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Hi I'm new to speed running and intend to submit to SDA once I set up recording equipment this weekend. I have a couple questions pertaining to and other sites acting as alternatives to SDA.

Are the submissions on that site regarded at all by the community or is this the place to be?

I noticed there were some games ran on that site that have no submission here, in particular Goosebumps: Escape From Horrorland, a childhood favourite of mine. I'm just wondering if there are some more formal rules or submission regulations here that wouldn't allow that game to be run, or whether the person just chose to upload it to rather than SDA.

What are people's general opinions about that site or other alternative speed running sites versus the oldtime god that is SDA?

Thanks in advanced and cheers to all!
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A legit record is considered the record, regardless of it has been accepted on any leaderboard type site or not. I don't claim to speak for everyone, but I believe that the vast majority of speedrunners is of the same opinion.

There are still good reasons for submitting a run. By having a run listed on a site means it will be much easier to find for other people. If it's just buried as a stream highlight or on a random youtube channel, it might not turn up if someone searches for "[game name] speedrun" or similar in their search engine of choice. Submitting to a speedrun site also means other speedrunners are more likely to immediately notice your run, which means possible increased interest in your game, easier getting in contact with your peers etc.

The way I see it, the differences between and SDA are mainly the following:
* Each game has a different set of moderators and game specific rules on, while SDA has a generic set of rules, enforced by the staff. Most of the time, the end result is the same. Imo, both ways of functioning have pros and cons. Game specific moderators will know the game better than a group who just has generally a lot of speedrun experience. On the other hand, having a generic rule set as a basis ensures that there is more coordination between the rules in different games and the site users will know more what to expect.

* SDA hosts the speedruns on their own servers (as well as mirroring them on, while any video host will suffice for I personally think there is a long-term value in not having to rely on a commercial 3rd party video host. Who knows if any given video will still be fully and freely available a few years from now?

* SDA has certain A/V requirements, while there are virtually none on (as long as you can verify the run is legit). The SDA requirements ensure that a viewer knows what to expect from any given run, but can sometimes conflict with how a runner wants to record their run. For example, they might prefer to have splits or donation announcements cover the game play area or have commentary over the game audio. Those examples would not be acceptable for an SDA-submission.

* Other than checking for the run to be legit, SDA verification also looks at how optimized it is. If there are too many mistakes or if significant route mistakes are pointed out, the run will be rejected in verification, regardless of if it's the record or not. This also means there is often more technical feedback for a run submitted to SDA. Many runners like this feedback loop and see it as a challenge to achieve a run clean enough to be accepted, while others are outraged about a system where a perfectly legit run can be rejected.

* Each run accepted on SDA will be featured in a frontpage update, while a run accepted on will be listed in a "latest verified" list on the frontpage that has a quick turnaround time.

* Due to more steps in the verification and publication process on SDA, the handling is considerably longer on SDA than on

* Only the fastest submitted run in each category is hosted on SDA. Even though most people are probably mostly interested in the fastest run (assuming the recording isn't too painful to watch or similar), this will inevitably exclude runs that could be of a general interest and the participation of many good runners.

It's individual on how people value these points (and possibly other differences they feel are important). But whether you end up submitting to SDA, or both, I think most people will respect your decision!
Edit history:
GreenEight: 2018-01-12 02:12:04 pm
Thanks ktwo this was exactly the breakdown I was looking for and is super helpful. I really like the immortality of the run being archived directly by SDA. The rejection based on repetitive sloppiness/mistakes motivates me to strive for perfection and pushing myself. It's kind of a bummer though that stream commentary isn't valid for SDA submission though I understand the constrain for viewing consistency. I think I'll really look to be verified here first and foremost, but upload to both sites as I appreciate some merits of each. Again thanks a billion, cheers :D!
You're more than welcome to provide an audio commentary with the submission (either the stream commentary or a post-recorded commentary). It will then be appended as a second audio track, while the first track is the pure game audio. It's actually very much encouraged to provide documentation (audio or written) to go along with the run. This is much appreciated by the site visitors and helps people not familiar with the game to better appreciate what's going on (not all tricks/shortcuts/glitches/... are self-explanatory in a speedrun).

While we're on the topic of A/V quality, I'd also like to mention that as long as there is no overlay of the gameplay area, it's no problem having a timer etc in the recording. The non-gameplay area parts will however be cut out for the video hosted here. If you have any doubts about your recording setup and want to avoid any surprises later on, it's a good idea to post a quality check: