ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

General discussion on MAME, MARP, or whatever else that doesn't belong in any of the other forums

Moderators: mahlemiut, seymour, QRS

Post Reply
User avatar
GHEMANT
MARP Seer
MARP Seer
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2002 7:11 am
Location: Italy

ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by GHEMANT » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:40 am

ARCADE HI-SCORE PHILOSOPHY

In range of arcade videogames, the concept of World Record, nowadays very popular in the West countries, originated from U.S.A. about thirty years ago by the American organization Twin Galaxies, founded in 1981 by Walter Day. This organization declared itself as “The Official Videogame World Records – Your Official International Scoreboard” securing a contractual relationship with the well known book of Guinness World Records. Anyhow this term is conceptually wrong, because what is usually interpreted in that way doesn’t find concrete confirmations. With some exceptions in the first years of arcade commerce development, when the production of new titles had been prosperous both in Japan and in the United States and other areas of the world, after year 1983 the almost entirety of arcade titles was produced exclusively by most popular Japanese software houses. Most of the times these games have been launched first in the Japanese territory and then in the rest of the world. But even if it was not, it’s important to underline that the release date isn’t the essential aspect on the authorship of the product. Only a few persons reflect on the fact that the arcade games are created, studied and elaborated by a Nipponese staff, with the aim of being enjoyed by a Japanese public. For such reason we can identify cultural and religious features typical of the Land of the Rising Sun, like also locations and dialogues, the style, the characters and backgrounds, as well as citations and mythological references clearly of oriental origins. At a later stage, after their first draft, the games are manipulated and modified to be suitable for distribution in other territories with different culture, icons and religions. During this process sometimes the program is re-elaborated and modified, by changing title, characters’ names, or adopting some graphic readjustments of minor relevance. Rarely it may happen that the development team opts for a radical intervention on score system, possibly rebuilding it from the beginning, or for a dipswitches change. It’s a matter of changes usually necessary either for commercial or advertising needs, or to not unsettle the sense of modesty of the population where the product is going to be distributed, or even to avoid eventual social/political conflicts or others’ copyright infringement. In any event, after testing hundreds of games, no cases of “improving” alterations have been recalled. These manipulations, when applied, have actually generated almost every time unvolontary bugs or infinite patterns, which invalidate or impoverish the aesthetic aspect of the game. In other situations the score system has been even heavily ruined and became less interesting (see Undercover Cops, The King of Dragons, The Simpsons, Mega Twins). It follows that we can identify a certain number of different versions of the same game, on which it’s clearly wrong to compare records. This is the most important reason of why talking in terms of World record has no meaning unless when a game shows to be perfectly identical in every version present in the market. In the end it should be also clarified that, on the base of what just said and leaving aside the personal preferences, only the Japanese version of the game has to be considered as original, as it’s the product that has been originally conceived by its creators. The modified versions for foreign markets, for which the elaborated artworks (marquees, flyers, customized cabinets, etc.) are created at a later stage by other staffs, do not add anything new on their own, rather they can be considered as disfigurements, usually censored or simplified, that distance themselves in some measure from the original idea by which they were conceived. In the American project Twin Galaxies (which from now will be abbreviated, for simplicity, as TG), the use of US versions is obligatory, whenever they are not available the choice is made for the World revision, obviously never for the Japanese one. This choice is based on the reasonable fact of opting for revisions in English language mainly distributed in the world. The concept itself is not wrong, however the Occidental version, as previously restated, is often worse than the Japanese one and this penalizes the game experience. Only by considering this fact we can understand why, from the start, we distanced ourselves from the concept of “world” record, because there is no actual version of the game that can be considered as representative and official for the whole world.

Score monitoring system for Twin Galaxies

According to TG regulations, games must be played with the US or World version. The dipswitches to use are set up through a deepened study of arbitrators or other people accountable for the purpose, at least this should happen. Usually default parameters are used, more attention is dedicated to regulations for most appreciated titles from the American public, in other words the great classics, with focused rules which have been studied in the course of time. But outside the context of Golden Era (1978 ~ 1984) some embarassing situations can be spotted, with regulations out of order and unreasonable dipswitches (see Golden Axe, Neo Geo games, Capcom CPS 1 etc.), which bring to the compiling of rankings that can’t be compared with any external source. As is known, TG is a phenomenon grown with the dawn of Golden Era, but that, unexplainably, didn’t conceptually evolve outside Golden Era, when this arrived to a failure. This fact has brought in the inclination to completely neglect the product distributed from 1985. This doesn’t naturally exclude the gathering of score made at most recent games, though the most frequent public of the project is interested in them in a bland way, such that players and arbitrators with an even sufficient knowledge can be counted on the fingers of a hand.
It follows that there is great confusion concerning the software distributed after that date, with regulations often inappropriate and poorly studied, for which there is a tendency to impose the hardest skill level rather than the proper and necessary default one. This is inadmissible and intolerable, because the default dipswitches represent the perfect harmony and balance between the required ability to elaborate patterns and their correct application. A too much easy setting allows to anybody to perform the most complicated patterns, while a too much hard setting prevent to apply all the strategies, consequently reducing the flair and touch of class that the player is able to show. The hardest difficulty, which almost always lets considerably increase the score, inhibits and decreases the quantity of risky and complex patterns needed to achieve the highest possible results. The player, in order to hold risks down and complete the game, would have to reduce the dangerous actions, and so impoverish the quality of the game. What matters is not to get to the highest numeric score in absolute like it seems to be proposed with such regulations, but it’s about reaching as much as possible the points limit with default settings. It usually happens that, in the presence of an elevated score realized with default conditions, a player who doesn’t beat it opts for a harder difficulty, so that ensures an easier knocking down of the first place, despite the adopted patterns don’t measure up to the ones of the previous record.
It happened that for titles of the 90s, of low interest for the American public, the first record sent to database, independently from the dipswitches used, has become an example of parameters to use for following players, so to make an archive of compromised results. Even one of the most discussed rules is about the possibility to set a harder difficulty than the one required for default. This last aspect, which releavance has been indeed underestimated, makes it impossible to compare with homogeneity, as the biggest part of score present in TG are locked and can’t be downloaded, that can be viewed so only by arbitrators, fact which doesn’t really allow to understand which settings were used for each score. We’re talking about a consolidated circumstance, which implies mistakes impossible to repair, unless by deleting all what’s done up to now and restart. All this can be attributed to the lack of players, ideologies and specific studies on games after Golden Era. It has to be also underlined that “modern” titles have been distributed in the USA in the same exact way as in other countries of the world. Therefore the lack of appropriate informative material and competence on such games is then a trouble only related to TG and its users, arranged almost exclusively by fans of the great classics.
Also the attitude to manage records stayed underdeveloped, and it’s based on values matured right in the Golden Era, when the interest of tendency was oriented mainly on “big scores” obtained with marathon-like sessions without limits. A questionable phenomenon, as the marathon for titles subject to infinite loops is a practice concerning the physical and mental resistance rather than the true gaming ability, a typical Guinness aspect indeed, but which badly conciliates with the concept of ability in videogames or sports. A considerable example may be Bomb Jack, a title for which it would be opportune to estabilish a ranking of best scores obtained in the limit of first 100 rounds so to denote true skill, instead of cataloging repeatitive and boring game actions that prolong for over 30 hours reaching the counter stop. Among the other things to mention there isn’t even the obligation of completing the game, an aspect considered as essential in other countries. It’s a questionable stance that undermines the technical quality of a game, leading in some cases to a leeching abuse until the end of lives or available time, without completing the game which should be considered the primary aspect (see Black Tiger, Tecmo Knight, Legend of The Hero Tonma, Rolling Thunder). At last there’s the habit of adding several times the score of the counter that reaches its limit, zeroing and restarting again. This concept developed almost exclusively in the USA through TG, since, to certify records, it was used to flank an arbitrator next to the player so to take note of the salient points of the game. An activity still present in our time, of this figure with a black and white striped tunic who has to necessarily follow the entire execution of the game. Since the rest of the world has the custom of trusting only the final score viewed on screen, just the score that completes the first round of counter is valid. With the absence of an arbitrator, the player can’t obviously self certificate the sum of the several counter stops, otherwise everybody could affirm the false, because the fact couldn’t be verified. A positive aspect of TG database is about the entire archive that can be consulted through the web, so it turns out to be open to everybody, allowing moreover eventual comments through the apposite forum. This aspect certainly makes the project international.

General consideration about TG players

Now I’d like to express a personal viewpoint. What in my opinion represents the big limitation of TG is the aim its players pursue, that is reaching the world record, but intended as official TG record and not absolute top in the world, a difference that usually the same players of TG do not understand. Once reached this goal, they don’t care of ensuring about which are the records outside the American project. For that reason the run for the record is just based on a comparison between the results present in their database, of great achievement for Golden Era titles, but pretty poor in both quality and quantity for later titles. Their indifference in trying to find better information about better scores than theirs is the aspect I consider the most disappointing. Sadly it has to be highlighted that usually the same players’ behaviour triggers some bother in other communities. The rancor generated and the continous quarrels which often have been manifested in the past, were caused by the fact that the top scores of TG were claimed with ostentation as world records. If they would be called “TG records” the debates would be less evident. The first problem is that some of these users show off with chest out in forums external to TG, declaring their own scores as world record, and this makes bother because the thing is seen as an insinuation of being the top of the world without, though, having verified if there is no better score anywhere else. Defending this position brings to ridicolous contraddictions. A bit of time ago some players were improving the “world record” on Cosmo Gang The Video, reaching less than 6 milions, while on MARP (site present online since 1998 in which replays of all MAME games are gathered), since 10 years, you can find a score 4 times higher. Not just a little bit more, but 4 times the score, and even from a Japanese player. It wasn’t just a rumor, or a note on an unheard magazine, it was right an INP, ready, available, downloadable and visionable anytime. At times even in the same MARP some scores for a third or fourth theoretical position appear, realized by TG players and marked as world records, that is really paradoxical. Sometimes if someone insinuates or asserts the existance of superior scores than the ones in TG archives but not present on MARP, the approach of users is surprisingly and systematically always the same: total incredulity and unconditioned refusal in accepting the knowledge, without ever investigating or starting any in-depth analysis. There where it is made possible to give proof, even superficially, of the presence of eventual higher scores out of the usual sources, their users entrench themselves behind the excuse that those scores are not official, not certified, or perhaps were made with illicit techniques, not original cabinets or irregular dipswitches or settings. All this punctually triggers a consolidated and unswerving sense of distrust for any stated score resulting in seeming superior than theirs. What has been realized in different conditions from the ones expected for TG, is always and systematically seen as a demonstration of inferior ability, at least this is how it looks to the eyes of those outside the TG world.
The lack of competitiveness is the first step that prevents a player from improving and learning new techniques. With the illusion of being the champion of the world, as declaimed by Guinness book, the incitement for doing better goes missing, and this is the principal reason which explains why the records on games of the 90s are so lower in their database than what you may find with a quick research on Google.
The habit of identifying as world record only the results arrived in the database of this organization, without effective verifications or discussions through the forum about higher scores published elsewhere, evidently brings these players to overrate themselves, setting limits to their abilities in improving. Anyhow it has to be pointed out that not even in the USA all the players recognize at unanimity the action of TG. Many indipendent communities as shmups.com are more developed and open to international and oriental methodologies, and don’t follow their doctrine. It must be said though that this happens only outside the context of the Golden Era. For players who see all this from a distance, it is easily comprehensible how actually TG seems like a lair blocked in the past, a closed team and distant from the representation of a globalized community. If ideologies and regulations persist after three decades despite their inaccuracy, it’s a sign that there aren’t exterior events important enough to excite the above-mentioned community.
The major negative aspect of the organizational system of TG is anyhow another. That is, the inadequate and poor knowledge on games after 1984 in terms of regulations. The arbitrators of TG, who should represent the greatest authority as regards knowledge and competence about games, are not in contact in any way with the programmers who build the games. Consequently, as they don’t have deepened information, their knowledge results to be even inferior than the one of the players, who instead, by analyzing the titles to increase their scores, learn to know all the possible aspects thanks to years of experience. Missing the knowledge of bugs or other weak aspects of the games, like the infinite patterns, also the possibility of defining adequate rules for the situations continously showing up is going to miss. Usually the lacking preparation of the supervisors brings to the disqualification of “new” techniques that instead are perfectly legitimate. To introduce changes in gameplay of certain titles which structure of the patterns has been unchanges since years, has already involved in the past the disqualification of replays without a logic sense, like it happened with Splatterhouse. In this specific case the game hasn’t been studied at all and a leeching at the final Boss has been prohibited while actually it has to be legitimate, because it’s limited by time. Sometimes the regulations applied are instead even exagerated like in Vs. Super Mario Bros, with so many rules that at a point the same arbitrators manipulate the gameplay by stating too explicitly what a player must perform: “here you can’t take this bonus, this can’t be done, here you don’t have to jump, here you can’t kill this enemy”, so... this takes away the free will on organizing the game as you like. In some cases the rules are needed to oppose infinite patterns, other times instead they don’t have any sense. In conclusion, the Guinness World Record to which such importance is given, seems more an authority suitable for managing funny and less probable events, like the number of watermelons broken with headshots in a minute, rather than managing performances of highest level in which compete thousands of participants exactly like it happens with sports, that rightly are managed by international certified federations or olympic committees, but after all when you try to assume the duty and the honor of being the official controller over something you didn’t even produce (in this case the games), these are the results.

Japanese score monitoring system

The Japanese method of gathering hi-scores is much different from the American one and can be considered as the most accurate ever conceived, although it’s not exempt from flaws. At first, only Japanese original versions are used, as we said they often differ in the score system from US or World. It’s opportune to underline that on the Nipponese market no other version has ever been present, only in the last years some MAMEcabs appeared, on which anyhow eventual new records are not accepted. For the realization of records, the default conditions are adopted for all games, exception made for some few special cases which request particular variations (see Double Dragon II, Meikyu Jima); this regulations or eventual following modifies on the score monitoring are from time to time proclaimed on the Arcadia magazine. All rankings are intended to be for single player, although in rare occasions a ranking for two players in cooperation has been considered (Tough Turf, 1941, 1943, Kyukyoku Tiger 2 etc.). The rules have been meticolously estabilished by the conduct of the magazines Gamest (1986~1999) and Arcadia (1999~present) with an apposite professional staff designated for the occasion, that possesses all the information related to games obtained directly from the software houses. This fact doesn’t though prevent the discovery of possible invalidating patterns even after many many years after the launch of a game, such to make necessary the exclusion of the title from the score gathering. Games affected by these problems are in fact excluded from the gathering. This may happen with the launch of the game or in the moment of the identification of an infinite pattern (similar cases have been registered even after twenty years like for Daioh). There are specific regulations for some titles that present minor troubles, at times of casual nature (like Sengoku). As Japan is the birthplace where arcade games are produced, the knowledge of the software can be considered almost absolute, and this allows to manage at best any sort of problem that, incidentally, usually seem to be unknown to the rest of the globe and still today, in many cases, are not known. The only really negative aspect of the score monitoring system in Japan is instead represented by control panels. These turn out to be heavily modified, with autofire, synchronizer or multi-frequency devices, mapped buttons, macros etc., that helps the player in obtaining scores optimized to the highest skill. This process of panels manipulation developed since the end of the 80s and it deepened year after year, until our time. Not all the records use or need such manipulations. Usually, but of course not always, the application of these methods doesn’t lead to an effective increase of the score but simply guarantees an energy saving for the player, so to allow to execute several consecutive tries in the same day without decreasing in quality of performances. The phenomenon is so widespread and well-estabilished that there’s no way to identify who makes use of it or not, except when that is specified in the comment associated with the score. The scores generated with these devices often are not separated, but in rare occasions distinguished rankings have been instituted. This practice, furthermore widespread in China and adjacent countries, is the only thing that makes the Nipponese score gathering system imperfect. It must be said that often the same player asks for determined modifies or frequency of the control panel directly to the game center manager. These are requests that managers easily accept, as keener players are considered a real investment, because for the realization of a record they are disposed to invest capitals in a range of 100.000~1.000.000 yen (a single game costs 100 yen). Then, it is necessary to complete the game, or better said, if in the database an ALL CLEAR score is already present, next record must be necessarily superior and including the completion of the game. Only titles considered are the ones distributed in the Japanese territory from 1985/86, that is when Gamest began to operate. Games conceived in Japan, but distributed only in foreign countries, are not considered. For marathonable or subject to infinite loops titles, the first player only that reaches ten milion points is registered, it isn’t considered as well the sum of points in dynamic counter stop (games in which counter resets after reaching its maximum). All records published on the magazines are identified as top of Japan and never claimed as world records, also there aren’t comparisons with (or mentions to) scores outside of the Nipponese territory. The huge number of players involved (dozens of thousands), together with the number of game centers present in the country (the highest in the world) and the greatest level of competition matured since the beginnings of arcade era, makes the quality of Japanese records so elevated than in any other country of the world. Obviously this doesn’t make it impossible to beat Japanese records, especially with the possibility of studying the games through advanced featured of emulators, that nowadays allow studies which are even more analyzed of what could be done in a game center.
The Nipponese system for the monitoring of scores is the one that most of all reaches the concept of world record, exception made for the input boards manipulation context, that alter, in a soft or less soft way, depending on the game, the player’s performances, compared to a title traditionally played.
A negative aspect of the Japanese database is about its capacity of being consulted. We’re talking in fact of a data archive that can not be consulted, as it’s transcribed exclusively in Japanese language and not published via Web. Also, it can be of use only by possessing all the number of Gamest and Arcadia magazines (208 + 158 up to August 2013), there isn’t in fact any special summarize of the entire archive. A closed database, then, to the only Nipponese enthusiasts of the record, that makes the archive, like it always have been, precluded to the users of the rest of the world. A last note is about records that can be recovered through the web. The database of Arcadia considers only the gathering of scores that took place in game centers. Any result, even if real and visionable, but made in private or with an emulator, won’t be considered. Players who realize scores registered with emulators are not compelled to submit to Arcadia rules, so eventual scores regained from the web that should beat those of Arcadia must be evaluated with extreme care. To move yourself through the world of arcade records is not easy at all. Everybody can confirm a final score by watching a MAME replay or a video, but you must have a deepened knowledge of regulations and specific games in order to determine if the used techniques are or aren’t legit or anyhow comparable with other releavant known results. Without the confirmation of a presence really expert in the theme, it may happen to claim scores as valid when instead they are not.

In the rest of the world...

In Europe the situation has always been the worst. No organization gave dedication in gathering arcade scores and only some sporadic initiatives have been undertaken by the support of specialized magazines. In France, Germany and Spain, apparently no initiative has ever been activated. In England instead this happened by the hand of C+VG, while in Italy we had Videogiochi during Golden Era and C+VG after. In both cases it couldn’t be possible to institute any sort of regulation for several reasons. Unlike as in United States and Japan that had their own specific versions, in Europe the cards arrived from every zone of the world, creating a mix of infinite versions, including the widespread bootlegs (games illegally copied from original, where often bugs and anomalies not present in the official versions can be spotted). In regard to settings, it has always been a common practice to alter dipswitches to make the game as much penalizing as possible for the player, with settings at highest skill level, less free time, less lives etc., all for the sake of maximizing the earnings of managers and charterers of arcade cards. It’s a chaos that has never allowed to archive certain results, which greatest part has been realized on bootlegs today unrecoverable with records somewhat improbable and pretty far from what can be produced on original cards.

Conclusive thoughts

More than different versions of the same game, than diverse control panels, than different settings adopted, that already make impossible a comparison between the obtained scores, there is an ulterior difference. It’s about the ideology with which it is determined the player’s skill, such ideology changes from country to country. It must be specified, in fact, that the accumulated score isn’t considered by all as the universal meter of judgement that expresses the ability of a player. It often happens that players from specific countries consider the score less important than time attack. At times more releavance is given to the completion of the game with hardest difficulty allowed, saving all the lives, rather than sacrificing them in strategic areas to amass points (leeching) and completing everything with last life. These differents ways of thinking, often due to the influence of individuals provided with poor competence who manipulate the masses, or simply derived from a wrong widespread ideology, lead to opposite methodologies in the archive of scores, enough to confuse what is ability with that’s not.

In conclusion, if arcade records could have been managed professionally from the beginning like as sports records, to determine a world record it would have been necessary to satisfy these criteria:
1) To use one only original versione of the arcade game, that one conceived from original staff, with eventual texts exposed in English;
2) To set the game in default, without having ulterior dipswitches to change, nullifying de facto the possibility to achieve different scores based on options configured to your own liking;
3) To use an original control panel with inputs studied and adequate to the type of game, with no allowing of further manipultaions;
4) To have an accurate regulation, specific for each problem, adopting focused and studied rules;
5) To arrange the presence of an arbitrator with great knowledge about the specific game to supervise, for the entire duration of the game, or to make a registration of it.

This hypothetical situation, as we know, didn’t happen. Consequently, if nowadays we’re going to realize a record and we’d like to compare ourselves with other players to understand the level of our preparation, how should we proceed?
The choices are basically two: the American system of TG or the Japanese one of Arcadia. We may also relate to Marp, however this one has never estabilished precise regulations for the management of scores and thus who plays can willfully change dipswitches up to their own liking, increasing or decreasing the skill level, unacceptable thing for the correct comparison of results.
Because the Golden Era hasn’t been managed in Japan, for this period we can’t trust anything but TG. This historical period of the arcade world has been in fact particularly analyzed, and still in our time we can count hundreds of American fans that beat theirselves to overcome old records made over 30 years ago. In regard to games after Golden Era instead, as the TG database is lacking in results and inadequate in regulations, it’s necessary to take in consideration the Japanese results. We know for sure that about titles from 1985 onwards, except those ones abandoned for the presence of bugs or infinite patterns, the Nipponese players more than others have operated deepened studies on patterns and secrets needed to achieve the highest score possible. In consideration of the above, when we browse the database of Arcadia, we can be sure that these represent at least the 99.5% of top scores realized in the world. It’s obvious though, and it’s fair to underline it once again, that part of these results have been made with autofire or other devices mounted on the control panel that, as already explained, cause some alterations more or less evident of the scores. So to make totally fair comparisons happen, it would be necessary to play adopting the same facilitations. At least it’s proper to use the Japanese version to not run into paragons otherwise impossible, caused by the differences between the cards. It’s anyhow a hard solution to effect as the Western player, grown up in a different context where there is no manipulation of control panel, doesn’t really accept to follow such solution. However there aren’t so many choices since in the West there aren’t results that get even remotely close to Japanese scores as study and application of patterns. So, the only way to confront oneself with who has really analyzed so deeply these programs (and comprehend so the level of ability reached) is to use the same methods.

Up to this point we can state that the records reported by TG and Arcadia represent in their respective sectors, the highest scores ever realized. Yet it’s necessary a last specification. It’s more correct to talk of best documented scores. The making of an arcade record doesn’t imply any kind of economic profit, there is in fact no sponsorising and advertising operation like with sports, because of this some players don’t give out information about it, limiting theirselves to talk about it with friends or possibly spread some information on personal blogs, of which soon you lose track. It comes out that one should keep under control the highest number of possible sources (related sites, blogs, reserved private channels, forums, file sharing applications where registered games are exchanged, etc.) to be able to actually know what’s the absolute top in a determined game. Unfortunately it’s not materially possible to operate this kind of control. The sources to check are potentially infinite, and nobody has the means and time necessary to find and verify the mentions that daily appear on the Web.

I'm free about comments / opinions / talks.
Last edited by GHEMANT on Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

edusword
Button Masher
Button Masher
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:40 pm
Location: Spain

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY

Post by edusword » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:37 am

Very interesting information! Great job!

Kaede
Button Slapper
Button Slapper
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:12 am
Location: france

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY

Post by Kaede » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:36 am

Some repetitions and ponderousness here and there, but it was an interesting read, GHEMANT.
I know this is MARP, but should the conversation really be limited about arcade games only ? Most points seems to apply other games.

Anyway, it confirms the points I have been reading again and again about Twin Galaxies. You are probably aware of it, by the way, but TG is currently unreachable and its future seems uncertain (see relevant Neogaf thread which died quickly after, and the Wikipedia page, there might be more up to date sources, I haven't checked).

A note about emulators: I think people are too quick to dismiss them.
Of course, there are inaccuracies in emulation (and bad emulators), but it seems like decent emulation quality should not compromise the ability of a player to reproduce a very high score on the original game hardware.
Emulators makes for easier cheating due to the target machine having complete control over the execution of the emulated game, but I think this is mainly a trust problem which is about identifying the actual person who played the game, and some trusted 3rd party confirming the score - to me, these issues exist on the original hardware just the same.

Last but not least: although it requires a specific and sometimes complicate setup, I think realtime broadcasting should allow for both better spread and verification of game records.
Some VS competitive games such as Starcraft have adopted streaming (actually, big IRL events !), and it seems to be working great - it works so well that it allows the best players to play on a professionnal level.
Also worth of note is that :
- the Japanese game center A-cho have been uploading videos to Youtube for some time, now. Have not been much on Nico Nico Douga, there might be similar uploads there too.
I have the feeling this kind of gameplay and records sharing is going to happen more and more, provided arcades do not eventually die in Japan like they pretty much did in the rest of the world.
- realtime leaderboards with scores and even replays are becoming a native feature for many competitive games today. This is revolutionizing the way scores are gathered and shared.

User avatar
franco.benedetti
Button Masher
Button Masher
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:31 pm

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY

Post by franco.benedetti » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:45 am

Kaede wrote:Some repetitions and ponderousness here and there, but it was an interesting read, GHEMANT.
sometimes what ghemant wrote has to be said again

chances are that a new youtube hi-score is a TAS/kawaks load&save/cheated/slowed/macroed replay and is published with a WR tag, and this is sad
or any noob can publish a video of a first level endless leeching and call it World Record (name a game, there's plenty of such games), and this is even sadder

what ghemant is trying to stress it that there's no conventional set of rules worldwide, under which a score can be called "WR" without any further discussing

there's no sense in compiling a list of arcade WR just collecting the maximum scores you have come across around web/magazines/chat/whatever without knowing how they were made, ignoring what the score system of the games are, and if the scores were obtained by any non default setting or with the abovementioned ways, such as http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~slunk/GAMES.pdf

User avatar
GHEMANT
MARP Seer
MARP Seer
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2002 7:11 am
Location: Italy

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by GHEMANT » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:49 pm

About this:

http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~slunk/GAMES.pdf

I’d like now to shed light on a document which has been a discussion topic, in the latest 2 years, over all the communities based about arcade gaming (Twin Galaxies, shumps.com, Arcade Extreme, Matamarcianos.org, etc.). It’s about a work created by the Australian Chris Horroks, who proposes an ambitious project of cataloguing of world records on all arcade games, and he does this by filling in a document in PDF. A few players think this text does really report the world records of the quoted games, though unfortunately that does not. I take the liberty then to express a judgement about this work, unfortunately negative, because of a series of significant reasons I’m going to illustrate. First of all, at the basis, it’s an unfeasible project since the author doesn’t neither have knowledge of the true concept of world record (explicated by me over several sites), nor possess an adequate competence in terms of hi-scores to elaborate such project. One can quickly understand that the author didn’t get the concept of world record as he reported a single record for each title, mixing then the scores of any version, like if there wasn’t any difference between the various romsets. Probably mr. Horroks never considered the issue of having multiple versions of the same game and that those versions are often incompatible with one another. The heaviest thing though is about the method of validation of the results contained in the document. For this, data of other documents pre-existing in the Web have been taken in consideration (documents not elaborated by him). These documents appear to be in some cases obsolete or lacking of control. Between them, some of my works of years 2004 to 2006 are included (Gamest world record list, AIVA etc.). I’d like to underline that the documents I myself have developed and published in the past, needed many years of time to be improved and cleaned of mistakes. Occasionally, in fact, I found translation mistakes and bad interpretations of the rules, things I have opportunately fixed on my successive works. Mr Horroks instead did not apply any sort of control and check, he just limited himself at assigning a record for each title picking the highest score found on the web, not caring of the version, the source, or verifying the credibility of the author, and especially not establishing any parameter in regards of regulations to follow, as customarily happens for each project of score cataloguing. It follows that his document is rich of absolutely false scores, not existing, TAS (tool assisted superplay) like the record at DoDonPachi by Aichi Ken, or even scores made on bootleg versions or made with customized dipswitches (see Metal Slug X). All this makes the PDF look like a mix of information without logic and reason. It would have made more sense instead to propose a document with the only records known for the Occidental versions of games, choosing however a regulation to follow (TG or other way of thinking). The records found in the Web can’t be claimed as valid without a deep verifying action. If one wants to produce an explicative document like this, and take the responsibility of claiming a record as valid, it is absolutely necessary to possess a great knowledge of the title under examination and dispose of tools fit for the verifying, things that Horroks evidently doesn’t do.

In conclusion, I heartily recommend to everybody to not consider this work in any environment related to records, because more or less I’d say that more than 50% of the scores present in that database are totally wrong. I suggest instead to mr. Horroks to review from the beginning all of the work and rebuild from zero the database, deciding if to publish records on Japanese or World version of the several videogames.

User avatar
Shahbaz
Button Masher
Button Masher
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:25 am
Location: Lahore, Pakistan

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by Shahbaz » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:33 am

Appreciate Gemant for your work.

By the way the monitoring system of arcade games i like that Czetch republic site "Emux" (http://emux.esero.net/). They provide their own emulator which is included multiple versions of wolfmame. And also that emulator provides the specific roms that we can download easily and it shows the score list too. My one friend invited me to join that site but i made only one record of Rygar with 6.7m score. I am not interested to join too many sites, TG and Marp is enough for me or may i would like to join the japanese site if possible.

The PDF list by Chris Horroks also referencing the Emux site. But i am agree with you Gemant, too many records are wrong. I hope this PDF list will be ignored when you upload your own world records list. :)

User avatar
kernzy
MARP Seer
MARP Seer
Posts: 699
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:47 am

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by kernzy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:31 pm

very wrong.
only one of mine on there is for hunchback, and thats been beaten on RU...

PG3
Button Masher
Button Masher
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 10:46 am
Location: POLAND

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by PG3 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:20 pm

6
Last edited by PG3 on Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
kernzy
MARP Seer
MARP Seer
Posts: 699
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:47 am

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by kernzy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:35 pm

dontcha just hate it when that happens??
lol

PG3
Button Masher
Button Masher
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 10:46 am
Location: POLAND

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by PG3 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:45 am

7
Last edited by PG3 on Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
GHEMANT
MARP Seer
MARP Seer
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2002 7:11 am
Location: Italy

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by GHEMANT » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:43 am

5,917,000 is TAS (tool assisted superplay). In you-ku site there are tons of fake videos played with save state or cheat.

For exemple in You-Ku you can find tons of videos about Knights of the Round (chinese players love this game), but all these replay are made with code adress cheat, I see scores of 850k, 1000k!! but are fake :(

And the same thing about shooting games... ghost pilots with 1 life.... aero fighters 2 with 1 life :^o ... some videos are "steal" from nico nico.

User avatar
The TJT
MARPaholic
MARPaholic
Posts: 2473
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2002 10:56 am
Location: 20 Grand Palace

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by The TJT » Mon May 05, 2014 7:42 pm

Nice work Ghemant!

Btw, Twingalaxies is somewhat operational again...

http://www.twingalaxies.com/forum.php

Novice
The greatest info supplyer
Posts: 504
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 8:28 am
Location: earth
Contact:

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by Novice » Mon May 12, 2014 12:41 pm

I am not interested in TG record.
in mind only gamest/arcadia record. it is almost always enough if you want to look for the highest score rest of the earth.
DEFence CONdition
WAR 1<< >>7 PEACE

User avatar
The TJT
MARPaholic
MARPaholic
Posts: 2473
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2002 10:56 am
Location: 20 Grand Palace

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by The TJT » Mon May 12, 2014 6:29 pm

Earth maybe... but what if you want to know the record for entire universe?! After all TG is the only "intergalactic scoreboard" that I'm aware of...

:wink:

Novice
The greatest info supplyer
Posts: 504
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 8:28 am
Location: earth
Contact:

Re: ARCADE HI-SCORE RULES AND PHILOSOPHY (WR concept)

Post by Novice » Mon May 12, 2014 8:13 pm

it does not have puchi carat.
DEFence CONdition
WAR 1<< >>7 PEACE

Post Reply