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Sonic Mania Competition Rules


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Offline Zurggriff

Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« on: December 29, 2017, 04:37:50 pm »
Sonic Mania charts have been up for a few months without any game specific rules so I am starting this thread to address this.
Some things that come to mind are:
  • Should super forms be allowed?
  • Should entering bonus stages or special stages be allowed?
  • Points from a falling signpost should be limited to 100 points
This game has a lot of similarities with Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic & Knuckles and super forms were prohibited on those charts. Currently with super forms allowed, Studiopolis 2 has a lotto that can be abused to get an unlimited amount of rings (well, up to 999 rings), and makes the stat a bit trivial to achieve. Other charts, such as Casino Night 1 & 2 in Sonic 2 had been removed and these charts look like they could suffer the same fate with the current ring attack stats. Unless there is a way to loop back to the lottos, without super forms, they can only be entered once and the chart would have no reason to be removed. Alternatively, the lotto could be prohibited, similar to the slots in Sonic 2 2013 being prohibited (maybe this could be applied to Sonic 2 Casino Night levels).
I am not familiar with how bonus stages or special stages could affect competition but figured they should be considered along with any input anyone else has on the subject.
Championships held: Sonic 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Mania, Sonic 4: Episode Metal, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Forces

Zero Point Championships held: Sonic 4: Episode Metal

Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 05:15:27 pm »
I think if rules are added the games time attack mode should be used for all stats except for special stages that could be a part of story mode. Because you might be aware there is no super forms or goal post juggles in time attack mode it would just make things easier imo.

Offline Proxima

Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 11:17:09 pm »
Time attack mode also lacks big rings, which give 50 rings if you have all emeralds. So requiring time attack mode for RAs would require nuking the entire scoreboard and starting over. In favour, it is a little awkward that you can't compete in RAs until you have all emeralds; but I think anyone with enough skill to be competing won't find it that onerous a requirement. Against, if we can't get those 50 rings then our stats don't represent the actual best that can be achieved, making the charts feel a little pointless. So I'm strongly against this idea.

In fact, maybe time attack mode should be banned for RA/SA charts? In this mode, some monitors are replaced by ring monitors, so there are more rings available that aren't there in the "real" stages (although this is outweighed by the big rings in any case).

* * *

I think (but haven't really tested) that the lottery in Studiopolis can be re-entered with normal characters; it's just that Super Sonic does it faster. (Incidentally, the 999 stat requires entering a Blue Spheres stage to come out of Super.) I'd really much rather we prohibit using the lottery; that replaces what could be an interesting routing and collecting challenge with rolling against the RNG a couple of dozen times. (And, as you said, there is precedent for this. And we could apply the same rule to Sonic 2 to make those charts work again.)

Other than the lottery, I don't think there's any reason to use super forms in RA/SA. For times, do the same as Sonic 2 and 3: forbid them in the main charts and have a Freestyle chart.

If super forms are disallowed, I don't think entering a Blue Spheres stage makes a meaningful difference, so maybe just allow it?

Definitely limit the signpost points to 100, as in Sonic 3. Otherwise there is unlimited potential score, but getting any score out of it would take hours.

I think there are two more really big questions to consider:

* Should time stats be done in time attack mode? This is obviously more convenient, but it lacks the bosses. I think there's merit in both types of stat, so there should be separate charts for "Time" and "Time Attack" (and separating them wouldn't be an issue, as all the current time stats use time attack, so just move the whole lot over).

* For Sonic's charts, is it okay to manipulate AI-Tails, but forbidden to control him with the 2P controls? This was the case in S3&K. Mania allows a lot more control over AI-Tails (you can do the pick-up-and-fly with just 1P controls), so whether this is allowed or not will make a big difference to charts. I'm in favour of allowing it, because it leads to some interesting routing optimisations. Alternatively, we could have separate charts for S&T and Sonic alone.

Offline Vicklaw

Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 10:15:18 am »
More about all the RA I did, the only level that has to be done in Time Attack for a RA is Stardust Speedway act 2 because of the boss fight which is way too long.

About the monitors, only life monitors are changed to ring monitors in that mode, there are always more Rings available from the large Rings than from transformed life monitors, so Mania mode is the way to go. Giant Rings are unavailable in Time Attack and there are never enough life monitors to compensate them (one large ring = 5 lifes through the level) even in Metallic Madness Act 2 it is still better to get only one large Ring in Mania than playing it in TA. So Mania > TA in every way except Stardust Speedway act 2. TA shouldn't be banned for RAs considering you'll have inferior stats compared to Mania mode.

Studiopolis act 2 is very unique on its own with the super lotto spamming mechanic, it is seen nowhere else in the game. As several records + videos have been done for this, I suggest letting the super forms and lotto abuse available. Also super forms are available at will in Sonic 4 episode 2 to turn monitors into Ring ones, you quickly transform, break the monitor then revert. Considering that fact, I think it's better to leave that level like this, or not banning the super forms overall (at least for RAs)

Blue Sphere stages bring nothing more to the runs except in RAs for Studiopolis act 2 to cancel the super form. However in all other levels, those stages should be avoided in RAs, as I exited those stages some monitors appeared broken throughout entire levels whereas I never touched them. That happened several times on several levels as well. They don't save any second for speedruns (unlike S3&K) and you get nothing from them. So in my opinion, those stages should be avoided except in Studiopolis act 2.

For time stats, they are better done in TA as there are no boss to fight in that mode and no way to turn super. Using Mania for time only bring problems as the bosses are usually too long to fight, penalising super forms anyway. I suggest using TA for time stats.

About AI partners I think you can use them but without manipulating them. (no flight with Tails nor glide with Knuckles) as if you use that, then even in a video, how can you prove you didn't use a second controller for this ? The best way is to use them like in S2/S3/S3&K, but not ban them as they are needed for some stats (Rings in hydrocity act 2 and maybe doubled score mechanics like in S2/S3).

For SA, special stages must be banned as they can really break the score on any level with the crazy mach bonuses, and redoing a full playthrough just to get the special stages available on a specific level to bump the score has no point to be done at all. Mania mode is better used for scores with 1000 points from the bosses at the end and hidden monitors with the signpost. However it is mandatory to ban infinite score with a signpost, limiting it to 100 points is OK. Also the 100000 points bonus for finishing in 9:59:XXX is to be banned. Too easy to get in TA (and with a glitch in Mania) and 100000 for doing nothing or a bad run to beat a good one feels bad.

Finally 2 more notes to conclude, DevMenu for the PC version to retry the special stages at will must be left allowed. This is to retry the stages with as less problems as possible, with unlimited retries and also to reach the later stages without needing to complete the previous ones. Non PC users can use debug mode to enter the special Stages quicklier than normal, but for nothing else than submitting special stage stats. Debug should be otherwise banned.

One last thing to ban is turning super when the timer reaches 10 minuts to survive the time over. You won't die and remain normal. Also the timer will stay frozen to 9:59:999 for an easy 100000 points time bonus and you can stay in a level as long as you want. Definitely something to be banned.

Offline Zurggriff

Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 05:11:26 pm »
For Times charts, I had also considered suggesting separate charts for "Time" (or Mania Mode) and "Time Attack" but figured there would not be enough interest to run through a level twice with the only difference being the presence of a boss fight. I am indifferent on whether or not to allow Mania Mode for Time charts but if it is allowed, it may be worth including Mirage Saloon 1 for Sonic and for Tails as the level has more to it than just the auto-scroller.

As for AI partners, I think allowing any Tails AI manipulation should be allowed. Determining whether Controller 2 input was used for Tails flight would not be any different from other movement from Tails. The flight can be controlled with Controller 1 and any direction or flight inputs would also affect Sonic's movement. Additionally, speedrunners have been competing in Sonic + Tails (no Controller 2 input) categories without any significant issues. I am in favor of not allowing other character combinations.

For Rings and Scores charts, I agree with allowing Mania Mode and Time Attack to prevent being stuck with inferior stats.
Championships held: Sonic 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Mania, Sonic 4: Episode Metal, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Forces

Zero Point Championships held: Sonic 4: Episode Metal

Offline Vicklaw

Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2018, 05:57:55 am »
I have to bring something else on the table by now.

2 new versions have been released by now and there are several differences between them all that have consequences on the charts and what can be submitted.

Old versions have a glitch allowing Knuckles to glide though an entire level (except objects) and cross the finish line in time attack mode. This is done by interrupting the climbing animation by any kind of way then you glide again and you are done.

Second glitch in those versions is there's a way to get into Knuckles' section of green hill act 1 by going left, past a group of spikes and falling against the wall there. That allows more Rings to be collected and possibly getting a higher score by the same way.

V1.03 (first PC version) fixes those so they can't be replicated anymore. And by now, with the updates on the game I guess it is not possible anymore to get those previous versions to do those glitches.

V1.04 brings new transitions and changes the boss fight in stardust speedway act 2. This breaks Lava Reef act 1's Ring and Score charts as you get 6 more Rings if you start from completing Oil Ocean act 2 but you can't get them in any other way nor in older versions. The boss fight isn't problematic for now, but if something involves it later this should be taken into account. There are not the same number of Rings in this boss fight than in the previous one.
Finally, time overs can be disabled and Sonic's ability can be changed on saved games.
Continues can be obtained on saved games but it doesn't matter anyway.

Final revision (Sonic Mania Plus) involes considerable changes with 2 new characters and the encore mode.
- Mighty and Ray are both playable in all modes (Mania, Time Attack and Encore)
- Time Attack tally is changed to indicate the ranks (local and online) meaning you don't get a bonus for your time and rings when finishing a level in that mode.
- New pinball bonus stage allows additionnal Rings and items to be collected outside of the main level (like S3&K bonus stages). This stage is playable in encore and in Mania after getting all the golden blue spheres medals.
- PC version has a glitch in special stages where you can press a button to instantly get a speed bonus. You can repeat this as many times as you want.
- Encore mode has some roulette boxes cycling though all items. Those are painful for Ring Attacks.

With all those changes, what should be done with the charts and possibly new rules ? Should Mania have more charts or Mania plus created as a separate game ? In that case, can any record submited for Mania be pasted back into Sonic Mania Plus ? Here are my suggestions :

Ban anything that can be done in one version but not in others, or compensate if possible. This includes :
- Knuckles glide glitch (ban)
- Green hill act 1 Knuckles' section glitch (ban)
- Separate charts involving stardust speedway boss fight, restrict to one boss fight only or Time Attack only (choose)
- Can't start Lava Reef's act 1 from finishing Oil Ocean act 2 (can't start on the submarine)
- Time over must not be disabled. Glitch to stop time over by turning super is to be banned.
- Bonuses from finishing a level in Time Attack mode can be added to your final score if they are not in your version. Bonuses are 100x your Rings. Time bonuses are :
• Time < 30 seconds = 50000
• 30 seconds < Time < 1 minute = 4000
• 1 minute < Time < 2 minutes = 3000
• 2 minutes < Time < 3 minutes = 2000
• 3 minutes < Time < 4 minutes = 1000
• 4 minutes < Time < 5 minutes = 500
• 5 minutes < Time < 6 minutes = 100
• 6 minutes < Time < 9:59 minutes = 0
• 9:59 minutes < Time = 100000 (to be banned)
(correct me if I'm wrong)
- Pinball bonus stage is to be forbidden. If using this in studiopolis act 2 for rings and score, everything got inside should be substracted from your final score. For that level, use blue spheres if you can unless you prove you couldn't.
- In special stages, getting any bonus by any other way than filling the gauge with spheres (or getting an arrow box) voids the run.
- Imputting codes by using level select screen is to be forbidden. (For example a code to get all Sonic abilities together).

How the charts should be changed is up to you. What should be added are :
- mighty and ray charts for times, rings and scores
- encore levels for time, rings and scores (characters don't matter)
- encore special stages in special charts.

Offline Zurggriff

Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2018, 08:22:17 pm »
Here are my thoughts on updating Sonic Mania charts if the latest version is going to be competitive with older versions of the game:
- Glitches and use of mechanics specific to previous versions should be banned. This would include sticking to slopes when jumping from a roll with Sonic or Knuckles.
- Boss fights that are exclusive to earlier versions that have an advantage for stat submissions should be banned.
- Any glitch to stop the timer should be banned. (Such as entering Lava Reef 1 after dying in the Oil Ocean to Lava Reef cutscene)
- Entering Lava Reef 1 from Oil Ocean 2 to collect more rings is similar to entering any Act 2 with the Act 1 boss ring monitors exposed. I think this should be allowed for that reason and that it better represents the maximum that could be achieved.
- Bonuses from finishing levels in Time Attack could be added up manually, which has an undesired affect of making scores look fabricated. Additionally, Cool Bonus could also require accounting for when manually determining bonuses. If scores using the old version of Time Attack are maintained, this would be useful in keeping it competitive between the different versions. Alternatively, scores achieved from Time Attack in earlier versions could be banned and scores achieved in Time Attack would be submitted as is. The correction to the Time Bonus in Time Attack on earlier versions is as follows:
< 0:30 = 50000
0:30 - <0:45 = 10000
0:45 - <1:00 = 5000
1:00 - <1:30 = 4000
1:30 - <2:00 = 3000
2:00 - <3:00 = 2000
3:00 - <4:00 = 1000
4:00 - <5:00 = 500
5:00 - <6:00 = 100
6:00 + = 0 (Unlike Sonic 3 & Knuckles)

A large number of submissions that used v1.03 would be affected so I am not sure it would be worth nuking the charts to that extent. It may be better to just ban v1.00 exclusive mechanics, if any at all. If any earlier version is still permitted, I would argue that either Stardust Speedway 2 boss be permitted for Rings and Scores stats or split the charts, but not limit it to Time Attack only. The Mania Mode stages have a greater ring total possible and limiting the stage to Time Attack would not reflect the highest scores attainable. The same goes for any other boss fights, should anything come up.

New charts to be added should include Mighty and Ray for Times, Rings, and Score. Encore Special Stages should also be added in Special charts. Time Attack also features the Encore stages with the option to pick one of the five characters for a solo run, just like the Mania stages. Unlike the Mania stages in Mania Mode, the character designation does not matter for Encore stages in Encore Mode due to changes in monitors that permit additional characters to join the party and swap into active play. While a single character could play in Time Attack for Times stats and Time Attack or Mania Mode for Rings and Scores stats, this is not possible with the Encore stages. Here are some ideas:
- Add Encore levels for Times for each character with Time Attack and add Encore (any character) for Rings and Scores with Encore Mode.
- Add Encore levels for Times, Rings, and Scores for each character with Time Attack and add Encore (any character) for Rings and Scores with Encore Mode.
- Add Encore levels for Times, Rings, and Scores for each character with Time Attack.
If Encore Mode is used for Rings or Scores, Angel Island should be added to the charts.
Championships held: Sonic 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Mania, Sonic 4: Episode Metal, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Forces

Zero Point Championships held: Sonic 4: Episode Metal

Offline Vicklaw

Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2018, 09:14:32 am »
Forgot to mention the cool bonus. It is determined by the following conditions :

Starts with a value of 10000 and decreases by 1000 each time your character takes damage, of any kind (loosing shield, loosing rings or car accidents in titanic monarch). Basically anything triggering the "hit" sound + damaged animation counts. Ice in press garden act 2 not tested so far
Is set to 0 if loosing a life
Is only set back to 10000 after finishing a level with the tally and leaving a level to go back to the menu (with pause -> exit). (restarting by pause or devMenu doesn't set it back to 10000)

Also dieing in encore mode and restarting from a checkpoint seems to reset the rings in the level but not your rings count, neither the timer. In encore it can go over 10 minutes without a time over. Such deaths can occur if both characters fall in void, drown or get crushed at the same time. This is also something to consider.
Can the time be unlimited in encore ?
Should restarts from a checkpoint be forbidden if both characters get killed ?

Offline SpinDashMaster

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Re: Sonic Mania Competition Rules
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2018, 06:48:45 pm »
Encore mode has an option to re-enable Time Over. Probably need to enforce it on.


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