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puwexil: 2014-10-02 12:38:12 am
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puwexil: 2014-08-08 11:48:11 am
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puwexil: 2014-05-13 12:50:36 pm
puwexil: 2014-05-13 12:49:32 pm
puwexil: 2014-05-13 12:28:32 pm
Professional Second Banana
VODs:
http://www.twitch.tv/puwexil/c/5122769 (full relay), http://www.twitch.tv/puwexil/c/5194688 (Chrono Trigger bonus race)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxmuedQTLk90O0JAmROCSUSQHFxb0mSro (relay + CT playlist)


Dream Team
FF4-Neerrm - http://www.twitch.tv/neerrm
FF5-Deln - http://www.twitch.tv/deln
FF6-Dreamboum - http://www.twitch.tv/dreamboum

Team Tellahthon
FF4-crumps2 - http://www.twitch.tv/crumps2
FF5-Incalex - http://www.twitch.tv/inkalex
FF6-LCC - http://www.twitch.tv/thelcc

Team Ultros Boogie ( )
FF4-FeralPigMan - http://www.twitch.tv/feralpigman
FF5-HappySquid - http://www.twitch.tv/happysquid89
FF6-Essentia - http://www.twitch.tv/essentiafour

Team Y Burn
FF4-Khobahi - http://www.twitch.tv/khobahi
FF5-Jenja - http://www.twitch.tv/jenja23
FF6-eLmaGus - http://www.twitch.tv/elmagus

FF4 Commentary: obdajr, nocashnocash, Deuceler
FF5 Commentary: puwexil, Dragondarch
FF6 Commentary: mistermv, Brossentia

4-Way Race View: http://www.twitch.tv/puwexil
日本のミラー (Japanese Restream): http://com.nicovideo.jp/community/co1286632

Bonus Game Options (winning game will be raced the weekend of Sept 20-21, at a time that works for all of the runners):
ecret of Mana (Any% 1p2c): StingerPA, Yagamoth, Crow!
Lufia 2 (Any%): HappySquid, Vultuz, ViiMan, Dragondarch
FF Mystic Quest (Any%): FFGamer86, Vultuz, eLmaGus, Jenja
Chrono Trigger (Any%): Essentia, eLmaGus, Jenja, Obdajr

Bonus game vote awards for race place (per game)/audience voting (entire relay):
1st place: 8
2nd place: 6
3rd place: 4
4th place: 2

Bonus game incentives - vote awards 4/3/2/1 by rank, for incentives where ties are possible, the ties will share a rank (so if the teams get 3/2/2/1 hits on Edward, the 3 will get 1st place and 4 bonus game votes, both 2's will get 2nd place and 3 votes, and the 2 will get 3rd place and 2 votes).
FF4:
# of times Tellah hits Edward - ranked highest to lowest
# of EGGs encountered (3x EGG battle counts as 3) - ranked highest to lowest

FF5 (RNG sympathy votes):
# of turns to learn Goblin Punch (ranked highest to lowest)
# of Dark Shock misses on Gilgamesh 3 and Atomos (combined, ranked highest to lowest)

FF6:
Opera performance (as ranked by 'professional' judges - be as creative as you want to, can be team group effort)
Time to save Cid (timed from gaining control of Celes to "I feel much better" text box, time rounded down to nearest full second and ranked lowest to highest)

Signup Info: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqEudIauJEyodEQ5NE1yODB2eXMxNUhlUVoxNDlkNXc&usp=sharing

With how successful the 1st Final Fantasy IV-V-VI Relay Race was at 5219 viewers peak, and with how much fun was had; there's no way we're not doing it again!

I'm targeting to have the next relay sometime in August or September (depending on runner availability) and probably start sign-ups/scheduling in June; but I wanted to get this thread going in advance for logistics discussion.

Thread for the 1st relay was https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/snes_final_fantasy_relay_race__2814__10am_est.html - VOD links and final thoughts are in my post on the final page.

Games/Categories
I think the Any% runs (no 64-floor glitch for FF4) for each game remain the most popular/competitive categories on SDA/SRL and have had enough new discoveries (like the Edge levelling route in 4 and the new Locke's Scenario route in 6) that we should stick with those.  The drop in viewership during 5 at the 1st relay concerned me somewhat - we went from ~5000 at the end of 4 to around 1500-2000 as we got deep into 5.  I was expecting viewership to drop during 5 due to it being a less popular/nostalgic game for Westerners than 4/6, but was disappointed it didn't fully recover for 6 (I think 6 peaked around 2500).

Viewer counts obviously aren't the be-all/end-all; but with how strong the FF6 runners are, I'd really like them to get a fair share of the hype/attention/new followers - if the big viewer dip happens again, maybe for a future relay I'll try replacing FF5 with Chrono Trigger since that was basically the equivalent of FF5 in the SNES age for us.

Stream Layout
Overall, I thought the setup we used last time (runners streaming to their own channels and restreamed on my channel) worked out great and should be repeated - having 1 relay channel was very strong for promotion, chat/viewer engagement, and VODs.  Drawbacks that I can think of were:

Extra streaming delay - this can be somewhat mitigated by commentators watching the runners' personal streams instead of the relay stream.

Limiting the # of runners that can participate - this isn't entirely bad, since having more than 4 teams would make it pretty difficult for viewers to follow, and having 4 teams of the best SNES FF runners around definitely makes for more hype event.

Limiting options for stream audio - I originally planned to have 1 runner from each team stream just their game audio for me to play on the relay stream, but discovered last minute that doing so would mean those runners couldn't join the Skype call (or else they'd be restreaming the Skype call too).  I ended up playing the OCRemix albums for FF4 and FF6 (I was playing FF5 and was able to stream my game audio without interfering with Skype), though I know there was some disappointment over not hearing any actual game music/sound effects for 4/6.  I'm open to suggestions if anyone has other ideas for next time.

Changes I'd like to try
Having 1-2 extra Skype commentators for each game - I basically did this myself for FF4 and FF6 last time since I'm pretty familiar with the Any% routes; but since there's almost certainly going to be more interest in the relay than there is space on the teams, I'd love to give more FF4-6 runners a chance to contribute to the event even if they don't end up playing.

Relay Introduction - Something a recent Japanese FF4-6 relay I watched did that I really liked was play a video and slideshow before actually starting the runs, that went over the rules for the relay and gave short bios for the individual runners/commentators.  I should be able to take care of the slideshow myself, but I'd need some help making an intro video if there's interest (which would maybe have some memorable speedrun moments from each game and from the last relay, set to music).

Japanese FAQ - We had a Japanese restream on Nico Live last time that got a pretty decent turnout (around 2000 visitors over the course of the relay); and I'd love to do that again assuming cookie is willing to run it again.  I have an offer from a Japanese SDA/SRL runner to help write a Japanese FAQ for the event, which I'll take him up on to explain how our community timing/gamplay/glitch rules work and how the English versions of FF4-6 differ from the Japanese versions.  Our community draws a lot of inspiration/strats from the Japanese FF community, so I'd love to use this as an opportunity to draw us a bit closer together (even if it's extremely unlikely that we'll ever have Japanese runners in our relay like the Mega Man community does, due to too many game version and community rule differences).

Bonus game incentive - I'd like to continue having fun challenges/incentives in the runs; but instead of having them directly affect the run times like last time, I'd like to try having them be votes towards adding a 4th game to the relay (options could be ~4 of games like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana/Evermore, Lufia II, Terranigma, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, FF4 with 64-door glitch, etc - basically games that have a decent-sized overlap with FF4-6 for both fanbase and speedrun communities, and which have enough active runners that I'd be able to pull together a 3-4 person race without a lot of trouble); and maybe give the stream viewers some means of voting too (weighted in some way so that the runners and viewers have roughly equal voice).  The bonus game race would NOT be the same day as FF4-6 as that would make scheduling impossible - we'd aim to have it the next day or weekend depending on runner availability.

Having the bonus incentives not directly impact the FF4-6 run times would also open up some options for silly/fun incentives that are mostly RNG-based, like which team runs into more EGGs in FF4, has the fewest Dark Shock misses in FF5, cures Cid the fastest in FF6, etc.


If anyone has feedback on any of this, let me know!
Thread title:  
Would it be possible for streamers to all be in a Skype call, but then have each individual streamer only streaming their in-game audio? That way, you could shift between in-game audio of the stream without the Skype call being repeated.
SDA Speedruns: 1
I really want to get in this. I don't know rhe routes for FF4-6 but do run MQ.
Professional Second Banana
Quote from Neerrm:
Would it be possible for streamers to all be in a Skype call, but then have each individual streamer only streaming their in-game audio? That way, you could shift between in-game audio of the stream without the Skype call being repeated.

That's what I wanted to do last time with 1 runner per game, but they both ended up having their streams set to play desktop audio, which included both the game and Skype audio.  If we can figure out a setup to just do pure game audio, then it should work out better.
I think as long as participants are aware that this is the required setup then it'd be okay
Gotta Go Fast!
Quote from puwexil:
Quote from Neerrm:
Would it be possible for streamers to all be in a Skype call, but then have each individual streamer only streaming their in-game audio? That way, you could shift between in-game audio of the stream without the Skype call being repeated.

That's what I wanted to do last time with 1 runner per game, but they both ended up having their streams set to play desktop audio, which included both the game and Skype audio.  If we can figure out a setup to just do pure game audio, then it should work out better.
I think the problem with that - example: during your FF5 run, I felt like it took the attention away from the other runners when you streamed just your game audio. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I felt like the OC Remixes were brilliant for 4/6 in this case. Coming from a viewer standpoint anyway.

If you own the soundtracks for 4-6, you could stream that?
Edit history:
puwexil: 2014-05-13 01:48:12 pm
Professional Second Banana
Yeah, mixing in the OSTs along with the OCRemix albums is what I was planning to do if we end up going with just music + Skype again.

Also, using that setup keeps thing easier for the runners (no special stream setup needed), and makes it possible to put focus on a specific stream by muting the Skype call/music and unmuting that stream (which I did for the FF6 Operas last time so the runners' voices would be in synch with their stream).
The first relay race was great and I'm really looking forward to watch the next one.

here's some feedback on what you said

Games/Categories
I agree that Any% should be used for FFV and FFVI because there isn't enough western runners for "glitchless" categories for both games to have a race.
About FFIV, I also agree that Any% - no 64-floor glitch should be run, because Any% (aka Die Hard%) seems too short compared to FFV and FFVI, also if I understood correctly the glitch can be quite random sometimes, runner losing a lot of time or not being able to finish the run.

I don't think Chrono Trigger should replace FFV in a Final Fantasy Relay Race, maybe on a future relay race could have only 1 Final Fantasy game and 2 (or 3) other games from the ones you noted as bonus games).

Stream Layout
I watch a bit of the last japanese FF Relay Race on Nicovideo and they had some kind of spliting program (probably spreadsheet-based) where you could see which team is where (just what split each team is, not actual split time). I think it's easily doable and make it easy for viewers who tune in to know where are the runners and who's ahead.

streaming delay
This could be resolve if runners stream on a custom rtmp server but I don't know how does that works

Stream audio
I think it should be possible for runners to stream only their game-audio
the team in 1st place should get their audio streamed most of the time, unless epic boss battle for another team

Extra commentators
it's a great idea to get runners who can't play to commentate, although more than 2 commentators on a game might be problematic (like runners not being able to commentate/giving trivia when they want to)

Relay Introduction
Seems like a nice idea to introduce runners/commentators with a photos (or not)/their PBs/games they runs/where they're from.
Videos from memorable speedrun moments for each games might be to much

Bonus game incentive
I'm not sure of what I think about it, havent another race on the next day feels weird, but having a race restreamed is always great

Also there was 2 things that weren't great about the first relay race
1-challenges and the fact that runners didn't start immediatly once the previous game is over, made it really difficult to know who was winning.
It could be resolved by having runners start their game once the previous is over (+ a 1 or 2 minutes buffer but well define) and making that challenges not met, give a penalty so the next runner has to wait. That way the winner is the team that first defeat Kefka

2-The Spooniest Bard challenge being decided by viewers was more a popularity contest than a song contest. I mean, even if there's no doubt that MisterMV is the spooniest bard, he won the contest before he even start the opera because hundreds of viewers already voted for him, this kind of contest should be decided by others runners+commentators votes (where runners can't vote for their teamates)
Edit history:
Deuceler: 2014-05-13 02:21:54 pm
SPEEDruns not SAFEruns
In my opinon the relay should stick with 4 teams, it was very easy for the viewers to follow and we could get teams assigned early on to get people to pick their favorites (TEAM RALSE HYPE!!) As far as commentary goes, I think having assigned commentary for each run could solve some of the issues we had in the last relay. Those were small but in my eyes the biggest points of concern were:

1) Chat delay in comparison to the runs - we would discuss strats and how the runners were doing but it wouldn't be on stream until 20-30 seconds after it occured

2) 6 to 7 people in one skype all trying to get their views and opinons in is problematic in any format

3) Particularly during Final Fantasy 5 I noticed their was long pauses of any conversation. No fault to the runners who were focused on the game, but a lack of knowledge for the majority of us in the Skype call probably caused this. I did my best to spark some conversation after noticing the issue, and I think it went over well in chat (I got a few messages from people on Twitch thanking me for hopping into the call)

4) If we have people dedicated to commentary not only can the runners focus on the run, but we can promote the runners. Text in chat is fantastic with links and things like that, but hearing their names and having the commentators discuss previous runs or things they have contributed could keep interest and draw attention to the runners.

5) The BIGGEST thing for me about having game commentary assigned to 2 people is being able to interact with the chat. With the amount of viewers last time (who might I add were FANTASTIC) it was very very difficult for the runners to keep up with the chat, or look at it at all - if we have people dedicated to this I feel it will hold the interest of those viewing.

6) While the incentives were fun and added some challenge for the runners it was very difficult for the chat to keep up with who had completed them, or what exactly they were going for. Having repeat incentives may be a bit dull, but the spooniest bard should be kept in without a doubt. Also, we placed some restrictions on people for singing/perfoming last time and I feel like we should let people do whatever they want. The bigger production, the better!

Either way, Puwexil did an amazing job putting together and hosting the last relay. I'm super excited I got to be a part of it and would love to be a part of the next one (probably for commentary). Cheers to everyone backing this, and good luck to everyone trying to get a spot!
Professional Second Banana
Quote from Gaël:
I agree that Any% should be used for FFV and FFVI because there isn't enough western runners for "glitchless" categories for both games to have a race. About FFIV, I also agree that Any% - no 64-floor glitch should be run, because Any% (aka Die Hard%) seems too short compared to FFV and FFVI, also if I understood correctly the glitch can be quite random sometimes, runner losing a lot of time or not being able to finish the run.

Yeah, finishing a 64-door glitch run requires the in-game timer to be on certain values or else the game softlocks.

Quote:
I watch a bit of the last japanese FF Relay Race on Nicovideo and they had some kind of spliting program (probably spreadsheet-based) where you could see which team is where (just what split each team is, not actual split time). I think it's easily doable and make it easy for viewers who tune in to know where are the runners and who's ahead.

I saw that and thought it looked neat but took up a bit too much screen real estate (especially since the relay teams were usually close enough together to be on the same 'split').  I recorded parts of the JP relay so I'll post a screenshot of their layout at some point so people can tell me what they think.

Quote:
This could be resolve if runners stream on a custom rtmp server but I don't know how does that works

Me neither, plus I'd prefer to keep it simple for the runners.

Quote:
I'm not sure of what I think about it, havent another race on the next day feels weird, but having a race restreamed is always great

Yeah, I see it as something fun to try that will let us have some silly incentives in the relay without directly affecting the runs, and give some extra exposure to another SNES RPG that has a good-sized speedrun community but isn't as popular as the FF series.

Quote:
1-challenges and the fact that runners didn't start immediatly once the previous game is over, made it really difficult to know who was winning.
It could be resolved by having runners start their game once the previous is over (+ a 1 or 2 minutes buffer but well define) and making that challenges not met, give a penalty so the next runner has to wait. That way the winner is the team that first defeat Kefka

I agree that having the FF5 and 6 runners wait before starting was a mistake on my part - next time I'll have them just start immediately after the previous runner says that he/she is done, and change the restream once the previous runner's final boss kill goes through.

Quote:
2-The Spooniest Bard challenge being decided by viewers was more a popularity contest than a song contest. I mean, even if there's no doubt that MisterMV is the spooniest bard, he won the contest before he even start the opera because hundreds of viewers already voted for him, this kind of contest should be decided by others runners+commentators votes (where runners can't vote for their teamates)

I made a point of not starting the opera poll until after all 4 runners had gone, but I'd be open to try something different this time and have a panel of 'judges' (other RPG runners), which we could have fun with by having them spoof <Country X>'s Got Talent and debate in chat or Skype about the merits of each opera performance.
I want off the ride....
I need people's info to get out shirts... Though those who are going to SGDQ i'll hand off to Dragondarch.. but the rest of em.. Yeah; gonna needs it.
i think i sent you mine right?
Quote from puwexil:
I agree that having the FF5 and 6 runners wait before starting was a mistake on my part - next time I'll have them just start immediately after the previous runner says that he/she is done, and change the restream once the previous runner's final boss kill goes through.


Starting immediately after killing the final boss kinda kills the tension in my opinion. I mean, FFV has a long intro, but FFVI right away starts with the action. I would rather suggest that everyone has a fixed time they have to wait, after the finish of the last game (1 or 2 minutes). I just think that everything builds up until the final boss and then it immediately getting cut is kinda... I hope you know what I mean.

Concerning the Relay introduction: Some years ago I worked with Sony Vegas and while everything I did was just basic Video editing and cutting stuff, I am sure I could get into it quite fast again. So if you need any help with this, I will gladly offer my help (also on any other topics if needed).
Edit history:
HappySquid: 2014-05-14 06:18:27 am
Hey guys! Awesome to hear this is happening again.
Since the teams are pretty much established already and I didn't find the time to run FFV that much myself, I wouldn't wanna snatch anyone's place.
I would be up for commentating though. Mainly FFV then, because I don't know enough about IV and VI will probably have better options for commentary.

It's a given, that I would stand up for a team, if Lufia 2 happens as a bonus game. Tongue

Even if I don't get to participate directly, I'll definitely watch and support it, in every way I can. Cheesy

Regarding Jenja's post: Having the runners start immediately, can also cause problems regarding commentary. You would either have to deal with commentary from two games overlapping or cutting off the commentary for the slower runners, which would suck for them imo.
Professional Second Banana
Quote from Jenja:
Starting immediately after killing the final boss kinda kills the tension in my opinion. I mean, FFV has a long intro, but FFVI right away starts with the action. I would rather suggest that everyone has a fixed time they have to wait, after the finish of the last game (1 or 2 minutes). I just think that everything builds up until the final boss and then it immediately getting cut is kinda... I hope you know what I mean.

What about having the FF6 runners not skip the intro?  That would add a ~2 min buffer, and we'd still start timing when Terra/Biggs/Wedge enter Narshe?  Another option could be to just play the endings for all games and switch at "The End" like the JP relays do (which would add ~40 min to the relay, but should largely ensure that games/commentary don't overlap, and satisfy any viewers that want to see the 4/5 endings).

Quote from Jenja:
Concerning the Relay introduction: Some years ago I worked with Sony Vegas and while everything I did was just basic Video editing and cutting stuff, I am sure I could get into it quite fast again. So if you need any help with this, I will gladly offer my help (also on any other topics if needed).

Awesome!

Quote from HappySquid:
Hey guys! Awesome to hear this is happening again.
Since the teams are pretty much established already and I didn't find the time to run FFV that much myself, I wouldn't wanna snatch anyone's place.
I would be up for commentating though. Mainly FFV then, because I don't know enough about IV and VI will probably have better options for commentary.

Nothing's set yet - assuming I get more signups than there is room on the teams, I'll pick runners based on PBs and scheduling availability, and give commentary preference to runners not chosen for a team.
Everything's better with Magitek
About runners streaming only game audio, I don't believe I can do that with my streaming setup. I use a dazzle capture card, and as far as I know, it can't do game audio.
Maybe the spooniest bard should be the spooniest bards? Team effort on that Opera! Would be rather difficult to sync up though...
Edit history:
puwexil: 2014-05-14 11:54:09 am
Professional Second Banana
Quote from Essentia:
About runners streaming only game audio, I don't believe I can do that with my streaming setup. I use a dazzle capture card, and as far as I know, it can't do game audio.

I use a Dazzle too and had to jump through quite a few hoops to get direct game audio in my streaming setup (short version: I have the audio from my SNES/PS2 consoles connected to the line-in on my PC's sound card, and use Windows' built-in audio mixer to combine the game audio with my headset mic).

After thinking it over I think it'll be best to just use the same setup as last time (Skype call for runners/commentators + playlist of game OSTs/OCRemix albums), in order to keep it simple for the runners.

As a side node, the way the JP FF4-6 relay did their audio was to just have their runners use their normal stream setups and then the hosts toggled the relay stream audio back and forth between one of the runners every 10 minutes or so.  The main reason that worked well for them is because the runners weren't on their Skype call (just the event hosts + 2 commentators for each game); but it won't work for us since I really want the runners on the call too if they want to be.  We'll all be at home instead of a central location, so I see being able to talk to the commentators & other runners while playing as essential to making this a fun community event rather than standard runs/races.

Quote from Neerrm:
Maybe the spooniest bard should be the spooniest bards? Team effort on that Opera! Would be rather difficult to sync up though...

Did you see Essentia's team opera last time?  Spoonyness definitely runs in her family. Wink

Having the FF6 operas be full relay team joint productions this time would definitely be something fun and different we could do with it, though that would require the FF4-5 runners being available during the FF6 run, along with the team being able to pull off something entertaining in spite of stream lag.  I'm open to it if some/all of the teams want to give it a shot.
Nic eto see this happening again, hope I won't be busy! No real comment on the various ideas, most of them seem fine. I agree that four is the perfect number for it and the setup worked pretty well.
Excited to see it happening again. I don't think we should take out ff5. Maybe a different order? I say maybe start with 6 this time since it has a decent draw as well. Doesn't change that 5 is in the middle just maybe more people will tune in at the end of 5 to wait for 4. I think a bonus game should be added! Make it an almost all day thing. I think of course coming from me, ff4 64 glitch should be at the end. As far as it's randomness I think the route at the end can be agreed upon by the runners to use a strat that is more likely to succeed than the world record strats. This can be good and bad, it can be good in the sense ghat if a team is really behind and the team ahead crashes during it gives the team behind a chance to catch up and make the race much closer. This also sucks for the team that's ahead if they crash.


As far as the stream went I thought it was great quality. I don't know much about the audio stuff but I think maybe 1-2 commentators per game played. That's 6 people talking could get messy.
Doing anything but FF4-6 seems odd to me since it's structured around a theme of progressing games in a series. Replacing 5 with CT or doing them out of order is wak. I seem to recall the stream being front page twitch during FF4 but was gone later in the day, which might account for a viewer drop even during FF6.

I liked the nico stream showing all the endings because it provided a natural buffer to transition to the next game. That way you get to focus on all of the runners finishing their game instead of it being divided by the start of the next game.
Professional Second Banana
Changing the main games or the order of them isn't on the table for this fall relay, and I'd definitely like to stick with the FF4-6 format.  Hopefully having stronger FF5 commentary this time will keep the audience more engaged.
SPEEDruns not SAFEruns
Quote:
Hopefully having stronger FF5 commentary this time will keep the audience more engaged.


Nailed it right here. Just another case for having dedicated commentators.
Edit history:
puwexil: 2014-05-20 06:07:09 pm
Professional Second Banana
As promised, here's the layout the Japanese community used for their SFC FF relay last month.  The progress bar on the right side is kind of neat - I like the idea of each team or player having an avatar sprite to give a bit of extra flavor to the event (dibs on Gilgamesh Tongue ); but having the timers and player names overlaid on top of the game captures doesn't look very good IMO.  Also, the words in the white box in the upper-right are the names of the relay hosts and FF6 commentators.




For comparison, here's the layout I used for the Winter SNES FF relay - a bit less informative about where the teams are in relation to each other, but offers clean views of the game captures and easy access to the completed run times.




Right now I'm leaning towards keeping the same layout structure as we used last time, and maybe using a smaller event logo to free up some space for other graphics (team banners, player avatar pics, etc) - if anyone has thoughts on this let me know.
Edit history:
Deln: 2014-05-20 07:40:36 pm
Deln: 2014-05-20 07:40:32 pm
Deln: 2014-05-20 07:40:28 pm
im still undecided if i will enter, but if i decide not to enter, i might pitch in for commentary for FFV

Edit:depend on my schedule for the upcoming months