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Welcome to the Atari Age NES High Score League!


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#1 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 6, 2010 8:29 PM

Welcome to the Atari Age NES High Score League!



Participation: To join the league, you need only to submit a score. While it would obviously be better for you if you start participating from the beginning, you can feel free to jump in at any time.

Game Selection: Games will be announced every Monday. While we will play every game for only one week, there will be a 2-day "grace period" allowed for posting scores. So while a week will technically end on a Sunday, you have an additional 2 days (meaning until Tuesday) to submit a score. This gives everyone an extra little pad in case things come up, the weekend is hectic, or you just plain forget until the next game is announced.

Playing the Game: While it is obviously preferable to use actual hardware, we all obviously have a unique library of games. It is pefectly acceptable to use emulators to play the games, provided that you do nothing to alter the original gameplay experience. Slowdown, save states, cheat codes, etc. are all various forms of cheating and have no place in the NES high score league. There is no way to verify this, so you are all on your honor.

Scoring: Unlike previous seasons, scoring in the league will be dependent on the actual score that a player achieves in the game. After all scores are submitted, the winning player is awarded 100 points, and the other players are assigned points based on how their score compares to the winning player's score. Example:

Player A achieves a score of 102,500.
Player B scores 81,200.
Player C scores 71,750.
Player D scores 42,300.

Player A, as the winner, is awarded the full 100 points.
Player B's score was 79% of the highest score submitted, so they are awarded 79 points.
Player C's score was 70% of the highest score submitted, so they are awarded 70 points.
Player D's score was 41% of the highest score submitted, so they are awarded 41 points.

Additionally, point bonuses are awarded to the top two players of the week, who receive bonuses of 10 and 5 points, respectively.

This scoring system may sound more complicated, but places more emphasis on game performance, while still rewarding the top players with additional point bonuses. After the first week of play, the standings would look like this:

Player A     110 points
Player B     84 points
Player C     70 points
Player D     41 points

Submitting your Score: To submit your score, all you need to do is post it in that week's thread. You can post as many scores as you like, as I will only count the highest one. You are encouraged to post a pic or screen cap of your score, but it is not required. As was mentioned previously, you have until two days after the following week's game is announced to submit your score.

Prizes: I will do my best to come up with small prizes to give to the winner of each season. Prizes will be announced whenever I come up with them. In addition to prizes for winning a season, I may give away smaller prizes appropriate for a particular week's game to that week's winner. The prizes will be small, and will certainly be nothing to cheat over! Single week prizes also provide incentive to those who for whatever reason are not in the running to win the season, either due to poor performance or a late start.

Suggestions? If you have suggestions concerning making the league run more smoothly, or just making it more fun, please never hesitate to speak up! You can PM me, or just post in the forum.

Good luck, and have fun!

Edited by Jibbajaba, Wed Jan 6, 2010 10:19 PM.


#2 Arjak OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 6, 2010 8:39 PM

Sounds awesome. Can't wait to play. :thumbsup:

#3 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 7, 2010 3:35 PM

Just for everyone's information, I have handed over the reins of this HSC to Jibbajaba. ;)

As you may have noticed :ponder: I've kind of lost enthusiasm for running this, so I was happy to turn things over to Chris.

One quibble I have...occasionally (i.e., http://www.atariage....k-#2-gun-smoke/) one player is so much better that all the other players don't really have a chance to get any points for the week, which can be discouraging.

See also here: http://www.atariage....#8-castlevania/ where the top two blew away the rest of the field.
And here: http://www.atariage....ek-#24-super-c/
And here: http://www.atariage....operation-wolf/
And etc.

Just my two cents. ;)

#4 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 7, 2010 4:36 PM

Just for everyone's information, I have handed over the reins of this HSC to Jibbajaba. ;)

As you may have noticed :ponder: I've kind of lost enthusiasm for running this, so I was happy to turn things over to Chris.

One quibble I have...occasionally (i.e., http://www.atariage....k-#2-gun-smoke/) one player is so much better that all the other players don't really have a chance to get any points for the week, which can be discouraging.

See also here: http://www.atariage....#8-castlevania/ where the top two blew away the rest of the field.
And here: http://www.atariage....ek-#24-super-c/
And here: http://www.atariage....operation-wolf/
And etc.

Just my two cents. ;)


Thanks, Bob. :)

In regards to your quibble, that's why all of the scores are normalized on a scale of 1-100. So that even if one player blows away everyone else, they don't gain THAT much of a lead. I totally see your point, but I think that proficiency with a game should be rewarded, and that a player that scores 1,000,000 points should not be awarded 10 points while someone who scored only 500,000 gets 8. To me that isn't fair to the better player, and I think this proportional scale also motivates people to do the best that they can, because their league score is affected more by their actual score and less by how they do compared to other players. For example, if you have three players score 65,000, 63,500, and 62,000, is it fair to give the first guy 10 points and the third guy 6, when their scores were within 5% of each other? I would argue that it is not.

Ultimately, I think that this system pushes people to really do the best that they can. If one person posts a really high score, other players may not be able to beat it, but they will be motivated to get as close to it as they can instead of just settling for second or third place and calling it a day.

Chris

#5 starcry OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:06 PM

I have to agree chris. The way its set up now pushes me to try and get as close to the score as possible at the top even if I have no hope of beating it so that I can collect points towards my over all. I noticed there are no longer the small bonuses for tips. Seems like the best tip of the week could get a 10 point bonus and the second best get a 5 point bonus. We are all trying to get better and offering that may cause some players to let go a secret they may have otherwise kept to get a higher score.

what do you think?

#6 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:19 PM

I don't like giving bonuses for tips for a couple of reasons. First, who judges which tip was the best? And second, anyone can go to GameFAQs or wherever and look up tips, and that shouldn't be rewarded. This is all about game play skill.

Chris

#7 Herbarius OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:29 PM

Just to make that absolutely clear: Is emulating the NES on a GBA legit? Yes, you already said Emulation is okay, and it also was apparently allowed on previous seasons, but I just want to rule out any possibility for a mistake.


Of course, provided the game is emulated well and not using any special options like slow motion or autofire. To make sure it's emulated well it's a good to activate the framerate-counter to see if the game runs at full speed, and if not try different settings (speed hacks, VSync, ...) to make it run fast enough... It would be nice if someone could always post information like that for the less technically skilled. I may do that, but don't count on me being around every week.


For example: This week's Gradius runs at a constant 50 fps on default settings, to get it back up to the 60 fps you have to enable the "PPU hack" option in the Speed Hacks section of the menu. I didn't recognize any side effects of this option in the game.
Also, you may disable the "JMP hack" option, which is set to ON by default, as it doesn't seem to provide any speed benefit - at least not with PPU hack already on. (I like to think the best way is always to use as little "hacks" at possible)
Do NOT disable V-Sync, as it will jump to speeds beyond 100fps.

Or, in short:
PPU hack ON, JMP hack OFF, (no other speed hacks), V-Sync ON


Oh, and speaking of framerates, what's the policy about PAL/NTSC games this time around? PAL obviously runs at 50 fps while NTSC uses 60 fps... And while some NES games, like last week's "Super Mario Bros.", have the PAL version adjusted so it plays at the same speed as the NTSC version, this doesn't seem to be true for the majority of NES games, so a lot of them run considerably slower (in my previous example, the PAL version of Gradius would propably had run at full speed without adjusting any setting, as coincidentally 50fps seems what was possible without enabling PPU hack.)

Edited by Herbarius, Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:57 PM.


#8 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:57 AM

I personally don't know anything about the GBA NES emulator. It is definitely fine to use it (or any emulator), but I don't know how the settings and whatnot work. I use "Nestopia" for Windows, and Gradius runs at 60 fps by default. I agree that it would be cool for people to post tips on how to get games to run properly in certain emulators.

In regards to your second question, we should all be playing the game at the same speed, so we should all be playing games at 60fps whenever possible. Gradius for example runs a lot slower when set to "PAL" mode. I guess this would also mean that anyone who has a PAL NES would need to use an emulator instead. I am curious to hear other people's opinions on this. The league is supposed to be fun, so I don't want it to get bogged down with a bunch of tedious rules, but it isn't going to be fun for everyone if we don't have a level playing field.

Chris

#9 Herbarius OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:26 PM

In regards to your second question, we should all be playing the game at the same speed, so we should all be playing games at 60fps whenever possible. Gradius for example runs a lot slower when set to "PAL" mode. I guess this would also mean that anyone who has a PAL NES would need to use an emulator instead. I am curious to hear other people's opinions on this. The league is supposed to be fun, so I don't want it to get bogged down with a bunch of tedious rules, but it isn't going to be fun for everyone if we don't have a level playing field.


First of all, some games have, like I said, the PAL version adjusted, so that despite running at 50 fps instead of 60, the gameplay has the same speed. Last weeks "Super Mario Bros." is a prime example. I don't know about Gradius, but it's true that most games run slower in the PAL version, propably saved effort (=money) in converting them... :sad:

Well, I don't really like the idea to make NES owners play with an Emulator, just because they live in a PAL region. Last season I asked the same question and they said it doesn't matter despite the (not exactly small) speed difference...
I'd suggest if played with an Emulator, you should always go for the NTSC version, but with real hardware you can go PAL... However, it would be nice if you state you played the PAL version when posting your score. Also, stick to one format, don't start the week with the NTSC version, then switch over to PAL when you feel it's too hard or something like that.

#10 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:24 AM


In regards to your second question, we should all be playing the game at the same speed, so we should all be playing games at 60fps whenever possible. Gradius for example runs a lot slower when set to "PAL" mode. I guess this would also mean that anyone who has a PAL NES would need to use an emulator instead. I am curious to hear other people's opinions on this. The league is supposed to be fun, so I don't want it to get bogged down with a bunch of tedious rules, but it isn't going to be fun for everyone if we don't have a level playing field.


First of all, some games have, like I said, the PAL version adjusted, so that despite running at 50 fps instead of 60, the gameplay has the same speed. Last weeks "Super Mario Bros." is a prime example. I don't know about Gradius, but it's true that most games run slower in the PAL version, propably saved effort (=money) in converting them... :sad:

Well, I don't really like the idea to make NES owners play with an Emulator, just because they live in a PAL region. Last season I asked the same question and they said it doesn't matter despite the (not exactly small) speed difference...
I'd suggest if played with an Emulator, you should always go for the NTSC version, but with real hardware you can go PAL... However, it would be nice if you state you played the PAL version when posting your score. Also, stick to one format, don't start the week with the NTSC version, then switch over to PAL when you feel it's too hard or something like that.


Gradius DEFINITELY runs smaller in PAL mode.

Ultimately, I agree with everything you say. People shouldn't play a game in PAL mode just so that they can play it at a slower speed, but if someone in a PAL region has the actual game then they should be able to play it on real hardware and not an emulator.

Chris

#11 doubleminor OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:55 AM

Any tips for taking a good TV pic with a camera?

#12 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:11 AM

Sure. I make sure that it's dark in the room so that there is no glare, and you especially don't want a light source behind the TV. If there is one, either zoom in or hold the camera very close to the screen and use the "macro" setting" so that only the TV itself is in the frame. I personally either put the camera on a tripod or on a stack of books so that I can leave the shutter open longer, but you really don't need to do that.

It really depends on how adjustable your camera is. I played with the shutter sped and aperture settings on my camera until I got it to look just right, but a lot of cameras don't let you mess with that stuff. You basically have to experiment with what you have.

Chris

#13 Tr3vor OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:11 PM

all i have to say is, DEFENDER II NEXT WEEK!!!

otherwise, if i have the game, or if i want to play so bad ill use an emulator (which is not very often) ill post my score.

#14 recspecz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:24 AM

I know it's late in the season, but I'll hope on board this round and see what happens :)




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