BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

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BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby BeeJay » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:40 pm

The following is a hopefully simple guide to recording or playing back replay's using the command line version of WolfMame:

Recording a new inp with WolfMame

Step 1
Open a windows explorer and navigate to the folder where you extracted the relevant version of a WolfMame package.

Step 2
Hold down the 'Shift' key on your keyboard, and right click on a blank area of the right hand pane and select the Open command window here option, as per the following screen shot:

1_OpenCommandWindow.png
1_OpenCommandWindow.png (97.33 KiB) Viewed 3922 times

Note: If you don't see the Open command window here option on the right click menu, it could be that you didn't hold the 'Shift' key down while right clicking, or you may have a file selected in the right hand pane. If you have a file selected, left click in a blank area of the right hand pane, so that no file is selected, and try this step again.

Step 3
In the resulting window, type the following command where <gamename> is the short name of the game you want to record and <inpname> is the name to use for the inpfile. Please note that you do not include the chevrons, that is the '<' and '>' characters around the <gamename> and <inpname> parameters when you type them, that's just may way of indicating these are parameters to the record batch file.

Code: Select all
record <gamename> <inpname>

You need to use the Mame short name for the game when recording. For example, to record the game Galaga (Namco rev. B), you need to use galaga for the gamename. The following screen shot shows an example of the command typed in to record this game. For the <inpname> I normally just use the same name as the game name, but prefixed with my initials, so I don't get confused with any other recordings that I may have downloaded to watch. Please note that the part underlined in red on the following screen shot will reflect where you have WolfMame on your machine, I only typed in the part not underlined in red.

2_RecordCommand.png
2_RecordCommand.png (5.77 KiB) Viewed 3922 times


Step 4
Press the 'Enter' key on your keyboard, play the game as per usual etc. Once you've completed the recording session, you can then follow the steps below to playback the recording.

Helpful tip
If you crash and burn on the game, and you want to try recording the same game again, pressing 'Up Arrow' on your keyboard will bring up your last command and then you can press enter to start another recording attempt.

Playing back an inp with WolfMame
Note: These instructions assume that you have the relevant inp file in the folder. eg: If you're playing back a game you just recorded, or you've already unzipped an inp that you downloaded into the correct location. You can skip Step 1 and Step 2 if you already have the command window open from a previous recording or playback session.

Step 1
Open a windows explorer and navigate to the folder where you extracted the relevant version of a WolfMame package.

Step 2
Hold down the 'Shift' key on your keyboard, and right click on a blank area of the right hand pane and select the Open command window here option, as per the following screen shot:

1_OpenCommandWindow.png
1_OpenCommandWindow.png (97.33 KiB) Viewed 3922 times

Note: If you don't see the Open command window here option on the right click menu, it could be that you didn't hold the 'Shift' key down while right clicking, or you may have a file selected in the right hand pane. If you have a file selected, left click in a blank area of the right hand pane, so that no file is selected, and try this step again.

Step 3
In the resulting window, type the following command where <gamename> is the short name of the game you want to playback and <inpname> is the name used for the inpfile. Please note that you do not include the chevrons, that is the '<' and '>' characters around the <gamename> and <inpname> parameters when you type them, that's just may way of indicating these are parameters to the playback batch file.

Code: Select all
playback <gamename> <inpname>

You need to use the Mame short name for the game when playing back. For example, to playback the game Galaga (Namco rev. B), you need to use galaga for the <gamename>. The following screen shot shows an example of the command typed in to playback this game. Please note that the part underlined in red will reflect where you have WolfMame on your machine, and I only typed in the part not underlined in red.

3_PlaybackCommand.png
3_PlaybackCommand.png (5.83 KiB) Viewed 3922 times


Step 4
Press the 'Enter' key on your keyboard and watch the recorded game.

Helpful tip
If you've recorded and watched your own game, and you want to try recording the same game again, repeatedly pressing 'Up Arrow' and 'Down Arrow' on your keyboard will cycle backwards and forwards through your prior commands. You can use this to easily record, playback, record, playback, ... to keep on improving your score until you finally reach a score for that game that you're happy to submit. After playback is successful, I normally rename the inpfile with the score as part of the name, so that I can keep track of my improvements over time, before starting the next recording attempt. If you don't rename the file, it will get immediately overwritten by the next recording attempt if you use the same name for the <inpname> parameter.
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby mahlemiut » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:30 pm

Very useful. Stickied. :)
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby OMG Kreygasm » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:17 am

Thanks much BeeJay.
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby thegalagaking » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:52 pm

Very informational. Thanks!
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby mahlemiut » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:23 pm

This is for 0.171 and later, where I've added a basic record INP button, now that MAME has a fancy new UI with a toolbar for such things.

Note that there is no playback INP button yet, this will likely come in the future, as time permits. Also, this feature is still experimental, let me know of any issues (release is expected tomorrow - Feb 24).

You can still use record.bat and playback.bat if you wish, this hasn't changed. This is more for the idiots who want to double-click icons. No more INPs just named ".inp". I hope.

Step 1: Run MAME. Easy. Just double-click the MAME executable (mamearcade[64].exe, or mamearcade[64] for Linux or OS X), or call it from a command prompt without any parameters. You'll get the frontend UI with gamelist.

Step 2: Single-click the game you wish to play, and then single-click the Record INP button in the toolbar.
Image

Step 3: Type the filename for the INP file, then press Enter (or double-click Start Recording)
On this screen, there may be some warnings at the bottom of the screen. There are only 3 checks currently:
NVRAM: Checks if -nvram_directory is set to either NUL or /dev/null, and if not, checks if the game-specific NVRAM folder exists. If it does, then the warning is displayed.
DIFF: Simply checks if a .dif file for the game exists, displays a warning if it does.
Lua: Checks if the Lua console is active (this cannot be disabled before recording starts, as it starts up too early), displaying a warning if it is.
Warnings are just that, they won't stop you from starting to record.
Image

Step 4: Play the game. Shouldn't be too hard. :)
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby Frankie » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:42 pm

I use two small bat files called MENU and PLAYBACK which are in the root directory of the WolfMame version you want to use:

MENU:

-----

@echo off

set /p UserInputPath= What game would you like to play?

mame %UserInputPath% -record %UserInputPath%.inp -nvram_directory NUL

-----

Just give it the shortname of the game you want to play :)

PLAYBACK:

-----

@echo off

set /p UserInputPath= What game would you like to playback?

mame -window %UserInputPath% -playback %UserInputPath%.inp -nvram_directory NUL

-----

Same as with the MENU.bat file, just give the shortcut of the game you want to playback.

Nothing special, but simple :)
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby BeeJay » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:31 am

mahlemiut wrote:This is for 0.171 and later, where I've added a basic record INP button, now that MAME has a fancy new UI with a toolbar for such things.

A built in UI again in standard Mame. Nice one. :)

Do you think they're likely to put the 'record/playback' functionality into the standard Mame UI in a future release?

Cheers,
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby mahlemiut » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:07 am

Since I had to stop it from going back to the menu after running a driver so that it didn't overwrite the INP when running the "empty" driver after recording, probably not in the near future at least.
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby mahlemiut » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:48 am

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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby tar » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:01 pm

Mahlemiut wrote :
let me know of any issues

works as easily as advertised but...
right off the get go I noticed it taxed my old system heavily.
I mean wolf170 and mame170 are playing 100% - 112% if I hit F10.
the new wolf171 throws my gameplay clear back to only 60% - 80% with frameskip 10 and F10!!
in other words can"t pull it no-way no-how unplayable.
too bad
going to continue using wolf170
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby OutRunner » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:48 pm

tar wrote:Mahlemiut wrote :
let me know of any issues

works as easily as advertised but...
right off the get go I noticed it taxed my old system heavily.
I mean wolf170 and mame170 are playing 100% - 112% if I hit F10.
the new wolf171 throws my gameplay clear back to only 60% - 80% with frameskip 10 and F10!!
in other words can"t pull it no-way no-how unplayable.
too bad
going to continue using wolf170


My PC is a core 2 duo with xp64 and ATI HD 4350 and the performance on advanced arcade PCBs, PC Engine or X68000 is much more slow than the previous version. I going with 0.170 too...
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby mahlemiut » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:14 pm

What video renderer are you using (D3D, OpenGL, GDI, BGFX)? I've not noticed any major slowdown myself, and I'm sure I have older hardware than you both. :)
One useful note, the BGFX renderer will do rendering in a separate thread, like what -mt does, but does it properly, so -video bgfx might be faster for many of you.
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby mahlemiut » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:24 am

Ok, I've tested a few drivers. This slowdown does not seem to affect every driver.

I can confirm that the X68000 driver is almost 50% slower, and the PCE driver (tested tvdormon) is about 25% slower. However, looking at the SSV drivers, there was minimal slowdown, and the ZN (PSX-based) driver, there was no difference at all.

Will pass this on though, see if we can at least figure out the cause.
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby OutRunner » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:59 am

Thanks for the info. The performance of X68K or PCE drivers is an important factor for me. I will continue with WOLFMAME and GROOVYMAME 0.170 because I can live without the new UI after all..
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Re: BeeJay's simple guide to WolfMame recording/playback

Postby mahlemiut » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:19 pm

OutRunner wrote:Thanks for the info. The performance of X68K or PCE drivers is an important factor for me. I will continue with WOLFMAME and GROOVYMAME 0.170 because I can live without the new UI after all..

Don't worry, I care about the x68k driver also, am looking into this. ;)
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