Occasional M∞ film breakage

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Occasional M∞ film breakage

Post Jul 10th '18, 00:13

I’ve noticed M∞ films sometimes break in three different ways:

  1. Sometimes they desync. Examples include the “Prison Sex” film on Nardo’s page and the Return to Marathon films John sent me (I can attach these if needed). I’m not 100% sure what film engine the latter are supposed to use, but they desync in all three of them. It’s possible that the “Prison Sex” desync is related to monster freeze, but “From Now We Go On” (in the same pack) also makes heavy use of monster freeze and stays in sync throughout, and the RTM films desync long before there could be any monster freeze (in fact, the first one desyncs before John even encounters a monster). And I’m not running Previous AI in Tempus, so that’s not it either.

  2. Sometimes it claims it can’t find the map the film was recorded on (one of the “Poor Yorick” vid tips, IIRC – I think it was “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”, though it might’ve been one of the others or even all of them; also the “Confound Delivery” film in John’s fists-only pack. John also said that the film of level #33 [FrigidMan’s version of “You Think You’re Big Time? You’re Gonna Die Big Time!”] in this pack [I think] also doesn’t play if you leave the XBLA HUD on, but disabling it allows it to play. I haven’t been using the HUD for any of the films I’ve encoded on my Dell and haven’t tested this; I have no explanation for why it would cause problems for this specific film. I’m also not sure if John meant that the film says it can’t find the map or if it just doesn’t play at all; this might be worth testing if it’s relevant).

  3. Sometimes they just stop almost immediately (one of the “Aye Mak Sicur” vid tips, IIRC; I think it might’ve been Frode’s).
John said all his affected films work fine under vanilla Infinity, but I haven’t gotten an emulator running yet. I don’t have any plausible hypotheses as to what causes any of these problems.

I have yet to notice any of these problems occur in any M2 film I’ve played (and I’ve encoded at least eighty to date, judging from the number of videos in my M2 playlist on YouTube), so it’s possible (though not certain) that all of these problems could be specific to A1’s M∞ film engine.

I’ve been encoding most of my films using Aleph One 1.2.1 (2015/06/20) on my Dell, which runs Windows 7 SP 1 with an AMD Radeon HD 6450 running aticfx64.dll 8.850.0.0. I’ve also been running some on my MacBook, which runs Yosemite 10.10.5 with an Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536; same Aleph One release. I’ve been using the shader to render all of them. These problems seem to persist on both of them, though I haven’t tested every film on both machines. I’m kind of a n00b when it comes to graphics hardware, so I’m not sure I’ve got all the info you need; if you require anything else, let me know.

Since I can’t work out why these specific films are having issues, I don’t expect the Spanish Inquisition a quick fix. I don’t even know how you’d debug something like that, but my C++ knowledge is rudimentary at best; I haven’t written a line of code in the language in at least a decade. (I plan to fix this soon, but it’ll be a long time before my C++ knowledge is advanced enough for me to comprehend A1’s code.) I also suspect I’m the first person to have even commented about these problems (though I haven’t checked), since I doubt most other people play nearly as many M∞ films as I do (I’m one of a small number of people who’ve ever devoted a YouTube channel to Marathon films, after all), and as a result, I don’t expect it to be a particularly high priority.
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 10th '18, 12:19

Thanks for the report. For the third party scenario films, it's possible there were changes to the Marathon Infinity engine (remember Fux?) that didn't get reflected in MML.

When Aleph One can't find the original map, that means the checksum stored in the film doesn't match the one in the map file. That's probably not an engine bug. There are film fixer utilities for classic Mac OS, and Woody wrote a command line one at one point.

For XBLA HUD, if you can reproduce film playback changes with it enable vs disabled, we'd be interested in that case. When I restored film playback I think I was testing with the XBLA HUD, and I tried a lot of Vidmaster films. So, if you know specifically which one, that would help.

What would really help is if you could file bugs on GitHub with just the film file that is broken and a brief but comprehensive description of the problem.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Jul 10th '18, 15:35

No problem.

I had forgotten about Fux! That takes me way back. That might be the explanation for those. It’s odd that only that one Tempus film would’ve been affected, though – I’ve encoded a full fifty of them. (There are forty-nine in the playlist, but I encoded two different “You Gotta Sin to Get Saved” films, and replaced the older one with the newer one because I didn’t think people would care about having both of them.) That’s almost certainly the problem with the RTM films since it affects both of them.

At least one of the “can’t find map” cases appears to work in vanilla Infinity, specifically John’s “Confound Delivery” film. I don’t have an explanation for this.

I think the “You Think You’re Big Time?” film affected was #33 from the fists only pack. I’ll verify this and submit bug reports on GitHub in a few hours. Should I submit separate bug reports for all three issues? I assume they’re all highly likely to be different problems.

ETA: Also, BTW, did you see my bug report in the Weland thread?
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 10th '18, 16:25

If you think they're separate issues, report them as separate bugs. It's easier for us to merge / remove duplicates than to split multi-bugs. Within reason.

RTM might just need some MML to work correctly. That probably doesn't belong on the Aleph One issue tracker.

As far as Weland, it has an issue tracker too, which is easier for me to keep track of (at my geological timescales for fixing bugs / releasing new versions) than Pfhorums threads. I think it will let you attach the file. I will try to get around to copying it over there and not losing track of it, but if you beat me to it, all the better.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Jul 10th '18, 17:07

I think you’re right about RTM. I think Tempus might actually have been released before Fux! was even a thing, though, so I’m not sure if that explains the “Prison Sex” film. (Don’t quote me on that – it was probably two decades ago – but I think I remember that explaining a few oddities with the scenery objects.)

I’ll look into making bug reports for both programs later today. I think I need a nap first.
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 12th '18, 18:37

The Man wrote: replaced the older one with the newer one because I didn’t think people would care about having both of them.

Probably so, but you could have a playlist, folder, section, whatever they're called, named Variorum and put all the important or significant variant films there. You could tack on a voice over at the start telling what it is, but I think hard core Marathoneers would prefer to find it themselves.
All in the name of preservation.
Of course, I don't know anything about youtube either except (1) how to watch and (2) there is no alphabetical sort.
I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
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HelviusRufus

Post Jul 12th '18, 22:41

Good point; I can just make two Tempus playlists if need be, one for completionists and one for each player’s best take on each level. I’ve already done this for Chronicles and my own vid films. In this case I shall also encode all of John’s old takes on each level at some point, though perhaps not immediately.

TL: Sorry I haven’t gotten around to the bug reports yet; I’ve just been really busy. On the plus side, I’m employed again. Looks like the new work will be pretty good for a couple years while I finish my second degree. I spent a lot less time looking for work in between jobs this time, too.
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The Man
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