you use added frames when hosting, then it gets even worse. People should not use added frames at all, just in the case of bad networks (jumpy ping) and majority of the networks today are just fine. 

When I play Coach I get 220ms ping to him, that equals a 7 frame delay to response, if I use a lag compensation of 4 it should equal to 3 frame delay, which is much better to play with. When I play Habs at his home I get around 180ms latency which equals to 6 frames, if he uses additional frames in hosting to balance out a jumpy network it's usually 7, which is quite impossible to do quick moves and fast pass shots with so lag compensation is highly recommended to make the game competitive and show what you can do. If only the other side uses lag compensation it's a really unfair advantage as he can skate circles around the opponent because of knowledge, not skill alone.

Gens is also a very old program, so the code honestly said sucks. You know when you use Gens it's not as smooth as Kega or RetroArch when you test NHL94. When I decrease my sound settings and screen render I get a much smoother gaming experience, I also have an old laptop, but this was the same with my quite a good desktop unit a year ago so I think it's only the code in Gens. It also seems to have an effect on my opponent over online play. The gaming experience overall is much nicer for both.

Kega netplay sucks for long distances and I think lag compensation offers a better online experience than Kega that way. RetroArch has not been tested online, but damn it's smooth offline. These alternatives come with the problem of not having the netplaysave in the form that nhl94online supports.

Edited by Depch

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