My thoughts on this all, after silently following the thread and observing / pitching in on a few discussions in #nightmare.
When Ocelot and me tried to resurrect Compet-N back in 2008, we did not get alot of positive feedback. The general idea from coders and players? "Let it die". Ultimatively we didnt want to do -anything- before we had some things sorted out. There was the obvious question first: How to transfer a vanilla consept over to a port that allows people to play it w/o doing ancient systems or messing with dosbox. One of the things we did not want, at any cost, was to compromise the integrity of the old demos, som 15+ years worth of work from hundreds of people that went into the current record tables. Simply going with any current unmodified port for the task would be unacceptable.
Choco seemed like the best option, with some modifications. It would have to support quickstart, and it would also need some sort of cheat detection, because cheating became so trivial and accessible that the few Winterfeldts of the past would no doubt multiply if the relaunch became a success and gained attention.
There was little to no support to get from coders at that point in time. W/o any techincal assistance, Oce and me figured its better to let CN rest as is for now, and put the relaunch on ice. Doomworld was maintaining activity in the speedrun forum, and good stuff was still produced, in any case.
The one thing some people tend to overlook in this thread is that one cant just move the old record tables over to a new port w/o considering stuff like quickstart. It would be impossible to reach the same low times in a port as it would over vanilla running on an old system, because of this. Records would instantly be incompatible, and in a way inferior.
Oce and me also had some clear ideas for how we wanted to transform compet-n to its original intended state, before the invasion of a multitude of pwads and categories. Compet-N started out as a hardcore site where it took effort and time to grab a point or two. It was limmited to the main categories of UV Speed, Nightmare Speed and UV Maxkill, over doom and doom2. Simon Widlake (RIP) then added -fast and -respawn so that he could harvest some 0.5 points on the tables himself, w/o being stomped by the more hardcore players, and thats where things got a bit out of hand.
Later on, Adam Hegyi was riding the popularity of CN at that point with a slew of active players constantly submitting recordbeaters, and to freshen things up he added pwads and cooperative playthroughs, as well as more categories. I think time showcased that all of that should have been reserved for a place such as DSDA instead, because it effectively killed the sense of prestige and accomplishment it took to gain points on the Compet-N tables. For alot of hardcore players, this became increasingly discouraging, and Adam eventually tired of doing 500 demos in one update and left the scene (I'm sure this was a combination of things tho, like cheating becomming increasingly harder to detect, and real life business). Imagine if anyone could compete in the olympics, how much fun would it be to watch that thing on tv in the long run? :) And yeah, I realize that comparison is stretching it, but on a tiny scale theres some comperative value.
With the establishment of DSDA, it became even more clear that Compet-N should differ itself by going back to its intended roots. Thats what we wanted to do. Limmit the competition to the IWADS, and the main categories of old.
With the addition of a gameplaywise identical port replacing vanilla, we also wanted to revitalize the old tables by introducing millisecond records instead of the full second tables currently at CN. This would mean an all new fight for the fastest times over some of the "prestige" records, like map01 or e1m1 where the full second time records of old look terrible compared to the low runs done in later years. And it would also guarranty hard worked and excellent runs. A new timer display would be one of the elements required in the modified port.
What really killed it in 2008 was the fact that there was no good way of going about effective cheat detection. And from the looks of things, thats still the main breaking point. The most promising one I see is the one Fraggle proposed, and I would personally dive into that and see what could come from it. Its worth a shot, and its a clear direction with a strong argument of why its the best solution. If this option is not chosen, I would just go with trust, and if theres reason for doubt with a submission, the CN administrator should be able to contact a cobble of voluntairs with lots of experience, and have them view the material and cast a vote / opinion.
Bottom line is, I think FX attacked this the wrong way, but his intentions are good. I applaud his hard work to get the old database working, and the life he have been breathing into this discussion. And not least, the way he managed to get some of the not so willing voices back in 2008 to pitch in. The site and the relaunch shoulda been secondary to having a good solution already worked out. This is sort of like buying a car w/o the engine. Nice to look at, but just sitting there until the components are in place. I'm rooting for him to find a solution to the issues, and hope he will keep working on the site. I'm sure theres a hundred ideas and opinions out there of what should be done and what should and should not be added to a "new" CN. Thats where having a clear vision from the start go comes in. And then people can like or disslike it all they want, as long as you've got a working plan.
Negativity never helped anyone, either. Lets stay constructive :)
Last edited by Andy Johnsen on Jul 31 2012 at 17:46