New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule


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Offline Zeupar

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New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« on: January 01, 2017, 10:05:00 PM »
Hello, TSCers. Long time no see! Speedrunning has come a long way since this lovely site some of us like to call home took its first baby steps more than 13 years ago. In the recent years, most important speedrunning websites have revolved around video proof, having players record and link to their whole performances for their records to count or be submittable at all.

Several players have pointed this out on our forums, suggesting that we should catch up with the times. Even though it could have seemed like these requests fell on deaf ears, that was not the case. However, the staff wanted to do it the elegant way, overhauling the site to focus on encouraging players to prove their records instead of making proving your records mandatory. A hidden staff board on our forums is full of good ideas on how to achieve this the best possible way.

The problem is that such approach requires a skilled coder with free time willing to do the hard work a site redesign takes. We have done our best to find one, but it's not an easy task and we ultimately gave up (at least, I did). That's why we are introducting the following new rule:

As of 2017/01/01, all first-place records (including ties) must have a video of the whole run linked in the stat comment. Emulator runs must have an input file linked instead. Please, use the following site to upload input files: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php

We think it's a good compromise, because having players prove every submission would be overkill. In any case, depending on how it goes, we might make the rule stricter in the near future (top 3 records?).

If you are a programmer reading this and are willing to code for TSC, please contact me!
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Offline hfactor66

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2017, 12:13:53 AM »
It's nice to see something new on the homepage for once, it's a nice change. Hopefully we can stir up some activity with Sonic Mania & Project Sonic 2017 coming out this year, it'd be nice to see TSC a little more lively than it is now.

I suppose a rule imposing video proving records was inevitable, as proving records is moving away from using photos, as they can be unreliable. Guess I'm gonna have to figure out how to record my DSi when going for records on Extra stages in SRA, if I ever pick up that game again. If any place needed a replay button in that game, the Extra stages needed it. lol so yep, the time to get with the times has come.

Looking forward to seeing what 2017 holds in store for good ol' TSC, again especially with the new Sonic games we're getting this year. Yes I'm getting them, why else would I have gotten a PS4? Anyways, happy New Year TSC!

Offline Brian

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2017, 08:08:10 AM »
Loved this! This will make more people willing to post their times here, since I've seen some people say that the lack of video evidence for things made them upset.

Also, having WRs with no video proof is detrimental in every sense, because it's harder to beat something that you don't know the details of, so there's that too.

Overall I agree that imposing video proof for all stats would be overkill, and would certainly fill the video section (with people submit all their runs there too) with irrelevant videos, which would not be a good thing.

I'm looking forward to the future of TSC, since this place has been since a long time ago (nearly 9 years, damn), one of the most important sites I've ever been a part of. Speaking of the future, do you guys have backups? I mean, if anything bad happens all of a sudden, will any stat or the videos that are hosted on TSC itself get lost?
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Offline TimpZ

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2017, 09:40:08 AM »
Does this mean that if you do a run on an emulator that you are required to use one with rerecording functions? I don't think that's a very good idea at all :/. For one it would clash with the rules on speedrun.com which means that if you do full game runs then you can't submit times if you happen to get an IL PB. Also it forces users to use the rerecording function of TASing emulators which is better than no required proof at all but still does nothing to combat cheating if you know what you're doing. Splices are way harder to do than savestates and hex edits :). Regardless, I very much appreciate the steps you are taking on this.

When it comes to asking for coding help, could you please post more specifics and details about what you want to do?

Offline TheRealShadnic

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2017, 12:02:06 PM »
I'm studying programming, and after first year we'll have entrance limits for different styles. I'm going for Game/App/etc. programming, but if I can't make it there, I'll probably set for web-developing. If that happens, it'd be cool to see, if I could do something for the site! :D

I also have friends on that path, so while they don't have much free-time because of school, I can ask them, if someone is interested!
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Offline InferSaime

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 12:41:14 PM »
As of 2017/01/01, all first-place records (including ties) must have a video of the whole run linked in the stat comment. Emulator runs must have an input file linked instead. Please, use the following site to upload input files: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php
I like the new rule for untied records but I see no reason why charts like this http://www.soniccenter.org/rankings/sonic_4_episode_i/rings/splash_hill_boss/sonic would need to require a video.

Offline Eco Kenneth Nathan

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 04:20:13 PM »
This new rule is a great idea, I mean I was once blamed for unreliable stats once when I was a member, mainly back when I first joined, although back then I didn't know about the link video comment thing. InferSaime got me out of that jam.

This will help everyone stop complaining about records posted without proof. No one will be mad or upset pretty much on the site, it's all comfortable here on out.

I always add proof of my stats even if they are second rate, that's how I roll, I follow the rules.

Video evidence or not, i always know a record I can't beat or get close to, after all, we got some glitch users out there, my stats are performed clean and fair ( whole stage with no tricks or glitches ) more like TSC back when glitch less runs on the games took place. so I always end up 10th or even 20th place on the rankings for the games, but it's cool, I am proud of my stat achievements even if they are not the best.

PS4 cost too much for me right now, so I am going to enjoy the classics for a while.
I hope TSC grows even better, and even make some more friends. Cherrio everyone.

Offline Etch

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 05:49:23 PM »
I think it's a great idea and will help make future WR's more credible to those on the outside.  It's impossible to verify every submission but the top spots must take more scrutiny.  If you love the game, you'll make that extra step to help make the rankings and this site stronger.  It also helps motivate new members to reach new heights.

Ultimately, it starts with us so let's keep leading by example!

Offline SB737

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 04:56:35 AM »
I definitely think that this is a good idea and a step in the right direction for TSC (especially with games like Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017 coming, which are very likely to spark a resurgence in competition). 

I like the new rule for untied records but I see no reason why charts like this http://www.soniccenter.org/rankings/sonic_4_episode_i/rings/splash_hill_boss/sonic would need to require a video.
I think the new rule reduces players lying about ring stats or extremely easy records to tie, as it has been known in the past for players to just post stats for easy ring records, on the premise that they know they could do it if they tried it, so admittedly for some games it wouldn't be proving something extremely difficult, but it would prove that others are competing fairly.

Does this mean that if you do a run on an emulator that you are required to use one with rerecording functions? I don't think that's a very good idea at all :/. For one it would clash with the rules on speedrun.com which means that if you do full game runs then you can't submit times if you happen to get an IL PB. Also it forces users to use the rerecording function of TASing emulators which is better than no required proof at all but still does nothing to combat cheating if you know what you're doing. Splices are way harder to do than savestates and hex edits :). Regardless, I very much appreciate the steps you are taking on this.

I also think that Timpz raises a good point. I assume if the emulator you use has the ability to record input files then you would need to record that and post it, however if someone uses an emulator like Fusion for example, would a video alone be accepted? Imo that would be best, rather than encouraging someone to use an emulatior with TASing functionality over a non-TAS one, however I suspect that Zeupar means for this to be the case anyway.

It's good to see TSC still taking steps to move forward, and I'm looking forward to future competition :)
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Offline hfactor66

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2017, 12:51:18 PM »
I think the new rule reduces players lying about ring stats or extremely easy records to tie, as it has been known in the past for players to just post stats for easy ring records, on the premise that they know they could do it if they tried it, so admittedly for some games it wouldn't be proving something extremely difficult, but it would prove that others are competing fairly.
The best example I can think of this is Shadow's Mission 13 in Sonic 06. Only 18 rings, which sounds really simple, except that 4 of the rings are out of bounds, which requires you to figure out how to get out of bounds to get them, and get back in bounds to finish the level. Took me months to figure out where the hole to get out of bounds was.

Offline Eco Kenneth Nathan

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 02:28:52 PM »
Since this new rule of requiring a video for world records begins to expand sometime, I plan to add videos up to the top 3 if my stats is in that point on the rankings, I am thinking ahead so I follow the rule even it evolves.

Offline Chimaru98

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 11:33:32 AM »
I would say it makes sense, to have video proof for first-place stats - it's always useful when the record of a stage has a video so you can work more easily to beat it, and it's probably for the best that it's now a requirement so you know there are no fake stats.

However, I am still kind of unhappy with this new introduction - possibly due to that I submit photo proof for all of my stats already, and my previous attempts at spending money on and using video capturing equipment have all failed miserably, so this restricts my progress on certain stats and championships. Feels kind of like one of those "freemium" games where you have to spend money to be allowed past a certain point? Not to mention if someone happens to break a site record while not recording (as could probably easily happen especially on mobile games! Which are the thing I play most on this site!)

I appear to be in the minority on this issue though, so whatever works for the good of the site?

This rule change has a lot of interesting consequences, though. If I, for instance, got a ring stat that tied for record but with only photo proof (which under the new rule would be insufficient) would I need to submit my score as one ring less than that, or would that, as a fake stat, be treated as invalid, even if I have achieved better? one may be able to tell im not especially happy with the rule change
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Offline Eco Kenneth Nathan

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 06:19:38 PM »
No more keeping secrets away from worldwide players ( shortcuts found, strats ) in runs that used to be without videos. Everyone should get in on the action of SCs & strategies those people found and used.

Offline Zeupar

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 09:57:13 AM »
Speaking of the future, do you guys have backups? I mean, if anything bad happens all of a sudden, will any stat or the videos that are hosted on TSC itself get lost?

We do, don't worry. The last one is a few weeks old, but Gerbil is looking into possibly making a new one this week.

Does this mean that if you do a run on an emulator that you are required to use one with rerecording functions?

No. Ideally, people would submit .giz files for Genesis games, for example. But I see where my wording wasn't clear.

Quote
When it comes to asking for coding help, could you please post more specifics and details about what you want to do?

Several things, but the top priority would be revamping chart design to accommodate new features. We would need someone acquaintanced with PHP, MySQL and database structures.

If I, for instance, got a ring stat that tied for record but with only photo proof (which under the new rule would be insufficient) would I need to submit my score as one ring less than that, or would that, as a fake stat, be treated as invalid, even if I have achieved better?

In that case, I think the most sensible thing to do would be not submitting to the chart in question at all.
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Offline Staf

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 09:12:05 PM »
So does every previous first place record need to get a video uploaded to it? No grandfathering?

Offline Bilan

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2017, 07:20:58 PM »
It's funny because this 100% shafts people that play competitively but don't stream or otherwise record literally everything they do on video games forever

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Offline Vicklaw

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2017, 09:48:44 AM »
That rule gives me some troubles. I agree that's an essential rule to add to the site to show the ways to get the records (as said below, no secrets anymore) and to prevent cheating. I was proud of all the videos I posted with my records.

However, the big problem I have with this rule are the emulator and game performences when recording, essentially the speed of the games. On my computer, those just run at 100% speed (60 FPS), 1 second in the game being 1 second in real life. However while recording, the speed drops a lot, meaning I can't really submit stats anymore because of the slowdown it causes. (genesis emulators are perfect, but I did everything I could do with these games)

And if I can't use an internal recording feature, I'll have to do it with something that makes trash videos, like a phone. And nowadays, I guess nobody wants to watch 240p videos of a lighten up screen when you can barely see what's the player is doing (and with (black) bands flowing on it too)

I planned RAing Sonic unleashed again, as the PS2 emulator finally runs at 100% speed on my PC (120% without the frame limiter, it just barely does it). I'll really enjoy being able to post those ring stats, but I guess there won't be any way for me to do so now. (unless I can post screenshots, I took some of them)

Even the PC games are just fine when I play them normally, but slow when I record them as well...

Another thing I want to know is why a screenshot is not enough to prove a record ? For me, showing an act ending with all the results should make it for some stats (like rings or time, score is something else)or at least a slow (but small) video done just when completing a stage to show the stats should do it.

Anyway, I think it's time for me to leave. Posting and recording those past rings and score stats was a great moment I got across in my life, I guess I have to turn the page. I posted such stats in every game I could play and record, most of them are maxed and there are no more to post to complete the charts)

Offline TimpZ

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2017, 05:02:56 PM »
Since the video is only for proof, why does the quality of it matter to you Vicklaw? As long as it can be determined that the game is being played in real time by a person and that the record is verifiable, who cares if the video isn't going to become the next YT phenomenon with 10 million views?

What if you spend time and effort into recording, practising and grinding out runs and get the record. Cool! A few days later some dude ties or beats you and says he doesn't have a video because he thinks the quality wouldn't be great. However he's fine with submitting a screenshot of the end screen which could be easily cheated using ingame cheats.

Would you be satisfied at that point with the record that beats yours, or would you care less about the quality of the video provided in favour of getting real proof?

Also, if you just want to do things for the challenge of it no one is stopping you from doing RA's etc. without recording. But if you want to submit them to a record keeping site, I think having some sort of proof of your accomplishment at the very least for the top score/time, should be absolutely required in 2017.

Offline Vicklaw

Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2017, 06:19:32 PM »
You're right TimpZ, I didn't think to cheat codes, but that's pretty obvious, the person just pauses the game right before the end, enters the codes to change the values, resumes and finishes, then takes the screenshot (which looks fair this way). In that sense, that fully invalidates a screenshot considering one can cheat before making it.

For the next point, I agree too. Having that kind of situation happening would be totally disgusting. Having a video for proof is better to see the player didn't cheat, ensuring he got the record fairly.

So, I'll try to record those games with a phone in the future (once I find a good position for it). That should preserve the speed of the games and still fulfill the rules.

Thank you for the answer, I was desperate at the idea of not finding a solution nor having a correct rendering in the videos. If just seeing what the player does is enough for a record to be proved and accepted, then I fully accept the new rule.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 07:28:49 PM by Vicklaw »

Offline SB737

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Re: New Heaven, New Earth. Introducing a new site rule
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2017, 03:05:50 PM »
Im confused Vicklaw, how did you record before? I seem to recall you using Fusion, which doesnt have an internal recording feature that gets an imput file. I may be wrong though, if you used an input file before, just record like you used to, and then post the input file to here http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php
Hopefully that solves your problem, and if not, then using a phone to record your screen will work as the next best thing :)
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