As most people probably know, TSC will shortly support parallel ranking sites for franchises other than Sonic. If you are interested in creating one, you should know what kind of stuff would work best and what steps are necessary to get there. So here we go.
When considering the creation of a subsite, there are five ultimately important criteria to consider, all of which are of paramount importance to success:
- Potential audience
- A capable and educated team of administrators
- Competition worthiness of the games
- Clearly defined focus
- Time investment
The first I think should be pretty obvious. A possible rule of thumb is that a candidate should be already supporting at least a few non-speedrun communities in order to have enough popularity to build a viable speedrun community, but I imagine that it'll vary widely based on the nature of the games. And if a game already has a speedrun community, there's no need to make another one.
The second is important to the credibility and coherence of the rankings. Cyberscore is a good example of what happens when nobody knows the games they're moderating - they're on the verge of throwing out SSR score attack because it can't be proven in a screenshot, and their other SSR rankings are completely derived from TSC. You or a team need to know the games well enough to be able to evaluate their competition in every detail, or else you might as well leave it to CS to wander blindly through.
Competition worthiness is a pretty straightforward concept. If a game can't be realistically competed in, there's no point in ranking it. Sonic Spinball is a good example; you can bounce off a bumper infinite times, and there's ultimately no way to make a ruleset that makes competition realistic. Beware though that there can be insidious things that upset the competitiveness of a game that may not be obvious at first glance - Labyrinth's enemies regenerate when you move offscreen and allow you to gain infinite time.
Fourth - focus - can be obvious or subtle depending on the circumstances, and you need to be sufficiently wide in focus to have any basis at all, but not too wide or you can't manage the place. A Mario Center could at first glance be about a dozen platformers - but then do you add Mario Tennis? Or Wario Land? If Wario Land, what about Warioware? Do minigames from SM64DS count? Sites on single games or entire genres I would particularly discourage.
Time investment is mainly a personal question, but a very important one. I would advise careful consideration of whether you really want to get into this, and in particular I reserve the right to deny requests from petitioners who seem too young or immature to handle both the time and the moderation. Unlike most other endeavours, if you lose interest in maintaining the site after a year or two and nobody has the experience to pick it up afterwards, you spoil the fun of a whole bunch of people. But as far as programming goes, the only knowledge required is CSS if you want to make a site skin (though you can get more complicated with PHP if you want).
Once all those questions are worked out, if you've decided to make a site, the next set of questions and tasks presents itself. This includes:
- Ranking charts
- Site policy (proof, bannings, uploads etc)
- Community style
- Skin appearance
- Peripheral content
Ultimately I'll help with technical issues and disputes when requested, but I intend for most day-to-day operations to be done by those managing their own stuff. I'll give more detail on the systems being implemented to handle the above once launch arrives.