Recent News Articles

An Apology and Handling BS

April 12, 2014 - 4:46 PM
First of all, I want to extend an apology to anybody I publicly called out in the out-of-control topic. Yeah, you know the one. While I do think it was time for discussion to be brought to a close and for further pot-shots to be curbed with discipline if necessary, I shouldn't be venting so publicly and making people the targets of that venting, and I could have handled that much more maturely. Considering I chewed people out in public, I think it's only fair that I admit wrongdoing in public.

While that topic discussed many points, one that kept coming up (to the chagrin of a few people) was BS calls and how proof helps or does not help to solve them. Back in February, I brought up how flying fox would be assisting us and would further have a team of people who are knowledgeable about TSC's tracked games to assist with that. I believe now may be a good time to proceed with such a plan, as talk (and a video) about our BS catching methods has been popping up lately. While Parax and I could certainly come up with some names, I don't want to be passing over potential candidates simply because their names aren't coming to mind right away. Therefore, if you feel you have expertise in particular games and have an interest in assisting with BS calls, please reply to this post with what games you know well. Posting is not a guarantee that you'll suddenly become a trusted source, but it does help us choose properly.
10 comments , News Posted by (Thorn)

New rules regarding emulators

April 1, 2014 - 11:47 PM
Following a discussion in the forums a little while ago, we've implemented some new rules regarding emulators. From now on, stats achieved on emulators are required to have proof. Since there's no function to upload proof directly to the site as of right now, instead we're requesting that you upload your proof somewhere and link to it through your stat comment. In accordance, I've created a thread where you can attach your proof files to a forum post, but if you'd like to upload elsewhere instead, that's fine.

There are a couple reasons for this change. First, it's been shown time and time again that emulators make it significantly easier to cheat. When someone is called out for BSing, and the only proof they provide is a YouTube video that was done on an emulator, it adds an extra layer of confusion since we not only have to verify the video itself is legitimate, we also have to figure out whether it was done using emulator functions or not. Having more data (input files) should help to alleviate this somewhat and make cheating significantly more difficult. Second, emulators are not perfect and sometimes have accuracy issues that might be difficult to pick up on. With proof available, it gives all competitors an opportunity to verify for themselves that the stats they're competing against were accomplished fairly, without any unfair advantages caused by inaccurate emulation.

I also want to highlight one other somewhat recent rule. It's not new, but I think it's worth emphasizing. If you can't run the game at full speed, your stat is void. Don't submit it. If your emulator is lagging, at best, you will gain an unfair advantage due to having a wider window to react to things with. At worst, it can make the game behave differently than it would otherwise and give you an unfair advantage. Either way, it's not acceptable.

These rules are kind of a middle ground between leaving things the way they were before and banning emulators (or at least some emulators) entirely. Hopefully this will help make competition more fair to everyone.

If you notice any emulated stats that are in violation of the rules, let an admin know (me, Thorn, or Zeupar) and we'll handle it.

edit: I should add that stats already on the charts without proof will be grandfathered in, because I don't think anyone wants to dig through 10 years of stats and suspend all of the ones that don't have proof.

iOS and Android titles are exempt from this rule because the performance of the game can vary by a lot even when it's not being emulated.
207 comments , News Posted by (Paraxade)

Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.1.6 Released

March 19, 2014 - 4:51 PM
The last front-page post was looking pretty dated, so let's put something new here.

Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.1.6 has been released, with enough changes from v2.0.7 to keep old players occupied and enough difficulty-based adjustments to get new players involved easily. For your inner TSCer, the Time Attack mode has been completely revamped into a generalized Record Attack mode that supports Score, Time, and Ring records.

No, it will not be worth points in the TSC rankings. It's being mentioned because it's a fairly well known fan game and our "News and Updates" posts should actually have news. :P
13 comments , News Posted by (Thorn)

Sonic's future goes BOOM and site shenanigans

February 6, 2014 - 5:00 PM
If you've been poking around the web, you know that today's an important day for Sonic Team. News came out that they were developing something absolutely crazy and that we'd get it on February 6th. The fateful day has come, and surely enough, crazy has come with it! Behold, Sonic Team's latest game!

Oh, and I guess this exists too. Don't cry too hard.

Moving on, let's talk about the last few days here. I hit a breaking point on Sunday with a large group of people on TSC and stepped away from the site, as I've considered doing for quite a while due to that group. I left my resignation in the staff forum that night along with some thoughts of mine put into writing. I figured the staff would get in touch, we'd talk things through, somebody would take my place, and that'd be the end of it. Instead, the staff didn't even notice the topic. Two days later, people noticed that my user group had changed, and panic ensued as people thought I was hacked. Parax linked my resignation letter in the chat, and the IRC chat that had barely said a word in months suddenly started getting very concerned. I got blasted with messages in Skype about how utterly wrong I was, with some of those messages actually contradictory while all arguing the same point. Despite all of this, there was no reaction from the site owner and no indication that somebody would step up to fill my spot.

If the site largely disagrees with many of my points, then it means the IRC chat is an extremely quiet majority while TSC-related Skype groups have become an extremely vocal minority. While I didn't say it outright in my letter out of respect, the main reason I left was because the things I did hear vocalized made the user base seem like a bunch of total asshats, constantly insulting each other, making arguments based on fallacies, and speaking in a language that can only be described as "Twitchese". However, with the sudden revelation of people on IRC actually caring, I feel that I need to reverse course, but I do still feel that my knowledge isn't up to par. I am constantly checking with other people I trust, then taking their opinion and making sure it makes sense before enacting it myself as an admin. With that said, I spoke to Umbreon about how we progress from here, and we both agreed that we need somebody closer to the competition to have authority around here. While we both respected each other's thoughts on who to choose, we really only agreed 100% on one person.

As of the time of this post, flying fox is a Global Moderator on the forums. We will be talking with her about who else can be trusted with authority as we assemble a group of people that know the competition well for efficient handling of BS calls, rule changes, and forum discipline. Parax and I want to do what administrators do — administrate — and thus we need to delegate some tasks to those that care instead of making those that care report to us for every trivial thing. Beyond the staffing changes, be aware that the shelter of "well, I said it on Skype, not TSC" will no longer work. If you are participating in a group built for a TSC event and/or speaking about issues on TSC with other TSCers, then you are still involved in the TSC community and assholery will not be tolerated. Some rude people have hung around for far too long by hiding just out of TSC's "reach", and it comes to an end starting now for the sake of the entire community.

Parax and GerbilSoft have been discussing the site's functionality or lack thereof this week, so that we can use the chart structure for more than just individual level charts. Given this, I expect that we can bring tournaments, Race Nights, and the like to TSC's charts to get some activity into the IRC and forums. The lack of a social scene here besides the occasional 13-year-old halfwit that joins the site is very depressing and needs to be reversed.

I want to hear some thoughts on what the site can be and should be. Consider who is here, who is silent and who talks, who we want to be here, what Sonic's becoming (you really should have clicked that second link in this post), and where TSC stands in the grand scheme of competition sites and Sonic sites. It's clear that leaving the status quo here will simply continue the site's decline, but we can't abandon our infrastructure either.

Oh, and SonicAD, when you see this next week, I need to be re-added to the SOp list. :P
24 comments , News Posted by (Thorn)

Sonic 2 iOS/Android Competition is Live

December 22, 2013 - 2:50 PM
The new Sonic 2 release is open for competition. We also added a Rings competition for Sonic 1 iOS/Android's Special Stage 7, which should have been added a long time ago.

Have fun!
6 comments , News Posted by (Thorn)
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