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Pr3Ci510n
09-04-2017 at 12:15 AM
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The death of Twin Galaxies, or is it not?

Hello, Alex here,

Currently, I think in the state of the website with all the corruption and chaos that is happening around it, Twin Galaxies will die out in a few years. But first, let me tell you about a history lesson about how T.G. started, and how it will end...

On November 10th, 1981, Walter Day opened the Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa. His vision was to make video game records matter. Of course, the good thing about Twin Galaxies was that since there was only one platform, Arcade games and maybe some pinball, Twin Galaxies was simple, there was only one referee, until Twin Galaxies went into a website. Also, since Walter Day was most likely the first person to check arcade scores and record them like Guinness World Records, Twin Galaxies changed the world of video game competition as we knew it...

Throughout the years, Twin Galaxies had a few competitions and expanded outward to become a website. I actually joined the website when I was thirteen about in 2011. I practiced during that time because I had no way to record the records. In fact, you originally had to submit physical evidence (VHSs, DVDs, or Blu-rays or photos. Photos could be fabricated, so they removed that option and only accepted records if they were video).

This was the first mistake for the system that T.G. has now, because many of the original record evidence might be lost now unless it is reuploaded through TGSAP.

In my time when I first got on to the early 2010s T.G., the original system was like this... (NOTE: this is what Twin Galaxies' system was like possibly in the early 2000s. As I remember, when the website changed hands after 2012 and later, rules changed, but are now finalized in the present. Some of my opinions about modern T.G. are in here in round brackets)

1.) There was a referee for each game console or type of game (like the Bemani game referee for games like DDR Extreme which its marathon track only has one attempted score on it and the WR still stands because of the rules stating you need a Bemani referee and there is red tape due to it being intense prolonged exercise. By the way, I could beat that time if it can be done through TGSAP).
2.) People couldn't use cheats, like Game Genies, GameSharks, or Action Replays (there was no Everdrives back then, but people would probably call them cheats or emulation if they were made at that time in Twin Galaxies' ownership).
3.) The referees had to be sent the footage, and it had to be recorded with some sort of game capture, like a VCR or computer capture card, unedited. (This was the only bad thing about old T.G. because even though YouTube was already made, and videos could be edited on YouTube, they went with their old ways. You had to switch between DVDs or whatever fast when recording, but now they allow digital video files. Not saying that's really bad, but that screwed up my chance to submit records before Twin Galaxies switched hands).
4.) Twin Galaxies and the referees made tracks for each video game console during what I call the T.G. Golden Age (Back then, this is what made Twin Galaxies professional. You actually had professional looking game tracks with professional looking descriptions made by Twin Galaxies and the referees themselves. Now, in the modern age of T.G., people can make their own game tracks with submission points. You sometimes have people turned off by some score tracks in games being a separate game title, some game tracks not having correct capitalization (I'm looking at you, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D in the Nintendo 3DS section), and most of all, since it's already in the system, it cannot be fixed. Why? I don't know. I blame the modern management at T.G., not checking on track names so the track and description can be verified and professional, so they can turn the track into a premium track and make it look good).

After a few years, the website changed hands, until the ownership of Twin Galaxies was given to Jace Hall. Now, Jace, I understand you are trying to make Twin Galaxies a gamer's social network and eSports site, but in other news, I still haven't received, from Timmel, the copy of Dead Island that I won from Settle it On the Screen, since I didn't see his message on Facebook and messaged him late...

Oh, and by the way, I don't normally use Facebook, it's privacy-breaking and I hate social media websites and I just had to sign up in order to check the password for the Golf with Your Friends game he hosted on "Settle"...

Other than that, there has been a lot of controversy in the past few weeks. Since Twin Galaxies lost Todd Rogers' original evidence that he got a 5.51 on Dragster, and his other scores don't have video evidence, since T.G. has switched to TGSAP, people have been disputing most of his records, thinking that they are impossible. Now, knowing game boundaries, I don't know if a 5.51 is possible on Dragster. Three people Activision saw did it however. The evidence is just lost in time. In fact, I was about to use DeepMind, the AI that can play Atari games made by Google, to check if a time of 5.51 was possible, but since I don't have Ubuntu on my computer, well...

There was also some more controversy this week, that I think may cause the website to get shut down soon. FireNIce89, a user on Twin Galaxies (who is probably an idiot for doing this in my opinion), sent a naked picture of his 14-year-old self on his post in the general discussion category (genitalia included). It technically counts as Child Pornography, and if it is not removed or locked from accessing on the internet, Twin Galaxies will go bye-bye...

With the fighting between members of the Twin Galaxies community also, Twin Galaxies will not survive. Speedrun.com and Cyberscore or other websites will probably do the job much better and Twin Galaxies will die. Also, many of Twin Galaxies plans never happened, like opening the Twin Galaxies Arcade and eSports Center in the Museum of Pinball to all Twin Galaxies record holders, (because the Indiegogo Right2Game campaign and the Museum of Pinball in Banning, CA campaigns were crowdfunding disasters). In fact, the Museum of Pinball is now accepting donations on their webpage. "If only I had $1000 so I can keep the Museum of Pinball open for a whole month instead of a few days a month during an event."

Jace Hall, please find a way to fix the problems with Twin Galaxies. Many things that you said would happen, like the Museum of Pinball having the "Twin Galaxies section" be accessed for record beaters all the time or Guinness World Records recognition, are happening slowly or are never happening at all. Also, Twin Galaxies does not look professional anymore...

Please, save Twin Galaxies...

Sincerely,
Alex Ashburn

P.S. Also sorry for the long wall of text, and sorry if these words really hurt the Twin Galaxies community. I'm really sorry. There just needs to be change...
Likesspectre, Barthax, rotunda, Shawne25 liked this post
Comments
  1. spectre's Avatar
    Long read but you made some great points. I miss the state of the galaxies show where @Jace Hall would let the community in on what's going on.
    Likesrotunda liked this post
  2. Bayrock's Avatar
    Even as a new member some of this has quickly become evident. Particularly, you make a good point in regards to the TGSAP system in comparison to old verification methods.

    Personally, I don't think they should be kept on the same track to avoid all the controversy. However, when I suggested this I was told "the track already states which verification method," as if it doesn't matter.
    Likesrotunda liked this post
  3. Barthax's Avatar
    Great thoughts. :) Couple of minor points:

    1.) There was a referee for each game console or type of game (like the Bemani game referee for games like DDR Extreme which its marathon track only has one attempted score on it and the WR still stands because of the rules stating you need a Bemani referee and there is red tape due to it being intense prolonged exercise. By the way, I could beat that time if it can be done through TGSAP).
    The TGSAP process (all us "adjudicators") replaces any reference to a referee - we are the referees. Of course, that also means you'll need video evidence of the entire attempt in order to get the evidence to all the other "referees" in the TGSAP. ;)

    2.) People couldn't use cheats, like Game Genies, GameSharks, or Action Replays (there was no Everdrives back then, but people would probably call them cheats or emulation if they were made at that time in Twin Galaxies' ownership).
    Versions of the Cuttle Cart (long before Everdrive) were around in the early 2000s and accepted for submissions in the mid-2000s at least (if not prior): https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthr...l=1#post607740 - David Yancey confirms many of his submissions were with the Cuttle Cart: https://www.twingalaxies.com/scores.php?player=31594 .

    Note that emulation was acceptable and mixed with normal scores until the "great separation" in 2006 (not sure you were referencing this but mentioning just in case).
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  4. Bayrock's Avatar
    Just food for thought, but why is it so important to separate the emulator tracks from the console tracks if separating verification methods isn't important?

    Of course, my point is not that emulators shouldn't be separated. Verification methods should be held in the same regard though, in my eyes.
  5. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayrock
    Just food for thought, but why is it so important to separate the emulator tracks from the console tracks if separating verification methods isn't important?
    I'm not sure I'm following the question.

    Reasons to separate:
    - There are very few emulators which provide perfect emulation. The like-for-like competition is not balanced.
    - The user is able to use many alternative forms of input devices that an original console is not. The like-for-like competition is not balanced.
    - Emulators often arrive with source code to be manipulated by the curious, devious, etc. It requires an additional leap of faith that there has been no modifications/surreptitious behaviour. The like-for-like competition is not balanced.

    I don't understand where the verification method comes into it...
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  6. Bayrock's Avatar
    @Barthax I said what I meant as clearly as I possibly could. All the reasons you stated for separating emulators are completely valid, and I never thought otherwise.

    There are just as many, if not many more reasons that the verification method is just as important. That's why I'm suggesting the old methods should be separate from TGSAP.

    edit: In layman's terms, both need separated for the sake of consistency.
    Updated 09-04-2017 at 03:21 AM by Bayrock
  7. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayrock
    @Barthax I said what I meant as clearly as I possibly could. All the reasons you stated for separating emulators are completely valid, and I never thought otherwise.

    There are just as many, if not many more reasons that the verification method is just as important. That's why I'm suggesting the old methods should be separate from TGSAP.

    edit: In layman's terms, both need separated for the sake of consistency.
    Ah, correct me if I'm wrong: I think you're referring to dividing the scores on the scoreboard away from each other?

    I've got no fundamental opinion on that. ;) If anything, it'd just mean I get to have even more submissions to queue up so that I can have it verified under old system and again under TGSAP... Two records for one recording: another 1000+ submissions. :P
    LikesBayrock liked this post
  8. The Evener's Avatar
    Interesting views on TG and where it might be headed - thanks for posting this.

    Whether TG thrives or if it's eclipsed by other score tracking sites, I think, will partly depend on us, and whether TG can grow by attracting younger generations of players to supplant the ranks of Gen Xers. That will inevitably entail a shift in the culture of the site - Golden Age classics will receive less attention as gamers focus on games that have meaning for their own coming of age and contemporary game interests. If TG is only successful in keeping the interest of classic gamers, then yes, its chances of continuing into the future will dim.

    The controversies with the dispute reviews will certainly tamp down over time - many of the current disputes actually pre-date TGSAP - they simply were discussed elsewhere on different forums. I predict most will not entail the kind of attention or passion that Todd Roger's 5.51 has fostered going forward.
    LikesBarthax, Riatoju, Dave Hawksett, Bayrock liked this post
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