Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

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filbo
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Re: Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

Post by filbo »

Oh, I use the heck out of single step, variable speeds (including much faster than normal to cope with one of those levels with 100 kilometers of empty passages), playing back from tape, etc.

Haven't tried the snapshot thing, nor F1/F2 in a Really Long Time, for fear of the tape-splicing bug.

> using the "snap" key to switch to the next frame

That seems to be the magic smoke I was looking for. Is this to say that hitting e.g. Ctrl+Right, aimed at something that won't actually respond, advances the frame counter a single tick? vs., for instance, actually trying to 'walk into' a wall which advances it a whole move cycle?

(I'm still playing all EMC levels, which I imagine may behave differently from native RnD levels given the different engines...)
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Holger
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Re: Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

Post by Holger »

Is this to say that hitting e.g. Ctrl+Right, aimed at something that won't actually respond, advances the frame counter a single tick? vs., for instance, actually trying to 'walk into' a wall which advances it a whole move cycle?
The "feature" here (using the snap key to advance the game engine by one single frame) is that you can just press the snap key alone, without any of the direction keys. If you try it, you will notice that when pressing the "drop" key, the engine immediately advances by one frame, going back to pause mode.

However, when pressing the "snap" key (but not releasing it yet), nothing happens, so you can continue pressing an additional direction key (to really execute a "snap" action), which also lets the engine advance by one frame now. But you can also just release the snap key again (without pressing any other key), which lets the game engine advance by one single frame without performing any action at all, effectively forcing the game engine to just wait for one frame.

Regarding the EMC engine, game actions are always only executed every eight frames, as the EMC game engine is synchronized to every 8th frame (while the R'n'D and Supaplex game engines are asynchronous, allowing for independent game actions to happen every single frame). Therefore, input events while being in single-step mode will always advance the EMC game engine by eight game frames.
filbo
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Re: Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

Post by filbo »

Aha! That reminds me that I am vaguely aware of this in several ways. Since I'm so used to the EMC levels, I'm used to using the snap key to advance to the next game action (i.e. 8th frame), and hadn't even conceptualized it as that.

Then, my oldest daughter was complaining about single-step not working as expected. She was on R'n'D levels and expected to advance to next game action using the snap key, and it was irritatingly making her hit it many times. So now I understand a little better -- I guess she has the opportunity to initiate actions 'between frames' when doing this?
Anonycat
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Re: Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

Post by Anonycat »

Holger wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:19 am
However, when pressing the "snap" key (but not releasing it yet), nothing happens, so you can continue pressing an additional direction key (to really execute a "snap" action), which also lets the engine advance by one frame now. But you can also just release the snap key again (without pressing any other key), which lets the game engine advance by one single frame without performing any action at all, effectively forcing the game engine to just wait for one frame.
I don't actually use this much--what I use instead is a separate hotkey, assigned to L-Shift (where the snap key is on L-Ctrl), which I coded support for into my personal copy. It serves a very similar purpose, but instead of inputting a directionless snap (0x10 in a tape), the input for the frame is considered to be nothing at all (0x00). Now, the difference between those two inputs doesn't often matter, but when it does...see around 15 seconds into the tape of this level. I flick a pair of conveyor belt switches each twice in rapid succession, with only one frame of downtime between them. The only way to do this is if the input for that intervening frame is exactly a 00, and saving time this way means I can go on and not have to slow down for a "cycle" of the spaceships in the room around 30 seconds.
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SLAPPYHAPPY2000
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Re: Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

Post by SLAPPYHAPPY2000 »

Anonycat wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:42 am
Holger wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:19 am
However, when pressing the "snap" key (but not releasing it yet), nothing happens, so you can continue pressing an additional direction key (to really execute a "snap" action), which also lets the engine advance by one frame now. But you can also just release the snap key again (without pressing any other key), which lets the game engine advance by one single frame without performing any action at all, effectively forcing the game engine to just wait for one frame.
I don't actually use this much--what I use instead is a separate hotkey, assigned to L-Shift (where the snap key is on L-Ctrl), which I coded support for into my personal copy. It serves a very similar purpose, but instead of inputting a directionless snap (0x10 in a tape), the input for the frame is considered to be nothing at all (0x00). Now, the difference between those two inputs doesn't often matter, but when it does...see around 15 seconds into the tape of this level. I flick a pair of conveyor belt switches each twice in rapid succession, with only one frame of downtime between them. The only way to do this is if the input for that intervening frame is exactly a 00, and saving time this way means I can go on and not have to slow down for a "cycle" of the spaceships in the room around 30 seconds.
Anonycat,
Did you check out Fix 1 of the Trial of the Emerald?
You can find it here, it fixes a lot of the issues (hopefully) with the original and I want you to test it.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3129
jm28121977
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Re: Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

Post by jm28121977 »

So, having recently learnt that you can save and load your progress in a level, I decided to go back to this level tonight and I've completed it. Incredible level. One of the best ever.

Jamie x
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SLAPPYHAPPY2000
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Re: Trial of the Emerald: The ultimate skill test

Post by SLAPPYHAPPY2000 »

jm28121977 wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:07 pm
So, having recently learnt that you can save and load your progress in a level, I decided to go back to this level tonight and I've completed it. Incredible level. One of the best ever.

Jamie x
Thanks for your kind words about my level! Makes me happy to know that people do indeed like my stages. :D
I made an updated version of this levelset a while ago, but I don't think many people found it interesting or even look at it.
Here is the link:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3129
although after playing and completing this version, I would advise trying to complete this version, as it is mostly unchanged.
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