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Thread title:  
Hello!

I'm currently working on a speedrun of this game, I started to work on it around april. I played this game when I was kid, it was my favourite but I couldn't finish it, I was always blocked at the library, those evil monks scared me.

I've submitted my last run to speedrun dot com, my current PB (and WR) is 22:43 (https://www.speedrun.com/time_gate_knights_chase#Any). Base on my training best times, I can easily do a sub 22 on my next run, so far 21:18 would be my best possible run. Currently I'm practicing the game segments and I'm searching for new improvements. Since I became a dad 2 months ago, I don't have so much time to spend on this speedrun, hopefully after september I will have more time.

All my notes are available on this google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ft1gBANt_rV6b0rVHhEjIVpgmQ0giUEJv2bsI05Fsv8/edit?usp=sharing

---------

I'm anwering a previous thread here (https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/time_gate_knights_chase_available_for_verification__due_2020.06.23_5.html#time_gate_knights_chase_available_for_verification__due_2020.06.23_5)


I just finished AITD and I also watch NHG's speedrun, very interesting all those clipping abuses ahah.
I can tell a lot of things has been fix on Time gate, especially the running with the shift key and the clipping.

Quote:
Does the Room Viewer show which angle the actors are facing?

yes the viewer shoes the angle, I haven't try that feature this tool yet. Actually using that tool I could have this perfect 90 degree angle, but I haven't a way to do it every time without this tool

Quote:
Did you already read the manual for this game completely?

When you mentioned about this pause key, I immediately check the official manual. I was hopping to find a shortcut for the actions (fight, search, push) but nothing, just mute and unmute sounds.

Quote:
The other thing to do is go through whatever people have been writing about the game

I couldn't find anything, looks like very few people are interested in this game yet. The only thing I found is some playthrough youtube videos. I haven't some people who develop this game, They don't remember so much about the game.
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-06-25 09:31:40 am
arnaud33200: 2020-06-25 09:31:22 am
Actually the Pause Key works for the glitch while following the monk. The game allow us to enter the items menu while pausing, it will be faster and less risky.
I can save 5 seconds on this part with this new pause strat
Congrats on your baby!

Here's a few more things to look into and try. Again, I have to assume some similarities between AitD and TG that may not be there.:
- Does the Room Viewer show other values than the actors' coordinates and angle? What are they?
- What DOSBox settings are you using BTW? Since the game has an official re-release, whatever settings that release uses should be used when speedrunning it since it's otherwise quite arbitrary. I don't know if it affects running in this game at all, but it will affect lag.
- ALT-F12 makes the game go faster if you have to wait for something.
- If you'd like to display your key presses while playing (and record it so you can check what you did afterwards), you can use NohBoard. Here is my copy. Run as administrator. If it doesn't show the AitD configuration (just the numpad with ESC and SPACE added in), you should find it in the presets.
- Like I mentioned in the other thread, check why your split program seems to show on the left edge. Was that just you cropping it slightly wrong?
- The game uses three coordinates: Room, World and ZV. You probably will only need to use the room coordinates when warping things around, and it's the default as well.
- If you like, you can download Cheat Engine. This tool can be used for slowing the game down without affecting how it works (like changing CPU cycles would). It's the "speed hack" option. I've used this a couple of times myself. It makes it possible to give very precise inputs.
- Even though the manual doesn't list other hotkeys, you should still test every key just in case. E.g. in AitD, hitting 'i' takes you to the inventory.
- Are you interested only in a real-time (single-segment) run or maybe also segmented? If you are interested in doing a segmented run also, you should read the part called "saving/loading". I don't currently know whether saving and loading ("resets") should be allowed for single-segment AitD etc. runs or not. NHG didn't use them. Sometimes runs are split into different categories based on it. In this case it might be that with resets and without resets would be too similar even if you can use it for something.
- Read the part about "pausing".
- Where it says POSREL under "LIFE scripts", it lists five possibilities. This is what determines what side of a particular actor (this could be a bookshelf or whatever) you have to be on to do something with it, e.g. searching it. Never assume that you can only do something off the side that makes sense. And also, like it says, the angle you're facing is also important.
- Should test every possible combination of BODY and something that involves changing the PC's ANIM. In AitD, some BODYs are missing from the script where it should cause the falling death when you run over the crack in the floor, and so it doesn't cause that to happen. The BODY is just what the 3D model looks like: it's different depending on if you have the robe on or not, and what item you're holding out. So keep picking up every item that changes it! It might be TG was coded more carefully than AitD though.
- You might be able to keep inventory access (a.k.a. INV) by holding SPACE at various times. Generally there may be differences in what happens at various times depending on if SPACE is held. Different keys held together could also make a difference. Sometimes there's only a one-frame window.
- Read where it says "VAR 24 is set to 1 when you're moving backwards". Impossible to know whether this could be useful or not.

There are many parts in the guide that are a bit difficult to follow before knowing about certain other things but there's nothing that can be done about that. Anyway, tell me when you need more leads.
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-06-27 10:04:37 pm
Quote:
Does the Room Viewer show other values than the actors' coordinates and angle?

yes there is an "extra information" option with the viewer, actually I didn't use it until today. with that we have the following info: Type, id, flags/col, room, room_pos, world_pos, zv_pos, zv_size, mod, offset, distance, angle, life/lifemode, body/anim, trackmode, slot.

Quote:
What DOSBox settings are you using BTW?

for the cpu cycles, I'm using: "cycles=75000", "cycleup=1000", "cycledown=500". if the cycle is too high, pushing the cross at the end would not work. I tried different value for the cycle until it's good enough. for the cross, the best is 10000, but it makes the game laggy a bit. otherwise I would use "cycle=max".

Quote:
ALT-F12 makes the game go faster if you have to wait for something.

oh nice! that would be useful when I practice for some segments.

Quote:
If you'd like to display your key presses while playing

interesting, thanks for sharing! I will try it

Quote:
why your split program seems to show on the left edge

I've never cropped the video, maybe someone else cropped it or it was done automatically when I uploaded the video to speed demos archive server.

Quote:
If you like, you can download Cheat Engine

I did, I've used it in the past and for TG I search some variables. I didn't know about slowing the CPU, it can be fun, almost like a TAS. One time I tried changing the value of the last item in the inventory to see how the game react, like using the horn in different level.

Quote:
you should still test every key just in case

Actually I forgot to try combination of keys, like space + another key. I will try again.

Quote:
Are you interested only in a real-time (single-segment) run or maybe also segmented?

For the moment I'm doing only single-segment. In the rules I put saving allowed in case there will be a glitch that can be used. One time I had a funny glitch when after saving & loading, the rotation speed was suuuper fast, I might have a video somewhere. I think this is something that can be discuss when other runner are involved or when we want to have another category for this game (Any% Glitchless)

Quote:
Where it says POSREL under "LIFE scripts", it lists five possibilities

I will look into it, thanks

Quote:
Should test every possible combination of BODY and something that involves changing the PC's ANIM

I realize glitch I found to skip the guard is similar to what you described: by forcing to change the BODY/ANIM at the right frame, the script cancel the action and the game continue normally. Using AITD Room Viewer, the variable "LIFE/LIFEMODE" seems to indicate when the script start and with action would be able to cancel it. I think Time Gate Devs were aware of that, sometime droping an item is disabled in some specific area, like the wooden beams part.

Quote:
You might be able to keep inventory access (a.k.a. INV) by holding SPACE at various times

I'm gonna try that too

Quote:
Read where it says "VAR 24 is set to 1 when you're moving backwards"

okay I will but that in my todo list too
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-06-27 10:04:13 pm
I did some researching with the game using the AITD Room Viewer, I found two new "Script Cancel" glitches. reading a bit about Life Script, I was thinking to call this glitch "Death Manager Cancel", what do you think?

here is what I found:

-- at the museum, it's possible to go through the laser doors using the catapult at the right frame. It's possible to use it in the run, I was able to stop at the right frame many time without using the tool. It's actually more easy than going through the laser room with the catapult and it saves around 3 seconds in the run. Video here:


-- while escaping the jail on the wooden beams, I can open the menu when the falling scrip start and drop an item. William will be able to run freely anywhere. But one problem though, it only works dropping a key, other items doesn't work, maybe the devs knew about it. using the tool to change the position, I was able to pass through a door without using the key, so for the moment it cannot be used in the run. It would save around 3 seconds and it's risk free compare to a regular run through the beams. Video here:
RV info: Oh, does it really show all that information for Time Gate? Wow. I'll keep that in mind when I tell you more things to read.

Could you please try to find out what values (CPU cycles and CPU type) are the defaults in either the GOG or Steam release of the game! That's the only value we can accept. Otherwise it might not be fair (it could depend on how fast your computer is how fast the game can be made to run). I should have remembered to ask about this during the verification.

Glitchless is difficult to define for AitD 1 at least.

Dropping: Yeah, dropping something takes you to a different LIFE.

Did tigrou explain why the background is shown white in the Room Viewer? It shows blue with AitD. It makes it difficult to see the PC clearly when it's white, and it's really bright just in general. I don't know if I like it.

You didn't explain what the Death Manager Cancel is.

Catapult glitch: Looks like what happens is when you use the catapult, the game temporarily replaces the actor that is being controlled with another actor, giving it TRACKMODE 1 (MANUAL) which is what the PC normally has. That's why the RV shows the catapult in white with an arrow: it's only looking for the actor that has TRACKMODE 1 to know which actor should be drawn that way. It looks like while you're controlling the catapult, your ZV size (bounding box size) and position changes significantly because "you" are now the catapult and the catapult has different dimensions. That's probably why you're now that much shorter (ZV Y-size). As you can see, the Y-coordinate also goes up to -2300 (the axis is inverted). I can't imagine why this happens, but it's probably not something that normally happens when you control the catapult. This would be the reason why you can suddenly go around the lasers: if you hit D in the viewer, you can see that the lasers themselves are probably pretty tall, but the walls around them are not. You're actually going OVER the walls. It doesn't look like you've risen any higher, but that's because the game draws an actor's model where their ROOM coordinates are, not ZV. Similarly, you are running over the walls in the next couple of rooms. You might just be able to run straight to the enemy, or wherever else you need to go. Luckily the ZV coordinates are only used with collision detection and nothing else: you are still hitting all the triggers normally to move from room to room. Also when you fight the enemy, the hitbox (I don't know if those are drawn for you, it's a box that's used to determine if a melee attack has hit something) is connected to one of the BODY vertices, not to the bbox.

Anything else that causes a change in your bbox should be made note of.

BTW: Why isn't there any sound? I always turn the music off but leave the sound on myself.

Key-dropping glitch: I don't know how dropping is implemented in TG... obviously just dropping a key at a different time doesn't work? Has to be when you're about to start falling? And are you sure you just didn't have the right timing with other items? I can't immediately tell why that stops you from being able to fall. I guess you can't jump in this game? So the hover trick from AitD probably doesn't work.

You shouldn't necessarily be thinking about what does or doesn't save time. Routing is something that's only worth thinking about right before you're starting to record a run. I waited years before testing routes. They can always change completely so it's wasted effort.
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-06-30 10:33:45 am
arnaud33200: 2020-06-30 10:32:22 am
arnaud33200: 2020-06-29 09:49:47 pm
Quote:
Could you please try to find out what values (CPU cycles and CPU type) are the defaults in either the GOG or Steam

Steam has it on sale now for $3, I just bought it! I check the configuration file, they have "cycles=auto" and "cputype=auto". I tried to push the cross at the end of the game and the cross doesn't move, even with the pause action trick. This is crazy they have that as a default, means no-one can finish the game without changing the dosbox conf file? I realized the pause buffering I've been doing with the ENTER key doesn't work with "cycles=auto". With "output=openglnb" and cycles not auto, the pause buffering with "P" key doesn't work.

Do we need to be strict with the rules like having the same dosbox conf file as the steam / gog version? or since we have to chance the cycle to finish the game properly, can we just change other options too?

Also I notices the Pause button act differently: on my version (abandonware france), when pressing "P" again, the game stays paused and advance to the next frame. With the Steam's version (English) pressing "P" again will unpause the game and pressing the ENTER key while it's paused will just unpause, so I cannot use it to open the menu on the right frame. I couldn't find any config file for that, maybe it's inside the timegate.exe. is it still valid to be used in the run? without it, I can just pause buffer with the ENTER key as I did before.

Quote:
tigrou explain why the background is shown white in the Room Viewer?

I change the background myself ahah. I prefere having a white background, plus I wanted to do some screenshots

Quote:
You didn't explain what the Death Manager Cancel is

I saw that in the guide: "LIFE 39: the death manager. The player is taken here at times when they're supposed to die. There is no way to escape it other than hitting a transition". I don't know if it's the situation but it's pretty much the same, William cannot move and will die after the cut scene is done. I feel they all pretty much the same glitch: change the LIFE at the same time

Quote:
Anything else that causes a change in your bbox should be made note of.

I see! yeah looks like the actor box size is smaller enough to pass between the wall and the laser door collider.

Quote:
Why isn't there any sound? I always turn the music off but leave the sound on myself.

one video I might have turned off the music by accident (pressing ";" key) but I think for one of video I forgot to add the audio output while recording

Quote:
obviously just dropping a key at a different time doesn't work?

yes, has to be at the same frame as the falling, when the LIFE is changing. other items are maybe programmed to not work at all in the beams area. I try to change the items using CheatEngine, it works with other items from other level like the cross dropped by the old templar.

Quote:
You shouldn't necessarily be thinking about what does or doesn't save time

Not so sure what you meant. So far I have a route already setup, I found some small improvements but at the end the route is the same. I think it will be a big change when I will find big glitch like going through any doors. I might record a new run in few weeks when I feel trained enough for each segments
DOSBox settings: Ah, you meant that it literally can't be moved at all? That sounds pretty interesting. Does every pushable object behave that way? I've asked the admin chat what we do in this kind of situation. Let's see what we can find out.

Wait, when you actually launch the game, does it show a particular cycles value and cputype at the top of the window?

Death Manager Cancel: Well, I still don't understand the question. So is this some particular situation in TG?

Catapult glitch: No, you're not passing BETWEEN anything, you're passing over the wall and next to the lasers. Maybe that's what you meant.

Dropping key: Can't really say what might be going on but keep a look-out for if maybe the keys act different from other objects somewhere else as well.

Whenever you record a run, you're not really doing anything constructive. It's very inefficient. You're not learning anything new. The time you finish in is just a silly number. You could find things that completely change what you do in some part and a lot of effort will have been wasted. I've been studying AitD for many years now, and I haven't even started recording a run. I will only do one run right at the end.

Yeah, so tell me when you need more tips on what to read in the guide.
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-06-30 09:44:25 pm
Quote:
Ah, you meant that it literally can't be moved at all?

yes, without pause trick it doesn't move at all and that's the only object we push during the all game actually ahah. with the pause trick it moves very little, it takes 1:03 minutes instead of 13 seconds with "cycles=75000". Another way without changing the conf file is to reduce the CPU cycle down to 1% using CTRL+F11, it will be 11 seconds but I don't think it's correct to do that during a run. okay thanks, let's see what the admin will say.

Quote:
does it show a particular cycles value and cputype at the top of the window?

even with "auto" it only show "max 100%" at the top. I've tried a DosBox SVN but the game didn't work properly for some reason.

Quote:
I still don't understand the question

my question was more about what do you think about naming this glitch like that? and if you confirm that they are indeed part of Death manager as described in the guide.

Quote:
No, you're not passing BETWEEN anythin

Using the Room Viewer, I can see william is blocked by all the wall of the current room (E1R0). looks like the laser door is setup as an Actor that block william. there is a small space between this laser door actor and the wall, The glitch cancel the alarm trigger and also allow passing through walls on the other rooms, I can go through the well in the middle of the garden.

Quote:
Whenever you record a run, you're not really doing anything constructive.

I like doing some iterations of the run, it's more about how fast I can go little by little and not about having the perfect run, otherwise it would be more like a TAS. when you said "one run right at the end", the problem is I don't know when it will be "the end" and I don't want to spend too much time on that either, especially next month I will go back to work and I will focus on other things. I agree, it's important to study the game and understand all the details, it's super interesting, But I also enjoy recording a full run and beat my PB. But yeah definitely I will work again on the run in the future, especially if someone else beat my time
Quote:
I will only do one run

Are you planning to beat the WR? so you haven't done any run yet?

SDA has the old record for the Alone in the dark: http://speeddemosarchive.com/AloneInTheDark.html
looks like now it's 6:21. I guess it's same as speedrun.com, only the runner can submit the run right?
Obviously there was a point when the game worked normally. Would you like to try and see if this version behaves any different from GOG/Steam? You could do a file comparison first. I don't know what the best way to do that is.

Do you mean there is absolutely nothing else in the game you can push or that you don't have to do that in the run? If there is another object, would be nice to know if the same problems occur with those.

Death Manager Cancel: I don't know WHAT glitch you're talking about. The one where you stop yourself from falling off the beams? Does that normally kill you? Remember I don't know anything about the game. Does the PC clearly go to a specific LIFE every time he dies then? If so, I guess you can call the trick that.

Catapult Glitch: All actors will block any other actor that has its collision flag on. That continues to happen here. So it seems that if you touch that actor that represents the lasers, the game reacts in some way. There is very likely some clause (maybe in the laser wall actor's LIFE) where it says "IF COL_BY == PLAYER; SET alarm 1" or something like that. Whatever the specific requirement is for triggering the alarm is no longer met after the swap has happened. I don't immediately know what that could be.

Iterations: I could be working on my own run right now. I don't want to spend time to help creating a run that's still so easily improvable by just studying everything that's already known about the engine. Do I (and tigrou) have to explain everything again to the next person who comes along? There can be a dozen runs, each adding one new thing with slightly better execution, but instead there could also just be one run, and the next person who comes along can run a different game or category. That way we get more runs altogether and I have to waste less time in verification and writing about them on the front page. Quality over quantity. If you just find out something about the game and make sure that information is always available and freely editable (which is why the wiki guides are perfect), you've still contributed something.

Only the runner can submit a run. NHG didn't submit the last run he did because I told him we should publish our runs at the same time. I didn't have a clue how much more things there were to study in AitD, and maybe also Time Gate. I'll ask him again when my segmented run is ready.
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-07-04 09:35:08 am
arnaud33200: 2020-07-03 06:54:53 am
arnaud33200: 2020-07-03 06:50:27 am
arnaud33200: 2020-07-02 08:14:59 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-02 06:27:53 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-02 06:17:31 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-02 06:17:18 pm
Quote:
Would you like to try and see if this version behaves any different from GOG/Steam?

that's the version I used when I record my run, I remember I had to do the same dosbox.conf change for the cycles. So far the only difference I noticed is the pause behaviour as I described in my previous thread. I haven't found somewhere saying the version number of the game I'm playing, I don't know if they changed something with the re-release version. For now I will not use the Pause key for the glitches.
this is all the difference between abandonware & steam:

                  | abandonware      | steam         
---------------|---------------------|----------------
version        | DOSBox 0.74        | DOSBox SVN
fullscreen      | true                    | false
fullresolution | original                | desktop
output          | ddraw                  | openglnb
mapperfile    | mapper-0.74.map | mapper-SVN.map
cycleup        | 1000                  | 10
cycledown    | 500                    | 20
gus              | true                    | false
joysticktype  | auto                    | none

looks like the steam version is faster because of the "output=openglnb", other param doesn't seems to have any impact on the game.
with "cycles=auto", it's faster and there is zero lags, and for the cross to push, I found that smashing between "P" key and "[" key is as fast as "cycles=75000"! Overall with the steam version and the default conf, It's around 72 seconds faster on my best segments, I can get a sub 20 minutes for the full run. The only negative part is glitches are more difficult to do, I have to smash ENTER key faster. for the catapult glitch it's too difficult, I might not include it in the next run if I use the steam version. I might prefer to use the abandonware version with the default settings since it's more easy for glitches.

is it ok to either use the abandonware or stream/GOG version? Is there a rule about the version of the game for AITD?

Quote:
Do you mean there is absolutely nothing else in the game you can push

yes I'm pretty sure that's the only object in the game we are physically pushing. Other parts of the game, the push action is use to active things, like opening the door to the cryptorium.

Quote:
I don't know WHAT glitch you're talking about

all of them, the catapult, when following the monk, falling from the beams, ... William's LIFE changes when those events are trigger. maybe it's slighty different with the old templar since we still have access to the menu screen. And the catapult is actually kind of a mix of the death manager cancel (cancel the alarm) and a type of actor body swap if I understood properly (that allow us to go through walls & actor).

Quote:
There can be a dozen runs, each adding one new thing with slightly better execution

I understand your point of view, it's great if you and NHG are working together on it! I see speedrunning almost like a competition about who is getting the best Time and at the same time a theory part of it to discover everything about the game. Since it can be a long time until a new route is found, it's good to have a video of a run to say "that's what we are right now".

Quote:
Does the PC clearly go to a specific LIFE every time he dies then?

I'm not sure, what does "PC" stand for? also same for "INV", is it inventory? but yeah the LIFE change every time he is about to die.

Quote:
have to explain everything again to the next person who comes along?

I think the guide for AITD is really well detailed, but as I said not easy to diggest. If I can suggest something, it would be nice to have different pages instead of one gigantic page, for instance a page about the game, a page the about details only for the speedrun, a page for the other full technical aspects. Also it would be nice to have a glossary at the beginning. It might help to have some videos (not a full run) of some tricks or some part of the route.

-------------------------

Btw, I've tried NohBoard, this is great! setting up a perfect layout is not easy but I ended with a good one I will show on my next run
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2020-07-04 03:32:20 pm
I would call the catapult glitch the catapult glitch since there's probably never going to be another trick related to the catapult, "death manager cancel" sounds really clumsy and also there could be many tricks that could be called that so it's not a good name for a trick. Instead call it something like "fall interrupt". There's two ways of naming tricks: one based on the speedrunner's point of view, the other on a game-internal point of view. I don't know enough about how these tricks work to be able to say what they should be called from the latter.

PC: player character, the one you control. We should use certain standard abbreviations, they're all in the glossary in the guide.

NHG is not doing anything at the moment, and also I am not going to do a single-segment run at all. I don't really care about those.

Competition is gay. It's hugely overrated in terms of what actually causes faster runs to happen. By the time that you've recorded the next record run, you could already have found something to make it faster if you had spent that time doing testing instead.

Answers to the DOSBox questions are coming...

EDIT: Guide - I can't separate it into different pages or it will make editing it even more of a pain! I have to be able to search the entire text. Also there ARE separate pages that are only about a particular category: navigate to the main page and you can see what NHG wrote about the latest SDA run there. And there is a glossary. :/ The videos are coming eventually.
Quote:
"death manager cancel" sounds really clumsy and also there could be many tricks

I was thinking those glitches have one thing in common, but I think you are right, I will give a different name for each glitch

Quote:
they're all in the glossary in the guide

Actually I didn't see this glossary, sorry ^^

Quote:
Answers to the DOSBox questions are coming...

Sweet! I'm thinking to record a run before the end of July before taking a break with this game.

-------

I had a talk with one developer of Time Gate, he confirmed the team took alone in the dark 3 motor and improve it (better texture, sound, ...). he also mentioned that they fix some bugs on it, it's been a long time so he doesn't remember so well about the details, he said I know better than him at this point ahah. he confirmed that some items cannot be drop in some area to prevent glitches
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2020-07-07 11:06:34 am
To return to this DOSBox question: Since there ARE no defaults for DOS games, we have to take whatever is set as default in those official GOG/Steam releases. I think so far it's always been a fixed cycles count though. That's why this is a bit different. I asked tigrou about this and sounds like a fast computer will certainly run the game faster with the "auto" settings. So we have to set a particular cycles count. We're thinking 30 000 might be a good compromise (AitD 1 only runs at 11 000). tigrou says we should use cputype = auto and core = auto as well. Oh, and if the game comes packaged with DOSBox Daum we have to allow that as well. I have no idea if it changes the way the game works.

We have to allow people to choose whatever "output" setting they want since that's something of a compatibility question. So choose the fastest.

I think NHG at some point got to ask Frederic Raynal some questions but that was a while ago and he didn't ask anything very deep I think.
Quote:
So we have to set a particular cycles count

great! that will allow me to do some glitches more easily

Quote:
We're thinking 30 000 might be a good compromise

it might be too slow or too laggy. I would rather keep 75 000 or just choose something above 100 000 since I'm no longer blocked with the pushing cross issue.

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We have to allow people to choose whatever "output" setting they want since that's something of a compatibility question. So choose the fastest.

I guess I can put this in the rules for the Any% single segment speedrun?
- Use the official re-release version from GOG or Steam
- in the dosbox.conf, the cycles needs to be changed to a fix value (e.g. "cycles=75000")
No, you don't understand. Everyone has to use the same cycles count. So even if my computer is more modest, I have to be able to run and record the game at that cycles count. We can't make it too high.

I misunderstood tigrou earlier: apparently core should be "simple" not "dynamic".
ok got it! I will do some testing and see what cycles is good using core=simple.

I guess I can share a conf file somewhere for those who are interested to run the game
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-07-08 02:30:42 pm
Quote:
if the game comes packaged with DOSBox Daum we have to allow that as well

I check the Steam Dos version, it's not a DOSBox Daum, when I typed the command "VER" I got this:
"DOSBox version SVN. Reported DOS version 5.00."
and the README.txt has: "DOSBox v0.74 Manual", no so sure where this DOSBox is from.

I've tried DOSBox Daum to check what are the different cycles used when set to auto, but it doesn't work for Time Gate: it's starts with the infograms logo for 1 second then stop. at this point I can press ESC key to go to the game intro but all I have is a black screen.
I've tested different conf as suggested in the github readme but no success
Looking at the debug version, I got this message:
"SBLASTER:DMA ended when previous IRQ had not yet been acked"
I found the source, looks like it's just a warning
http://dosbox-x.com/doxygen/html/sblaster_8cpp_source.html

It works fine with Alone in the dark, Do you know what could it be?
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-07-08 06:10:53 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-08 03:31:50 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-08 03:29:39 pm
okay never mind I found another dosbox version that display cycles count and FPS!!
http://www.si-gamer.net/gulikoza/

from that I will search for an optimum fixed cycles. So far I found it should be between 70k and 80k.
my plan is to try the hospital segment, there are many lags in this part. also the cut scenes parts after splashing juliette.
Or maybe play the all game and record the cycle and fps displayed, it would be great to have it output in a file but that might be too much.
Sorry, I just confused SVN Daum with SVN. I don't fully understand those different versions but I think at some point probably DOSBox 0.74 will disappear from GOG and Steam completely, once a more efficient but stable version has been made. My bad. You can only use whatever version that you found on GOG or Steam or other such sites. You don't have to test any other versions. There are too many and that's not the way in which people should be competing.

You still don't understand: you CAN'T set whatever cycles value you want. It has to be low enough so anyone can run the game like that. AitD runs at 11 000 cycles. We're trying to tell you you HAVE TO use 30 000 for this game, no more. That's the compromise. It's NOT the fastest value you can find.

We do not want the FPS count if you mean it's on top of the game window. Otherwise feel free to record that information on the side if you like. When everyone uses the same settings, it hopefully should give everyone the same FPS counts.
Edit history:
arnaud33200: 2020-07-09 08:03:05 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-09 08:01:35 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-09 08:00:58 pm
arnaud33200: 2020-07-09 03:46:18 pm
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You can only use whatever version that you found on GOG or Steam

Yes that was my plan, from now I will only use the official steam version for future runs.

Quote:
You still don't understand: you CAN'T set whatever cycles value you want

Sorry it wasn't clear, you said "We're thinking 30 000 MIGHT BE a good", you never said "You HAVE TO" right?
Also why do we have to use 30 000? where this value come from? and who are the "We" in the "We're trying to tell"? I wasn't involve in that decision...

Especially TG came like 4-5 years after AITD and things was improved since.
Any way, 30K is too laggy, with the test I've been doing, looks like the minimum to be good enough is 60K.
You should try play TG with 30K, it's aweful! I've played AITD 10k and it's good enough, so we cannot choose an arbitrary cycles base on AITD.

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We do not want the FPS count if you mean it's on top of the game window

I'm using this version of DOSBox just to test and search an optimum average cycles that would make the game comfortable to play and fast enough for a speedrun.
note that with "core=simple", going above 90K will make the game slow and laggy again, so there is a limit.
I record a full run and display the cycles count and the FPS to see which part of the game require more or less cycles. so far I can tell the average is around 80k.
I will document that somewhere
"We" was tigrou and myself. tigrou because he's the closest thing to an expert I could find (honestly I'm one of the only staff members that knows anything about DOS and that's not saying much), and as for myself, 30 000 was based on my experience with playing various DOS games through DOSBox and how high I needed to set the cycles to play them, but also how high I could set them before my old computer could no longer handle it. That computer wasn't massively powerful. I just used AitD not as a direct comparison but as an example of another game running on fixed cycles. I think you're right, I underestimated how much of a difference there would be even though it's the same engine.

The core = simple setting was tigrou's recommendation as well, but I think it was mainly for stability reasons. That wasn't the default though. Man, this is messy!

How high you can go with the cycles setting depends on your computer... is what it says here, however, there must be something else about it since I'm not seeing my CPU peaking out (it only uses one core). We can't use how smoothly the game runs as the primary criterion for setting the right cycles count: the first concern is fair competition. So I'm not sure what you mean by "good enough". Of course it's sad if some tricks don't work at a particular setting but would you even want to use those tricks then if you knew someone else can't run the game at all? Whether it takes you 10 seconds or 20 to push the cross in place doesn't matter so long as it's the same time for everyone. Of course you have to be able to push it in general. The value that we could acceptably use will go up over time though, since presumably computers won't get any slower.

I've just bought the game to see for myself. I got the GOG version so we can see what defaults are given there but it didn't have a fixed cycles setting either. Looks like the sound will crackle during the arrest cutscene even at 50k cycles. 70k makes the laser room in the museum (the one where you crawl) slower just to move around in (the music starts to slow down as well) but I don't know how other parts of the game are affected. I don't know why the music slows down either. Ideally it should play at the full tempo throughout the game if that's possible. It looks like the core usage in the museum laser room peaks at

I think I'm using a custom sound font, but I don't know if that affects the music or not. I can clearly hear the tempo has dropped in your speedrun when you pass through that room.

Can you provide me with a save file to the part of the game that's the laggiest? And why not also one where you start pushing the cross. I don't know what any of this means yet. I'll get back to it in a few days.
Edit history:
tigrou: 2020-07-17 02:06:28 am
tigrou: 2020-07-14 03:10:36 pm
tigrou: 2020-07-14 03:10:07 pm
tigrou: 2020-07-12 08:37:41 am
tigrou: 2020-07-12 08:35:43 am
tigrou: 2020-07-11 04:36:27 am
tigrou: 2020-07-10 03:57:50 pm
tigrou: 2020-07-10 01:59:49 pm
tigrou: 2020-07-10 01:58:36 pm
tigrou: 2020-07-10 01:37:12 pm
Hi there. It will be easier for me to discuss about Time Gate here instead of in private with you.

A value of 30.000 cycles has been chosen because it is low enough to be guaranteed to run OK almost everywhere.
As it turns out, game is a little bit laggy with such a low value.
A much higher value could be used if it improves gameplay a lot and it is still reasonable to run almost everywhere.

@LotBlind : are you saying things are slower / more sluggish with 70.000 cycles ? The only reasons I can think :
1) your computer cannot keep with 70.000 cycles (I doubt this, wiki page say a Pentium 4 can do it).
2) the game does not work well with such amount of cycles (but works well with higher ones ?!). When you set cycles = auto or max, cycles are going to be much higher than that (close to one million on a fast a machine) and still game run perfectly fine.


Quote from LotBlind:
I'm not seeing my CPU peaking out (it only uses one core)

DOSBox is single threaded. In other words it can only use one core at a time. So even with cycles = max you are never going to see 100% CPU usage under Windows. On a quad core you are going to see something like 25% (probably a little bit more since there is OS things happening at same time).

I can't recommend to use dynamic as is it less stable and less accurate time wise (eg: you set 30000 but in reality it might execute a little bit more).