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ancsik
May 16, 2011, 01:25:23 PM - ORIGINAL POST -

It's probably about time to break this topic out from the main Acme thread, since there's been a lot of information about the machine posted to the main thread and the details are being obscured by meetup content at the same time that it makes it hard to notice the meetup / service update posts.

This thread will be here just to notify people of the work I do on the machine.  Song/pack requests should still go through the requests thread, physical maintenance still goes through the main thread.  In general, this thread is for reporting bugs to me (theme doing weird stuff, songs broken, etc) and for me to notify everyone of the changes I make.

ANNOUNCEMENT (5/31/11):

I'm beginning a daunting project - polishing the custom content so the machine remains suited to public use.  There are two main issues with much of the new content which will make the game awkward for new players and potentially existing players: Expert only and automatically generated display BPM.  

Full sets of charts for every song in every pack is a lofty and very impractical goal given how long it will take to write that many charts, but a lot of the new content ranks in at very high difficulties, and it's going to be a problem if a lot of players don't want to play with one another because the single difficulty available for a chart isn't amenable to both players - making a 9+ Hard chart to match the 12+ Expert charts of non-long songs would be a good start toward balancing things out so that players won't feel a strong need to play one at a time.  I know this is a potential issue as there were whispers of "I don't want to play a set with X because I want to play significantly harder/easier charts than X" yesterday, and having alternate, but still expert level, charts will help mitigate this damage as well as mitigate how scary a fully-loaded machine will be to newer players.  Volunteers to help out with writing charts would be greatly appreciated - the new songs are all from widely available packs, so if anyone wants to write an alternate chart, go find the right pack, write it (and test it, please), then send the new .sm file to me.

Fixing display BPMs is a much simpler task.  Almost everyone has, at some point, gotten screwed by seeing a 140 BPM song listed as 140-280 because of some stuttered notes and picking the wrong speed mod as a result.  Any time you find such a chart, let me know what the real BPM or BPM range (I know of a song that is 50-100, but displays as 50-200 due to stuttering - I'm sure there are others) is and I will update the file with the corrected display BPM value(s).

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 01:05:46 PM by ancsik »
 
ancsik
Read July 19, 2011, 01:18:30 PM #51

All of the various issues that come up with the coins not immediately registering (whether they end up registering or not) are tied to thread priority, as far as I know.  In that case, the better hardware (and beta 3, if I end up having to use it) should help for the same reasons.
 
Keby
Read July 19, 2011, 01:36:49 PM #52

You know this is really nothing, but there is a song missing from ITG3 I think.
It's called Wild Thing, and it's been missing from ITG3 for awhile now.

Kyle was working on the steps, and got singles done for the most part, but doubles was still being worked on. It's really nothing, but since ITG3 still isn't considered done I figured it wouldn't hurt just to slap this song right in the pack.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/4z4535

 
shakesoda
Read July 19, 2011, 11:36:16 PM #53

A new computer huh, I can't wait. That old boxor could use an upgrade for sure Tongue

If you're having build troubles, have you mentioned any to the stepmania/oitg teams? (irc @ irc.badnik.net, #openitg)
 
ancsik
Read July 20, 2011, 08:03:30 AM #54

@Keby: No reason not to throw it on there - plenty of space and all.

@shakesoda: Started a thread on Boxorroxors about it yesterday, since there are plenty of directions for the solution to come from (building from source, switching to another Ubuntu version or another distro entirely, figuring out why the prebuilt OITG releases don't work), and IRC would get annoying with the potential for branching in the discussion.
 
shakesoda
Read July 21, 2011, 01:08:36 AM #55

Whenever you do get it running, expect VSync to not quite work correctly. Launch oITG with __GL_SYNC_TO_VBLANK=1 set (i.e. __GL_SYNC_TO_VBLANK=1 startx /itgdata/openitg).

Also, the prebuilt versions probably don't work because you don't have 32bit libs. Read the terminal output and check libs with ldd.

Edit: Wouldn't Debian be a better choice for stability? Debian releases are known to be very stable and supported for a lot longer than Ubuntu.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 09:06:17 AM by shakesoda »
 
ancsik
Read July 21, 2011, 03:03:03 PM #56

The 32-bit prebuilts being an issue make sense, though I find it weird that they fail by throwing file not found errors and not something that's actually useful.  I will definitely keep VSync in mind once OpenITG is actually running.

I went with Ubuntu for a few reasons:
- 10.04 emphasized performance (especially boot performance), so you get the mostly Debian flavor of an Ubuntu LTS version with some good, well-tested enhancements. Furthermore, I'll be stripping the initialization sequence to the bare minimum needed to run OpenITG, so other than the new init daemon, it'll mostly be pure Debian anyway.
- Browsing Boxorroxors gave me the impression Ubuntu mightbe less painful to set up. There were plenty of threads for random Debian issues and very few Ubuntu-specific issues (the few there are high-level issues, too), so the Debian-based guides should take care of any lower-level issues I come across, if I even do.
  - I've worked in an Ubuntu environment before and ddrcoder recently installed Ubuntu onto his stock dedicab computer, so there's Ubuntu knowledge at very close range.
- I don't expect to actually lean heavily on long-term support - the point of LTS is that it's stable and has very few experimental changes.  The long-term support is focused on integrating newer software with the aging OS build, as the LTS build should be nearly bug-free.

EDIT: Took a look at the Ubuntu wiki, and there are some suggestions for lightweight 32-bit compatibility.  I'll give some of those options a try, since I'm really wanting to get a prebuilt version working if possible, but I'd prefer to exploit the 64-bit processor for the OS if possible.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 03:10:59 PM by ancsik »
 
shakesoda
Read July 21, 2011, 03:43:35 PM #57

In my experience, bare Debian without a DE boots much faster than Ubuntu.

Honestly, you should just use a 32-bit system. It will save a lot of headaches, performance differences will be negligible as oITG/SM doesn't particularly take advantage of it in the first place, and this system doesn't have so much memory that you need PAE or 64-bit addressing.
 
ancsik
Read July 21, 2011, 06:53:44 PM #58



It (presumably) works - Ubuntu doesn't ship with the 32-bit compatibility libraries, but simply adding that package fixes everything.  I don't have speakers connected and I've been using a cheap wireless keyboard and my TV, but performance is consistently 60 fps in a 640x480 window.  Not even Less Than Three hurts the frame rate - it doesn't break 50% usage on any core and memory stays under 50% as well.  I only have about a third of the current Acme content copied over, so I can't comment on menu lag just yet, but I haven't seen anything lag so far.  Actually, using Firefox to upload that screenshot shot resources much higher than OpenITG.

Scores copied over just fine, but I need to rip the signature keys (I swear I did already) or USB drives won't work on other machines (or when uploading to GrooveStats) and my copy of the scores is already like two weeks old.

We'll see about possible OS-related headaches - most of the game data loads from a separate drive than the OS, and that which doesn't is backed up on the second drive just in case, so if there are major issues, reformatting is fairly painless.
 
ancsik
Read July 22, 2011, 12:06:15 PM #59

I did some informal performance testing last night after that post - we're not running under exact arcade conditions:
- Saving the machine stats with no drives (USB drives aren't working yet) takes like 2 seconds.  Since I don't have the signature keys yet, this excludes the slight amount of time required to generate and save the signature file, but that should take less than a second.  There should be no reason for a full save cycle with 2 USB drives to take more than ~10 seconds, but it may be even less.
- Holding tab while cycling through the song list and running ITG3 shoots CPU usage to like 60% on one core, with the others staying put.  I can't make it lag, even with ITG3's graphics heavy setup (tab even speeds up the animated backgrounds) but it's still running a fraction of the full song list.  ITG3 spikes memory usage up to about 850 MB.
- The coin-stealing black loading screens can't be tested that well without installing the computer in a machine and using real coin mechs - the keyboard drivers are different, plain and simple.  However, I did let the machine run through them, and they are much shorter - as soon as the screen finished fading to black, it started fading the attract video in.
- The computer has been staying cool (the graphics card has topped out at 40 C / 104 F under when running it at much higher resolution than the arcade monitor will use and tab-accelerating ITG3) and quiet in general - I can't hear it when I'm sitting a few feet away from it.  Once everything else is good to go, I'll see if it remains stable after dropping the component voltages a notch, since that can do a lot to save some heat.

Remaining setup and testing:
- Plug in some speakers/headphones and confirm there's audio.
- Loading songs:  I'll probably be condensing some of the packs currently on the Acme machine, because there are both redundancies and stupid charts.
- Signature keys: otherwise an Acme profile will break on other machines and GrooveStats will hate your scores.
- Boot sequence tuning: no reason for Ubuntu to load most of the programs that load by default.  The full graphical interface is great for testing, but offers no benefit (and wastes resources) once installed into the machine - I can always enable the graphical interface again if there's significant work to be done.
- Memory cards: The hardest thing to set up as far as I can tell.  There are guides for how to do it, but everyone runs into random issues here.
- Playtesting: At some point, this thing needs to be set up in a machine so that we can see how the machine performs under normal usage.  Key things to look for would be timing issues, USB slowdowns, input issues (echoes, stolen coins, etc.), and stable output (no lag, no bouncing, proper framerate, etc.).
 
Suko
Read July 22, 2011, 02:11:16 PM #60

- Playtesting: At some point, this thing needs to be set up in a machine so that we can see how the machine performs under normal usage.  Key things to look for would be timing issues, USB slowdowns, input issues (echoes, stolen coins, etc.), and stable output (no lag, no bouncing, proper framerate, etc.).
I suggest you have a "Break it in" weekend where you have people test out the new machine while you're there to see the problems first hand and make patch attempts on-the-fly.
 
ancsik
Read July 22, 2011, 05:45:30 PM #61

I'm planning on scheduling an hour or two of testing to check for glaring errors as soon as I can make something like that work (I've got a busy couple weeks ahead of me).  The install would be soon after and I'd keep the day open so I could be around to fix up minor issues as they arise.
 
CheeToS
Read July 22, 2011, 10:11:30 PM #62

USB seems to be working!


* WP_000066.jpg (1267.02 KB, 2560x1920 - viewed 549 times.)
 
ancsik
Read July 24, 2011, 11:12:47 AM #63

Everything's definitely falling into place.  I've loaded a few more packs onto the machine and used them to test for menu lag; there is absolutely no lag.  Rendering 640x480 background videos is a non-issue as well.  Audio is confirmed to work.

The sync seems about right, but it's hard to say for sure with my current test environment - HDTVs do not like 640x480 signals coming in through a VGA cable and I don't know if my TV compensates for upscale lag by lagging the audio or not.  An Acme test run will include syncing the machine.

As mentioned, memory cards seem to be working, but they definitely need to be tested with a USB hub.
 
CheeToS
Read July 24, 2011, 03:04:59 PM #64

Audio is confirmed to work.
What was the problem before?
 
ancsik
Read July 24, 2011, 03:42:02 PM #65

For some reason, the audio configuration was set to 1 input, 0 outputs.  I really don't know why, but whatever, it's fixed now.
 
tadAAA
Read July 25, 2011, 05:35:17 PM #66

I'm not sure whether this is an OpenITG issue or a general ITG issue, but it wouldn't let me take a screenshot the last time I went to Acme on the third song of a set (was able to take screenshots after the first two songs).  I had 123 screenshots taken when this happened, which doesn't seem like any sort of logical limit.  Also, only about 1% of my USB's storage space has been used, so I definitely had free space.  I was able to take screenshots once again when I transferred them all to my laptop, though.
 
ancsik
Read July 25, 2011, 11:58:10 PM #67

That's an odd bug.  I don't see why it would happen either.  I'll forward it onto the OpenITG team at some point.
 
ancsik
Read July 28, 2011, 10:36:43 AM #68

Ripped the rest of the packs from the current computer on Tuesday and loaded them onto the new computer yesterday.  Everything is still running very cleanly even with so much content loaded - no menu lag, OpenITG starts up very quickly, even songs with 640x480 video run at a constant 75 Hz (the dedicab monitor runs at 60 Hz, so it would take one hell of a resource intensive file to lag it in the slightest).

I'll be loading the Tachyon packs onto the new computer when I get a chance, then doing some more de-duping, since those packs contributed to a tournament pack currently on there, and some of them also ended up being pulled into Customs 2 from the tournament pack.

Charts will wind up in their original pack if they've been duplicated (basically, Customs 1/2 will get a lot smaller).  I will fix up the high score list to the best of my ability such that any files moved around have their high scores carry over (in the case of current duplicates, I'll try to merge them).

Finally, even though we have enough space to download any pack we want, it's still annoying to have to sift through all those packs, especially since the quality varies or a lot of charts are almost the same.  I'm currently trying to condense series into single best of packs and trim some of the compilation packs down. Mute 1-4 and Zim 1-4 will be condensed to single Mute and Zim packs, preferably with each in the 20-30 song range, and H1N1 and the DDR Illini packs will be trimmed down to some extent as well; Dragonforce and the Tachyon packs are GrooveStats-supported, so they won't be trimmed (well, Tachyon has some obscenity to be cut, but that's the only reason I'll cut charts from there, at least for now). SPERGIN is local content and Gimmix is awesome, so they'll stay; I'm contemplating trimming DOWNS to the least gimmicky handful of charts, since most of it is so weird that it's essentially unplayable, but I haven't decided what I'm doing with it yet.

Everyone, please let me know of any charts you'd really like to see kept on the machine from Mute 1-4, Zim 1-4, H1N1, or DDR Illini.  I'm running through these packs myself and trying to keep every chart that seems worthwhile, but I am not a good judge of 13+'s and find stream-heavy 11's to generally be really boring, so I'm trying to avoid being the sole authority on what stays since that risks biasing the selection too much.  Post here with any charts you really want to keep - make sure to post what pack it's from (at least the series for Mute / Zim files, but preferably the specific pack).
 
sfxazure
Read July 28, 2011, 08:34:21 PM #69

Ripped the rest of the packs from the current computer on Tuesday and loaded them onto the new computer yesterday.  Everything is still running very cleanly even with so much content loaded - no menu lag, OpenITG starts up very quickly, even songs with 640x480 video run at a constant 75 Hz (the dedicab monitor runs at 60 Hz, so it would take one hell of a resource intensive file to lag it in the slightest).

I'll be loading the Tachyon packs onto the new computer when I get a chance, then doing some more de-duping, since those packs contributed to a tournament pack currently on there, and some of them also ended up being pulled into Customs 2 from the tournament pack.

Charts will wind up in their original pack if they've been duplicated (basically, Customs 1/2 will get a lot smaller).  I will fix up the high score list to the best of my ability such that any files moved around have their high scores carry over (in the case of current duplicates, I'll try to merge them).

Finally, even though we have enough space to download any pack we want, it's still annoying to have to sift through all those packs, especially since the quality varies or a lot of charts are almost the same.  I'm currently trying to condense series into single best of packs and trim some of the compilation packs down. Mute 1-4 and Zim 1-4 will be condensed to single Mute and Zim packs, preferably with each in the 20-30 song range, and H1N1 and the DDR Illini packs will be trimmed down to some extent as well; Dragonforce and the Tachyon packs are GrooveStats-supported, so they won't be trimmed (well, Tachyon has some obscenity to be cut, but that's the only reason I'll cut charts from there, at least for now). SPERGIN is local content and Gimmix is awesome, so they'll stay; I'm contemplating trimming DOWNS to the least gimmicky handful of charts, since most of it is so weird that it's essentially unplayable, but I haven't decided what I'm doing with it yet.

Everyone, please let me know of any charts you'd really like to see kept on the machine from Mute 1-4, Zim 1-4, H1N1, or DDR Illini.  I'm running through these packs myself and trying to keep every chart that seems worthwhile, but I am not a good judge of 13+'s and find stream-heavy 11's to generally be really boring, so I'm trying to avoid being the sole authority on what stays since that risks biasing the selection too much.  Post here with any charts you really want to keep - make sure to post what pack it's from (at least the series for Mute / Zim files, but preferably the specific pack).

If the packs are organized well, I don't see why we need to trim them down.  Other than duplicates and some of the real BS in DOWNS (Vertex Reaf, Complicated, etc), there's nothing I can think of on our machine that deserves to be removed.  If finding songs becomes tedious, we can just up the scroll speed, right?
 
Dr.Z
Read July 28, 2011, 11:21:19 PM #70

Even if a few of the charts aren't bs-hard, there are certainly a few which would definitely annoy the crap out of the entire bowling alley if played, such as:

Better Off Alone - Beeeees! Mix from Legend of Zim 2
Keyboard Crusher from Flash Exclusives & Friends v2
Tapioca Game Keyboard Crusher from Flash Exclusives & Friends v2

It's not that these charts are just loud (which they are), but through nearly the entire song, there's a guy screaming bloody murder in the background.
 
tadAAA
Read July 28, 2011, 11:25:03 PM #71

I agree with Ben.  Trimming down the packs at best makes things a little more convenient, and at worst, severely pisses people off and causes that the PNW Bemani community is infamous for.

One maybe-not-so-great idea I had though is to put all the removed songs in a misc. folder.  But I think it would be best to just leave things as is, as it's a great thing to still be able to discover new songs that you like to play.
 
ancsik
Read July 29, 2011, 01:41:45 AM #72

There are a few issues at hand.

One is that every pack eventually slides into obscenity or plain annoyance since something just seemed like such a good idea to step, per Dr. Z's comments, but I don't think anyone is disputing the removal of such songs.

More notably, having packs where a good portion of the charts just plain suck makes players want to give up on that pack rather than keep sifting through it to find those good charts - if you try 4 or 5 charts from pack X and they're all lackluster at best, would you go onto another pack or keep searching for the hidden gems in that pack or would you go onto the next pack?  Simply put, quality control is important for a public facing machine - USB cards and Stepmania work great for testing things out without putting them onto the machine.

Additionally, nothing says that a deleted chart can't be added back in (and nothing says trimming can't be done conservatively at first and then we can make a cleaner run through it later).  I'm condensing things according to their original sources whenever possible so that players can go find the full packs themselves if they're so inclined, which allows them to discover things and hopefully lead them to new content, so that the song list doesn't stagnate.

I've also seen people get confused over multiple packs which have charts to the same song.  It gets confusing and there's often no way to merge them into one location.  This is a much rarer situation than charts being bad in the first place, but it does happen.

Also, we can't actually raise the scroll speed.  I have it maxed out already on the new computer and it's getting to be impractical to sort by anything but pack with how much content there is, so it does come down to memorizing which pack had what in it or sifting endless through the list in an alternate sort.
 
sfxazure
Read July 29, 2011, 08:20:40 AM #73

There are a few issues at hand.

One is that every pack eventually slides into obscenity or plain annoyance since something just seemed like such a good idea to step, per Dr. Z's comments, but I don't think anyone is disputing the removal of such songs.
I agree with this when it comes to obscenity, but what makes a song annoying is subjective.

More notably, having packs where a good portion of the charts just plain suck makes players want to give up on that pack rather than keep sifting through it to find those good charts - if you try 4 or 5 charts from pack X and they're all lackluster at best, would you go onto another pack or keep searching for the hidden gems in that pack or would you go onto the next pack?  Simply put, quality control is important for a public facing machine - USB cards and Stepmania work great for testing things out without putting them onto the machine.
Which packs are you talking about here?  "Just plain suck" is totally subjective.  I happen to think the Zim charts are pretty good.  Some of them are less awesome (Malice, $$ Troopers, Printer Jam, etc) but none of them are truly awful.  I can't speak about the mute/H1N1/DDR Illini packs since I haven't played them much, but I suspect others who play songs in them like the charts.

Additionally, nothing says that a deleted chart can't be added back in (and nothing says trimming can't be done conservatively at first and then we can make a cleaner run through it later).  I'm condensing things according to their original sources whenever possible so that players can go find the full packs themselves if they're so inclined, which allows them to discover things and hopefully lead them to new content, so that the song list doesn't stagnate.
Unless you're planning some sort of official method of handling requests to put songs on the machine, this seems like lots of work.

I've also seen people get confused over multiple packs which have charts to the same song.  It gets confusing and there's often no way to merge them into one location.  This is a much rarer situation than charts being bad in the first place, but it does happen.
As long as they all have different banners, I don't see that as a problem.

Also, we can't actually raise the scroll speed.  I have it maxed out already on the new computer and it's getting to be impractical to sort by anything but pack with how much content there is, so it does come down to memorizing which pack had what in it or sifting endless through the list in an alternate sort.
Knowing which song is where doesn't sound all that bad, but neither does sifting through a longer-than-usual alphabetic sort.  Perhaps we could try having that much content on the machine and see if other people complain.  I'd rather see that then have people suddenly complain that their favorite song is missing, especially since not everyone in the community frequents these forums.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 08:26:41 AM by sfxazure »
 
Gerrak
Read July 29, 2011, 09:34:41 AM #74

H1N1 and DDR Illinois are pretty heavily played right now as a whole. I was originally thinking trimming it down would be good but I see a lot of people playing songs I didn't really think would be popular, so I'd just eliminate the repeats with these (and blatantly terrible gimmick songs/charts) and be done. Mute and Zim packs have a whole ton of garbage so yes, please condense these. Honestly the Sakuracon packs have a ton of garbage too so these might be looked at as well.

Quote
"Just plain suck" is totally subjective.

Charts that "just plain suck" are pretty universally agreed upon on the machine. Such as
Quote
Better Off Alone - Beeeees! Mix from Legend of Zim 2
Keyboard Crusher from Flash Exclusives & Friends v2
Tapioca Game Keyboard Crusher from Flash Exclusives & Friends v2

If one's masochistic or abnormal taste in bad charts or songs happens to include what ends up being removed, chances are you're about the only one who would like it, and you can stand to just put it on your USB. As Tony said, we can always put things back on if we eliminate something that's actually good, and I suspect these will be very few in number.

Quote
Knowing which song is where doesn't sound all that bad, but neither does sifting through a longer-than-usual alphabetic sort.  Perhaps we could try having that much content on the machine and see if other people complain.  I'd rather see that then have people suddenly complain that their favorite song is missing, especially since not everyone in the community frequents these forums.
None of the songs that are removed are going to be anyone's absolute "favorite" (or they should maybe get some help), and consider it a complaint already that there are so many songs on the machine I currently can't sort it alphabetically or by difficulty anymore...

I wanted to add this in...
Quote
More notably, having packs where a good portion of the charts just plain suck makes players want to give up on that pack rather than keep sifting through it to find those good charts - if you try 4 or 5 charts from pack X and they're all lackluster at best, would you go onto another pack or keep searching for the hidden gems in that pack or would you go onto the next pack?
*cough* *cough* SPERGIN pack *cough* *cough* Wink


Anyway I think Tony's in the right with trimming it down. Like 1 in 10 songs on the new packs are tolerable. I've played a bunch of new charts and most of what I've played has made me gag a little.
Quote
Simply put, quality control is important for a public facing machine - USB cards and Stepmania work great for testing things out without putting them onto the machine.
^This

Quote
I'm running through these packs myself and trying to keep every chart that seems worthwhile, but I am not a good judge of 13+'s and find stream-heavy 11's to generally be really boring, so I'm trying to avoid being the sole authority on what stays since that risks biasing the selection too much.
Tony, a good way to deal with this is look at what songs have scores on them. If it's got more than a 90-95% it might be worth keeping. You might also post a list of questionable songs you're removing along these lines and just see if anyone wants one or more of these to remain on the machine.

Also, Customs pack 1 and Customs 2 (which have those names and hence appear reversed alphabetically from how they should be, by the way) should maybe ultimately just be merged into a single "PNW Bemani Customs" folder.

Anyway thanks Tony for all the hard work on this!
 
Suko
Read July 29, 2011, 10:12:42 AM #75

I think everyone is thinking about this from a hardcore player POV. Having that many songs on a machine would certainly overwhelm a new player if they accidentally got off the default songpack.

I think Tony did what most governments need to be worried about. He gave the community stuff and now he can't trim it back without people getting peeved. Personally, I say trim it and let people bitch. 3 months from now no one will be whining.

Also, with the new comp, loading songs from USB will be MUCH more practical. People could just bring their favorites to play via that method.
 
 
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