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08-22-2019 at 08:35 AM
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A Request For A Rule Change

Hi Dear TG

I would like to amend a rule for the "Night Driver" game in the MAME version.

The rule for the Bonus time simply says "No" while in the arcade version the rule says "Bonus time for 350 points" which means you get another 100 seconds if you reach 350 points.
By the way, the leading MAME score (813 points) is not possible and could not have been done without the extra-time bonus. Even if you drive the whole 100 seconds of the game in 4th gear full speed (by itself is an almost impossible feat) you'll get to around 600 points.
Of course the player did that unintentially and did not realize that the MAME bonus rule is different from the Arcade one,AND whatsmore the default settings of the ROM is with the Bonus activated so anyone could have made this mistake.
There is absolutly NO NEED to dispute the score and the right thing to do is to amend the rule so it would be the same in both platforms.We should always try to make the rules of both Arcade and MAME as unified as possible,after all they are the same games! And it would be easier (and more fun..) for MAME players with no access to Arcades (like myself) to compare scores with the other platform.


  1. lexmark's Avatar

    Here's the link to the MAME leaderboard for those interested........



  2. SincerelyFranny's Avatar

    I understand what you are saying.

    However, the only way to resolve this IS through a dispute.

    The reason being is that you are addressing ONE score out of FIVE. If ONE score is following a different rule set (Intentionally or not) than the other FOUR, and you are requesting a rule change to accommodate the ONE are giving the ONE person an advantage that the other 4 player did not know they could have used.

    At this point, I would say the solution would be to create a new track with the rule change and move the #1 score to that track....but this will all have to be settled in a dispute.

  3. JasonV91's Avatar

    Please do NOT dispute any scores, or amend the rules - they are set correctly, and match the arcade track!

    I will provide more detail to explain when I get a few minutes to type out a response.

    ThanksSincerelyFranny, Snowflake thanked this post
  4. JasonV91's Avatar

    Ok, let me start by showing the rules for the MAME track:

    If you look at the names of the DIPs, and their settings (ignore the note next to the "Bonus Time" setting for a moment), I can agree that at first glance, common sense would tell you no bonus time would be awarded. However, if you apply the DIPs as shown above and play a game, you will see that you'll get bonus time awarded, as long as you score at least 350 points...per the MAME version history, this behavior applies to all versions - I tested this in versions 0.106, 0.139, and 0.212 (the latest available) and confirmed this is the case. So why doesn't this behavior match up to what I see for the DIP settings in the rules? Because the settings listed in the rules are just that, switch settings - they tell you how to set your DIPs, to get the proper game behavior for a submission, but they do not necessarily accurately describe that behavior.

    To show what I mean, let's take a look at the arcade rules for this game:

    If you looked at only the DIPs and their settings, would you have any idea as to what playing time, bonus time, and difficulty would be? No - you would either need to check the manual, or play through a credit of the game to determine what the above settings actually did. The "Note" field has conveniently been added to arcade tracks to describe the behavior of the game when those settings have been applied. Going back to the MAME track, you will see that instead of the DIPs being identified by their numbers, and the settings described as ON/OFF, the MAME developers have given the numbered switches and settings names (i.e. Track Set: Normal) - the idea, of course, was to make it easier to know what each switch did, removing the need for the "Note" field. The only problem? Like all of us, sometimes the MAME devs make mistakes, and the names given to either the DIPs or the settings can be wrong and/or misleading. In this case, they accidentally swapped the name of the settings for "Bonus Time" - setting it to "No" gives you bonus time at 350 points, and setting it to "Score = 350" results in no bonus time being awarded. So the descriptions you see in the MAME software are wrong, but the rules you see listed correctly take this into account (there's even the little hint next to the "No" setting). If you set your DIPs as described in the rules (ignoring the "meaning" of the names), your game's behavior will meet the submission requirements.

    I would approximate that well over 90% of the names given to the DIPs and settings on all MAME tracks accurately describe what the game's behavior will be when each is changed, but there are several examples where this isn't the case - this one, and all Century Electronics games (i.e. Hunchback, Gold Bug, Heart Attack, etc.) immediately spring to mind. When someone identifies a situation like this, we usually try to add a discussion note on the track so everyone knows before playing. MAME devs also make corrections to errors they find as new versions get released, so we try to track that too (i.e. Century Electronics games) - in the case of this track for example, if they fix the naming error, a player using the version they fixed it in would have to set their "Bonus Time" DIP to "Score = 350", while players using all previous versions would have it set to "No". Ideally, the rules could be updated to capture these differences, but as that can only be done by admins, for now, the discussion notes on each track will have to suffice.

    TLDR - the settings in the rules will give you the correct behavior for submitting to this track. For all MAME players, if you think there might be an error in the rules, always try playing a credit with the settings listed first, even if they don't look right, to see if the game's behavior is correct. If it's not, and there are no discussion notes on the thread listing anomalies, please create a wall post asking for another set of eyes to take a look before disputing scores, or requesting rule changes.

    Hope this helps :)

    LikesDoron liked this post
  5. Doron's Avatar

    Thank you ,Jason, for that very detailed answer.

    It was most helpful indeed .


  6. redelf's Avatar

    If you look at Marp they have special rules for this game and say to set it to "NO" which makes it so that you do get the bonus time. It looks like the top 2 scores on this track are correct, the 3rd looks like they set it to have bonus but didn't get it as their score is only 353. The scores below that don't matter what setting as they didn't reach the threshold so their score would be affected.

    Yeah I would say change the wording and such but don't go creating another track to clutter the scoreboard. No need to dispute any of the scores either.

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