Author Topic: What do we want in a competition-acceptable High Score Save Kit?  (Read 1974 times)

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Offline xelnia

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The other night, on my Twitch stream, I was discussing the pro and cons of the DK high score save kits that are currently available. To my knowledge there are 3 kits available: the Braze kit, the Remix kit, and the Hippel kit. I'm starting this thread to get some feedback from the community.

The Hippel kit was discussed on DKF a couple years ago, at the link above. I'm sure Sock Master can answer any questions about his kit. I'm not sure who/what has the best info on the Braze kit. The programming aspects of all this are beyond me, so I'm only relating much of what I've heard or discussed with others.

My main concern about the Braze and Remix kits was the lack of support for scores above 999,900. As Sock put it: "These kits fail the players the want them the most." The Hippel kit addresses this, but inserts its own code during the process (as does the Braze kit). Sock's Remix kit is the only one that doesn't affect the original code in any way. The Braze and Hippel kits are apparently not using your PCB's roms; they're using their own.

So, at minimum, I think a "new" high score kit should have the following requirements:

1) Recognize scores over 999,900
2) Use the original roms on the PCB
3) No alteration of the game code

DKF currently accepts scores that were set on boards with any of these kits installed, but going forward I think a "better-safe-than-sorry" approach is best...especially since the decision to allow D2K kit scores was made before it was understood how the game was run off the daughter board and not the PCB. I'm not sure I'm interested in all the other bells and whistles that these kits offer, especially if requires modifying the game code.

I'm not nominating Sock Master to make a new high score save kit, but in the event that we see a Remix 2.0, it might give him some ideas.  Kappa

The main idea floating around in my head is a save kit that incorporates user profiles. When you install the kit you can set up some number of different profiles, and when you start a game you play under your profile. You can change profiles by going into the save kit settings. This is important to me because there are two DK players in my household of (currently) different skill level. I could easily fill the top 5 slots on the machine...but that's no fun if Katie wants to see her high scores. So, Player 1, Player 2, Player 3, etc. profiles, and some kind of combined leaderboard.

With a separate page for each player you eliminate the need for a column showing the initials, and then you have room for more info...like level reached and settings used. In the combined version you use accepted competition settings, so you can retain the names for comparison but nix the column showing the settings. Quick 'n dirty mock-up below, showing space for 10 scores.



All of this would be in the background of how you actually play and enter your initials though. So, a game would end normally, you put it in your initials, and the game would display the top 5 like it normally does. Only when you enter the save kit profile page do you see all this other stuff. Resetting the cab clears the normal top 5, but the profile scores are saved.

Of course, all of this would still have to work under a "competition-acceptable" scenario...no modification of the game code or bypassing of the PCB roms...and ideally would recognize 1M+ scores.

Thoughts?
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Offline mameshane

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Re: What do we want in a competition-acceptable High Score Save Kit?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 07:43:09 PM »
i like all these ideas. i think a million points should definately be recognized. what level the game finished on is awesome as well as profiles.

an overall combined top 20 or so scoreboard that scrolls would kinda of be cool too. accumulated from all profiles max. 5 scores off each profile or something etc.
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Offline Sock Master

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Re: What do we want in a competition-acceptable High Score Save Kit?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 09:41:53 PM »
I did some math.  The save memory in the DK+Remix+Deranged+Trainer kits is large enough to hold three full profiles each containing full high score lists and settings of all 3 games (DK/Remix/Deranged).

This would be the least confusing way to go - profile A B C could just be universal across all games.  And each game could just run like normal and save it's scores in it's normal way.

Theoretically, new code in the menu could then read all the sets of saved scores and compute a combined master 15 entry high score list for each game.

Anyway, to be clear we're just talking theoretical at this point.

The business of adding 1M support to DK while it runs off PCB ROMs is... complex, shall we say.   I'll have to think about how it might even be possible.  Simple things become a complicated song and dance for the kit's processor to do when the Z80 is running PCB ROMs.  The Z80 code doesn't support 1M scoring, so the kit's processor will have to do some sleuthing when monitoring the Z80 to determine that the score rolled over.. and then?  Then comes the trickier part.
What should happen?  Do we want the kit to make a "1" to appear before the score?  Do we want the high score routine to rank the new score above a 999,900 and percolate it to the top of the in-game HS list?  Do we also want a "1" to appear before the score in the high score list?  In the top/center score on the screen as well?  If not, what is a reasonable way to handle it?
Lots of seemingly simple questions - but what is acceptable to the community and what is not is a complex issue even if it is the kit's processor making these things happen without the Z80's knowledge that anything happened at all.


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Offline xelnia

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Re: What do we want in a competition-acceptable High Score Save Kit?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 03:45:39 AM »
Do we want the kit to make a "1" to appear before the score?  Do we want the high score routine to rank the new score above a 999,900 and percolate it to the top of the in-game HS list?  Do we also want a "1" to appear before the score in the high score list?  In the top/center score on the screen as well?  If not, what is a reasonable way to handle it?

I would prefer NO extra "1", but maybe that could be an extra setting...toggle the extra digit display if you want?
"Do not criticize, question, suggest or opine anything about an upcoming CAG event, no matter how constructive or positive your intent may be. You will find nothing but pain and frustration, trust me. Just go, or don't go, and :-X either way!" -ChrisP, 3/29/15
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Offline WCopeland

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Re: What do we want in a competition-acceptable High Score Save Kit?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 07:37:46 AM »
No ability to override physical dips.
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Offline mrvaya

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Re: What do we want in a competition-acceptable High Score Save Kit?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 01:57:09 PM »
A sprite indicating the board-type of each death e.g. barrel, barrel, spring, rivet. No need for me to track games with anything else than the official 3-man games.

Edit: Donít know if its possible but it would be cool if one could sort of pick any of the scores on the hs list and with a button press get the sort of info that the pace edition give after a game. Since we deemed the pace info to be not allowed in game - maybe we could get to see the stats afterwards!?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 02:17:37 PM by mrvaya »
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