Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Moozooh / Most Popular Excuses

…or "Why I Think This Movie Should Be Published."

This is a list of the most popular excuses to accept/publish a run, received from the peers at TASVideos forum boards, compiled and analysed by moozooh.

Discussion takes place here.


1. "This is an awesome game!"

Also known as "this is a popular game", "I played that game as a kid and liked it", "this game is very entertaining to play" and "I was waiting for a TAS of this game".

Obviously, none of that directly translates to a TAS for it being interesting to watch, although being acquainted with the game can induce or stimulate the overall enjoyment. Some games that are very enjoyable to play tend to look bland when played optimally for lowest completion time.

Peer pressure is incredibly strong in this case.

1a. "This is an N64 game, we need more of those!"

A special case of the above excuse, mostly used by N64 fans who see the N64 section of the site underdeveloped for some reasons (except emulation problems). They can sometimes be hard to argue with.

1b. "This is megaman/mario/metroid/zelda/etc., how can it not be published?"

Another special case of the above excuse, with even less merit to it naturally. If a game belongs to a popular series, it doesn't mean it's inherently good for TASing (even if other games are, to some extent) or otherwise privileged.

2. "This game is very hard to play, it's cool to see it beaten!"

Would be a perfect motivation for an unassisted speedrun, really — unlike TASers, unassisted runners actually play the game, and the aforementioned challenge in beating the game is still there.

3. "A lot of people voted yes, this can't be bad!"

Most of the time, yes-voters have no particular reason to vote yes (which means they deemed the run worthy of the time spent on watching it), nor a reason not to vote yes (everything that isn't "no" or "meh" automatically translates to "yes" in most cases). A considerable amount of yes-voters don't explain their votes, either.

That being said, those who vote no or meh usually have a reason for that, which they state. That's why it's always important to pay more attention to negative votes, especially considering that TASVideos is meant to be a site with high standards (which keep rising all the time).

3a. "A lot of people outside of the site's audience would appreciate it!"

Also known as "this is a classic goal for this game among its players community".

A special case of the above excuse, usually used when the run is produced primarily for an audience other than that of TASVideos, which implies difference in goals, standards and whatnot. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it isn't. Using the site just as a hosting place for TASes isn't a good idea, so if a run doesn't conform to its main audience's needs whatsoever, it should probably be published elsewhere — for example, at the place of the audience it was produced for (if they care), or an independent site.

4. "This movie has a lot of rerecords, it can't be bad!"

Doesn't mean they were put to good use, either, nor the fact that they weren't artificially inflated. Not to mention that no amount of rerecords can substitute entertainment.

5. "We have worse movies published, why not publish this one?"

Also known as "we have runs for worse games published" and "if we have run X, we should have run Y too".

Quoting adelikat (indirectly), having made a mistake in the past doesn't justify making a similar mistake in the present. Granted that movies cannot be unpublished (at least at the moment of writing this paragraph), having a worse run published doesn't mean a judge should accept sub-par movies.

However, having those old sub-par runs on the site serves a good purpose: they help spreading the rating to its lower extent and are being examples to compare to (inofficially, and most of the times indirectly). They can also serve as examples of technical achievement over the span of site's lifetime.

Sometimes having a sub-par movie published helps producing a new movie that successfully gains popularity despite the "dubious" heritage ([517] NES Excitebike (JPN/USA) by Luke in 05:35.38, [711] NES Gradius (JPN) by adelikat in 10:52.35). This still doesn't justify accepting more of them in hope of a great improvement in the future, though. After all, one could make such an "improvement" without having a run for a certain game published.

6. "This movie was very hard to make, it should be accepted!"

Also known as "player X is a hero for even undertaking such a challenge, let alone making a complete movie, it obviously should be accepted".

While it may appear coldhearted, about 99% of the viewers don't care how hard it was to produce a movie, how much effort was put into it, or what were the means involved. What they care, though, is how good it is after all. A cruel world, isn't it?

6a. "It was made by player X, can't go wrong with that!"

Surprisingly, the author doesn't matter! Dun dun dun!

6b. "It beats a run made by player X, it should definitely be published!"

See above. Even if the author is known for making high quality movies, it doesn't mean the new movie is bound to be better in any given respect. Quality is relative.

7. "This movie is technically well done, why not accept it?"

Also known as "it wasn't fun to watch, but it's a good run".

Not all well-done movies are interesting to watch, especially if the game is inherently difficult to make a TAS for it look entertaining (autoscroller, 1-on-1 fighting game, etc.). In order to keep site's standards high, movies should be judged by their entertainment value as well as their technical value.

7a. "This movie beats the WR! Must publish!"

Even if it beats the WR, it doesn't mean that: a) it can't be beaten further, b) TASVideos's general audience cares.

7b. "This movie is novel, no-one has ever accomplished anything like that before!"

A special case of the above excuse, also known as "this is the first/only of its kind" and "it should be published at least for its novelty value".

It's difficult to form a solid opinion on this; in the end it usually boils down to entertainment value judged on a per-movie basis. Some movies qualify. Some don't.

8. "This movie contains noticeable mistakes, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!"

Basically an opposite of the above. While it is a valid reason to vote yes in the poll, it's dubious at best when it's used as an argument for publishing — especially if the movie is supposed to be an improvement.

9. "It's an improvement to existing movie, so it should be accepted!"

Also known as "the previous movie is so old that any improvement is welcome" and "it beats a run made on a deprecated emulator".

Although it sounds controversial, an improvement should be up to standards even if the published movie isn't (and even if it for some reason wasn't at the moment of publishing). Making a half-assed movie using a newly discovered trick or strategy is most of the time worse than making a decently optimized movie without it.

9a. "This movie is faster, therefore it should be accepted".

Basically the same as the excuse above, this one gains an entirely new meaning when discussing a movie that competes in entertainment, not speed. Because faster = more entertaining… except when it's not. And in that case it usually isn't.

9b. "This movie should be published as a document of improvements it introduced"

Wow, talk about an awful reason to publish a movie!

10. "Please publish it so I could watch it!"

Also known as "I can't watch it so it should be published". This is probably the Best Reason Ever. Because, y'know, this is precisely the reason movies are judged and published here. Well, almost.


Following people helped me in compiling this list:

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Moozooh/MostPopularExcuses last edited by Ilari on 2012-03-28 15:49:11
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