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Dispute: Dick Moreland - Atari 2600 / VCS - Dragster - NTSC - Game 1, Difficulty B [Fastest Time] - Player: Todd Rogers - Score: 05.51

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Is this a valid dispute?

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  1. VERIFIED TG Head Custodian Credibility: 1,000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackflag82 View Post
    In all of this, I'm wondering what exactly qualifies as "more testing." Or rather, what will the testing be?
    I have asked Ben for his testing recommendations. When he provides them we will consider them. At the moment we are simply awaiting his completion of the PCB boards.

    Secondly, is this going to push back the 180 day deadline. Assuming September 30 was the start of that, you have told the community this would be wrapped up by the end of March. Is that still happening, or is this pushing that back.
    I will definitely make a decision within the 180 day deadline.

    I know others have said it and I've said it as well, but it bares repeating - this plan of paying Ben more money to create a test which no one has outlined the process for or the expected results of is bogus when the website is experiencing functionality issues multiple times a week from lack of testing.
    The engineering team that deals with the website has absolutely nothing to do with this dispute or the evaluation of any dispute. They are totally unrelated from a testing standpoint. The Twin Galaxies website is a much more massive and dynamic engineering concern.
    Jace Hall
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    I've watched the Ben Heck videos several times to get a better idea of what is going on there. The best I can determine is:
    1. Ben 1st set out to make a device to capture ram values during operation.
    2. Ben then only used this information to catch frame cycles so inputs could be operated during the game to automate play. He details a menu system that appears to be for entering frame numbers for events to occur at X cycles after the frame loop point.

    At this stage it is unclear exactly how this is implemented as none of that build is covered in the videos.

    IN essence what is required is:
    1. the ability to read the index value to know whether the .03 second count advantage goes to player 1 or player 2.
    2. the ability to start play at the most advantageous "random" frame start point.
    3. the ability to set any number of accelerator and clutch signals at arbitrary frame numbers.
    4. hardware to connect the PIC32 to the inputs of the atari joystick port.

    Jace, can you confirm all 4 re
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    Jace can you confirm all 4 requirements as listed above, and can you provide some technical information so we can assess it?

    Thanks,
    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jace Hall View Post
    I have asked Ben for his testing recommendations. When he provides them we will consider them. At the moment we are simply awaiting his completion of the PCB boards.



    I will definitely make a decision within the 180 day deadline.



    The engineering team that deals with the website has absolutely nothing to do with this dispute or the evaluation of any dispute. They are totally unrelated from a testing standpoint. The Twin Galaxies website is a much more massive and dynamic engineering concern.
    First, thanks I think your recent posts have been very reasonable, I think you're missing though why some of us see a connection with the testing. Ultimately you're the boss of both, and while for dragster you demand a very high level of proof and much testing, you dont seem to require anywhere near the same level of testing and thoroughness from the engineering team. If the team learned how to test -- and if you demanded they did any testing at all before moving changes live -- it would be a much less annoying process signing in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deverett View Post
    I've watched the Ben Heck videos several times to get a better idea of what is going on there. The best I can determine is:
    1. Ben 1st set out to make a device to capture ram values during operation.
    2. Ben then only used this information to catch frame cycles so inputs could be operated during the game to automate play. He details a menu system that appears to be for entering frame numbers for events to occur at X cycles after the frame loop point.

    At this stage it is unclear exactly how this is implemented as none of that build is covered in the videos.

    IN essence what is required is:
    1. the ability to read the index value to know whether the .03 second count advantage goes to player 1 or player 2.
    2. the ability to start play at the most advantageous "random" frame start point.
    3. the ability to set any number of accelerator and clutch signals at arbitrary frame numbers.
    4. hardware to connect the PIC32 to the inputs of the atari joystick port.

    Jace, can you confirm all 4 re
    I can answer most of these based on helping Ben debug.

    1. There is no such thing as a .03 second advantage; both players can always achieve the same times using the same inputs. I think Ben elects to always just have control over a specific player to work with exclusively odd or even frame numbers.
    2. Yes, he can program a specific starting point based on the frame counter that runs in the background while the game is powered on.
    3. Technically he can, but the current process is manually coded. There are a few workarounds to make everything play nicely, but you individually define the shift points in the C code, and you can define null periods for the accelerator. It isn't elegant or suited to mass testing of different input sets, but it was enough to do the basic verification shown in his videos.
    4. I don't know specifics on this one, but I imagine it is just direct control of a few PIC GPIO connected to the input pins, possibly with a buffer inbetween.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omnigamer View Post
    We've done this dance plenty of times before, Jace. I indicated exactly what that stretch was in the initial post, and you exactly misrepresented what I said by focusing solely on those unimportant points that you highlighted and asserting that I must be off my rocker to question them.
    That is false. You absolutely did not indicate exactly what statement I made that stretched anything Ben said. I continue invite you to specifically back up your accusation.

    Nowhere in my discussion regarding Ben did I assert you "must be off your rocker" or speak to anything related to you or your state of mind. Please show me exactly where I stated that. I will wait for you to substantiate yet another accusation. If you can't, then what you just did there is literally putting words in someone's mouth.

    Let's just jump right to the key line which you are basing your entire decision on:

    He gives no indication at all on his reasoning for his lack of confidence to provide a firm answer. It could be as you insinuate, that he has some well-formed ideas on what else might possibly happen to create a 5.51 scenario that have yet to be tested or explored. Or he could just have a healthy dose of scientific caution, and prefers to stay away from answering in absolutes. Or he could not feel well-informed on the rest of the gameplay mechanics, models, or general operation to give a confident answer. Maybe he personally is unclear on some details of gameplay mechanics that can be uncovered from testing, without knowing whether other experts fully understand them.
    What you say here are all certainly possibilities. I personally indicated none of them. I simply forwarded what was stated. Nothing more. Please show me where I did otherwise so I can address it.

    There could be any number of reasons why he feels he cannot provide a conclusive answer, but you instead jump to the one that's most convenient for your narrative and runs counter to the opinions of other experts.
    Based on what you are saying here, I'm not sure if you read the correspondence between me and Ben that was posted.

    I did not ask Ben for a conclusive answer. I asked Ben for his current opinion, and he provided it.

    I have only presented the correspondence. Nothing else was stated by me other than the facts as have been presented publicly.

    Whether Ben's current opinion may or may not run counter to the opinions of other experts does not change the basic mechanic of the data being added to the dispute thread body of work.

    There's this point too, which is a summary of several of your past statements:

    Jace said: "It can be reasonably said that at the moment he is as informed as possible about the entire 5.51 Dragster issue."

    No. Not in the least. You can only say that Ben is informed as he needed to be to do what he was tasked with, which was building a device to look for memory transaction errors in an Atari. You have no way of knowing how much he has personally invested himself in understanding all manner of items important to the dispute, but not related to his work. In fact, we have multiple recorded statements from him saying that he is not interested in several major focuses of this dispute, including the mathematical models. So no, it is not reasonable to say that at all.
    A person's level of interest and motivation regarding an item at a particular time does not necessarily dictate that person's level of total knowledge and understanding of that item. While it is true that I have no way of knowing how much Ben has personally invested himself in understanding all manner of items important to the dispute, I do have a way to know the general facts that I have stated in his regard, since it is specifically what Ben told me.

    At minimum, Ben is easily as informed as anyone else who is participating in this dispute thread. He has access to all the same information everyone else has here, including your model. His overall background and proven accomplishments lends more credibility to the idea that he can have greater understanding of the issue, and a potentially useful viewpoint on the matter.

    If it really is your opinion that someone who has reviewed your model, spoken with you about it, examined this dispute thread, spoke with Todd Rogers, run personal tests, and built and Atari analyzer for the purpose of examining Dragster is NOT considered reasonably informed, and therefore their opinion should not be reasonably considered - well then you just literally disregarded the vast majority of the opinions and commentary of every single person participating in this dispute thread - because very few people in this thread have even gone as far as Ben to understand and analyze the issue.

    I really hope I am misunderstanding what you are trying to say on that one. There have been many great contributions to this thread by many people with different backgrounds and levels of interest. Those differences don't make them less of a contributor.
    [/QUOTE]
    Jace Hall
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    Quote Originally Posted by deverett View Post
    I've watched the Ben Heck videos several times to get a better idea of what is going on there. The best I can determine is:
    1. Ben 1st set out to make a device to capture ram values during operation.
    2. Ben then only used this information to catch frame cycles so inputs could be operated during the game to automate play. He details a menu system that appears to be for entering frame numbers for events to occur at X cycles after the frame loop point.

    At this stage it is unclear exactly how this is implemented as none of that build is covered in the videos.

    IN essence what is required is:
    1. the ability to read the index value to know whether the .03 second count advantage goes to player 1 or player 2.
    2. the ability to start play at the most advantageous "random" frame start point.
    3. the ability to set any number of accelerator and clutch signals at arbitrary frame numbers.
    4. hardware to connect the PIC32 to the inputs of the atari joystick port.

    Jace, can you confirm all 4 re
    I can't confirm at this time, however if you would like TG to send you one of Ben's PCB's when they are ready to help with your exploration, we can see if we can arrange that. From there you should be able to get all your questions regarding the hardware functions answered.
    Jace Hall
    Head Custodian and Caretaker
    www.TwinGalaxies.com
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