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Messages - Cas

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1
Stunts Related Programs / Re: Bliss / Cas-Stunts track editor
« on: May 20, 2018, 12:36:51 AM »
Thank you, Afullo!  You've got a great eye on typos!  I've already fixed the two tings. Next release, they won't be there.

2
Stunts Related Programs / Re: Bliss / Cas-Stunts track editor
« on: May 18, 2018, 01:12:11 AM »
Yes. As a matter of fact, the hardest part of the track analysis isn't to properly find things that should not work, but to emulate the high number of exceptions in Stunts internal track analyser. For example, if you place a ramp, two spaces and another ramp (which sometimes is possible to perform while racing), Stunts will refuse to accept that; but if you have an elevated road, then a space and then a ramp going down (which is completely not possible to ride on), Stunts will accept the track (inverted jump detection bug). Even worse, if you have a long elevated road, you can place spaces in between two pieces and it will still be accepted by Stunts. The first versions of my analyser would not allow this because it was the most sensible thing that they wouldn't work, but then I saw Stunts did, so I had to change it for a warning.

3
Stunts Related Programs / Re: Bliss / Cas-Stunts track editor
« on: May 16, 2018, 11:10:04 PM »
You mean these configurations make the track not load at all?  Well, I believe it's enough with the yellow warning anyway. If I complicate the track analysis any more, I'll break something. It'd be better to just rewrite everything. I also wanted to make Bliss able to measure intervals between any two points on the track, but again, that's something that would work better if done from the beginning. Maybe for Bliss 3, ha, ha!

4
Stunts Code Extraction / Re: Replay recording and limits
« on: May 16, 2018, 11:05:06 PM »
Being able to locate the memory area and the format where the initial position is could allow creating a tool to allow special tracks that can start from slopes. Also, if the region where the car current vector can be located, a TSR tool under Stunts could detect when the car passes through other positions, allowing to set checkpoints and things like that. It'd be a lot of work, though.

In the past, working on the Vizcacha project, I found that creating TSR wraps for Stunts often has conflicts with the DRM-crack system (it may get disabled, thus reactivating the DRM). If we had more knowledge on the memory regions, maybe we could ditch that crack and use something that allows plug-ins instead. It'd be all DOS code.... beautiful XD

5
Competition 2018 / Re: Z202 - Ketiranyu
« on: May 16, 2018, 10:57:35 PM »
I agree with Afullo!

6
Competition 2018 / Re: Guest tracks 2018
« on: May 16, 2018, 10:56:01 PM »
I think that'd be the best. We have to have a track by Zak :)

7
Competition 2018 / Re: Guest tracks 2018
« on: May 11, 2018, 10:02:33 PM »
Who will take December?  Duplode?  Zak?

8
Competition 2018 / Re: Z202 - Ketiranyu
« on: May 11, 2018, 09:59:35 PM »
Well, my feeling on this particular track is that, yes, the shorcut shortens the track significantly. Still, I have the feeling that, depending on the skilll of each pipsqueak, and the perseverance (I've learnt to use the latter recently XD), one can improve a lot. I mean, it's not that it loses all its magic. But it depends on GTAMan whether he feels his track is being properly raced or not (I think).

In general, my opinion on dual-way switching is that it may be disappointing when it's found on a track that one expected to race in a more normal way, but also, it can be an amazing part of track design itself. Making a track that purposedly allows dual-way switching with some difficulty and in different ways adds a lot of spice to the race. What is not clearly defined is what happens when a track that was not originally intended for this trick seems to be well received with the trick included, even by the author. I believe under these circumstances, the last word should always go to the track author. On the other hand, it could be a good rule that, upon posting a new track and before the race starts, if the track contains split, the author should specify whether dual-way switching will be allowed or not.

EDIT: I want to add that my message in the shoutbox was an answer, not a proposal. Replays using dual-way switching on this track had already been posted, so I commented that and then posted mine. I was not the first person to post using that trick.

9
Competition 2018 / Re: Z202 - Ketiranyu
« on: May 09, 2018, 09:22:44 PM »
In my opinion, while short, the track is still interesting, but GTAMan should have the last word

10
Guys, talking about the dual-way switching in the shoutbox, I started to think of whether it was known by the online Stunts community since inception or if somebody brought it later and then, how other tricks or ideas came up, in which tournaments, which was the first track that had this or that, etc. So I wanted to share my part for the record and if anybody else would like to tell about themselves, it'd be nice.

How I met Stunts
I first met Stunts in late March or early April 1993, shortly after I got my first computer, a 386DX 60MHz. I had no games in my new computer and a friend at school told me he had many and that he could copy some to me. You see, in Argentina, in the 90s, not only piracy was very common (as it is in most of the world), but really there wasn't any other way to get software and most of us didn't even know what we were doing was piracy. So my friend came to my place with a big box of 5 1/4" diskettes and passed me about 20 games, including Stunts, which became one of my favourites.

My early view of the game[/n]
I remember I found Stunts very hard to handle, so I was extremely careful and slow. My playing mostly consisted in being able to get to the end of the track in one piece. I really wasn't concerned about the lap time. I would always use automatic and I almost always used fast cars. I couldn't see the point in slow cars, I didn't understand them. Indy was the one I used the most and sometimes P962 or Jaguar. I used to build very long tracks with obstacles with the purpose of the pipsqueak not surviving. For a long time, I didn't know that the terrain could be edited, but I found PowerGear relatively soon. Very much at the beginning, I used to race against the computer, but that soon became to easy, so another thing I liked doing was creating awesome crashes, some including the opponent, and saving the replays.

Discoveries
While playing with a friend of mine, we accidentally came across PowerGear from time to time. He was the one who realised how to make it happen at will. Because his surname was "Dantas", we called this trick "Velocidad de Dantas" (meaning "Dantas' speed"). This was probably in late 1993. I had been poking at the binary data in the tracks for some time with a binary viewer I had made and noticed two things: one was that replay files contained the whole track and another, that tracks contained the terrain, not just a terrain number, as I supposed. The first discovery led me to create a program to extract tracks from replays. The second, made me think of building a terrain editor, but before doing that, I had the strong suspicion that this could be done within Stunts. One day, while I was at my friend's house (the same friend), I guessed that SHIFT+F1 should put the editor in terrain editing mode. Because we didn't give much importance to lap times, I didn't care about penalty time and so, I only knew about some tricks from the community.

Online community
I remember having found a Stunts tournament but not trying it very early. Perhaps still in the late 90s. I don't remember what the site was like, so I can't tell which it was, but it wasn't ZakStunts or WSC. At some point of 2005, my younger brother (known in the community as Nach) was part of the forum "La Cueva de los Clásicos" of which Paleke and AbuRaf70, among others, were members too. I think it was through him that I got to that forum and from there, to Paleke's WSC. We participated in the rest of that season and the whole of the next. There we learned to really race. In WSC, the official car was always Indy, so that part didn't change for us. The tracks usually did not have splits and besides, with the OWOOT rules, something like dual-way switching would have been considered invalid, so I was still unaware of that. Through Paleke, I found ZakStunts and registered, but I liked OWOOT better than free-style at that time so I didn't participate much in ZakStunts. In 2009, I wanted to make a come-back, but there was no more WSC, so I became active in ZakStunts and everything else I learned here.

My contribution as a programmer
In 2006, while I was participating in WSC, I started writing my own track editor, which used the same graphics as the internal one and ran in DOS. I showed it to Paleke, but never published it. It was far from complete. I called it "Castunts". The most interesting feature it had was the terrain brush that is now present in Bliss, although it was more buggy. In 2010, I tried to find a permanent solution to the issue of NoRH verification. For this purpose, I created a DOS program called Vizcacha, but I found that it didn't behave the same way from a computer to another, so I had to give it up. The community gave me a hand testing it. In early 2015, I was planning to come back to ZakStunts after a hiatus, but didn't want to return empty handed, so I started to build a new editor that could run natively in Linux, DOS and Windows. The first version was called Cas-Stunts 2.0 (because of the old Castunts) and was released on 7 March 2015. On 5 Octover 2016, for release 2.4.4, the project name was changed to Bliss.

... and as a competition host
From middle October till late November 2016, I hosted Race for Immortality, a single race on the track called Bliss, with the purpose of registering the lap times of the pipsqueaks that wanted to participate so that they could be use for time estimations by the Bliss editor for every track. Everybody had to use Porsche March Indy and it was an OWOOT race. Perhaps a couple of months later, I started hosting Race for Kicks, with rules similar to those of WSC, but there wasn't a complete season; just a few isolated tracks. The tournament is currently in hiatus as of May 2018.

I'm interested in...
I would like to know if there's a topic or a graphic with the different competitions in choronological order or a history of how each formed, when and by whom. The wiki does have a lot of info about this, so I figure I could try to reconstruct this, but a more personal, subjective insight would be interesting to read. Also, what was the knowledge of tricks like PowerGear or dual-way switching when the community was formed, if there were other names for these tricks, how we ended up agreeing on these ones, etc. Anything historical, like... Let's make as if we were about to write a book about the Stunts community XD

11
Stunts Code Extraction / Re: Replay recording and limits
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:58:37 AM »
Yes, if you're allowed to set back at the beginning immediately, then it means there's no backward calculation and the only explanation would be that the starting conditions are set somewhere in memory. On the other hand, notice how the speed at which Stunts calculates when you fast-forward does not increase with faster computers. It's the same today under DOSBox as it was on a 286 and I've run Stunts on my current computer in FreeDOS purely and it's still slow to fast-forward. This means that there's a delay somewhere in the code. Maybe the code for racing was reused for replaying and the delay was already there and removing it would've changed the results.

12
Stunts Related Programs / Re: Bliss / Cas-Stunts track editor
« on: May 03, 2018, 05:25:28 AM »
Update: Bliss 2.5.4

New features:
  • Track-shot option completed with a button in the panel for easier access and the option to select the image format
  • Improved visualisation and edition for debugging and manual modes, including insertion of invalid values and custom background scenery

Bug fixes:
  • Some typos
  • File format generation and recognition errors
  • Buttons that weren't supposed to appear
  • Track-shot image errors
  • Famous pipsqueaks showing up when not supposed to
  • Start/finish line on slopes now seen as a fatal-error

Download from: http://dimioca.com/bliss
Comments and tests appreciated :)

13
Stunts Related Programs / Re: Bliss / Cas-Stunts track editor
« on: May 03, 2018, 12:06:59 AM »
Yes, of course. I agree that being able to introduce as many modifications is a good thing... If it's exploitable somehow, why leave it out?  But if the resulting behaviour is abnormal, I think the way to do it should look really different. I've just tested. Bliss does recognise any value past 4 as "chaotic" currently. It does not let it select it, though. Stunts BB1.1 crashes on any "chaotic" value. It says there was an error with a file.

I think I'm goint to make Bliss display an additional option only when debug mode or manual editing mode is set. I also may add the ability to directly enter track/terrain codes and to display the values on the map when they don't have a valid element to show.

14
Stunts Code Extraction / Re: Replay recording and limits
« on: May 02, 2018, 11:18:32 PM »
Thanks for placing this here, Dreadnaut!

Well, yes, it looks like the different versions of Stunts behave quite differently when one takes the game to the extremes. I can say, because I've seen this in the past, that the memory region where Stunts places the keypresses begins just after the 1802 track bytes. If you create a TRK file with more than those bytes, then the extra bytes will be loaded onto that region. Because Stunts is ready to accept up to 10 minutes of replay info, this means 600 seconds, at 20 Hz, that is 12000 bytes. There doesn't seem any initial condition information anywhere.

15
Stunts Related Programs / Re: Bliss / Cas-Stunts track editor
« on: May 02, 2018, 10:49:44 PM »
Thanks, Dreadnaut!

Now that you mention the chaotic scenery, I don't remember how Bliss behave if you loaded a track that has this byte modified. I want to make sure it doesn't crash or something. I probably took this into account when I first added the scenery selection option.

Uhm... to my taste, I don't like it very much to introduce features that look abnormal. This is why Bliss, by default, does not break up track elements. Because illusion tracks were important in the community, I made it possible to change to a debug mode in which you could do this. While in "manual editing mode", as I called it, you feel clearly that you're working directly with the cables. So, if I enable setting a scenery other than the normal ones, I would like to do it in a similar fashion. I think I could add an option to the scenery selection menu to set other values. I'll consider that.

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