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BLueSS
January 27, 2007, 01:10:04 AM - ORIGINAL POST -


« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 08:55:28 PM by BLueSS »
 
Sesse
Read May 02, 2015, 04:41:54 PM #3576


I'm visiting Seattle (leaving Tuesday), and got to play twice Thursdays at Acme. (I also met Laura and Ben briefly; always nice to meet new players.)

I haven't really played since 2003–2004, so there are a lot of things that are new to me; a lot of them (like the general increase in level, ubiquitous use of the bar and speedmods, or hands/mines) I knew about, but some of the special effects in songs came as a complete surprise to me. So I got curious; does anyone know how much of this is programmable in newer versions of the machine software (I was told it's OpenITG) and how much is just clever hacks?

The special couples steps with different-looking notes for the players are obviously “just” a hack: Make all notes freezes or rolls, and that's it. There's also stuff like “Party Rock Anthem” that scrolls a lot of stuff over the screen to mess with you, but I suppose that could also be done with some pretty basic graphics stuff. But then I saw a song like “Pi”, and I'm having problems trying to understand how that could have been done with a classic StepMania engine from that era. Perhaps the notes themselves could have been done by allowing the song to have a separate skin for the arrows (although the 0s would have given a problem; perhaps you could just make every arrow invisible and then just scroll the entire thing as a video?), but the score in binary would be very tricky without some programming; unless it's just BCD, in which case maybe you could do it with skinning.

But something like “Link” (the Zelda theme), which is seemingly part of a larger pack where every pad hit make a sound, I cannot imagine being done just as a hack. Either the engine has to directly support that (and I don't think the original ones did), or you need a pretty flexible scripting layer available to the stepfile. I read somewhere that Stepmania 5 themes are scriptable in Lua (and perhaps the simfile could specify a specific theme?), but OpenITG is a 3.9 fork, right?
 
ancsik
Read May 02, 2015, 10:34:16 PM #3577

Going to try to tackle all of this in a logical order and without going on too long, but there's a good handful to cover.

At the most general level, if you see it working, it is accurate to say it is programmable - it just might not be nice to work with. As for what you can do in Lua, there are only a few things that you really can't do, though you do still have to get clever sometimes.

First off, regarding Stepmania versioning, you do seem to have things right. Here are the main relevant versions that I'll be mentioning:
- 3.9 (SMMAX theme)
- 3.95 and branches (real ITG and OpenITG)
- SM5 (4 branched as SSC, SSC officially became 5, the main point of SSC, as you mentioned, was originally a theme engine overhaul - 3.9+5 themes will not work and vice versa; introduced the new .ssc file format because there are new step types and other chart features that .sm and .dwi don't support)
I'm just going to work my way up the hierarchy of Stepmania hackery.

Without Lua, you get the following:
1. Chart Level
- Doubles as "Couples"
-> Pump Pro 2 (SM4-branched, IIRC? I don't remember) had proper engine support (Red/Blue per player) added. It may be possible to do the same in ITG with Lua and mods, but I don't know for sure.
- BPM tricks (double BPM with a short stop after each step to stutter, etc.)
-> Go fast enough and arrows appear to jump, since the game renders one frame every 16.6 milliseconds and they technically do "jump", you just can't see it until the arrows are really fast; mix with stops for more fun.
- Negative BPM Glitch (3.9+5 only; SM5 fixed the underlying bug)
-> If at the 60 second mark you flip to a negative BPM and 20 seconds "earlier afterward" (the editor will count time backwards as you scroll through measures) go back to the normal BPM, then 40 seconds in, the arrows on screen clear and it immediately thinks you're at the later 40 second mark, so it loads what would be on screen then and continues playing.
-> It more or less started with Monotune Respect (foonmix) back in the 3.9 days: https://youtu.be/b6nLOcpU4iQ?t=40s
-> SM's DDR scoring works fine, ITG scoring breaks (Monotune is AAAable, but a "quad" is about 76%, since the unused steps are simply 0's, equivalent to goods/decents)

2. Song Level
- BPM changes are constant across difficulties for a song, and technically should be listed here; SM5 may have or may not have or may in the future change to per-chart BPM stuff being allowed a la Pump
- BGAnimations supports placing graphics in the foreground that cover everything under them. There are charts like Sweet Doughnuts (Gay4Gimmix Again), Jayce's Still Alive, or the infamous Box (https://youtu.be/FCdx1bjGGRY) that do just cover the screen in something that tells you what to hit (as a conventional chart or otherwise), with the actual chart hidden underneath, others just use graphics to block the screen randomly (like Party Rock).
-> Full screen animations cover judgement, life bar, and score completely
- Mod scripts - you give a list of times to apply mods (turning them off is a matter of setting stuff back to normal).
-> I believe there's a non-Lua way to do this for a song, but am not 100% on that.
-> This is the way ITG courses do mods - the course definition supports mod scripting (the previous unknown is whether this exact format is available for songs as well)
-> The format translates to a very simple "at time X:XX, apply mod Y" with no way to do anything dependent on the current players nor any way to do something different to each player.
-> I know you can have arrows under different mods on screen if they're before/after the mod change, I don't know if you can set mods per-column or per-individual-arrow with a mod script.
-> Spergin2's Sweet Doughtnuts changes the chart (to left-right-left-right-...), but not the video overlay that displays the original G4G chart, so you have to know the pattern and when to start (and whether left or right) and get no judgment feedback.
-> Mod scripts support percentages, -50% mini makes the arrows bigger, various percentages (<50%) of reverse can be used to move the casings up and down without flipping the arrow direction, 10000% dizzy for a split second is a common flourish, etc.

Lua has been a core part of Stepmania for a long time, the engine overhaul for SM5 was basically a way to move more of the theme definition into Lua for simplicity, since theming via metrics.ini is kind of awkward and confusing even without a lot of Lua. The Lua execution environment offers access to anything the theme should need and more, regardless of what context Stepmania is trying to use Lua in, which is why the discovery that Lua can be called from within a song led to almost anything being fair game in OpenITG. For the most part, if you can do it without Lua, you probably can do it with Lua, too.

The rules of thumb on whether it takes Lua or not:
- Chart oddities and simple "display this image/video here" directives don't need Lua
- Unless they are dynamic somehow (selectively displaying an image, picking from a set conditionally, anything else that isn't always exactly the same)
- Everything else is probably Lua

Some actual Lua uses in game:
- Defining the flashing and display angle (ITG: great and lower are tilted) of judgement graphics in your theme's metrics.ini (and overriding it in song)
- Telling GAMEPREFSMAN that the Marvelous window (everything's DDR names internally still) is now 20 seconds wide
-> GAMEPREFSMAN persists changes, so this would actually stick, even across reboots
- WinDEU has used some combo of Lua and BGAnims to 3D render giant spinning ITG arrows that bounce around the screen as a foreground overlay
- Overriding your chart selection with a random pick for that song (the chart is actually immutable once picked, so you have to write Lua that edits it - which will apply on next load - and then exits/reenters the play screen, but it has been made to work)
- Scripting minigames into breaks between actual steps
-> Lose the minigame? You get random mods for awhile
-> WinDEU has a marathon where 1p plays a chart while 2p has to try to stop mods from being applied via various minigames as well as one where 1p plays a chart on a Taiko-style stripe at the top while 2p has to dodge TouHou-style bullet-hell by moving an unarmed character around the screen the whole time
- Alternate judgement graphics, including support for what seems to be a super-fantastic (displayed, not counted for scoring purposes): https://youtu.be/wBluMojRiO0
- Making the life bar, score, and any other standard objects spin, disappear, change colors, etc
- Among the many things in Party Rock ~bathtub mix~ is a text alert bar that goes very rarely used otherwise (certain operator actions trigger it IIRC) and "press GREEN to add even more crap": https://youtu.be/LnwnogQKfJw
- WinDEU has also managed to make a marathon jump to a Megaman-style stage select once started and between songs, so you can play the songs in any order you want before a final boss song. WinDEU has done a lot of things that Stepmania would rather not have had done to it, though.

I haven't seen Pi, but what you described sounds trivial from a non-graphics perspective at least - the score display is a function of the actual backing score, so removing it, then creating a separate one that plays by different rules (e.g. binary) should be easy in Lua. Translating bases is an absurdly common computer operation, so that should basically be a builtin in any language (and if not, it's dirt simple code). Having never done any SM Lua work beyond adding a little flicker to Chromatic's judgments (to differentiate steps, since the graphics don't move or bounce or anything).

Triggering sounds from Lua should also be reasonable (NOTE: have not seen Link or any that do it myself, so I'm just extrapolating from what I know), since there are already triggered sounds elsewhere in the engine (scrolling through the menu wheel, for example). There was a historical attempt to add full keysounding support, since 3.9 (and presumably later) could read .bms simfiles (beatmania charts) and remap them to 4/5/6/8/10 panel, it just wasn't able to play sounds on each key press a la most of the Bemani series.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 10:39:54 PM by ancsik »
 
Sesse
Read May 03, 2015, 05:42:23 PM #3578

Thanks for the very detailed explanation! So apparently you can really embed programs in stepcharts. Better make sure you're not loading a stepchart with an infinite loop, then…

Here's a video showing a short excerpt of Pi, for the reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFT_ngfdlxw
 
shakesoda
Read May 03, 2015, 08:18:18 PM #3579

Slight correction: SM5 has per-chart timings since the first preview, that's why we bumped the version to 5, actually.

Routine mode was added for Pro 2 and should be thoroughly impossible pre-SM4, it involved a lot of changes in the engine. Pro 2 is approximately equivalent to mid-late 2009 SM4 (+ early 2008 SM4 more or less matches Pro 1).

There's not really a lot of cool gimmick charts around for 5 (but all 3.95 ones *can* be converted with a little work), but anything 3.95 could do is only the tip of the iceberg compared to what can be done on modern versions of the game. A lot changes in a decade.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 08:20:52 PM by shakesoda »
 
OrangeChicken
Read May 21, 2015, 11:25:32 PM #3580

So, folks, in its still very basic level of modification - I was still able to pass a 16, albeit with a very low score and horrible great attacking. but this was like my 5th song so i think i'd be really unprepared for this

And this was a sightread too:

Hopefully we're getting somewhere
 
shakesoda
Read May 28, 2015, 11:55:18 PM #3581

ITG's P1 left felt like it needed an abnormal amount of force to trigger relative to everything else (played wednesday). I don't think it was bad enough to need immediate attention, but maybe worth a look at.

Also, <3 the super secret pack and all the easy (7-9) stuff in it.
 
Suko
Read June 01, 2015, 01:59:40 PM #3582

What is JudgeScale?
 
OrangeChicken
Read June 01, 2015, 10:19:42 PM #3583

ITG's P1 left felt like it needed an abnormal amount of force to trigger relative to everything else (played wednesday). I don't think it was bad enough to need immediate attention, but maybe worth a look at.

Also, <3 the super secret pack and all the easy (7-9) stuff in it.

Yeah, P1 is actually in a horrible condition.
It's "great" for DDR standards. However, go anywhere past 9-footers and consider your lifebar fucked. P2 is meh but acceptable for non-streamers. P1 can't even play techie 10s.

Laura/Tony and I will be down to do maintenance sometime soon, hopefully. We actually haven't finished modding and the pads were still a WIP.

Please keep letting us know of any other issues you may discover - this greatly helps us diagnose and fix! Thanks!
 
Laura
Read June 11, 2015, 12:53:04 PM #3584

Hey all,

I'll be back in the area next week and I'll take a look at the left arrow.

Also, just a friendly reminder: It is not safe to assume that I will see maintenance requests that are sent anywhere except to my forum account via PM. I specifically have my e-mail rigged up to give me notifications of PMs, whereas if you just post in this thread, I might not have time to check, and if you text message me I may simply not be checking.

Also, please refrain from "talking shop" to me via my Facebook user account at all; I don't want to mix work and my personal life. Smiley
 
Cxxxx
Read July 11, 2015, 03:59:24 PM #3585

Hey, just wanted to bring this up again to see if anything has changed since last year.  I had asked about turning on No Fail mode at ACME and the answer was "no settings on the machine will be changed at this time."  However, I noticed recently the single song cutoff length got extended, so I was hoping we might get No Fail turned on as well.
 
Laura
Read July 20, 2015, 05:42:12 PM #3586

Hi! I'm sorry for missing this. Cxxxx PM'd me exactly like he was supposed to, but for some reason the e-mail notification didn't come through. I'll be monitoring a lot more closely now that I know that this is an issue.

The single song cutoff length wasn't supposed to be extended; this is the first I've heard about this and probably has to do with Tony adding a new theme to the machine. I'll ask him about that.

Regardless, the single song cutoff being extended, were it intentional, would actually make it LESS likely that we'd turn No Fail on, since both of these things make people's sets longer and when combined allow for players to play sets far longer than the original game had the capability for.

On another note, I still need to find people who are available to test the pads. A few weeks ago I messed with the left arrow (the tape had slipped off and I put it back) and it seemed to be working okay, but I only play lower difficulty charts, so I basically can't test pad performance on 12s +.

Would anyone be available to meet me at ACME next Thursday night (July 30th, I believe?) to help me figure out what would make the pads better for higher level players?
 
OrangeChicken
Read July 21, 2015, 12:36:24 AM #3587

Hi! I'm sorry for missing this. Cxxxx PM'd me exactly like he was supposed to, but for some reason the e-mail notification didn't come through. I'll be monitoring a lot more closely now that I know that this is an issue.

The single song cutoff length wasn't supposed to be extended; this is the first I've heard about this and probably has to do with Tony adding a new theme to the machine. I'll ask him about that.

Regardless, the single song cutoff being extended, were it intentional, would actually make it LESS likely that we'd turn No Fail on, since both of these things make people's sets longer and when combined allow for players to play sets far longer than the original game had the capability for.

On another note, I still need to find people who are available to test the pads. A few weeks ago I messed with the left arrow (the tape had slipped off and I put it back) and it seemed to be working okay, but I only play lower difficulty charts, so I basically can't test pad performance on 12s +.

Would anyone be available to meet me at ACME next Thursday night (July 30th, I believe?) to help me figure out what would make the pads better for higher level players?

Just the song-extension is good enough and let's keep it pls Smiley
It helps some of us feel like we're less likely to waste rounds if we end up not performing well on a 2-rounder. Plus, it's annoying when some 2-rounders are literally 1 second too long of the cutoff. 3-rounders can probably be set back down to 6 minutes though.

Also, I unfortunately work everyday but I have Friday off so I was planning on asking you if we could meet up to fix the pads. But I'd also like there to be a third person - preferably the more common-sized adult player. I'm afraid the pads have become conditioned to just my play style - a 100lb kid playing 15s in his socks. This is not a good thing. Booregaurd couldn't pass a 12 here, so it may be an issue, although it also could've been he's conditioned to the Narrows pads.

I plan on playing all day at ACME on Friday and fixing up both the pads and if no one shows up I may just, at the least, get P1 started on modding. I haven't even started. I work at ACME now so they're more comfortable with my messing with the machine lool. Hopefully they don't ask me to work that day because I need to train for spergin5 smh.
 
Laura
Read July 22, 2015, 01:40:51 PM #3588

Are you talking about this Friday? I was planning on not doing pad work until after SMH because I'm super busy preparing for out-of-town visitors until then, but if you could meet me at like 11 I could help you in the late morning/early afternoon. Would need to be done and home by 2 PM.

 
OrangeChicken
Read July 22, 2015, 10:11:51 PM #3589

Are you talking about this Friday? I was planning on not doing pad work until after SMH because I'm super busy preparing for out-of-town visitors until then, but if you could meet me at like 11 I could help you in the late morning/early afternoon. Would need to be done and home by 2 PM.



Yeah, this Friday because that's literally my only day off for the rest of the month. I'm willing to try to make it by opening if you are.
 
Laura
Read July 23, 2015, 04:30:06 PM #3590

Yeah, opening is the only time I'd be able to go for it to even work, since I only have a couple of hours and can't afford to risk becoming stuck in traffic on the way back.

I'll plan on being there from 11-2 tomorrow as long as you confirm before I'd leave. Smiley
 
patrick
Read August 03, 2015, 11:20:30 PM #3591

I just wanted to say that the ITG machine looks spiffy. Thank you guys & gals for maintaining and upgrading it.

Edit: Also wanted to ask what themes are on the ITG machine?

« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 06:00:25 PM by patrick »
 
sengin
Read August 16, 2015, 07:42:06 PM #3592

So the last time I was able to play on an ITG machine was probably 7-8 years ago.  I found out on Wednesday by some stroke of luck that there was a machine here so I stopped by to check it out.  It felt so good to play on a machine again!  Only played one set of 3 songs and attempted Driven (failed on Energizer, but it's been years so it's fine) since I didn't bring water or anything.  I met 2 guys there who pointed me to this site - wish I had known about it earlier!  Thanks for the referral guys.
 
OrangeChicken
Read September 02, 2015, 10:01:44 PM #3593

I've been updating the modding for both P1 & p2 to about a decent basic level so it's neither too flushed nor craters. Feedback much appreciated pls, so far I've only been able to test with a 100lb powder-sock-streamer - me.
 
BLueSS
Read September 28, 2015, 08:38:28 PM #3594

So Z-i-V has the DDRX3 gone at Acme.   Did Narrows get Acme's machine?  Does Narrows have two DDR machines now?
 
mvco
Read September 29, 2015, 04:30:29 AM #3595

Yes, X3 had to leave Acme.  It was the slowest game in the entire arcade, sadly.  So yes, went to Narrows, but the Super Nova 2 at Narrows went to Daffodil Bowl in Puyallup.

Narrows currently has X3 and a custom ITG. 
 
Suko
Read September 29, 2015, 04:28:31 PM #3596

That's a shame. I'm always curious about why a certain game does poorly at certain locations.
 
Laura
Read October 01, 2015, 06:54:57 AM #3597

Does anyone still care about the ITG pads/want me to do anything specific to them? I have a bunch of time next week.
 
OrangeChicken
Read October 01, 2015, 12:14:01 PM #3598

Does anyone still care about the ITG pads/want me to do anything specific to them? I have a bunch of time next week.

My availability next week:

Thursday after my court meeting beginning at 1pm
Friday at opening
Saturday opening

That's if anyone still thinks we need some more work
 
OrangeChicken
Read October 16, 2015, 04:59:44 AM #3599

So, I'm guessing there won't be any work.

Anyway, starting next Thursday, I have every Thursday off from now on, hopefully. If you are still able to meet me to do some modding, pease do come on a Thursday.

I'd also like the pack list to be updated, there hasn't been anything new for a while.
 
Cxxxx
Read October 22, 2015, 02:56:57 PM #3600

Hey, stopped by ACME last night and just wanted to remind anyone who still plays here to be conscientious of powder-pocolypse.  There was baby powder spilled everywhere last night which is completely unacceptable.  It was even seeping into the brackets.  Please please please clean up after yourselves.



 
 
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