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Dave Hawksett
06-29-2019 at 02:48 AM
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Old Scores Mass Imported From Third Parties - call to action!

Dear All,


A long-standing issue for Twin Galaxies is the lack of precise and consistent record keeping relating to scores imported en masse from third parties.


We have been considering how we deal with this in the long and short terms. Future improvements on how members can interrogate the database and filter the results will likely be part of any solution.


What we would like to do first is to flesh out the database details on verification sources for the scores in question.


Ideally we would have a thorough survey of all of our imported scores so we can see at a glance what came from where. This is critical as it is quite possible that bespoke solutions will be appropriate depending on each batch of scores and their corresponding sources.


We could do this ourselves but it is not something I can currently focus resources on. We will get around to it but, in the meantime, we would appreciate any knowledge from members on specific scores/batches of scores that came from the various third party sources and publications historically used by TG.


I know this knowledge is there in the collective hive mind of our friendly and expert community.


So anyone interested in helping us here please post what you know below! We will gather all of this up and present it for community discussion. We need to solve this in a way that does not risk deleting any good data. We must not throw out the baby with the bath water. All will be discussed openly before we finalise any decisions – none of which will be rushed.


Thanks...

Comments
  1. RTM's Avatar

    Dave, there were multiple instances of such imports that I am personally aware of. A few were already acted upon, but some I am unsure where they ended up.

    The oldest I thought was systematically purged from the database back in 2001-2002...TG imported between 10-20 thousand NES and SNES scores most of which based on the scores were clearly done via Game Genie or ProAction Reply enhancement. I am 99% sure we purged them all as they had a referee type of "Affiliate".

    The second big import that I am aware of came during the preparation of the second TG Book of Records during the proof-reading phase which started before I left TG and continued afterwards. Walter was adding on the fly scores taken from various announcements and score sheets that he was "finding" including a bunch from some Italian arcade that was recognized as a TG affiliate by Walter even though I was personally unaware of the arcade. This one arcade reported so many ridiculously high and unproven world records that the existing Board of Referees at the time unilaterally worked to eliminate these from the TG database as soon as they were found. Problem is that with every new round of PDFs to review more such scores would appear from various sources and with no notice so we were constantly checking the new PDF against the prior PDF.

    The third major upload of scores came from Mark Longridge's MAME database. I handled this one myself and all but around four scores were imported which Mark, as then TG worldwide MAME editor/referee had personally verified. Only scores from the "Puzzle Bobble" categories wre not uploaded if I remember right.

    The fourth major upload came from the old Snipercade database and I think Brien King handled that one with Walter via Access.MDB upload which was the sole method of that era. Approx 2600-2800 scores were uploaded and since then all accomplished by Ron Corcoran and Todd Rogers have been systematically purged from the TG database in recent years.

    I can't remember if there were any other major uploads thru 2006.

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  2. Dave Hawksett's Avatar

    Thanks Robert, this is exactly the kind of insight we need. Please all remember this won't be a quick fix and it will have to stand future scrutiny.

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  3. GibGirl's Avatar

    Found my old wall post about the mess that are so many Jaguar scores and where they came from..

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/gibgirl/wall/3541/atari-jaguar-scores-all-on-the-same-date

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  4. timmell's Avatar

    But isn't the dispute system supposed be already doing that? With a open discussion to remove bad data from the database without throwing out the good data?

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  5. Blackflag82's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by timmell

    But isn't the dispute system supposed be already doing that? With a open discussion to remove bad data from the database without throwing out the good data?

    @Garrett Holland just did a series of posts about a bunch of scores imported from old magazines and I believe there are disputes open on them all.

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  6. timmell's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackflag82


    @Garrett Holland just did a series of posts about a bunch of scores imported from old magazines and I believe there are disputes open on them all.


    Oh wow, that's right. Already done. Between that and @GibGirl post from Jan, 2018. So much in a little time.

  7. Dave Hawksett's Avatar

    We have these ones recorded already but thanks for mentioning. It's this level of detail we hope to have for all of them eventually.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackflag82


    @Garrett Holland just did a series of posts about a bunch of scores imported from old magazines and I believe there are disputes open on them all.

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  8. ILLSeaBass's Avatar

    https://archive.org/details/Electronic_Gaming_Monthly_22/page/n113

    @sdwyer138 Opened a dispute on one of these recently that passed. - https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/201352-Dispute-Sean-Dwyer-Sega-Genesis-Sega-Mega-Drive-Columns-NTSC-Points-Player-Keith-Danforth-Score-99-999-989

    That thread explains it all. These are some of the "June 11, 2004" scores that were imported here.. The Magazine only required a photo as evidence, and who even knows if any of these people are real people, real names, what settings did they use .... zero evidence.

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  9. Dave Hawksett's Avatar

    They are and will continue to do so. Now we have plenty of examples we will start tackling this from the other end. We are not intending just for removal as the only solution here, so case-by-case disputes alone don't give us the bigger picture.


    Quote Originally Posted by timmell

    But isn't the dispute system supposed be already doing that? With a open discussion to remove bad data from the database without throwing out the good data?

  10. The Evener's Avatar

    I understand that TG began with a focus exclusively on arcade titles, and the Video Paradise arcade webpage has copies of the original Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard letter, which lists the player, game title, arcade name, and location. I understand at this time Walter either tracked down these scores from the arcade or as in the case of Video Paradise, arcades also updated Walter and he in turn would update the TGIS.

    I recall from Tim McVey that after Twin Galaxies shut down and the original source records were lost (I think this was a combination of binder notes and print-outs), Walter went through old game magazines and began to recover lost info, while also adding new game scores to the database. I think at this time (the 90s?) Walter began to record console titles more systematically. In a previous score dispute over a Pac-Man score on Atari 400, I came across a publication which I believe served as the "source record" for a number of computer games into the TG scoreboard. With some more targeted game title searches per platform, particularly those with dates before 2000, I think it might be possible to identify the range of published sources used by Walter, assuming someone kindly scanned them and put them on-line.


    http://www.videoparadise-sanjose.com/tg-all.htm


    https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/179659-Dispute-william-rosa-Atari-400-800-XL-XE-Pac-Man-default-settings-Player-Shane-Rolin-Score-934-793

    http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/issues/softline_2.1.pdf

    As a footnote, recall that Todd Rogers cited the Activisions newsletter as a source record for his removed Dragster time. I'm not sure if there was a broader "import" from that newsletter circa 2000, or if it was only used by Todd.

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    Updated 06-29-2019 at 08:16 AM by The Evener
  11. Salamandermike's Avatar

    Joystik magazine is historical evidence that ridiculous "3rd party write in scores" were being imported by TG .

    MANY of these scores are still in the database.

    Some of these Joystik scores from the early 80's were imported as " referee " scores decades later!

    Please review this link to all the Joystik issues.

    TG address and BS score tables will be near the end of each issue.

    https://archive.org/details/joystik_magazine

    Qix, Pole Position ... so many awesome arcade tracks ruined by this write in nonsense.

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/admin-staff/wall/3296/scoreboard-errors-report-them-here/page/97#comment43394


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  12. Dave Hawksett's Avatar

    Great stuff folks, Please remember to keep things constructive and professional.

    I will start a wiki page for this next week and we can treat it as a live timeline document.

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  13. Marcade's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hawksett


    I will start a wiki page for this next week and we can treat it as a live timeline document.


    Since Walter Day keeps getting mentioned as one of the "fall guys", (before and during the internet age of a TG website) I would strongly suggest that you @Dave Hawksett do what I already did.

    Reach out to the man himself, and get HIS version of "how and what" scores were imported under his ownership tenure. I am sure you already know he is receptive, and you have the means to pick up the phone or Skype him, just like i did.


    See post #21

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/205138-Dispute-Garrett-Holland-Atari-2600-VCS-Pac-Man-NTSC-Game-1-Difficulty-B-(Points)-Player-Desirae-Olsen-Score-932-497/page3


    IF or WHEN you do, PLEASE take the extra step to be full transparent about this to the community.

    Otherwise, without concrete evidence or proof of "false scores" in the TG days of "imported scores" acceptance, it is just more assumptions, gut instincts, and hearsay within these kind of disputes, in relation to this core example above.


    ThanksDave Hawksett thanked this post
    Updated 06-29-2019 at 02:13 PM by Marcade
  14. Dave Hawksett's Avatar

    This project counts toward unravelling our complicated history once and for all. Everything will be transparent and documented, with references and evidence. There is no blame being sought for anything, just clarity where it is lacking. Contacting specific individuals, including Walter, will be appropriate once we see what we already have.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marcade



    Since Walter Day keeps getting mentioned as one of the "fall guys", (before and during the internet age of a TG website) I would strongly suggest that you @Dave Hawksett do what I already did.

    Reach out to the man himself, and get HIS version of "how and what" scores were imported under his ownership tenure. I am sure you already know he is receptive, and you have the means to pick up the phone or Skype him, just like i did.


    See post #21

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/205138-Dispute-Garrett-Holland-Atari-2600-VCS-Pac-Man-NTSC-Game-1-Difficulty-B-(Points)-Player-Desirae-Olsen-Score-932-497/page3


    IF or WHEN you do, PLEASE take the extra step to be full transparent about this to the community.

    Otherwise, without concrete evidence or proof of "false scores" in the TG days of "imported scores" acceptance, it is just more assumptions, gut instincts, and hearsay within these kind of disputes, in relation to this core example above.


  15. RTM's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM
    The oldest I thought was systematically purged from the database back in 2001-2002...TG imported between 10-20 thousand NES and SNES scores most of which based on the scores were clearly done via Game Genie or ProAction Reply enhancement. I am 99% sure we purged them all as they had a referee type of "Affiliate".




    RTM REPLY - Dave, I think for this particular purge Stephen Knox might remember something...his TG username was "Goochman" and he is semi-active. I think he was part of TG during that particular purge. But the import of those scores, they came from a source at Nintendo or Nintendo Power, I wasn't here for the import, and a gamer named "Sam Cetin" might have something to do with that as well...it's been awhile but that name sticks out in my mind.

  16. RTM's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM
    The second big import that I am aware of came during the preparation of the second TG Book of Records during the proof-reading phase which started before I left TG and continued afterwards. Walter was adding on the fly scores taken from various announcements and score sheets that he was "finding" including a bunch from some Italian arcade that was recognized as a TG affiliate by Walter even though I was personally unaware of the arcade. This one arcade reported so many ridiculously high and unproven world records that the existing Board of Referees at the time unilaterally worked to eliminate these from the TG database as soon as they were found. Problem is that with every new round of PDFs to review more such scores would appear from various sources and with no notice so we were constantly checking the new PDF against the prior PDF.




    RTM REPLY - I can't remember the entire roster of TG staffers engaged in proof-reading back then, but it included if I remember correctly Kelly Flewin, myself and Brien King, possibly Greg Erway, and others but I cannot remember who as that was 2005 and 14 years prior. We were all given via E-MAIL different blocks of the book to proof-read which each wave. Walter parsed out the entirety of the PDF and we were each given maybe 100 pages or so at a clip so there had to be additional referees participating. After I left TG in Dec/06 Kelly Flewin I think was possibly the lead proof-reader so he would know best who else was working on the book at that point.

  17. RTM's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM
    The third major upload of scores came from Mark Longridge's MAME database. I handled this one myself and all but around four scores were imported which Mark, as then TG worldwide MAME editor/referee had personally verified. Only scores from the "Puzzle Bobble" categories wre not uploaded if I remember right.




    RTM REPLY - Dave, you already have Mark's contact info from recent correspondence. His still-accessible online MAME database can be viewed at www.cubeman.org

    Once there, on the left side click "High Scores" then "Twin Galaxies MAME World Rankings"...approx 2400 scores are there and all but four were uploaded into the TG database after Mark left TG.

    The "Puzzle de Pon" section (not "Puzzle Bobble" as I had earlier thought) was the one group of scores NOT uploaded into the TG database...the reason had something to do with settings from what I remember...this goes WAY back to 2003-2004 era.

    You will note that the scores here have no submission or verification date nor MAME load version, nor even a TG username. Back in this era, similar to the "Snipercade" database for 2600 scores, TG actually had NO online capacity for MAME thus the scores were maintained offline. Only after Douglas MacGregor designed a way for titles, variations (tracks) to be added remotely could scores be added from somewhere other than point of origin of the TG dabatase (meaning by Walter).

    In any event, these were the original uploaded scores and a portion of which likely have since been beaten. Any tracked here from Corcoran and Todd Rogers (if any) were subsequently purged within the past few years.

    Also as a point of interest, Mark maintained a FEW INP files archived on this site...in the same place where you clicked his MAME database there is a section called "Cubeman's INP Gallery", but mind you these are the really old versions of MAME before even WolfMAME was invented. Most are MAME 32 builds up to 62, and a few are something known as MAME 35TG3 which was I think the first version that built in "TGTS" for gamers, but beyond that I am not well versed with these other than my earliest INP submissions.

  18. RTM's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM
    The fourth major upload came from the old Snipercade database and I think Brien King handled that one with Walter via Access.MDB upload which was the sole method of that era. Approx 2600-2800 scores were uploaded and since then all accomplished by Ron Corcoran and Todd Rogers have been systematically purged from the TG database in recent years.




    RTM REPLY - after the initial upload of the "Snipercade" scoreboard Brien King shut it down since Corcoran was no longer around to do anything about it. He MIGHT have saved a ghost image of that site but you would have to ask him...his old TG username was "Arcadenut" but I'll send him an E-MAIL and ask if he can confirm with you.

    I tried looking into the "Wayback Machine" but no record of the old Snipercade site exists. From what I remember, Corcoran hosted more than just the 2600 records there...he might have also hosted Intellivision scores as he was editor/referee for that platform as well. But I do not recall whether any Inty scores were imported into the TG database.

    From what I remember the old Snipercade database was pretty simple, not unlike the Cubeman MAME site...it was one running text file in Alpha order of the title, sub-sort by variation and then ranked by player.

  19. RTM's Avatar

    There was one intended purge after 2001 that took place which I just remembered as it was correcting something that TG should not have been tracking.

    In the first TG Book of Records there was a whole host of scores with a status of "Finished" on such titles as "Mario 64" and some RPG titles. All such records with a score of "Finished" were unilaterally purged from the TG database in either 2001 or 2002 and I think Douglas MAcGregor helped with that as the ACCESS.MDB tool that he developed was for additions...we had no tool for deletions.

  20. EVN's Avatar

    What would be really helpful is to add to pre TGSAP scores which referee entered the score if such information is available.

    For example, we already know Todd put his own fraudulent scores in. To what extent does that cast shade on any score he was the referee for?


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