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andrewg

09-23-2017 at 10:44 AM
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Dear Twin Galaxies

We need to see other people. I'm sorry it's come to this, but I just cant be with you any longer. We've grown apart over the years. It started out so great, but I don't we can ever have a good relationship together. I'm sorry.


In all seriousness I don't dislike Twin Galaxies. I've had a great time in this community and I like the concept of a comprehensive leaderboard for video games. I think the biggest fault with Twin Galaxies is that it doesn't give credit where credit is due. I feel that around 2008 Twin Galaxies drifted more and more toward "participation trophy" status. I do like the idea of listing everyone who submits scores on the leaderboard. I'm not saying TG should be an elitist website with only the top players, but the point of getting world records in games is having the patience and skill to do so.

In all honesty, anyone can get a world record in something, but not all world records are created equal. The other problem with Twin Galaxies is the number of categories on the website. Yes, you can have categories for everything, but I don't believe we should. At least, when it comes to a skill metric, the silly categories should not play effect into those. Sure, you can track everything. I dont have an issue with this. There needs to be some standard categories for each game though: High Score, Fastest Time; These should be the main categories. These kind of categories are the only ones that should have any effect on any type of skill/ranking metric.

Conclusion:
- Amazing players don't get attention for world records that took months or years to achieve, while other players get praised for "world records" that took a single attempt. Historical records should be taken with a grain of salt and none of them should hold a #1 ranking on a leaderboard if their authenticity is questionable. 1980/1990s questionable scores should be listed separate from scores achieved after 2000.

- Category duplication, individual level, and nonsense categories are out of control. Again, tracking them is fine, but you can see the problem clearly with a glance of the verification board. I don't care what the highest score you can get on board 101 of Pac-Man is, do you? Who does? People are turning one WR like pacman high score into 256 different board records. Why do we want the leaderboards to be a complete mess to search?

There's a lot more to say, but that's all I have time to write.

- andrewg

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  1. HugDD's Avatar
    Cudos to you Andrew mate, well said in a direct, straightforward, over all positive fashion! This goes a long ways when we consider the passive aggressive, sometimes hostile posts by some on here, throughout the TG forums. You're a veteran member and gamer, who's been around and known of the progression with things in the organization, and the gaming world for that matter. Much respect to you and I wish you the best in all your gaming endeavors! -Duc
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  2. ssdninja's Avatar
    Agree with you 100% here too Andrew. I believed in the potential for this site but there's no point trying to put energy into a system that's not going to appreciate it. Once I see a conclusion to this Dragster nonsense I'll be hanging up the account for good.

    It took going to speedrun streams to fully realize what this place was. I've seen people chest pounding over "world records" that like you said take a single attempt to beat. It's insulting to the people that put in the time. I've even apologized to some of the people that have proper records on some of my first place tracks. I shouldn't have any recognition as "world record holder" for DKC or Journey to Silius, for example.

    I've seen people who put literally hundreds of dollars into recognizing players go nearly crazy trying to talk sense into ownership about their ideas. All this talk of knowing the video game industry and no idea how to actually communicate with a community. After this whole Dragster debacle and seeing how TG is looked at from the majority of gamers I don't really want my name associated with this iteration of the site. See ya round twitch my dude, 4:55 awaits <3
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  3. Rogerpoco's Avatar
    I'm not saying that either of you are wrong, in any of your views, but I do see it a little differently.
    Keeping in mind-I am NOT versed in gaming history the way others are, and I am still pretty new to the scene.

    To be honest, all I see and know about TG really is the adjudication board and my friends there. I play games I am decent at, and actively look for scores I can compete with, even if it only takes a short time-either the previous score wasn't too good or I am that good. I'd say a little of both.

    I came here for one reason, and one reason only-Burgertime.
    I'm gonna go all Rudy on ya here, but MAME regardless-Look, Brian is better than all of us. Billy is/was just amazing at everything, like it or not. JD is likely the most knowledgable about the game.
    Somehow, I played possibly the best 27 levels of Burgertime ever played.
    I waited on my Hometown Parade.
    Didn't happen.
    Waited on Billy to call, offer to loan me a machine to take it on for real.
    That didn't happen either.
    This happened later, but I waited all year to be in the Guinness book of World Records, had really talked that one up to the family and friends.
    Kinda embarrassed now, they think I was pulling their leg.

    Not sure what recognition I expected, but I just don't think real fame and fortune can come from gaming.

    The only thing I got over the Burgertime thing?
    A Boatload of Best Friends.
    In the same sense that I wouldn't take a million dollars in exchange for my BT record(I ain't rich, either), I care more about the mutual respect and recognition with my current friends/competitors than I have cared about likely anything, ever, and wouldn't ever trade it for Speedrunner "fame".

    The most controversial part of my statement here...
    With the current state of affairs, Guinness, the Dragster thing that has everyone hating us for some reason...
    IMO, we are our own self-contained entity now, an active "League" if you will.
    All trying to catch the most passes, throw the most strikeouts, etc, etc, then reading the newspaper the next day to see how everyone else did.

    Agreed, some of the scores are repetitive and some games have too many tracks, but it really doesn't hurt anything, just don't spend time thinking about them.

    Noone is obligated to play here, but I wish everyone would.
    Both you guys are freaking Awesome, BTW, I actually took a look at your Excitebike guide Andrew-AMAZING, it may cause me to take it on seriously, I had no idea there were so many ways to play smart!

    Just my take on it, I hope all becomes level around here soon, getting kinda crazy.
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  4. timmell's Avatar
    "Category duplication, individual level, and nonsense categories are out of control. Again, tracking them is fine, but you can see the problem clearly with a glance of the verification board. I don't care what the highest score you can get on board 101 of Pac-Man is, do you? Who does? People are turning one WR like pacman high score into 256 different board records. Why do we want the leaderboards to be a complete mess to search?"

    Could not agree more. Track creation available to the masses and previous refs creating
    tracks for every difficulty setting in the game, make it unbearable to search or look for a great record.
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  5. thegamer1185's Avatar
    Can't argue with any of these things. I've enjoyed adjudicating you videos. I've recently joined multiple sites to see what is being done around the web when it comes to sites. I strongly agree with AndrewG when it comes to tracks. High score/Timed runs for the complete game should be the ONLY premium tracks. They just should. Obviously there are always exceptions; racing games should have individual tracks.

    There have been some very good recommended ideas in my short 2 and half years and I haven't seen any of them really be implemented. These range from overhaul with skill/ESI like AndrewG is talking about, to simple lists for what is allowed and updating guidelines by myself and others.

    It's not perfect. I see exactly what Andrew is talking about and why he feels like he doesn't want to be around. The only thing I can argue against any of his points is that this community is definitely not solely a whose-who of gamers. There are casual people, there are serious people, and everything in between. Speedrun is exactly that. Speed runners and nothing but speed runners...and they are ****ing amazing at it. I visit that site quite frequently to watch some of the videos.

    I also do not care for the TG's adjudicating inconsistencies. When I get enough points to dispute a score, I'm going to dispute the high score for Life Force on the NES. Not because the score is invalid, but because the rules where broken. No matter how you twist it to make is like what he did "wasn't" his fault. It says if you do not defeat the final boss and the game takes you backwards, even by accident, you run is DQ'ed. This exact thing happened, but people said he was on a "break" and losing lives was enough of a punishment. WHAT?! The inconsistency issue comes from my pausing a game solely for the reason of stopping and starting my camera. It doesn't make sense. You can't pause a game to stop/start another recording of your play, but you can break a track rule and have it still count? If it was allowed to be done, it wouldn't have said it wasn't in the rules. But it wasn't allowed, yet he did it even though he had walked away and was on a break, and his score still counts? I feel like I got screwed by actually telling people what I was going to do for recording purposes, but nope. There are to many inconsistencies.

    I wish anybody who is leaving nothing but the best. I hope you drop by every now and then to submit your scores when you have them. I don't think you need to become involved anymore with the disputes/posts, but I would love to keep seeing a score post. If you would like to keep in touch, you can always add me on facebook as I have enjoyed both AndrewG and Ninja during your times here.

    Best wishes and as always, good gaming!
    Updated 09-23-2017 at 05:14 PM by thegamer1185
  6. Bayrock's Avatar
    I agree big changes need to be made.

    With scores and tracks from the past, and especially moving forward into the future.
  7. andrewg's Avatar
    What I will say is that I wish the best for TG, I really do. I've wanted to see this website still succeed even when I noticed its gradual decline. I love the vision of the website, and I made a very serious effort to help bring TG back from a coma once Jace took ownership.

    I want to make something very clear here. I don't fault Jace whatsoever. I understand where he is coming from, and the reasons behind his decisions. Twin Galaxies was a mess years before Jace came along, so if anything, I applaud Jace for his efforts in actually trying to return Twin Galaxies to its former glory. It's just not there, yet!
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  8. andrewg's Avatar
    I think the best way to fix Twin Galaxies would be a great way to sort tracks through search function to combine category duplication. That, and separating individual level tracks from full game tracks.
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  9. admin staff's Avatar
    HI Andrewg

    We are working on implementing your suggestion to sort tracks through search function.
    We will create a new page and announce in maximum 4 working days .

    Regards
    Admin Staff
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  10. erockbrox's Avatar
    I also have my complaints with Twin Galaxies. In all honestly, TG is not perfect.

    There are many tracks which have problems with them. I know this because when I try and compete on them I see flaws in logic on how the tracks are set up.

    The reason for this is because the people setting up these tracks are not experts on the game and they think they can just apply some general rule set to the game. You have to know the game well enough to set up a good track for it.

    With the addition of the "create your own track" there are lots of silly and stupid tracks out there. Like the Donkey Kong watch the attract screen and set a score track. This track is f-u-c-k-i-n-g stupid and has no place here at TG.

    I am also aware of someone trying to track individual levels of Pac-Man for high scores. This is totally unnecessary. Track the game once and that's it. No need to track every level of Pac-Man separately.

    There are also some games which are tracked too many times on too many platforms. If the game is already being tracks 5 times then don't track it anymore.

    In regards to the Guitar Hero types of games do not set up 1,500 tracks for these games. Only pick 50 tracks and go with that. If you try and track everything it becomes too overwhelming and when people start submitting scores there are too many scores to verify and it clogs up the submission process.
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    Updated 09-24-2017 at 09:24 AM by erockbrox
  11. thegamer1185's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by erockbrox
    In regards to the Guitar Hero types of games do not set up 1,500 tracks for these games. Only pick 50 tracks and go with that. If you try and track everything it becomes too overwhelming and when people start submitting scores there are too many scores to verify and it clogs up the submission process.
    The only thing I can argue with here is that Guitar Hero is like many other games with multiple individual tracks. Pretty much all racers are tracked for each course, forward, reverse, mirrored, reverse mirrored. They do create clutter but they are different. Same with Guitar Hero. They typically have 4 difficulty settings and several instruments. It does add clutter, but in that instance it does make sense to track them all since they are all different. Your Pac-Man argument is the opposite of these and I completely agree.
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  12. thegamer1185's Avatar
    Also, they are revamping the leaderboard/platform/tracks section so maybe the new update will correct the clutter by organizing it a bit better. It's pretty hard in almost all games right now, even those with only 5 tracks.
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  13. Rogerpoco's Avatar
    As many of us do, I have a few elite scores on a few tracks.

    Regardless, I just don't see the problem with tracking every single possible accomplishment in gaming, truly.

    There are exceptions-I don't want to watch a guy in a shower chair watch the attract screen on DK or anything, I agree that is silly.
    NOT a rock band fan, tho I am a relatively accomplished musician-moreso than the racing tracks(I love racing games), someone may just love Van Halen(or whoever)and get really good at all those songs-that should be recognized.

    Everything should be tracked, and if the sorting system proposed works out then everyone kinda gets what they want.
  14. Intellivision Master's Avatar
    I agree somewhat.

    Many tracks and games need to be in a different (lower) category... I've said that from the start.

    However, where do you draw the line? I can see many people feeling short changed having their great records not entered in the "worthy" category.

    That's the main problem of creating an upper and lower tier of records.

    I try my best to beat quality games ..... I would rather be on top of a dozen "important" scores than 100 records in mediocre games.

    I have scores that would take years of training to beat (or many, many months at least)..... but they don't get much more recognition than a "redball" run. It is a little frustrating.... but my response is .... That's life.

    There's heart surgeons who live in condos next to heirs to oil fortune ... but they live in the same complex. One works his butt off, the other orders breakfast in bed.... That's life. Is it frustrating? He&& Yeah !!

    I would never tell a player "big deal" if I don't respect his game. I think all gamers should be welcome.

    Good to get it off your chest ... but you have to get over it.

    Sub-categories have to be in a lower tier. But calling one record worthy and another one un-worthy is more dangerous than praising all equally.
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  15. GibGirl's Avatar
    Some thoughts on dealing with certain types of games with a lot of tracks.

    First, I don't think there's any need to track all of the difficulty levels for games like Rock Band. Why track Easy/Mediuim/Hard/Expert? Why not just the top score for the song and instrument combo - use whatever difficulty gets you the best score. That'll cut the number of tracks by four.

    Second, perhaps there could be some sort of "combined" tracking for these games with a lot of tracks in this manner. All the songs for an instrument in a music game. All the times for all the tracks in class in a racing game. And so on. Then use the combined tracks for ESI, perhaps.
  16. andrewg's Avatar
    Simply, there are categories that matter. High score makes sense, fastest time makes sense. I'm not saying I disrespect or think people playing non-mainstream games records are not important. I'm saying that the record in any game with a stupid category is just that, stupid.
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  17. thegamer1185's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GibGirl
    Some thoughts on dealing with certain types of games with a lot of tracks.

    First, I don't think there's any need to track all of the difficulty levels for games like Rock Band. Why track Easy/Mediuim/Hard/Expert? Why not just the top score for the song and instrument combo - use whatever difficulty gets you the best score. That'll cut the number of tracks by four.

    Second, perhaps there could be some sort of "combined" tracking for these games with a lot of tracks in this manner. All the songs for an instrument in a music game. All the times for all the tracks in class in a racing game. And so on. Then use the combined tracks for ESI, perhaps.
    I can speak first hand from experience on this since I have perfected many songs on Expert in Guitar Hero 3. There is a difference in the difficulties. Outside of the number of notes increasing from easy to Expert, the activation of star power for double points and when it is used is a huge thing. With that said, people on Expert will always beat lower levels. If a player gets a 93% on Expert and somebody gets a perfect on an easy track, I'm fairly positive the Expert guy would still win heavily in the points department. That's why I say Guitar Hero is like most racing games. They all have individual tracks with different difficulties to them.

    To your second point, I do believe that Guitar Hero and Rock Band do add up all songs for a combined score. However, each score would need to be recorded and submitted to prove that you have actually done the total of the combined score. Much like Pokemon Snap. I could show you my overall score right now, but without having prove of all 63 individual Pokemon being captured you can't say it was me for sure that actually did it. So you are then stuck with having to show all of those scores anyway to prove your total score.

    I agree with Andrew like before. I think High Score for a total play through and fastest time for a complete play through should all be premier tracks. Everything else should meet the TG requirements of 10 plus submitters. I don't like if somebody requests a track to be premium it will then more than likely be granted. Racing games should all have each track individually kept because they typically have a built in timer.

    We could all find instances where what I have said/you have said could be circumstantial, but having a base needs to be established to build off and I think that starts with overall high score and fastest completed time.
  18. MyOwnWorstEnemy's Avatar
    The reality is games are designed differently and may naturally produce one to many measurable accomplishments the can be written as 'tracks' or individual leaderboards. That reality causes an in-balance in comparing competitors ability across games and platforms, if the difference isn't calculated in a skill measurement system. Hence the whole dilution and proper recognition argument for truly outstanding video game accomplishment. Part of me wants to think that the community will gravitate toward the more "noteworthy" accomplishments based on the magnitude of the accomplishment itself. However, popularity the loudest voices in the crowd, and the awareness of the vast amounts of games will always factor in recognition regardless of accomplishment. Sometimes these will align and sometimes these won't.

    The ability to properly filter and organize the tracks is a step in the right direction. Metadata at the game level is also necessary to manage dilution and the in-balance of comparing across a record level only. If the changes results in recognizing the highest ESI per game (accumulation of tracks under that game) and then an aggregate count of the number of games each competitor has the highest ESI, when then have a skill metric to measure and compare player's gaming accomplishment. More tweaks are needed in the ESI calculation and inclusion/exclusion of records at the track level but I what is proposed, at least my interpretation of it, puts us on the right path.
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  19. Tompa's Avatar
    As mentioned, there are are many stupid tracks that have no part at all at TG, or any kind of leaderboard for that matter, such as most Heart Containers and Most Gold Skulltulas for Ocarina of Time, and should be instantly removed. Maybe through some kind of "Track Dispute"?

    There are also many, I would say almost al,l tracks for speedruns (NOT the speedrun section) that have incredibly arbitary rules that make no sense if you look at it from a logical perspective. Even the official main rule of "spirit of the game" is terribly defined. I know that people like Jace have stated that no such changes will be made because of reasons like "being unfair to the players whose run will be affected". While yes, this may mean that certain runs are invalid or can easily be improved once the rules have been changed, but these are needed changes if TG ever want to have any logic to the tracks.

    I can respect that you have a "no glitch" policy, even though I don't agree with it, but "spirit of the game" is something completely different and in many cases, speedrunning the game to begin with is often not in the "spirit of the game", unless it is racing game or whatever. Many old tracks were created by people who may or may not have played the game before and just randomly came up with any kind of ruleset they felt like, without any players having a say on the matter. This means that certain glitches are randomly allowed and intended game mechanics could be banned.


    In the speedrun communities, we have changed rules for games/categories many times throughout the years. Sometimes it can just be a change in timing, which means you can just re-time the runs and all is fine, though sometimes it is a rewrite of the rules. This has been discussed by the community beforehand what the logical rules should be and then vote/agreed on. The same thing should work here as well. "Track Rule Dispute" or whatever.

    If TG want to be relevant, if you want to not be ridiculed, you need to adapt.
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  20. GibGirl's Avatar
    I can speak first hand from experience on this since I have perfected many songs on Expert in Guitar Hero 3. There is a difference in the difficulties. Outside of the number of notes increasing from easy to Expert, the activation of star power for double points and when it is used is a huge thing. With that said, people on Expert will always beat lower levels. If a player gets a 93% on Expert and somebody gets a perfect on an easy track, I'm fairly positive the Expert guy would still win heavily in the points department. That's why I say Guitar Hero is like most racing games. They all have individual tracks with different difficulties to them.
    I'm also quite familiar with music games, having sunk a lot of time into Guitar Hero and Rock Band. That's one of the reasons I made the suggestion to only track the top score for a song. Even Rock Band 3 and 4 stopped tracking scores per difficulty in their game leaderboards. Yes, expert is the only way to get the highest scores. But I don't think there's anything that easier difficulties provide that expert doesn't.

    I suppose if I could design some sort of "ideal" system, only the highest scores for the song & instrument would show on the top level and award ESI, but there would still be tracking for individual difficulties to drill down into.
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