DraStic compared to DeSmuME for use by speedrunners

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MyLittleWalrus
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DraStic compared to DeSmuME for use by speedrunners

Post by MyLittleWalrus » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:20 pm

Hello all,

This is MyLittleWalrus. I'm the head moderator of the speedrunning community for New Super Mario Bros. DS. Our current rules allow players to speedrun the game on emulator, but only DeSmuME version 0.9.11, as we have found that to be the best emulator in terms of speedrunning in various respects.

Today, a user pointed us towards DraStic as an alternative emulator to use. We hadn't heard of it before, and it sounds promising. So here I am with several questions:
  • The biggest issue when it comes to emulation for our community is loading times. Are the loading times faster on DraStic than they are on a DS? I can provide footage of DS loading times, if you need that.
  • More importantly than the speed of the loads: are the loads consistent on DraStic? Loading times on DeSmuME 0.9.11 are fairly consistent each time and from computer to computer. Having each player's loads be the same helps us make it fair for everyone.
  • What are the movie recording and savestate capabilities of DraStic? In other words, how easy would it be for someone to record a movie of themselves doing a speedrun, make a savestate, then load the savestate and try again when they make a mistake, and pass it off as a speedrun done in real-time? Would it be easy to cheat?
  • Does DraStic lag a lot? An issue we run into with DeSmuME is hitting lots of slowdown. Does this emulator run smoothly on most computers?
I look forward to hearing back from you all, and to not making people use DeSmuME anymore.
-MyLittleWalrus

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SSUPII
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Re: DraStic compared to DeSmuME for use by speedrunners

Post by SSUPII » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:21 am

This is a user talking, not the developers
DeSmuMe is a an emulator that runs on Windows and MacOS.
Drastic instead is for Android devices, Raspberry PI and Pandora handhelds.

From my experience load and save times always seemed like on the original DS. I once compared using Pokemon Ranger Tracks Of Light Drastic to a R4 cartridge, and Drastic was the one getting the load and save times of a real cartridge on a real DS right. We could test New Super Mario Bros. DS ifyou can send a video from a console.

Drastic supports savestates but not recording of inputs. Drastic can use Lua scripts to give inputs, check RAM values etc. but they can't be generated, they must be handwritten using a text editor software.

Drastic can run on full speen on any current low end device. Even on very low end hardware Drastic runs smoothly. Problems can occur if the game is stored on a old or cheap sd card, but it would only be very occasional frame drops lasting not even half a second.
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Obsidian
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Re: DraStic compared to DeSmuME for use by speedrunners

Post by Obsidian » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:24 pm

This is a user, not developer

This emulator is mainly for Android, so I'm afraid maybe it's not that easy to use on a computer (especially for speedrunning), although can be used on an Android emulator.

Since there is a hotkey to save on controllers and you can turn the save comfirmation off, it is not that hard to save i think.

But another thing i need to mention is, there is a button glitch, on all emulator versions. The glitch will happen if you hold more than 4 buttons at the same time. It will release some buttons even if you are still holding it, and sometimes if you release one button another releases too, and I think it's not good for speedrunning.

But overall it is a good emulator. It runs full speed on most devices with no problems, and it can be a good choice.

Again I'm just a user, not a developer.

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kaikun97
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Re: DraStic compared to DeSmuME for use by speedrunners

Post by kaikun97 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:03 am

MyLittleWalrus wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:20 pm
Hello all,

This is MyLittleWalrus. I'm the head moderator of the speedrunning community for New Super Mario Bros. DS. Our current rules allow players to speedrun the game on emulator, but only DeSmuME version 0.9.11, as we have found that to be the best emulator in terms of speedrunning in various respects.

Today, a user pointed us towards DraStic as an alternative emulator to use. We hadn't heard of it before, and it sounds promising. So here I am with several questions:
  • The biggest issue when it comes to emulation for our community is loading times. Are the loading times faster on DraStic than they are on a DS? I can provide footage of DS loading times, if you need that.
  • More importantly than the speed of the loads: are the loads consistent on DraStic? Loading times on DeSmuME 0.9.11 are fairly consistent each time and from computer to computer. Having each player's loads be the same helps us make it fair for everyone.
  • What are the movie recording and savestate capabilities of DraStic? In other words, how easy would it be for someone to record a movie of themselves doing a speedrun, make a savestate, then load the savestate and try again when they make a mistake, and pass it off as a speedrun done in real-time? Would it be easy to cheat?
  • Does DraStic lag a lot? An issue we run into with DeSmuME is hitting lots of slowdown. Does this emulator run smoothly on most computers?
I look forward to hearing back from you all, and to not making people use DeSmuME anymore.
-MyLittleWalrus
If emulation accuracy is also a concern, then Drastic DS is not very suitable, it uses many speed hacks to get games running at full speed and that can cause issues with accurate emulation. While most games work properly some may have issues such as slowdown or graphical glitches. I believe New Super Mario Bros. should work fine.

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dsattorney
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Re: DraStic compared to DeSmuME for use by speedrunners

Post by dsattorney » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:51 pm

Moderator talking, not a developer
I think Drastic should be considered for speedrunning purposes, and I'll tell you why replying to your points:
1: As SSUPII said, loading and saving times ain't better than an original DS.
2: I can't answer that, but I think they are consistent.
3: As for movie recording, it has none, so speedrunners should use an external recording app like Mobizen, which isn't precisely convenient. As for savestates, as Obsidian mentioned, it has a hotkey for saving on controllers and you can turn the save confirmation off. But as SSUPII mentioned, it only saves states, but not inputs, with those having to be handled by a handwritten Lua script. So idk.
4: As SSUPII and Obsidian mentioned, it runs full speed, even on low-end devices.
Some extra points:
1: As kaikun97 mentioned, Drastic isn't very suitable in terms of accuracy. NSMB should work fine tho.
2: It isn't exactly accesible, given that it is a paid emu (it isn't precisely expensive, but eh) while something like Desmume is not.
It is up to you now, but I think it should be permitted, given that it is a good emu.
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