New User Guide

Welcome to Twin Galaxies! We're glad to have you here!

This guide is here to help you get up to speed with Twin Galaxies, so that you know the best way to submit your scoring accomplishments so they get accepted, to bring you up to speed on how to adjudicate others' submissions, and just in general familiarize you with the workings of the site. If there are any questions you have, please add them in the comments below.

Basics of Submitting Scores

You should approach your submission with the goal of convincing people you don't know, and who are going to be skeptical, that you have earned the score you claim. Ask yourself what someone you don't know would have to show you to prove to you that they earned the score they claim.

In general, we want to see the following:

  • The hardware that you played your game on, so we know you're running on the correct hardware.
  • System start up and game loading (if relevant).
  • The settings of the game, to show they match those specified in the rules.
  • The full game performance, so that we can see if any unapproved bugs are used or other techniques that are not allowed during your gameplay.
We realize this often means that scores you have previously earned, and now want to share on Twin Galaxies, are not going to be acceptable. It's unfortunate, but it helps with the integrity of the leaderboards. Twin Galaxies has had many people try to cheat their way onto the leaderboards in the past, and the goal is to catch as many of those as possible without being too burdensome for submitters.

Twin Galaxies does not have any requirements for specific methods or software to record your performance. As long as you are able to provide video of your play in a manner where all of the relevant details are visible, then it should be fine for submission. People have used cell phone and laptop cameras, handheld cameras, webcams, and direct capture from a video capture device or even a VCR, though you can't send in videocassettes directly anymore, you'd still have to convert to digital video.

Finally, people frequently ask how long it takes for a submission to complete. The fact is, there is no set time for the process. It finishes when enough people have voted on the submission. This is influenced by the popularity of the game and system, the length of the submission, the amount of evidence, and the details shared in the submission. You cannot make it be accepted quickly, but you can do a lot to make the process easier or more difficult.

Adjudicating Score Submissions

Approach the adjudication of others' submissions with a skeptical eye, but also with a belief in their good intentions, as the vast majority are playing fair.

Look first at submissions for systems and games you know well. Make sure the hardware looks correct, and the game looks and plays as you would expect. Verify they are playing on the proper settings. Check for the use of any bugs or banned techniques. If something seems strange or concerning, post a comment in the thread to get others' opinions.

It is more difficult to adjudicate for games and systems you are less familiar with, but with the variety of games played and submitted, many users do have to help with such submissions. Again, ask questions if you are uncertain of anything - it will help you learn more about the ins-and-outs of each system, and you might point out something overlooked by others just because you're watching more carefully.

Adding New Games and Tracks

Adding new games and tracks to Twin Galaxies can be done by any registered user, as long as they have the submission points. It costs 10 points to submit a new track, and will be accepted when 25 more points have been pledged toward the creation - points that can come from the person proposing the track, from others, or any combination thereof.

Don't rush into creating new games and tracks. The submission point cost is fairly large, and you are unable to reclaim them if you've made a mistake in the creation. Take your time, look at how other games are tracked on here, and start a discussion with others to help define a good set of rules beforehand.

Twin Galaxies is open to and welcomes a large variety of tracks, whether straight-forward, or creative, so feel free to experiment with new ideas. It is always a good idea to open a discussion for your track if you aren't sure about how to make the rules, the community is here to help however they can. More successful tracks are those with clear rules, that are not more specific than necessary, and are open and competitive to a larger variety of players. Also, if a track has the potential to either lead to long marathons or to max out a score, consider if there are alternatives that can prevent those outcomes.
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