BEST-mix is a DDR & ITG simfile tournament, and is the longest running competition of its type.

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:35 pm 
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will-i-am wrote:
the presentation score isn't based on effort.

BLueSS wrote:
Presentation should reflect effort put into the file; not whether you personally disliked the effort or not. This is not a new ruling for "Presentation". This has always been the idea behind it.

Emphasis present in the original.

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:51 pm 
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As promised, comments on the files from bracket 1-4 that I didn't comment on previously:

Aped- I appreciate the ambitious song choice, but I just wasn't feeling this. The steps are alright, but nothing about the steps or the song interested me much. Not terrible or anything, but I just couldn't get into it.

My Little Pony- Sound quality not so good here. The steps were pretty solid, albeit bland, especially given what could have been. I think the BPM should have been doubled, and then the step patterns would be able to branch out a lot more and rhythms could have been a bit more varied and fun that way. As it stands, the chart is solid if not great, but it could have been so much more.

Vertex- Kewing's contest files always seem to fly under the radar. This simfile is fantastic! Greats patterns, rhythms, and the song choice is great. It's a bit repetitive but since it's on the short side I don't feel the repetition plays against it, and even then it's not like it's super repetitive. I enjoyed this a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:05 pm 
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jammitch!: I think the main idea regarding "effort" in presentation is that although extras may compensate for points lost from, say, weak graphics and inconsistent syncing, they shouldn't improve a file's score in any other way except maybe the tilt. An entry that has perfect sound quality, graphics, etc. in order to meet the basic requirements admirably should not lose points just because it doesn't have every possible extra chart or bg video. If that were the case, you may as well call -extras- part of the minimum requirements themselves. Taking off points for something like "copied from copied from" in the stepchart info or including .old files is okay, I guess, because those are simply examples of technical messiness/laziness, as opposed to an absence of extras.

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:16 pm 
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^ That. The way BLueSS used effort is different than the way you use it. By BLueSS's definition, effort means care, but by yours it means added material. Obviously, effort goes into making graphics, sometimes a whole lot of it with those of us who care to make our files look purdy, but the way you initially evaluated presentation made it seem like graphics effort was minimal and the only way to really show you went the extra mile was to include doubles. Because making graphics is easy. Which is why everyone made great artwork, right?

Fact of the matter is, none of us have the means to determine how much effort went into making these simfiles. We may have an idea, but we can't assume. Who knows how long it took Braedan to make his graphics for Good Time? Maybe it took him 5 minutes, but what if it took him 5 hours? That's a lot of effort, wouldn't you agree? But the turnout was sub-par. At the end of the day, the graphics are poor regardless of how much "effort" he put into them and that's all that should matter (sorry to pick on you, Braedan, your file is just the example :P).

Zounder wrote:
Vertex- Kewing's contest files always seem to fly under the radar.

So true. He's genuinely one of my all-time favorite simfile authors. Every step chart he makes is so focused and creative no matter how difficult a song choice he picks, and his song choice this time was certainly no walk in the park. MAYBE did well in BEST-mix #4 because it was fantastic, as expected, but people were able to connect with the accessible song. Stepping video game music is a tossup. You can either pull off a Back 2 Back or yield an outtake of virtualVISIONS (hey, those are both jammitch! projects!). I'd love for Vertex (Stage 1) to advance, but the competition is too tight in its bracket. I'm afraid it's going to be another overlooked Kewing file.


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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:16 pm 
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"Time spent" is definitely not the criterion I'm trying to convey here - more "value added".

I definitely know in the past there have been big fights over people getting marked down for grabbing stock art and put some text over it with a properly aliased stroke, because that's a reasonable expectation from a layperson, and I agree that it's not fair to punish someone in a simfile competition for not also being an expert at Blender. To me, this has established a certain baseline competence that 90% of files have in "presentation" that renders it a relatively useless category to judge as defined. I like to use the whole scale, and there just aren't enough things going on with presentation to warrant a five-point spread.

Out of the fifteen points I had to work with, a two-point swing for (bad art, baseline art, great art) would be about as far as I'd like to go with it, and there's maybe two files of 18 in each of the two outer buckets.

Along with that, we can legitimately talk about excluding extra charts (although I think there should be some better way of compensating it than tilt), but most other legitimate extras - videos, lyrics, CD titles - are distinctly related to the audiovisual appearance of the simfile.

Ideally, I'd probably want to allocate 2 or 3 of the 5 points to these baseline criteria, and then the rest to your choice of "extras". They'd still be optional, and you could choose to forgo the points, but you'd have a variety of choices to earn them. That's obviously not in the rules though.

More than anything, though, I was super-rushed through it.

And while I was a co-lead of vV, it was a community project. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:57 pm 
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jammitch! wrote:
Out of the fifteen points I had to work with, a two-point swing for (bad art, baseline art, great art) would be about as far as I'd like to go with it, and there's maybe two files of 18 in each of the two outer buckets.

Perfect, then use a 2-point spread for graphics, then consider other items that were part of the core presentation package such as SampleStart SampleLength Synching and um any other technical items. I think Coped From - Copied From is a fine comment, that shows in some StepMania themes and is a sign of laziness, but the theme I was using didn't show that field :(. Personally I think 5 points was to low, compared to 20 points for two step charts (big imbalance of points vs. effort), but that's how the judging goes. Some of my favorites got 3rd or 4th in their brackets but I am just trying to judge fairly.


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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:53 pm 
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We all appreciate you submitting reviews regardless. So, on behalf of everyone with files in the DDR brackets, thanks for those!

I know the system isn't perfect because there's a lot of aspects to simfiles that can't be evaluated across the board in an entirely fair manner due to optional features like video, extra charts, and the lot that some files can't even include, but I have to say this system is considerably fairer than a system that favors extras over required material. Again, OSC BoNG had major problems with this. Judges were basically given the opportunity to award as many points as they wished to files with extas, with I believe a cap of somewhere around 25 points, and the total for required material was 25 (this is all from memory; I don't have access to the contest forum as bemanistyle has started anew after a massive destructive overhaul). You can assume things turned out a bit skewed with a system that allows files to score 200%. In the end, a file with the bare minimum requirements, Mata Hari, won the contest, which just goes to show that the importance of a good step chart trumps every other aspect of a simfile.

And I know vV was a community project. I was a part of it! :P


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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Yeah, I think in general, these competitions put a lot more emphasis on grading steps than presentation because it's mainly those which ultimately determine how fun a simfile is. Nonetheless, having good presentation can slightly improve the enjoyability of the overall package. Bottom line, there should be some care put into presentation, but it's not really that significant unless it truly hurts the quality of the simfile.

A good example of a file that deserves a poor presentation score, in my opinion, is 9000 (remix) from Best-Mix #1. Where do I even begin with that one? Besides the fact that the entry doesn't entirely follow the rules due to a lack of an artist on the banner, the sound quality is badly muffled, the syncing is quite noticeably off, the graphics are fuzzy and poorly-made, the song cut is really short, and the songwheel sample basically just covers the DBZ sample and doesn't give an adequate representation of the song itself. And even though it does have a background video, it's not synced properly and therefore does little to help matters. Basically, the presentation was so off for that file that it had a notable effect on the its enjoyability for me. If none of these problems were present, then I would have definitely enjoyed the simfile more, even though it still has uninteresting steps as well. On the other hand, a simfile with excellent basic presentation like Sparks Fly is not really any less enjoyable just because it doesn't have many extras, so for me at least, it seems completely reasonable to rate it a 5/5 on presentation.

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Oh right I guess I'll comment on some Apocalypse things.

Valex wrote:
Song choice was your main problem here really; next time just pick a song that doesn't repeat the same 10 seconds over and over for half the song

Excel wrote:
The song did have a lot of repetitive parts in it, so maybe a shorter cut could help?
I wasn't actually aware of the repetitiveness until I actually started making the stepcharts to it. The song could have easily been cut to the fake stop (albeit a bit differently so it isn't abrupt) but cutting anything out of the repetitive parts would have really killed the song's flow to me. Couldn't vary it up with a second verse cut edit because the second half is exactly like the first half of the song (with very minor differences which you can hear when the simfile gets out of the repetitive sections). I ended up taking it as a challenge and stuck with it rather than simply think of a replacement song.

I could hear the repetitiveness in the song cut as I was cutting, but I knew I couldn't do anything about it and thought I could work with it. I'm not that great with cutting songs and doing anything more would have destroyed the quality.

hellrazor wrote:
Aside from the clogged minefields it was fantastic, will you fix that please?
I personally like the minefields, although I guess the 8th note jumps with mines is a bit much. I could probably remove the mines from those sections and move them appropriately to still make it tense but not in the way as much. I mainly added them in to work with my idea of Apocalypse being something devastating, so without flooding the chart with notes or crazy BPM changes, I stuck with mines. I'll probably clean up a few of these later on when I actually finish it up for release later.

At the end of the day, I mostly made the simfile for my own enjoyment (as I always do) and made one I really enjoy out of it, so I guess that is all I care about. I don't enter these things to win anyway. I just needed an excuse to make a simfile again since the last one I even bothered with was almost a year ago. I'm glad that people like it though.

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:23 pm 
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#Infinity wrote:
jammitch!: I think the main idea regarding "effort" in presentation is that although extras may compensate for points lost from, say, weak graphics and inconsistent syncing, they shouldn't improve a file's score in any other way except maybe the tilt. An entry that has perfect sound quality, graphics, etc. in order to meet the basic requirements admirably should not lose points just because it doesn't have every possible extra chart or bg video. If that were the case, you may as well call -extras- part of the minimum requirements themselves. Taking off points for something like "copied from copied from" in the stepchart info or including .old files is okay, I guess, because those are simply examples of technical messiness/laziness, as opposed to an absence of extras.

Exactly this.

will-i-am wrote:
Again, OSC BoNG had major problems with this. Judges were basically given the opportunity to award as many points as they wished to files with extas, with I believe a cap of somewhere around 25 points, and the total for required material was 25 (this is all from memory; I don't have access to the contest forum as bemanistyle has started anew after a massive destructive overhaul).

The one tournament in my series that I wasn't a part of... I never actually found out how it went after the fact. :p

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:25 pm 
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My only concern with a review so far:

Hellrazor wrote:
Intelligent Life - Pad test your charts, you forced unnecessary spins.

They're footswitches, I pad tested it many times before submission. I placed a mine at each individual instance to help differentiate them from the rest of the patterns.

[edit]
In response to a recent additional post:

will-i-am wrote:
Fascination Molly
Is that one of w1p3out's vids? MDMA with DDR? DDR is my MDMA. <333333333

Yessir, and the song was written by him as well for DDR Encore. The entire thing is just one custom mess of gimmicky joy :D


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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:02 pm 
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hellrazor wrote:
BG is well it's amazing but I wanted to mark it down because I did not want to see earth trucks on roads, but somehow they fit in better with the guitars and the gritty feel of the song.

I apologize profusely for this shortfall, but my search for image stock of space trucks came up a bit short :(

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:24 pm 
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Telperion wrote:
hellrazor wrote:
BG is well it's amazing but I wanted to mark it down because I did not want to see earth trucks on roads, but somehow they fit in better with the guitars and the gritty feel of the song.

I apologize profusely for this shortfall, but my search for image stock of space trucks came up a bit short :(


if this was facebook i'd like this post

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:16 am 
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Tel's posts are always likeable :3

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 Post subject: Re: Bracket 1 - Download Link & Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:20 am 
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Very good files overall, guys. I really enjoyed some of them. I'm sorry I couldn't vote, but it's been an extra hectic week, and I haven't been able to play the files deeply enough to make a fair judgement. Congratulations to anyone who passes.

On to some things...

I think Infinity and hellrazor made some comments on weird/unexpected double-steps/spins in Vertex:
Flow has always been my main directive when doing simfiles, and always design them so you never, never have to double-step (very rarely I do this, unless it's unavoidable in order to keep the overall structure into place, or for some intentional experimentation); Vertex is no exception, and was designed with no double-steps in mind at all. Throughout the charts there's some implied crossovers, if you play carefully you'll see everything falls into place and you don't spin/double-step a single time. Give it a try at a lower speed if needed.


@Jammitch regarding Vertex:
Yeah the DISPLAYBPM was a slip up I didn't think of, I agree it would have been better with a constant one. About the slowness of the first part, the song DOES start slow, and to keep the progressive difficult feeling of the file, I didn't to want to touch that part any further. I'm sure with a single note added it would feel overstepped (to me at least).

will-i-am wrote:
MAYBE did well in BEST-mix #4 because it was fantastic, as expected, but people were able to connect with the accessible song. Stepping video game music is a tossup.

Yes, you don't don't really have that much of a chance with those; as I've seen over the years, personal taste does count, after all. But unfortunately for me, I'm stubborn/stupid and that's just what I like most to listen to and step (reminder: I step for my own enjoyment). I thought I would have learned the lesson, but I was actually confident on this final one, since it is my favorite of everything I've done up to now. Thought it would be nice as an ending. But whatever; I'm really tired of even trying to care anymore.
Glad a few of you at least enjoyed it, though.

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