The deadline for game submissions and edits is at 3am eastern on Monday, October 14th.
• You must submit exactly three or four games, no more or less. Each game must be done in a separate form. If you want to replace any of your submissions with another game or goal, you can edit your choices if you bookmark the confirmation page (strongly recommended!), although they must be finalized a few days before the tournament begins. To submit your next games, click "submit another response" on the page that confirms your first response went through. It will take you directly back to this form.
• For your first three submissions, only roms for the following consoles are allowed: NES, SNES, GB, GBA, Genesis/SMS. Standalone freeware games that don't require mouse usage and that use VERY LITTLE cpu are allowed, so submit with caution. Be especially wary of games made in Flash. If you aren't absolutely sure that a game can run on a very bad, old computer, don't submit it at all. Any freeware submissions must be under 250 MB in size.
• If you choose to submit a fourth game, you can submit an game that either fits any of the above criteria or any of the following criteria:◦ DOSBox roms◦ MAME roms◦ TurboGrafx-16 roms◦ More resource intensive freeware games. This does not mean you can submit the demo for Crysis 3, but you can submit games that are safe for participants with average, not very dated computers. Mushroom Kingdom Fusion and the Rayman Origins demo are good examples of what you can submit here but not for one of your three required submissions. The 250 MB limit still applies here.
• Goals should take not much less than 15 minutes or not much more than 45 minutes for someone who has never played the game before; anywhere in this range is good. Because time estimates can be difficult to make, 25-30 minutes is an ideal time to aim for for those who may be worried about going above or below the expected limit. If you do end up misjudging the goal by a bit and players take an hour, for example, that is acceptable. If neither participant finishes in 75 minutes, they can redraw for a different game if they feel the goal is simply too difficult. If this occurs, you will receive a warning for picking an unfair goal. If this happens with another one of your submissions, you will receive an automatic loss in the current round at the time. Additionally, if your goal is finished in under 5 minutes by both players, there will be a forced redraw and they will race a different game. You will not be given an automatic loss under these circumstances, however.
• Browser-based games are banned.
• Extremely non-linear games are banned due to how unpredictable the finishing times will be. Metroidvania-style games are also discouraged, but are less likely to cause this issue. The more linear, the less likely participants will get frustrated and the safer your estimates are.
• Games that are entirely autoscrollers (ie most shmups) are banned.
• Traditional RPGs are banned. Games like Secret of Mana and Beyond Oasis are acceptable in this regard (but still probably would be very bad due to the likelihood of getting lost), while games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and Pokemon are not.
• Do not pick a goal that primarily relies on luck. Something like Arkanoid or Super Bomberman would be acceptable, although still not exactly encouraged. Although powerup drops are a large factor in these games, they still require a fair amount of execution. Something like Monopoly in which the player almost solely relies on dice rolls and other randomness is NOT acceptable.
• PLEASE PLAY THROUGH YOUR GOAL AT LEAST ONCE. Make sure it's reasonable. There is no better way to do this than play through it yourself. If you speedrun the game or have a lot of experience with it, try your best to judge how new players would perform. We understand that accurate time estimates can be difficult to make, but with the large time window we have given you, this shouldn't be too much of a concern. If you really have no clue how new players will perform, just pick another game. There are plenty of games out there!
• DON'T SHARE YOUR IDEAS WITH OTHERS. Even if you're barely considering using a game or aimlessly brainstorming, telling others what games might show up in the tournament defeats the purpose. Although it's unlikely someone would care enough to, if they know what games you're submitting, they theoretically could practice the goal and have a massive advantage if they are lucky enough to draw it. No conspiring! Additionally, knowing even a single game in the tournament completely ruins the surprise, which is one of the most exciting, interesting aspects of the concept itself.
• If you are submitting a game that IS NOT IN ENGLISH, you are required to create a Pastebin that tells the participants exactly where to start when the race begins, how to get there, what settings to change, and any other important details.
• You are also required to create a Pastebin if your goal REQUIRES A CHANGE IN SETTINGS.
• If there is ANYTHING unclear about your goal, the game's mechanics, anything that could but is not intended to confuse the player (ie a puzzle), etc, please try to provide any appropriate explanations in a Pastebin.
The games in the following Pastebin are banned for this tournament only. You cannot submit one of these games even if the goal is different. They were all used in the previous mystery tournament and will not be allowed again until the next tournament to avoid redundancy. The goals are listed to potentially assist you in finding solid goals for this tournament. Keep in mind some of these goals were flawed in various ways. Examples of flawed picks are listed below in the "submission guidelines" section.
You don't need to read the whole list; if you have a potential submission, just Ctrl+F to make sure the game isn't on this list!
Everything mentioned in this section are not legitimate rules; you are free to ignore them. These tips are what we have learned from the previous mystery tournament. These are what participants weren't fond of playing (bad games with good goals aside), and what generally did not fit in well with the very concept of a mystery tournament.
• Avoid submitting popular games. The appeal of a mystery tournament is having two players race a game they've never touched, or at the very least have nearly equivalent experience in. While it can be interesting to see a popular game like Yoshi's Island thrown into a mix of a couple dozen obscure games, the previous tournament undoubtedly had too many familiar titles. Most of the participants who submitted games such as Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country 2, and Kirby Super Star were not very familiar with the aspect of blind racing. This is obviously forgivable, but if you are willing to put a little time into playing some obscure games, chances are you will find a great goal that many are unfamiliar with in a fairly short amount of time. If you are dead set on submitting a popular game, try coming up with an innovative goal that may be blind, in a sense, for even those who have played the game before. For instance, instead of submitting "Super Mario Bros. 3 - beat world 3 warpless," you can try "beat world 2 warpless (pacifism)," meaning the players cannot harm any enemies excluding bosses and minibosses. Seeing that players will need to slow down their play to avoid killing enemies, this goal could very well take just as long as the first, less interesting goal. Every single participant will be much more satisfied playing something they've never touched rather than playing something familiar.
Below are several examples of flawed goals from the previous tournament, each with their own issues. Reading these may give you a better idea of what to look out for while finding submissions.
Star Guard - beat the gameA not so good submission disguised as a good submission sent in by three different people. It may be an excellent blind race, but due to its popularity in #blind, the majority of the regular blind racers on SRL have played Star Guard at least once. Thus, while it may not be a mainstream game, it's just as familiar to many of the participants as a Mario game. The more people who have played a game, the better the chance to draw a blind vs non-blind matchup: exactly what we should be trying to avoid.
Mega Man Zero 3 - beat intro stage + any two mavericksWhile this goal may seem harmless, it proved to be a nightmare for those unfamiliar with the Mega Man franchise. This can be a common concern. If you're testing a goal for a game in a large series, it's your first time playing the game, 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 game, but not the level design or enemies. 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 over the other just for luckily picking easier levels. In a different sense, this goal is extremely non-linear. This goal would have been much more blind-friendly, and likely not overly long, had the mavericks been specified, along with their order.
Ghouls 'n Ghosts & Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts - beat level 4WAY TOO HARD. Submit reasonable goals that can be done in a reasonable amount of time by an average gamer.
Hover! - beat stage 6A little luck can be exciting in a blind race, but not if it's likely to determine the actual outcome. This game is essentially "hope rng flags spawn behind you on an open-world map so you can take it to the goal quickly and advance to the next stage." Outside of learning how to maneuver your vehicle properly, this game required very little skill. Submitting a freeware PC game from the mid 90's was certainly a creative call, but when it came down to actual gameplay, Hover was a little too silly for a tournament setting.
The final list of submissions will be looked over before the tournament begins. If one of your games is an obviously poor choice or breaks any rules, it will be removed and you will be asked to choose a replacement.