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2022 VGS NES Weekly Contest Suggestions Thread!!!


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4 hours ago, 0xDEAFC0DE said:

I think Bea has looked into the code in the past but obviously it's not a reasonable expectation that anyone could do it. That's why I do agree that we probably need rules of some sort about it. I appreciate the people saying that if anyone wants to compete at the highest level, they should try code peeking themselves. But I just don't think most people want to play that way. If it's still allowed, I do encourage others to give it a shot. I don't think it's quite as hard as people think it is, and it can be fun like solving a puzzle.

Since this whole issue pretty much revolves around you, I honestly think there is only one appropriate solution that both let's you do your thing so we can all learn about the games, while also not taxing the organizers well beyond any reasonable expectations.  I also feel that constant rule changes while a contest is live is a mar on any competition too.  So here's my solution:

Instead of always digging into each game's code every week when it comes up and then dropping atomic bombs on the thread halfway through the week, you @0xDEAFC0DE dig into each game's code the week before it goes live.  Then when Bea posts the game on Sunday, you throw down your post of all the glitches, secret strats, game-breaking bugs and the like at the top of the first page (with spoiler tags) so that she and everyone else who is so inclined can read it at the start of the competition.  Also, if it appears that rule changes are in order, she can make that decision right away on Sunday and we can all have a full week to play the game while all being on the same page.  The entire season's schedule is posted at the start of the year, so I can't see any good reason why this can't be done; all you're doing is moving your "research" of each game forward by a week, that's all.

Once again, I'm against code-peaking personally, pretty much for all of the reasons @Krunch mentioned, but if this is a path that we have to all travel down together, I honestly believe my solution is the best course of action to take... 🙂

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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4 hours ago, 0xDEAFC0DE said:

This would be a sure way to weaken my puzzle genre wins, lol. I would love to have more competition in those games but they always seem to have lower participation due to no one else liking puzzle games. 

Is it due to "no one else liking puzzle games" or could it be a "what's the point?" attitude among competitors due to the circumstances surrounding one particular individual???? Hmmmm........  🤔

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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Member · Posted
On 1/20/2022 at 7:54 PM, mbd39 said:

He couldn't crack Tetris which shows what a bad ass game Nintendo Tetris still is. The only way to get a high score is with skills.

Yes because speed and timing are important factors = why I will be suggesting Loopz....

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4 minutes ago, PII said:

Yes because speed and timing are important factors = why I will be suggesting Loopz....

Hey Loopz is on my suggestion list too. I picked it up recently and want an excuse to play it.

15 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Is it due to "no one else liking puzzle games" or could it be a "what's the point?" attitude among competitors due to the circumstances surrounding one particular individual???? Hmmmm........  🤔

IDK. It feels like most people just don't care much for them outside of Tetris. Maybe I'm wrong, but things like no one wanting to pick Kero Kero for the tourney (besides Wiz at the very end I guess) is what lead me to say that.

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Graphics Team · Posted
18 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

But that's the whole point: the entire issue is about whether or not code diving is or is not cheating to begin with...

I love all the "if you really care about winning, why don't you just learn to read code?" comments.  laughable!  Anyone here who wants to be a billionaire, why don't you just learn to make lots of money, you damn fools!!!   😛

Yeah - I can see both sides of the argument for whether or not code-diving is cheating. On one hand, the information is all right there; but on the other hand, it isn't readily-accessible information (like what's given in the game manual). The plus-side is that @0xDEAFC0DE does the digging himself, which is more legit than stealing cheats from a random online FAQ or walkthrough. But the downside, as @Krunch mentioned, is that DeafCode is the only one code-breaking - so the issue is lopsided as far as all participants are concerned.

And I understand where you're coming from with the billionaire analogy, but that doesn't quite hold water. It would work fine if I said "learn to win NES contests" (which is unreasonable), but I said "learning to read code". That would be more akin to "learning about investing" if you want to be a billionaire. It is a skill involved in (but not necessarily required for) reaching the desired outcome, and is a much more reasonable ask for someone who takes these things seriously (like yourself). Although, I can't speak to how reasonable it is for the average person to learn NES code since I've never really made the effort myself. The point, I guess, is that the effort can be made if one were so inclined. And even then, knowing strategies and executing them successfully are two entirely different things haha.

18 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

You've got a ton of skill with your artistry; you should use some of that skill to whip us up some charms for the last two year's genre winners... 😉    ... 😛

The artwork for the 2020 and 2021 charms is done, so they should be en-route soon(ish)?
Sorry for the delay, dude. (And congrats on your wins!)

-CasualCart

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Member · Posted

22 Suggestions for 2022

Racing

Galaxy 5000

Super Off-Road

Action

CastleVania III

Zen Intergalactic Ninja

Shmup

Silver Surfer

Back To The Future

Isolated Warrior

Gremlins 2

Gunsmoke

Puzzle

Loopz

Wario's Woods

Pyramid

Trolls On Treasure Island

Platform

Mighty Bomb Jack

Swamp Thing

Castelian

Beat 'em ups

Double Dragon III

Rollergames

Arcade

Roadrunner

Paperboy 2

Sports

Super Dodgeball

Pool

Edited by PII
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Member · Posted
26 minutes ago, PII said:

22 Suggestions for 2022

Racing

Galaxy 5000

Super Off-Road

Action

CastleVania III

Zen Intergalactic Ninja

Shmup

Silver Surfer

Back To The Future

Isolated Warrior

Gremlins 2

Gunsmoke

Puzzle

Loopz

Wario's Woods

Pyramid

Trolls On Treasure Island

Platform

Mighty Bomb Jack

Simpsons Bart Vs Spacemutants

Castelian

Beat 'em ups

Double Dragon III

Rollergames

Arcade

Roadrunner

Paperboy 2

Sports

Super Dodgeball

Pool

I've wondered what contest rules could be made for DD3 since it doesn't keep score.

We played Rollergames before and it was almost a disaster trying to come up with decent rules for it. But I wouldn't mind another Rollergames low score contest.

 

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Member · Posted
17 minutes ago, mbd39 said:

I've wondered what contest rules could be made for DD3 since it doesn't keep score.

Same here.  I was thinking Progress / 1 Life + levels 1 & 2 play as Billy of course, level 3 must play as Chin, level 4 must play as Ranzou, and Level 5 ??? player's choice ???  But always 1 life, no switching characters within a level.  edit maybe ban the use of each character's special weapon as well...

17 minutes ago, mbd39 said:

We played Rollergames before and it was almost a disaster trying to come up with decent rules for it. But I wouldn't mind another Rollergames low score contest.

Good to know.  Can't say I've given it any thought though since I've literally never played it.  I just thought it looked like a really unique fun beat 'em up.

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Events Team · Posted
34 minutes ago, PII said:

Same here.  I was thinking Progress / 1 Life + levels 1 & 2 play as Billy of course, level 3 must play as Chin, level 4 must play as Ranzou, and Level 5 ??? player's choice ???  But always 1 life, no switching characters within a level.  edit maybe ban the use of each character's special weapon as well...

Those are tough to require proof of, but Double Dragon 3 works amazingly for speed runs, so it is doable to use it this year.

We're considering to require full video proof for speed run weeks as well, since pretty much everyone has a cellphone and is capable of recording their TVs or using OBS to record their PC screens when playing on emulators.

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Member · Posted
34 minutes ago, the_wizard_666 said:
2 hours ago, PII said:

Gremlins 2

Huh?  That's not a shooter...

It is to me, particularly when considering the company it's in (not counting silver surfer.) but still, it might be better placed in the action category.

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32 minutes ago, JamesRobot said:

Oh! We should play Spook-o-tron or possibly the demo.  Double fisted action Smash TV style.  That's my recommendation if you'd consider a homebrew this season.

T8DMOPq.jpg

 

Is it compatible with holding the controllers that way like Smash TV?  If so, that's awesome!  I love any and all Robotron-inspired games 🙂

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16 hours ago, Krunch said:

Okay but then the question that makes me change my mind again is, "What are you allowed to know?"  Because it's not like you can ban knowledge.  What if there's some instance where a random member who never otherwise participates is a master at the game of the week.  And they're very good, since they've spent years studying the game with these tactics, they know about the inner workings, and let's say also that they happen to win.  What can you do then?

I had a similar thought that completely changed my opinion (as regards to fair play, I still think it’s lame 😂). 
 

anyway consider the circumstance that, for example, wampson has already read code and knows everything about all the games he’s really good at. I was none the wiser and never gripe or cry when I compete against wampson, I actually consider it an honor to compete (if I’m close) with the guy. The only difference (in this made up scenario that could be a possibility) between wampson and code is that code openly reveals his code reading. 
 

so now I think it’s fair. Lame, but fair. Because like krunch said “what are you allowed to know”. Can’t put rules on that. 

Edited by docile tapeworm
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Member · Posted

It might be cheating and it might not be cheating.  It could be cool and it could be lame.  Regardless, it cannot possibly be fair if one person has an "answer key" to the test and the rest either don't know how to do that or simply don't wish to game that way.  

It's sort of like if you play a sport you're allowed to build up your body any way you see fit.  If you have knowledge of a better exercise than the next guy then so be it, but there comes a point where limitation is necessary.  Using steroids and getting a blood transfusion from a healthy third world child to up your game are the sort of things that are kind of frowned upon and for good reason.  This may be a "heavier" example as these things are known to be destructive to the individual, but even if they weren't it could very well be said to have the same ultimate effect on the activity.  Namely, it may ruin the game.

Part of me really doesn't want to be against it.  But do we want to have to play every game with the obligation of familiarizing ourselves with the answer key just to have a shot?  Based on last year it seemed to only be a weighty factor as far as sports and puzzle games are concerned so maybe that's not too overwhelming.  But can we actually level the playing field?  Is having someone explain what they saw in the code to you the same as being able to look at it yourself and understand it?

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52 minutes ago, PII said:

Based on last year it seemed to only be a weighty factor as far as sports and puzzle games are concerned so maybe that's not too overwhelming.  But can we actually level the playing field?  Is having someone explain what they saw in the code to you the same as being able to look at it yourself and understand it?

That's the problem, really.  If it's an action or shooter game, or even a speed run of Batman, deafcode has to perform and play well within pretty much the same boundaries as everyone else, and he's proven that he can definitely be up to the task.  But one category is 100% broken now (puzzle) and another category is 90% broken (sports), to the point where I don't even feel like playing those games anymore.  I worked my nuts off for like 5 days straight to get a -15 in Golf, and then another guy sashays in and blows me out of the water with a -24 score that is beyond ridiculous for anyone to ever possibly attain in one week's time of normal play.  I literally felt like I had lost to a TAS...

I think the steroid analogy is entirely relevant in the sense that it effectively demonstrates how a line has to be drawn somewhere or else your competition will be utterly broken...

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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If you entered a live SMB3 competition today, how would you determine which players had looked at code? You couldn’t, so that’s kinda it for me.

I still think it’s more like a racecar driver with acces to better equipment/tools/facilities due to funding who wins the race not because he/she is the best but because they had acces to better equipment.

Edited by docile tapeworm
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I think it's pretty well agreed upon at this point that at the very least any information found via code peeking will need to be shared immediately.

53 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

That's the problem, really.  If it's an action or shooter game, or even a speed run of Batman, deafcode has to perform and play well within pretty much the same boundaries as everyone else, and he's proven that he can definitely be up to the task.  But one category is 100% broken now (puzzle) and another category is 90% broken (sports), to the point where I don't even feel like playing those games anymore.

There are a lot of broken NES games, but I think you are greatly over estimating the number that are broken.

For puzzle games only 3/5 did code peeking benefit (Dr. Mario, Klax, Quarth vs. Wrecking Crew, Kero Kero). 2020 I don't think I code peaked at any of the 5 puzzle games (Yoshi's Cookie, Puzznic, Q*Bert, Tetris, Krazy Kreatures). Maybe Yoshi's Cookie or Krazy Kreatures could have some RNG manipulation but you wouldn't even need to code peek to figure that out.

For Sports games I code peeked at 4/7 (World Games, Blue Marlin, Nekketsu Street Basket: Ganbare Dunk Heroes, Golf vs. M.U.S.C.L.E., Tennis, Soccer) although I barely did anything with Nekketsu Street Basket. 2020 I only code peeked at one of the five games (Caveman Games vs. Tecmo Bowl, Goal 2, Micro Machines, Heavy Shreddin).

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25 minutes ago, 0xDEAFC0DE said:

There are a lot of broken NES games, but I think you are greatly over estimating the number that are broken.

It's not the games that are broken... 😉  In fact, I've only ever played one broken NES game in my entire life (Cheetahmen II: it hangs after defeating the boss of level four and thus cannot be completed).

It's the competition in two of our categories here in the weekly NES Contest that is broken, not any of the games... 😛

If you want to start calling games "broken," watch any TAS video: pretty much every video game ever made is "broken" once you start looking at its code.... and therein lies the problem with code-peaking....  😞

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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I was just thinking of a few things.  #1 - I think we have too many genres.  Only having four games in a genre just doesn't feel like enough.  I know one person may have an issue with this, but I think Racing should be reincorporated into Sports.  I feel like racing as a genre sees probably the least interest of all of them, so it's hard to justify the separation.  Additionally, Platformer could be phased into Action, and Arcade could also be split between Action and Shooter, depending which is more accurate to the gameplay.  Hell, even Beat-Em-Up could be phased into Action when it comes down to it.  That would leave us with four genres - Action, Puzzle, Shooter, and Sports.  That would allow for more games in each genre to be played in the year overall, and also allow for a lot more variation between games within the genres.

While I like the inclusion of Famicom games, I would like to see a bit less of the obscure stuff in that library.  The idea is to facilitate competition, and familiar games would probably be better to have than a ton of obscure games.  When given the choice between, say, Dig Dug or Challenger, Dig Dug would win on familiarity.  Mappy or Circus Charlie would be far more likely to be played than some random Japanese title that nobody can properly say, nevermind understand blindly.  By all means, include a couple of those obscurities, but if you want to encourage participation in the Famicom titles, familiarity will definitely help bring people in.

Another thing I've mentioned before as well is to keep the rules simple.  One life runs are okay if there's a fair way to take a photo...Holy Diver kinda failed because of that - using the magic as a tie breaker only worked if you were fast enough to snap a picture before you died.  Hardcore rulesets can be fun, but they're also harder to get people interested.  Again, don't get rid of them per se, but maybe save them for the playoffs.

Speaking of playoffs, I really enjoyed the Sports competition we had this year, and I think perhaps a similar idea may work for the first round.  A benefit to only having four genres as I outlined above would mean you could pick four games - one from each genre - that could be used to determine the rankings of the top 16 players.  That ensures the top performers across all genres advance.  Using the scores from that round, the players are reseeded according to the results, with the top 8 going to the head-to-head round, with the top four getting to select their games as per previous years.  This could also allow for the possibility of ties for 16th overall - you simply add the extra players if necessary, and whittle it down to 8. 

One more thing that ties into the reduced number of genres - with only four genres, we can have 8 games per genre instead of four, which would allow for more variation between picks, and more variety within genres.  The Action champion won't just have to do well at Contra, he'd also have to be a Mario whiz and a Double Dragon pro, for example.  The Sports champ would have to be able to play Bases Loaded as well as he can play Tecmo Bowl and Rad Racer.

Also, let's make the genre leaderboards matter a bit more.  Maybe give bonus leaderboard points to the top three genre performers?  Enough to matter, but not enough to completely break it - maybe 10 points to the winner, 7 to second and 5 to third, for each genre.  Potentially that's an extra 40 points if someone wins all four, but if they do that well, they deserve the points IMO.

Finally, while everyone likes to see their favourites, let's see one or two obscurities in each genre...US games that not many people play regularly.  Nothing terrible, just not an ordinary pick.  Hoops, Harlem Globetrotters, Bandai Golf, or Play Action Football all come to mind in sports.  The redefined Action genre would have literally hundreds of games to choose from.  While I don't particularly care for it, I saw Loopz mentioned for puzzle.  And for shooters...well, maybe we could throw a flight simulator like Top Gun or After Burner in there instead of a standard shoot-em-up?  As we find games that are untenable for various reasons, like Contra or World Games, we're gonna have to find games to replace their spots.

Speaking of those untenable games...some of those could possibly be used in the aforementioned Round of 16 I described.  Contra on it's own can easily be maxed out by many people here...but Contra as one of four games in a week could stand a chance.  For some it's still a gimme, but for others it would take some practice, and with three other games to put up respectable scores in, I think there may be a bit more spread than if it was the only game in the week.  I dunno, it's just a thought.

Anyway, that's a lot to read...I'm not sure if any of these suggestions would be taken, but it's some things I got to thinking about that I figured I should write down.

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Member · Posted

I got more thoughts for later too but for now I'll say I lean towards the shrinking of the genres too, and specifically I do think racing should be incorporated back into Sports.  Because both of those genres have a comparatively larger amount of basically less exciting/polished games, though we should still explore those too, but with a balance.

Shrinking the total number of genres' best benefit IMO is that it increases the number of games per genre.

As for the level of interest in puzzle games I feel its a staple of the contests.  I happen to like them, so bias, but it's my opinion.  This year it might have not shown because there happened to be lots of repeats from seasons where I was playing and invested; 3 examples being I don't really like Yoshi's Cookie and I was so-so on Puzznic this time (the latter has a big grind factor. In the previous and probably first Puzznic contest I had a good showing).  And events aside I've really lost my Dr Mario edge compared to those other years.

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35 minutes ago, Krunch said:

Shrinking the total number of genres' best benefit IMO is that it increases the number of games per genre.

This is the most important aspect for me as well.  I just don't feel that four games is enough to define a genre "champion."  Six plus would be ideal, but I understand there are only so many weeks in the season and only so many games you can play, so I don't know what the solution would be outside of shrinking the number of genres.  If we could at the very least merge one or two genres together to get each genre up to five games, I think that would be for the best...

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