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Author Topic: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22)  (Read 108779 times)

Kyzrati

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Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22)
« on: September 08, 2015, 08:27:02 PM »



Welcome to Alpha Challenge 2015, the biggest community event of Cogmind Alpha Access!

You can go straight to the main event page to read about the rules, rewards, leaderboards, and dozens of achievements, but here's an introduction and summary of what all this is about.

While top scorers will naturally receive more recognition and prizes, this is also meant to be an event fun for all, and in that spirit simply by participating you might win something substantial (Cogmind gift keys!). You can even get your name in Cogmind's ASCII art gallery! (the item attribution reward)

There are quite a number of achievements--58 and counting--providing recognition for many unique styles of play and giving even those less familiar with the game a chance to put their name on the leaderboard. The achievements are "secret," however, so initially you can't aim for them; just play games and the event algorithm will parse and analyze all the uploaded score sheets to determine who currently holds the best ratings in each category.

Note that score is not everything when it comes to placing high on the Best Escapes list--a fast stealth build has as good a chance of topping the list as a high-scoring blast-em-all-to-hell combat build.

During (and especially after) the event, I'll be sharing interesting composite data and graphs so we can see collectively how everyone is faring. (Those will appear here and at /r/Cogmind.)

Feel free to use this thread for discussion about the event, or your experiences while participating, similar to our weekly seeds. (Seeds will be temporarily suspended during the event since manually seeded games are barred from participation in the Alpha Challenge, and we want to encourage as much participation as possible!)

Good luck! (And as always, have fun!)

Update: The Challenge is now complete! See the final results here, and prize list here.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 09:21:33 PM by Kyzrati »
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Adraius

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2015, 08:44:02 PM »

Propulsion modules acquired... systems integrated

Reactor acquired... system integrated

Weapons acquired... systems integrated

Ancillary bays standing by... awaiting component acquisition

All systems report functional




Good luck, fellow Cogminds!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 09:29:10 PM by Adraius »
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Draco18s

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 08:50:10 PM »

Downloading.....DONE!

Booting Systems.....
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zxc

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 08:54:42 PM »

LOCATION=UNKNOWN

GOAL=ESCAPE
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Shobalk

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 11:03:35 PM »

And I was just about to go to bed...
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Kyzrati

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 11:47:31 PM »

Glad everyone's getting into it ;D

And I was just about to go to bed...
Haha, there's always time for one more run! But you do have two weeks to show your stuff.

I always release/announce things in the US late evening since that's my morning over here :P
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Shobalk

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2015, 12:03:09 AM »

Calling it a night ;)

I got up to -5 and the game crashed in a fight with some g's.

Not sure if there is any info that I can provide you, but if there's a crash dump or something, I can send it over.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2015, 12:12:12 AM »

Whoa, crashed?! That's unexpected, and might be something I'd want to deal with ASAP. (That said, there were minimal changes from Alpha 3b, and that was a really stable build.)

Did you not have crash uploads activated? I don't see your log on the server. There should be a crash.log file in the main directory that you can send me and I'll be able to pinpoint what caused it. Please do! Here's hoping it was something rare...
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Adraius

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 01:34:39 AM »

I always release/announce things in the US late evening since that's my morning over here :P
I noticed that. =P Where are you located, if you don't mind me asking?
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Kyzrati

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 01:39:35 AM »

Nope, it's publicly available knowledge via my Twitter :). Taipei.
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monsieurmarc

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 02:06:25 AM »

Excellent news
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Kyzrati

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2015, 05:52:40 AM »

Added a bit to the OP:
Note that score is not everything when it comes to placing high on the Best Escapes list--a fast stealth build has as good a chance of topping the list as a high-scoring blast-em-all-to-hell combat build.
So if you're more experienced/better at stealth or more confident you can win with that approach, don't forget to try it at some point, too!
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Happylisk

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2015, 06:33:23 AM »

I am awaited on the surface, where I will ride eternal, shiny and chrome. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpEmSpzqU3M
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Kyzrati

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2015, 07:17:34 AM »

But... there is no achievement for going out in a blaze of glory and reaching the surface posthumously as a flaming wreck :P
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Happylisk

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2015, 07:43:59 AM »

"Going out in a blaze of glory" is my middle name I will have you know. 

Really, really looking forward to this.  I'll probably have to buy the ladyfriend something shiny and nice to make up for the amount of time I'm going to be glued to my computer.  Roguelike tournaments are close to my favorite thing (see e.g. http://dobrazupa.org/tournament/0.16/players/happylisk.html).  Thanks for setting this up K!

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zxc

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2015, 07:55:42 AM »

I do wonder what the criteria will be for 'Best Escapes'. 'High Scores' is simple enough to work out. I reached -2 with a combat build... hellish. Going to try and win a  stealth game before I have another go at the high scores.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 09:49:49 AM by zxc »
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Kyzrati

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2015, 08:09:24 AM »

Really, really looking forward to this.  I'll probably have to buy the ladyfriend something shiny and nice to make up for the amount of time I'm going to be glued to my computer.  Roguelike tournaments are close to my favorite thing (see e.g. http://dobrazupa.org/tournament/0.16/players/happylisk.html).  Thanks for setting this up K!
Wow, Happylisk, you're one hell of a DCSS player! Amazing runs, and you averaged like 3-5 hours per day for the duration, hehe :). Thanks for linking that, because I can see it would be nice to later on have a full table of basic stats/highlights for every single run. Added to notes.

Glad to have set this up; I've been wanting to for a while! I naively thought the opportunity would come within a few weeks of launch last May, ha.

Way too busy for that, plus the game wasn't ready for it just yet. The game is very much ready for it now, I think. It'll be really fun to do again once the game is complete and there's even more content, but I can't be holding tournaments left and right since it slows development :P. So this is it!

I do wonder what the criteria will be for 'Best Escapes'.
Only some of the scoring criteria for some parts of the event will be revealed while it's in progress, because a number of them could be too easily gamed, and I also hope that beginners with their "unique" styles might be able to take some achievements, for example ;). As for Best Escapes, we'll see--I want to let it run for a while and watch how the leaderboards evolve first. Just play your best for now!

I was thinking of you and all the previous stealth winners today when I added that note about Best Escapes. Combat builds are much more likely to achieve a high score, but I wanted stealth to be a viable winning option as well, which should be more reflected in the second chart.
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zxc

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2015, 09:33:42 AM »

I just won a stealth run, maybe the first win of the tournament. It took two or three attempts.

Spent so long on -1 with the exit accessible but looking for a ....

I think stealth runs are highly streakable but combat runs are more RNG heavy. I found it more tense than my combat run, I think because stealth runs are more tactical while combat runs are more strategic (with a touch of RNG). Often during my last combat run I would be in a situation where the optimal action was reasonably obvious and it was a matter of watching events unfold (always badly).
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 09:44:01 AM by zxc »
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Happylisk

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2015, 09:53:28 AM »

Geez zxc you're a beast.  Congrats.  If I get a single win this tournament I'll be thrilled. 
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Kyzrati

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2015, 10:12:08 AM »

Congratulations zxc, yes that's the first win so we'll have one on that board when I upload the data :)

I think stealth runs are highly streakable but combat runs are more RNG heavy. I found it more tense than my combat run, I think because stealth runs are more tactical while combat runs are more strategic (with a touch of RNG). Often during my last combat run I would be in a situation where the optimal action was reasonably obvious and it was a matter of watching events unfold (always badly).
I agree with your observations. With stealth it's about controlling the situation before it even escalates, while the combat approach is more at the mercy of whatever is thrown at you. Usually, anyway. Theoretically with the right hacking and possibly a hybrid sensor approach combat builds can also exert control over the situation/environment. Because I would like all seeds to be 100% winnable by expert players (using either strategy), once the other branches and rest of the content is in we can look to making sure the overall balance is right. For that I'll be needing the expertise of more combat winners :P (more later than now, because as we know there are many new things to come).

I'd be surprised if you don't end up with one or more wins, Happylisk.
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zxc

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2015, 10:19:11 AM »

Thanks :>

Plenty of time for you to crank out the wins, Happylisk. I believe!

I insist on winning a combat run this tournament. It will be done!

Would love to discuss this stuff further, Kyzrati, once I get more experience with Cogmind combat.
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Agroesch

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2015, 03:29:39 PM »

How do I tell if my client is configured properly to submit my games with my forum name?
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Adraius

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2015, 03:43:58 PM »

How do I tell if my client is configured properly to submit my games with my forum name?
Do a test game (just start Cogmind then quit the run if you haven't done any since setting the name), then go to your scores folder.  In addition to a bunch of of text files that are called Anonymous[bunch of numbers], you should see one that says [your name][bunch of numbers]!

I just played my first few runs of the tournament, and they haven't gone remotely well.  I feel like this trying to do stealth runs lol.  I just activate several patrols while running from an initial one and die in a fire.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 03:58:54 PM by Adraius »
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Agroesch

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2015, 04:14:35 PM »

I can see the files for my games there with my name on them. So can I assume that if [Upload Scores] is set to "On" that I am successfully making entries for the challenge?

You think you have no idea what you're doing. You should see my games. I'm always limping around with shot up parts slapping anything on my character that will take damage as I try to hobble towards the exit. My strategic approach to the game is "Oooh, colors!"
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Adraius

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Re: Alpha Challenge 2015 (September 8-22, IN PROGRESS!)
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 04:17:06 PM »

I can see the files for my games there with my name on them. So can I assume that if [Upload Scores] is set to "On" that I am successfully making entries for the challenge?

You think you have no idea what you're doing. You should see my games. I'm always limping around with shot up parts slapping anything on my character that will take damage as I try to hobble towards the exit. My strategic approach to the game is "Oooh, colors!"
Yes, you're set!  And that made me laugh, thanks. xD Hang in there!  After being so wildly successful on those back-to-back runs I'd forgotten the mundane dangers of Materials. 
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