Official TG Policy - Marathoning v1.0

  1. Official TG Policy - Marathoning v1.0

    04-22-2003, 03:40 PM
    Hello fellow gamers:

    After much discussion with the rules committe, we are formally releasing our policy on the concept of marathoning.

    This is lengthy, and as "all inclusive" as we can possibly make it without getting out the lawyers and resorting to fine print.

    We believe this to be acceptable, but are open to opinions and will amend as we deem necessary, or based on changes in the gaming community such as new titles that require special rules considerations, and so forth.

    Therefore, I regard this incarnation as "Version 1.0".

    You might want to hit print just about now...just a word of advice.

    We welcome your opinions.

    Robert

    **********************************

    1st - What constitutes a "Marathon" gameplay attempt ?

    Ron and I believe that 12 hours or more on a single game credit is considered a "marathon". Therefore, the rules below ONLY apply if the game meets or exceeds this threshold. Further, the attempt should be a 1-player attempt. I imagine that an exception would be a 2-player cooperative marathon on a title such as "Joust", "Joust 2", "Mario Brothers", or as hard to believe as this sounds "Wizard or Wor", but we have yet to have two interested gamers attempt to do so.

    I am of the opinion that a gamer who starts a game with the intent of it becoming a marathon, and failing to continue past the 12 hour mark, was ineligible to take advantage of the "break" clause below during their gameplay session.

    2nd - What games are ineligible for marathons ?

    Only titles with quantifiable results that are numeric in nature are eligible for marathon consideration.

    Thus, role-playing games ("RPG's") are also ineligible, as their very format allows a gamer to spend time wandering about, searching, and engaging in other non-eventful actions that would contribute to a significant portion of time being spent.

    "Moppet" titles designed for young children such as "Leprechaun", are deemed too easy to play, and are ineligible, as are children's settings for certain home console titles (i.e. one ghost only on a "Pacman-type" title)

    3rd - Who determines the game settings for marathon attempts ?

    All game settings in conjunction for a marathon gaming attempt should be decided by an official Twin Galaxies referee. Gamers are encouraged to consult the appropriate Twin Galaxies referee before starting their marathon gameplay attempt, so as to ensure that all settings and considerations particular to that title have been addressed.

    4th - Are witnesses required for either an arcade or home console attempt ?

    Witnesses are not required for a marathon gameplay attempt.

    5th - How can the marathon attempt be captured on tape ?

    All attempts must be captured in their entirety onto VHS videocassette format. Useage of slow or fast recording speed is at the discretion of the player...obviously recording at fast speed requries more money for additional videocassettes, and more tape swapping during the attempt.

    Useage of a 3rd party individual to "swap tapes" is allowable, providing the individual does so as expediciously as possible.

    Modern home console titles, and some older console titles, have a "pause" feature available. It is allowable for a gamer to do the following in order to swap tapes for home console gameplay...

    -> Pause the game before the tape runs out
    -> Continue to record for 10-15 seconds
    -> Stop recording and swap tapes
    -> Start recording while game still paused for 10-15 seconds
    -> Unpause game and resume gameplay

    Normal Twin Galaxies rules on recording record attempts apply, such as capturing the settings of the game before attempting gameplay. Zooming in on the final score at the end via videocamera is not required but will be appreciated for the verification process.

    Home console titles and arcade titles that do not have a "pause" feature would require rapid swapping of tapes, often at the expense of a few lives if the gamer does the swapping themself, or if a 3rd party does so. The issue of lost gameplay not captured on tape is important for the verification process, so gamers wishing to attempt a marathon on a game with such considerations are encouraged and required to consult with the appropriate Twin Galaxies official beforehand on what special considerations might be involved.

    5th (A) - What if I run out of tapes while recording ?

    Your score as of the last recorded tape's end will represent your maximum accumuluated score.

    In the event that your game has a feature which deducts points at the end of a wave or sequence, then it cannot be determined what your true ending score was, and therefore your attempt would be invalidated at the discretion of the Twin Galaxies referee.

    6th - Can I take a "break" while performing a marathon attempt ?

    The Twin Galaxies policy differs between arcade and home console marathon attempts.

    -> For an arcade attempt, there is no "break" offered. Rather, the gamer is allowed to spend as little or as much time away from their game in progress, mid-attempt, and must be responsible for the results of their actions.

    Thus, if a gamer wishes to rest while 800 men on "Q*Bert" are lost in the process, that is their decision to do so, and at their own risk.


    During these self-imposed "breaks" the gamer's attempt must remain untouched by an individual, or the game attempt becomes void. However, during this time, the joystick controls may be tightened providing the actions are caught on camera. (See "Maintenance" section 7)

    Some games have a non-glitch tactic available which allows the gamer to set up or create an artificial "break" in the action which further allows them to enter a state where their game is in little or no danger of changing in immediate status for a period of time. Such titles would be the "pacman-type" series in which "hiding spots" allow refuge for a few minutes until the ghosts reverse directions.

    Such tactics are allowable ONLY IF this situation is temporary and eventually changes on it's own accord. However, some non-glitch tactics can provide refuge for an indeterminate period of time. In those cases, the home console "break" rules apply.

    For example, in "Tron", a gamer in the "Red Tank Wave" can hide in the top right corner for a lengthy period of time, and is therefore invalid for useage in marathon gameplay unless the gamer only does so for 15 minutes every 3 hours.

    Means of pausing an arcade marathon attempt resulting from glitches, such as the feezing of the game in "Defender" and "Q*Bert" are expressly forbidden, are prohibitted and would invalidate the attempt.

    -> For the home console format, breaks are permitted at a rate of 15 minutes per 3 hours completed. In other words, you must play a full three hours before taking a 15 minute break at some point thereafter.

    Such breaks may be "banked" (i.e. accumuluated) for up to no more than an hour at a time. Useage of an hour of "banked" breaks cannot come directly before or after useage of another break period.

    6th (A) - What if I take a "break" but play less than 12 hours during my home console attempt ?

    In that event, "marathon rules" no longer apply, thus your home console "marathon" attempt will become void at the discretion of the Twin Galaxies official.

    6th (B) - If I decide to rest away from my game, is a 3rd party person allowed to wake me up ?

    Yes, another individual may wake you from a state of sleep. Or you can utilize a clock if necessary. Either is acceptable.

    7th - Can my arcade joystick, buttons or monitor be fixed mid-attempt ?

    Yes, providing the maintenance or replacement is captured on film. These actions can be undertaken while the gamer is on or off "break" at the gamer's own risk.

    Home console players cannot use a "pause feature" to switch joysticks or controller pads mid-gameplay, and must switch joysticks or controllers at their own risk

    8th - Am I employing a tactic or technique that invalidates my attempt ?

    Gamers are encouraged to contact the appropriate Twin Galaxies referee in advance of their attempt to determine for their title if any tactics they plan to use would potentially invalidate their score attempt.

    Such a tactic would theoretically include useage of infinite loops in game behaviour, such as can be employed in "Super Smash TV" (SNES) in the stage entitled "Buffalo Herd Nearby" in which a gamer can evade their enemies for as long as necessary via constant encirclement, providing the herd count does not fall below a certain threshold.

    Point-scrabbing, hunting or leeching techniques may also invalidate your gameplay. Gamers are again encouraged to consult the appropriate Twin Galaxies referee(s) to determine if their point-acquisition tactics are legal or banned, if known to be so, or if the tactic is not known to a Twin Galaxies referee, then it is the responsibility of that referee to consult their fellow referees and determine for a fact whether the tactic(s) in question are valid point acquisition tactic(s) or not.

    9th - Is another individual allowed to interfere in my gameplay attempt on my behalf in any way other than waking me up from a "break" ?

    No, 3rd party individual(s) are not allowed to touch the game controls or dip switches in any way and exercise dominion over the gameplay in progress. The act of doing so immediately voids the marathon attempt.

    10th - What if my gameplay ends as a result of unforeseen circumstances ?

    Twin Galaxies acknowledges that, as with all gameplay attempts, physical interruptions can occur...cables become disconnected, video recorders stop recording, cords become unplugged, RTF cables "shift" and images become too grainy to see during home console play, or other "Acts of God" may occur.

    Your final score will be recognized as that which was achieved and captured on videotape before taping ended or was no longer fully visible to the Twin Galaxies ifficial validating the attempt.

    11th - Can my marathon attempt be challenged, and if so, do I have to perform another marathon again to support my previously submitted attempt ?

    Yes and no. Yes, all submissions to Twin Galaxies may be challenged by valid competitors in the title in question. In the event of a score challenge, Twin Galaxies maintains a separate set of rules governing score challenges, which would be consulted at this time.

    Some marathons may be unable to be duplicated, such as a 2-player effort in which one of the players is no longer able ot play the game in conjunction with the other. In this unlikely event, Twin Galaxies reserves the right to render a judgement call based on the facts available and the collective experiences of the remaining gamer available and the Board of Referees.

    **************************************
  2. Marathons

    04-22-2003, 07:42 PM
    Thanks Robert for posting these. I have a couple questions.

    1) Specifically VHS format tape is required for arcade recordings. I was looking into a new method for possible use this year at Funspot on Tapper. A device called an "Archos Multimedia Jukebox" basically is a small 20 gig (or 40 gig) hard drive. It can record in MPEG4 in real time. This allows upto 40 hours (on the 20 gig version) of video/audio. The real advantage here is the unit is smaller and the need for multiple tapes is eliminated. Thus the entire game (up to 40 hours) can be catured without loss of play during tape exchanges. Then the entire file can be downloaded over USB2.0 to a computer where it can be burned onto a number of CDs. The CDs will retain the information much longer than a standard VHS tape (which to my understanding requires being retaped every 8 - 10 years). I have not purchased one of these yet. But am giving it serious consideration. Would this be allowed under these rules? If so what format would you require the CDs to be burned in? Obviously once recorded on the hard drive the file could be converted to a number of different formats that you might favor (VCD, SVCD, MPEG, etc.)

    2) As you know my marathon Tapper game at Funspot last year was cut short due to an electrical storm. I again plan to try a marathon Tapper game on Friday at the tournament this year. Operating hours run from 10am - 11pm if I understand right. That gives me 13 hours. I think the marathon record will require closer to 16 hours to reach. Last year I was able to get in a bit early to get a head start. And I hope that once the game is in progress and I'm getting close to the record, I will be allowed to finish out my goal. But I fully understand that I might not be allowed to finish. Gary from Funspot has told us in the past that any serious game that appears to be approaching a record will be allowed to complete. But I'm not sure on what his stance is on the matter right now. I feel it is better to just get to that day and play to the 2nd place score (around 9 hours) and then feel out the situation. At this point I believe you will be present at the tournament. Is there any special considerations you will require of me other than what I have done in years past? Will you need game setting screens recorded and things like that? Or will that be something that can be verified once by someone like you and then not be required on the tape? The time necessary to get an employee to open the game up and display this information (especially first thing in the morning before regular opening time) will be difficult and will probably waste a lot of much needed playing time.

    3) On Tapper the current marathon rules show a start of 3 men, extra at 20,000, 80,000, and every 60,000 thereafter. The game difficulty is set to 3. However I should point out a problem. At 1,000,000 points the score rolls over. During that first million extra men will be earned at the following point levels 20000, 80000, 140000, 200000, 260000, 320000, 380000, 440000, 500000, 560000, 620000, 680000, 740000, 800000, 860000, 920000, and 980000. Because of the rollover the next man is earned at 1,020,000 (or 20,000 as it appears on the screen). This means that man is earned at 40,000 points instead of the 60,000 point level as the rules state. This issue has never been addressed before. It is not avoidable by the player. I'm sure it is allowed. However I thought it should be pointed out publically (and possibly ruled on).

    4) I take it that I am allowed to take a quick bathroom break at any time during this game (even in the first 3 hours) at my own risk of losing the game. Is that correct? or will be have to wait until after the first 3 hours to take that first break? I don't plan on taking any breaks (mainly to increase my score as fast as possible in that 16 hours to maybe cut the time down). But it may become necessary to take an emergency break if you know what I mean.

    5) During the break times what is the best method to insure that the game will not become void? If a TG ref (even not on duty like at Funspot) is present can they witness that while the player was gone, nobody touched the controls? Is that something you would be willing to do if notified when I might need to take a break?

    6) What happens if say a marathon Q*bert game was being played in an iron man competition and say I was on my 3rd straight day. Another player not wanting to have their score beaten runs up and pushes my joystick in a certain direction (maybe killing my man or maybe not). Since that player interferred with the game, strickly according to the rules the game is considered void. Is that the case or will situations like this be considered on a case by case basis where the game might be allowed but the section of tape including the interference might be watched to figure out a point/time penalty to be implemented? After all we will need to play these games in public. We want people to be able to watch the games. But there is this risk. I know in the past others have turned off power to games and such. Is it allowed to use a UPS unit? (which by the way I have and plan to bring to Funspot this year for the Tapper game).

    Thanks
    Gregory S. Erway

    #1 Tapper TGTS 3,162,125 05Jun05 (Guiness 2007 score)
    #1 Rootbeer Tapper TGMS 1,959,200 28Jul86
    #1 Wild Western 826,900 07Jun04
    #1 Pepper II 917,540 11Mar07 (over 1mil now...on tape)
    D2K progress: 199,700 L5 100m (board 36)
  3. 04-22-2003, 09:43 PM
    I'm surprised and confused by the arcade game marathon policy.

    Over many years now I thought TG used similar to Guinness where you accumulate 5 minutes of break time per hour you play. You can store up break time as well so if you played 6 hours straight without a break you have banked 30 minutes of break time.

    However, the above seems like that for home console games and pausing the game, but isn't like that for arcade games at all.

    You gave Q*bert as an example.

    In 1 hour I can score about 550-575k. That earns you at factory settings 40 extra men. Now the rough average time if you have your man at the top of the pyramid and leave him there before a coily comes up and kills your man is about 20 seconds.

    Ok, so if I played fairly well in that hour getting 40 men but dying let's say 3-5 times, that's 35 men I have banked up in only that 1 hour. Given your arcade marathon rule above, that would give me about 12 minutes of break time PER hour!!!

    Now for other arcade games you might not be able to really take a break at all or much less of a break where you perhaps don't build up men as quickly or when you leave the game they die off quicker.

    That just doesn't seem as fair as a clear 5 minutes/hour thing. With Q*Bert as I showed above I could bank up a lot more than just 5 minutes/hour of break time.

    I think the Guinness policy for breaks that TG has used for many marathon records is fine.... 5 minutes/hour... bankable/savable.

    I play for 12 hours at that rate and I can take a 1.5-2 hour "nap" under the above policy with Q*bert. I play for 20 hours taking only about 15 minutes of breaks during that time and I have banked up about 3.5 hours of break time under the above rule. That's an awlfully long break. When you resume could you even call that the same session/marathon? With Guinness's policy playing 12 hours straight with no break would give me 60 minutes max break regardless of extra men situation. There is no "max" in the above rules for arcade games except for the case where there is a "safety" spot.

    Also, how would a game like mspac be handled? Games for that can get up in the 8 hour range....not a "marathon" based on the definition above...so no breaks would be allowed at all?!?!

    I would think even playing for 8 hours you would need a quick bathroom break at some point. I actually think that was the main thing of Guinness cuz you had to be humane and allow the people the decency of not having to go right at the game or during their pogo-stick jumps or whatever they were doing.

    In mspac, after 4 or 6 hours of play I should be able to get in a sit spot and take a 5-10 minute break if I want. The above policy states that isn't allowed. The previously used "policy" for TG scores allowed it. It's odd that actually is allowed tor home console games or videotaping. You can't take the break to go to the bathroom when out in a public arcade but can in the privacy of your own home.

    BTW, am I the only one to realize that some kind of time stamp should be on the tapes at least at the start and end of each tape?

    One could easily play 6 hours filling up a tape...pause the game...insert new tape but then get 8 hours of sleep and then start next tape recording and unpause the game. Unless the tape has some real evidence of time on that switch you have no idea how long they paused to switch the tapes. 30 seconds? 5 minutes? 5 hours? How would you know? It can't even be a simple houseclock thing or VCR stamp cuz you could easily reset the time for that to make it appear like only 1-2 minutes had passed.

    I know if someone submitted a 75 hour marathon videotaped on some home console game I would challenge and serious question if that was really a marathon or if really long pauses were used in between tapes.

    I have no idea how you can address this potential issue though. It seems too easy to workaround where I think personally I wouldn't accept any "marathon" games as being 1 session on a console. For most arcade games it doesn't apply but for games like the Tron example where you can sit in that 1 spot forever...you would need some official clock by the game for videotaping along with the game.

    The policy of 5 minutes/hour with banking allowed was a lot more simple. For console games you can pause... for arcade games, the game proceeds and if men die off during your break so be it.

    For games that have a "safety" spot where you can sit your man/whatever and walk away from the game for a break and not lose any men during that time, you do enforce max of 15 minutes every 3 hours. You gave Tron as an example there.

    I think you need to have 5 minutes/hour break regardless of the length of the game. To say an 11 hour game you can't get any breaks at all yet 12 hour mark you have banked a 1 hour break doesn't seem right.

    11 hours is a very long time to go without making at least 1 quick run to the bathroom.

    I think for this reason any game beyond perhaps 4 or 6 hours should be considered a marathon. That's the size of 1 standard videotape at LP or EP so a handy number.

    Also, given MAME is supposed to be like the arcade experience, do mame "marathons" fall under the arcade rules or the home console rules? you can pause regular mame just like a home console game. However, you can't pause TG-mame or alphamame at least "normally". There is a simple trick even with these though that allows you to "pause" the game.

    Just my $0.02.

    This policy seems more complex than it needs to be for the break aspect. Simple is better IMHO.
    --Rick Carter
    My streaming broadcast channel: www.justin.tv/permafrostrick
  4. 04-23-2003, 12:54 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by permafrostrick

    BTW, am I the only one to realize that some kind of time stamp should be on the tapes at least at the start and end of each tape?

    One could easily play 6 hours filling up a tape...pause the game...insert new tape but then get 8 hours of sleep and then start next tape recording and unpause the game. Unless the tape has some real evidence of time on that switch you have no idea how long they paused to switch the tapes. 30 seconds? 5 minutes? 5 hours? How would you know? It can't even be a simple houseclock thing or VCR stamp cuz you could easily reset the time for that to make it appear like only 1-2 minutes had passed.
    A timestamp would not help. There is nothing preventing me from adjusting the clock on my Camcorder or VCR. I could play on 4/22/2003 for an hour, pause the game. Wait a day, adjust the Clock on my Camcorder back to 4/22/2003 and the time I paused it, and continue.

    There are plenty of other ways of cheating as well and cheaters are very resourceful. We do what we can to try to prevent cheating, but it is going to happen. That is why we give the ability for contenders to challenge a score. We also look for annomolies in games that might point to cheating.
  5. 04-23-2003, 12:37 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by arcadenut
    A timestamp would not help. There is nothing preventing me from adjusting the clock on my Camcorder or VCR.
    I said that myself...which is why I have no idea how to implement it.

    I think it's in that context marathoning of console games perhaps can't be accepted. Rules for those games should have TGTS where it's really impossible to marathon the game. Scores would just be 5-men only or score after max of 6 hours of play(1 standard tape at EP). Anyone could use that pausing loophole as a grounds for challenging a marathon score and TG would only have the word of the player as proof.

    For home consoles, this "cheat" just seems way too obvious where you know some 17 year old is going to play some game 6-8 hours a day..pause it..then resume and play another 6-8 hours each day over several days to make what seems like a marathon game.
    There are plenty of other ways of cheating as well and cheaters are very resourceful. We do what we can to try to prevent cheating, but it is going to happen. That is why we give the ability for contenders to challenge a score. We also look for annomolies in games that might point to cheating.
    Yes, I agree...but in the case of the break policy for home console games there is no way to prove or disprove if someone that did a 50 hour marathon actually stuck to the break rules or not during the tape changes. It's all based on the word of the gamer.

    ..so my point there is perhaps home consoles should be treated the same way arcade games are...NO pausing allowed...although there would still be no way to verify that for tape switchovers. Why for consoles when you take a break you are allowed to pause the game? the game should progress when you leave it just as arcade games do. You can't really get around that unless the console systems themselves had some real time display feature that once running a game you can't change.

    I think it's an issue TG can't ignore though for marathons. It's just way too easy to pause for several hours during tape switchovers.

    There is a level of trust there for sure...same for any mame inp file submissions.

    However, that's why I was saying why bother having a complex "break" aspect of the marathon policy when it's so easy to cheat at it for home consoles....make the break policy very simple. 5 minutes/hour, can bank them up....same applies for arcade games vs home consoles for breaks. no minimum time of play for breaks. If you played a 90 minute game and took a 5 minute break in the middle of it, that should be legal.
    To say someone playing 10 hours gets zero breaks isn't fair.

    Yes, the same loopholes will still be there, but at least the policy is a lot more clear and consistent instead of having 3-4 separate things based on arcade vs. home console and if a safe spot to sit or not during breaks...or if the game as I demonstrated with Q*Bert above, actually would give you a lot more than just 5 minutes/hour of break time using the above stated policy. I don't think you want to allow someone marathoning Q*Bert 10+minutes of break time an hour.
    --Rick Carter
    My streaming broadcast channel: www.justin.tv/permafrostrick
  6. Replies

    04-23-2003, 04:58 PM
    Hello all:

    Since I am clueless about correctly using the quote feature, I'm cutting and pasting, so bear with me.

    QUESTION (1) - Obviously once recorded on the hard drive the file could be converted to a number of different formats that you might favor (VCD, SVCD, MPEG, etc.)

    ANSWER (1) - I'd say that Brien King should answer this one in light of the fact that he might have something planned as far as archival storage down the road. Let's see what he has to say.

    QUESTION (2) - Is there any special considerations you will require of me other than what I have done in years past? Will you need game setting screens recorded and things like that?

    ANSWER (2) - Depends on the game. Suppose the settings were a tough call..."Time Pilot" setting 5 versus 6 versus 7, etc...basically a gradual differential. So is it easy to differentiate and quantify the game behaviour in Tapper should a tech not be available ? Ideally we would appreciate capturing the confirmation on the game. However, as I will be there, I can personally verify this after the game completion same day if need be once you are done and Gary opens it up.

    QUESTION (3) - Because of the rollover the next man is earned at 1,020,000 (or 20,000 as it appears on the screen). This means that man is earned at 40,000 points instead of the 60,000 point level as the rules state. This issue has never been addressed before.

    ANSWER (3) - Not a problem...the game is behaving as it was originally intended to. No need for this to be of issue. An interesting sidebar...let us suppose that a game that traditionally allows 3 men and a free at 10K, say "Tron", were to allow a 5th man at 1 million and 10K...granted this does not happen for this title, but if it did, then Donald, already at 4.5M, would have had four (4) extra men that game. Personally, I believe it's part of the program, and that most programmers never intended certain games to reach that height, but I will certainly pose the query to the rules committee.

    QUESTION (4) - I take it that I am allowed to take a quick bathroom break at any time during this game (even in the first 3 hours) at my own risk of losing the game. Is that correct?

    ANSWER (4) - Some of the "break rules" are being re-evaluated as we speak. It gets technical when you consider exactly when a break can begin, end, etc. Sometimes I think that we are over-planning for such events and that we should be more flexible, but at the same time I feel that we have to have at least a well-defined modicum of provision in place.

    Let's wait to see what the Rules Committee finally comes up with concerning "Version 2.0" when the time comes, which should be soon as the marathon topic seems to be a hotly debated one.

    QUESTION (5) - During the break times what is the best method to insure that the game will not become void? If a TG ref (even not on duty like at Funspot) is present can they witness that while the player was gone, nobody touched the controls? Is that something you would be willing to do if notified when I might need to take a break?

    ANSWER (5) - A tough call. My personal guess is that provisions should be in place at the responsibility of the gamer to ensure that proper adherance is maintained. However, that is a very broad statement and certainly is not meant to be inflexible at your query. This is another Rules Committee discussion of which the outcome would be included in "Version 2.0" when the time comes.

    QUESTION (6) - Another player not wanting to have their score beaten runs up and pushes my joystick in a certain direction (maybe killing my man or maybe not). Since that player interferred with the game, strickly according to the rules the game is considered void.

    ANSWER (6) - Twin Galaxies is not an inflexible beaurocracy when it comes to such unprofessional and mean-spirited gamer tactics. Fear not should such occur.

    QUESTION (7) - I know in the past others have turned off power to games and such. Is it allowed to use a UPS unit? (which by the way I have and plan to bring to Funspot this year for the Tapper game

    ANSWER (7) - A UPS unit would be allowed...why not, right ? So long as it has absolutely no impact on the gameplay (I'm not a techie but suspect there is no impact). As for someone pulling the plug...I have a statement I will issue here and now. Anyone that is clearly caught doing so will be regarded as engaging in a most unprofessional type of act that can be committed by a fellow competetive gamer, and may very well end up banned from all future TG events...AND should not be surprised if TG decides to revoke all their posted scoreboard records as a direct result. We will absolutely not tolerate such tactics of unprofessionalism ever. I cannot state that strongly enough.

    QUESTION (8) - However, the above seems like that for home console games and pausing the game, but isn't like that for arcade games at all.

    ANSWER (8) - As stated earlier, the "break policy" is being re-evaluated by the "Rules Committee" based on all commentary. We do take seriously all commentary and act accordingly. Always know that we are receptive to logical and well presented thoughts and opinions, and the ones read thus far on the forum are great examples of the feedback we encourage from the gaming community. Please allow us some time to digest the feedback and revise the appropriate sections accordingly.

    QUESTION (9) - I know if someone submitted a 75 hour marathon videotaped on some home console game I would challenge and serious question if that was really a marathon or if really long pauses were used in between tapes.

    ANSWER (9) - You and I both would question that one !!

    QUESTION (10) - 11 hours is a very long time to go without making at least 1 quick run to the bathroom.

    ANSWER (10) - Don't be too sure about that...let's just say that I have a unique feature about myself that allows me to abstain from such breaks for a lot longer than 11 hours.

    QUESTION (11) - I think for this reason any game beyond perhaps 4 or 6 hours should be considered a marathon. That's the size of 1 standard videotape at LP or EP so a handy number.

    ANSWER (11) - We decided awhile back what would constitute a "marathon" at the very least...would it be 24 hours of gameplay, 12 hours, or less. The final decision was arrived at and was explained in the rules Version 1.0.

    The problem was, "breaks" can, under current version or a future one, start to be taken before the marathon threshold is reached. Should the threshold NOT be reached while breaks were taken before that mark, that was an issue I had raised. Again, that aspect is always open for discussion.

    QUESTION (12) - There are plenty of other ways of cheating as well and cheaters are very resourceful.

    ANSWER (12) - Agreed...where there is a will there is a way. Flying erase-head VCRs can allow, in theory, for a lengthy marathon gameplay to be collated into a seamless performance. Take a game which completely "fades out" inbetween levels. Hard to spot should performances be concatenated via flying erase-heads, I think. Digital concatenation is something I am not even qualified to comment on, but I'd at least raise the issue.

    QUESTION (13) - I think it's in that context marathoning of console games perhaps can't be accepted.

    ANSWER (13) - The original marathon rules as defined in Walter's first book were, in fact, written with arcade titles in mind because back then, there never really were any serious marathons attempted at home console titles.

    Now there are plenty. But limiting to TGTS is not always possible. Take a "Tetris-based" title...the equivelant of "lives" doesn't even exist !! That aside, I cannot deny the home console community the opportunity to shine simply because we choose not to allow them to marathon their titles. That would be biased against home console players, I think, and we have to be fair-minded to the gaming community as a whole whenever possible.

    QUESTION (14) - For home consoles, this "cheat" just seems way too obvious where you know some 17 year old is going to play some game 6-8 hours a day..pause it..then resume and play another 6-8 hours each day over several days to make what seems like a marathon game.

    ANSWER (14) - I had this very question when looking at the high scores reported on "Apeiron", a "Centipede-like" title. No where to hide, fast-moving. Scores of 30M+ reported. I know how long it took me just to get a mere 1.5M and cannot imagine how long a 30M+ game would take. Same for "Looney Labyrinth" scores of 20M+.

    QUESTION (15) - so my point there is perhaps home consoles should be treated the same way arcade games are...NO pausing allowed...although there would still be no way to verify that for tape switchovers.

    ANSWER (15) - Again, the "break policy" will be re-evaluated accordingly. All your input was extremely valuable. To be honest, the policy was length and the longer a policy is, the more room for reconsideration and possibly conflicting instructions contained within. Please allow the Rules Committee to fully evaluate all replies and decide on what will inevitably be released as "Version 2.0".

    That's it for now...until I learn how to use quotes correctly, this will have to do.

    Robert
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  7. Re: Replies

    04-23-2003, 06:01 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by RMRUCZEK
    Since I am clueless about correctly using the quote feature, I'm cutting and pasting, so bear with me.
    Check out Quote lesson/directions
    It's simply just a special tag within your message. I'm sure you understand at least some html and how tags work. This phpBB forum uses "BBCode" as well...which has some custom tags users can use to easily do standard formats. You also can easily just see a sample of how it's done when you reply to someone hitting the "quote" button what they stated is quoted...or you can view one of my many long posts :P and see how I quote blocked areas of text. It's very simple.
    Code:
    this is quoted text.
    It looks like this:
    this is quoted text.
    Code:
    This is quoted text showing a personal reference of who posted it.
    It looks like this:
    Quote Originally Posted by permafrostrick
    This is quoted text showing a personal reference of who posted it.
    That's it!
    ANSWER (10) - Don't be too sure about that...let's just say that I have a unique feature about myself that allows me to abstain from such breaks for a lot longer than 11 hours.
    I'm not sure I would call that a "feature". hehe
    ANSWER (11) - We decided awhile back what would constitute a "marathon" at the very least...would it be 24 hours of gameplay, 12 hours, or less. The final decision was arrived at and was explained in the rules Version 1.0.
    Ok fine..so perhaps TG just needs a general break policy that applies to all games...not just marathons. max of 5 minutes/hour breaktime "earned" and allowing banking etc. seems simple and applies to all games regardless if it's a 3 hour game or 30 hour game.
    But limiting to TGTS is not always possible. Take a "Tetris-based" title...the equivelant of "lives" doesn't even exist !! That aside, I cannot deny the home console community the opportunity to shine simply because we choose not to allow them to marathon their titles. That would be biased against home console players,
    Yes, but perhaps in those cases as TG already has for many console games you just have the score after a certain time period as the record. Then they still have a record to go for and brag about.

    Take the 70 hour marathon example, if someone submitted a Tetris video showing 70 hours of marathon gameplay you still would question and challenge if the break rule was abused and broken.

    Use Asteroids as an example...clearly pausing on a home console version of Asteroids allows you to possibly marathon this game a lot more than playing the arcade version....30+ hour type marathons.

    Allowing pausing on the home consoles allows marathoning of pretty much any type of game....not just games that happen to award a lot of extra men or have a safety spot etc. where you can leave the game for minutes and just let it go and return to find the game still going.

    The home console systems are getting the advantage there. Removing it just makes it more equal with arcade system...not giving arcade players any advantage or bias. Yes, their records are listed separately so perhaps that really doesn't matter..cuz all would be playing the home console games by the same rules...which is the most important thing.

    However, think of it even at this level...you are about to sneeze...you know it's coming...so you pause the game and take a quick 30 second break to blow your nose, sneeze etc. then unpause and resume playing.
    In games like Tetris...a sneeze could mean misplacing 1 block in Tetris that results in your game ending. Yes, that's tough cookies...but something you don't need to worry about for home console games...just hit pause.

    Now here is the kicker...MAME. MAME allows pausing just like the home console systems....however, that isn't allowed because TG and most other scoreboards like MARP have decided to play MAME to as closely as possible match the arcade experience.

    TG even went to the trouble of making a special version of mame that for one doesn't allow pausing of the emulation.

    Why doesn't TG just take that same stance for home console systems?
    Consistency should be important here in policy.

    I guess given pausing can be used for home consoles during tape switches already sets the difference. To be able to just pause at anytime..sneeze, a big scratch you must itch, bathroom etc. on a whim at any second then return and unpause seems like an already quite big advantage over arcade players.
    ANSWER (14) - I had this very question when looking at the high scores reported on "Apeiron", a "Centipede-like" title. No where to hide, fast-moving. Scores of 30M+ reported. I know how long it took me just to get a mere 1.5M and cannot imagine how long a 30M+ game would take. Same for "Looney Labyrinth" scores of 20M+.
    I had mastered Apeiron. I think I stopped once around 3 million then never played the game again. I think that 3 million game took me around 1.5-2 hours...but not exactly sure how long it was. If so, then a 30 million game would be on the order of 15-20 hours...certainly doable...but suspecting pauses during 15-20 hours of gameplay for that particular high action game would certainly be valid.

    20mil on Looney Labyrinth is no biggie. I don't think that would take more than a 5-6 hours. I would need to see if I saved any high score report files on backups for this game. I know I had gotten up around like 10-20M...I have no idea how long it took though. I just know there are ways to score quite quickly. I don't think it's a marathon amount of time to reach that.

    Even then you could technically sort of pause by holding the ball on a flipper...or after capture etc. just keep the next ball in the start lane for a minute or so to get a quick break before you launch it like you would do for any real pinball game. It isn't nonstop like Apeiron is.
    --Rick Carter
    My streaming broadcast channel: www.justin.tv/permafrostrick
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  8. 04-24-2003, 11:21 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by permafrostrick
    One could easily play 6 hours filling up a tape...pause the game...insert new tape but then get 8 hours of sleep and then start next tape recording and unpause the game. Unless the tape has some real evidence of time on that switch you have no idea how long they paused to switch the tapes. 30 seconds? 5 minutes? 5 hours? How would you know? It can't even be a simple houseclock thing or VCR stamp cuz you could easily reset the time for that to make it appear like only 1-2 minutes had passed.
    This is very true.

    Well, though I don't believe it is something that could be STRICTLY ENFORCED, because of lack of resources by many, I believe that this idea could be RECOMMENDED:


    Due to the fact that the amount of time between the end of one tape and the beginning of the next is many times undeterminable, a dual tape system can be used to prevent unfair breaks. This could be done in many ways, including using two VCRs, a VCR and a video camera, two video cameras, et cetera. When the gamer notes that there is little time left on his/her first tape, the second recording device would be activated. Thus, there would be an overlap of the two recordings, showing that it was indeed a continuous effort. Then, during a break, or with a third party's help, the tape from the first recording device could be removed, and replaced with a new, clean tape. Then, when the second tape is reaching its end, the first recording device would be reactivated, causing another overlap. This looping process could be repeated as long as needed, and would show that a continuous effort was given.


    Again, this may not be enforcable, because many gamers would not be able to obtain two systems of recording, but it is definately a way to show that the gamer did not take undocumented and illegal breaks.

    ------------------
    Chase Hermsen
  9. Home Console "Advantage" - Logic Behind This Call

    04-25-2003, 05:00 PM
    Hello all:

    I really never provided my logic on the basis for that call.

    Strictly for preservation purposes and NOTHING ELSE, we came up with a way for home console players, providing the game in question allowed for this, to swap tapes while not losing any gameplay action in the process.

    Yes, I do agree that this has the potential for abuse...I am not naive. However, the decision was stricly made with archiving in mind both now and down the road.

    Classic example is the recent outpour of interest over the two "Legend of Zelda" performances. I kid you not when I say that we have received more requests for copies of these games that any other in recent memory...so many that, even though we had the permission of the gamer to release the performance, we could not because it was physically impossible to keep pace with the demand.

    However, should we have been able to keep pace, I'd like to think that the gamer would be more pleased to have a complete performance rather than one with a missing "gap" inbetween. Further, in a time-based performance such as this, we cannot and will not penalize a gamer for the speed at which their videorecording device swaps tapes. I am 100% solid behind my logic here. Should you argue that this invariably favours time-based performances over score-based performances, I would again state that we have down-the-road archival and business decision concerns in mind, even at this stage of our history, and whenever possible, a complete performance is preferable over an interrupted one.

    Further, some games are virtually impossible for a single gamer to swap tapes due to the nature of the game, be they arcade or home console. We cannot and will not devise rules that impede a talented gamer's performance to go beyond the 6 or 8 hour mark without jeapordizing their gameplay. THAT would unfairly favour some games over others, and we have to think of all game titles at once, and not make rules based on exceptions. In this example, a Q*Bert marathoner is sitting pretty, as is a Joust player or Gauntlet player, during a tape swap. Very little loss of life or reserves. However, a Centipede or Millipede player, or on the home console front an "Enduro" player, cannot afford the luxury of a tape swap without secondary assistance (allowed in this case under TG policy).

    While I do appreciate the point that pausing seems to favour home console, I cannot help but mention the fact that we have business opportunities to consider both presently and down the road which the gaming community may not be aware of at any given time. That fact alone also contributes to the home console "tape swap" decision, of course for just games applicable.

    However, your commentary will be addressed by the Board of Referees and taken very seriously. There is definitely going to be a revision 2.0 of the marathon policy at some point, at we will try to fairly address all opinions and issues presented in this thread.

    Robert
  10. 04-25-2003, 05:33 PM
    Robert, first, I posted a quote lesson for you a few posts up in this thread a couple days ago.

    I totally agree with home console player pausing the game during tape switches. It allows them to have a complete record of the game which is good for certain titles....which is totally important for "timed" game records.

    For games where the record is actually gametime to complete the game, then I think a break policy doesn't really matter. It's all about techniques to finish the adventure/RPG etc. in as little total gametime as possible. It doesn't matter how much you pause for those. The gametime is all that matters. It's a different type of contest versus high score.

    However, I gave my opinions on that above for marathon games for score.

    It is way too easily abused with home console systems on those tape changes. If it's only a 10-15 hour type game...fine. I can likely believe they played it honestly for that long of a period and only paused just long enough to switch to a second and perhaps a 3rd tape.

    There would be no way you could verify it was a true marathon unless the player did something like Chase suggested above...have 2 recordings going where when you switch tapes on the one VCR or camcorder, the other one is still recording during that time of switchover. That would give proof the pauses on the tape switches weren't in excess of 1 minute...or if a break taken during that time...just how long the break was.

    TG wants MAME to be as close as possible to the arcade experience. TG showed this by having a special mame version that has pause disabled among other features.

    Ok...make home console games also as close as possible to the arcade experience....means no pausing for "score-type" games/records. If they have the 2 recordings going as Chase suggests above..and has another person take care of the tape switching, then no pause is needed. The player can keep playing.

    Ok, you might then say well we want to give as many as possible the opportunity to do a marathon and many don't have 2 VCRs. The above requires they buy a second VCR or a camcorder.

    Well, videotaping arcade games for most requires a camcorder as well....or if they have their own cabinet getting one of those NTSC video output cards for the display so they can then record with a VCR. That excludes a lot of people that don't have a camcorder to take to the arcade to tape their game.

    It seems above you are giving preferential treatment to home console players. You need real proof the player isn't abusing the break system for home consoles. Chase's suggestion above is the easiest and pretty much the only way to do it. The other would be to have a TG ref present for the tape switchovers.

    I thought TG generally wants marathons to be a fairly rare thing nowdays anyway. The above home console policy would have more marathon submissions than you would think. I would guess 75% of those submitted as home console marathons would have the long illegal pausing between tape switches with the above policy.
    --Rick Carter
    My streaming broadcast channel: www.justin.tv/permafrostrick
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