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John73
06-24-2018 at 12:18 AM
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MAME Submissions without the need for an INP?



Still deciding if I will submit this score. The video is more about commentating on evidence packages that should be required than a serious potential submission.

Hopefully some people find this informative, it's my point of view and possibly the point of view of others who don't feel they can speak up on this matter as you do tend to get jumped on when you disagree with the more vocal in the community.

INP files have always been required for MAME, and I'm not seriously suggesting that should be changed, I'm just trying to point out that on other platforms, players and some in the community are deciding their own level of evidence is enough, evidence that flies directly in the face of how things have been for a long long time at Twin Galaxies and that this evidence is slowly moving in the wrong direction.

I am not talking about what happened in the days of playing live in front of a referee and those scores that are in the database as a result, I'm talking about what is required here and now.

Thanks for watching.
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  1. John73's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by HugDD
    Thanks for posting this John! I couldn't agree with you more on this point, this disagreeing. That said, it's most likely not good to not include .inp's, as that precedence has been set ever since Twin Galaxies accepted MAME submissions. Now granted, the legacy scores don't have publicly available .inps, perhaps they once were. The thing now is, it's gotten more complex for folks here in this TGSAP era, as directly uploaded videos are required for MAME submissions. I guess some folks need to learn how to use tools such as OBS to record their .inp playbacks for this purpose. Hopefully things'll come to make more sense in due time for everyone, cheers! :) -Duc
    Not sure if you watched the video and listened to my commentary, it's not really about allowing MAME submissions without INP files :)
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  2. HugDD's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by John73
    Not sure if you watched the video and listened to my commentary, it's not really about allowing MAME submissions without INP files :)

    Alrighty, and fair enough John, I just finished watching the remainder of your video and now see where you're going with this. The title for your wall post and YouTube video here are ambiguous/misleading, however. I didn't realize you were moving in the direction of Jason's current Arcade Lock 'n Chase submission. It's unfortunate that the discussion's been taking ugly turns, sigh. I'll acknowledge that you and several members are passionate about the fullest evidence shown in submission videos. Things are all mixed up though, and the community's accepted submissions in various public venues, not just Funspot, in which the boards and dipswitch settings weren't shown. I think the most important factor is folks' best intentions in making these submissions, whether they're new to Twin Galaxies or not. Some of this has to do with access to any various things, whether it's equipment, the interior of an arcade cabinet, heck, even limited access to a computer for some. These are good discussions I suppose, hopefully not too heated up, but I just don't think everyone's going to agree on everything.

    -Duc
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  3. John73's Avatar
    Thanks Duc,

    I am really not trying to be a trouble maker. If Jason's submission is accepted, I'm fine with that even though I don't agree. I will not dispute the score if the community agrees the submission is fine. If someone else sees fit to dispute it, well I that's up to them.

    I will however jump up and down if the community then rejects a submission from me at my local arcade when I don't film a PCB - the only reason that it could be rejected if Jason's score is approved would be on the grounds that it's not Funspot - i.e. they are approving a score based on one arcade over another.

    Just because I don't live in the USA and close enough to Funspot, should I therefore have to go above and beyond with my submissions.
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  4. Barthax's Avatar
    Hi John,

    I know you're linking to adjudication processes of Arcade and using MAME by example. So any comment I make on MAME verification is slightly off topic for your intention.

    However, I've watched the video in full and can inform you there are huge gaps in proof within your video that an INP would provide proof of. Not least, there's no proof you are using WolfMAME and there's no proof (due to batch file possibilities) that you are even showing the correct folder used. If you're not familiar with batch files then I expect this will look like I'm talking a pile of crap (been there already with other people). However, for those that are familiar with batch files they'll know that the batch file can hide huge amounts of information and you could actually be running your MAME game play from an entire different machine (heck the footage of the gameplay could be being rendered on an entirely different machine).

    Ultimately, my points are:
    - Using MAME to argue something about the visualisation of the PCB is only as good as confirming what settings might look like in the game & how to see them.
    - Every other aspect of MAME adjudication is unlikely to have a direct parallel to Arcade adjudication.
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    Updated 06-24-2018 at 05:26 AM by Barthax
  5. datagod's Avatar
    In my humble opinion, INP files are required for MAME because it is so easy to cheat with MAME. WolfMame prevents the uploading of cheat codes, save states, etc.

    INP + Video in my humble opinion is to make it even more difficult to cheat. Why the focus on MAME? Because that is the prime target of the cheating, that we know of so far.

    Video Capture of a MAME submission is not good enough in my opinion. I would prefer to see the player and the screen. I want to hear the player hitting the buttons, etc.

    Mandatory? I don't know. But I I feel a video is shady I'll comment and abstain.
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  6. Snowflake's Avatar
    reading comments, havent watched video yet. I'm one of the loud ones, but i'm glad that doesnt discourage you from speaking up. I want to speak up, but i want others to speak up as well. I hope for a lot of loud voices. Thank you for this and i will get to your video
  7. Snowflake's Avatar
    as othesr have expressed i think the analogy doesnt fully hold up. however you said something else, that though i have some disagreement on i also have some very strong reason to care and support as well.

    you mentioned about not living in america and not close to funspot -- now i'm 12 hrs from fun spot and some places are a lot further so plenty of americans have an issue too, but even still point taken.

    We call it "world records" we dont call it 'U.S.A records". We want to brag about global competitoin. Realisitically twin galaxies is NOT an international organization so much as its an American organizations with hopes of one day being global. Every time i see a new member from someplace other than america or canada it fills me hope that TG really will one day be a truly international organization. to that end, if we want our records to truly be "world records" then i think we all need to want to help members from other countries submit as easily as us.

    For the arcade issue in particular, remember two things. At one point funspot was the largest arcade in the world -- galloping ghost in chicago now has that honor. At another point it had a relationship with tg with them working together on official tournaments. So its not like someone just picked a random arcade to give special attention to, there is some history there. I would hope if an Australian arcade became the largest in the world, and put up a lot of respected scores from respected people it would also one day gain the same trust.
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    Updated 06-24-2018 at 10:43 AM by Snowflake
  8. John73's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax
    Hi John,

    I know you're linking to adjudication processes of Arcade and using MAME by example. So any comment I make on MAME verification is slightly off topic for your intention.

    However, I've watched the video in full and can inform you there are huge gaps in proof within your video that an INP would provide proof of. Not least, there's no proof you are using WolfMAME and there's no proof (due to batch file possibilities) that you are even showing the correct folder used. If you're not familiar with batch files then I expect this will look like I'm talking a pile of crap (been there already with other people). However, for those that are familiar with batch files they'll know that the batch file can hide huge amounts of information and you could actually be running your MAME game play from an entire different machine (heck the footage of the gameplay could be being rendered on an entirely different machine).

    Ultimately, my points are:
    - Using MAME to argue something about the visualisation of the PCB is only as good as confirming what settings might look like in the game & how to see them.
    - Every other aspect of MAME adjudication is unlikely to have a direct parallel to Arcade adjudication.
    Hi Andrew,

    Yes you are completely right, and in doing so are probably reinforcing what I'm trying to achieve here.

    Yes I know what a batch file is, and the the video was less than clear, which I could fix.

    Maybe had I done a DIR of the directory you will see there is a MAMEARCADE64.EXE - prossibly even a DIR /AH to show there was no hidden MAMEARCADE64.BAT file sitting there; if I remember my DOS days, .BAT is executed ahead of .EXE?

    You'll notice when I first try to run MAME with the AMIDARU ROM it didn't work - silly spelling mistake, or maybe again I had a hidden .BAT file called MAMEARCADD (or whatever I typed) that was doing something in the background.

    Hmm watch else, maybe I'll get a wide angle camera set up, showing me at the computer and I'll remove all power and reboot. Film around and inside my computer to show I have removed all wireless and wired network devices - no way I could use a VPN then is there? Of course go into control panel and show that no network devices are present etc - of course I could spoof this with a fake control panel program easily enough.

    Yes, agreed, there are various ways I could cheat - I've obviously gone to a lot of trouble to get around using an INP file for some reason - it seems suspicious doesn't it? Almost suspicious like a player not showing a PCB and DIPs does it not?

    Which to me leaves only one way that Jason's score could possibly be verified - that is Funspot is being used as credibility that it must be a real board without showing it?

    Of course with Jason's submission, we also have the further proof that MAME doesn't play the same as Arcade (for now anyway) - so that does help his case a little bit; but as I've already pointed out in his thread - are we now going to complicate the database further with a list of arcade games that are okay to film and submit without showing DIPs and PCBs? Seems messy is all I'm saying.

    Seems odd after all that we went through with the Billy Mitchell performance being disqualified, and having Billy removed from the TG database entirely, when had he just filmed it correctly and shown the PCB there could be no question over his score...... that now we have people wanting to accept arcade scores without filming the PCB? Funspot a relevant excuse for not filming? I think Billy came up for some excuse why his board wasn't filmed to?
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  9. Snowflake's Avatar
    You've made some mistakes on billy, but honestly, the truth only makes your point all the stronger. Billy did alot more than not show his board. he didnt willingly show anything. in fact the one thing he did show was the boardswap -- which showed he was cheating early on. the fact he showed a dk jr board for his dk perfromance wasnt enough to be considered 100% proof, but it was enough we all knew. now granted that enforces your point showing the board is important but i just wanted to point out how unclever and transparent billy was. he get away with it not because the rules are insufficient but because the rules werent enforced for him. I dont think its quite fair to compare someone who shows a fake board, but no gameplay with someone who shows full gameplay and no board.

    as for suspicision that can be an interesting point. psychology can factor in to some degree, trying to guess cheating by body language or other things. its sketchy but not entirely without merit. i mean, if in the video i heard the owner say "hey buddy for you just this once lets show the board' and jason was like "no no really i dont want to" well yeah that'd be suspicious and you better believe i'd take that into account. this is why though it was important to me to point out that funspot wouldnt allow that so it wasnt really jasons fault. i didnt see it as suspicious at all. also going with that, if funspot starts opening the machine up for some people but not others, or some machines but not others, then yes i'd see that as suspicious too. but so far i've seen nothing suspicious

    one other thing i can think to back up your point about simplification, is it seems thats the only reason full video is demanded for mame when inp is enough. it sure seems like video is unncessary but when video direct upload was demanded as an across the board rule no exception was made for mame. if a "show board" rule is to be created then it would likely be ubiquitious without exception. maybe such a rule will be added soon?

    for now there is no show board rule. its more of a "do you believe the board is rule, use whatever means you deem fit to determine that" -- and the vast majority of the time the only way to be sure is by seeing it. but right now the rule is simple in the sense that its simply "do you believe the score is valid" and of course part of a valid score is real board so the only rule is you must believe the board is valid.
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  10. Blackflag82's Avatar
    I'm confused...in Jason's thread you said you were going to record yourself playing some arcade games without showing the board. Instead, you've recorded MAME without INP to make a point. I see where you're going, but ultimately you're comparing apples to oranges...tons of similarities, but at the end of the day, they're different fruits. Go and record a game at an arcade and submit it. Then some discussion on what is actually happening or not can be had. You seem convinced that only an arcade recording at Funspot will get away with not showing the board...Perhaps you are right, but until there is an actual test case (or likely a handful of test cases) this is just speculation, which doesn't really strengthen or weaken anyone's case.
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  11. John73's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackflag82
    I'm confused...in Jason's thread you said you were going to record yourself playing some arcade games without showing the board. Instead, you've recorded MAME without INP to make a point. I see where you're going, but ultimately you're comparing apples to oranges...tons of similarities, but at the end of the day, they're different fruits. Go and record a game at an arcade and submit it. Then some discussion on what is actually happening or not can be had. You seem convinced that only an arcade recording at Funspot will get away with not showing the board...Perhaps you are right, but until there is an actual test case (or likely a handful of test cases) this is just speculation, which doesn't really strengthen or weaken anyone's case.
    Can't reply right now, too hard on mobile phone. Will address this tonight.
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  12. John73's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackflag82
    I'm confused...in Jason's thread you said you were going to record yourself playing some arcade games without showing the board.
    Yes I did. I didn't do it for a couple of reasons, a) ran out of time on Saturday, b) need some sort of suitable "selfie" type stick to record using my phone and c) most importantly, there is no real point in doing so until I see what happens with Jasons submission.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackflag82
    Instead, you've recorded MAME without INP to make a point. I see where you're going, but ultimately you're comparing apples to oranges...tons of similarities, but at the end of the day, they're different fruits. Go and record a game at an arcade and submit it. Then some discussion on what is actually happening or not can be had. You seem convinced that only an arcade recording at Funspot will get away with not showing the board...Perhaps you are right, but until there is an actual test case (or likely a handful of test cases) this is just speculation, which doesn't really strengthen or weaken anyone's case.
    The reason for this was that we did somehow end up getting onto the subject of INP being required for MAME submissions if PCB isn't required for arcade submissions in Jason's.

    Some of the comments in here have actually given me food for thought that it would be possible, though very difficult, to submit and have approved a MAME score without INP. Why would I want to do this? Maybe to make the point that just because you can, doesn't mean you should?

    It would also go to prove that something that has always been required for MAME, can be done away with if you try hard enough; again, that doesn't make it right - much is my belief that not filming of PCBs isn't something that should be allowed or encouraged by anyone, anywhere.

    TGSAP has a lot of positives in my opinion, but it is also being used to find loopholes such as in the Lock 'n' Chase submission where something as traditional as filming a PCB is done away with. I'm well aware of members who say that there are already scores in the database where boards weren't filmed, to the best of my knowledge these were Funspot or similar TG sanctioned events from BITD I would hope that Walter and other referee's did in fact validate the boards before play commenced. Either way, that was then, this is now.
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  13. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by John73
    Hi Andrew,

    Yes you are completely right, and in doing so are probably reinforcing what I'm trying to achieve here.

    Yes I know what a batch file is, and the the video was less than clear, which I could fix.

    Maybe had I done a DIR of the directory you will see there is a MAMEARCADE64.EXE - prossibly even a DIR /AH to show there was no hidden MAMEARCADE64.BAT file sitting there; if I remember my DOS days, .BAT is executed ahead of .EXE?

    You'll notice when I first try to run MAME with the AMIDARU ROM it didn't work - silly spelling mistake, or maybe again I had a hidden .BAT file called MAMEARCADD (or whatever I typed) that was doing something in the background.

    Hmm watch else, maybe I'll get a wide angle camera set up, showing me at the computer and I'll remove all power and reboot. Film around and inside my computer to show I have removed all wireless and wired network devices - no way I could use a VPN then is there? Of course go into control panel and show that no network devices are present etc - of course I could spoof this with a fake control panel program easily enough.

    Yes, agreed, there are various ways I could cheat - I've obviously gone to a lot of trouble to get around using an INP file for some reason - it seems suspicious doesn't it? Almost suspicious like a player not showing a PCB and DIPs does it not?

    Which to me leaves only one way that Jason's score could possibly be verified - that is Funspot is being used as credibility that it must be a real board without showing it?

    Of course with Jason's submission, we also have the further proof that MAME doesn't play the same as Arcade (for now anyway) - so that does help his case a little bit; but as I've already pointed out in his thread - are we now going to complicate the database further with a list of arcade games that are okay to film and submit without showing DIPs and PCBs? Seems messy is all I'm saying.

    Seems odd after all that we went through with the Billy Mitchell performance being disqualified, and having Billy removed from the TG database entirely, when had he just filmed it correctly and shown the PCB there could be no question over his score...... that now we have people wanting to accept arcade scores without filming the PCB? Funspot a relevant excuse for not filming? I think Billy came up for some excuse why his board wasn't filmed to?
    Hi John,

    You're right in that batch files take precedence over the executable but also the PATH environment dictates the order of directories scanned too - your batch file could be initiated from anywhere. ;)

    Anyway, something I've learned about the adjudication process (6 years as a ref and been here for most of the TGSAP) is no matter what "angle" (physical or other) you care to lob at ensuring correct validation, there's a cheat method that voids it. Trust is a huge part of the adjudication process. Alas, the more we publicly discuss the cheat methods, the more cheat methods we have to understand and dictate against. The more rules/precedents we make, the more difficult it is to get a score on the scoreboard at all. :(

    Everyone has their own comfort zone with the adjudication process. People need to keep voicing their opinions (as you and many others, including myself, do), keep the conversation going with good nature (as this is) and understanding that people have different opinions (as we're all showing). Together, the community can weed out the problem performances, weed out the problems in adjudications and gather good practices. :)

    Ultimately, this conversation isn't any different from countless others. However, such conversations help a wider spread of knowledge and more voices to voice understanding of the difficulties that simple video adjudication has. Seeing is believing but not everyone wants to see everything. :D
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  14. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by John73
    Some of the comments in here have actually given me food for thought that it would be possible, though very difficult, to submit and have approved a MAME score without INP. Why would I want to do this? Maybe to make the point that just because you can, doesn't mean you should?
    There are already scores in the database without INP due to the recording in MAME being borked. @datagod I believe has a TGSAP submission for one such game and I know @RTM has Chiller in the old TG era of Referee verification.

    Quote Originally Posted by John73
    TGSAP has a lot of positives in my opinion, but it is also being used to find loopholes such as in the Lock 'n' Chase submission where something as traditional as filming a PCB is done away with. I'm well aware of members who say that there are already scores in the database where boards weren't filmed, to the best of my knowledge these were Funspot or similar TG sanctioned events from BITD I would hope that Walter and other referee's did in fact validate the boards before play commenced. Either way, that was then, this is now.
    There are multiple submissions without board verification in TGSAP era, primarily Funspot achievements (which goes back to "favouritism/legacy" possibility). From memory, there is a Super Sprint submission which had settings confirm from footage (I remember doing a lot of tests for that one) - may not have been Funspot. [Edit: may have been Championship Sprint, not Super Sprint...]


    There are always exceptions to the rule at TG. :D
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    Updated 06-25-2018 at 11:45 AM by Barthax
  15. datagod's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax
    There are already scores in the database without INP due to the recording in MAME being borked. @datagod I believe has a TGSAP submission for one such game and I know @RTM has Chiller in the old TG era of Referee verification.
    In my case the game is Space Tactics. I included my INP, but during playback it craps out around the 17,000 mark. I tried several versions of mame and the game just does not produce viable INP's. They all stopped functioning properly around the same point in the game.

    I also uploaded the full video of me playing which is what allowed my score to go through.

    There is a current dispute open on this game, as Patrick Patterson's score is being challenged. He claims his score was reviewed via INP. I don't believe that. I believe it was just creative use of "filler" scores and either a friendly wink nod to a fellow employee or his used his wife's account to enter and verify the score. But that is all brought up in the dispute. No need to hash that out here.

  16. Barra's Avatar
    Through video alone it’s impossible to tell if you’re playing on an altered ROMset. You could hack the ROM and make subtle changes that aren’t detectable to the eye

    :)
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  17. John73's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax
    Hi John,

    You're right in that batch files take precedence over the executable but also the PATH environment dictates the order of directories scanned too - your batch file could be initiated from anywhere. ;)
    Actually, if the file exists in the current directory and you are not specifying another directory as part of calling the file, then PATH will have no effect. A RECORD.BAT file in the say C:WindowsProgram FilesBlahhblahh directory will not get called from the C:WOLF185 directory if the same file name exists in that. It will only get called if it's not found, and then the system will iterate the PATH$ variable to find the first occurance, if any, of the RECORD.BAT file - but I feel we're getting a little off track :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax
    Anyway, something I've learned about the adjudication process (6 years as a ref and been here for most of the TGSAP) is no matter what "angle" (physical or other) you care to lob at ensuring correct validation, there's a cheat method that voids it. Trust is a huge part of the adjudication process. Alas, the more we publicly discuss the cheat methods, the more cheat methods we have to understand and dictate against. The more rules/precedents we make, the more difficult it is to get a score on the scoreboard at all. :(
    Exactly - let's keep it simple, common sense is fine with me as long as it is applied equally, and I fear it won't be. Time will tell. Making rules that no filming a PCB is fine if you also apply rules a, b, and c for games x, y and z. But rules a, b and c don't apply for game q because it wasn't played at arcade hij is just complicating things.
  18. John73's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barra
    Through video alone it’s impossible to tell if you’re playing on an altered ROMset. You could hack the ROM and make subtle changes that aren’t detectable to the eye

    :)
    I did actually mention in my video towards the end, that if I was going to go over the top - I would actually open each ROM file with a HEX editor - could even probably run a checksum on the file so that others could compare.

    Thankfully, you can't alter ROMs on original hardware...... oh wait.....
  19. Snowflake's Avatar
    let me try another angle on this. Because the real issue you're right of course, things need to be simple. At the same time though I dont want to throw out valid performances and i'm willing to go through some complex steps to protect them if possible.

    Complications and exception only come in to help make accepting easier right? Theres never complications where you have to reject something you'd normally accept? The only thing even close i can think is track&field mame where not everyone, but enough of the voters insist on seeing hands -- on arcade show hands is explicitly stated in the rules so its not an exception to a general rule to just know, its explictly stated.

    so, if you think something is acceptable based on the simple rules, it is. Dont worry you might be missing something. When something follows on general principle rules, it accepted, simple as that. This covers the vast majority of cases and you can get all the submission points you need this way.

    For the few things that look like a reject, well, view rejecting as complicated. We want to go through alot of effort to give people every possible chance to defend themselves right? If you're notwilling to go through that complicated effort, theres enough of us who are, why not just abstain on the complicated ones and let the more obsessive members handle it? I previoulsy suggested asking question on the complicated would be rejects, but abstaining works too.

    Basically i'm wondering if theres a compromise. Is there a way you'd be satisified having enough simple things that you can be invovled in the site, but at the same time allow/accept some situations are complicated and leave the door open to be willing to accept some complication if it helps keep things more accurate?

    by the way i've been thinking about the source of contention trying to create a general rule from it and i cant. ultimately i cant even prove funspot has all good boards. i'm just going on word of mouth by people i trust -- and thats problematic when you use trust. I'd just really hate to make blanket rules for the sake of simplicity, because as great as simplicity is, it does come at a price.
  20. Barra's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by John73
    Thankfully, you can't alter ROMs on original hardware...... oh wait.....
    No amount of filming is going to show that! :)
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