Roll Eyes
Lips Sealed
1 page
List results:
Search options:
Use \ before commas in usernames
Game Page: Doesn't exist yet

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (100 %) (Segmented)

Decision: Reject

Reason: Categorization issues (not "true" 100%, segmented strangely when the game has good IL support), and using the fullbright command is not allowed

This run will be available for a month. After that these link(s) will no longer work.
Thread title:  
Run Information

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (100 %) (Segmented)

Verification Files

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting. Verifications are due by May 22, 2014.

Please post your opinions about the run and be certain to conclude your post with a verdict (Accept/Reject). This is not a contest where the majority wins - I will judge each verification on its content. Please keep your verification brief unless you have a good reason otherwise.

After 2 weeks I will read all of the verifications and move this thread to the main verification board and post my verdict.
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2014-05-22 11:04:45 am
LotBlind: 2014-05-22 11:04:35 am
LotBlind: 2014-05-21 09:40:32 am
I believe this is going to be a reject due to breaking this rule:
Software Modification: Removing or altering any part of a game is forbidden. Examples include software mods, the crooked cartridge trick, or disk streaming. Editing config files and console commands for PC games beyond the scope of the ingame settings are only allowed for purely cosmetic changes that grant no gameplay advantages.

quote from the verification comments:
Heres one value I changed via console to get a better vision on enemys in some places:

sha_fShadowDarkness=0 (default = 2) - Fullbright lightning everywhere.

I get that it's not accessible through the game menus then? That contradicts the rule. He also mentions using an option to hide the weapons but is that one through the menus?

However, I'm gonna watch at least some of the levels anyway to give the runner some feedback on his running. Even if it doesn't get published here I'd personally like him to upload it on YT (if not already done) to make sure it isn't lost. Someone else might want to compare strats etc.

So yeah, this is a good starting point for either ILs (if the game allows it) or a more segmented run that applies some of the tricks mentioned in the comments (which are very well written btw). The overall run quality is very high, very few missed shots or other obvious stumblings.

1 - Sierra De Chiappas
good show for one segment, 100%
2- Palenque - Valley of the Jaguar
also very nice for one segment. Doing it in segments would prevent having to check the statistics near the end probably.
3- City of Gods
Also looks good.

etc. I think the run quality is not an issue. Can you make it so the "F6" message doesn't get shown the whole time by changing a setting? That's the kind of thing you could right about use a console message to get rid of. Like I said, I hope this run ends up on YouTube at least...

Edit history:
moooh: 2014-05-20 01:03:58 pm
There are two slight issues with this run that should be noted.

First, the runner has opted to forego using optimal segmenting, and instead just created one segment for each level. While not immediate grounds for rejection, another submission making full use of segmenting would easily obsolete this one. Even though the number of saves used is displayed at the end of a level, there's nothing in a 100% definition that includes number of saves and definitely nothing that says it has to be kept at zero. This is more of an arbitrary restriction self-imposed by the runner. Maybe the runner would have been better off making an IL table of this game rather than a non-optimal segmented run.

Secondly, there's a question whether or not the runner actually does 100% the entire game. 100% would mean all secrets and all kills, however this statistic is presumed to not be achievable in all levels of this game. As noted by the runner in his comments, some levels have bugged enemy spawners making a 100% kill rate not possible. The runner has elected to obtain what he believes is the max amount of kills in each level and classify that as being 100%. The problem is however, how do we verify that it is indeed the max? How can we verify that it's just not a case of the runner not knowing how to trigger all enemies in a certain level?
Are there any official sources stating what the maximum that can be achieved in a level is? Or any extensive community research that can agree upon these numbers in particular?
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2014-05-21 09:03:28 am
Re. true 100%-ness: I personally think this could be resolved by allowing this run to be obsoleted by another run that has a higher % than this even if the time is worse. There are precedents for non-100% 100% runs, at least in Doom/2 where some of the secrets cannot be reached without cheating.

Agreed that there's no SDA reasoning for choosing to segment in this way when it's not ILs. Possibly the runner only pointed out that he used no manual saves to be clear that there's no save penalties either. Of course it doesn't make up for the time.
Decision posted.
Decision was posted a bit quick imho, since at least the 100% definition warrants a bit more discussion. I guess that wouldn't have changed the outcome due to the console modification of the game though, so maybe just keep going in here.

The runner displays a very high level of skill and I'm sure would be able to produce the most awesome set of individual levels. This game does indeed support running individual levels as can be seen both in the game page of the original and the game page of the TFE HD page. You simply select a level from the menu and your set of starting weapons will be fixed for each level, making up the basis for them as standalone runs.
This submission ended up some kinda in between of the segmented category and the IL category.

When it comes to 100% it will sure make an interesting run and we don't want to deter people from trying to run it. At this point we, as noted above,  just need some kind of way to determine what 100% would actually be. I'll ask around in the SSDQ community to see if they know of any solid numbers for the levels that aren't complete.
Not a walrus
I should mention that the 100% is more a question that needs to be answered before we can decide whether it's valid, and is only a rejection if this isn't as 100% as 100% can get.

I don't really see the point in segmenting this game in this manner (it may as well be ILs if you're not doing in-level saves), and the fullbright command is definitely out.
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2014-05-23 10:25:01 am
I get the idea the guy may have indirectly been referring to something the developers themselves had said about the missing waves being a known issue etc. I think if he manages to find/acquire a statement from the development team about what the official stand is on those 100% figures, wouldn't that be good enough as evidence that this is 100%.

Don't you like my idea for dealing with uncertain % runs though? It leaves the responsibility with the runner themselves to make sure they're right about it. To rehash: if your run turns out not to fill the criteria for your category AND someone submits a run that fits them more closely, that one will always be able to obsolete yours barring other issues with it. I think in public verification especially we can't rely on getting the info from elsewhere necessarily: the runner themselves may be the biggest expert on their game period. We're constantly giving them the benefit of the doubt with things like mistakes they tell us aren't really costing time and so on. And glitches etc. may always turn up later anyway affecting the criteria right?

I'd like there to be a baseline trust instead of doubt. Nobody's actually gonna come in claiming they've got 100% or low% if they didn't really try their best to figure it out themselves, or if they didn't, then probably their run will look a bit half-hearted anyway.
I really wish people to critize the run and my setup would have more indepth knowledge about the game. However.

The kind of fullbright light I set due to console still is accessable through game menus. In the performance options there is a lot of costumizable stuff for GPU and CPU performance which leads to costumizable shadows and lotsa other things. I wrote down the console command just for fast reproducing and also it barely affects anything just representing my original settings. The wall of darkness in Valley of Jaguar is still there. Anything that is SUPPOSED to block my visuals is always there. It has nothing to do with cheating or software altering in any way. It has nothing to do with scripting in any way. I mean if I had costumized the texture LODbias or took other extreme measures.. but this? And yes hiding the weapon is accessable through game menus aswell. Since when is aiming for the best visual to execute cheating? Its like would this run even be rejected if I was to tell that to set my mouse sensitivity as low as I am used to it had to happen through console since the in game slider didnt allow me to change to a low enough value? Further on which just now comes to my mind theres other things I costumized like lowered the max dead body counts or disabled the lens flare effect which wasn't even noticed but are pretty obvious specs to see from original gameplay footage (and yet again is costumizable in the game menus). It makes me think if I wasn't completely honest about my settings that fullbright thing wouldn't have even been noticed though it shouldn't really matter at all. Now if the HD versions had a good demo recording feature like the classics did I could have used ANY settings at all (even wallhack + esp..) and then return to the original config when replaying those demos and no one would have ever noticed or even questioned that scenario. Now with the 100% which from my experience should be obvious that I know what I'm doing theres a lot of doubt by default.

Further on with the doubts to the 100%. I must have been extremely stupid to just go do a run like this with uncertainty of my knowledge. The developers got a list from an active player (who isn't me) who wrote down all the Triggers and Spawners that were set incorrectly / connected incorrectly. And yes they made official statements about bugged spawns but without specifying them (with plans to fix them yet to happen) .If it is of interest I guess the easiest way is to just ask for that list and check it in the editor. The developers are very community friendly and it would be no problem to check it yourself if there are any doubts. Furthermore I checked hundreds of Leaderboard scores if there could be anything wrong with the informations I got from other active players and my 2500 hours experience in this game. It's just kinda disrespectful to the runners to approach with doubt rather then trust by default. In dubio pro reo.

Now the point I kinda have to agree to the segmented/IL thing... Heartbreaking story first (sad violin starts playing): Well I have never been active here and I didn't know how precise everything would be handled when I started this run. I was basically playing competetively for the Leaderboards in this game which don't allow the usage of hp/armor/saves/serious bombs while doing it as fast as possible in order to get a decent score which basically is speedrunning in some sense. When I did some research on speedrunning this game I noticed that there is nothing at all that focusses on getting everything on the Serious difficulty so I thought why not do the first step. I was contacting the Serious Sam done quick guys first and telling them about my plans and how I would handle it but I guess I just explained it shitty and we were talking past each other as they agreed with my approach (which I thought was IL run) and told me it would be judged by SDA standards. Later when I showed some progress to one of the guys to get some feedback if the runs execution would meet the standards he pointed that problem out but made the point that he thinks its really well executed and for that matter theres a good chance for it to not be rejected so I kept going and at that point I thought I was too far in for just tossing it. So my logical approach was to just call it a segmented run and expect it to be beaten easily. However I respect the decision of rejecting it for that matter but have to highly disagree with the other 2 points made.

Sincerely, Jimmieblack
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2014-06-05 11:26:36 am
Ok, let's cool down a bit now. Let me summarize your post:

1) Fullbright and all other extra graphics options ARE in fact accessible through the menus.
2) The 100% definition was thoroughly researched: here's the link to a developer statement if you wish (add link here)
3) Yes, I'm kinda new to SDA so I wasn't sure about this IL/segmented business.

Now my response to each of these:

1) Okay, then that should be cool. Wish you'd been around in this thread earlier to avoid the mess. What triggered my response was your wording, that this is something you used the console for. I know you wouldn't have left it like that had you known this was going to happen. However, I agree with mooh that the decision was made a bit too quick. The author of the run is always free to join in on the discussion here in public verification, so next time you'll know to look out for this thread.
2) I personally was for trust not doubt as you see from my earlier statements. Dunno what mooh was going on about.
3) The fact that the run is neither ILs nor segmented just means that it's more likely to get obsoleted by either true ILs or more segmented runs (IMO). It makes sense to keep them apart because otherwise they would end up looking too much the same... The only other category is "marathon" SS runs. I thought the play quality was very good, good enough for this segmentation and I wouldn't have liked to see it rejected for that reason. I didn't actually see what it said in the run rejection comments up top until now.

When all's said and done let's remember that we're all going by incomplete understanding and knowledge. Verifiers in public don't usually know the games they're verifying and neither does the person making the decision on accept or reject. New runners don't exactly know how SDA works. Seems you got a bit unlucky with the feedback you received before submitting but I still don't think the segmentation was the greatest issue here if there ever was one.

Have a good day! Smiley

PS Nobody truly understands all the SDA rules unfortunately. The "big guys" are scared of writing them out in full for some reason. Some things are always decided amongst the runners and community surrounding each game and game series, categorization for example: what counts as 100%, what's low% etc.
Not a walrus
Quote from LotBlind:
PS Nobody truly understands all the SDA rules unfortunately. The "big guys" are scared of writing them out in full for some reason. Some things are always decided amongst the runners and community surrounding each game and game series, categorization for example: what counts as 100%, what's low% etc.

This is more because if we wrote down every exception and tiny detail it would be a pretty huge list. That sort of thing is what the 100%/low% thread is for, anyway.

Which, now that I think about it, should probably just be moved to the knowledge base.
If I appeared to be angry or upset I apologize. I cannot serve with a link that would provide precise information as of now. If there is any interest by anyone at all to run this game at 100% I might get that list from the developers and explain exactly where the missing spawns are in each level for everyone to reproduce. This game has a great potential for some awesome runs if there was actually competition going.

With my post I wasn't really refering to anyone but trying to explain my reasoning for what I did. The only upset was basically caused by in my opinion quick judgement made by assumptions. I admit I was inprecise in the description because of me not expecting it to matter at all.

But to clear that matter for any future projects.. what is allowed now? Can we alter the performance settings to save frames and reduce ingame lags or do we have to go with the default LOW, MID, HIGH, ULTRA settings?

What about demo recordings and its issues with lag and cutscenes + end of level screenshot? Ingame timer is allowed?

Edit history:
Freezard: 2014-06-05 03:51:56 pm
Of course you can use any graphical setting you want. For example there are some fps glitches in the HD games so I run a few levels on lowest settings. Demos aren't allowed cause the recorder is too inaccurate. In-game timer should always be used in these games... in HD there is no timescale command like in the SD games so you can't manipulate the gameplay.
If the fullbright command you used is the same as the one you set from the menu, then that's perfectly fine. Anything customizable from the game menus are all ok. It's only the use of console that is limited by the community of the games.

Like I said in my first post, extensive community research would be good enough and you aren't required to contact developers. I apologize if you feel disrespected for not being automatically trusted by your word alone. When it comes to category definitions we usually want to hear from the established running community and I just haven't seen you within the Serious Sam speed running community before, which is why I asked for more opinions regarding it.
Again, I feel the decision for this submission was made a bit too quick, since we hadn't had the time to discuss the 100% definition. If we can establish this and if it matches yours, the segmentation would be the only thing held against you within this submission.

Like Freezard said, the display of the in-game timer is expected within the Serious Sam speed running community. For the original SS games, demo recording is fine if paired with end level screenshots. For the HD games, direct video capture (FRAPS or similar) would be the most accurate method.

If you want to discuss some more in-depth, feel free to join us at #SSDQ on Quakenet IRC where most of the Serious Sam speedrunners reside.