Season 2- Changes? Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Gp32 Offline Gaming League' started by MonkeyChops, Apr 8, 2011.

?

Should we have another season of ROT

  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. MonkeyChops

    MonkeyChops NO! I don't play basketball

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    The final round is all but upon us and its time to think about ROT's future. Judging by the leaderboard (recently updated by Pickle) the rate of no-shows/drops is increasing with each round. I for one love this league and would love to see it continue. I'm willing to spend extra time to make that a reality. But is that time wasted?

    Please discuss what might need changed for next season. I was planning on starting a new nominations list for season 2 but that would leave open the possibility of playing the same games we did in season 1. Probably not a terrible thing, but what do you think?

    [edit]Also, what can we do to generate interest in ROT? I had the thought of making a topic in Pandora General Talk for the leaderboard for bragging and such to generate interest. But if I do that why not in each handheld forum, now it just sounds like spamming and a whole lot of work :(. Perhaps in the official pandora forums a topic like that would help though? We need to do something, only 6 people submitted scores in round 4.
     
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  2. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    It would be interesting to hear from people who dropped out, why they did so.

    It was jokingly mentioned in round 4 that I should wait a bit with posting my "jaw-dropping-I'll-never-beat-that" scores until a bit later on in the tournament. Did this play a role at all?
    I thought Golden Axe was quite an easy title and feared that everyone would soon finish it, hence my aggressive scoring on that one. I don't really like to hold back in such competitions as it's a bit disrespectful in my eyes.

    Personally, I think the ROT is great fun. I love the competition and some rounds have proven to be very challenging and exciting. That said, I don't think another round is meaningful if we cannot increase interest in the tournament.
     
  3. skeezix

    skeezix Internal Development

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    I hope its not my fault for being derailed out of it after starting it :)

    One of the problems day-zero was that folks have mentioned other leagues have come up, and fizzled out, so we know its a common thing.

    I also know there are a couple leagues that have succeeded. The two offhand I personally know about are..

    1) Theres an Atari ST league .. very low membership (like ROT), but they're all die hard guys been playing ST games for 25 years.
    2) The AtariAge high-score-challenge league; I've not looked at it myself, but its been around years. I think that one works because i) focus (all Atari stuff, so Atari nerds find it) and ii) population .. AA is one of the big Atari sites; so popuialtion is peopel finding out about it is so high, that the peopel dropping out are replaced, so it has as roughly same size, but always different people, each round.

    So .. is anyh of that stuff we can do with ROT? ie: What works in other leagues, that keeps them going?

    One of our issues (the main one?) is that our population is small -- being mostly related to GPH and Pandora machines (do we have any dingoo players, or peopel on laptop/desktops/consoles?), means our attrition hurts, our max p0opulation is only a couple dozen at best. So if we can spread out, or find a new home, or otherwise get more eyeballs passing by, we can end up with the scenario (ii) above. If not, we need scenario (i) - die hard po;ulation like monkeychops :) -- or another scenario that works.

    Sadly, I'm increasingly derailed, and certainly, come a couple months from now, I'm just wrecked for a few months 100% :)

    One thing comes to mind is .. if we could make it so the games are all easilty available and ready to use, it may help; options there are.. time from someone to package up legally available stuff (such as vectrex or scummv or whatever titles), or web-based games/emulation .. almost no setup for the player. But highly limited options, which is a problem. I mean, peopel digging out roms or arcade boards or whatever is a big challenge to getting new blood.

    *shrug*

    Anyway.. food for thought :)

    jeff
     
  4. MonkeyChops

    MonkeyChops NO! I don't play basketball

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    the official pandora boards seem to get a lot of traffic, perhaps we should move to there? Or like I mentioned, "advertise" there? We could also try spreading the word to other forums like gbatemp. Now that we've been at it for a bit we'd have something to show.

    This site:
    http://www.vizzed.com/vizzedboard/retro/
    has a ton of retro games that can be played online. I'm not sure of the legality of playing online but it should open the door for people to compete in games that they don't own or want to buy.

    The other thing that could really get this league off the ground is cold hard cash. Prizes would bring out people for sure. Only problem would be cheating. With cash/prizes on the line, the honor system would be a no-go. But how would we get around such a hurdle? If the game was played online then the scores should be pretty reliable. But is that legal or even possible for most handhelds? IDK.

    But what could work very well would be to make this tournament MAME only. Most of what we've played so far has been mame anyways and it makes for easy scoring. With a mame only tournament we could use Wolfmameplus which is sanctioned by Twin Galaxies for score submission. Only one problem with this idea is that I'm not sure is wolfmameplus is open source and even if it is, someone would have to port it to all the systems that were included in this tournament. But if we were to move to the official Pandora forums and somehow got wolfmameplus on the pandora and got a prize fund together... could work. People could of course still play on laptops. I'd hate to alienate non-pandora users though. Don't know, thoughts?

    Prizes seem key to me. It would be cool if we could figure out a way to do prizes and keep things here at gp32x. A prize competition that took place on gb32x handhelds could actually grow our community. Maybe a combination of compiling free games and making a "locked down" emu for them would work? But who has the time for that? and is it even possible? Heck, if it was all legit with freeware games and such, and it had a reliable emu for keeping score and weeding out the cheaters, we could even have a buy-in to be in the tournament. That would be really cool but obviously very far off (and possible far fetched?) :)
     
  5. skeezix

    skeezix Internal Development

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    I thought early on about 'sanctined emu's, or building an ecnrypted runtime for specific (legal) games and such. I coudl do coding (maybe), but if theres prizes.. people would crack it for the challenge :)

    Hmm..

    We coudl try to drum up prizes from a sponsor (not OPT I imagine ;)

    jeff
     
  6. MonkeyChops

    MonkeyChops NO! I don't play basketball

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    If twin galaxies accepts scores from wolfmameplus then it must be near uncrackable. Have you seen the "King of Kong" movie and how they tore apart Steve Wiebe's Donkey kong machine and didn't accept his score because the board may or may not have been non-original?

    If offline scoring is never safe, is there a to make it online? Retro _Online_ Tournament ?

    Prizes could start small, with a few of us hardcore ROT fans throwing in a few bucks or something. Can you imagine how intense the competition would be with money on the line? Even if its only for a buck, It'd be like the difference in playing family poker and real poker.
     
  7. skeezix

    skeezix Internal Development

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    I don't know particualrs offhand but..

    Wolfmame was just MAME, and a frontend.

    The goal I think was just to ahev all players on the same version of MAME (not this version or that one out by a bit), so that issues were 'known'. Scorign between MAME and arcade is probably not done (is it, that'd be foolish).

    Plus there was the wolf frontend, I think.

    I'm not sure offhand is Wolfmame was encrypted or signed or otherwisde protected from tinkering...

    Nowadays, Wolfmame is discontinued; Twin Galaxies just uses normal command line MAME IIRC, same as anyone.

    jeff

    King of Kong rules :)
     
  8. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I'm using a combination of netbook and consoles to play, and an inability to get Mame running on this netbook means I'm limited as to what games I can play - however I've been lucky so far in that there's always been one game I can play in each round.

    I didn't submit a score for the last round and have none for this round yet due to a number of distractions (a new console arrived, I installed a new OS on my netbook, and other personal distractions which have limited my time).

    I would love there to be some way to encourage each round to be more involving. I enjoyed the Willow battle as people kept posting and commenting on new scores which encouraged me to spend time learning how to play the game properly. The Mariokart battle was less enjoyable to me since it largely consisted of people posting times which I had either already beaten or felt I had no way to compete with - for me getting a good time was largely a matter of luck. Also, I think I didn't set the best track to use for that competition - the thwomps added too much pseudo luck, and the track's 180 and 90 degree corners were quickly learned and mastered.
     
  9. MonkeyChops

    MonkeyChops NO! I don't play basketball

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    I'm hoping we can dig into the games a bit before each round to find the most interesting ways to play them. I think that is key, I'd like to have a team of 3 or 4 of us to do that. Caine said he'd help out. Are you planning on starting a new thread for scoring? I want a team to do it but it would obviously be a public discussion with everyone invited to try out the games and give their thoughts. I agree that mario kart could have been much more fun. Willow was a blast, maybe because it was so difficult? So I guess what we need to decide with each game is what the most difficult way to play is, which method of playing leaves the most room for improvement yet is still fun. I was also thinking that it would be cool to have an achievement or 2 for each game in addition to the top score. The achievements would be optional and worth a set amount of points. This would expand the playability of each game and give players more options. Like if they don't particularly enjoy the top score hunt for a game, they could just go for the achievements. If we decided to do achievements, we'd obviously need to lay down some rules for them. Like would people be able to do the achievements for both games per round or only the one game they chose.

    It is a bit discouraging when someone sets the bar high right off the bat but I don't know how to deal with that besides maybe achievements. We can't ask people to wait till the end to post, last thing I want to do is make it harder for people to posts scores, plus that will discourage competition.

    It might also be a good idea to only have one game per round with such a small league. Just to focus things.
     
  10. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I agree there's nothing we could or should do about people posting good scores straight away - if they can score them so quickly it's their perogative. It was a little tricky with MarioKart because john4p scored his super time on the first page (IIRC) so it was really a battle for second for the rest of us, and that meant ignoring john4p's score when going through the thread to determine the time needed.

    I've not made a separate thread for scoring setting, but I can do if we think the existing thread is confusing (or feel free to open it yourself). Right now we've got scoring setting and the game 2 tie-break ongoing in that thread.

    Achievements could be fun, but so far no-one's jumped up and suggested achievements for any of the games, and it's always been an option - so I suspect setting achievements is going to be tricky. If we go for them they should only be for the game you're submitting scores for IMO - we should only expect people to practice one game, so it doesn't take up too much time.

    I'm tempted by having only one game per round, given only three of us seem to have expressed a desire to continue. It would mean I'd be more likely to not be able to play a game while I'm still pandoraless, but that shouldn't stop a good idea.
     
  11. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    You're not the only ones!

    I just hadn't posted because I didn't feel that I really had anything worthwhile to add to this thread. :p
     
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  12. DavidBowman

    DavidBowman Member

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    I personally have been more and more involved with my beer brewing hobby, so that kept me busy. Then I went on on vacation for a little over a week, and that kept me away completely. I meant to be more active, but I simply have not been. From the scoreboard, it seems I'm not the only one.

    So I have some thoughts. They are only thoughts and not criticisms. Here goes:

    I'm okay with only having a single game per round. I actually would prefer that, despite the good reasons behind having multiple games per round.

    One thing we need is a greater variety of very well-known games, at least at first. I'm talking about the blockbuster games like the original Pac-Man (or maybe Ms. Pac-Man since that was actually more popular). I'm all for discovering new games through this league, but if we honestly want to pull in the retro crowd, then we need to have games that they remember. I do not remember Willow or Root Beer Tapper. Though they both looked like a lot of fun, it was not enough for me to say, "Oh, wow, I have got to play that game competitively." This is mostly because of how busy I've been, but should the games have been something I was more familiar with, I may have forced myself to take the time to play. This is retro, after all. I'm going to only really be strongly drawn to something I used to play way back when. That's not to say that I don't want to discover semi-obscure games, but in the beginning of this league I don't feel that this is the best method to drawing in new players.

    I realize that those games were chosen by vote, but how were the candidates chosen? Shouldn't we vote on the candidates and then vote for the winner from those?

    The nomination thread is sorely lacking I think. It's too quiet in there, and if we asked that each member suggest at least one game as a requirement to participate in the league, we would have not only more games to choose from, but also a greater variety of gaming tastes added to the pool. But I will say that MonkeyChops has done a very nice job of organizing that thread, I just think that perhaps it needs more input from more members, not necessarily more games.

    I would like to see a different way of choosing games. The current method works, however I would rather see something like this:

    If there are 10 total games up for vote, each member gets 10 votes and can spend them as they see fit (or X votes for X games). So if there is one particular game that they are adamant about playing, they can vote all 10 of their votes for that one game. If there are a couple that a particular member would like, they are free to split their votes as they see fit.

    The reason I like this is because there have been a couple games that I've seen that I would love to play (the Lotus game for example), so I would have cast all of my votes for that one game and not cared about the second. As it stood, I was the only one to vote for the Lotus game. This probably wouldn't have changed with me voting all 10 of my votes for that game if nobody else voted for it, but if even a couple of other votes were cast for it, then it would beat out some other games that might have only had one or two votes per member. Not everyone is going to vote all of their votes for a single game.

    Perhaps the above method would work best for choosing the candidates and then we could still go with a single vote for the chosen games.

    Just throwing all that out there. Feel free to discard or modify those suggestions to however would be best for the league.
     
  13. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    The candidates for each round are chosen completely at random (or at least as random as python's random module lets you be). I select categories at random, and continue to pick categories until the question is full of choices - although I have cheated slightly on occasion. I've had situations where for the first question it's picked two really short categories then a third one with enough entries to fill the question by itself, then it picked a category for the second question which again filled that question by itself, so I moved one of the short categories to the second question so that the first question wasn't a three way choice between genres.

    I'd be in favour of having a better voting system where you can express more than one preference, but they're difficult to run if we use the polling feature here.

    I thought we did get a suggested game from everyone playing in the nominations thread, although perhaps some of the people that joined after the first round didn't do so.

    I rather like how the nominations thread has brought up some hidden gems that I'd never have considered playing before, but perhaps it could work better if we were to have one famous games round, with an additional 'wildcard' game for people who wanted to try something different. That would mean we'd need to categorise nominations as being famous or not, which could be tricky unless someone knows of a good way to do it (are sales of machines/games recorded anywhere, for example?)
     
  14. Ziz

    Ziz Advanced Member

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    Hi, I am relative new to this forum (long time of inactivity) and not sure, whether I checked the concept of ROT:
    In a magical way you get games for 6 rounds of gaming. Every participant plays this games and posts a screenshot or picture of his device showing his highscore. The player with the best highscore wins a round. Every player plays the (most times emulated) games on the device he want.

    Am I right?
    Then I really would like to join the next round with my gp2x and wonder how to "join". :D

    But what do you mean with "Should we start a new Nomination list for season 2?"?

    greetings, Ziz
     
  15. MonkeyChops

    MonkeyChops NO! I don't play basketball

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    hey ziz, Welcome! You are correct. Except at this point we do not require a screenshot. You join simply by submitting a score. Your lowest scored round is dropped, so if you miss one round your not out of it. The nomination thread is where players nominate games to be played in this league. A random vote list is generated from the nomination list and voted on each round for the games to be played in the next round. I was wondering if, for the new season, we should start a new nomination list or just keep building on the old one. Check my sig for important rot links like the rules and the nomination thread.

    You just raised a rank in my book :) , what kind of beer do you like to brew?

    The multiple vote idea is a good one, we just need a way to implement it. As levi mentioned, I don't think the forum's pole would support such a system, at least not efficiently. And I'd hate to make people submit a form or something. We need the process to be as easy as possible for the players and the 'keeps.

    I like the idea of having a "famous game" and a "wild card" game per round. Classifying them as such does seem like it could be difficult, I don't know of a site that rates all games ever made. Perhaps we should start a new nomination thread sorted only by "famous" and "wild card" then just alphabetical after that? Players could just specify which category they are nominating for when they nominate the game. I could always change what category the game is in if everyone agreed it was mis-categorized. This system would be beneficial in the fact that famous games would have a higher probability of player ownership.

    I also think that instead of 1 round dropped per season, 2 or even 3 should be dropped. Everyone here has lives, obligations, and unexpected life sucking events that pop up, missing 2 rounds shouldn't put you out of contention. I'm not sure how everyone else feels about this but if someone misses 2 rounds as it is, they might just say forget it and not play anymore. Likewise if we only picked your top 3 or 4 scored rounds, people could join late into the season and still be in contention.

    @mods, is there a way to put a "rot ranking" in the player's profile so it would show under their avatar? Also what are the chances of getting badges of some kind (similar to the "gp32 xtreme team members" badge) for rot players or as an award for the season winner? A badge that says "ROT Champion" would be a cool prize. I'm thinking community recognition + bragging rights could entice new players, rather than the complication that cash value prizes adds. Thoughts?
     
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  16. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Exactly. My attitude to the nominations thread so far has been: "Surprise me". I don't think I voted on any of them, well maybe once.

    For me one of the best parts of the ROT is that it solved the "What game to play?" problem for me. For the occasional gem you haven't played yet before, two weeks is a nice period of time to either finish it, get completely bored with it or realize you should play it more frequently in the future.

    [edit]
    Welcome to the rot ziz! Looking forward to competing against you in the future :)

    It's a bit annoying that several emulators lack the ability to even do so and binding a key to the screenshot script rarely seems to work for me. Should we ever play for money then some sort of proof would certainly be required as it would otherwise attract cheaters.
    Your idea to have "rot rankings" or badges would completely solve this, I think. It's a great idea and also raises visibility of the ROT within the gp32x and openpandora communities.

    Yes me too. It's a good idea.

    I can certainly understand the idea of quitting the competition once you feel you are unable to bridge the gap between the leaders and your own score. It we drop too many rounds though, then the chances rapidly increase of having multiple people ending up with exactly the same score.
    Perhaps we should have multiple skill leagues (bronze/silver/gold). Though, the diversity in games and low player count certainly wouldn't make it easy.
    [/edit]
     
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  17. Ziz

    Ziz Advanced Member

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    Hm... Wouldn't that invent to cheat, if you don't need a screenshot? Or do you trust in the few participants?
    That's one reason, why I am against a price money. Price money makes this cool idea... complicated!

    greetings, Ziz
     
  18. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    I love that idea, too.

    As far as a site that rates games goes, I know of one that may fill this need for arcade titles (MAWS), which has user-submitted ratings for games. This is a good way of getting a handle on what's popular, as far as I've seen, though.

    Seconded. :p

    I think this would be something for the admins - it's not something that a moderator has the ability to do, as far as I'm aware.
     
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  19. DavidBowman

    DavidBowman Member

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    MonkeyChops,

    I like them all, man. I have a Pliny The Elder clone IPA that I'm very proud of, I just brewed an oatmeal coffee stout on Monday, and I have a few more in bottles. If I could, I'd brew every day! Isn't it a wonderful and magical hobby? Cheers!

    All,

    I am against adding the complications to this league that come along with bringing money or prizes into it. This is supposed to just be fun, right? How would we handle who has the money, and how would we root out the cheaters. Nah, no good can come of that in my opinion.
     
  20. MonkeyChops

    MonkeyChops NO! I don't play basketball

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    I've never had nor even seen pliny the elder in store or bars around me. Is it mainly a west coast thing? It looks good and I now have a personal quest to try it as I love IPA's. I'm hoping they have it here: http://www.ixbeerfest.com/ . It's going to be a blast, they finally did away with the ticket system. :) oatmeal stout? this early? I usually wait till later in the year for that as I associate stouts with winter for whatever reason. Or do you actually have the patience to let your beer age that long, cause I don't. My first all grain beer was an oatmeal stout, what kind of hops did you use. What kind of setup do you have for brewing? hmm, maybe we should take this to the off topic section.. :p


    On topic:
    It looks like most of us are in agreement that we will do a new nomination list next season with 2 categories. Those being "Famous Games" and "Wild Card Games" or something similar to that, maybe "Hidden Gems" is better than wild card? I also like the idea of requiring all players to nominate at least one game.

    However, we still need to decide if we will still have 2 games per round. We could continue with 2 games per round, choosing 1 from each category. Or we could have only one game per round and alternate between famous and wild card each round. I'm leaning more towards keeping 2 per round as that would keep the more accessible famous games in each round.

    Voting needs a viable alternative or it will most likely stay the same. I like the multiple votes idea but we need a real world way of implementing it or it's a no go. I think the multiple votes could work in multiple levels also. Extra votes could be awarded for top players, or for other achievements, like not missing a round. Which brings me to awards.

    I agree that cash awards would complicate things. If someone was to write a emu that was locked down and un-crackable somehow, it may be possible, but it's foolish to put our hopes on ifs. What could work is forum awards, like badges, rot ranking in profiles, extra votes, maybe even a special "official" Avatars (or avatar backgrounds?) Of course avatars are not controllable but we are going on the honor system here for the most part and anyone who cheats, with fake avatar, scroring, or whatever else would be called out and put on a wall of shame or something. Of course some people may relish being on the wall of shame :p At any rate, non-monetary prizes seem like they could work and not complicate things too much. We need to think of more ways to award players without over complicating things. Being streamlined is key. :)

    Score submission deserves some discussion also. I think the honor system is great and makes for a relaxed feel to this league. But on the other hand, requiring screenshots may make the league more enticing to the less trusting potential player. As mentioned, there is no easy way to take screenshots in all emu's. My question is how can we make it easier? Is it possible to port a program to do it for us? Would savestates be a possibility or would that just end up complicating things again? Perhaps there is a program (or one can be written) that rips the screenshot out of a savestate? If that's even possible :p Thoughts?

    [edit] I just had a thought. Ziz brought up a good point, there really is no clear way to "sign up" for the league. If we had a sign up topic, with the op containing a list of current players, it would make for a more professional feel and it would make it easier for a new player to jump in and feel welcome. The sign-up topic would double as a "welcome the the league" topic and a "I need help" topic also. We could even have the learderboard combined with the sign-up topic, since we'd already have a list of current players going.
     

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