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Melee Netplay - The Future is Now (New and improved!)

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by Makkun, Oct 19, 2012.

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  1. Makkun

    Makkun Smash Journeyman

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    Have you ever thought it would be awesome to play Melee online? It's something you've wanted for some time, isn't it? Well, it's finally here. With the Dolphin Emulator, you can play Melee with anyone in the world. You just need to download everything in this list and follow our instructions.

    • Dolphin build 3.0-815 (Win32 | x64) - This is the newest version. We've modded in a few imporovements to netplay.
    • Dolphin build 3.0-305 (Win32 | x64 | Mac - This is an old build. If you have problems with our build, use this one.
    • Memory Card file - You and your opponent need to use the exact same memory card file state each time you play. We recommend you use this one. Extract the .rar file and place MemoryCardA.USA.raw in your User/GC folder and overwrite the existing file. Make sure to keep a backup. You need to revert back to this original memory card state each time you reconnect with an opponent.
    • Melee version converter - Chain Ace created this version converter for Melee. It is only necessary if you cannot find Melee version 1.02 (our recommended version) but you have a different version available.
    Netplay Configuration
    Videos
    Stages - How stressful each will be on your computer
    FAQ
  2. Makkun

    Makkun Smash Journeyman

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    Play Together!
    There are a few ways you can meet people to play online! You can join the Melee Netplay group or...
    If you're looking for a more immediate match, join the IRC channel!

    IRC Setup
    Play Testers

    We're looking for testers to help further our research! You can contact us via PM or send an email to [email protected]

    There are some prerequisites for application:

    Minimum requirements:
    • Core2duo @ 2.66 Ghz or higher for Dual Core playtesting.
    • If you are using a PC, First-Gen Core i5 and i7 processors or any Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processor for Single Core playtesting.
    • If you are using a laptop, Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Intel processors or comparible AMD processors for Single Core playtesting.
    • You must be able to download multiple Dolphin builds including the currently recommended build (3.0-305).
    • You must download the memory card file provided in the OP.
    • You must have a working version of Melee (we will not provide one for you).

    Notes:
    • We may record any gameplay at any time. This may be for our own research, or to post on the internet as data.
    • If you are only able to test for Dual Core mode, expect occasional desyncs after the first match. Part of the process is ironing out these issues.
    • If your computer does not meet the specs listed above, or if your computer can play Dual Core mode perfectly, but not Single Core mode, we can still use your help! We need to test game speed codes that may help lower-end computers play on Dual Core or even Single Core settings without hiccups!


    (I'm going to post this in the thread's second post)
  3. ZelDan

    ZelDan Smash Apprentice

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    hopefully my laptop is unsh*tty enough to atleast let me use this.

    nice that it's working though!
  4. Izuhu

    Izuhu Smash Journeyman

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    Dolphin R6515 is the fastest 3.0 build and is even faster in the ICC build. I can run the whole game in fullspeed with the exception of fountain of dreams . I have problems playing 3-4 ICs on it, but who plays doubles on FoD anyways (it lags).
  5. InternetExplorer

    InternetExplorer Smash Ace

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    For those wondering if this makes our work on SSBM Online obsolete, it does not.
  6. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    I was the other person who worked on setting Dolphin for working here, and I don't think it obsoletes your work at all. The problem with this method is basically computer speed, and that's not something we can fix. If you completely disable randoms in Melee, you can an instant 100% speed boost which would make the entire game playable on gaming computers.

    Our goal wasn't to do that, our goal was to prove that Melee unaltered can be synced for those who want to play it now. In fact, the data collected from both sides can only help one another.

    Also we weren't aware of the fastest builds when going around, but, assuming there's no new netplay bugs in older/newer revisions, we can go around and try any build we want.
  7. Makkun

    Makkun Smash Journeyman

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    Thanks for the tip, Izuhu. We'll definitely check that build out.

    And InternetExplorer, we are still looking forward to what you and Massive are working on. We (my friend and I) did this research and posted this thread to let people know that it's possible to play Melee online right now without any hacks or alterations to the game itself. What you guys are doing is great (widescreen hack, new HUD and HD graphics, controlling data packages, eliminating the random seed, etc) but your Melee Online project should now be seen as an "upgrade" or a modded version of Melee. It seems Massive (I believe, it was) was a bit misguided in his research using vanilla Dolphin to play Melee online properly. Of course, we may have overlooked some details that could cause desyncs for certain players and that is one reason we created this thread. We want to pinpoint all possible reasons for desyncs and eliminate them so people can play Melee online quickly and easiliy using Dolphin.

    I'd like to know a little bit more about why there seems to be a crusade against using Dolphin's netplay online. Massive claims in his thread "why it is impossible to play Melee online 'properly' using Dolphin". But the work we've done here proves otherwise. Maybe we could work together to figure out why it wasn't working for him/you guys previously, and anything that can be done to improve the quality of vanilla Dolphin netplay. I'm still looking forward to a release from you guys, since you're adding so many extra features. It seems like you're really streamlining the online process and making it more viable for more players. But we want people to know it's possible and very feasible at this very moment.
  8. InternetExplorer

    InternetExplorer Smash Ace

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    I think dual-core causes other sync issues as well, not just regarding randoms. Dolphin is not a deterministic emulator so there can be miniscule changes between clients that cause a desync.

    For slower PCs, I wrote a code that doubles Melee's speed, so you can cap Dolphin at 30fps and still play the game at full speed, reducing the CPU requirement by 50% (at the expense of frame rate).
  9. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    We know Dualcore is a major culprit, most of Dolphin is deterministic, but HLE audio isn't (by the author's words, it's a mess of hacks) and Dualcore isn't due to an unknown bug. That's fine, but with the proper settings it seems like Dolphin will never desync between two computers using the same version of Melee.

    Also, that code would be hugely useful even without modding Melee otherwise, but wouldn't that make the game run half the speed as well? Or does it merely chop out frames? But... Dolphin's frameskip doesn't really help all that much because most of the work is CPU side, unless your code actually skips CPU calculations and interpolates between frames as well, I don't think it'll actually work to make the requirements all that much lower.
  10. Izuhu

    Izuhu Smash Journeyman

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    DSP LLE doesn't really change much for me in terms of speed, but I do notice a stuttery feeling when playing even when its capped at 60fps.
  11. musashi

    musashi Smash Apprentice

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    I think the most important question is... Does it has lag? I would like to see 2 good players playing.
  12. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    I originally said about how much lag was compared to Brawl, but I don't have a true way to test it outside of how it feels to me, so I'll say this. It's better latency than N64 netplay. I played lots of Brawl Wifi, and it never felt as smooth or quick as this. I haven't been able to test it across oceans, but, the custom settings for lag can be adjusted midmatch, as per Dolphin's feature set, so you can find a sweetspot for you and a friend, and learn to play on it.
  13. Izuhu

    Izuhu Smash Journeyman

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    The last time I played ssbm online it didn't lag, the real problem was the constant desync, but lag is always imminent if you were to conjunct the word online to the word game. (with the exception of mario kart wii, where it seems lag is nonexistent) I would rather have input lag than a slideshow type like gameplay. Would be better to have neither. :)
  14. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    Mario Kart Wii is correction based, basically, it's like a first person shooter where your controls are always instant, but it guesses and delays where you are to all the other players, and then corrects it if need be. The lag is in the red shells, other items, and other players rather than your actual controls.
  15. Juggleguy

    Juggleguy Smash Grimer

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    Looks like there are a lot of constraints to getting Netplay up and running with Melee. Good job though, I'm curious to see where this goes.
  16. Turnerfield77

    Turnerfield77 Smash Cadet

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    I'm also quite curious to see where this goes. After watching the video, there is sound lag so I imagine input lag is pretty bad still but I could be wrong. I wanna see multiple opinions of people who have tried this before I do. Hopefully it goes well!
  17. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    It's a little complicated right now, but I do have a coder that can help me out. We could make a pre-built version of Dolphin with only a few options open, and extra functionality just for playing online (like not writing to the save file or restoring it every run.)

    But, we haven't made any moves to seriously change dolphin for a couple of reasons. We really don't know the exact best build to play netplay on, and there's rumors of a lot of newer builds having desync glitches. Older builds are less stable and we lose the intercompatibility between Linux and Windows; at least until we can correct the compiler errors. And, at that point we'd be handcuffing ourselves to a particular build, our code may not port to new versions or it may break compatibility with netplay altogether.

    This isn't where we're stopping; getting it working is one step, but even though the computer requirements are high, we want to make it as easy for someone to try as humanly possible.

    We also could get better latency by optimizing Dolphin's netplay, but that's a rather complex task best left to the veterans. The way we could get that accomplished is by showing interest in netplay and using the feature to show that people do care about it and appreciate the work that has already gone into it.

    The sound lag is Fraps, it recorded it crappy, and I attempted to resync it to no avail. The lag in game is NOWHERE near that much! Please ignore the sound lag as it does not happen during actual play and does not have any correlation with input lag.
  18. Izuhu

    Izuhu Smash Journeyman

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    Sound was always retarded on dolphin since the earlier builds, even when playing offline. At times music will just cut right off completely, but with the build I'm using it seems to be pass that issue.
  19. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    That's HLE audio, if you use LLE there will be no sound errors in 99% of games (I know Metroid Prime 3 is an exception.) but it will be a performance hit. Because HLE is so crappy, it can literally desync Melee, which is why we say to turn sound off or use LLE.
  20. Izuhu

    Izuhu Smash Journeyman

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    I'm actually using HLE atm, but that was back then on the 2.0 builds when I was having those problems. The problem doesn't seem to occur no more when I'm using HLE on this revision.
  21. Turnerfield77

    Turnerfield77 Smash Cadet

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    Ah okay, well I'm gonna give this a shot then! It's possible to play with a gamecube controller right? If so, how could I go about doing that?
  22. Makkun

    Makkun Smash Journeyman

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    You are going to need a USB adapter that has a Gamecube port. One of the reasons I'm playing so badly in the videos (besides being about 3 years rusty) is that I'm using a clumsy PlayStation controller. However, it seems USB adapters work just fine. I don't get any input lag from my controller. I'm hoping to get a USB GCN adapter myself, so if you find a good one please post about it!
  23. Turnerfield77

    Turnerfield77 Smash Cadet

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    I'm almost positive I've seen a thread where someone posted a link to one. I'll have to find it
  24. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    And with a blue tooth adapter, you can also use a Wii mote and Classic Controller if you have the technical know how. I had to use glovepie (bleck) and PPJOY to map out the controller, but if you trudge through that mess you can use a classic controller for everything.
  25. Turnerfield77

    Turnerfield77 Smash Cadet

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  26. Turnerfield77

    Turnerfield77 Smash Cadet

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    nvm, the review on that sight sucked, i didnt read far enough down
  27. Makkun

    Makkun Smash Journeyman

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    Ha! That's funny. I have a Magic Joy Box from about 10 years ago, but it just has 2 PlayStation ports. The drivers came on a floppy disc.
  28. Turnerfield77

    Turnerfield77 Smash Cadet

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  29. Theftz22

    Theftz22 Smash Debater

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    I don't know how you guys get dolphin to run smoothly. I have a fairly new laptop, yet simply testing texture hacks in training mode in dolphin runs at about 20-30% speed.
  30. Izuhu

    Izuhu Smash Journeyman

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    I highlighted your main problem. If you wanna run dolphin at its full potential get a desktop where you can upgrade your parts. The problem is most likely guaranteed your cpu specs
  31. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    My laptop runs dolphin at full speed, but, it's a second gen i7 with a GTX 560m. Even then, it struggles on most levels. What you should focus on are the cheaper, high end core i5s. We may have found a trick in dolphin that will dramatically lower the entrance requirements to try Melee... so keep your eyes ready!
  32. Massive

    Massive Smash Champion

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    Jesus Christ, I really feel like sh*t now.

    edit: I dont feel quite as bad as I thought, but this is still pretty depressing.
  33. Massive

    Massive Smash Champion

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    Double post because I feel like contributing again, and I really don't care.

    Here's some AR codes to speedup your gameplay to normal speed, care of IE's AR wizardry.

    30 fps:
    04432A2C 0005265C

    45 fps:

    04432A2C 0007B98A

    To use these, set your max frame rate to 30 fps or 45 fps (whichever code you'd like to use anyway).
    Enable cheats, and add these to your melee cheat list.

    Select the appropriate one and it will accelerate your gameplay to full speed at that framerate.

    30fps looks a bit choppy but plays just fine.
    45fps hardly intelligible from regular smash, and plays almost perfectly.

    There are some other caching things we can do to speed up single core mode as well, but they're not quite in a finished state yet.
    This is the bulk of the "low end" mode we were talking about.

    Enjoy!
  34. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    Thank you for the codes; I tested out the mode over netplay using 30 fps + training mode and saw how it worked... and... it's pretty neat. It's not useable for competitive play, but for someone to try out netplay without needing a monster PC, it's perfect.

    Massive: Are there any specific drawbacks to the code? Do they double the speeds of the menus? I know music is still slow, but we mostly use HLE with no backend when doing bare minimum requirement tests.

    I don't think this is anything to feel bad about; if anything it just validates that the emulator itself is capable of doing some of the work. There's a long road ahead to make Melee Netplay into a viable option for all players.
  35. InternetExplorer

    InternetExplorer Smash Ace

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    The code should have no drawbacks, being a global speed modifier. If running Dolphin in 30fps causes LLE audio speed to cut in half as well, then I'll write another code to match the audio speed to the game speed.
  36. Izuhu

    Izuhu Smash Journeyman

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    Won't the AR codes carry on during netplay like project64k would......cuz that can be a problem for a person who can run the game at fullspeed, and since its changing the game speed and not the actual fps of the game won't it make it ultra fast on my end.
  37. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    Action Replay Codes work on Project 64 netplay as long as both sides are using them. I haven't done much testing yet, but it looks like with these codes it would still work, but I don't know if it's as stable as without codes. We simply don't have enough players right now to do all that much on short notice.

    Melee Online was actually sending more data, I think, so it wouldn't need to sync the same way to my knowledge, but using our settings, both players would need the same codes enabled, or else you would get an immediate desync.

    IE: That's great to hear, and yeah, the speed of LLE audio is cut in half; if that could be fixed, there would be virtually no drawbacks (minus the half framerate and some loss of framerate stability during netplay) of playing like this. It's actually quite impressive to see how much of a boost it really gives. It's a lot off my mind, considering the biggest problem in testing was grinding out the settings to get an extra few FPS here and there. This is absolutely huge!
  38. InternetExplorer

    InternetExplorer Smash Ace

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    Massive and I are still getting desyncs every match or two. We're going to run some more testing and see why this is happening. Are you sure you guys ran a perfect game for extended periods of time?
  39. JMC4789

    JMC4789 Smash Journeyman

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    What settings are you guys using? If one setting is wrong, it'll desync second match. First round will almost always sync no matter how off the settings are. It's entirely possible that I missed some setting when working out the required settings we use, so screen shots of the main configuration, DSP, and hacks section of the graphics plugin.

    Also remember to sync your memory cards every runtime because we haven't set up a solution for that yet.
  40. InternetExplorer

    InternetExplorer Smash Ace

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    Our build doesn't have an "Audio Throttle" option but does have a "Limit by FPS" option in the main config tab. I'm guessing checking "Limit by FPS" disables audio throttle but I'm not quite sure.

    edit: I should mention that we got desyncs with Limit by FPS both on and off.
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