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Today, as I mark my 4th anniversary of creating my forum account on this website (which also happens to be my birthday), I have improved my very first TAS by 5,343 frames.
The first TAS I ever submitted to this site is very poor even by newbie standards I think. I had very little understanding of how to optimize things and just little understanding of the TAS tools to begin with. Years later I would improve my TASing skills and finding some things here and there that I didnt do in my previous attempt.

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So some of the biggest improvements obviously would be routing, as I blindly followed the original RTA route of this game back in the day. However what I failed to realize is some stages have more than 3 placements for the green gems. For many of the stages I was actually going out of my way to grab the slower gems for no good reason. Of course now that I have a chance to look at where each green gem is in each stage I can plan my movement better.
The other big thing that's changed is lag reduction tricks. I had no idea back then what lag reduction was or how to do it. And now I realize how important reducing it is, depending on if I can easily reduce it as much as I can. There's a few ways I can reduce lag in this game, one of them is in the game map, if the main map is shown, the game will not lag at all. It will lag if a world is selected and the levels are shown. By delaying when I bring up the levels for each world, I can time it so I start each level with the least amount of lag so I can start the level loading earlier.
While playing the levels, the easiest way I can reduce lag is by letting go of the run button for one frame, as I dont lose time unless I let go of run for 3 frames, however if a section is laggy enough it's worth letting go of the button for more than 3 frames. The other big lag reduction method is at the ending of levels, sometimes the transition will cause lag. I can open backpack on the same frame I hit the trigger to end the level, and by moving the cursor, reduce a couple more frames of lag that way. This trick is also useful if I need to select an item to use in the next stage, which saves time from having to select it.
For movement in the game, it's best to stay on the ground as much as possible because jumping is not as fast as running. The ground may also have weird properties where if you are running over it, Dora will briefly go into a falling animation and slow down. For some of these, I can prevent that from happening by walking for a few frames before going back to running. This doesnt work for all instances of Dora falling but it does in some.

feos: Judging...
feos: Delaying per author request.
feos: Replacing with a 286 frame improvement.
Zinfidel: Processing...

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #7130: EZGames69's GBA Dora the Explorer: Super Spies in 21:23.16
Snodeca
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GBA TAS of 2021
I'm proud of you to have improved your first ever TAS by 5343 dots.
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This is a nice improvement! I've never played the game, but it sounds pretty cool! Yes vote!
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Not sure. The routing is better except for the second-to-last level which is a few frames longer in this movie. So I tried to randomly tweak inputs and improved it by 29 frames by the start of the cutscene: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/72095754353028060 Midlevel crap turned 7-frame improvement on level 1 into 2-frame: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/72095741720032955 Some level in the middle is 18 frames shorter: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/72095753184632048 While I see that midlevel stuff advances at random pace depending on random input, I still improved 3 out of 3 that I tried to randomly tweak. I kinda suspect every level is like this.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
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This game is just a bit too slow and it lacks gameplay variation. No vote.
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I have finished the improvement of 286 frames: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/72502613210574154
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Some of thee character sprites look like model renders a la the GBA version of Nicktoons Unite. The background graphics look better than the sprites TBH. The platforming is basic for the most part and as previously stated, feels slow, but for a game based on an educational show, I guess that's okay. But certainly not for entertainment purposes. Those aside, congrats on the improvement!
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Watched the movie. It's not absolutely terrible to watch, although it ends up getting rather repetitive and the game's length really hurts it there. So, I guess meh. I looked into the game just a tad, everything seems to be very well optimized. Well done! I did notice one minor thing however. You seem to go to the backpack at the level fadeouts. Sometimes this seems to be for picking an item while the fadeout goes on, but other times it seems to be a case of lag reduction. I've noticed that for the lag reduction (and assuming you aren't picking an item) the Pause menu can be substituted, which could have less lag. However, the gain is very minor and likely outright negated due later lag being thrown off. Not really worthy of rejection, but perhaps something to keep an eye on in case you want to squeeze just a little more timesave in. Considering this is fastest completion, this movie looks well Vaultable, and considering the votes (4/3/2 No/Yes/Meh) and current feedback (3/1 Negative/Positive), that is probably where it will go.
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CasualPokePlayer wrote:
I did notice one minor thing however. You seem to go to the backpack at the level fadeouts. Sometimes this seems to be for picking an item while the fadeout goes on, but other times it seems to be a case of lag reduction. I've noticed that for the lag reduction (and assuming you aren't picking an item) the Pause menu can be substituted, which could have less lag. However, the gain is very minor and likely outright negated due later lag being thrown off. Not really worthy of rejection, but perhaps something to keep an eye on in case you want to squeeze just a little more timesave in.
Nice find! But yeah it'd require going through the entire movie again, so it can wait for a new iteration indeed.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
Post subject: Movie published
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This movie has been published. The posts before this message apply to the submission, and posts after this message apply to the published movie. ---- [4487] GBA Dora the Explorer: Super Spies by EZGames69 in 21:23.16