MT9 Game Submissions

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NOTE: all information in this form's description is provided on http://mystery.beatthega.me/. If you've already seen this information, you may skip directly to the form itself.


Please remember to complete our brief contact form by August 13! This is equally important as your game submissions:
http://bombch.us/CE5h

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-- PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR GAMES --


The deadline for game submissions and edits is at 11:59pm EST on August 13.


• You must submit between one and five games (ONE IS THE REQUIRED MINIMUM, although the event will greatly benefit from submitting as many games as you can). Each game must be submitted in a separate form. To submit your next game, click "submit another response" on the confirmation page. If you want to modify any of your submissions (e.g. a new game or goal), you can edit your choices as long as you bookmark the "edit your response" page (recommended).

•  Roms for the following consoles are allowed: NES, SNES, GB, GBA, Genesis, SMS, Game Gear, and PS1 (file size must be under 250MB). If you want to submit a game for an unlisted console, discuss it with a game tester (half-ops in #mystery). If you are permitted to do this, you will be required to create a .zip file containing a rom, a properly configured emulator, and any necessary instructions to prevent confusion. Free*, standalone, non-Flash freeware games under 250MB with low CPU requirements are also allowed. If the game cannot be ran in windowed mode or run well on a computer that isn't a toaster, discuss it with a tester before submitting it. Please also make sure you are able to properly capture it with your streaming software of choice.

*free = released for free at some point by the developer / a distributor or is no longer
purchasable from the developer -- this applies to all pc submissions

• Goals should take between 15 and 45 minutes for someone who has never played the game before. Because making time estimates can be difficult, 25-30 minutes is an ideal time to aim for; it is significantly easier to make an underestimate than an overestimate. If it takes you over 45 minutes to complete your own goal (regardless of how well you think you did), avoid submitting it altogether.

• If neither participant finishes your goal in 75 minutes, they can redraw for a different game if both agree the goal is too difficult. If neither participant finishes in 105 minutes, the game will automatically be redrawn. Additionally, if a goal is finished in under 10 minutes by both players, there will be a forced redraw and they will race a different game. If a redraw occurs, you will receive a warning for picking an unfair goal. If this happens again, Testers may penalize you as they see fit.

• Please playtest all roms with the appropriate emulators found in the bundle provided on the mystery website. This is especially important when testing potential PS1 submissions.

• A game may be rejected for simply being too awful. The testers will keep their standards reasonably low, but the decision is ultimately theirs.

• If you intend for the players to complete only a specific portion of the game that is accessible through an in-game level select feature, be unambiguous with your goal. For instance, if your goal is "beat level 3 only," the players will only play that single level. If your goal is "beat level 3," they will play levels 1, 2, and 3.

• Extremely non-linear games (e.g. top-down adventures and most Metroidvanias) are banned due to how unpredictable the finishing times will be.

• Games that are entirely autoscrollers (ie most shmups) are banned.

• Traditional RPGs are banned. Games like Secret of Mana or Beyond Oasis are potentially acceptable in this regard (but probably still bad), while games like Final Fantasy or Pokemon are not.

• Most sports, fighting, and beat 'em up submissions will be rejected. If you plan to submit one of these genres, discuss the game and goal with a tester before submitting.

• Avoid goals that primarily rely on luck. Something like Arkanoid or Super Bomberman would be acceptable (although still discouraged). Randomized powerup drops are a large factor in these, but they still require a fair amount of execution. Games like Monopoly in which the player almost solely relies on dice rolls will not be accepted.

• If none if your submissions are approved, you'll have to find a new game(s) and submit until at least one is approved.

• PLAY THROUGH YOUR GOAL AT LEAST ONCE. There is no better way to ensure a reasonable goal than to play through it yourself. If you have a lot of experience with a game, try your best to judge how new players would perform. If you really have no clue, just pick another game - there are plenty out there!

• DO NOT SHARE YOUR IDEAS WITH OTHERS. Even if you're just aimlessly brainstorming, telling others what games might show up in the tournament defeats the purpose. No conspiring! Knowing even a single game in the tournament ruins some of the surprise.

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You are required to submit a Pastebin for each submission. Each Pastebin MUST address the following:
◦ Starting point (i.e. what screen to start the race on)
◦ Ending point (i.e. where to type .done)
◦ Continue system (if applicable - how many lives and continues the player has. Explaining where the player spawns after a continue is used is heavily encouraged, although not required)
◦ Change in settings and difficulty (if any - default will be assumed and used if unspecified)

• If you are submitting a game that IS NOT IN ENGLISH, your Pastebin is required to tell participants how to maneuver through menus as well as any other necessary information.

• If there is ANYTHING unclear about your goal that you think should be clarified, provide explanations in your Pastebin. Dozens of submissions in previous tournaments without Pastebins would have strongly benefited from them to make the races more enjoyable and fair. Do not overlook their importance while preparing your submissions!

Good reasons to attach a Pastebin include but are not limited to:
◦ Unclear mechanics/controls, such as a combination of inputs (e.g. using sub-weapons in Castlevania)
◦ Unclear main objective of the game (what the player is trying to accomplish)
◦ Unclear direction, e.g. in a hub or overworld (point them in the right direction rather than forcing them to rely on their intuition)
◦ In general, anything that could confuse the player unintendedly

• However, avoid writing an essay or posting an entire FAQ for your Pastebin. The longer it is, the less likely players will be able to remember the information. Additionally, please UNLIST YOUR PASTEBIN so no one happens to bump into them.

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• The games in the following spreadsheet are banned for this tournament only (even with a different goal). They were used in the previous mystery tournament and will not be allowed again until the next tournament. The goals are listed to potentially assist you in finding solid goals for this tournament (but note that some of these goals were flawed).

http://bombch.us/lg6

Additionally, all games in the following spreadsheet are indefinitely banned from all SRL mystery tournaments. Please read this list carefully, as some entire genres are banned.

http://bombch.us/lg5

The above spreadsheet's first tab combines both lists. You don't need to read the entire list; if you have a potential submission, simply Ctrl+F to make sure your game isn’t listed.

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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

This section covers suggestions, not hard rules; you are free to ignore them. These tips are what we have learned from the previous mystery tournaments. These are what participants weren't fond of playing and what generally did not fit in well with the overall concept of a mystery tournament.

• Don't submit games you think are really bad. No one wants to play them and they'll almost always be rejected anyway.

• Avoid submitting popular games. The appeal of a mystery tournament is having two players race a game they've never touched or one they have equivalent experience in. If you are willing to put some effort into playing obscure games, chances are you will find a great goal that many are unfamiliar with in a short amount of time. If you are set on submitting a popular game, try coming up with an innovative goal that may be “blind” even for those who have played before. For example, instead of submitting "Super Mario Bros. 3 - beat world 3 warpless," consider "beat world 2 warpless (pacifism)," meaning players cannot harm any enemies (excluding bosses).


Below are several examples of flawed goals from previous mystery tournaments, each with their own issues. Reading these may give you a better idea of what to look out for while finding submissions.


*Mega Man Zero 3 - beat intro + any two mavericks*
◦ While this goal seems harmless, it’s a nightmare for those unfamiliar with the Mega Man franchise. If you're testing a game, it's your first time playing, and your time seems safe - consider your previous experience with the franchise. You may have an advantage and not even realize it just because you're familiar with the general mechanics of the series.
◦ The other problem with this goal is its open-endedness. If they are picking any two levels from a selection of eight, one player is almost guaranteed to have an advantage by chance. In a sense, this goal is extremely non-linear. This goal would have been more appropriate had the mavericks been specified (along with the order to fight them in).

*Ghouls 'n Ghosts & Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts - beat level 4*
◦ Way too difficult. Submit reasonable goals that can be done in reasonable time by an average gamer.

*Hover! - beat stage 6*
◦ A little luck can be exciting in a blind race, but not if it’s the primary determinant of the outcome. This game is essentially "hope flags happen to spawn behind you on an open-world map so you can take them to the goal quickly." Outside of learning how to maneuver your vehicle properly, this game required very little skill. Submitting a freeware PC game from the 90's was creative, but when it came to actual gameplay, Hover was too silly for a tournament setting.

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• The final list of submissions will be looked over periodically before the tournament begins. To reiterate, if all of your games are obviously a poor choice or breaks any rules, they will be removed and you will be asked to submit at least one new game as soon as possible.

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