Forums  /  The Site  /  SRC Rules Feedback (Locked)
  kirkqkirkq

New pages now exist with substantial text describing how the site handles things.

https://www.​speedrun.​com/rules
https://www.​speedrun.​com/moderationrules
https://www.​speedrun.​com/requestgame
https://www.​speedrun.​com/gamerequestrules

This is a work in progress to document all of the confusing things that go on around here. There should not be anything particularly surprising in there, but there is some clarification on a few gray cases we've run into over the years.

If you have feedback, questions, or additions for the documents, or if you disagree with the wording of something, please let me know.

This current set of documents does not attempt to cover the topics of FAQs, Leaderboard Setup, Getting Started, Recording Guides, Speedrunning Glossarys, Recommended Emulators, Recommended Console Guidelines. Those may be separate pages in the future.

The focus of this is on the rules and the game requests right now.

DarQ_MassacresDarQ_Massacres, StevenMayteStevenMayte and 11 others like this. 
  ShikenNuggetsShikenNuggets

Awesome, very happy to see that this is a thing now. Just read through it all. As a whole, I think my only problems with it are the redundancy (there's a couple things stated in both the general rules and the moderation rules), as well as the fact that, aside from the wording of individual points, there's not a lot of distinction between strictly-enforced rules (do not do this) and guidelines/best practices (this is discouraged/recommended).

Something that might be worth adding: if you have a donator or Twitch Partner/Affiliate icon, don't set it to a staff badge (super mod sword, full mod/admin badge, etc). That might just fall under staff impersonation, but might still be worth stating explicitly.

Also, this is relatively minor, but I'd consider rewording this:

Quote

The site discourages usage of a % sign after a category name aside from any% and 100%. Many users dislike this.

to something like this:
Quote

Using a % sign at the end of a category name (e.g. Tutorial%) is generally discouraged, with some notable exceptions such as Any%, 100%, Low%, etc.

-Gives a clear example of what not to do
-Open-ends the list of things that are fine, rather than suggesting that only Any% and 100% are acceptable
-IMO, the "many users dislike this" part isn't something that needs to be stated on a rules page

Gave2hazeGave2haze likes this. 
  kirkqkirkq

ShikenNuggets: 1: I'd rather not give people the idea. I think more people would do it if they realized it was a way to be an idiot. 2: I'll reword that section.

Some of the redundancy is intentional to remind both the users and the moderators what the expectations are from both sides.

On "should/shall/generally", I tried to pick appropriate words. There's always some corner case where someone might have a really really good reason to do something differently. There are a pretty small number of items that fall under "shall"

BoonBoon, ImaproshamanImaproshaman and 2 others like this. 
  6oliath6oliath

Fantastic, this kind of site-wide policy clarification is very welcome.

Some early feedback:

Under "Moderator Permissions" section, I think maybe a few permissions were left out. Not sure if intentional. Might be worth stating there that Supers and Mods can self-verify, and that they can edit runs. (Might as well also include that regular users can edit their own runs.)

It doesn't seem to say anywhere on the new rules pages that mods need to have updated social media site links. I think we should be very explicitly clear on that.

Also, the rules do not cover in any detail controversial topics of mods unfollowing their own games, self verification, video requirement, and verification requirement. The rules are probably deliberately vague on these issues, but I just wanted to point this out in the unlikely event that they were missed.

Sometimes we get new users who aren't sure whether to submit a PB as a new run or to edit their previous PB. This might be the place to write that down. It's hard to say whether it will help the absolute beginners by chucking more text at them to read, but I figure if there's one place to have it written down somewhere, the rules is a good one.

If you'll allow me to be nitpicky... Generally there are parts that could be proofread, with some missing words, and some typos; you can tell where the wording was reworked over and over in an effort to make it accurate, but in some sections this ended up ungrammatical. After the first wave of feedback, I hope you guys can spare the time to go over the rules again and use plain language and neutral connotations where possible.

Thank you 😃

 
  Tron_JavoltaTron_Javolta

There's a wee mistake in the Consensus section with the sentence "How do would communities of other games in the series handle the issue?"

ImaproshamanImaproshaman and kirkqkirkq like this. 
  fGeorjjefGeorjje

here's my two cents:

• [..] If controversy and drama arises frequently from a user's conduct, site staff may remove the user from moderation.

site staff can't determine this better than the community itself, especially in an online climate where mass manipulation of outside consensus is easy. conduct issues should be handled by the community, and if an entire community happens to be off the rails, then that entire community goes.

• Leaderboards should aim to have at least 3 active moderators if qualified people are available.

pay TV idea: we follow 3 chosen and only SMO mods on their verification adventure. here comes the money.

this shouldn't be quantified at all, it depends on so many things:

- amount of runners active on the game
- run length - 5 minute cat is gonna need less mods with the same amount of active runners than 5 hours
- what category are the active runners currently focusing (short any% vs long 100%)
- how optimized are these active runners, 10 newcomers will submit new PBs every week, the opposite with people on top
- verification workload for the game, e.g. a game I mod (NFS:C) needs manual frame-by-frame retiming for loads removal (thanks EA for making autosplitters basically impossible)

shouid be completely removed

• For the top time in a category, it is generally expected that the entire run be watched.
• For times that are not particularly notable, reviewing small portions of the video may be sufficient.

if there is differential run handling then mods should be required to document the cutoff times for those.

onto general rules:

• [bans for] faking/falsifying runs
• Intentionally submitting falsified runs is prohibited. This includes attempts to "test" moderators, which will likely get you banned.

ik this will never get changed but banning what could (with some UX changes) effectively be free pentesting sounds stupid, whatever not that big of a deal

• The video must be of a reasonable enough viewing quality to see everything going on in the game.
(alt from mod rules) • It is reasonable to expect that the video must be of a reasonable enough viewing quality and stable framerate to clearly see everything going on in the game. It is not recommended to set a strict threshold such as 720p.

the "everything" can be defined widely here, this should be left up to case by case.

various other stuff:

- general gameplay rules should probably include something about pre-existing saves/progress and how that's often considered NG+.
- for vandalism, either add an exception for april 1st or directly state it's vandalism no matter the date, there was a bunch of drama this year around that date.

everything else looks very reasonable.

 
  PresJPolkPresJPolk

Agree with the above suggestion: Expressly ban "testing the moderators" with cheated or stolen runs.

ImaproshamanImaproshaman likes this. 
  ShikenNuggetsShikenNuggets

Originally posted by fGeorjjebanning what could (with some UX changes) effectively be free pentesting sounds stupid

The issue is that there was at least one case of somebody submitting a fake run, it gets verified, several months later it's determined that the run was cheated, and then that user claimed that they were "testing the mods" to cover their ass. Even when intentions are pure, submitting fake runs for any reason just causes problems for the leaderboard and the mods. There are better ways to improve verification standards than unsolicited "tests".

Originally posted by PresJPolkAgree with the above suggestion: Expressly ban "testing the moderators" with cheated or stolen runs.

That's already in the rules (and has informally been a ban-able offense for quite a while).

ImaproshamanImaproshaman and HowDenKingHowDenKing like this. 
  PicantePicante

On the above discussion about having at least three active moderators, I agree that it is highly game dependent, but I don't think it should be removed. Having only one moderator is really the issue here (i.e. having all your eggs in one basket). Since "should aim" is different than "must have", it looks like it is more about normalizing the behavior, which is important on the site.

Perhaps it could be changed to one of the following:

"Leaderboards should aim to have multiple active moderators if qualified people are available."

or

"Leaderboards should aim to have multiple active moderators, aiming for 3 or more if qualified people are available."

QuivicoQuivico and ShikenNuggetsShikenNuggets like this. 
  seckswrecksseckswrecks

Focusing on the game submission guidelines.

Not every game is going to have a community out of the gate. Someone has to lay the groundwork and without access to a resourcelike src to share their work with potentially interested parties the level of difficulty of having a run Garner interest is incredible.

Making judgment calls about how much effort you THINK a developer put into a game is disgusting, at a glance someone could say this whole website looks like a week's effort of a teenager with copy pasted w3cschools assets

AprilSRAprilSR, sapphicssapphics and 9 others like this. 
  DangerlessDangerless

I disagree with you, and this is coming from someone who has been around speedrunning since the "golden age" era. (Edit: Apparently people have taken this first sentence out of context, I'm referring to 2011-2013 when speedrunners at the time would simply just stream all their attempts, eventually they inspired people to run their games. The best they had was skype to build their communities, leaderboards were fairly minor. I understand the importance of them today but I still believe people are focusing too much on the "advertising" aspect of a leaderboard).

A leaderboard means nothing in your context, if you are looking to advertise your work in a run then you are doing it wrong. A leaderboard also does not build a community (seriously, I'm sure you can find dozens and dozens of boards on the site with non-existent communities), sometimes a community just doesn't form or simply takes years there's so many factors with this we'll be here talking about it all day. I've noticed there seems to be this mindset though going around for awhile, people think a leaderboard changes all this...

As for your last statement, perhaps the choice of words in the rules are a bit poor but no offense coming off aggressive doesn't do you any good. It's fine if people want to provide criticism but this isn't a good way to go about it.

BoonBoon and SeydieSeydie like this. 
  LivLiv

@seckswrecksseckswrecks

The rules, for the most part, have always stated this but prior in the form of simply 'short / trivial games or short/ trivial flash games'. Nothing has really changed on our end process wise, but we were asked to try be more transparent and that was attempted.

Some of the stuff could likely stand to be reworded and re-reading some of it back I can understand somewhat where perhaps some of this is coming from, but the aim has always been to prevent extremely short / trivial games getting through the queue.

We'll be looking over some of the wording over the next week or so. If there's any more feedback, feel free to give it so we can take that on board whilst we discuss it.

[Edit: After some quick discussion we have altered a line to: "The game should show that a reasonable level of effort has been put into development from a functionality standpoint."

Previously this line read: "The game should show some level of effort by the developer that is better than a week spent by a teenager using generic Unity assets."

Which after a discussion we decided reads off in kind of bad taste.

Context for this specific line is that in the past we've received games sent to us that were games with no programmed collision (we have actually had these in the queue multiple times) and the AI obviously not programmed properly or at all. So the game amounted to walking through terrain to an end point and that's it.]

QuivicoQuivico, ShikenNuggetsShikenNuggets and 2 others like this. 
  kmrdkmrd

Yeah a leaderboard doesn't make a community. Some leaderboards are made and then nothing comes of it for years.

But it certainly helps lol

 
  KrayzarKrayzar

While I get where you're coming from @Dangerless and @Liv, there's certainly a number of games that I run that seem like leaderboards might never have existed under the new rules. I run them simply because I saw them listed here and decided to give them a try. And now due to the activity and competition, others are too. But I don't think that's really the point in itself.

I think a lot of the concern over the rules stem from the wording in Request Processing Details. It makes it seem like there's very little wiggle room, and I don't think it's an accurate reflection of what is intended. I don't think things have changed much at all from how the staff has been doing things, as @Liv alludes to, but some of the rules wording certainly make it seem like it.

• The game should have a reasonable length such as 5 minutes or longer.

Okay, the game shouldn't be too short, but there's plenty of legit games that can be beaten in under 5 minutes. This makes it look like there might be a problem with all games under 5 minutes. Don't think that's intended. Maybe just putting that: Average non-speedrun playthroughs should be over 5 minutes with exceptions at the staff's discretion? That's what I think the intent is.

• The game should show some level of effort by the developer that is better than a week spent by a teenager using generic Unity assets.

Okay, beyond that this comes off as condescending, I don't think this leaves room in the wording for games that are somehow notable despite serious drawbacks in quality. Maybe something like: The game should have a level of polish or notability. There, leaves lots of grey area for the Admin staff's discretion, and doesn't come off too harsh.

EDIT: I still think it's pretty condescending with the edit @Liv stated, but at least it's better.

• The game should have been played by a reasonably large number of people.

I think this is meaning that it should have a notable player base? At some point? I can see a lot of exceptions and room for confusion in this one. I myself thought this meant that it should be speedrun by a large number of people on first read. Think this is again a notability thing, but I can't fix this one without knowing what's intended, so I'll ask some questions:

Does this mean played casually by a large number of people?
Does this refer to the availability of the game, or that the game was popular and well known enough?
How does this handle prototypes and recent re-releases that aren't widely available due to being packaged with a product?

QuivicoQuivico likes this. 
  jellyd0tsjellyd0ts

As a person of some of those non-existent communities I do agree that simply having a board doesn't give you a community on that game directly. What you're missing is the meta community(which I do admit may not necessarily need a leaderboard?). There's some communities that are more based around finding and doing interesting runs than them being a community centered around one run. I've been shocked several times by people who'd tell me they knew me from some obscure run I did years ago. Just because there's not many runners doesn't mean no one's seeing the leaderboard.

One notable example from me is picoban, a random sokoban style game that I literally thought no one on earth cared about, but somehow my run has nearly 3k views. No one's ever told me they've watched that run, but I get to know that people have seen it. Communities aren't always loud and in your face.

A bigger example of the above is the 'NES community' where there's a lot of games with less than 10 runners, but tons and tons of NES runners will still know those games and the runners. Again, a meta community is present there.

And while I do agree that a community growing around a game may not always happen, I also think you're downplaying the effects that a game's leaderboard can have. Marathon organizers, multi-game races organizers and sometimes even developers themselves will look on speedrun.com for a certain game. Having a leaderboard with just one run is often enough for them to gather: game length, lack of runners and whether there's something interesting to be done there

Heck there's literally the Obscure Speedruns Club that explicity looks at speedrun leaderboards to check how many runners there are and only accept games with max 15 runners over the board.

Besides all that, I do want to mention that if you took those final words from secks as aggressive, maybe consider that that's exactly what the rules themselves said. I got pretty upset when I saw that line and I definitely don't think that throwing it back at you guys is that aggressive. I run some games where the devs have said people told them it looked like a 2 week dev cycle, while they had worked on it for 2 years. To me this rule just comes across as a recurring pattern from the site(I don't remember people in particular) to look down on games for little reason.

To bring this to an end, I do think the needing optimization for speedrunning rule is a bit weird. A big part of speedrunning is finding new strats and glitches. There's some games that got brought down by several minutes just by finding something new or just one new person running the game making the discovery. I imagine you guys have certain type of games in mind, but the rule as it is now doesn't appear to me like something anyone, including speedrun.com moderators, can accurately judge any game on.

ImaproshamanImaproshaman, QuivicoQuivico and 6oliath6oliath like this. 
  DangerlessDangerless

@KrayzarKrayzar

Regarding the rules; people are interpreting it wrongly, some of it isn't clear or make complete sense either we are already aware about the choice of wording and were going to eventually alter a handful of things (seriously, how did people use Super Mario Bros as an example at all? I've been seeing that one tossed around for some strange reason).

The last one we actually just talked about in a recent discussion, that one is going to get rewritten entirely but I believe originally that specific one was for extremely obscure games where it could get accepted/rejected (in the middle) so we would end up trying to see if they had some kind of community backing and before anyone even argues this, yes people have provided their resources of showing us others have run their game which contributes to the decision.

ImaproshamanImaproshaman, QuivicoQuivico and 2 others like this. 
  DangerlessDangerless

@jellyd0tsjellyd0ts I found it aggressive because it wasn't in any form constructive criticism, users are wrongly interpreting the rules which is our fault but it is no excuse to lash out.

As for everything else, like I said there are a million factors that contributes to forming a community but I am a strong firm believer that a leaderboard by itself will never do that job for anyone at all but were not here to argue about this. If you'd like make another thread for discussion on this topic. Maybe a leaderboard helps, maybe it doesn't, either way the number of communities on the site that are non-existent out weight the ones that somewhat exist.

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  KrayzarKrayzar

@Dangerless

I think people are interpreting it wrongly and responding angrily because some of them are very ambiguous, and not in a good way, i.e. a way that supports the Admin staff doing their jobs on SRC. It's good to hear they are being worked on (as you just stated in your post actually). And hey, writing concise guidelines are hard things to do. I get it. It's ambitious and amazing that the staff is try to codify things and make things transparent. I love that personally.

Just think a few of those that I discussed probably don't accurately represent the intent.

And, yeah, proof that multiple people run it probably makes sense for adding very obscure things (just noticed that in your post).

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  PersonmanPersonman

I have a concern regarding "• The game should have been played by a reasonably large number of people."

I have recently routed and run a brand new game, and I submitted a game request for it (i think shortly before this rules update, but that probably doesn't matter). I'm of course the only runner currently. I was hoping that having an SRC page already set up would make it more enticing for other runners to try it out, so I was holding off on posting my run to r/speedrun until the approval came through.

Is this really an unreasonable thing to do? Why shouldn't an SRC leaderboard be part of building a game's community from the beginning?

EDIT after reading more of this thread (I was originally asked to paste the above from Discord):

I am heartened to hear that the # of players rule will be rewritten, but a bit nervous about "I believe originally that specific one was for extremely obscure games where it could get accepted/rejected (in the middle) so we would end up trying to see if they had some kind of community backing." My game IS very obscure; I was just under the impression that SRC was in the business of hosting leaderboards for pretty obscure games. It's a good game with interesting speed tech, it's definitely not spam or anything, but it definitely isn't going to have any kind of community outside of what I can manage to scrape together on reddit and twitter, and maybe OSC someday. I guess I'll wait and see what happens for now, but I guess I just hope that the value of tiny communities isn't forgotten.

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