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 Barnstorming - Game #1 - 32.04 - What the...?!?!!


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#26 RCorcoran OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 9:19 AM

 
32.04 seconds on Barnstorming?!? What?!? :?

How close can anyone here get to this time? :?

and...

How valid or invalid are the scores on Twin Galaxies? :?

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ALL classic home console scores on Twin Galaxies are verified by videotape recording or live event competition. How do I know? I have been the Atari and Intellivision Editor for 7+ years. :)

#27 RCorcoran OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 9:21 AM

They're pretty good at Twin Galaxies about making sure their scores are accurate (although they still don't have my Space Invaders score in mame up :roll: ).

Just wait for Ron C. to reply to get the full story :)


NE, I don't handle MAME anymore. You'll need to talk to Mark Longridge to get your score posted.

#28 RCorcoran OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 9:26 AM

 

...best result I could get was 32.07 seconds...how could Todd get 32.04 seconds...Must check the code...


Thanx for the reply Thomas.  :D  I was thinking that would be your results too. I also hacked out all of the windmills and had the very same time. :ponder:

This is why I raised the question about the validity of the time. If you look on TG, it lists the time as being "Referee Confirmed" too. There is no possible way to get that time on a normal production cartridge. So far, my best time is 32.920, but I know it can be slightly improved. But almost a full second better is not possible. :thumbsdown:

So what does this say about Twin Galaxies? :?  If we are to believe their rankings and compete against people associated with TG, how can we be sure we're all getting a fair shake? I'm not saying that TG is bogus, but there might be some bad apples in the bunch. :?

As far as getting a 32.04, it's not possible on the ROM or the actual cartridge. The game is designed to slow your horizontal progress every time you change your vertical position. Thus, a perfect game would use no vertical movement. By hacking out only the windmills graphics and no kernal code, you should be able to simulate a perfect game. With such a hacked ROM, the best possible score is 32.07. There is [b]no 32.04. :mad:

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You need to come to CGE. Last year, after almost 20 years, Todd performed a 32.77 on his 2nd attempt, in-front of 40+ people (including myself). He has also recorded his game to videotape that we have in the TG archives as proof positive of his performance. Todd will again be at CGE this year to demonstrate his technique/pattern for BS Game 1 and I invite you (and anyone else) to drop by the TG booth to observe. :)

#29 Jeffy Arensmeyer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 9:45 AM

 

To this day, he is still among the top 3.


Thank you for the heads up on that one. I had noticed a good many of his posted scores dated back to 1983.

How do I know? I have been the Atari and Intellivision Editor for 7+ years. :)


Taking this into consideration, do you have any theories on why a non-windmill game is 32.07 (32.05 possibly), but a windmill-present game (involving multiple vertical movements) is 32.04? :?

ALL classic home console scores on Twin Galaxies are verified by videotape recording or live event competition. How do I know? I have been the Atari and Intellivision Editor for 7+ years...He has also recorded his game to videotape that we have in the TG archives as proof positive of his performance...


Then there should written, video taped, or otherwise documentation on file detailing the exact parameters and conditions of that particular score, right? :? If so, can you review that information and see if there's any insight on how the time/score is possible? :?

You need to come to CGE.


Wish I could. That's a bit out of my way, but it always sounds like a lot of fun. Hmmm...

Last year, after almost 20 years, Todd performed a 32.77 on his 2nd attempt, in-front of 40+ people (including myself).


There's no doubt that a score like this can be achieved. As a matter of fact, that's the next highest score on TG compared to Todd's. But there has to be a tangible limit at some point, unless the game speeds the plane up beyond nominal "fast" during the game.

The fact still stands that a 9 year old record still stands and the closest competitor is almost 0.6 seconds behind that.

Ron, thank you very much for participating in this post. Your comments are informative and honest. My whole goal is to understand the score and the way it was achieved, not invalidate it if it's legitimate. :D

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#30 StanJr OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 10:23 AM

the hacked "no windmill" evidence is pretty convincing and damning. My hope is that it is an honest score, but it seems unlikely considering the informational available. There are a lot of unknown variables here though. If TG has a tape of him getting 32.04 on record, that's what I want to see.

#31 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 11:35 AM

Todd Rogers, back in the early 80's, was hired by Activision to travel the US and promote their games.

There goes my PAL theory. :sad:

But I have another one: :)
If he was hired by Activision, he might have had access to prototypes. Maybe there was a nearly finished version, where moving the plane up and down doesn't slow it down. Then he would have made a perfect game based on this version. That fits, doesn't it?

I'm quite sure that Todd did not cheat, because else he would have risked all his records to be doubted. Nobody is that stupid. :D

So, does anybody know about prototypes of Barnstorming or can tell more about the relationship between Todd and Activision?

#32 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 5:23 PM

Would the removal of the windmills have an effect on the timer itself? If that were true (even to a very small degree) it could have an impact on the final score (i.e. with no windmills, the display has less to produce...speeding it up?).

#33 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 5:25 PM

Would the removal of the windmills have an effect on the timer itself? If that were true (even to a very small degree) it could have an impact on the final score (i.e. with no windmills, the display has less to produce...speeding it up?).
How were these removed? Simple erasure (via 2600gfx) or code alteration?

#34 Turnspike OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 8:14 PM

After reading this topic, I played Barnstorming about 300 times, and my last shot was a 33.02

I had to let off the throttle once, but I think I can fix that.

#35 DuckandCover OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 9:53 PM

I hope that some helpful soul that attends CGE will be kind enough to post what Todd demonstrates about his Barnstorming technique/pattern for the rest of us folks that can't attend. This conversation has really piqued my curiousity. I don't doubt the integrity of TG, but I really trust the collective technical knowledge of the users here, so I'd like to know how Todd accomplished that score. If a tape of the score exists, it would be very revealing.

#36 RCorcoran OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 10:50 PM

I hope that some helpful soul that attends CGE will be kind enough to post what Todd demonstrates about his Barnstorming technique/pattern for the rest of us folks that can't attend. This conversation has really piqued my curiousity. I don't doubt the integrity of TG, but I really trust the collective technical knowledge of the users here, so I'd like to know how Todd accomplished that score. If a tape of the score exists, it would be very revealing.


Todd is at the Twin Galaxies Mall of America event this weekend serving as a referee. Upon his return, I will ask his permission to release his tape (in .avi format). Please be advised that he may decline as it has proprietary knowledge, very similiar to Billy Mitchell's Perfect Pacman patterns or Donkey Kong strategies, Chris Ayre's Ms. Pacman grouping techniques, Jeff Lowe's Burgertime patterns, etc... The top players are VERY protective of their patterns/strategies/knowledge. As for CGE, I will make it a point to let Al know when Todd will put on the demonstration so he can witness this himself. We will also ask to tape his run digitally and post it to Twin Galaxies. I am also going to ask Todd to visit this forum thread and discuss with you his thoughts, insights, etc.

Hope this helps,

#37 StanJr OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 11, 2002 11:10 PM

I'm sorry if I sound like an ass here, but WHAT? He may decline because he's afraid someone will copy his Barnstorming strategy? Was that really said? Am I dreaming? Is any of this real? Someone will copy his BARNSTORMING STRATEGY? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. "Oh no! Somebody played Barnstorming just like me!" Could this be some twisted form of video game geek pride?

By the way, I have a unicorn made of solid gold living in my basement, but you can't see it, I'm afraid you might steal my golden unicorn raising methods.

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

can we all come back to reality for a minute.

#38 Doc4 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 1:04 AM

"Insert foot in mouth on this one" I'm going to have to agree with this last statement. Strategies on an Atari 2600 Barnstorming sacred? Lets get real, Barnstorming didn't exactly take off and get remade a hundred times ending up with a three-d version for the x-box with millions of world record setting goals. I highly doubt this should be of any consequence to Todd or Twin Galaxies. I fully agree with people holding onto their personal scores and strategies for games to keep a high score, but when nearly everyone who has posted on this forum has come within seconds of Todd's score with hundreds of tries and even modifying the game to achieve the impossible something sounds pretty fishy. What, on the off chance, this is just a typo and no one has bothered to fix it or even noticed it? Just an opinion. I'm not trying to start a fight with anyone, especially not with Twin Galaxies, I'm glad their here making the effort and contributions they do. Not to sound like an ass either, by the way.

#39 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 1:12 AM

Would the removal of the windmills have an effect on the timer itself? If that were true (even to a very small degree) it could have an impact on the final score (i.e. with no windmills, the display has less to produce...speeding it up?).
How were these removed? Simple erasure (via 2600gfx) or code alteration?

Simple erasure (via hex editor).

I had a look at the code, removing the windmills doesn't have any effect.

#40 Atarian7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 5:13 AM

I don't think it's ridiculous to protect strategy or secrets when it comes to world records. So what if some people take it seriously. There are probably things you take seriously that don't mean jack squat to other people. It has nothing to do with not wanting "someone played just like me". I am guessing that Todd will allow the video to be shown though unless it is something difficult to figure out.

About Todd getting a 32.77 his 2nd attempt. I got a 32.8 in the first hour I started playing this game but in the 3 or 4 days since I haven't been able to improve my time. I don't think it serves as proof that he could get 32.04 because he was able to do so well on only his 2nd attempt. I do however think he got the time; i'm just saying that example doesn't really prove what's possible.

By the way i've gotten 32.84, 32.89, 32.97? and I couldn't see the difference between those games and the 32.80

#41 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 5:48 AM

By the way i've gotten 32.84, 32.89, 32.97? and I couldn't see the difference between those games and the 32.80

Whenever you move the plane up or down, the throttle is disabled during that period and the plane slightly slows down. This is checked every frame.

So, if you move the plane only a little bit more in total (a few pixel), then your time will become higher.

#42 Jeffy Arensmeyer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 6:29 AM

 

...I will ask his permission to release his tape...he may decline as it has proprietary knowledge...top players are <b>VERY</b> protective of their patterns/strategies/knowledge.


The score is under scrutiny right now, and since TG cannot offer any evidence that the score is valid, other than "7+ years experience", it is not an unjustified request to have the tape released.  There's no use in keeping "documentation of scores" if they cannot be validated by outside sources when questions arise.  Sounds an awful lot like "Trust us. Our finances are fine - WorldCom"   :roll:

...I will make it a point to let Al know when Todd will put on the demonstration so he can witness this himself.


Can you please also post this event on the CGE Celebrities section of the web site?  I would like some type of documented justification in case I blow 300 smacks to go to LV to see this demostartion myself:twisted:

...We will also ask to tape his run digitally and post it to Twin Galaxies.


Should this idea become a regular section of TG?  Sure, some guys want to hide their incredible strategies, but other videos would be of interest to a lot of people, and could also validate some of the scores we're "officially given":thumbsup:

...I am also going to ask Todd to visit this forum thread and discuss with you his thoughts, insights, etc.


That is a very generous offer and I'm sure we all can promise you that it wouldn't turn into any type of Todd Bashing. We just want to get some insight on how the score came about, how much Todd practices, etc..  :D  :D

Simple erasure (via 2600gfx) or code alteration?


The Process...[list]

None of the kernal nor any other operations were changed, only graphics at the end of the ROM.  The tops of the windmills were left in to maintain as much original content without interferring with dodging the windmills. Thus, the animation of the windmills is still present, but the lower structure is removed so you just fly right under them. This is the exact same ROM from AtariAge. And you can get the [i][b][url=http://www.videogamefever.com/atariage_forum/Barnstorming-No_Lower_Windmills.bin]hacked one here8)

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#43 RCorcoran OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 8:45 AM

I'm sorry if I sound like an ass here, but WHAT? He may decline because he's afraid someone will copy his Barnstorming strategy? Was that really said? Am I dreaming? Is any of this real? Someone will copy his BARNSTORMING STRATEGY? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. "Oh no! Somebody played Barnstorming just like me!" Could this be some twisted form of video game geek pride?

By the way, I have a unicorn made of solid gold living in my basement, but you can't see it, I'm afraid you might steal my golden unicorn raising methods.

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

can we all come back to reality for a minute.


Stan:

You do sound like an ass here, but I'll leave that alone. Yes, most of the top videogame players in the world have closely guarded their techniques, patterns, etc. for decades. Is it pride? I doubt it. Understand that most of these folks spent years perfecting their gameplay ability, constantly refining patterns, learning behaviours, etc. All without digging into the code. I know Chris Ayre has spent 20 years playing Ms. Pacman, every single day (more or less), and has discovered certain behaviours that he is not willing to share with others. Greed? Possibly. Some people are just that way. Robert Mruczek and myself are the type of people that share our discoveries with others. Todd is too. But I cannot speak for him and say yes, we will release his tape. While TG is very particular about score validity, we also protect the rights of the gamer. Therefore, Todd must make that call (as I'm sure he will).

I hope this helps.

#44 RCorcoran OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 8:59 AM

Here we go...

The score is under scrutiny right now, and since TG cannot offer any evidence that the score is valid, other than "7+ years experience", it is not an unjustified request to have the tape released.  There's no use in keeping "documentation of scores" if they cannot be validated by outside sources when questions arise.  Sounds an awful lot like "Trust us. Our finances are fine - WorldCom"   :roll:

Again, to protect the player, we must ask first. I doubt Todd will decline, but I cannot speak for him or anyone else. Would you want me giving away your secrets without your permission?

Can you please also post this event on the CGE Celebrities section of the web site?  I would like some type of documented justification in case I blow 300 smacks to go to LV to see this demostartion myself:twisted:

I can't do this as I am not affiliated with Digital Press (the folks who host CGE). Todd did appear in the Hernando Today newpaper last week for his accomplishments at the FunSpot Event in NH.


Should this idea become a regular section of TG?  Sure, some guys want to hide their incredible strategies, but other videos would be of interest to a lot of people, and could also validate some of the scores we're "officially given":thumbsup:

We have discussed this at great length. The TG attorneys have *cautioned* us on this as it *can* be construed as copyright violation... lawyers... :(

That is a very generous offer and I'm sure we all can promise you that it wouldn't turn into any type of Todd Bashing. We just want to get some insight on how the score came about, how much Todd practices, etc..  :D  :D

How you conduct yourselves is your business. I would like to think that everyone here is mature and professional as Atari fanatics are a special breed. :) Unfortunately, we all know that passion can sometimes over-rule decorum.

#45 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:31 AM

Ok here is my $0.02 since I am the Colecovision Referee - No Barnstorming cart on that platform :D

As for scores on Twin Galaxies, if you can prove a score is not legitamite we will look into it. Todd Rogers happens to be one of those people who is rarely questioned due to his past accomplishments (he Proved Activision wrong with the best time on Dragster - their computer simulation said it wasn't possible until he came in and proved it)

I saw Todd play Barnstorming last year at CGE and yes there is a strategy he uses to get the best time (on this and other games). I also believe he'll have no issue releasing his tape once contacted.

I also dont value of a hacked cart played on an emulator, though I will play it for myself :)

#46 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:34 AM

Mountain = molehill.

This is - without a doubt - one of the most ridiculous arguments I've seen in some time. "Whether or not a videogame record was achieved legitimately." Cripes, is there some kind of Barnstorming High Score Prize I'm unfamilar with? Is there a cash prize or a governmental position at stake? No? Then what's the big friggin' problem?

You guys are tearing up game code, looking for loopholes. You've all but called Ron and Todd cheats and liars. You're playing the game over and over, trying to duplicate the feat and, when you can't, you say it's impossible. Maybe or maybe not, but this is getting truly stupid with regards to the obsessions with discovering "The TRUTH!"

People, please, get a grip. It's a 20-year old Atari high score. Don't start arguing about ethics, morals, cheating, etc. This is completely assinine.

#47 Jeffy Arensmeyer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:38 AM

 

...Was that really said? Am I dreaming? Is any of this real?...can we all come back to reality for a minute.


Stan, after years of personal struggle, I finally decided to release my ultra-super-secret strategy for one of my all time favorites. It's a tough road to travel when you know someone might "play the same way I do", but it's such a relief to have the taunting monkey off of my back.  :roll:  :P  :lol:  :dunce: This is all in good fun, of course.

As far as keeping information "confidential", I can understand that "to a degree". But once a game is played in public, that knowledge becomes public domain unless it's copyrighted or trademarked. To publish this information would be a violation, but unless everyone that's ever seen Todd play has signed a confidentiality agreement about his "technique", there's nothing he can do to prevent someone from using it. And it would be incredibly hard to prove that someone did not develop the moves themselves since the game is dynamic in gameplay. :roll:

Sorry about the CGE request. I didn't realize you guys weren't involved. You guys probably keep a full enough plate as it is without taking on something like that. Thanx for letting me know. :D

The deal about not being able to show games sux (because of the possibilities). The lawyers do make a good point though. :(

I've run the game on PCAEWin and Stella with the same results (32.07) and will find my SuperCharger tonight so I can do some actual console tests. It's still not the same thing as the real game, but the real game has windmills that slow your time when dodged. :x :(

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#48 Atarian7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:40 AM

THanks for the info on being checked every frame. I knew that it added time to move the slightest bit too high or too low.

So far my closer to perfect games have had a mistake in the middle or end such as hitting windmill , top of barn, or a bird.

I've gotten a 33.10 on a run in which i hit the birds

#49 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:01 AM

I'm afraid this topic is going into a direction I really do not like. :sad:

#50 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:05 AM

It arrived at that point days ago, Thomas.




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