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Troubleshooting MAME High Scores


Jason Carr

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5 hours ago, GreatStone said:

Ok, so I finally found the source of the "151515..." scores.

For games relying on nvram, depending on when you go out of mame, the content of the file can be full of 0xFF (nvram not yet written by the board?), or partially plagued with such 0xFF (nvram under writing?): centiped has given me a lot of different nvram contents, even without achieving a hiscore.

I am implementing a generic code (whatever is the game) to detect this situation as much as possible. I am still thinking about what to do after: replace such score by "0" instead? do not display anything at all if one score is like that? the 2nd solution could be also a way to deal with the more problematic case of NAMEs as 0xFF can be a possible encoding sometimes for a letter.

Perhaps safer to skip the whole file even if one of your valid hiscores will be missed: at least the central DB will be cleaner. What do you think? @Jason Carr

Awesome, that is great to hear @GreatStone. Thank you for diving into that one; I think that's the biggest issue we're currently having. I'm not positive, but it seems to be happening only when no scores are achieved (at least that's when I've seen it). I would prefer if nothing was output in that scenario, because there is no valid data. So either an error or just an empty output would work best for us. :)

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1 hour ago, ItchyRobot said:

It's been a few days since I was keeping up with this thread...

I see there are many posts about deleting my *.hi files out of the "hi" MAME folder. And also some posts saying to delete files out of the NVRAM folder. Should I do both?

I know some games require some finagling to them working correctly, such as Track and Field. So I am a bit hesitant to start deleting NVRAM files. Are there any games that I should avoid deleting the NVRAM? It's been so long since I got all the MAME roms working correctly, I am unsure if deleting the NVRAM will cause issues or require me to do some research to get the games running as intended again. For some reason I am remembering Track and Field giving me issues back in the day and I had to some stuff to get it to log hi scores locally. I assume there may be other roms that I messed with to get running too, but can not remember.

I would recommend not deleting anything, and reporting any issues you run into here. If you're having to delete those files in order to get things working correctly, then we have a game-specific bug to fix.

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1 hour ago, Blitz Mary said:

Bug in Flying Shark (World Version) I did 107.000 high score and actually  is displaying 800,101,020

Sin título.png

@Blitz Mary I tried today, 2 times, with mame 0.219 and 0.220, reaching 108 000 and hiscores are decoded well for me. Can you provide more info, like LaunchBox debug log & exact mame version used?

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20 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Please see the first post of this thead, @Blitz Mary. :)

Here is the Log

2020-04-27 08:13:15 PM Processing hi2txt output for fshark:

RANK|SCORE|NAME|AREA
1|800101020|·8;Gw8|2064
2|40810200|9?W·8;|8256
3|408001010|Gw89?W|32769
4|20408100|·8;Gw8|258
5|204080010|9?W·8;|1032
6|10204080|Gw89?W|4128
7|102040800|·8;Gw8|16512
8|10102040|9?W·8;|257
9|81020400|Gw89?W|516
10|800101020|·8;Gw8|2064
11|40810200|9?W·8;|8256
12|408001010|Gw89?W|32769
13|20408100|·8;Gw8|258
14|204080010|9?W·8;|1032
15|10204080|Gw89?W|4128
16|102040800|·8;Gw8|16512
17|10102040|9?W·8;|257
18|81020400|Gw89?W|516
19|800101020|·8;Gw8|2064
20|40810200|9?W·8;|8256
2020-04-27 08:13:15 PM MameHighScores.Parse: No new scores found to upload!

Edited by Blitz Mary
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On 4/23/2020 at 7:55 PM, exodus_cl said:

Thanks for your time Jason, I understand that the option to reduce text size may be too complicated, so maybe just reduce the text size a bit in order to show the scores over a million and the 4 main tabs (weekly to all-time) that really would be more than enough ? (or maybe just make the window wider), I attach a picture for you to see:

The 720p screen on vertical has 768px wide, let me know if you need more info, thanks in advance.
1328873849_WhatsAppImage2020-04-23at22_47_54.thumb.jpeg.ecd501d3dec56e21485ea4875ae0cc21.jpeg

I'm hoping this is at least improved for the next beta, which should be out later today.

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6 minutes ago, Blitz Mary said:

@Blitz Mary Thanks for the .hi file. Now, what I am seeing here is a completely corrupted .hi file content, explaining why hi2txt is extracting that...  When you start again mame with this game, is the ingame hiscores table is showing the right scores on screen or the same garbage also?

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13 minutes ago, GreatStone said:

@Blitz Mary Thanks for the .hi file. Now, what I am seeing here is a completely corrupted .hi file content, explaining why hi2txt is extracting that...  When you start again mame with this game, is the ingame hiscores table is showing the right scores on screen or the same garbage also?

garbage everywhere

Sin título.png

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@Blitz Mary OK, so it is clear now that the issue is coming from mame itself or most probably hiscore.dat entry for fshark: sometimes, the entry in hiscore.dat cannot accurately describe when and what to store in the .hi file, in rare situation. Deleting .hi file is the only way to solve it. Perhaps hiscore.dat maintainer can do something, but it is outside of my own scope. Anyway, thanks a lot for your reactivity to help me understand what was going on.

@Jason Carr How can we prevent to send such garbage to global community ladder? Do you have something in mind I can do? The only potential solution I see currently is trying to add a new feature to give max value for score or area here (inside the hi2txt xml describing how to decode the .hi file), so that if one decoded value > max, then we decide that the .hi file is corrupted and do not display anything?

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1 minute ago, GreatStone said:

@Blitz Mary OK, so it is clear now that the issue is coming from mame itself or most probably hiscore.dat entry for fshark: sometimes, the entry in hiscore.dat cannot accurately describe when and what to store in the .hi file, in rare situation. Deleting .hi file is the only way to solve it. Perhaps hiscore.dat maintainer can do something, but it is outside of my own scope. Anyway, thanks a lot for your reactivity to help me understand what was going on.

@Jason Carr How can we prevent to send such garbage to global community ladder? Do you have something in mind I can do? The only potential solution I see currently is trying to add a new feature to give max value for score or area here (inside the hi2txt xml describing how to decode the .hi file), so that if one decoded value > max, then we decide that the .hi file is corrupted and do not display anything?

That's a really good question. It does seem to be a rare occurrence that MAME or the MAME high scores plugin end up botching things, but apparently it does happen. My original solution to this (from way back when we started) was to ignore any name entries that had invalid characters. That did a really good job making sure that no corrupted entries were accepted, but also then refused to accept some valid entries because of so many arcade games that use custom characters, so I had to disable that, unfortunately. Still, that might lead us somehow towards a good solution. We just need a way of somehow generically detecting that the data is corrupted.

I know that you have a list of special characters that are valid, though. Would it be possible to check if there are any bogus characters in the names (not including the special characters)? Other than that, I can't think of anything that wouldn't require a different solution for each game.

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7 minutes ago, GreatStone said:

@Blitz Mary OK, so it is clear now that the issue is coming from mame itself or most probably hiscore.dat entry for fshark: sometimes, the entry in hiscore.dat cannot accurately describe when and what to store in the .hi file, in rare situation. Deleting .hi file is the only way to solve it. Perhaps hiscore.dat maintainer can do something, but it is outside of my own scope. Anyway, thanks a lot for your reactivity to help me understand what was going on.

@Jason Carr How can we prevent to send such garbage to global community ladder? Do you have something in mind I can do? The only potential solution I see currently is trying to add a new feature to give max value for score or area here (inside the hi2txt xml describing how to decode the .hi file), so that if one decoded value > max, then we decide that the .hi file is corrupted and do not display anything?

so the fix for now may be deleting the .hi file and if that doesn't solve the problem also hiscore.dat from the plugins folder?

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@Blitz Mary deleting .hi file yes. Other users seem to have been able to save their scores, so it should fix.

deleting hiscore.dat, no, as it will also prevent the hiscore plugin to save any score at all... for some rare situation, hiscore.dat should be perhaps fixed for the fshark entry by the hiscore.dat maintainer, I don't know.

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22 minutes ago, GreatStone said:

 

@Blitz Mary deleting .hi file yes. Other users seem to have been able to save their scores, so it should fix.

deleting hiscore.dat, no, as it will also prevent the hiscore plugin to save any score at all... for some rare situation, hiscore.dat should be perhaps fixed for the fshark entry by the hiscore.dat maintainer, I don't know.

Thank You I will do as you say :). By the way some user is pissed about that high score can you please erase the highscore?

Edited by Blitz Mary
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33 minutes ago, Blitz Mary said:

Thank You I will do as you say :). By the way some user is pissed about that high score can you please erase the highscore?

If a user takes direct issue with you, or anyone else for that matter, about a high score please let us know. We already had one such instance and it is uncalled for. Jason will likely remove the score since it is not valid anyway.

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I just played the game "Magic Sword" many times, but it stills show "High Score supported but no community hight score found yet". Is the problem on my side  only ? I use Mame 0.220 and latest version of Launchbox (problem occured on 10.14 and 10.15 beta 1).

Same problems goes with Golden Axe.

Edited by Elhora
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I am getting a lot of errors lately that force LB to shut down. Here is one I just got now:

The process cannot access the file 'C:\Users\Dane\LaunchBox\Emulators\MAME (0.220)\cfg\1942.cfg' because it is being used by another process.

App:     LaunchBox
Version: 10.14
Type:    System.IO.IOException
Site:    Void WinIOError(Int32, System.String)
Source:  mscorlib

   at System.IO.__Error.WinIOError(Int32 errorCode, String maybeFullPath)
   at System.IO.FileStream.Init(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Int32 rights, Boolean useRights, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, FileOptions options, SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES secAttrs, String msgPath, Boolean bFromProxy, Boolean useLongPath, Boolean checkHost)
   at System.IO.FileStream..ctor(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, FileOptions options, String msgPath, Boolean bFromProxy, Boolean useLongPath, Boolean checkHost)
   at System.IO.StreamReader..ctor(String path, Encoding encoding, Boolean detectEncodingFromByteOrderMarks, Int32 bufferSize, Boolean checkHost)
   at System.IO.File.InternalReadAllText(String path, Encoding encoding, Boolean checkHost)
   at (String , String )
   at Unbroken.LaunchBox.Windows.Integrations.MameHighScores.EnsureNoDipSwitchChanges(String romFile, String mamePath)
   at (<>c__DisplayClass12_0 )
   at Unbroken.LaunchBox.Windows.Integrations.MameHighScores.<>c__DisplayClass12_0.<Prepare>b__0()
   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean preserveSyncCtx)
   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean preserveSyncCtx)
   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)
   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart()

Recent Log:

   6:49:41 PM Exception

EDIT: I am getting those very frequently with many different games.

Edited by flatuswalrus
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