map-pin Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast

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19 Apr 2010 03:14 #1 by IsraeliRD
IsraeliRD created the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast - You'll learn how to create replays/demos of yourself, the issues to consider and how to view the recordings.
Walkthrough created by Matan. Credits to Perishingflames for Mac instructions.


Marble Blast Gold

Windows:
1. Press the tilde ( ~ ) key to bring up the console (it's really the same key as ` ).
2. Type in $dorecorddemo=true; (without the quotes) and press enter. You can type in 1 (without the quotes) instead of true.
3. Press the tilde ( ~ ) key to exit the console (it's really the same key as ` ).
4. Enter a level and play. If you go OOB, you can either exit the level and repeat the above steps or continue to play (please read the issues with recordings at a later section).

Mac:
1. Press Control-F10 to bring up the console
2) Type in $dorecorddemo=true; (without the quotes) and press enter.
3. Press Control-F10 to exit the console.
4. Enter a level and play. If you go OOB, you can either exit the level and repeat the above steps to start a new demo recording or continue to play. (Please note that if you use the restart button, the demo will be corrupt. However, if you let the game restart the level after going OOB, the demo will be fine.)

Note – If you have volume controls printed on the F10 key because of the newer mac keyboards, hold the function (fn) key-- Fn-Control-F10.
Note #2 - If you do not have exposé controls set to use the F10 key, you should not need to use the Control key.

How to find the recorded file:
Windows:
1. Navigate to the hard drive and the directory that has the marble blast folder and enter it.
2. Go to Marble -> Client -> Demos
3. Your recording displays as demo.rec. Right click on it and press re-name. Give it a new name, such as myrecording.rec.

Mac:
1. Go to (Username)/Library/Marbleblast.
2. Open Marble -> Client -> Demos
3. Your recording displays as demo.rec. Rename it.

How to play the .rec file (playback):
1. Start Marble Blast, quickly move the mouse to the side and press ESC to quickly get to the main menu. Because the mouse was moved to the sides, no button is highlighted so that Marble Blast will actually start the playback countdown sequence. If after 15 seconds nothing happens, enter in the console: playDemo(marble/client/demos/demo.rec); to manually start it. If you've already changed the demo's name, replace demo.rec with the new name.

Please note that the game plays the recordings by filename, but backwards!
This means that it will play recordings from Z and finish at A. Therefore, zebra.rec will always play before ebra.rec.


Marble Blast Platinum

1. In the level select screen, press the camera button on the list of options on the right side of the screen.
2. Give the recording a name
3. Play the level
4. If you leave the level (either the pause menu or through the end level screen), it will ask for author and description. If you go OOB, you can either exit the level and repeat the above steps or continue to play (please read the issues with recordings at a later section).
Note: You will have to press the demo recording button twice if you quit the level and want to record again -- once to “remove” the demo recording command, and once to start up a recording.

How to play the .rec file:
1. At the main menu, click the replay centre
2. Find the replay (each one has its own name, description and author) and press play to load it.

Note that in Marble Blast Platinum most of the steps have been done for you, including the naming of the .rec file (in the level select stage). Any additional info is stored within an .inf file which is used by the replay centre in order to display recording information. You cannot replay a level without the presence of both files!

How to stop a replay playback:
1) At anytime, whether it's at the end of the level or mid-level recording, you can press ESC and so exit the recording. You'll be sent straight to the main menu or replay centre.


Windows Vista & Windows 7 Users:

Please note that you have to right click on the marble blast executable and press Run as Administrator in order for the game to actually create the files required (the .rec and .inf files). You can also right click on the shortcut, probably, and run it as administrator as well.


Main issues with Recording Replays

Cross Platform
A windows user can only see recordings from a windows user. If he's given Mac/Linux user recordings, there will be some improper displaying of the recording (the level does not finish). Likewise, Mac users can only watch other Mac users’ recordings and Linux to Linux. In some cases the recording will simply not start.
Note - There may be rare occurrences where recordings will actually function correctly. It could be due to a very short replay file.

Version Number
A recording created in different versions of MB, even if the same level is recorded, will fail when attempted to replay. For example, a recording created in MB Platinum 1.11 will not work in 1.12.

Out of Bounds & Restarting
If the player goes Out of Bounds and presses “ ESC “ followed by pressing the “ YES “ button to restart the level, the game will not recognize this during recording and will continue the Out of Bounds sequence during the replay.
You have to press the Power Up button (which causes the marble to respawn immediately) so that the recording will record such button press and restart appropriately.

Replay and Continue Options at the End Level Screen
If a player finished the level, he must press on “ Continue ” to go to the menu in order for the recording to stop. If he wants to retry for a better recording, he will need to repeat the recording steps respective to the Marble Blast game he’s recording on.
This is because the demo recorder does not pick up the replay command and therefore doesn’t replay the level when the recorder himself did. You will see the marble spin accordingly mid-air though.

Missteps
Although you may be doing a successful run of a certain level, the game sometimes messes up the movement at a certain point, such as not jumping or activating a powerup, or not fully finishing a movement done by the player. This often causes the marble to go out of bounds and the level restarts, but the replay continues as if nothing happened, but no movement makes sense.

Known causes of such missteps or failure of replay playback are:
Fans, Gravity Modifiers, Tornados and long levels (usually 2+ minutes length). It is often also caused by lag during the recording of the demo (ensure that you do not have many memory-consuming programs running while recording the demo).

Please note that even if a replay fails, you should replay it a couple of times, maybe even restart marble blast and try again. There have been known cases where a replay fails, but several attempts later the playback fully works again. Sometimes it works only once and fails onwards.
Please note that also usage of screen recorders causes lag which combined with the aforementioned factors may stop a playback from working properly.


Other Issues with Recording and Playback of Replays

Custom levels do not work properly
During playback it is recommended to have all interiors required by the mission file for successful playback and hope that the recorder himself did not miss any interiors.

Path of mission file & mission name
The .rec file holds information of where the mission file was recorded from. To view it, simple open the .rec file using Notepad/TextEdit or any other word processing programs. The .rec will starts with information of the mission selected, usually in the form of path to the mission and the mission name itself. Sometimes the .rec is encrypted so even this data is not legible, so you need to ask the creator of the replay where did he put the mission file and how was it called.
Please note that in Marble Blast Platinum the .inf files holds the mission information, so it is always possible to see where the mission file was saved to and under what name.

A certain recording ALWAYS starts first
Sometimes you may have (by accident) put a .rec file in the client folder (marble -> client). The game usually reads the client folder before the demos folder in search of .rec files. Note that this problem is exclusive to Marble Blast Gold.


Remember:
You can never view .rec files using any other programs except Marble Blast.

"matan, now i get what you meant a few years back when you said that "the level in mbg is beyond me" after the last rampage i noticed things were insane, and now i truly feel that too" - Dushine, 2015.
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19 Apr 2010 03:22 #2 by Pablo
Pablo replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Nice tut!

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19 Apr 2010 03:42 #3 by Sporlo
Sporlo replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
I used to use $dorecorddemo=true; but then I realized that it's the same to just use 1.
Now, I only use $dorecorddemo=1;
Just like $testcheats=1; you can use $testcheats=true; also, but it's far easier to use 1 than true.


Quote:Replay and Continue Options at the End Level Screen
If a player finished the level, he must press on “ Continue ” to go to the menu in order for the recording to stop. If he wants to retry for a better recording, he will need to repeat the recording steps respective to the Marble Blast game he’s recording on.
You don't have to reenter $dorecordemo=1;
I know you already stated this earlier, but it's just a bit unclear down here.

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19 Apr 2010 03:42 #4 by SonicW1
SonicW1 replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Nice guide! Should help some people!

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19 Apr 2010 04:00 #5 by Andrew
Andrew replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Great tutorial!

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19 Apr 2010 04:29 #6 by ridley2
ridley2 replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Cool. I assume that recordings done on something like CrossOver Games (Windows emulator) would be compatible with Windows only?

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19 Apr 2010 05:05 #7 by ridley2
ridley2 replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Great tut, it's going to help me alot. Ahah..

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21 Apr 2010 01:03 #8 by picklecow10
picklecow10 replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Just using a copy of FRAPS seems to work better for me. A little less lag, IMO.

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28 Apr 2010 00:46 #9 by iMacmatician
iMacmatician replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
I have a few things to add to this part from my experience with (MBP) .rec's (you may already know these). I do agree with all the tips written.


Quote:Missteps
Although you may be doing a successful run of a certain level, the game sometimes messes up the movement at a certain point, such as not jumping or activating a powerup, or not fully finishing a movement done by the player. This often causes the marble to go out of bounds and the level restarts, but the replay continues as if nothing happened, but no movement makes sense.

Known causes of such missteps or failure of replay playback are:
Fans, Gravity Modifiers, Tornados and long levels (usually 2+ minutes length). It is often also caused by lag during the recording of the demo (ensure that you do not have many memory-consuming programs running while recording the demo).

Please note that even if a replay fails, you should replay it a couple of times, maybe even restart marble blast and try again. There have been known cases where a replay fails, but several attempts later the playback fully works again. Sometimes it works only once and fails onwards.
Please note that also usage of screen recorders causes lag which combined with the aforementioned factors may stop a playback from working properly.Restarting Marble Blast definitely helps many screwed .rec's, especially if you record a level and replay it without restarting MB in between.

Fans are definitely the biggest cause of .rec screwups but not every run involving a fan screws up. Note that you don't necessarily have to be right beside a fan for the .rec to mess up.

If a .rec screws up, it's usually at a precise point (like landing on a thin part without edge hitting).

Try to make sure the game resolution while recording is the same as (or close to) the game resolution on playback. In this case aspect ratio seems to be more important than the large differences in pixel count.

The .rec can screw up, but otherwise seems to work normally as the marble finishes. In these cases the final time seen on the .rec is different from the final time you remember getting, it can be higher or lower, but to my experience it isn't off by far (0.01 to about 0.1x at most). Sometimes you get the right final time some of the time (so the .rec worked properly) and wrong final time other times, or you can get wrong final time(s) all the time.
This phenomenon can also happen with Time Travels (and presumably other objects), with a common subsequent result being a screwup of the .rec.

Few factors will mess up a .rec for sure. Keep in mind that failure of a .rec is very unlikely unless the level involves one of the abovementioned factors.


Quote:Version Number
A recording created in different versions of MB, even if the same level is recorded, will fail when attempted to replay. For example, a recording created in MB Platinum 1.11 will not work in 1.12. I haven't had this problem much, because the .rec's of those old runs of levels were done with MBP 1.11 and they play fine in 1.13/1.14. One time I noticed a bunch of old .rec's not working but I think they were due to resolution differences (which I believe a restart of MBP fixed).

A time can be beaten, but a path can't be rediscovered. The best path stays forever.

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02 Oct 2010 12:41 #10 by mbgmax
mbgmax replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
how can i upload my rec. ?

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02 Oct 2010 12:46 #11 by Pablo
Pablo replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
You could post your .rec on localhostr.com or mediafire.com (or many others). If you want to post a video, use a screen recorder to capture the .rec being played on your comp and then upload to YouTube.

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02 Oct 2010 14:00 #12 by mbgmax
mbgmax replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
i have rec. a good time in skill zone, but when i played the rec. the marble only fooled around.

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03 Oct 2010 17:50 #13 by Perishingflames
Perishingflames replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
Then's it gone. I never use rec's, it's a really shitty system. Just record.

Also, modified your post, Matan, to show that you can manually start recs with the console. Had to use that for MBA to play them.

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27 Jun 2011 23:41 #14 by Joey
Joey replied the topic: Recording Demos/Replays using Marble Blast
BUMP: I'm having a very odd problem. I recorded the .rec. When I went back to replay it, it would go fine for like 20-30 seconds, then MB would just close... I tried it again, but this time (at the same spot) it went directly to the Whirl .rec, with the King of the Mountain interior in it and you were in the interior! What on Earth?!

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