Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Bisqwit / Initial Wiki Pages / Generic Tips

Tips for playing

These tips may help you if you're making timeattack movies.
They are my experiences.

Redefine the keyboard shortcuts so that you can use them fast

In Famtasia, I have assigned the keys as follows:
  • Arrow keys = directional controller
  • Keyboard "A" = keypad "B"
  • Keyboard "D" = keypad "A"
  • Keyboard "S" = Save
  • Keyboard "F" = Undo (load)
  • Keyboard "P" = Start
  • Enter = Pause emulation
You can select whichever keys you want, but you should design them so that they are quickly accessible at any given situation.
Don't assign the Reset key anywhere near your playing keys, and don't use Alt or Ctrl for your playing keys because they might activate operating system functions exactly when you don't want that.
Alt+number changes the number of quicksave.

Use the emulator features to your power.

  • Use Autofire when you have to shoot/hit/jump very rapidly without delays. Famtasia has a very good autofire which hits about 30 times in second when "max speed" is used.
  • Use Pause to prevent wasting time when you shuffle with quicksaves.
  • Too many quicksave slots is bad (you may mess up).
    Not enough quicksaves is bad (it's important that you can undo all mistakes).
    Find your balance. See below.
  • Slow down the game to improve your accuracy. See below.

Use more than one quicksave, but no more than necessary.

I use always 3 to 6 quicksaves. I have designated them as follows:
  • Save 1: Shortest range. Quick redoes for perfecting the little details. Sometimes used even 3 times in second, never used for undoing a period longer than 20 seconds.
  • Save 2: A "safe" backup copy. Always saved when there's time for that (during a walk, jump or other non-reaction-intensive) and before the next Save1-loop.
  • Save 3: Usually done at start of level, sometimes mid-level. Can be used if the save 2 can't save you from problems.
  • Save 4,5,6: Backup copies for save 3. Done always at the beginning of level -preferably with much time for reaction.

If you notice that you have made a major mistake that none of the quicksaves can save you from, stop the recording and watch your movie. Make a quicksave where you would want to start rerecording, and then load it while your movie is playing. You're back at recording.

Make the emulator as slow as you can use.

Review your playing

Your first version doesn't have to be perfect. Just do something that looks good. It's important that you don't tire yourself with the first version. You will probably learn new tricks even while playing.
Then review it. Many times. So many times until you remember everything that looks bad: waits, unused shortcuts, redundant actions etc. Read the guidelines.
After you are certain that you know how to play it faster, start making a new version - from the very beginning. (Because you have probably learned something, and because of the re-record counter.) Repeat as many times as necessary.
When you gain experience, you also start being able to do it faster.
Note: AVI files are much better for reviewing than the fmv files, because you can browse back and forth in them. I watch my own movies often.

To avoid broken movies

  • Never load quicksaves in wrong order.
    If your save 2 has been saved before save 1, do not load save 2, then save 1. If you do, your movie will be most probably broken.
  • Periodically verify that your movie is not broken.
    Famtasia allows you to stop recording and resume the recording later.
    You can stop the movie any time you want and resume it later whenever you wish, at any point of previous play.
    So - stop the movie, play it back. If it's broken, make a quicksave (during the replay) just before it goes out of sync and resume recording from that point.
    Movie recording is resumed by loading a quicksave while in playback mode!
  • If you want to change the speed while recording, do a quicksave first, then load the save quicksave a while after changing the speed. This allows the emulator to adjust the timing safely.
  • Don't reload saves too fast. If you do, Famtasia may confuse and give you obscure error messages which are troublesome to handle.

Make backups

  • Make backup copies of your quicksaves when you have time.
  • Make a backup copy of your movie when you are replaying it.

Backups are important. You will be depressed if you accidentally rerecord over your good progress.

Remember that your movie will be judged on how entertaining it is to watch, not on how entertaining/hard it was to play

Thus you should choose well which game you play and how you play it.

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Bisqwit/InitialWikiPages/GenericTips last edited by Bisqwit on 2018-05-06 00:09:46
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