Pause during recording

I couldn't really find anything on this in the search, so I'd like to know if it's permissible to pause while I'm recording a demo? I've only read somewhere that it's not "recommended" (perhaps because of possible sync problems?) but can it be seen as a form of cheating?

Of course, it'd be nice to be able to quickly press Escape (or the pause button) if I'm recording and I'm getting a call from somebody. Nice in the sense that you don't have to re-record from the start again, not so nice in the sense that it may throw your concentration off balance.

Thanks.

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Thanks. So as long as you mention it, it's fine? What about pressing Escape? I just did that in a (failed) recording and in the playback you can't see that it happened. I've been using Escape for 20 years so goddammit I'm not going to use another button now! ;)

Edit: After I unpaused I killed myself with a rocket. Go figure.

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Yeah I've always been using escape for this as well, with no problems. I don't always mention it. Sometimes I do, especially if the player stopping for a bit looks weird, sometimes it feels insignificant to mention.

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Memfis said:

insignificant to mention

This made me realize I may be too serious about it. Usually when I press esc by accident, I quit. Sometimes, when it means wasting an excellent demo (ic20-602 is almost unbeatable by myself), I play on and write about the 'pause' as if I had committed a cardinal sin :) So yes, Kotzugi, go ahead with esc and tell us what you think.

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I doubt anyone considers it as devaluing a demo in any real way. Especially if you only do it because the phone rings or a cat jumps onto the keyboard, etc.

I guess it could be considered a cheat if you paused (by whatever method) at a key moment and then, on another computer, tested out strategies for the situation you had found yourself in before resuming the attempt.

Perhaps a borderline case was in Henning's 30nm4000.lmp, where he "paused" during an intermission and planned his strategy (thought/discussion, not rehearsal) before continuing. On the other hand, he could just as well have left the game running on the intermission screen for ages while doing so, which isn't against any rule or convention I can think of.

Incidentally, if you do use the pause key, you can cut out most of the pause tics without causing a desync. I think we worked out that as long as you cut a multiple of four tics (edit: yep), then all should be well.

edit: heh, at least I am consistent.

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Thanks for your replies. I don't pause on purpose - just if there is something like a phone ringing (no cats in this house). I haven't paused in any of my existing speed runs (about 20 or so to date), but then again I haven't done any three-hour long Holy Hell type of runs either.

No editors used (using OS X on Mac, haven't yet gone to the trouble of installing and setting up an emulator), so stuff like cutting out pause tics etc. is out of the question. Hopefully I can get to playing around with things like that some day.

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Yeah, pauses definitely don't make demos any worse for me, but another thing to keep mind is that they may make your performance worse. For example, you stop to answer a phone, you talk with your colleague about work for 2 minutes and hang up. Now your head is full of stuff completely unrelated to the game and it might take some effort to concentrate on Doom again. From this point of view, there is some sense in the practice of aborting the demo on pause.

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I'm pretty sure if you press the pause key you can see the pause when watching the demo, but escape = can't see the pause. I wonder how hard it would be to make a program that runs in the background that continually presses escape (or help or whatever) every other tick to have "slow motion" for undetectable cheating. I guess your input would also have to also be funneled to only go every other tick.

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Don't be ridiculous. Accessing menus desyncs vanilla exe demos, so your cheat would just ruin them. And it'd be much, much easier to cheat with the pr+'s inbuilt slowmotion function than to exploit something that negligible. How would you ensure undetectable, genuinely looking stream of key input anyways? I can think of just one way how to cheat using pr+'s menu pausing and it doesn't involve anything that complex and insidious, heh.

That said, I have no problem with using pr+'s menu pausing. Hard pauses look like ass ingame and the viewers have no clue of knowing how long they might be, so bypassing them altogether with a clean, proper pause doesn't sound too nasty to me. And you can't abuse it in vanilla anyways, so it just goes with the port territory.

quick edit: Agreed with memfis, whenever I return to a paused demo after some distraction, I tend to perform much worse and screw up the attempt pretty soon, because I'm not in the zone anymore.

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I remember myk saying that using the menu in vanilla didn't lead do desyncs for him, I think the conclusion was that desync happens only if you're using the same keys for navigating the menu and doing something in the game. (so if you use arrows for the menu but WASD for the movement, you should be safe)

dew said:

I can think of just one way how to cheat using pr+'s menu pausing and it doesn't involve anything that complex and insidious, heh.

Confession time: in my second demo on Balls I changed mouse sensitivity in the plasmagun pit because I needed very precise movements to avoid the linedef that blocks the way out for about a minute. Saved some time this way.

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I'm pretty sure there already was a discussion regarding change of sensitivity on the fly in pr+. Actually I brought it up, because I used it for gliding purposes in one of my Claustrophobia 1024 demos and in my easter egg doom2 map02 nomo for Czech-N. In particular, I went up to the bars, found the right position and disabled all turning for the glide. :)

Anyways, the conclusion was that it's not something to be entirely frowned upon, even though it's hacky. Mouse spinners and similar utils are specifically allowed by the C-N and modern day mouse button scripts will probably let you do something to that extent even in vanilla, so fighting it would be a seriously uphill battle.

As far as myk & his vanilla experience goes... I can't verify that. I just tested it and vanilla pauses the game if you enter menus, but the demo keeps recording in real time as if the game was still running. The whole time idling in the menu creates a block of zeros in the lmp. This may not be fatal if you're camping a lonely corner and nothing in the map is active, but upon playback monsters and platforms will move around, so the risk of a desync goes very, very high.

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tried but couldnt find it again. the question arose already time ago, and I think vdgg replied to me to thsi very same question by giving a link to an even older discussion where more or less they all agreed on using pause being okay. As long as its not abused (for example, not 3 times per minute or so, but once or twice in an hour long run could be understood imho), there were a couple old CN demos with one pause, one is for sure the one mentioned some post before.
no idea about this escape/alttabbing stuff
I always try to avoid using it, but sometimes to sneeze or so, or to pick up an imp call I'd might use it. 95% of times the run fails anyway after a pause for me

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That's right, who wouldn't make an exception to call the Impse Escort agency?

Memfis said:
I remember myk saying that using the menu in vanilla didn't lead do desyncs for him, I think the conclusion was that desync happens only if you're using the same keys for navigating the menu and doing something in the game.

Yeah, but I was confused, although if I'm not mistaken it applies in multiplayer where entering the menu doesn't stop the game. I might have gotten the idea playing cooperative or deathmatch.

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