High score challenge rules discussion.

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sydney
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High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby sydney » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:02 pm

Hi guys.
In the Manic Miner round Ed raised some concerns over the way he'd achieved his score and whether or not it was permitted within the rules. As a result we'll be reviewing the rules and any suggestions are welcomed. Here are the rules as they currently stand:

The Stardot high score challenge is an informal games competition, between members of stardot, there are no prizes; there is no entry fee; it's all just for fun.

Each round of the competition will last for two weeks. The round will begin at 9pm on a Monday night and will run until 8.59pm of the Monday 2 weeks later. Each season will last 10 weeks. Your game scores must be posted within the gaming time limit to constitute a good score.

We play BBC micro games, using the standard BBC B version of the game unless there is a compelling reason to use a different version.

A disk image containing the version of the game to be used will be linked to in the first post of the thread for that round of the competition.

Games are chosen at random from a list of nominations from participants in the competition. Each player will nominate up to 3 games to enter the list of games used to select from. Each player should nominate 3 games which have not already been nominated. Any duplicates will be removed from the list to ensure each game is played in only one round of the competition.

Only one game from the previous season may be nominated. This will be decided by a fourth nomnination from each player for a game from the previous season, the game with the most nominations will be added to the list of nominated games.

Games from two or more seasons ago can be nominated as normal.

Scores are to be posted in the competition thread along with a screen shot or photograph of the screen showing the score. Scores must be obtained within the time the round is running - you can't post your best score from 1984.

You can post as many scores as you like but only your highest will count in the final table. Try to post high scores as you achieve them as this will give other competitors a chance and to better you and a reason to keep playing. Waiting until 8.58pm on Monday night to post your highest score would not be in the spirit of the competition and will be frowned upon.

The high score table will be updated regularly, hopefully daily so that you can keep up to date on how well (or badly) you are doing.

No cheating - at all! No cheat modes, pokes or exploits to be used at all. Anyone found cheating will be excluded from that round.

Using text, hex or graphical editors to create 'false' high scores is strictly forbidden.

Save states are not to be used.

Auto-fire - hmm. Personally I don't like it and have never used it but some people do. For now it's not allowed but if anyone wants to use it start a discussion in the gaming forum and this may change.

Points whoring is not allowed. Standing next to a portal where infinite enemies emerge, shooting them using your infinite ammo supply for 17 hours straight does not sound like fun to me.

Feel free to keep on posting scores after the round has finished. They will not count towards the competition but it's a good way of keeping interest up in a game and the competition in general

Scoring for the competition will be on the same basis the yakyak.org lleague's system which is :

The method: Lleague Points = (YS / BS * 50) + ((NOP - YP + 1) * (50 / NOP))

YS = Your Score
BS = Best Score
NOP = Number of Players
YP = Your Position

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sydney
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby sydney » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:27 pm

Here are my initial thoughts on what needs adding, removing and altering:

Additions
Games must played in the way they were meant to be played - trying to complete them.

Keep in the spirit of the competition - if it feels wrong then it probably is.

Removals
Only one game from the previous season may be nominated. This will be decided by a fourth nomnination from each player for a game from the previous season, the game with the most nominations will be added to the list of nominated games.

This doesn't seem to have ever happened so should probably be removed.

Auto-fire - hmm. Personally I don't like it and have never used it but some people do. For now it's not allowed but if anyone wants to use it start a discussion in the gaming forum and this may change.

Is this relevant? Are there any auto fire joysticks usable on the beeb? Are there many games that would benefit from autofire?

Alterations
No cheating - at all! No cheat modes, pokes or exploits to be used at all. Anyone found cheating will be excluded from that round.

Should exploits have a section explaining what is meant by exploits? How would we word this to catch all exploits without listing every way we can think of exploiting a game for points?

Save states are not to be used.

Add that save states may be used to practice but not when submitting a score. The game must be played from the starting point of the game, or a designated starting point when more than one exists.

Points whoring is not allowed. Standing next to a portal where infinite enemies emerge, shooting them using your infinite ammo supply for 17 hours straight does not sound like fun to me.


Change 'whoring' to 'farming'. I've never really liked the phrase and someone used farming in one of the rounds a couple of years ago and I liked it.

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KarateEd
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby KarateEd » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:49 pm

sydney wrote:Here are my initial thoughts on what needs adding, removing and altering:

Additions
Games must played in the way they were meant to be played - trying to complete them.

Keep in the spirit of the competition - if it feels wrong then it probably is.

Removals


Agreed

Only one game from the previous season may be nominated. This will be decided by a fourth nomnination from each player for a game from the previous season, the game with the most nominations will be added to the list of nominated games.
This doesn't seem to have ever happened so should probably be removed.


I think we've gone to a system where we just don't nominate any games from the previous season so maybe we could just state that in the rules.

Auto-fire - hmm. Personally I don't like it and have never used it but some people do. For now it's not allowed but if anyone wants to use it start a discussion in the gaming forum and this may change.
Is this relevant? Are there any auto fire joysticks usable on the beeb? Are there many games that would benefit from autofire?


I'm really not sure how many are using joysticks. Any time I've tried to use a joystick, the game was much harder to play. I tend to agree that it may not be relevent and could be removed or at least discussed.

Alterations
No cheating - at all! No cheat modes, pokes or exploits to be used at all. Anyone found cheating will be excluded from that round.
Should exploits have a section explaining what is meant by exploits? How would we word this to catch all exploits without listing every way we can think of exploiting a game for points?


This is the rule that really needs to be clarified. Here is the online definition of exploit -

1.make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).
"500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology"
synonyms: utilize, harness, use, make use of, turn/put to good use, make the most of, capitalize on, benefit from; informal cash in on
"we should exploit this new technology" - I have highlighted the definition that I think we're considering.

If a person intentionally loses lives to 'exploit' a perhaps faulty game play of a program then that is considered exploitation. None of us want to do that. There are several things that could constitute that in any variety of games so perhaps the definition could go something like this.....

If a person finds a way to exploit the game to raise their score 'artificially' within said game, by whatever means that doesn't flow with the spirit of the game as it is written, that would constitute exploitation. The idea here is to play in an arena of fairness, in other words - no exploiting loopholes, pokes, cheat modes or intentionally losing lives to boost your score. So, in general we should all play in the spirit of the competition to ensure fair outcomes and fun for everyone while scoring as high as possible within the game's proper flow of scoring. If an admin can identify that a game has such an exploit, even if in a different form then it could be identified to all so that it is not practiced.

Save states are not to be used.
Add that save states may be used to practice but not when submitting a score. The game must be played from the starting point of the game, or a designated starting point when more than one exists.


Agreed

Points whoring is not allowed. Standing next to a portal where infinite enemies emerge, shooting them using your infinite ammo supply for 17 hours straight does not sound like fun to me.

Change 'whoring' to 'farming'. I've never really liked the phrase and someone used farming in one of the rounds a couple of years ago and I liked it.


Absolutely agreed with the idea that 'farming' is exploitation of the game's intention and definitely the wording should be changed to be 'softer'.

Ed...... :-)

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barbarossa69
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby barbarossa69 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:55 am

Auto-fire - hmm. Personally I don't like it and have never used it but some people do. For now it's not allowed but if anyone wants to use it start a discussion in the gaming forum and this may change.


Is this relevant? Are there any auto fire joysticks usable on the beeb? Are there many games that would benefit from autofire?


There are auto-key clickers that work with emulators, so I think the rule should stay in.

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KarateEd
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby KarateEd » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:32 pm

barbarossa69 wrote:
Auto-fire - hmm. Personally I don't like it and have never used it but some people do. For now it's not allowed but if anyone wants to use it start a discussion in the gaming forum and this may change.


Is this relevant? Are there any auto fire joysticks usable on the beeb? Are there many games that would benefit from autofire?


There are auto-key clickers that work with emulators, so I think the rule should stay in.


Didn't know that.... if that's the case, the rule makes sense. Right now because my Beeb is broken, I've been using BeeEm but in a very generic way as if it were an unmodified Beeb, as vanilla as possible. I have seen threads where people really soup of their emulator, it's probably not as much fun as the real thing but I suspect you're right.

Ed...... :-)

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby crj » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:00 am

One of my friends got into trouble for soldering a bit of Veroboard with an NE555, potentiometer and switch to the Return key of one of the school computers. For Firetrack, if I recall correctly.

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Wouter Scholten
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby Wouter Scholten » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:21 pm

KarateEd wrote:
sydney wrote:Here are my initial thoughts on what needs adding, removing and altering:


Alterations
No cheating - at all! No cheat modes, pokes or exploits to be used at all. Anyone found cheating will be excluded from that round.
Should exploits have a section explaining what is meant by exploits? How would we word this to catch all exploits without listing every way we can think of exploiting a game for points?


This is the rule that really needs to be clarified. Here is the online definition of exploit -

1.make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).
"500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology"
synonyms: utilize, harness, use, make use of, turn/put to good use, make the most of, capitalize on, benefit from; informal cash in on
"we should exploit this new technology" - I have highlighted the definition that I think we're considering.

If a person intentionally loses lives to 'exploit' a perhaps faulty game play of a program then that is considered exploitation. None of us want to do that. There are several things that could constitute that in any variety of games so perhaps the definition could go something like this.....

If a person finds a way to exploit the game to raise their score 'artificially' within said game, by whatever means that doesn't flow with the spirit of the game as it is written, that would constitute exploitation. The idea here is to play in an arena of fairness, in other words - no exploiting loopholes, pokes, cheat modes or intentionally losing lives to boost your score. So, in general we should all play in the spirit of the competition to ensure fair outcomes and fun for everyone while scoring as high as possible within the game's proper flow of scoring. If an admin can identify that a game has such an exploit, even if in a different form then it could be identified to all so that it is not practiced.



Not agreed. Anything that you can figure out in the game is a tactic. Not allowing that is not allowing to use one's brain which means reducing game playing to something more mindless. Losing a life to get a higher score to replay an earlier section, why not? It's the player's choice and will limit him in getting higher scores in the end.

The only thing that might warrant disallowing is something that you cannot just think of, but some bug of being in a particular spot and making a certain move that gives extra points for example, that you are unlikely to find except by playing a huge amount and/or looking for these things. Even these could be allowed by stating with the score that you used a particular trick.

I also don't agree with 'no pokes', if those pokes are to change the keys, while at the same time it is allowed to change the keys on an emulator (to a different layout as I saw in various threads in the high-scores section, not just the original layout shifted to avoid e.g. caps lock).

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sydney
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby sydney » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:59 am

Wouter Scholten wrote:I also don't agree with 'no pokes', if those pokes are to change the keys, while at the same time it is allowed to change the keys on an emulator (to a different layout as I saw in various threads in the high-scores section, not just the original layout shifted to avoid e.g. caps lock).


This is something that I'd not considered and should be allowed. I think the new rules should include this alteration to the 'no pokes' rule.

Not agreed. Anything that you can figure out in the game is a tactic. Not allowing that is not allowing to use one's brain which means reducing game playing to something more mindless. Losing a life to get a higher score to replay an earlier section, why not? It's the player's choice and will limit him in getting higher scores in the end.

The only thing that might warrant disallowing is something that you cannot just think of, but some bug of being in a particular spot and making a certain move that gives extra points for example, that you are unlikely to find except by playing a huge amount and/or looking for these things. Even these could be allowed by stating with the score that you used a particular trick.


I'm certain that I am against this kind of exploitation of a game to artificially inflate scores simply because it is a waste of everyones time. The main reason for the existence of the competition is to get us all playing games again, games we knew and games we didn't. I want to play the games they way they were intended to be be played and I don't doubt that many people will have played Manic Miner and discovered that they could boost their score by repeatedly losing lives to topple kong at that point in the game. Would they have done it more than once? Would they get to that point in the game and kill themselves every time to get those points? If so they are missing out on a (huge?) part of the game. If not then what was the point doing it in the first place? The only reason to do it is to artificially boost your score, which you wouldn't do if you were not in a competition and the competition explicitly rules out this kind of exploitation.
In Manic Miner it takes about four more levels to be completed to beat a score attained by using the exploit, how is it fair to punish those not using the exploit by having their scores artificially reduced in this way just because they didn't want to waste 20 minutes playing a game to have to then deliberately kill themselves.
The only way I can possibly see an exploit like this being allowed is if someone demonstrates where and how to do it in a game then every player simply posts a screen shot of this point in the game being reached and they are automatically given the exploited points. For Manic Miner it would be as follows:

  1. Exploit explained by a player - reach kong in the game then topple him, die ,repeat for all remaining lives.
  2. Each player reaching this point posts a screen shot to prove it and their score and remaining lives.
  3. Each player posting a screen shot is allowed to claim a final score of their current score + (2000 x number of lives)
  4. Players can then continue playing without having to spend another 20 minutes playing through the game to that point.

Even then I'd be against it as it seems unfair to me to give players reaching a certain point in a game what amounts to a 50% bonus for no reason at all.

I'd like everyone to let me know what they think about this, please give an opinion even if it's 'I don't mind either way'. If I'm wrong I'll happily allow exploits in future.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby barbarossa69 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:13 am

In the current game (Star Wars) the game lets you choose your own keys.

For manic miner, trading lives for points on the kong level seemed to me to be a fair trade off, because playing on with a single life makes it a lot harder on the later levels - one false move and it's game over.

For other games this may not be the case. I think you'd have to look at each game individually if such a situation arises again.

Anyway, I'm the "noobie" here so I was happy to go along with what you and Ed decided. I eventually got better at the game and got a better score by not trading my lives anyway, so all's good. :)

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby JoolsH » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:59 pm

Usually, deliberately killing yourself in order to be able to re-do a high scoring section is frowned upon and against the rules.

There might have been a case to make an exception for Manic Miner, though. Adding kong to the game and giving you 2000 points for toppling him (at the exchange of a life) wasn't something that was accidentally added by the developer - they made a deliberate decision to add this to the game and give you points for doing so. So it seems in the sprit of the game, rather than an exploit. Not that it made any difference to me, as I didn't get that far anyway :oops:

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby barbarossa69 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:22 pm

JoolsH wrote:Usually, deliberately killing yourself in order to be able to re-do a high scoring section is frowned upon and against the rules.

There might have been a case to make an exception for Manic Miner, though. Adding kong to the game and giving you 2000 points for toppling him (at the exchange of a life) wasn't something that was accidentally added by the developer - they made a deliberate decision to add this to the game and give you points for doing so. So it seems in the sprit of the game, rather than an exploit. Not that it made any difference to me, as I didn't get that far anyway :oops:


Sorry, to clarify, you didn't HAVE to die, you could CHOOSE to die

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby JoolsH » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:43 pm

barbarossa69 wrote:Sorry, to clarify, you didn't HAVE to die, you could CHOOSE to die

Ah, gotcha, I missed that part. Yeah, in that case, I agree that deliberately dying here shouldn't be allowed.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby chrisn » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:30 pm

KarateEd wrote:
sydney wrote:Auto-fire - hmm. Personally I don't like it and have never used it but some people do. For now it's not allowed but if anyone wants to use it start a discussion in the gaming forum and this may change.
Is this relevant? Are there any auto fire joysticks usable on the beeb? Are there many games that would benefit from autofire?


I'm really not sure how many are using joysticks. Any time I've tried to use a joystick, the game was much harder to play. I tend to agree that it may not be relevent and could be removed or at least discussed.

Does this include games which auto fire when you hold down the fire key (Star Wars is a case in point)? If it's built into the game, then using it seems fair enough.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby KarateEd » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:53 pm

sydney wrote:
Wouter Scholten wrote:I also don't agree with 'no pokes', if those pokes are to change the keys, while at the same time it is allowed to change the keys on an emulator (to a different layout as I saw in various threads in the high-scores section, not just the original layout shifted to avoid e.g. caps lock).


This is something that I'd not considered and should be allowed. I think the new rules should include this alteration to the 'no pokes' rule.

Not agreed. Anything that you can figure out in the game is a tactic. Not allowing that is not allowing to use one's brain which means reducing game playing to something more mindless. Losing a life to get a higher score to replay an earlier section, why not? It's the player's choice and will limit him in getting higher scores in the end.

The only thing that might warrant disallowing is something that you cannot just think of, but some bug of being in a particular spot and making a certain move that gives extra points for example, that you are unlikely to find except by playing a huge amount and/or looking for these things. Even these could be allowed by stating with the score that you used a particular trick.


I'm certain that I am against this kind of exploitation of a game to artificially inflate scores simply because it is a waste of everyones time. The main reason for the existence of the competition is to get us all playing games again, games we knew and games we didn't. I want to play the games they way they were intended to be be played and I don't doubt that many people will have played Manic Miner and discovered that they could boost their score by repeatedly losing lives to topple kong at that point in the game. Would they have done it more than once? Would they get to that point in the game and kill themselves every time to get those points? If so they are missing out on a (huge?) part of the game. If not then what was the point doing it in the first place? The only reason to do it is to artificially boost your score, which you wouldn't do if you were not in a competition and the competition explicitly rules out this kind of exploitation.
In Manic Miner it takes about four more levels to be completed to beat a score attained by using the exploit, how is it fair to punish those not using the exploit by having their scores artificially reduced in this way just because they didn't want to waste 20 minutes playing a game to have to then deliberately kill themselves.
The only way I can possibly see an exploit like this being allowed is if someone demonstrates where and how to do it in a game then every player simply posts a screen shot of this point in the game being reached and they are automatically given the exploited points. For Manic Miner it would be as follows:

  1. Exploit explained by a player - reach kong in the game then topple him, die ,repeat for all remaining lives.
  2. Each player reaching this point posts a screen shot to prove it and their score and remaining lives.
  3. Each player posting a screen shot is allowed to claim a final score of their current score + (2000 x number of lives)
  4. Players can then continue playing without having to spend another 20 minutes playing through the game to that point.

Even then I'd be against it as it seems unfair to me to give players reaching a certain point in a game what amounts to a 50% bonus for no reason at all.

I'd like everyone to let me know what they think about this, please give an opinion even if it's 'I don't mind either way'. If I'm wrong I'll happily allow exploits in future.


I agree with all these sentiments. That exploit should never be allowed in the spirit of fair play and the way the game was intended to be played. Anyone can exploit a game for more points if they really want to, there are many ways within the 'way the game was written' to do so, you only have to become proficient at a particular level in most games. Tapper comes to mind. You can stay on level one forever if you so choose. Wouldn't that be exciting?

If auto fire is written into the game, it is indeed allowed. I think the thing being discussed here is some artificial introduction to make autofire happen through pokes, etc....or a hardware device that allows a setup that isn't normally in the game.

and you're correct guys, it is a CHOICE to die in Manic Miner, that's what makes it against the rules. Had the game been written to remove a life if you toppled Kong then that would be ok. In this case it's not what happens. You HAVE to CHOOSE to die to get to topple Kong again so in my mind not fair play in that game. For some other games, no matter how well we write the rules we may have to look at the game individually anyway.

Here''s the real crux of the matter.... we're all on here to have fun, explore new games and see if we can elevate our scores as much as possible - WITHIN THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME and THE RULES. The main thing here is to have fun. If you want to topple Kong for your own personal high score, by all means do so but don't post it for the competition. We may end up revisiting this but if all cooperate in the spirit of this then we shouldn't have to. We're all kids in adult bodies so let's all try to do the right thing. I really don't like these 'political' things when they can and should really be avoided.

Having said that, suggestions are ALWAYS welcome and will be acted upon. Sometimes that acting upon them means the idea will not be taken up, hopefully with an explanation of why. The whole purpose and consideration of this competition event is for all to have fun, be heard when necessary and learn more about what was written for this amazing machine..... so let's go out and have fun and there will be a new game coming in a couple days. See you all on the battle field of gaming and let's have fun together. We can and should be learning from each other in these competitions and I for one have learned a ton from many of you good folk.

Ed...... :-)

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Wouter Scholten
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby Wouter Scholten » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:54 pm

No, I don't agree at all with any restrictions on how I can play a game, unless it makes the game pointless. Toppling Kong multiple times is not unfair, it has nothing to do with the concept of fairness or unfairness. It is simply a tradeoff of lives for points which is how all games work anyway. Anyone else can (think of and) do the same so what are you implying? That there are people who do not do any analysis of the game they are playing, are in a mindless state, and you want to accomodate to those people?

I already mentioned the issue appeared in Rocket raid but nobody cared, and interestingly a similar issue happened in "A maze in space":

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=13678#p179602

> One game I randomly managed to find and destroy the base twice. The other game I didn't, and was wandering around for ages, just shooting stuff.
> Guess which game scored more?

Well, Opus made the score table such that the scores actually take into account the reaching of targets. So if you are serious about this whole "You must play the game as it was meant" or rather that you must progress through levels and not score as much as possible without progressing, then the scores must be revised: new score = level + (0.999 x score/max score reached that got to that level)... Or even disallow that 115k score...

Rules should be as simple as possible, games should be played the way each of us wants as long as it doesn't make the game pointless. I don't know about Tapper, I remember playing it a few times long ago (must have been ca. 1996 when setting up the BBC software archive). If someone chooses to stay on 1 level what happens then?

JoolsH:

> Usually, deliberately killing yourself in order to be able to re-do a high scoring section is frowned upon and against the rules.

Usually? I have never heard of this being against any kind of rule.

If I play Planetoid then I usually don't use smart bombs until 300K points as I feel these are needed at higher waves. So, this means you can argue that I purposely risk and lose lives to get higher scores... There are other situations too where I could (but it's hard) lose a life in Planetoid on purpose to get further. The one situation where I would do it if I could is to run into a lander when it takes up the last man, on high levels (ca. 42+), because I don't want a mutant fest, and shooting the raider is dangerous (I often hit the man) and if hitting the raider it means I can't catch the man. The other option is a smart bomb, but I prefer to save smart bombs for other situations. I may have done this once I think but not on purpose, more 'luck'. But I don't want someone telling me it's against the rules!

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby Jeremy Grayson » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:18 pm

sydney wrote:
Auto-fire - hmm. Personally I don't like it and have never used it but some people do. For now it's not allowed but if anyone wants to use it start a discussion in the gaming forum and this may change.

Is this relevant? Are there any auto fire joysticks usable on the beeb? Are there many games that would benefit from autofire?



I've never owned a joystick that fires either automatically or with greater rapidity, but somewhere on one of my 5.25" floppies in storage is a three- or four-line program typed up from one of the most popular Beeb magazines (I forget at this remove which) that serves the self same purpose.

Tests back in the early 1990s indicated it worked well on a small number of shoot-em-ups; ASL's Ultron and Electric Dreams' Firetrack being a couple of these.

I have zero intention of ever using this in competition for all the fair play reasons Sydney and others have referred to, but merely mention it here to surface the fact such a thing exists. Someone more fastidious than I'm able to be nowadays might even be able to find it...

gc
* Inveterate but sadly increasingly occasional BBC gamer - original hardware/software only
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby Wouter Scholten » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:31 pm

Wouter Scholten wrote:JoolsH:

> Usually, deliberately killing yourself in order to be able to re-do a high scoring section is frowned upon and against the rules.

Usually? I have never heard of this being against any kind of rule.


One last post, I felt compelled to share this:

http://www.ausretrogamer.com/tag/retro-rich/

where some guy says:

I won’t go into the details of my point pressing (the video is on Twin Galaxies for those interested), but I died strategically at certain points to play certain parts of the game over and over until down to one life.


I had to search a bit to find out what is mean with point pressing, but it's about maximising your score, and if the people at Twin galaxies who are more or less considered 'The rule makers and judge' on scores for arcade games, do not disallow losing lives on purpose, then I do not see at all that "deliberately killing yourself in order to be able to re-do a high scoring section is frowned upon and against the rules" can be in any way be considered the "usual" view. I stand even more by my original view, that killing yourself on purpose is simply a tactic that should be allowed and I gave enough examples of where playing the game 'as it was intended' was not actually done in the competitions here...

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topcat96
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby topcat96 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:24 pm

Maybe it would be simpler to state the individual rules for each game as we go. Or have a generic set of rules that are absolute, but certain challenges allow for extra's like autofire

Key re-mapping should be allowed for games running under emulation though, as some games use Caps Lock and CTRL for left and right eg Thrust - I personally prefer using the classic Z X ' / Enter (PC keyboard) setup as it's easier for me, but yours may differ.

No joysticks unless the game caters for them within it's programming. Definitely no farming for points ever! And no altering the original code with pokes and other workarounds to gain extra lives, points or more energy.
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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby sydney » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:19 am

Point pressing / farming / whoring has always been banned. The high score challenge here is based upon the llamasoft lleague at yakayak. The FAQ there states:

31. What about the bug in Game X that makes your character do an Irish Jig whilst increasing your points by 100,000 each time? Can I do that?

Now, whilst that'd be an incredibly cool bug to exploit, it's not allowed. No exploitation whatsoever, and especially not if it's for unfair gain.


32. OK, but what about if I stay on the first level and shoot all the monkeys that'll slowly but surely give me the highest score?

Points whoring is also not allowed. It's not an accurate representation of your skill. Admittedly, during the course of a game, a certain amount of points whoring may be allowed, and also if the stage you are whoring gets increasingly more difficult. However, if the difficulty stays the same, excess whoring is a nono.

Excess may require a recording to be made at the Moderators' discretion for judgement.


You have used Twin Galaxies as an example but I think the competition here has very little in common with that site. If we were to use them as a template for our competition we'd need so many more rules it would be unworkable.

The first line of the rules here is:

The Stardot high score challenge is an informal games competition, between members of stardot, there are no prizes; there is no entry fee; it's all just for fun.


I've highlighted what I feel is the most important part of the entire set of rules. Fun. If it's not fun the competition is pointless and will eventually die as no one will participate. Allowing anyone to exploit any part of any game reduces the fun for other competitors as they then have to use the same exploits to keep up. The competition was started as a way to play old games we loved and discover new ones we never played. Whilst score is used to decide who has won it is not the main reason for the competition.

In future all players can feel free to use any exploit they wish to demonstrate how high a score can be achieved as long as they explain exactly how it is done. However high scores attained in this way will not be included in the competition. I'd also like all players to point out if they think a game is not being played in the spirit of the competition or if exploits are being used by other players.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby Wouter Scholten » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:28 pm

sydney wrote:Point pressing / farming / whoring has always been banned.


Point-pressing, from what I saw in videos, is maximising your score, not farming. In e.g. a video I watched of Donkey Kong. There is a limit to the extra points per level you can attain there, so it's not farming. Similarly you might call catching all men in Planetoid/Defender as point-pressing I presume, but the score from that is limited per level, just as it is in Donkey Kong.

sydney wrote: The high score challenge here is based upon the llamasoft lleague at yakayak. The FAQ there states:

31. What about the bug in Game X that makes your character do an Irish Jig whilst increasing your points by 100,000 each time? Can I do that?

Now, whilst that'd be an incredibly cool bug to exploit, it's not allowed. No exploitation whatsoever, and especially not if it's for unfair gain.


32. OK, but what about if I stay on the first level and shoot all the monkeys that'll slowly but surely give me the highest score?

Points whoring is also not allowed. It's not an accurate representation of your skill. Admittedly, during the course of a game, a certain amount of points whoring may be allowed, and also if the stage you are whoring gets increasingly more difficult. However, if the difficulty stays the same, excess whoring is a nono.

Excess may require a recording to be made at the Moderators' discretion for judgement.


You have used Twin Galaxies as an example but I think the competition here has very little in common with that site. If we were to use them as a template for our competition we'd need so many more rules it would be unworkable.


On the contrary, I'm for removing unnecessary rules. As I said before, playing games is for me not just something that is about skill in remembering and/or quick responses (note that most games actually are not about quick responses, but more about the right movement patterns), but about thinking of how to get to a score. This is also why I don't read tactics by others...

Further, rule 32 is rather badly written. It mentions farming is allowed unless it is excess farming. Uhm, what? When is that? I suppose "However, if the difficulty stays the same, excess farming is a nono" should be interpreted as meaning "However, if the difficulty stays the same, farming is not allowed and this is called 'excess farming'." Clearly what a rule about farming should be this rule that I devised:

- You may not exploit a situation such that game play becomes a perpetual unchanging loop, i.e. where the game does not become harder, and in which you can continue getting points indefinitely.

This means staying on a level where you can continue to shoot stuff from an infinite fountain of opponents where speed doesn't change, would not be allowed. If it's not an infinite source, or if the opponents come faster and faster at you all the time, then there will be a limit to the score you can get from that so allowed.

sydney wrote:The first line of the rules here is:

The Stardot high score challenge is an informal games competition, between members of stardot, there are no prizes; there is no entry fee; it's all just for fun.


I've highlighted what I feel is the most important part of the entire set of rules. Fun. If it's not fun the competition is pointless and will eventually die as no one will participate.


I think that is a case that can be seen already anyway (and not just in this competition but everywhere in life, in things not game related), namely if there is a too big difference in ability. See the comment someone made in the competition with Repton not long ago, where one player got a very high score unattainable to the others. And see the same with past competitions with Planetoid and Guardian. Some joke about it, but it's clear that some people just give up after seeing very high scores.

sydney wrote: Allowing anyone to exploit any part of any game reduces the fun for other competitors as they then have to use the same exploits to keep up. The competition was started as a way to play old games we loved and discover new ones we never played. Whilst score is used to decide who has won it is not the main reason for the competition.


Well, the score is not the main point at first, but I don't like restrictions that tell me I can't use my brain to become better at a game, which in reality is always about improving and about getting a higher score. It is simply the competitive drive. The score in the end always becomes the reason to play, at least as long as the game remains fun. You can see this in my comments about certain games, and from others too, in cases that they didn't give up despite an unattainable score reached by someone else... For me the fun usually is there from the start or not, so if I dislike a game, then getting good at it likely won't change it.

I wonder how many of the players like the games they play in the competitions?

sydney wrote:In future all players can feel free to use any exploit they wish to demonstrate how high a score can be achieved as long as they explain exactly how it is done. However high scores attained in this way will not be included in the competition. I'd also like all players to point out if they think a game is not being played in the spirit of the competition or if exploits are being used by other players.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby JoolsH » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:04 pm

A good counter-example of where allowing milking the game for points makes sense and should definitely be allowed (and, when we played it, it was considered OK) is the excellent Android Attack.

You can play it by completing the levels as fast as possible, but you won't get the highest scores that way. You want to leave one alien alive in order to pick up bonuses - but there is a risk vs reward element to this, there's a chance you can mess it up, it gets harder to do this on the later levels (where you get more points for doing it), and it's time-limited in that if you do it for too long then an evil smiley face comes along and tries to kill you. It's clearly designed into the game that you should be doing this for maximum points.

The rule is purposely vague, to take into account that for some games allowing it may make sense, but for others it's just exploiting a badly designed scoring system.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby sydney » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:48 pm

Wouter Scholten wrote:
sydney wrote:Point pressing / farming / whoring has always been banned.


Point-pressing, from what I saw in videos, is maximising your score, not farming. In e.g. a video I watched of Donkey Kong. There is a limit to the extra points per level you can attain there, so it's not farming. Similarly you might call catching all men in Planetoid/Defender as point-pressing I presume, but the score from that is limited per level, just as it is in Donkey Kong.


My mistake. Point pressing would be allowed as long as there is some limit and the game can continue as normal after it otherwise what is the point if gaining those few points ends the game?

Wouter Scholten wrote:
sydney wrote:You have used Twin Galaxies as an example but I think the competition here has very little in common with that site. If we were to use them as a template for our competition we'd need so many more rules it would be unworkable.


On the contrary, I'm for removing unnecessary rules.


Have you seen the rules section on Twin Galaxies? Have a look here!You can't even submit a score there without gaining 'submission points'. I'm not fully up to date as I was a member there maybe 15 years ago but back then you needed to have video evidence of your score and have this verified by a team member just to submit a score.

Anyway:
Twin Galaxies wrote:
rules wrote:3. The use of "glitches" or "glitch tactics" that defeat the generally accepted understanding of the spirit of the game / or reasonable interpretation of the intention of the game's designers are disallowed as a general rule.

4. "Leeching" tactics are banned, with the exception of a game track/variation that explicitly overrides this general rule with its own rules governing the matter within its specific listed rule set.Please see the "What is Leeching?" category help index for more information regarding TG policy on leeching in general.



what is leeching wrote:A means by which a player accumulates additional points in game while engaging in activities that do not contribute to progressing to the next stage, screen or level, and while such activities are engaged, a player is not inhibited to progressing to the next stage, screen or level during commission of said activities. In general, a player should always be making a meaningful or conservative attempt towards progression within the generally accepted intended spirit and direction of the game."

The rules that follow governing leeching/hunting/point-scrabbing shall apply universally to all arcade, home console, emulation, hand-held, mobile and PC-based gameplay efforts.


(My bolding there)

Wouter Scholten wrote:
sydney wrote:The first line of the rules here is:

The Stardot high score challenge is an informal games competition, between members of stardot, there are no prizes; there is no entry fee; it's all just for fun.


I've highlighted what I feel is the most important part of the entire set of rules. Fun. If it's not fun the competition is pointless and will eventually die as no one will participate.


I think that is a case that can be seen already anyway (and not just in this competition but everywhere in life, in things not game related), namely if there is a too big difference in ability. See the comment someone made in the competition with Repton not long ago, where one player got a very high score unattainable to the others. And see the same with past competitions with Planetoid and Guardian. Some joke about it, but it's clear that some people just give up after seeing very high scores.


I agree and see no reason to make the problem worse by allowing exploits which enable players who are already beating the rest of the field to get a higher score for little effort.

Wouter Scholten wrote:
sydney wrote: Allowing anyone to exploit any part of any game reduces the fun for other competitors as they then have to use the same exploits to keep up. The competition was started as a way to play old games we loved and discover new ones we never played. Whilst score is used to decide who has won it is not the main reason for the competition.


Well, the score is not the main point at first, but I don't like restrictions that tell me I can't use my brain to become better at a game, which in reality is always about improving and about getting a higher score. It is simply the competitive drive. The score in the end always becomes the reason to play, at least as long as the game remains fun. You can see this in my comments about certain games, and from others too, in cases that they didn't give up despite an unattainable score reached by someone else... For me the fun usually is there from the start or not, so if I dislike a game, then getting good at it likely won't change it.

I wonder how many of the players like the games they play in the competitions?
[/quote]

I imagine some players dislike some games. As I said previously this is no reason to make them less enjoyable. Generally if I don't like a game I'll play it a bit and submit a token score.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby sydney » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:51 pm

JoolsH wrote:A good counter-example of where allowing milking the game for points makes sense and should definitely be allowed (and, when we played it, it was considered OK) is the excellent Android Attack.

You can play it by completing the levels as fast as possible, but you won't get the highest scores that way. You want to leave one alien alive in order to pick up bonuses - but there is a risk vs reward element to this, there's a chance you can mess it up, it gets harder to do this on the later levels (where you get more points for doing it), and it's time-limited in that if you do it for too long then an evil smiley face comes along and tries to kill you. It's clearly designed into the game that you should be doing this for maximum points.

The rule is purposely vague, to take into account that for some games allowing it may make sense, but for others it's just exploiting a badly designed scoring system.


Agreed. Skirmish is a good example too. You can knock the riders off and leave the eggs to spawn into new riders but the new riders are better than the one you defeated so the level becomes more difficult and eventually the pterodactyl appears which can be taken on or avoided. Either way the game progresses.

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Re: High score challenge rules discussion.

Postby Wouter Scholten » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:00 pm

sydney wrote:
Wouter Scholten wrote:
sydney wrote:Point pressing / farming / whoring has always been banned.


Point-pressing, from what I saw in videos, is maximising your score, not farming. In e.g. a video I watched of Donkey Kong. There is a limit to the extra points per level you can attain there, so it's not farming. Similarly you might call catching all men in Planetoid/Defender as point-pressing I presume, but the score from that is limited per level, just as it is in Donkey Kong.


My mistake. Point pressing would be allowed as long as there is some limit and the game can continue as normal after it otherwise what is the point if gaining those few points ends the game?


Of course, the issue with Donkey Kong is that there is a hard limit, after a certain level the game just hangs. So you need to try all tactics on earlier levels to gain points. With Defender the game gets so hard at later levels that you need the most points you can get from earlier levels.

sydney wrote:
Wouter Scholten wrote:
sydney wrote:You have used Twin Galaxies as an example but I think the competition here has very little in common with that site. If we were to use them as a template for our competition we'd need so many more rules it would be unworkable.


On the contrary, I'm for removing unnecessary rules.


Have you seen the rules section on Twin Galaxies? Have a look here!You can't even submit a score there without gaining 'submission points'. I'm not fully up to date as I was a member there maybe 15 years ago but back then you needed to have video evidence of your score and have this verified by a team member just to submit a score.


Actually, I mentioned that player and his reference to that site for the sole reason to show that losing a life was obviously legal there and thus the comment that losing a life on purpose is 'usually against the rules', is not correct. If that is against their rules then something weird is going on.

A lot of people go to twin galaxies if they want to show off their skills but I only mentioned them for the reason above, I'm not really interested in them and their rules can be odd/stupid and what I've seen in the Donkey Kong documentary shows these people to be a bunch of w@nkers (confirmed from what I read elsewhere in various places)

Their website is also hideous and doesn't work on my tablet's browsers, so no, I don't care for or about them or their rules, I just want to show what happens there. By the way here is that score with thread about it:

http://www.twingalaxies.com/game_detail ... atformid=2

It is undisputed, so the tactics that he used were accepted...

sydney wrote:Anyway:
Twin Galaxies wrote:
rules wrote:3. The use of "glitches" or "glitch tactics" that defeat the generally accepted understanding of the spirit of the game / or reasonable interpretation of the intention of the game's designers are disallowed as a general rule.

4. "Leeching" tactics are banned, with the exception of a game track/variation that explicitly overrides this general rule with its own rules governing the matter within its specific listed rule set.Please see the "What is Leeching?" category help index for more information regarding TG policy on leeching in general.



what is leeching wrote:A means by which a player accumulates additional points in game while engaging in activities that do not contribute to progressing to the next stage, screen or level, and while such activities are engaged, a player is not inhibited to progressing to the next stage, screen or level during commission of said activities. In general, a player should always be making a meaningful or conservative attempt towards progression within the generally accepted intended spirit and direction of the game."

The rules that follow governing leeching/hunting/point-scrabbing shall apply universally to all arcade, home console, emulation, hand-held, mobile and PC-based gameplay efforts.


(My bolding there)


Hmm, obviously that is not enforced or they changed it.

sydney wrote:
Wouter Scholten wrote:
sydney wrote:The first line of the rules here is:



I've highlighted what I feel is the most important part of the entire set of rules. Fun. If it's not fun the competition is pointless and will eventually die as no one will participate.


I think that is a case that can be seen already anyway (and not just in this competition but everywhere in life, in things not game related), namely if there is a too big difference in ability. See the comment someone made in the competition with Repton not long ago, where one player got a very high score unattainable to the others. And see the same with past competitions with Planetoid and Guardian. Some joke about it, but it's clear that some people just give up after seeing very high scores.


I agree and see no reason to make the problem worse by allowing exploits which enable players who are already beating the rest of the field to get a higher score for little effort.


Ah, allowing certain tactics does not make the situation worse!


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