Jump to content
LaunchBox Community Forums
Jason Carr

Troubleshooting MAME High Scores

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

@Jason Carr

I set up individual CFG's for each MAME game that I play... about 200. You really have to for games like Defender, Stargate, and games that have weird controller layouts or games that just have a poor default button layout ... and some fighting games that were were not set up correctly by the original devs. I also have a default.cfg that I have set up for when I play games that I have never set up. I think that default.cfg may also be used for other controls, like coins, start, etc.

FYI - It looks like the spinner/dial settings are also stored in CFG files. I have a bunch of those set up per game too.

And also, the bezel horizontal/vertical stretch is stored in the CFG's. So anyone that has adjusted their X/Y stretching to get bezels looking good would have these set up.

 

Why is this even being asked? Is it some how tied to anti-cheating?
Never mind, I see in a post above, you saying that dip switches are stored in CFGs.

Edited by ItchyRobot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, ItchyRobot said:

Why is this even being asked? Is it some how tied to anti-cheating?

It was a proposed idea for preventing cheating. If a game doesn't have a changed cfg, the user hasn't changed dip switches in game that could give them an advantage. 

Edit: MAME auto generates a cfg on game run even if you DON'T change any settings. So to implement checking you either would have to checksum the file against a default "clean" version, or have to parse the specific items in the cfg. 

Edited by Headrush69
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in agreement with pretty much everybody here. It's worth noting that it is straight up impossible to prevent 100% of the cheating due to the nature of emulation. Anybody could alter the emulator, alter the ROM, or any number of things, so it's never gonna be 100% cheat-proof. That said, I agree that we should do whatever we can to prevent casual cheating, so that at least it's difficult. But again, we're limited as to what MAME allows us to do.

Per the .cfg files, at this point I don't think we can just delete them on startup. However, I will examine the contents of the files to see if there's any way I can modify them to remove only certain customizations, to see if that helps things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only tested a couple of games, but it looks like every time a dip switch is adjusted for a game in MAME, the line in the .cfg file looks like this:

<port tag=":DSWA" type="DIPSWITCH" mask="48" defvalue="48" value="16" />
<port tag=":DSWA" type="DIPSWITCH" mask="192" defvalue="64" value="0" />

So in theory, all I have to do is parse the .cfg file and remove any port tags that contain type="DIPSWITCH". So that may be a good solution. The only question I have is whether that will affect anyone's controls or other important configurations.

Also, does anyone use dip switches for changing anything other than cheating-related things?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

I've only tested a couple of games, but it looks like every time a dip switch is adjusted for a game in MAME, the line in the .cfg file looks like this:


<port tag=":DSWA" type="DIPSWITCH" mask="48" defvalue="48" value="16" />
<port tag=":DSWA" type="DIPSWITCH" mask="192" defvalue="64" value="0" />

So in theory, all I have to do is parse the .cfg file and remove any port tags that contain type="DIPSWITCH". So that may be a good solution. The only question I have is whether that will affect anyone's controls or other important configurations.

Also, does anyone use dip switches for changing anything other than cheating-related things?

I can't answer that question, but it does remind me that I set my default.cfg to 'read only' due to MAMEs annoying default to wreck your controller settings if you unplug a controller when in MAME, or start up without the correct controller attached.

The only reason I bring that up is because I was thinking someone could just set their cfg files to 'read only' to keep you from changing them. Or, maybe it changes them temporarily to allow you to play, but does not overwrite the file....?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, ItchyRobot said:

I can't answer that question, but it does remind me that I set my default.cfg to 'read only' due to MAMEs annoying default to wreck your controller settings if you unplug a controller when in MAME, or start up without the correct controller attached.

The only reason I bring that up is because I was thinking someone could just set their cfg files to 'read only' to keep you from changing them. Or, maybe it changes them temporarily to allow you to play, but does not overwrite the file....?

In that case, we can just refuse to upload the high scores.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ItchyRobot said:

I can't answer that question, but it does remind me that I set my default.cfg to 'read only' due to MAMEs annoying default to wreck your controller settings if you unplug a controller when in MAME, or start up without the correct controller attached.

Thought about this too. I also do the read only thing, which I'm sure a lot of people do. You can still delete read only files though. Not sure how editing them would work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

In that case, we can just refuse to upload the high scores.

Good to hear 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think we need to worry about default.cfg, just the game-specific cfg files. Maybe it would still be possible to cheat using default.cfg though? Not sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Also, does anyone use dip switches for changing anything other than cheating-related things?

Turning on freeplay in some games, not that its really needed with infinite credits, but some games do still have it as a option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

Turning on freeplay in some games, not that its really needed with infinite credits, but some games do still have it as a option.

I see, good to know. I don't think that's a deal breaker though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

I don't think we need to worry about default.cfg, just the game-specific cfg files. Maybe it would still be possible to cheat using default.cfg though? Not sure.

default.cfg doesn't appear to be able to store any dip switch stuff, I was just worried about people settings game cfgs to read-only

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Underoath13 said:

@GreatStone

First off want to say I love your work and greatly appreciate what you do!

So I was wondering about contacting you, does hi2txt at free.fr really mean hi2txt@free.fr like an email address? Because I'm not sure how to contact you.

@Underoath13

That's the right email address :) And thanks for the appreciation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add something else to the mix. There’s also the issue of people continuing. Some games add a digit to the score when continuing so this could be easily validated but others like Smash TV and Buck Rogers don’t. Looking in the dip switches finds no way of turning Continue  off. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, GoGoGuy said:

Just to add something else to the mix. There’s also the issue of people continuing. Some games add a digit to the score when continuing so this could be easily validated but others like Smash TV and Buck Rogers don’t. Looking in the dip switches finds no way of turning Continue  off. 

Yeah, there's nothing we can do about that. Those games are and always were pay-to-win. So we're not going to be able to ever solve that problem. The good news though is that those games are relatively rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a certain forum section you want us to post games not uploading that are on the should work list?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/17/2020 at 12:44 AM, Jason Carr said:

If you enable saving high scores, it disables save states, because of course that enables all kinds of cheating. You should be able to use save states again if you disable uploading high scores.

Is there an option to disable uploading high scores on a per game basis so i can still use savestates on some games? Maybe a command line option?

I don't want to disable it globally because there are indeed many games in which I like to upload my highscores. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Gaelion said:

Is there an option to disable uploading high scores on a per game basis so i can still use savestates on some games? Maybe a command line option?

I don't want to disable it globally because there are indeed many games in which I like to upload my highscores. 

Not currently. We may add something like that in the future, but unfortunately we have more priority things to tackle for the high scores currently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, EndersW said:

Is there a certain forum section you want us to post games not uploading that are on the should work list?

This topic was originally designed for that, though it's been a bit all over the place. Please read the first post of this topic though, if you haven't already. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Not currently. We may add something like that in the future, but unfortunately we have more priority things to tackle for the high scores currently.

Thanks for the quick reply.
Hope it gets added at some point :)
In the meantime I can still launch the game directly from MAME for those games where I prefer using savestates over uploading highscores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...