Hey, hi, hello. Welcome to a new occasional format for news posts!
Over the past couple years, TASVideos has been making changes to itself. We rebuilt the site from the ground up, we overhauled how we showcase runs by rebranding Vault and Moons, and we've been gradually making a multitude of changes to our rules to both allow and accept more submissions. That last category is the most common, however a lot of the changes tend to be smaller ones that would end up spamming the news section if we announced all of them. They're still worth pointing out, though, so that's where these progress reports are going to come in, assuming that I remember to actually write them.
In this report, I'll be talking about our brand new third Admin, finally announcing the TAS of 2022 after 3 months of forgetting, detailing important changes to submission moderation and playaround judgement, and finally asking for feedback on a much needed addition to the site in the form of live event showcases.
First, let's talk about that new Admin. Hi! It's me! Samsara! In the ultimate act of narcissism, I'm announcing my own promotion! Ironically, I'm not good at talking myself up, so I'm also the worst person that could be doing this. I've historically been helping far outside of my role for a few years now, so staff got together and decided that they would make it impossible for me to do that from now on by giving me the highest role possible that isn't outright owning the site. I'm very happy to be here, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity at all, and I'm looking forward to doing the exact same things I was doing before but with more perceived authority! See, I told you I wasn't good at talking myself up. Despite my promotion, I am still acting as Senior Judge for now, and I remain the primary point of contact for matters related to judgements and submissions, but now you can also contact me about admin stuff too! Don't worry, I don't bite unless you ask nicely.
First, and most pressingly in my opinion, I finally remembered to announce the TAS of the Year winner in a news post!
The TAS of 2022 is...
 SNES Super Mario World "glitchfest" by IgorOliveira666 in 2:54:33.62!
A well-deserved win for a TAS that people have been wanting for over a decade! It's absolutely well worth your time. Bring some snacks, but don't let Yoshi eat them if you don't want to risk reality completely shattering around you.
For a full Awards recap, see this forum thread.
Thanks to everyone who participated! Winners, nominees, voters, watchers, thank you all!
Recently, we had a community discussion on the way we revoke a user's submission privileges
, known here as "limiting" them. With our rules and regulations relaxing over the past few years, we felt it was necessary to revisit the way we've handled limits, and with the community's guidance we decided that we were going about it in an unnecessarily harsh way. Historically, we were limiting users mostly because they were submitting too many suboptimal runs. The intent was to encourage the submitter to hone their skills by working with us, and once they were able to prove themselves as TASers we would allow them to submit again. What actually happened was a lot of discouragement and driving people away, and honestly I apologize that it took this long for us to realize we were doing that. Prior to this discussion, we had 23 Limited Users. Over the course of the discussion, these users were re-evaluated, and I'm proud to say that we no longer have a single person with the Limited User role on the site. 16 users had their privileges restored. These were all users who had done nothing more than submit multiple suboptimal runs. As such, I've elected not to name them publicly in order to not put a metaphorical target on them. The other 7 users were banned outright, primarily for plagiarism or ban/limit evasion, and will also not be named.
Going forward, limiting users will be a very rare occurrence. It will generally only happen in cases where a user is abusing the submission system in a way that would not result in them being banned from the site. Also, if we do end up limiting users, it will not be for an indefinite period. There will always be a strict time limit from now on.
Hopefully, this will result not only in more submissions overall, but more improvement from those we would have otherwise turned away. Once again, I'd like to apologize to anyone who was limited, and I'd like to extend that apology to anyone in the community who was affected by the fear of "not being good enough" for us.
Speaking of relaxing things in relation to submissions, I'd like to bring up what I think is a long-awaited change in hopes that it will inspire people to create new TASes that take advantage of it.
The change has to do with "playaround" runs, i.e runs that aim purely to entertain the viewer rather than speedrunning. For an example of one, scroll up a bit! Until recently, we were requiring game completion on these runs. This, in retrospect, really stacked the deck against them! Plenty of games have playaround potential, but not all of them are Super Mario World with its tight 3 hours of variety spanning the entirety of the game. On top of that, creativity in and of itself is not a limitless resource. Even the most creative people may have trouble keeping a TAS entertaining from title screen to end credits. We want to promote endings that feel natural, and that's why we've relaxed the rule. Playaround runs are no longer required to beat the game. They must still have a sort of "defined" endpoint, though in practice this just means the run has to visually finish in some way. Examples of this include game over screens, hard crashes, even something as simple as quitting to the title, just as long as there's an obvious signal that the run has ended. Make it feel intentional and not like you just gave up and you should be good to go.
The final thing I'd like to address is an important discussion that's currently in progress again after a long time of it... not... being in progress. Anyone who's looked at the workbench
over the past 6 months or so has likely noticed that Delayed run sitting at the top of the list: Triforce%, the TAS block showcase run from Summer Games Done Quick 2022
. There are several of these big showcase runs over the nearly 10 years that GDQs have had TAS blocks, and yet out of all of them we have only accepted one.
There is kind of a good reason for this: That one run happens to be the only showcase run with an easily verifiable and reproducible input file. Every run past that has had increasingly complicated setups that are impossible to accurately reproduce. They rely on extra hardware at times and live input at others, and that's not something we're able to verify. It wasn't exactly unreasonable for us to declare these runs unacceptable. What IS unreasonable, though, is that we never tried to make them acceptable
, and that's what we want to correct.
I put together a proposal for a short term implementation of a system that can finally handle these showcase runs,
and we want the community to weigh in on it. We do intend to discuss and possibly implement a much more in-depth overhaul in the future, but I feel it's necessary to have something concrete in place soon, as this has already been delayed for quite a while.
If you're reading this and you have an opinion on it, let us know what that opinion is! I'm especially looking to hear from people in the TASBot community who may not interact with TASVideos much, as I feel this has been kind of a dividing line between our communities for a while and I absolutely want to mend it in any way I possibly can.
That's all I've got for now. If you have any questions or concerns, whether it be with anything in this news post or anything on the site in general, my PMs are always open! For those who prefer live, instant gratification, you can also find me and my spiffy new yellow name on our Discord server
. Other admins are available as well!