Author Topic: Dean's DK Blog  (Read 15669 times)

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Offline mikegmi2

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2013, 05:17:52 AM »
Yea, this is very interesting/significant stuff.  As long there are people trying to break the WR, and people keep playing this game...you have to think that at some point all of these 'little things' will have to come into play in order to break a potential WR that pushes the high score close to 1.2M...or beyond.

It's crazy to think that in the future the WR may be decided by accidentally grabbing the bottom PF hammer at the wrong time...causing you to miss a couple smashes.
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Offline up2ng

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 11:34:15 AM »
The second thing I learned has to do with the direction of the upper conveyor. You've probably noticed that the upper conveyors can sometimes move in the outwards direction when you are in the lower part of the screen but will always change to moving inwards as soon as you make it slightly above the bottom conveyor. What's interesting about this is that as long as the upper conveyor is moving outwards, no pies can spawn up there and instead all pies will spawn on the bottom conveyor, which means more smashes. You can actually use this to guarantee yourself a strong bottom hammer. How it works is that the screen starts out with the upper conveyor moving inwards, which means pies can spawn both on top and on the bottom. Then partway through the screen it will reverse direction (assuming you don't rise above the bottom conveyor). If you grab the bottom hammer after it reverses direction then the jump will raise Mario above the bottom conveyor causing the upper conveyor to immediately switch back to moving inwards, which is bad and you will likely get a weak bottom hammer. However, if you grab the hammer just before it starts moving outwards then as soon as you land it will reverse to moving outwards you will be guaranteed a strong bottom hammer.

In practice when you go for the bottom hammer you often leach one of the early pies two or three times before grabbing the hammer, which usually results in the hammer being grabbed at just the right time. However, if nothing is available to leach before getting the bottom hammer then it's easy to actually grab the hammer too late. A good reference point for this case I found is to jump as kong is moving left just before Kong's left foot reaches the middle ladder of the three ladders up top. So when the free pass is unavailable and no pies are on screen it's actually best to grab the bottom hammer according to this reference point rather than waiting around for fireballs to come down. By grabbing the bottom hammer at the right time you can guarantee three pie smashes (and a possible 4th if your lucky) in addition to any pies that are already on screen plus any fireball smashes you get. I think this means that it is best to go for the bottom hammer even if there is initially only one pie on the bottom conveyor, however if there are no pies on the bottom to start out with then it is probably still best to take the free pass. I haven't really played much recently to try this out in a game and see how it affects pie factory averages but during the testing I did from a pie factory savestate I seemed to be scoring really well. I think this in combination with the the first thing I mentioned could significantly improve pie factory averages.

Hey Jeff, sorry it took me so long to respond.  This is an excellent observation and one that I had never really looked at before.  I played around on a pie factory stage very briefly today to just confirm some of the basics, including the "reference point" for the first direction change of the upper conveyor, and it seems to match your description.

So, to be clear, are you saying that you believe that a pie is "always" released onto the screen according to a regular periodic interval (assuming there are not already 6 pies on the screen)?  So, it's just a matter of whether it spawns on the top or on the bottom, but it will always spawn?  I had never really noticed this before but now it seems like it might be the case -- if it is, then certainly having the upper conveyors moving outwards while you hold the bottom hammer WOULD guarantee more pies being spawned on the bottom conveyor for more smash points since there is nowhere else for them to spawn while the upper conveyor is moving outwards and they must always spawn somewhere (right?).

Also, do you happen to know the timeframe for how long the upper conveyor will continue to move outwards, assuming you do not trigger it to change with your vertical position?  It seemed to last about a half-cycle -- meaning, about half as long as the bottom conveyor remains moving in one direction -- about the length of time it takes Kong to move across the screen in one direction -- about half of a hammer cycle.  So, towards the end of the hammer cycle, pies COULD be spawning up top again, but, like you said if you are lucky they would continue to spawn on the bottom for some extra smashes. 

What's interesting about this is that it goes against the adjustment that I had been making recently which is to delay my hammer grab until Kong is almost all the way to the left -- in order to maximize the amount of time with the hammer in hand where pies would be spawning towards me.  In other words, if there are no pies already on the screen, grabbing the hammer when Kong is in the middle of the screen wastes 1/4 of the hammer cycle while waiting for the bottom conveyor to change directions.  By delaying this until I was only wasting perhaps 1/8 of the hammer cycle, I found that I might have a shot at an extra smash on the back end of that cycle whereas doing it the other way, the hammer would have already expired.  And yet, I've been finding that this tends to interfere with the rapid escape up the right side (ending with around 5700 on the clock) since I've delayed the whole thing by just enough time to cause the upper right ladder to decend by the time I get there.  So, now, there is yet another factor to consider and perhaps I'll go back to the old way of grabbing the hammer when Kong is in the middle of the screen.

The topic of whether or not to take the free pass could be a whole seperate discussion, but you're right that this new information should play a role in tweaking that decision as well.  This is great stuff though, and it will take some thought to figure out how this might affect optimum point pressing strategy.
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Offline Jeffw

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2013, 08:31:47 PM »
So, to be clear, are you saying that you believe that a pie is "always" released onto the screen according to a regular periodic interval (assuming there are not already 6 pies on the screen)?  So, it's just a matter of whether it spawns on the top or on the bottom, but it will always spawn? I had never really noticed this before but now it seems like it might be the case -- if it is, then certainly having the upper conveyors moving outwards while you hold the bottom hammer WOULD guarantee more pies being spawned on the bottom conveyor for more smash points since there is nowhere else for them to spawn while the upper conveyor is moving outwards and they must always spawn somewhere (right?).
 

Yes, I think the pies are always released according to a regular interval. 0x639B is the pie deployment counter. A pie is deployed every time this reaches 0. And yes, as far as I can tell pies are guaranteed to spawn on the bottom when the top conveyor is moving outwards so you will always get smashes.

Also, do you happen to know the timeframe for how long the upper conveyor will continue to move outwards, assuming you do not trigger it to change with your vertical position?  It seemed to last about a half-cycle -- meaning, about half as long as the bottom conveyor remains moving in one direction -- about the length of time it takes Kong to move across the screen in one direction -- about half of a hammer cycle.  So, towards the end of the hammer cycle, pies COULD be spawning up top again, but, like you said if you are lucky they would continue to spawn on the bottom for some extra smashes.

I think it's more like 3/4 of a cycle. I know that if you grab the hammer immediately before the first time it starts moving outwards, then the cycle lasts long enough to guarantee that three pies will spawn on the bottom left that you can smash. By the time the 4th pie is ready to spawn the top conveyor will have reversed direction again so the final pie won't be a guaranteed smash.

Also, because we were talking about this in your stream, when the code decides whether to spawn the pie on top or on bottom it compares a random 2-digit hex number to 0x60 (96 in decimal) and if it is less than that the pie spawns on the bottom. So this would mean that the probability that it spawns on the bottom is 96/256 = 0.375

If it decides to spawn on top the it decides between left side and right side by comparing a new random 2-digit hex number to 0x68 (104 in decimal). If it's less than that it spawns on the right so the probability of spawning on the right is 104/256 = 0.40625.
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Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2013, 09:27:06 PM »
Also, because we were talking about this in your stream, when the code decides whether to spawn the pie on top or on bottom it compares a random 2-digit hex number to 0x60 (96 in decimal) and if it is less than that the pie spawns on the bottom. So this would mean that the probability that it spawns on the bottom is 96/256 = 0.375

If it decides to spawn on top the it decides between left side and right side by comparing a new random 2-digit hex number to 0x68 (104 in decimal). If it's less than that it spawns on the right so the probability of spawning on the right is 104/256 = 0.40625.

Great Scott! These findings are revolutionary!

Back to the drawing board, we may each have to do some serious re-calibrating of our general pie factory risk/reward-intuitions.

What does the code say about the chances of a fireball spawning from the oil can to the left or the right? Are the probabilities exactly equal? Thanks for looking into this stuff, Jeff!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 09:29:11 PM by marinomitch13 »
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Offline stella_blue

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2013, 05:02:21 AM »

Great Scott! These findings are revolutionary!

Back to the drawing board, we may each have to do some serious re-calibrating of our general pie factory risk/reward-intuitions.

What does the code say about the chances of a fireball spawning from the oil can to the left or the right? Are the probabilities exactly equal? Thanks for looking into this stuff, Jeff!


It's the same side of the screen as Mario.  Mitch, you obviously know that already, so perhaps I misinterpreted your question?

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Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2013, 12:14:40 PM »
Oh, duh! Haha, I was so caught up in the amazing new statistics Jeff found, that I forgot one of the most fundamental aspects of the pie factory! :P I obviously haven't played DK in a while....

LOL. That's too funny!

Edit: But now that I think about it, if Jumpman were exactly on the same horizontal pixel as the oil can, what would happen? This situation would be very hard to set up (you'd have to be on the lower conveyor with the hammer, if this situation were to ever happen), and it doesn't really matter in practice, but I'm just curious. Is their a default side?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 12:18:42 PM by marinomitch13 »
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Offline stella_blue

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2013, 03:04:29 PM »
Edit: But now that I think about it, if Jumpman were exactly on the same horizontal pixel as the oil can, what would happen? This situation would be very hard to set up (you'd have to be on the lower conveyor with the hammer, if this situation were to ever happen), and it doesn't really matter in practice, but I'm just curious. Is their a default side?

That question is probably best answered through an examination of the code.

Without looking, my best guess would be "tie goes to the right side."   :-\

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Online VON

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2013, 04:37:15 PM »
Tie goes to the right, Mitch.  Have you even played this game before?

Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2013, 05:19:19 PM »
Haha, I'm kinda regretting even having posted these questions in this blog. I've gone like 4 days straight with only 3 hrs of sleep a night cuz of watching Ben play for the DK3 bounty, so I'm guessing my brain isn't working as well as I've been thinking it is. :P

But, are you serious about the 'tie goes to the right thing'? It seems like it would be tough to know when you are exactly in the middle to be able to test this empirically.
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Offline Bliss1083

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2013, 05:21:53 PM »
Don't Pauline control the fireball spawning actually? Take the rivets if you climb up the bottom middle ladder fireballs spawn right because Pauline turns that way. Climbing the upper middle ladder fireballs will spawn left because Pauline faces that way. I can't remember right off hand but either they spawn away from the way Pauline faces or spawn toawards where she's facing.
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Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2013, 05:26:05 PM »
They always spawn to the right on rivets when you are climbing either of the middle ladders, because the ladders are a little off-set to the left of the center.
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Offline Bliss1083

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2013, 05:38:37 PM »
Yeah that's right my bad. I too am on Los! Lack of sleep.
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Online VON

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2013, 07:50:20 PM »
Haha, I'm kinda regretting even having posted these questions in this blog. I've gone like 4 days straight with only 3 hrs of sleep a night cuz of watching Ben play for the DK3 bounty, so I'm guessing my brain isn't working as well as I've been thinking it is. :P

Ha, no dude you're fine.

But, are you serious about the 'tie goes to the right thing'? It seems like it would be tough to know when you are exactly in the middle to be able to test this empirically.

Here's a mind blower: what if it's actually impossible to be in the middle because there is an odd number of pixels making up the width of the playing field and an even number of pixels making up Jumpman, or vice-versa.

They always spawn to the right on rivets when you are climbing either of the middle ladders, because the ladders are a little off-set to the left of the center.

I did not know that.

Offline Bliss1083

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2013, 11:08:03 PM »
Weird wild stuff!
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Offline Bliss1083

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Re: Dean's DK Blog
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2013, 11:10:25 PM »
Von. That's why you can get a little to the Right of the ladder and it will still spawn to the right. I learned that for making the grab on the first prize.
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