Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition


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Offline TimpZ

There have been a larger number of people that try to pass off various tool-assisted runs as legit on both TSC, SDA and Youtube. Distinguishing between the legit runs and the fakes can be easy or hard depending on the skill the person in question possess and also as speedrunning in general becomes larger, an increasing number of ways to cheat the system starts to emerge.

For genesis games, there are a lot of alternatives for emulators to use; Gens with variants, Fusion, Regen, BizHawk etc. These are all different in functions and goals. BizHawk is an emulator tailored for TASing complete with all the functionality you could ever want. Gens is open source and there's a large amount of variants including ones tailored for debugging, extracting ROM data or editing RAM, making TASes and much more.

On the contrary, emulators like Fusion are closed source and with very little built-in tools useful for cheating in any way.

What I'm saying is, if you're gonna use an emulator for competition, why allow the use of one that allows for TASing, memory watch/editing and LUA-scripting as basic functions when very much viable alternatives exist? It is usually not too hard to notice the difference between emulators either, especially when there's an accompanying video (no I'm not going to tell you how) so in order to remove variables from the dispute process I propose that a rule is instated that ban these kinds of emulators.

There are also emulators for other consoles like Dolphin where there are no viable alternatives. I wouldn't call emulators for consoles like gamecube my area of expertise so all I'm suggesting right now regards the Sega Genesis games. However if someone else have any input regarding those then feel free to jump in with your thoughs.

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 09:26:21 AM »
This should be in the Rules revisions or Beef forum. But, I understand your frustration, especially with the godly videos we have seen posted recently. Something about these videos just looks iffy. It's one of the reasons I haven't bothered to even seriously approach the S3 Times charts yet (save for LB1, which now has a bitch of a difficult zip to execute).

That said, there are a lot of players who prefer to use Gens Movie 9x over anything else, and a lot of legitimate videos have been recorded in that fashion.

It would be splitting hairs and pissing off a lot of people if we simply banned emulators that had TAS capability (Heck, I even know about a method where one could pseudo-TAS through Gens Plus).

Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 11:00:57 AM »
When I asked Parax, he said this topic belonged here.

Yes I am frustrated. I'm going to give an example (and don't take this the wrong way SonicBoom737):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZxpTSWjI4g

This video was made by a TSC user that got banned for faking evidence by making TASes. He was later forgiven and reapproved for submissions. If you take a close look at the video, you will notice he is using Gens.

Now he got a TSC record time in that video, but how can you tell he didn't cheat? How can you say with certainty that there's not a single savestate in that video?

You can't, it's impossible, this video says as little as an end photo. Take note I'm not saying SB did cheat in this video, I'm merely pointing out the fact that there's no way to tell and thus this video is not proof in any regard. He might've just as well not made a video at all.

I know that if you really want to cheat, there's a way. I could probably hack TASes into the demo mode and replay on a real console if I really wanted to. But that requires a lot of time and money invested and it's more likely (easier and cheaper as well!) that I'd just do it for real.

But when it comes to emulators such as gens, if you know some programming you could do whatever you want with it with little effort as opposed to fusion where you'd essentially have to hack the emulator or get some kind of windows-emulator stuff going or possibly binding a keylogger to the emulator in some way. In any case, it's going to be a lot of work and it's obscure work as well as there's no general use for TASing capabilities for Fusion when alternatives exist.

I realise TSC work a lot on the honour system and credibility of trusted users. I'm not telling you to ditch that, I'm saying that a video recorded in gens is not proof at all and if you're serious in competing you'd not consider it much of a hassle to record attempts using a secondary program (or getting a real console set up for that matter...)

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 05:40:26 PM »
Well, Parax is weird. This forum is for talking about competing, not modifying how we compete.

I personally don't record a lot of the TA's I make because I can't be bothered to spend that much time between attempts (I don't mind as much for an RA because an attempt is like 8-10 minutes long, so setting up the little .giz and filename is a relatively quick thing). That doesn't mean I shouldn't play because I don't feel like recording every last damned thing I do.

Don't get me wrong, it's been decades since these games came out, and TSC's had people TAing these games for about ten years (You're looking at someone who's been submitting for a little over 8). When a game gets to be this age, stuff gets down to the wire, and there's seldom room left to improve. We're already seeing these kinds of things happen to games like Sonic Rush and SA2B just to name a few.

That means of course players are going to have motive to TAS a run to give them an extra edge. But the purpose of having videos on this site isn't simply for proof for the sake of proving a stat. Videos here are informative -- that is to say others can watch these videos and learn to perform strategies from them as well.

But if you really feel some of these videos reek of TAS, then you need to get in touch with an admin and start helping clean house. But don't go calling every emulator-recorded video out there a potential fake just because of emulator choice. There are other factors in play here, such as processing power and internet speeds. (Which is why I prefer .giz's, for one)

Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 06:13:28 PM »
So basically what you're saying is that anyone can submit any times, in any time scope for any of the genesis games without being required proof?

If someone overnight tied all the TSC time records for S1, S2, S3 and S&K, would you deem that believable without proof?

Of course not. But what proof would you accept? Print screens of the end screens? Videos? Something else? If it was done on emulator, what would it take for you to feel convinced?

What I'm saying is that if you're gonna make extraordinary claims, you better have extraordinary proof. Even most of the red stats are hard to get if you're a beginner and you'd be unlikely to be able to get them without serious effort. So if a random guy comes in and claims those times, then when confronted points to a run done on an emulator specifically developed for being TASed on, would you accept that without hesitation?

I certainly wouldn't.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be any videos in the form of GMV or GIZ on the site, but this isn't 2004 anymore, making and sharing videos are easier than ever. Speedrunning in general is getting bigger and if you don't go with the times, then you're gonna get overflowed with fake stats that are uncontendable.

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 06:27:21 PM »
How does someone manage that many hasty generalizations within one post?

First of all, yes. Anyone can submit any times, in any time scope of any game, and not be required proof unless there is sufficient reason to suspect the person submitting the stat. Do not forget that this is TSC and not Cyberscore. Do not forget the foundations for which this site came about.

And since when has an overnight sweep ever gone out without an automatic BS call?

Not everyone here has the fastest computers or networking speeds in the world. I don't really care if it's 2099, the fact remains that there is an honor system to be upheld here, and if there was sufficient backing for me to suspect any recent person submitting to S3, you would have already seen me raising total hell. If you feel someone's posting something iffy, you need to take it to an admin. But don't just go around saying we all have to upgrade our PC's and spend all that extra time between attempts just so we can conform to "getting with the times." That's about as capricious as it gets (I said that somewhere before).

Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 06:47:38 PM »
I've never visited cyberscore so I don't know their policies. And I know that the example was extreme, however the point still stands. If someone unknown came here and got a lot of good times, what would make you content with their claims?

If people are allowed to use emulators with TASing capabilities, you get discussions like these: http://www.soniccenter.org/forum/index.php?topic=5805.0

I'm just saying there's a very easy way to avoid all that crap. You're using an emulator without TASing capabilities it would seem given you can't reload a savestate and still have the video recorded. Great, now if you'd just give proof of that this emulator is a good one for competing without any functions that would give lots of options to cheat without getting caught, then there's no problem.

I have talked to admins before. What do I say when there's no obvious proof of cheating and it's only very unlikely that this person got the time in question while using an emulator with TAS funcionality? They say I need tangible proof. But the burden of proof I think should be on the one claiming the time, not people trying to find a single iffy jump in tens or possibly hundreds of videos.

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 06:54:08 PM »
One of the reasons TSC came up in the first place was an intent to distinguish a competitive community apart from Cyberscore, where players often would get banned or have stats removed without being given a chance to prove oneself.

As for being content with a new player's times? That fortunately is something you nor I have to worry about anymore. You have great admins in place here monitoring the state of affairs constantly -- you should trust their judgment. And if you feel like something's being overlooked, then point out something they should look into.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 07:00:20 PM by SpinDashMaster »

Offline Parax

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 07:06:19 PM »
Yeah my bad, Rules Revisions is the correct board for this. Moved.

Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2014, 07:19:31 PM »
Yes, I'm pointing out something I'm concerned about right now.

You're still not answering my question, so I'm going to make the most tangible example I can.

Lets say Romulo improves his time in this stat by 1 second: http://www.soniccenter.org/rankings/sonic_&_knuckles/times/death_egg_2/sonic

Everyone knows Romulo and he has proven to be trustworthy other times, so everyone are happy.

The next day, Shadowfan69 registers on the site and submits one time, it ties with Romulo's time in the DE2 stat.

Since he's unknown and just got a record time, people call him out. He points to a video on youtube which is verifiably made on an emulator with TASing capabilities.

What is your course of action? The same question goes to anyone else or any mods. There's nothing obviously cheated with the video, maybe he did some long pauses at times but pause buffering is allowed so that's not evidence.

If you're content with that "evidence", then there's nothing more I can say to convince you this is a problem.

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 07:20:59 PM »
Yes, me and everyone here would be content with that evidence, without the obviously sarcastic quotation marks.

Any other questions for me to un-dodge?

Offline Parax

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 07:35:31 PM »
Honestly though, how far should we go in requesting proof from people? Although we strive to keep the charts as legitimate as possible, ultimately there's so many different ways people can cheat that there's no way we could safeguard against all of them. At some point you just need to accept somebody at their word that they didn't cheat. It's not an ideal solution, but a better one would require pretty much an overhaul of the entire site and all its policies.

The other thing is when people fake proof, they tend to not be very knowledgeable about how a human would actually go about getting a similar stat to what they're claiming. That means there's often little discrepancies in the proof they provide, and when questioned about it they tend to provide explanations that make no sense. We've caught plenty of BSers who faked proof that way before, and probably will again in the future.

In the example you cited, if this guy had a video and nobody could find any reason to doubt it aside from that it was done on an emulator with TAS features? Yes, I'd accept that. Either way if he continued posting videos then there'd be more material to work with down the line as for determining more definitively whether he's a cheater or not, so it makes no sense to ban him.

Offline Zeupar

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 07:39:05 PM »
I think TSC's main problem right now (and for the past several years) is that a good number of players don't trust the legitimacy of our rankings, even though many of us have done our best to keep the site free of false records. I support any suggestion that helps improve this bad image, and I believe your idea would help us move forward in that direction.

I have been talking to BizHawk's main developer today, and he said he has recently considered implementing a cheat-proof feature in the emulator (ironic, isn't it? :P). From the looks of it, though, it's not something that will be developed any time soon. In the meantime, I'm all for banning those two emulators for competition on TSC.

What I'm saying is that if you're gonna make extraordinary claims, you better have extraordinary proof.

I can't agree more with this.
Fail collection: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
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Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 07:49:33 PM »
As Parax has already mentioned, banning Gens alone as a whole uproots way too much, especially when not every Gens emulator has TAS functionality, and especially when many trustworthy players aren't using it anyway. That's kind of slapping a lot of innocent people in the face, and destroying the core concept of the honor system that we have here.





Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 07:57:50 PM »
Nope, that's all I have to say, my point has been made. I just think it's an incredibly backwards system and it's a shame that you're allowing it to be so easily exploitable by not stating, to me, obvious rules.

And no, like I've tried to explain this whole thread, a gens movie file is not and never will be any sort of evidence of anything other than possibly the ability of the person in question to use the program.

Quote
If he continued posting videos then there'd be more material to work with down the line as for determining more definitively whether he's a cheater or not, so it makes no sense to ban him.

What if he doesn't? Take this guy as an example: http://www.soniccenter.org/forum/index.php?topic=5604.0

Think what you will of it, but I'm dead certain he lied about the stat. So was many others who are very knowledgeable about the game as well. What if he instead of not being able to give an adequate explanation said "oh I still have that video on my computer let me upload it" and gave us a link to a video just like the one I just gave an example of? I was even told that because the stat was so old, contending it might be pointless since he likely wouldn't be around to defend himself. In the end the stat was removed, but it has been like a thorn in my side since I saw it and thinking than you can't disproove it because of silly things like the fact he never submitted any evidence or that he used an emulator it's about as easy to cheat on as it is to use when very much viable, better even, alternatives exist... It makes me feel like there's no point in competing at all.

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2014, 08:07:50 PM »
This is quickly turning into a desperately subtle chain-BS call. I know it's hard, but try not to turn this into an "omg we need to look at TimpZ's BS calls all over again" thread.

Like, that guy had nothing to do with this discussion like any of the other dudes you've linked.

Offline Don

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2014, 08:07:59 PM »
Okay, so it's really interesting to see all this. Let me share my thoughts - Remember that I am relatively new to speedrunning AND competing, though.

So first, I really do dislike the fact that you can use Emulators that have extended functions - I personally go OUT of the way to use emulators, especially because my PC is bad and can't record properly with most. I use either a capture card with the console and the game or actual PC versions of the games.

Now what I've done for most of the proof I have: Either make a video, hope that people trust me, or save it on the savefile of my console (Sonic Colours) in case I did not record anything.

From what I understand it is not always possible for everyone to record everything, and that's FINE. There are multiple alternatives to not using an Emulator! Heck, there's a LOT of virtual console kinds of things for the genesis games. I even got the Sonic 1 for myself, JUST to compete and make clear that I don't cheat or TAS or whatever. I really dislike cheating and cheaters / BSers.

As for that, I make personally sure i use official versions - for my own and for everyone else's sake.

I want to uphold the honor system, but I really would appreciate a guideline of not using certain emulators. I mean we have tons of rules that we can't exactly FORCE on people, but if they DO post proof that is against those - we have an easier time and suspicions won't arise that quickly. I don't want to have to look at every second stat and think "this might be cheated".

As for Gens/whatever, Fusion has a built in recording option that is very friendly to bad PCs, even I can record with it easily. So recording is NOT an issue, you just need the right codec for it. I just choose to not do it as I am a person that believes in authority, so I want to EARN trust FIRST before I fall victim to just completely RELYING on it.

And we have to rely on the TRUST anyway for most DS-generation and later games, since there's no easy way to prove that anyway. So don't get me wrong, i BELIEVE in the honor system, I truely do.

I just would rather not have to worry about cheated/TASed/BS stats because someone used a wrong tool at the wrong time and everyone become worrywarts and there's just this thick cloud of uncertainty and anger about possibly wrong stats.

Whether its rightfully so or just false, we can't really know. With that, I will not vote for banning or unbanning any emulators, because I feel like I do not understand the issue well enough or do not have the right to do so, as it's for the admins to decide - not some greenhorn that basically just joined.

Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2014, 08:34:40 PM »
This is quickly turning into a desperately subtle chain-BS call. I know it's hard, but try not to turn this into an "omg we need to look at TimpZ's BS calls all over again" thread.

Not that this have anything to do with the discussion, but alright. I have posted 2 BS threads, 1 of which I was the main reason it was started. The first one is about a guy that's being accused of either TASing or using slowdown in an emulator (something one very dedicated TSC user have had to put in a lot of work in order to proove). The second example was about a stat that was "too good to be true" in every aspect of the phrase, but it was uncontested for years and I motivated posting it by explaining the fundamental flaw of your trusted honour system.

I think Don brings up a good point. Given how easy it is to cheat, there's no point in an honour system since you'd never be able to tell the truthful stats from the fake ones to begin with. Something like a trust system, where you earn your credibility is much better. Like I said, I wouldn't have second doubts about Romulo posting a WR time without proof, because he have shown to me he is capable of such a feat. I don't however trust someone who does the same thing with no history in the community, with the game or evidence to back it up (that includes a gens or bizhawk movie in my eyes as well).

In the end, what's even the point of an honour system if you don't trust people? It's just going to build frustration, people jumping the gun on any little piece of possible evidence of cheating and a general discontent with competing in general.

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2014, 03:42:21 AM »
options:
1A. Original console only, ban emu and re-releases, require video.

2A. Official releases, ban emu, require video.

3A. Official releases, non-TAS emu allowed, require video.

4A. Official releases, all emu allowed, require video.

5. All releases, all emu, no video required.

1B. Original console only, ban emu and re-releases, video not required.

2B. Official releases, ban emu, video not required.

3B. Official releases, non-TAS emu allowed, video not required.

4B. Official releases, all emu allowed, video not required.
---------------
I think video's should be required; if a time/rank can not be objectively verified by an outsider, then it is useless.

I also think we should ban emu altogether, but since a lot of people bitch about not wanting to get a $15 console, allowing non-TAS emulators should suffice.

Offline Rusty Rom

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2014, 11:30:11 AM »
I guess everything about banning emus was already explained in this thread, and of course I vote against any emulation, mostly due to them cursed savestates that make any lazy guy think he's good at something when he didn't spend 1/10 of the time it would take on an actual system.
Naegleria brought up some good options to solve this issue as well. Honor system is just a Republican excuse not to improve the site policies and its proof methods. And I've had some bad experiences with emu players before... and some of them got caught in the act, even with them having good rep with this community.

Offline Gpro

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2014, 01:07:04 PM »
Considering the fact that it's really easy to TAS with Gens, I'd be all for banning using it for emulation.
I also want to point out that when it comes to using Gens, it's really anal with its video stuff, so it makes no sense using it to me, but that's more opinionated :P

Offline RigidatoMS

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2014, 01:29:35 PM »
Thanks for  the information, Hyper.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 09:35:04 AM by Lord of losing Rings »

Offline Groudon

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2014, 04:46:18 PM »
I wouldn't mind seeing those emulators banned, but how would we figure out which existing stats used them and which didn't?

Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2014, 04:47:52 PM »
I wouldn't mind seeing those emulators banned, but how would we figure out which existing stats used them and which didn't?

Well commonly when a law is passed, everyone who broke it before it became law typically doesn't get prosecuted. I trust the same thing would apply here :p.

Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2014, 07:49:27 PM »
Sorry for doubleposting, but this is a big post I took a long time to write and I feel like merging it with the previous one would loose context.

I have not tested every emulator nor do I know of every one in existance. But I can try! Here's a list of all the emulators I've found on the internet with some brief comments. Some are more obvious than others that they're unsuitable for competition (such as Gens Rerecording 11b S3K camera/solidity display hack) and others seems like obvious choices for fair competition.

Here's also a useful guide to deciding on what emulator YOU should use, depending on your computer and preference to accuracy: http://segaretro.org/Comparison_of_Sega_Mega_Drive_emulators


It also seems like I'm not completely alone in my desire to at the very least enforce stricter rules on what emulator can be used. Hopefully after you see a list of them here, others who aren't completely convinced will see my reasoning at least.

Quote
KGen
DOS emulator

KGen98
DOS and Win9X emulator, rewrite of KGen

Kega
Old version of Fusion

Kega Lazarus
Newer version. Added 32x support

Kega Fusion
Latest version of Kega. Focuses on accuracy. Very optimised and features movie recording to AVI.

Gens
Features slowdown and buttonpress recording. Was used to make TASes before other versions with RAM watch, LUA-scripting, frame advance etc were developed.

Gens Movie Test
Early version of Gens rerecording.

Gens Rerecording 11b
Latest version mainly developed by people from TAS videos. Focuses on adding features like the ones in the comments about Gens.

Gens Rerecording11bS1/S2/S3K
Hacked versions of Gens11b that adds new camera functionality and solidity display among other things. Game specific.

Gens Plus!
Gens with added optimisations and graphical/sound features and the like.

DebuGens
Unofficial mod by Fuzzbuzz. Allows for dumping and importing of ROM, RAM and YM2612 channel data. Also features layer/object toggling.

Gens KMod
Mod of Gens to add development/debugging/hacking features.

Gens+ REWiND
Basically Gens+ but with a rewinding feature

Gens/GS
Variant made by our very own GerbilSoft. Adds and improves a bunch of technical stuff.

Gens/GS S2HD edition
Joke about HD rereleases

sGens
Shows a couple variables in real time for S1 and S2

GensM2K
???

DualGens
Developed specifically to compare beta ROMs to final products

Gens Hacking Version
Main functionality is to develop Game Genie and Action Replay codes.

Gens32
Lots of added functionality, including input movie support.

Gens32 Surreal
"Best" version of Gens32? Not sure of chronology but added compatibility and lost of work on sound.

Gens32 Ray
Abandoned(?) update to Surreal.

GNOME Gens
Experimental build of Gens to run with GNOME on Unix/Linux

BeOS Gens
BeOS port of Gens. Apparently runs well.

BizHawk
Multiplatform emulator, Genesis emu is work in progress but SMS and GG works fine. Not sure if specifically designed for TASing or not but certainly with it in mind. Lots of powerful options similar to Gens rerecording.

Ages
Focuses on "speedy" emulation. Can record and playback "demo files".

RetroCopy
"Extremely accurate" according to itself. Features a virtual 3D rendered room where both video and games can be displayed on a virtual TV.

RetroDrive
Formerly known as GENSX and VEGAS. First public 32X emulator, not sure about Genesis functionality.

HazeMD
Built on MAME (arcade emulator) focused on accurate emulation of all Genesis games, including unlicensced or pirated games. Integrated into MESS

MESS
Emulation project dedicated to emulate every home console and computer ever created in a very accurate way. Mostly inferior to dedicated emulators.

DGen/SDL
Typical emulator from the looks of it. Alse features a debugger for M68k. Discontinued.

DGen -not the above-
BeOS emulator that is "not a port of DGen"....?

Syn-Z
PSP port of DGen

Regen
Aims for maximum accuracy. Supports a lot of things and has a lot of neat features, even the same savestates as Fusion/Gens.

Genesis Plus
One of the most accurate emulators. Not many other features. Has been ported to GC, Wii and DC

Genecyst
DOS emulator. Got some cool features like real time VRAM/palette viewing but obsolete otherwise.

Genem
DOS/Win9X emulator. Buggy and obsolete

Generator/Generator32
Lots of programming shortcuts. Features a port to Amiga called AmiGenerator. Obsolete.

Megadrive
DOS.First public emulator? Capable of playing Sonic the hedgheog very slowly with no sound and many glitches, and it can do very little else.

Megasis
Features over- and underclocking, not much else noteworthy.

st0rm
DOS. It has bad emulation, most games don't work and there's no sound emulation at all.

VGEN (Virtual Genesis)
DOS. Some debugging options. Obsolete.

Triton (Formerly Xega)
Decent? Probably discontinued. Obsolete.

Genital
Bad emulator. Discontinued.

XGenEM
Apparently discontinued emulator for Unix/Linux. Features speed up.

Pocket Genesis
Emulator for PocketPC, Compaq iPAQ, and Casio Cassiopeia

PSPGenesis
PSP emulator. Nothing noteworthy

GenaDrive
Xbox and windows emulator. Bad.

PicoDrive
Pocket PC emulator later ported to PSP, DS (PicoDriveDS), iPhone (genesis4iphone)

Gensoid
Android emulator. Features savestates and fast forward.

MD.emu
Android. Based on PicoDrive, Gens, Plus etc. Not free.

TigerGens
Android. Savestates. Wiimote support.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 08:04:47 PM by TimpZ »

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2014, 06:19:51 AM »
Hairy issue we have here for sure, this news of so many TAS-ready equipped emulators is worrying.

The older systems certainly require some type of monitoring. Even extremes similiar to the idea of a SDA-approved DOSbox would be useful, but let's face it, we are far too deep into competition to introduce something like that without stepping on many many toes for it to work. Many, MANY people know much more about the workings and progression of these emulators features than I do, so I will hold my tongue here on this.

I don't know about BizHawk, but wouldn't Gens be widely used enough to have a significant amount of records pulled even by proven legitimate runners? (nvm they will be grandfathered I've been told). I always thought that was a popular one, could be wrong though. Also, would this not result in extra infrastructure to note what emulator was used in any submitted stats?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 06:44:05 AM by CrypticJacknife »

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2014, 09:27:32 AM »
The thing about Gens Plus (which is what I use) is that it has one nice implication for it's .giz recording functionality.

It also has no direct TAS functionality. Savestates cannot be used while recording, because the .giz only records controller input. The only way someone could possibly cheat with Gens Plus is a frame-advance while freezing the emulator. Note that even to do that, you would need to hold whatever controller buttons are necessary throughout the pause. This form of cheating through the emulator would thereby be very easy to detect.

Not trying to rock the boat in one way or the other anymore because I have more important things to worry about at the moment. I just want you guys to know the reliability that I've had in Gens Plus.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 09:32:51 AM by SpinDashMaster »

Offline SB737

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2014, 01:06:22 PM »
Looks like it's time to hear a Gens11 emulator user's point of view on the matter:

So the way this topic is going I'm getting the general implication that people are taking the view of what's the point of using an emulator with TAS functionality, when their are perfectly good alternatives?
Well the reason I use Gens11, is due to its GMV functionality, which is very useful for recording videos (if I wasn't gonna record a video than an emulator that can use savestates to put at the start fo levels would be enough for me), if I record without a GMV and use the emulators built in screen recorder on a screen recorder or whatever then this has a few disadvantages -
1) It uses up quite alot of space on my HDD, however granted you could just regularly delete the video files, however the beauty of a GMv file is that I can do as many attempts as I want for as long as I want, and the finished product? - a file of just a few kb in size - so much more eficient, and this functionality also outweighs Gens+ as you have to reload the savestate and then start the .giz recording again, which, for speed running where lots of attempts happen every 30 seconds or so, leads to a lot of repetitivity.
2) If I use Gens11 built in AVI recording function then I do find that the emulator does tend to lag somewhat and drop frames, making it difficult to play. Perhaps other emulators dont have that problem, although with fusion I had trouble with the output recording, sometimes it didnt encode correctly and it was unwatchable, however that may be something to do with the codec used?

I did for a period try to use official consoles for speed runnning and recording, however I found it difficult, mainly because I've grown used to the controller I used on PC, I totally suck at GC/SMD spindashes lol. So I also tried Sonic Mega Collection Plus on my PC, however because my PC was Windows 7 the specs were too high so it didn't work well at all, like none of the menu writing came up and stuff. But anyway I'm going off topic a little, the point was returning to emulators was so much nicer, for speed running, mainly for the recording, much simpler, quicker and easier.

Banning these emulators would be a massive change to TSC, and I know you're saying that we wouldn't delete stats that use these emulators from the past, however their is a rule that says something along the lines of "any stats submitted before a rule is placed that violate that rule are void" (I forget the exact wording), so if we want to keep consistency across TSC then all previous stats would need to be deleted using emulators, which is a pretty much impossible task.

I know how you feel timpz, it frustrates me too to see stats and think they must be BS, but having no way to prove it, I've come across stats like that myself that still stand, yet there's no real proff against them. :V

So personally I vote to not ban emulators, and that's my reasoning, I can't help feel that I've missed something that i was gonna say, so I might post again/edit this. So that's where I stand on the matter at least, and maybe other people who use these emulators feel the same.
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Offline TimpZ

Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2014, 04:12:06 PM »
First of all I feel like I need to repeat myself. I am not saying emulators should be banned, nor do I think that you can't submit times using an emulator like Gens Rerecording 11b. However, if you are competing with these kind of emulators, having a youtube video recorded with one should not count as evidence should you be called out.

If someone makes a BS call, linking to a youtube video of a gens recording is not proof at all because cheating tools are readily available, thus there's no real point in recording such videos for pure competition purpouses.

Secondly, ANY emulator that features input recordings and playback is susceptible to TASing because all it is, is inputs. This is especially a problem for e.g. Gens Plus since TASing on other Gens variants is so popular. I do not know much about the Ages demo file playback nor about the emulator itself, but if you were to convert a Gens TAS file to Ages I wouldn't be surprised if it desynched. With Gens Plus however I wasn't so sure.

It also has no direct TAS functionality. Savestates cannot be used while recording, because the .giz only records controller input. The only way someone could possibly cheat with Gens Plus is a frame-advance while freezing the emulator.

I went ahead and tested this, with good results (or bad depending on how you see it). Converting a Gens Rerecoding 11b TAS file to Gens Plus input movies is surprisingly easy once you know what you're doing. The first time I did it, it took me about 3 hours. The second time it took me 1 minute. The process can easily be streamlined and is not complicated at all (although I will not detail the process here). The following is Marzojr and Aglar's S3K S&T TAS that's currently on TASvideos, in GIR format playable on Gens Plus: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6rahfjbpuwi8108/marzojr3-knsonic3.gir

Note: It synchs perfectly but it stops in SO1 because Gens Plus has a #frames in the header while Gens Rerecording doesnt and I haven't bothered to figure out the syntax of it and just put in an arbitrary high number.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 04:25:57 PM by TimpZ »

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Gens/BizHawk and similar emulators should be banned from competition
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2014, 06:51:35 PM »
And can this process be replicated using, say, a .giz as the target file type (which embeds a savestate at the beginning)?

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