Shmup Leaderboard Rules and Philosophy

Why This Board Exists

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to the Shmup Open Leaderboard! The philosophy of this leader board is to establish a reliable, transparent, and healthy way to track shmup high scores and competition for the world of shmups. The goal of this board is to help promote more dedicated game play and attention to this amazing genre through fair non-biased score keeping. While the standard of proof for this board is a higher expectation than previous leaderboards, such as System11’s, it is still the goal of this leaderboard to be welcoming and accessible. It is my hope that this leaderboard won’t just be a place of interest for competitors, but also a place for all fans of the genre to come and see how these games are played at the highest levels of mastery. Also, while this leaderboard originates from the western, English-speaking shmup community, ALL Players of all nationalities are welcome to submit their scores and participate.

The Submission Standards

The primary submission standard for this board is video evidence. While not all scores will require video evidence (as will soon be explained), the top scores for each game will be required to have video evidence. So it is best practice to get in the habit of recording your high scoring runs, in the case you do end up achieving a high score. The three primary reasons why the top scores will require video evidence are: 1) to help prove that the score was achieved legitimately and fairly; 2) to provide a more open environment of competition, where top record strategies cannot be hidden or hoarded; and 3) to provide greater accessibility to the genre where game play footage can be accessed and located more effectively.

  • The top 10% of scores will required video evidence. However, there is also a minimum of the top 3 and a maximum of the top 10.
    • For example, if a game has 5 score submissions, the top three will require video evidence. But if a game has a submission size of 300, then the video requirement will max at the top 10. If a game has a submission size of 70 runs, then the top 7 runs will require video evidence (due to the percentage).
  • Scores outside the top 10% (that do not fall into the minimum or maximum ranges), do NOT require video evidence. A written score will be accepted. However, video is still encouraged if possible, so that players of your own skill level will be able to interact and learn from each other. Your scores will also be more credible in general if there is video evidence.
  • In the case where a player is not able to create a video, but is able to create an inp file for their score, the board can help assist in making that input file a video to submit to the board. However, please, if you can, try and find other help for this process if possible, as this will mean less work and involvement of the board in your score submission, which is preferred. The board wants to keep the player and the score keeping as autonomous as possible.

Video Backup of Score Submission Policy

  • When it comes to shmup competition and replays, one huge issue that the community has been struggling with is the trend of players deleting their own replays and scores on a whim. This is a common issue that crops up on the Video Index. Therefore, to help prevent this issue from arriving in the future of this leaderboard, a video backup submission policy has been created.
  • The way this works is that, when you submit a score and video to the leader board, you are agreeing that leader board can create a backup of your video. HOWEVER, this backup will NEVER be made public unless your original video evidence for your score disappears. In this case, the link of your score submission will be replaced with the link to the backup of your original video. The backup video will be an unlisted, non-monetized video that simply exists to preserve the original gameplay (this is not like Replay Burners). It can only be accessed through the link on your score submission.

Score Removal Policy

  • Unless there is a compelling GAMEPLAY reason why a score should be removed (such as cheating), submitted scores to the board will not be removed. Scores WILL NOT be removed based on social or political concerns. Scores will also not be removed if the player wants to remove them for personal reasons or concerns. Once a legitimate score is listed on the board, it will likely be here to stay, again barring any GAMEPLAY concerns like cheating or something of that nature. Or in the case that the score was smuggled in by an already banned user (see below).

Submission Ban Policy

  • While a players verified scores will not be removed barring gameplay concerns, a player can absolutely be banned from submitting to the board future scores for trolling or abuse of other players. If you troll this board, you will be banned permanently. If a banned user makes alt accounts to try and smuggle in scores under a new name, these new scores will also be removed, whether they were played legitimately or not. TLDR, do not troll this board.

Legacy Score Submission Policy

  • Initially, it was planned that this board would also list legacy scores from the System11 forum and JHA. However, it was decided, after discussion, that opening with a clean slate would be a better fit for the goals and purpose of this leaderboard. With that being said though, legacy scores are still welcome to be submitted, but with some guidelines.
  • The first is that legacy scores are held to the same proof standards as newly played scores. This means that in order for a top score to be accepted, it must have video proof. Additionally, it is preferred that there are two reasons that legacy scores are submitted to the board.
    • The first reason is that it is the original player is re-submitting their old scores (PLEASE DO!)
    • The second reason is that, even if the original player of the legacy score is no longer active at the moment, their score is having an influence on the current competition of the game. Examples of this scenario could be Prometheus’s DDP A-L score, or Pazzy’s Ketsui score. In this case, a different player may submit the legacy score, but with the responsibility of ensuring that the legacy score is not cheated (to the best of his or her knowledge).
    • So if you submit another player’s cheated scores knowingly, you will be banned just like if you had cheated yourself.

How to submit your score!

  • In order to submit your score, you will need to sign up for an account with the website (which should be quick and painless).
  • Once you login to your account, go to this page here:
  • Fill out all information correctly, and please do include commas in your score numbers. So write 1,000,000 rather than 1000000.
  • Each time you enter information into the table, the tables history is being saved for the moderators to access. The page will appear blank to you after you refresh or return though, so please don’t submit scores over and over.
  • If you troll the page by flooding it with nonsense submissions, you will be banned.
  • From there, the mods will enter your score into the desired game. If there are no existing pages for the game, a page will be created.
  • We are going to try and be as timely as we can, but please be patient if it takes a little while. The goal is speed and efficiency though, so that’s something we do value.

The Score Flagging System

  • In regards to the top 10% of scores, moderators will be reviewing the videos to try and ensure that they are legitimate and not cheated. However, what the moderators will be looking for are mostly the basic signs of cheating. We are not all going to be experts in all shmups though, so it is possible (and very likely) that a cheated run will sneak onto the leaderboard (mods are not Gods). In the population of runs we will be reviewing, it is also possible that a fairly obviously cheated run could make its way onto the board (mods are not Gods). However, to help combat this issue, especially in the long run, a score flagging system has been created. This is a system by which peers and fellow players can report runs to the moderators that they feel are cheated or look HIGHLY suspicious.
  • The way you flag a score is to simply fill out this form here:
  • When you fill out the form, be SURE to have your reasoning and evidence prepared. If your form has nothing compelling or at least some kind of detailed explanation, the flag will be ignored. If it becomes clear to the moderators that you are abusing the flagging system to troll or attack other players, you will be banned.

Cheating Investigation and Punishment Policy

  • In the case that a player is suspected of cheating, a specific protocol is going to be followed by the moderators. This protocol is designed to be transparent and easy to understand, so that we avoid all the cheating drama that seems to inflict so many gaming leader boards. Here is how the steps of the process will work
  1. An initial case for why the run is suspected to be cheated will be presented or generated by the leaderboard’s moderators (depending on how the case is discovered).
  2. The moderators who are part of the Anti-Cheating Council will then review the evidence presented and vote whether to throw the case out there, or proceed to the investigation phase. If the evidence seems contrived or misguided the process will end here and the score will be left as is. Again, players who try and use the anti-cheating system to abuse or troll other players will be banned. If the case seems like an honest misunderstanding, we will all move on with our lives as before.
  3. However, if the evidence is compelling and the Council votes in favor of investigation, then the case will continue.
  4. The player who is accused of cheating will then be interviewed about the case and the accusations. This is the player’s chance to tell his or her side of the story. If the accused player decides not to respond within a timely manner, or chooses to remain silent, then the decision about whether they cheated will be made without their input.
  5. The council will then vote, the decision will be a majority rule. So if 4 vote that the accused cheated and 3 vote that the accused did not, then the verdict will be that the player cheated.
  6. The council will then decide and vote on the punishment. By default, the cheater will be permanently banned and all their scores will be removed. Even supposedly legitimate scores of the player will be removed. (Yes, this board takes cheating seriously). However, if there are some extenuating circumstances or prior signs of good faith from the cheater, (like the player reported themselves or something), a lighter punishment may be given. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis. We are aiming for non-preferential treatment though.
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