Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

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Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby Stasis on Jan 16th, '11, 04:50

I know some of these are hard to fix, but still it will help if you implement/fix these.

1. Holds

Holds are inded working relatively well. I enjoyed the holds implementation, however there are some dodgy things about it. The last part of the hold ends with an arrow, and this make it very confusing when there are multiple arrows of the same direction. Also, after playing with the holds for awhile, if you let go just at the last moments of the hold to prepare for the next arrow, the hold will fail, which is not usually the case of DDR (which letting go of the arrow at the last moment is fine.).


2. Arrow customisation

Some screens are larger and some screen are smaller. Some fingers are larger and some fingers are smaller. It is best if we can shift the arrows by ourself and into a more comfortable position sometimes. Also, hopefully next time there is some form of upsizing/downsizing in terms of the arrow size (and increasing the hitbox as well).


3. Accuracy Judgement

I realised you removed this feature (as I cannot find it in the settings.). Back in Beats 1.3, I am relatively used to playing HARD judgement rather than NORMAL judgement. So hopefully in the next update this option could be placed back as well.


4. Drills (aka same repetitive arrow in succession)

Just thinking, maybe instead of limiting the hitbox in the arrow display, we can have the hitbox to be throughout the track.

Example:
Image

The whole box is the hitbox instead of the original arrow buttons.

With this layout, people can switch to 2 fingers to do the drills instead of one.

This is also a potential suggestion to flip the scroll to upwards (and retaining the hitbox at the bottom.) :D


5. Increasing performance of low-end device

This is just a request, but I hope there are new ways to allow low-end devices to run smoothly.


6. Mass arrow lag

When pressing a lot of arrows, there are potential misses sometimes due to lag. :?


Regardless of this, I still really enjoyed the game and hope there are improvements which make the gaming experience better, :P
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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby keripo on Jan 18th, '11, 18:32

Hi Stasis, thanks for the feedback. I will try to address these one by one:

Stasis wrote:1. Holds

Holds are inded working relatively well. I enjoyed the holds implementation, however there are some dodgy things about it. The last part of the hold ends with an arrow, and this make it very confusing when there are multiple arrows of the same direction. Also, after playing with the holds for awhile, if you let go just at the last moments of the hold to prepare for the next arrow, the hold will fail, which is not usually the case of DDR (which letting go of the arrow at the last moment is fine.).

Yup, I do agree that holds are a bit awkward with having to keep the hold down all the way until the end. We just did what was easiest to code at the time and wanted to see what the players thoughts on it were. What I'm thinking about for the next update would be to change the hold behaviour such that at least 50% (or 75%?) of the entire hold duration has to be pressed for the hold to not be "No Good" and the window for acceptable release be wider than just the final unhold note (2-notes-width maybe?). Either way, much code restructuring will need to be done, so it won't be an easy task and will take some time to become perfected - 1.4b was an experiment in adding hold support.

2. Arrow customisation

Some screens are larger and some screen are smaller. Some fingers are larger and some fingers are smaller. It is best if we can shift the arrows by ourself and into a more comfortable position sometimes. Also, hopefully next time there is some form of upsizing/downsizing in terms of the arrow size (and increasing the hitbox as well).

Arrow sizes and locations are still currently hardcoded. This is planned to be changed and become more flexible - see the To-Do List. Again, another large codebase change, so not a simple change, but definitely one that will happen eventually.

3. Accuracy Judgement

I realised you removed this feature (as I cannot find it in the settings.). Back in Beats 1.3, I am relatively used to playing HARD judgement rather than NORMAL judgement. So hopefully in the next update this option could be placed back as well.

The reason behind the removal of this was to allow for standardization of scoring for scoreboard purposes when we implement it. On hind sight, I realized that the submitted scores can just be ranked by the actual points score (which is independent of the letter grade), so I may return this setting if enough people ask for it.

4. Drills (aka same repetitive arrow in succession)

Just thinking, maybe instead of limiting the hitbox in the arrow display, we can have the hitbox to be throughout the track.

Example:
Image

The whole box is the hitbox instead of the original arrow buttons.

With this layout, people can switch to 2 fingers to do the drills instead of one.

This is also a potential suggestion to flip the scroll to upwards (and retaining the hitbox at the bottom.) :D

See above on arrow layout. Part of the arrow placement redesign that is planned and will be done eventually.

5. Increasing performance of low-end device

This is just a request, but I hope there are new ways to allow low-end devices to run smoothly.

That assumes of course that I know of these "new ways" xD. I haven't done much research into optimizing Beats for low end devices (even the current version of Beats I admit is very unoptimized and focuses more on features instead of speed) as I only started programming for Android three months ago and have much to learn. If you know of any resources or any experts that I can talk to, please point me their way. In the meanwhile, please experiment with the optimization settings in the advanced settings subsection and give feedback on what works and what doesn't. I only own one phone so there's only so much I can personally test.

6. Mass arrow lag

When pressing a lot of arrows, there are potential misses sometimes due to lag. :?

See optimizations reply above. Also keep in mind that most stepfiles are made for keyboard and not all phones have touchscreens that will allow for smooth, fast tapping. Paranoia stepfiles, for example, are definitely out of the question and should only be played with Auto-Play on xD

Regardless of this, I still really enjoyed the game and hope there are improvements which make the gaming experience better, :P


Thank you as well for your feedback. I aim to improve Beats in whatever ways I can, but the only way I will know what is wanted is if the users tell me ; )

~Keripo
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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby Stasis on Jan 20th, '11, 02:01

Thanks for the reply. :mrgreen:

I had a HTC Wildfire in the past (which is one of the noobest in terms of gaming abilities. :( ), and now a Samsung Galaxy S (which is at the other end of the spectrum LOL). I still can use wildfire for testing purposes though.

Anyway still got some minor stuff that was bugging me (which I forgot last time LOL)

Landscape support

Hopefully the menus will have some form of landscape menu, as currently only the actual game and song selection screen have landscape support and the main menu don't. Also, when playing in landscape, the prompt to go back to the main menu (press back to return to the main menu ...) is blocking my judgement. :|


Just another recommendation (something simple really) , maybe you should include at least 20 songs in the sample songpack, as many in the market are just too noob to install the songs on their own. :lol:

All the best. :mrgreen:
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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby keripo on Jan 20th, '11, 02:43

Stasis wrote:Thanks for the reply. :mrgreen:

I had a HTC Wildfire in the past (which is one of the noobest in terms of gaming abilities. :( ), and now a Samsung Galaxy S (which is at the other end of the spectrum LOL). I still can use wildfire for testing purposes though.

I have a Galaxy S myself (Samsung Captivate), a relatively high-end phone, which is why I have troubles actually figuring out and understanding the cause of all these lag issues without help. Looking at the HTC Wildfire's specs, it definitely looks pretty slow with its 500MHz processor (compared to the Galaxy S's 1GHz). Do you think you would mind downgrading your HTC Wildfire to 1.5 or 1.6 and helping me run some touch screen and lag tests? It will be especially useful with debugging and figuring out where all these multi-touch and lag complaints are and hopefully lead to fixes/improvements. It really sucks that of our tag team of two programmers working on this project, only I actually have an Android phone (a high-end one too!) but we have no one to actually help us test things on non-Galaxy S phones (everyone complains asking for fixes but no-one volunteers to help with testing).

If you're interested, please contact me via IRC or via MSN through the info found at http://beatsportable.com/about/

Landscape support

Hopefully the menus will have some form of landscape menu, as currently only the actual game and song selection screen have landscape support and the main menu don't. Also, when playing in landscape, the prompt to go back to the main menu (press back to return to the main menu ...) is blocking my judgement. :|

I finally figured out menu layouts for different orientations, so yes, I can work on that for the next release.

Just another recommendation (something simple really) , maybe you should include at least 20 songs in the sample songpack, as many in the market are just too noob to install the songs on their own. :lol:

All the best. :mrgreen:

Unfortunately the real reason why there's only 10 songs that come pre-installed is because of legal issues. So far, only Lisek has come to me and given me explicitly permission to distribute his/her stepfiles. If you can find some quality stepfiles where the author authorizes for non-commercial distribution and uses files under non-restrictive licenses (such as Creative Commons), I will be more than happy to bundle them in. I did, however, try to remedy the download new songs issue via the new Download Songs mechanism. I'm curious on how its working out for users - whats your feedback on it?

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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby Stasis on Jan 20th, '11, 08:17

keripo wrote:
Stasis wrote:Thanks for the reply. :mrgreen:

I had a HTC Wildfire in the past (which is one of the noobest in terms of gaming abilities. :( ), and now a Samsung Galaxy S (which is at the other end of the spectrum LOL). I still can use wildfire for testing purposes though.

I have a Galaxy S myself (Samsung Captivate), a relatively high-end phone, which is why I have troubles actually figuring out and understanding the cause of all these lag issues without help. Looking at the HTC Wildfire's specs, it definitely looks pretty slow with its 500MHz processor (compared to the Galaxy S's 1GHz). Do you think you would mind downgrading your HTC Wildfire to 1.5 or 1.6 and helping me run some touch screen and lag tests? It will be especially useful with debugging and figuring out where all these multi-touch and lag complaints are and hopefully lead to fixes/improvements. It really sucks that of our tag team of two programmers working on this project, only I actually have an Android phone (a high-end one too!) but we have no one to actually help us test things on non-Galaxy S phones (everyone complains asking for fixes but no-one volunteers to help with testing).

If you're interested, please contact me via IRC or via MSN through the info found at http://beatsportable.com/about/

Landscape support

Hopefully the menus will have some form of landscape menu, as currently only the actual game and song selection screen have landscape support and the main menu don't. Also, when playing in landscape, the prompt to go back to the main menu (press back to return to the main menu ...) is blocking my judgement. :|

I finally figured out menu layouts for different orientations, so yes, I can work on that for the next release.

Just another recommendation (something simple really) , maybe you should include at least 20 songs in the sample songpack, as many in the market are just too noob to install the songs on their own. :lol:

All the best. :mrgreen:

Unfortunately the real reason why there's only 10 songs that come pre-installed is because of legal issues. So far, only Lisek has come to me and given me explicitly permission to distribute his/her stepfiles. If you can find some quality stepfiles where the author authorizes for non-commercial distribution and uses files under non-restrictive licenses (such as Creative Commons), I will be more than happy to bundle them in. I did, however, try to remedy the download new songs issue via the new Download Songs mechanism. I'm curious on how its working out for users - whats your feedback on it?

~Keripo


The main probem with Wildfire however, is that nobody bothers to port a older firmware of android back on wildfire, so it is tough to do so. :roll:

Multi-touch is not an issue on the wildfire though (as far as I know, as I am still capable to play the toughest song on the 1.3 sample packs).

Maybe you should invest on some older device using the donations (if you actually get them). As far as I know, the G1 is the best for low-end testing as it is the first android phone, and most developers have firmware updates from 1.0 to 2.2.


Glad to know that there is landscape support in the next release. :mrgreen: The song part is just a passing remark, those which actually did their research will DIY themselves, so no sweat on that. ;)

Thanks for all the quick replies, and this game is sticking on my phone definitely (though it eats up a lot of space, but meh).
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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby keripo on Jan 22nd, '11, 03:32

Landscape layout has been added and the old Beats 1.3b accuracy level setting has been returned.

http://beatsportable.com/2011/01/beats-1-4-1b/

Looking into the other stuff still.

Enjoy!

~Keripo
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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby Zurek on Jan 22nd, '11, 18:15

Hello and sorry for my bad english :D

I have miss arrow bug, in game i tap on arrow and i see perfect (or a another good comunikate) and is all good but 1-2 sec leter this same arrow changed from - perfect to miss. Wtf? In beats 1.3 i dont have this problem :p i have this bug on 1.4 and1.4.1

Ps. Tested on samsung i5700
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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby burdik on Jan 23rd, '11, 03:15

I've already told Keripo bout this bug, he said he'll look into this
as 4 me, teh bug became less annoying in the update
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Re: Beats 1.4 - Some technical stuff

Postby keripo on Jan 31st, '11, 02:33

Just a few updates on the current development of Beats (after 1.4.2b, will be released as 1.5b):

Holds: The release window will be increased, Matt is working on that (along with a few other fixes for holds).

Arrow/layout/tapbox customization: See the update on tapboxes: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=294

Accuracy Judgement: 1.4.2b reverted things to roughly the same as the old 1.3b accuracy judgement, but tweaked a bit, and also added back the changeable Judgement setting. There was a weird miss bug that I forgot to fix which could potentially allow for an unbroken combo even when notes are missed (combos don't actually change scores, but still). The bug has been fixed.

Drills: Still don't know exactly what these are so can't really do much with them. As of the moment, the last note style planned to be implemented are mines - after that, gameplay functionality will be done.

Lag/performance: See the update on optimizations: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=290

Songs: Haven't received any complaints with Lisek's song pack yet, so gonna stick with that for Beats 1.5b.

Landscape mode: Was added in 1.4.2b, a few issues/crashes for them fixed later.

Older devices: So far, we've gotten roughly $100 worth of surplus money from ads and $40 from "Beats (Donate)" downloads (for every donation via the Market, however, only 70% of it actually goes to us). That's barely enough to buy an old, functional Android phone for Matt to test things with. Probably gonna wait a bit til we get more donations while we search for a cheap deal. Its really hard to test and optimize Beats for older devices when we don't actually have one on hand to see and understand the problems.

Miss bug: After poking around, we discovered that the bug is due to lag from the garbage collector. It is being worked on. See the update on optimizations: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=290

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