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90skidJohnny
07-26-2020 at 04:36 PM
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Practicing on emulators. Think it could be problematic?

As the title suggest, does anyone practice games on emulators? I have been thinking about it.

I have been lucky enough to own most game consoles / computers that im interested in setting records on, the issue is, its often not convenient for me to play on those said consoles some days. I am thinking about building a little emulation laptop on a spare I have, for convenience of practicing.

Like right now, Id love to just be able to lounge on my couch with my girlfriend. My living room has a 70" tv (which is complete ASS for playing anything retro on obviously) So would be nice to throw the laptop on the coffee table and practice away.

I know emulation is a hot topic, and I myself, will always prefer OG hardware on a PVM / CRT. I also know emulators arnt 100% perfect, with the actual emulation, speed etc, and the more modern the hardware is the more it will likely struggle. I just wonder if I play say a NES game and learn the ins and out on the emulator, that it will be completely different on actual hardware. Anyone have any comparisons? Look forward to hearing peoples input.


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  1. thegamer1185's Avatar

    That's the only way I practice older stuff. NES/Game Boy/SNES. N64 on up not so much. Older stuff that'st the only way to practice IMO. Love those save states.

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  2. 90skidJohnny's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by thegamer1185

    That's the only way I practice older stuff. NES/Game Boy/SNES. N64 on up not so much. Older stuff that'st the only way to practice IMO. Love those save states.


    Yah I really wouldn't be using anything newer. So you haven't had much issues?

    I might have to build a USB controller, or find some adapter, so I can use same controllers and such.


  3. nads's Avatar

    I generally start playing a game on the emulator first, first to see if I actually like it and have some skill in it. But I do use the save state feature if I want to improve on a certain section of the game.

    But I do have to say nothing beats playing it on the original system

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  4. Snowflake's Avatar

    look, for me my number one priority is relviing my childhood and having fun, so i will not use emulators. competioin is secondary. nostaligia comes first

    if you care about competion however emulators are necesssary. you make a valid point that you must "train as you fight" so the real thing is the perfect simulation. but with a game, theres often so much you mastered for one moment you dont master. i remember when snes was new. i bought contra 3 due to loving life force. it was a bad time in games. you'd play for 30 minutes of ease that you masted to get to 30 seconds you didnt know. it was a waste of time. you eventually gave up. its not worth spending 30 minutes of stuff you already mastered for a few minutes you didnt. In play station defense save states were a thing by then. but super nes was miserable cause so much time was spent redoing stuff you mastered. nes is playable without save states, the problem is minizmed but it exists. without save states you'll spending the majority of time on stuff you've already mastered

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  5. Ragequit's Avatar

    As a person who once owned an atari 2600, a super nintendo and a ps1 and played arcade games back in the day, i find that og hardware vs. emulation isn't that different for the most part, the only difference is that some roms may have bugs that make it run differently than the actual hardware, or the rom just sucks and has serious audio and video issues, i can't play a game like that, ugh!

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  6. swaggers's Avatar

    Anything pre-PS2 I usually test in emulation due to save states. There are definitely timing and control issues so when I think I have a section down I do confirm in actual hardware that it matches up.

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  7. Pearl2hu's Avatar

    it will never be problematic.

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  8. 90skidJohnny's Avatar

    Thanks all for the input!!! :)

  9. Tompa's Avatar

    One tip is to get a flash cart to be able to play on console. Depending on the cart, it usually got stuff like save states. For many highly competetive games in the speedrunning community, there can also be special practice ROMs created. These have a lot of additional features added to them, depending on the game. Such as being able to see your character's speed and position, enemy health, lag counter, timer or whatever you might need. Here's one example for Super Metroid: https://hacks.speedga.me/sm.html

    If playing on an emulator: For older games, 8 and 16 bit for example, the emulation should be very accurate, depending on the emulator used. For SNES you want to stay away from ZSNES as it's terribly inaccurate, while Bizhawk with its Bsnes core is great. For speedruns, there is usually some information about what emulators that are allowed, if any, for the game you are competing on. The main thing which could differ when playing on console is the controller and possible input lag. The controller part can be solved by having an adapter, though some runners experience input lag on emulator when compared to console. This also depends on the TV you are using, CRT or flat screen. I personally have never found input lag to be an issue.

    Otherwise, if played on a good emulator, the game will behave the same way as it would on console.

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  10. Ragequit's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Tompa

    One tip is to get a flash cart to be able to play on console. Depending on the cart, it usually got stuff like save states. For many highly competetive games in the speedrunning community, there can also be special practice ROMs created. These have a lot of additional features added to them, depending on the game. Such as being able to see your character's speed and position, enemy health, lag counter, timer or whatever you might need. Here's one example for Super Metroid: https://hacks.speedga.me/sm.html

    If playing on an emulator: For older games, 8 and 16 bit for example, the emulation should be very accurate, depending on the emulator used. For SNES you want to stay away from ZSNES as it's terribly inaccurate, while Bizhawk with its Bsnes core is great. For speedruns, there is usually some information about what emulators that are allowed, if any, for the game you are competing on. The main thing which could differ when playing on console is the controller and possible input lag. The controller part can be solved by having an adapter, though some runners experience input lag on emulator when compared to console. This also depends on the TV you are using, CRT or flat screen. I personally have never found input lag to be an issue.

    Otherwise, if played on a good emulator, the game will behave the same way as it would on console.

    The strange thing i find about speedrun.com though is that even though there are emulators that are only allowed to speedrun certain games, some of their tracks allow speedruns of different versions of the game on the same track...like super mario bros. nes, even though some versions are known to be slower than others. (like nes. mini version).
  11. Tompa's Avatar

    You are able to filter between different versions on the leaderboard. You can choose between any region, any console and emulator or not. Having different leaderboards for every single version and console is a terrible idea. As there are both different consoles, then there are also 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 etc. which may differ a lot in time. Having 20 different leaderboard for a single game makes it incredibly confusing to keep track of.

    I think the way SRC does it is perfect.

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  12. Snowflake's Avatar

    the only time these differences matter is trying to brag to someone who doesnt care.

    think about it, to people who do care, the speedrun filtering system works just fine, they can find the metrics they care about. but yes if you wanna brag to someone about a "world record" -- someone who knows nothing about the game, then sure, someone else beating your record on a different version weakens your claim. but really think about that, it only weakens your claim when bragging to people who are just listening out of politness and dont really care

    TG faces a similiar issue with 'dilution". "oh noes, tracking that crappy game makes my world record on a better game mean less" -- again only if you're bragging to people who dont care. for anyone that actually does care, tg could track a million silly games, and those who care will still respect the accomplsihment on the one good game.

    all that really matters is that verifiers/adjudicatros/refs whatever be accurate so that we can be sure the records are real -- this also means we need transparency to be sure they're accurate, and of course we need to be able to easily find the relevant info (filtering, classifiction, hierarchy....)

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