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2022 VGS NES Weekly Contest - Post mortem


BeaIank
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Events Team · Posted

Hello brave contestants! Let us discuss the 2022 season!

Post here suggestions for the 2023 season, things you think that you liked, things you disliked, things you hated so we can do a better season in 2023!

For my impressions:

  • Having tough rules during the season seems to detract participation when closer to the end of the season. Particularly hard rules should be kept at early games in the season and tournament only.
  • Famicom games should be kept to a minimum, and be more known, fun ones like Circus Charlie and Antarctic Adventure
  • The rules to make for shorter runs during the tournament seem to have been well accepted and should be used during the regular season. They may also help with increased participation since it takes a much lesser time commitment to play.
  • I am still struggling to find a good tournament format and I am open to suggestions here so we can try to make them more fun in 2023.

Thank you all for partaking in the contest in 2022.
I am eager to listen to all your suggestions and criticisms to 2022's season and improve for 2023.

~Bea

 

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I for one really enjoyed the addition of SpeedRunning to the 2022 Season.  Hadn't really done it seriously before, had just watched other people's runs from time to time with a bare minimum of thought into what games I might like to run myself some day.  Now I find myself considering games for potential SpeedRunning all the time....  On that note I have a few suggestions right off the bat:

Cool World (last level only): There is a code that can be input at the title screen that allows access to the last level.  It's a really kick ass platforming level that requires the player to scale the "Ocean Hotel" which might just be the tallest fake building ever.  It's challenging and would make for a great speedrun but it would also make for very quick runs.  I haven't timed it, but it would probably be something similar to the time it takes to make a run in Marble Madness.  Upon reaching the top, the player must take on "Holly" using balloons gathered during the level.  Some are out in the open and some are hidden...

Kabuki Quantum Fighter: Fast paced, with sort of Ninja Gaiden style precision.  Seems like it would be super fun speedrunning. 

Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers: I haven't played this one in ages, but it strikes me as a fun and not too difficult game to speedrun, but the main reason I mention it is because it is one of those games that a LOT of people seem to like.

A few more: Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Mega Man 1...

I was going to make a case for Swamp Thing, and I guess I can't resist writing it down here, but as a speed run it would be too frustrating, I think, for anyone new to it...

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Events Team · Posted

Speed running will definitely be back in 2023, but in the form of speed running a stage or two only to make it faster and easier to record for the players.

There are several great games that would be tough to include in the line up without using speed running rules.

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I like one life because purging lives is a pain.

speed runs are nice for including games that can’t otherwise be used.

imo difficult rules isnt what hurts late season participation, it’s the grind. Play less games. Maybe Give us two weeks per game. 3 games per genre?

Edited by docile tapeworm
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14 hours ago, docile tapeworm said:

I like one life because purging lives is a pain.

speed runs are nice for including games that can’t otherwise be used.

imo difficult rules isnt what hurts late season participation, it’s the grind. Play less games. Maybe Give us two weeks per game. 3 games per genre?

I have thought about 2 weeks per game quite a few times. It seems like a great idea lots of weeks and not so much others. And its a lot of good games Id never otherwise play to miss out on.

The two weekers could be reserved for certain weeks to mods discretion, but use them for classic/most popular and longer games like platformera. Sucks if your craziest week of work falls on a double dragon type week. The ones that jump off the page on the schedule for most people. 

I had also thought about 2 weeks for tourney rounds. We all get way into tourney if we can. 3 round tourney you could also go to 10 days per game (or 2, that was cool) instead of 7 days and make it an even calendar month

Edited by NESfiend
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I don't think longer game time is the answer because many people will just leave it to the last weekend anyway.  Once you go to two weeks, people see the thread and then think, "Oh, I've got two weeks; I'll worry about that later," and then just forget about it.  You lose the sense of urgency and the overall interest wanes for 12 days out of the 14 alotted.

To me, honestly I think the length of season is the issue: the two seasons I've participated in started in March and ended in December - ten months is just too much.  Maybe start in April and end in October or November or something, and take out the unnecessary break weeks since all they do is add an extra month to the season unnecessarily.

And speaking of break weeks, that's a perfect example of why two weeks per game would be a bust: how many people practice the next week's game during the break week?  Who's talking about or playing the game two weeks before the score is due?  I know one of you will post that you do, but that will be the exception and not the rule.

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Oh, and I hate to say it, but to stimulate participation, you have to focus on the popular games that everybody owns and everybody likes; picking obscure games of questionable play value that no one owns does little to make Jo-Bob forum user decide he's going to jump into the fray and put up a score that week.  It may add diversity to the game selection, but only the small handful of hardcore regulars are going to put up a score.  On the other hand, if you do SMB or SMB3, a whole bunch of other site members suddenly come out of the woodwork.  So the question for the organizers is: do you want more game diversity or do you want more participation?

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🙋🏻‍♂️ it’s me. I practice the games weeks in advance lol

im good for maybe 10 games a year more like 8. But if there were only 10 games in the entire season of ten weeks I would probably only play in 2-3 of them. I just don’t have time to commit to a game per week. I’d be lucky if I could play a game per month. I understand this i am probably the only one with this problem though.

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If people don't have the time then there is little that can be done.  If people don't wish to expend the time then there is a little more that can be done, but avoiding the inevitable is unlikely unless....?

I hear 2 weeks per game and I hear someone saying this:  "...What the shit!  It's over already?  I thought this was the 1st week!  FUUUUuuuuuuu¢k!!!

THIS:

7 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

I don't think longer game time is the answer because many people will just leave it to the last weekend anyway.  Once you go to two weeks, people see the thread and then think, "Oh, I've got two weeks; I'll worry about that later," and then just forget about it.  You lose the sense of urgency and the overall interest wanes for 12 days out of the 14 alotted.

Procrastination, Lack of Urgency, Waning interest to sum things up.  On the flip-side there may be a minority of select games that might be cool to extend.

If people aren't playing hard in the regular season, competing to get into the tournament, then there is not much point in having a tournament.  I don't think the tourney needs to be bigger or longer, quite the opposite.  

What I would do:

Don't announce the games until well after the regular season is over.  Have a break week and announce the games a couple days or a few at most before the beginning so that everyone's starting at the same time.  Then: Lightening Round!  One game PER DAY for a week or so.  That would be exciting.  It might also attract the attention of some new blood.  If the top dogs who make it into the tournament want to have a little discussion to figure out just when that week takes place so as to make the timing as best as it can be for all involved then that could happen during the break week.

I really enjoy all the obscure stuff we play throughout the year.  It's part of what makes being a huge NES fan so much fun.  Never-the-less, turning the coming year into a renaissance of popular games may help.

The aforementioned inevitable is either the passing of the torch, or the end of the line.  The way I see it, there is a train on unfinished track heading toward the edge of a cliff.  You can try to lay down track to try and slow or divert it in the hope of saving the train but that won't get the train anywhere.  It'll just prolong the time it takes the train to reach the end.  And you can lay down track to try and speed it up in the hope that it will leap the casm, which it can't.  What I'm trying to say is that there seems to be all manner of this or that to consider and the best choices lead to short term prolongation of the journey.  But the only hope of saving it in the long run is to build a bridge...

Is it time for the NES / SNES Weekly Contest?

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3 hours ago, docile tapeworm said:

I feel personally attacked 

That does sound a bit like something everyone's favorite worm might say in said situation.  Wasn't trying to single you out, I swear.  But look on the bright side: At least someone's lookin' out for your interests.  At least you know someone's listening, right?

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Events Team · Posted
9 hours ago, PII said:

If people don't have the time then there is little that can be done.  If people don't wish to expend the time then there is a little more that can be done, but avoiding the inevitable is unlikely unless....?

There is something that can be done.
Adjust rules so that runs take no more than 15, 20 minutes to do for the vast majority of the games.

Most of us aren't in their 20s or even 30s anymore. Players free time is a concern I have to keep in mind going forward with this.

Bringing in new players will also prove difficult because the influx of new blood in the forums itself is being low due to the state of NES collecting and because the people in their early 20s now have nostalgia for their childhood PS2s, not their NES, Gameboys or SNESes.
We are an aging lot and there won't be many new people dying to come here and prove their NES game skills.

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16 hours ago, PII said:

Is it time for the NES / SNES Weekly Contest?

No... it isn't 😛

Actually, I only own about 50 SNES carts, so I wouldn't be participating much in any SNES contests; but honestly, SNES games, by and large, are not designed for score competitions - they're designed to be completed while experiencing some sort of story along the way; NES games, on the other hand, almost all have scores, and the goal is to overcome the challenge presented, which when mastered, usually takes less than an hour to overcome.  Of course there are exceptions, but I'm speaking generally here...

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

No... it isn't 😛

Actually, I only own about 50 SNES carts, so I wouldn't be participating much in any SNES contests; but honestly, SNES games, by and large, are not designed for score competitions - they're designed to be completed while experiencing some sort of story along the way; NES games, on the other hand, almost all have scores, and the goal is to overcome the challenge presented, which when mastered, usually takes less than an hour to overcome.  Of course there are exceptions, but I'm speaking generally here...

Pretty well agree.  I was just throwin' it out there to give an example of potential bridge building between generations... thinkin' out loud.  What about the other direction?  What if it were the 8-bit challenge featuring the NES and the Atari 2600.....?

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7 hours ago, BeaIank said:

Adjust rules so that runs take no more than 15, 20 minutes to do for the vast majority of the games.

Speaking of adjustments for quicker runs:

I came up with a really good idea for a "Mighty Bomb Jack" competition recently.  It would be a 1-lifer, progress with score as a tie breaker and consist of "Only The Palace Rooms" which would make it like playing the original arcade "Bomb Jack."

Everyone would have to play through the first stage to get to the first palace room, after which all would be required to warp from palace room to palace room.  It works like this: When you enter a palace room you collect one of the bombs and another bomb's fuse will light up.  Collect all the other bombs first and the lit bomb last, exit, and you automatically warp to the next palace room (which is always located after the end of the next regular level.)  All while avoiding the enemies.  You get hit by an enemy, you die, you hit pause and take your picture.  If you mess up by not getting the lit bomb last you will be spit out at the next regular level rather than warping to the next palace room.  In such a case the run is over, pause and take pic.  IIRC there are 15 palace rooms.  It probably takes about 20 seconds to complete a palace room so a full run would only take about 5 minutes.  On the final palace room, no matter how you collect the bombs it will spit you out onto the final regular level (which does not have a palace room at it's end.) This would be the finish line.  Pause and take pic.

I think it's a lot of fun, challenging and quick.  Great lessons in enemy avoidance.  I haven't managed to do it all in one fell swoop yet either if you're wondering...

Edited by PII
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On 12/30/2022 at 9:38 PM, JamesRobot said:

Some of us are just filthy casuals.

That's what I turned into. It's easier for me to get a few runs in on a game that I'm familiar with and put up a good score than it is to try and grind all week on a game that I've never played before just to put up something decent.

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