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kurgan
07-19-2009, 05:53 PM
Ok so I now can make it to the 9th key with between 1-3 extra guys. However I have learned and have been trying out this pattern (my comments are under itetcboo for this video) and it seems that I can not always get it to work. Should I stick with this pattern or should I use a different pattern? If so what is the most reliable pattern that is rock solid? I seen this page and they all look interesting. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks

PhantomDJ
07-21-2009, 01:09 AM
Ok so I now can make it to the 9th key with between 1-3 extra guys. However I have learned and have been trying out this pattern (my comments are under itetcboo for this video) and it seems that I can not always get it to work. Should I stick with this pattern or should I use a different pattern? If so what is the most reliable pattern that is rock solid? I seen this page and they all look interesting. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks

There are a ton of 9th key patterns on youtube. I know, because I have put up MANY of them myself. However, most of these are "Booey" patterns where pac-man travels unharmed through 1 or more ghosts. These patterns require PRECISE timing on all turns to execute.

check

DJ

dave88
07-21-2009, 03:00 AM
If you are having problems with stacked, good luck with Mr. Hodges booey patterns :)

It sounds like you need to work on your pre-turning, try to make the turns at the earliest possible moment. You are probably losing a little time on your 'S' turns coming up from the bottom, and or circling the upper T. 9th key patterns as a rule have very little room for error. Keep at it, you'll get the rhythm.

I have never had problems that early in the pattern. It is actually identical to a classic pattern called 'Bazo's Breaker' up to about the 15 second mark. I am sure the pattern is solid. But if you keep having problems, by all means try another pattern.

up2ng
07-21-2009, 08:15 AM
On a whim a couple days ago I decided to try and learn and play through a few pac-man patterns to see what all the fuss was about. After all, every pattern necessary to complete a perfect game is now published on Youtube so how hard can it really be right? I would have thought the true mastery of the game was in coming up with the patterns in the first place.

Upon learning and trying to play through a few screens, I was AMAZED at how difficult it is to execute a pattern, they break down constantly.

The fact that you have to execute each and every turn extremely early makes this task so much harder and requires so much more raw skill than I would have thought that I can now understand why there are so few perfect games recorded. Even when you "know" the path and "follow" the path, inevitably a corner is taken more casually causing pac-man to take that corner less aggressively and then you are one pixel behind -- and yes this is pretty much always enough to ruin the pattern. Take the corner TOO early and you run the risk of taking the wrong path or getting yourself two inputs ahead which often causes pac-man to freeze.

I have a new level of respect for perfect pac-man players.

CrazyKongFan
07-21-2009, 08:19 AM
There's a reason why only a handful of people have done it perfectly, patterns or not...it's not as easy as it looks :mrgreen: Even if you only use 1 9th key pattern, you have to run it 234 times without making a mistake (and if you do make a mistake, hope you can "right the ship" and finish the board without dying)

kurgan
07-21-2009, 02:57 PM
I appreciate all the tips and comments. I know what you all are saying about pre-turning and how if its isn't exact it can immediately break down a pattern and I know and use 2 other pac-man patterns and they all work flawlessly for me. I even know/use a turbo pac-man 9th key and I can even execute that flawlessly and that game runs so fast its crazy. I wonder if my computer is not emulating pac-man 100% and if that could be the problem. I have a 60 in 1 multicade arcade board that I nearly have up and going in my arcade machine and I know that although its not authentic it seems to be exactly the same pac-man game play. I have a good 4 way joystick that I am going to put on that arcade cab and I will see if I do better on that. Its either me or its my equipment right?

I will keep everyone posted. Thanks again for the help.

permafrostrick
07-22-2009, 12:51 PM
we have recently discovered there are differences between puckman and pacman even due to the difference in the ghost name lengths in the rom set. this results in reading in a different value for a particular timing element that will make some patterns that work on pacman fail on puckman or visa-versa.

many patterns work same on both though. other than that the entire game is same.

I seriously doubt your 9th key turbo-pac patterns are pure. However, they likely are so safe that it doesn't really matter of clean turns or not.

also, there are some patterns more forgiving than others where if you are slightly off a turn where it isn't quite pure the pattern still runs fine. there are others that even if 1 bad turn somewhere the pattern breaks down.

my guess is a few you are trying are the sensitive ones that require 100% pure turns for almost the entire pattern to work. others are those that are a tad forgiving(which is what you want to run).

kurgan
07-22-2009, 09:57 PM
Very interesting what you are saying between puckman and pac-man. I was trying this on puckman as I was going for a recorded TG score. And on puckman it seemed that if I purposely made a turn late then the pattern would work but its tough trying to time a late turn when you are used to making them correctly. I will try it on pac-man and see if there is a difference. As for the 9th key turbo pac-man pattern that I use I dont know how pure it is but I do know that it took a lot of effort even after learning the pattern (I use what donald hayes used to get a perfect score) to get it to work correctly. Currently I can get nearly 900K using it. But it runs so fast that fatigue seems to set in and I can not break 1 million even after a lot of trying. Maybe some day though. :)

permafrostrick
07-23-2009, 10:21 AM
As for the 9th key turbo pac-man pattern that I use I dont know how pure it is but I do know that it took a lot of effort even after learning the pattern (I use what donald hayes used to get a perfect score) to get it to work correctly. Currently I can get nearly 900K using it. But it runs so fast that fatigue seems to set in and I can not break 1 million even after a lot of trying. Maybe some day though. :)
oh ok. I have not watched his pattern. 5-6 years ago though on a whim I played some turbo-pac...intentionally stopped at 1 million with perfect game intact. I wish I had played it out and maybe had the first perfect turbo now...versus Don doing it just recently. anyway, I had no 9th key pattern..but was semi-developing it as I played....mostly an initial eat and get first fruit...then some start-stop spots where you end up just long outrunning them.

the key is having enough time after getting the 1st fruit that you also get the second. you have to make sure you give time for the points display for eating the first fruit disappears before you trigger the second fruit....otherwise you don't get the second fruit.

PacWhiz
07-23-2009, 11:44 AM
the key is having enough time after getting the 1st fruit that you also get the second. you have to make sure you give time for the points display for eating the first fruit disappears before you trigger the second fruit....otherwise you don't get the second fruit.
That's not the reason you don't get the second fruit.
In my 23 sec 9th key pattern, the 2nd key doesn't appear about 50% of the time.
Nothing to do with the 5000 points still being displayed, coz they're long-gone.
Quite a shame coz it was such a nice easy quick & safe pattern! :(

Maybe it's to do with that bonus-timer subroutine which produces varying numbers from 1 to 4 in a sequence of digits (or something like that) - Don Hodges figured out that that's what caused my 'disappearing key' in that one 9th key (regular speed) pattern i had a while back. Lemme see if i can find that thread...

Ah, here it is:

Don's answer is reply #27 on page 2.

permafrostrick
07-25-2009, 09:24 AM
In my 23 sec 9th key pattern, the 2nd key doesn't appear about 50% of the time.
Nothing to do with the 5000 points still being displayed, coz they're long-gone.
Quite a shame coz it was such a nice easy quick & safe pattern! :(
maybe you really are close to the trigger dot for the second fruit even before eating the first so if more pure on the turns then you trigger it too soon. You need a good second+ after the first 5000 disappears before you can trigger the second fruit.

I used to intentionally have a delay of eating any dots after the first key to make sure I always got the second key.
I don't doubt your first 5000 is gone...but if you trigger even close to when that disappears you might not get the second. I used to just take them around the board around the T over the monster box or something to waste 10 seconds after eating the first fruit before triggering the second.

My "pattern" would run around 30-35 seconds...although not really a pattern...cuz when I did that 1 million it was my first turbo-pac play after mastering the regular pac. I did it back then as a demonstration...not thinking perfect on turbo would really mean anything. oh well...blew it I guess....although I was using 3+1 so it would not have mattered now. :P

PacWhiz
07-25-2009, 10:49 AM
I have GOT to stop accidentally finding these anomaly thingies... :|

kurgan
07-28-2009, 12:31 AM
I have been trying the above mentioned 9th key pattern that I have been having problems with for several weeks. Clearly it is a good pattern but I simply can not get it to work for me reliably. This is very frustrating as I put a lot of hours into trying to get this to work but I am going to just learn and try a different pattern and see if that works better for me. I think I am going to go with this one: and see if I have better luck with that. The final straw was just a little bit ago when I managed to make it to the 4th key before dying for the first time and then I made it to the 9th key with 4 guys left and basically I never ever ran the pattern successfully and ended up with just under 200,000 as I kept getting more and more frustrated that I made it to the 9th key with several extra guys and not once being able to run the said pattern. I just don't get it I am pretty good at pac-man type games and I feel I pre-turn correctly and I have a fast computer which should be emulating the game well and I have a fairly low mileage happ 4 way joystick in a heavy wooden box that I built myself. I even went as far as slightly bending the tabs on the cherry switches so that there is no over lapping when you move from one direction to the next but instead it immediately disconnects in one direction and then immediately connects to the new direction. Maybe the USB joypad that I wired this thing into is slow or something I dont know. Its a real downer either way but thats just how it goes sometimes I guess. I will keep everyone posted and thanks again for the ideas.

voodoo_chilly
07-28-2009, 08:23 AM
Hey kurgan-

I used the same 9th-key that you reference in the youtube video. That is the Neil Chapman 9th key I think. It seems that most of the time, when getting the bottom left key in that pattern, the red guy went to the bottom of screen and the pattern fell apart. After experimenting, I figured out an alternate ending for when that occurs. I just recently submitted a 1.4 million score and the inp is available there if you want to see the alternate ending. It happens a lot on me so you wont have to watch many 9th key patterns in this inp to see it.

permafrostrick
07-28-2009, 10:39 AM
I have GOT to stop accidentally finding these anomaly thingies... :|
yeah you do!

without lots of time to investigate further...can only speculate.
turbo games always have had numerous issues in clock timing etc.

your pattern seems pretty rock solid though and as you state trigger of second key is long after 5000 from first key is gone. I was thinking it could be a timing thing where pacman is eating a dot here and there where comparison to the fruit dot trigger isn't done.

not likely Don will be in this thread...but would be interesting to know if the code looks for exact match of #dots eaten to trigger the fruit or #dots eaten > a certain number then a separate flag denoting that one was already used.

it seems far more efficient code to check for exact #dots eaten. The timing in turbo mode could be where 1 check is 1 dot shy and the next check you are 1 dot beyond the trigger dot. a turn slightly off will shift this where you then get the check done...talking 1/60th of a second here so not something you visually can see.

however, if that was it, then I would have seen issues in my 1 million game I did. and something you likely would see in any pattern with a turn just slightly off...which we aren't seeing from my 1 million game and Don's and Tim B's perfect.

again you find something really odd. :P

PacWhiz
07-28-2009, 12:17 PM
I have GOT to stop accidentally finding these anomaly thingies... :|
yeah you do! Well geez :roll:



your pattern seems pretty rock solid though and as you state trigger of second key is long after 5000 from first key is gone.In that Turbo-pattern there are 6.5 secs in between the start of the board and eating the first key; and then 7.5 secs in between the eating of the 1st key and munching the fruit-trigger dot for the 2nd key (whether it appears, or not).


I was thinking it could be a timing thing where pacman is eating a dot here and there where comparison to the fruit dot trigger isn't done.Not following you here i'm afraid...



not likely Don will be in this thread...but would be interesting to know if the code looks for exact match of #dots eaten to trigger the fruit or #dots eaten > a certain number then a separate flag denoting that one was already used. Perhaps both. I know that there is a separate subroutine in Pac & MsPac that checks if the 1st bonus item has already been given. In MsPac that subroutine is what adds 3 to the calculation that translates the R-register value into the fruit-value at the trigger dot. I speculateth too, but maybe this subroutine, in combination with the varying 3's & 4's in the fruit-timer string of digits (1111112111112111111311111 where the 3 on some boards can be a 4, or something similar, as once pointed out by Don Hodges), causes the program to forego the fruit-timer and skip the drawing of the 2nd key sprite altogether.

it seems far more efficient code to check for exact #dots eaten. The timing in turbo mode could be where 1 check is 1 dot shy and the next check you are 1 dot beyond the trigger dot. a turn slightly off will shift this where you then get the check done...talking 1/60th of a second here so not something you visually can see.As far as i know, the 2nd key is supposed to appear when there are 74 dots left (including energizers).

however, if that was it, then I would have seen issues in my 1 million game I did. and something you likely would see in any pattern with a turn just slightly off...which we aren't seeing from my 1 million game and Don's and Tim B's perfect.

again you find something really odd. :P
I tried a few other quick runs using different routes (not necessarily patterns - it seems that if you trigger (or try to) the 2nd key before the board has been running for 15 seconds, there is a 50-50 chance it will appear :!: granted this is just an observation and not really tested out, but when I tried 'patterns' where the key is eaten 2 seconds later, it would always appear. Seems very random, but it probably isn't... :mrgreen:

permafrostrick
07-29-2009, 12:14 PM
that might be all it is.

I know when I was playing I would intentionally circle around until the next set of reserves/pops...then never had an issue with second key coming out. I had faster patterns where sometimes I wouldn't get the second key....but I always assumed that was cuz I was triggering the second one before the cycle of the first had totally cleared.

perhaps it's the triggering of second fruit before that second pop/reverse mark that results in something where you only sometimes get it.

this implies there is some other board timer thing for monster reverses that is also used for the fruit?

great pattern...just make it longer. I remember my stop-n-go winging it pattern was running at around 30 seconds.

PacWhiz
07-29-2009, 03:35 PM
that might be all it is.

I know when I was playing I would intentionally circle around until the next set of reserves/pops...then never had an issue with second key coming out. I had faster patterns where sometimes I wouldn't get the second key....but I always assumed that was cuz I was triggering the second one before the cycle of the first had totally cleared.

perhaps it's the triggering of second fruit before that second pop/reverse mark that results in something where you only sometimes get it.I did think of that, but if that were the case, i would have the same issue with my other 27-28 sec patterns, as i eat the 2nd-trigger-dot well before the 25 sec mark in those. I should record it before i forget it...


this implies there is some other board timer thing for monster reverses that is also used for the fruit?Yeah maybe the reverse timer subroutine somehow interferes with the fruit-timer subroutine, but i don't believe the same timer is used for both.



great pattern...just make it longer.Thx, I did, on the same day :P it now runs 25/26s which seems sufficient to always trigger the 2nd key.


I remember my stop-n-go winging it pattern was running at around 30 seconds.I wanted a pattern for which i could squeeze 2 boards into 1 minute, including the 6s in between lol. I guess i can forget about that then.

Somehow I can't get around to actually naming patterns - the ones that i tried to give a title to, ended up sounding silly; like for PacPlus i have the "Right Side Hide Clyde variation 2" and the "Left Side Pinky-Clyde Slyde". :|
On the flip-side, not naming them gets confusing for when you try to reference them...

qnz
07-29-2009, 07:15 PM
I have GOT to stop accidentally finding these anomaly thingies... :|

No you don't. Keep finding them; they're interesting. :D

I haven't actually looked at the inp, but from the discussion it sounds like the second fruit only appears some of the time if you trigger it "too soon".

I also haven't looked specifically at the turbo code, but assuming that it's the same as normal pacman, other than pacman's speed, it's explained by the same 9-10 second timer that Don H. explained earlier. There are basically two variables that involve the fruit. One holds the location of the fruit, the other holds the value. When you eat the fruit, the location variable is cleared, but the value variable is not cleared until that 9-10 sec timer goes off. The routine that decides whether to place the fruit looks at the value variable, and if it's set, it returns right away. So it's possible to miss the second fruit entirely if you trigger it too fast. If this happens only some of the time, it should be because of the variance in the 9-10 sec fruit timer. If you time the how long it is between the first fruit trigger, and the second fruit, it's probably right between 9 and 10 secs.

HTH,


Todd

PacWhiz
07-29-2009, 07:42 PM
I have GOT to stop accidentally finding these anomaly thingies... :|No you don't. Keep finding them; they're interesting. :D Lol... k :P


I haven't actually looked at the inp, but from the discussion it sounds like the second fruit only appears some of the time if you trigger it "too soon".

I also haven't looked specifically at the turbo code, but assuming that it's the same as normal pacman, other than pacman's speed, it's explained by the same 9-10 second timer that Don H. explained earlier. There are basically two variables that involve the fruit. One holds the location of the fruit, the other holds the value. When you eat the fruit, the location variable is cleared, but the value variable is not cleared until that 9-10 sec timer goes off. The routine that decides whether to place the fruit looks at the value variable, and if it's set, it returns right away. So it's possible to miss the second fruit entirely if you trigger it too fast. If this happens only some of the time, it should be because of the variance in the 9-10 sec fruit timer. If you time the how long it is between the first fruit trigger, and the second fruit, it's probably right between 9 and 10 secs.

HTH,

ToddAhaaaa! Well-explained, very logical, and having just checked my inp again, i think you are correct! That's what i meant by the variable 3s & 4s in that subroutine with the sequence of digits, which translates to those 9 and 10 second timers; just couldn't put 2&2 together as you did... In my turbo-pattern, the 2nd trigger is just under the 10 second boundary, meaning that whenever the timer is 10 seconds the key won't appear. :mrgreen:

Thx Todd! :D

["HTH" = Hope That Helps?]

permafrostrick
07-30-2009, 12:59 PM
cool explanation...makes a lot of sense too.

weird they use the same time counter the fruit stays out....for the 'reset' before checks for second fruit start getting done again.

Pacman83
07-30-2009, 02:12 PM
kurgan,

Sounds like you're at the point in the game where you need a sound 'apple clearing' route. Note I don't say pattern because it's a partial clearence, then the power pills. I really need to practice grouping but it's pretty time consuming because of the way in which I practice.
From the 1st apple to the 7th key, I use this method, then freehand 8th and 9th, then Bazos Breaker there after.

Trust me, Bazos Breaker is the best 9th pattern there is if you intend to push your score up. Worth a try.
At home, I never play beyond the 20th key in practice. It's a sound pattern, not the quickest, but very sound.
As mentioned before, crossing the desert is the real acheivement to the split.

Good luck ! :wink:

dave88
07-30-2009, 05:58 PM
Trust me, Bazos Breaker is the best 9th pattern there is if you intend to push your score up. Worth a try.
The pattern he was having problems with (stacked) is identical to bazo's up to the point where he was having problems. He is running into Blinky before eating the first key. I've never had this problem running stacked or bazo's. I used to use bazo's and had problems sometimes later in the pattern.


I am going to just learn and try a different pattern and see if that works better for me. I think I am going to go with this one: and see if I have better luck with that.
That is a very good pattern too, but it does have a lot of quick turns in the first 15 seconds. So if you are having problems with the beginning of stacked/bazo's you may have trouble with this one as well.

Good Luck, Hope you find something that works for you. :)

qnz
07-30-2009, 07:43 PM
I have been trying the above mentioned 9th key pattern that I have been having problems with for several weeks. Clearly it is a good pattern but I simply can not get it to work for me reliably. .... I just don't get it I am pretty good at pac-man type games and I feel I pre-turn correctly and I have a fast computer which should be emulating the game well and I have a fairly low mileage happ 4 way joystick in a heavy wooden box that I built myself. I even went as far as slightly bending the tabs on the cherry switches so that there is no over lapping when you move from one direction to the next but instead it immediately disconnects in one direction and then immediately connects to the new direction. Maybe the USB joypad that I wired this thing into is slow or something I dont know. Its a real downer either way but thats just how it goes sometimes I guess. I will keep everyone posted and thanks again for the ideas.

If you suspect that your controls may be an issue, how about trying to run the pattern with just the keyboard for a bit? It'd take some adjusting at first, but if you manage to run the pattern reliably with the keyboard, then your control set-up may well be the problem.


Todd

Pacman83
07-31-2009, 09:42 AM
Trust me, Bazos Breaker is the best 9th pattern there is if you intend to push your score up. Worth a try.
The pattern he was having problems with (stacked) is identical to bazo's up to the point where he was having problems. He is running into Blinky before eating the first key. I've never had this problem running stacked or bazo's. I used to use bazo's and had problems sometimes later in the pattern.


I am going to just learn and try a different pattern and see if that works better for me. I think I am going to go with this one: and see if I have better luck with that.
That is a very good pattern too, but it does have a lot of quick turns in the first 15 seconds. So if you are having problems with the beginning of stacked/bazo's you may have trouble with this one as well.

Good Luck, Hope you find something that works for you. :)

Dave,

Bazos Breaker ???? Blinky ???? First Key ????

He's doing something radically wrong then because Blinky is nowhere near Pac man ... :?
The only time Blinky becomes an issue in Bazos is when Pac man exits the tunnel to clear the 3rd power pill (Pinkys corner) If he continues up instead of retreating into the tunnel, you know you've hesitated somewhere along the way.

Here's 2 examples for kurgan, this game was continued from 300k after losing 3 lives on one board .... :oops: :oops:



and a 'Apple clearing route' from the 80's to go through the boards up to 7th key.

dave88
07-31-2009, 03:02 PM
Dave,

Bazos Breaker ???? Blinky ???? First Key ????

He's doing something radically wrong then because Blinky is nowhere near Pac man ... :?
The only time Blinky becomes an issue in Bazos is when Pac man exits the tunnel to clear the 3rd power pill (Pinkys corner) If he continues up instead of retreating into the tunnel, you know you've hesitated somewhere along the way.

Here's 2 examples for kurgan, this game was continued from 300k after losing 3 lives on one board .... :oops: :oops:



and a 'Apple clearing route' from the 80's to go through the boards up to 7th key.


Don Hodges put Bazo's up on youtube a while back
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNVRyD-RZP4

Here is Stacked, the pattern Kurgan was having problems with
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzR9FgazHRQ
Note that the first 15 seconds are identical to Bazo's.
I am confused too, but he says he is running into Blinky at about 11 seconds ?

Watching Bazo's again I remember well the problem with Blinky later in the pattern. If Blinky
makes it the tiniest bit further up he does not go back down when eating the upper right
energizer. Instead he comes up and gets right in your face. :twisted:

You might want to note on your 9th key pattern, that it is in fact 'Bazo's Breaker'

I like your apple pattern :) Very Nice

Pacman83
08-01-2009, 12:36 AM
Dave,

If you read my post, I mention the exact same thing you say about Blinky ?? Of cousre I know it's Bazos Breaker :lol: I've used this pattern since 1982. Because Bazos Breaker utilises the very twisty corner parts of the maze early in the pattern, this is where you can make a hesitation and it then manifests itself on Pinkys powerpill. I just concentrate on being corner perfect early in the pattern.

PacWhiz
08-01-2009, 07:04 AM
Jon, I'm pretty sure Dave means that you should perhaps include that info on your YouTube vid of the pattern. Bazo's is cool. 8)

Kurgan, here is a pattern you can practice for getting your (pre)turns up to par:
[attachment=0:1hrrv9vo]puckman_15jan08_reddudewhatreddude.zip[/attachment:1hrrv9vo]WolfMame 106, romset puckman.

If you can make it thru that one, you'll never have a turning problem or a Blinky problem ever again! :mrgreen:
1st and 3rd boards are my Red Dude pattern for practice,
2nd board is my Safety First pattern, which you can also use if you like, it's same exact length of time as Bazo's.

dave88
08-01-2009, 07:33 PM
Dave,
If you read my post, I mention the exact same thing you say about Blinky ??
I never said you didn't? :) Reading your post, and watching it again reminded me of all those times as a kid when Blinky wouldn't cooperate, and I'd lose lives trying to clear.


make a hesitation and it then manifests itself on Pinkys powerpill.
You mean Blinky's power pill?


Jon, I'm pretty sure Dave means that you should perhaps include that info on your YouTube vid of the pattern.
Yes.

Pacman83
08-02-2009, 02:10 AM
Dave,

Ignore me, I'm getting old ......... :(

PacWhiz
08-02-2009, 02:47 AM
Dave,

Ignore me, I'm getting old ......... :(Oi no you're not! Coz that would mean we're getting old too!
And I'm wayyyyy too young to not play videogames... ;)

kurgan
08-03-2009, 11:52 AM
Been swamped with work and what not and have not had much time to do anything pac-man wise as far as getting patterns to work and getting my what I thought were good turns working smoother. However on a side note I attended a really cool arcade party in Boise last Saturday. This guy had 19 near perfectly restored games all in one room. He even had a cockpit missile command!!! It was tons of fun. It was literally the best arcade that I had stepped foot in for probably 20 years! He had a lunar lander that was a blast (pun intended) to play. He also had the most perfect Tron I have ever seen this thing looked like it was made last month. You can check out some pics of his place here:

Thanks again to everyone for their hints and tips I will keep everyone posted on my pac progress but it might be a while before I get the time to do some heavy game play.