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. All new submissions will REQUIRE 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 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.

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.

Legacy Score Submission Policy

  • As a balance between preserving historical scores but also respecting the higher proof standards of this new board compared to the past (where video was not required) this board will include legacy scores submitted to the shmups system.11 forum. However, for the runs from these legacy leader boards that do not have video evidence, they will be put on a separate table on the page that will be titled “Legacy-Unverified.”

How to submit your score!

  • Just fill out this form with the relevant info
  • 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. 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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