So I've been thinking about this for a bit and wanted peoples feedback on it. I've never liked the way time was started in this game and since the game is pretty dead atm, I was looking into if people where open to a new way to start time.
I personally think starting the timer when you hit start on the title screen makes the most sense. If someone has any other ideas about a good place to start time toss it out there and we can talk about it.
If there is a consensus on a new start time I will slowly work on re-timing runs so they are accurate and up to date on that front. Anyways let me know.
I apologize for not looking in to this thread sooner, SubStylee. I personally dropped off this game for a while, but as I'm currently the main active moderator on this thread that's not really excusable and I'd like to make up for that. I'm reviving this thread and will gladly talk with anyone interested in changing the timing standards for all categories.
Currently timing starts when you gain control of Strider. The main reason I can see against using this start time is that you can freely choose your level before this, and we currently don't have any rules about the order required for completion of levels. For Any% and Hien% this doesn't matter with the current route because Level 1 is the fastest way to unlock level 4, then level 5 so you would always want to start on that one, but that could potentially change if a warp/zip/ACE/other glitch was found. Furthermore, in All Stages runners may want to start with Level 2 or 3 to practice those levels more.
If the start time were to change, it would make the most sense to have the timer start when you select Hiryu or Hien Mode on the main menu as that is where you really choose the category you are running. If you start the timer from pressing the start button on the main menu, then Hien Mode inherently has a few frames of extra time added over Hiryu Mode due to menu navigation, but this is an extremely minor point that I'm willing to admit doesn't really matter.
Alternatively, if we were to change to one of these new methods, it really only adds ~20 some seconds of real time. When comparing times for a leaderboard there isn't too much of a difference to me with either option, but we should define if the timer would start when the menu beings to transition, or when you first hear the confirmation sound effect.
Another thing to consider is ordering leaderboards by real or in-game time.
Currently leaderboards are organized by real time. I've kept this the status quo since before I became a mod, but I've always assumed it was because cutscenes do not count towards in-game time and can be skipped or sped up by holding down a button. I have not seen any issues with loading discrepancies between versions (PSX, PSP, PSN, emulator) that would give a reason for us to change to in-game time, but I also have not done an in depth analysis of this. I'd love to hear other arguments because it seems like some leaderboard positions are separated only by how fast you can skip cutscenes.
I'm also fine with keeping the current timing conventions and if I get no responses to this thread then they'll remain the same.