figured I'd give a quick update since it's been about a year and a half since the last post, and we've recently made a push to finish the SS all TAS, which has been in progress this whole time now. we've "finished" the TAS, save for some input clean-up and possible last minute ideas (luckily dustforce is an incredibly easy game to sync), and intend to release the TAS either by the end of the year or early 2019.
our concerns in the past with publishing the TAS to this site was that there were no adequate emulator to run a TAS on a 100% vanilla version of the game - hourglass would essentially softlock on a login screen just after booting the game, and the vanilla version of the game has a few minor loading inconsistencies and other non-deterministic headaches that made a TAS of a completely vanilla version of the game rather annoying, if not impossible. therefore, up to this point we did all TASing on Dustmod, which included TASing support in the form of loadable input scripts and fixed the non-determinism I mentioned earlier. however, there were flaws with this approach - this tool was not running a 100% vanilla version of the game, thus making it incredibly difficult to be accepted as a valid TASing tool on this site, and also lacked several other features that were necessary for such a tool to be accepted (video encoding was the big one, and currently the creator of Dustmod is quite busy and is hesitant to get involved in large updates or new features, save for bug fixes and such). read through the last few posts on this thread and you'll see discussion of this.
the suggestion of getting the devs of dustforce to patch some of the minor fixes Dustmod made into the vanilla game was suggested, and unfortunately it doesn't seem possible. again - it's a lot easier to do that sort of stuff for a game you have personally worked on and been invested in, but hitbox team has moved on to other projects and has not made an update to dustforce in almost 4 years at this point. we were not going to even bother with this, but one of the devs caught wind of this discussion and very kindly offered to see what they could do for us, but unfortunately they hit a hiccup along the way (I believe they didn't have a way to compile a version for mac OSes, among other things) and the idea died out. frankly, this killed a lot of our momentum and interest in getting this TAS published, so we simply decided to instead focus on getting a version working on Dustmod that anyone with the mod could watch in-game after running our full-game input script. (not to blame anyone - we understand the standards must be high and don't want to seem like we were begging for an exception or other hand holding) after all, the majority of the competitive player base for Dustforce plays on Dustmod, and thus being able to let them watch the TAS in-game with access to debugging data, slow down, etc. would allow them to more closely study or appreciate some of the intricacies of the run, without forcing them to download external tools.
...that being said, luckily libTAS seems to run Dustforce quite well - Kilaye ran a few of our input scripts for several levels and they synced up just fine. admittedly, we haven't looked too far into everything, but this is definitely something we will pursue when we have finished the full TAS on Dustmod. I believe we even have a script that will translate Dustmod's input script syntax into input data that libTAS can read, thus getting a TAS on this version could literally just take a few hours of minor tweaks and fixes if we were to get lucky and not encounter any major hiccups.
so tl;dr, we are pretty much 99% done with our TAS, which we will release on Dustmod by the end of the year - once this is done, we will try to convert this TAS over to libTAS for submission on this site, along with tons of other documentation (we want an extremely in-depth submission text and audio commentary(s) for the run, for audiences not familiar with the game). this would probably take a couple more months of work, but (fingers crossed) we might be able to get this TAS published on this site on a vanilla version after all!