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Messages - Rolken

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News and Updates / Hello TSC
« on: May 04, 2015, 07:09:55 pm »
Did you miss me? :) I'm here takin over ur front page news cause I see a bunch of handwringing about dying, glory days, etc., and I've got a unique vantage point on that.

I founded TSC on the excitement of bringing people together to accomplish new and interesting things. TSC itself has no intrinsic value and never did. It's always been about people and what you accomplish.

In that spirit, I think it's good and right for people to move through cycles, even the community itself. There are wonderful things to learn and experience through a format like TSC, and there comes a time when you've experienced so many of them that it's more interesting to look outward to the next thing.

I don't visit here much anymore. I've been doing a lot of other things. Right now, I help people learn to make software, and more deeply, I help people learn what it means to think about their careers and their lives in a way that leads them to success.

So while I'm not here much anymore, perhaps you can see that I'm still acting in the same spirit that helped create TSC in the first place. This was my first shot at putting those principles into practice - community building, a crucible for achievement, fairness in competition, literal coding - and now I still spend most of my time thinking about those same things. I'm way better at them now. For me it's still glory days, perhaps more than ever.

Some unsolicited advice: go through the process of exploring and discovering what form of improving the world is deeply meaningful to you. This is hard work so don't underestimate it. If you find that what you really deeply want is for this whole sonic speedrunning thing to succeed, ask yourself and others how you can help make that happen. (As you can see, I chose that for awhile.) If you've got other ambitions, spend some time thinking about what those look like and how to pursue them.

And accept change. If you try to reject it, you'll only see the change that inevitably thrusts itself upon you, and that's usually not a nice kind. If you accept it, wonderful things can spring from it.

Do all this stuff, and you can make the glory days wherever you are.

- 2c from the critter formerly known as Rolken

General Sonic / Re: Sonic 2 attacks iOS and Android today!
« on: December 15, 2013, 02:56:41 pm »
Fun surprise: the special stages are actually rendered in 3D. :o

News and Updates / Re: Where We Go From Here
« on: September 11, 2012, 02:40:27 am »
To be clear, I think moving away from leaderboards could energize a much healthier core of competition at TSC.

I also think it would be a good idea for TSC to have a mobile app that takes pictures and submits them as proof without an opportunity to doctor them.

News and Updates / Re: Where We Go From Here
« on: September 11, 2012, 02:07:17 am »
Some thoughts on considering the future of TSC-

This site is old. All the foundational ideas came together between fall 2003 and summer 2004. At this point in history, there was no YouTube or Facebook. Wikipedia was a weird new site that thought it could be an encyclopedia for some reason. "Xbox Live" really meant "Halo." Sonic Heroes was an upcoming release that looked like it might be good because it was getting back to Sonic's roots (okay, so some things never change).

Online leaderboards aren't a strange new concept anymore, they're baked into all the game consoles. Throwing videos online is way easier. IRC remains in the hackerish fringe, probably because it requires constant babysitting.

Point is, the tech world is a very different place now. If I were to seriously consider how to revitalize TSC in 2012, I would start by considering what it means to foster a healthy spirit of competition with the tools available in 2012. Preserve the accomplishments that have been made, but leave no sacred cows untouched. Some of our decisions were questionable in 2003, and almost all of them could use revisiting after this much time has passed.

So I'll start with a big one: I think holding leaderboards up as the central focus of the site is an antiquated idea that needs to die for TSC to evolve. Most consoles have their own leaderboards, and our leaderboards would have to require proof and be impossibly narrow or not require proof and be untrustworthy.

And rising in "the leaderboards" in a generic sense was never particularly community-oriented in the first place. All of the big memorable moments I recall were based around rivalry, commentary, and recognition. Why not think of ways to bake that into the site instead of an endless number of boring generic Excel-style lists?

That's my food for thought.

Wikkity! / Re: TSC: How's it Going?
« on: January 01, 2012, 02:11:51 am »
At a glance, there're 65 players for Sonic Generations already, which by my recollection is a faster uptake than any game had during the 'good ole days' of TSC, so no worries there. Aside from raw numbers, TSC did start with a core community imported from GameFAQs that had an unusual zest for competition. I don't think that's necessarily lost, but most of those players have moved on. To keep that fire burning, a new core of competitors might need to assert themselves.

In the end, the competition is what you guys make of it. Something like a weekly challenge might be a good idea. If you want to see people called out, call them out. :)

« on: October 15, 2010, 12:32:51 pm »
Aitamen is firmly opposed to fun. TSC is a serious site for serious gamers. Fun and excitement ruin the purity of the vision.

Do you also prefer your butterflies lined up in glass cases with pins through their hearts rather than fluttering about and drinking from flowers?

I move that Herr Aitamen's objections be overruled on the basis of that this is a totally awesome idea.

« on: October 13, 2010, 04:42:12 am »
The game automatically does that, unless you plan to run the whole level without jumping?!

I mean you have to have all the chaos emeralds obviously. OBVIOUSLY.

« on: October 13, 2010, 04:37:40 am »
TSC should totally have a Sonic 2 Supersonic Rings division! Consider this and you know it is true!

Check it out. You get 50 rings and then uh oh suddenly you're losing them. So you have to see how many you can get fast enough to outrun the ring-per-second timer. And it becomes not just a tired old "ploddingly collect every ring in the level without getting hurt" snorefest but rather exciting frenetic passionate scavenger hunts!


News and Updates / Re: TSC has an official YouTube channel!
« on: October 12, 2010, 08:00:23 pm »
If anyone sues TSC for posting speedruns on YouTube, I will provide legal counsel pro bono. (PS nobody is going to sue TSC.)

« on: June 11, 2010, 06:57:52 am »
It helps if grammatically picky questions are themselves grammatically correct. That sentence needs a conjunction or a semicolon after 'adventures.' It's best not to apply the "moron" label too liberally.

Muphry's Law strikes again.

Beef / Re: Scrap Brain 3 Score Attack
« on: May 06, 2010, 06:37:20 am »
SB3 SA is a stupid idea, you narutard.

Information Kiosk / Re: Site happenings, or lack thereof
« on: January 30, 2010, 08:32:22 pm »
"They believe"!? I thought we WERE out to take them down.

Yes, because I hate Asians.

I am full of hate, you see. Of the most uncouth varieties. Would you like some? :o

inb4 Sonic is the only playable character.

The whole point of this PR campaign is to riff on the hate for the character explosion. That Tails and Knuckles aren't even listed should tell you that this isn't an actual reveal of a roster of playable characters, but just their way of driving home that everyone but Sonic is getting cut in internet-meme-friendly fashion. Take into context also that this project is meant to be their "rebranding" of Sonic in which they start making 2D games for consoles again (and the use of the Sonic 1 logo); the only plausible endpoint for this PR stunt is that the only character left at the end will be Sonic. There's no safer bet than that.

edit: and after poking around a bit more, the trivia questions they're asking are all from Genny games, and they're running the contest for 5 days and they cut 2 on the first day with 11 characters total? 11 - 2*5 = 1. Really, it's inevitable.

News and Updates / Re: New HD *2D* Sonic Game in 2010
« on: September 12, 2009, 01:18:10 pm »
Whoops, you're right. Your SA1 argument was that the game was buggy because it was too awesome. I apologize for the confusion.

Do you know why adventure's camera was worse than other games with a 3d camera? That speed thing we were talking about. Go ahead and use that as an argument against speed, if you want, but don't blame it on poor development when it is entirely the result of an UNRELENTING ABILITY to go -wherever you want-. That freedom to platform wherever you want in sadx (The same thing you herald in 2d sonic) is the heart of the issue.

News and Updates / Re: New HD *2D* Sonic Game in 2010
« on: September 12, 2009, 03:36:51 am »
I'm pretty sure Stefan loses by default for trying to draw an equivalence between the glitchiness of Sonic Adventure and Portal and Fallout 3.

Too bad you BOTH lose by default for yet another tl;dr 2D vs 3D debate. I mean, seriously?

News and Updates / Re: New HD *2D* Sonic Game in 2010
« on: September 09, 2009, 06:30:18 pm »
Wow, nothing more than a teaser -- not even a trailer, but a teaser which doesn't show anything about the game other than what's in the first post -- and there's already more skepticism than curiosity. What the hell does Sonic Team have to show you to get some love?

Well, they could show the game.

Just saying.

News and Updates / Re: The future of TSC
« on: June 16, 2009, 01:51:34 pm »
Just to be clear, I'm more interested in philosophy and motivations than qualifications. As such, volunteering other people is not particularly helpful. I had no qualifications when I started TSC and I like to think I've done reasonably well at it.

I don't think knowing the games is necessarily as important for the rule overseers as that the direction he intends to take rulings is good for the site. It is necessary but not sufficient for the community managers to be nice.

I would not have picked mike even if he volunteered himself, not because of any past track record as he cited, but because I don't think it would be healthy for both him and the site for him to be in charge. That is the kind of thing I am concerned about.

TSC code is a bit obtuse but I am willing to put some effort into improving the readability and helping people understand it if that makes a difference. It was my first complete project so it unavoidably has its weaknesses.

edit: I also don't have any particular direction in mind that I'm waiting for someone to puzzle out. I am more concerned with forming a team that will be happy and motivated to work together for a common cause.

edit2: also I will be around at least in a consulting capacity on the code for quite awhile. It's not Gerbil's responsibility, it's mine.

News and Updates / Re: The future of TSC
« on: June 16, 2009, 03:10:17 am »
A community manager who can keep people together harmoniously
A site designer / director / all-around-visionary who can tie the team together
I do not understand the difference between these two.

News and Updates / The future of TSC
« on: June 16, 2009, 03:02:37 am »
I am no longer going to be running TSC. In the interest of preserving some or all of it, I am putting out this inquiry to see whether anyone else is interested in managing some or all of it. As I see it, there are four broad fields of competency in play, which in the past (and in the future if they so indicate) have often been delegated to people like GerbilSoft, mike89 and Zeupar, or sometimes nobody (not a good idea). Here they are:

A programmer who can maintain the code
A referee who can arbitrate the rules, probably with people with knowledge of the games behind him
A community manager who can keep people together harmoniously
A site designer / director / all-around-visionary who can tie the team together and provide common purpose

If you want to handle one or more of these fields, feel free to respond with your vision for and understanding of the site either in this topic or in PM (if you have one). If desired I can outline my ideal philosophy for running the site as well, but I'd like to see what others have to say first. I am quitting because both the site and I have evolved in directions where I do not believe that philosophy is one I can maintain and I am no longer inclined to preserve something less.

If all else fails, I will put archives of all site data up in a giant torrent for posterity and may inquire into getting the rankings transferred to other existing sites.

edit: various clarifications made.

edit2: I am not "leaving TSC forever". I may be around quite a bit less, but for the past few weeks I was absent merely to consider things from the outside, not because I intend to split permanently. I would actually be quite interested in seeing how others run the place.

Information Kiosk / Re: Leave of absence
« on: May 10, 2009, 08:29:32 pm »
Also, obligatory "leaving topics are stupid". Although seeing as you're an admin I'll sympathize and say "Bai :(" for the sake of not being banned for being a prick.
I made this topic in order to explain that I am not updating things at TSC and make people aware of whom they should be contacting if they have concerns. Sympathy was not my goal.

Information Kiosk / Leave of absence
« on: May 10, 2009, 07:25:54 pm »
I am taking a break from the TSC community. I am confident that the usual crew can handle things in the interim. Server concerns should be directed to GerbilSoft and ranking concerns to Zeupar or mike89 unless they indicate otherwise. I cannot tell you whether it will be days, weeks, or months until I return.

Information Kiosk / Translating TSC
« on: May 05, 2009, 03:31:06 pm »
In regards to an awesome Unleashed video from a Japanese player, the idea of having a Japanese translation of TSC was mentioned. If anyone is interested in embarking on such a project (or any other language), this is the file you need. The file is formatted as such:

'text identifier' => 'Actual Language Text',

Just change the second blank to what seems appropriate in light of the original text and the description to the left. Ideally most of it should be pretty self-explanatory. Send it back or attach it or whatever and up it goes.

« on: May 05, 2009, 03:09:09 pm »
Gerbil said he's taken that Win7 check off.

Also there's a Ubuntu installer that works from within Windows, dual boots and plays nicely in general. I think it's called Wubi? Maybe.

Also as a Vista user I am interested in this Win7 thing but I think I will wait until others describe their experience with it :(

Information Kiosk / Sitewide Rankings Tweakage Poll
« on: May 05, 2009, 02:00:47 pm »
I'm testing a change to the sitewide ranking formula to make it more 'regressive'; games that are played a lot will be worth more, and games that aren't played much will be worth quite a bit less. I've updated the sitewide FAQ page to show you the changes in the weights, with the new weight equal to 1.25 * (oldweight - 1). You can see that SBK as a lesser played game lost almost half of its value, while SA2 as a highly played game gained some value, and the Unleashed DLC with almost no submissions is worth nothing at all until it gets more players.

I've updated the sitewide formula to reflect the experimental values so you can check out the differences. Most players are around the same, but players who emphasize highly competitive games will be a bit higher, and those who play less competitive games will be a bit lower.

So, question: is this a worthwhile change? Do you like the experimental weights on that page, do you feel like it makes a worthwhile difference? Would you feel more or less inclined to compete? Do you think TSC should be encouraging people to play underplayed games, or rewarding people for competing in highly competitive games?

I'm not making this a typical forum poll because I would like to see who is responding. If there is not a consensus in favor of the change, I will be tossing it out.

edit: I reverted the sitewide table changes to the usual formula as people were getting upset about it. The proposed new weights remain on the FAQ page to consider.

News and Updates / Lifting faces (and DLC)
« on: May 05, 2009, 08:35:08 am »
If you've been using the rankings the past few days, you've probably noticed that things are starting to change around. If you don't like the menus, you can turn them off in user settings, as well as some other things.

In other news, Week 5 league results are out, and the last week of preliminaries has begun. Also, osg has put his Yesterday's Sega project on hold for now due to IRL business. Tune in later for action thrills.

I am considering adding a site section dealing with competition news in addition to the usual site updates I write. If you would have any interest in writing about what's going on with the competitive scene, let me know. Even though I run the site, I don't follow that stuff much.

As a side note, I am no longer going to be testing new code on Internet Explorer 6, as I can't run it anymore without testing on multiple computers and less than 10% of hits last month were from IE6. If you're still using it, it's time to upgrade to something newer than the GBA. My understanding is that IE8 is now delivered automatically when you run Windows Update on XP. If something breaks the site on IE6 and you let me know I might fix it, but otherwise you're on your own.

UPDATE: Sonic Unleashed DLC rankings have been added for all available DLC content. They are currently separated into their own "game" so that the DLC can have separate leaderships that don't cause the normal SU360 championship to be a contest of who buys the most DLC. Go fill up the charts!

edit: Also translate TSC for great justice.

Beef / Re: Please unban me
« on: May 03, 2009, 11:49:27 am »
(Due to the fact that asking to be unbanned typically fails by itself)I've decided to take the advice of a few TSCers about becoming unbanned. I've obtained a cyberscore account and will continue to compete there legitly. Hopefully, by competing legit there, I can prove to you that I won't cheat here and then be reinstated.
That is solid advice.

News and Updates / Re: Beautiful TSC
« on: April 22, 2009, 09:23:00 am »
Can you fix logging in from the front page? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?
What's broken about it? It works fine for me. I thought it might be an Opera bug, but it appears to work fine for me in that too. Are you restricting cookies? Is anyone else having the same problem?

could you make some changes to the search engine? i just don't think its really good for finding what you want. thxxx :)
I assume you mean the forum search; can you give me an example of something you have searched for that didn't give you good results, and the page you were looking for if you eventually found it? I've never actually used it much, but I see there's a mod that purports to improve it. (The forum is developed by an external company and integrated with TSC, so it is fairly easy to fix something if there's a mod for it on their and really annoying otherwise).

News and Updates / Beautiful TSC
« on: April 21, 2009, 09:53:39 pm »
In flyby's Sonic league the raw results of week 3 have been released and week 4 competition has begun. I'm told that new entrants still have a shot at the finals if they get in and submit some quality stats, though they won't be earning any awards in the preliminaries at this point.

In other news, oldskoolgamer101 is embarking on an experiment in exploring SEGA games of days gone by. His first entry is on the venerable Sega Rally Championship.

Finally, I'm setting out to clean up the creakiest parts of TSC's old codebase, starting with the interface. I'm not sure how much difference you'll actually see rise to the surface level as a TSC member, but if you have any concerns or suggestions about the way the site works (as opposed to the usual ranking chart changes) now would be a good time to get them in, big or small.

News and Updates / Re: In the news at TSC
« on: April 20, 2009, 09:03:25 am »
It is possible to make DLC levels in the same categories as the other stuff that do not count towards the overall. The overall is completely mutable; it contains everything but freestyle merely by convention.

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