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Individual Levels

  1. ILs!
    1. Should I Do ILs?
    2. Using the Sheet
    3. Sheet Rules
    4. Setting Up Hardware
  2. Submission Guide (ILs Sheet)
    1. Formatting
    2. Video?
    3. Links
    4. Notes
    5. IGT and Retiming

ILs!

IL Spreadsheet

SMS has leaderboards on this spreadsheet for various individual-level–based categories, for practice, competition and analysis. The full spreadsheet comprises tabs for:

  • ILs – mostly-unrestricted ILs. The challenge of optimising a single level as much as possible co-exists with practice for Any% and other blue-coin–less categories.
  • 120 ILs – ILs with blue-coin requirements, for 120-Shine segment practice.
  • RTA Strat ILs – ILs on different strats to optimise and compare them. A kind of living documentation that gives an overview of how fast different things are.
  • Bingo ILs – misc. ILs, motivated by bingo, that are practice for bingo goals, category extensions, or just arbitrary tasks.
  • Best Splits/Segments – for documenting your best times as achieved in Any% or 120-Shine runs.
  • CE Extensions – for extra category extensions (CEs); not ILs but just kept on this sheet.

Should I Do ILs?

If you want to! Do them if you’re naturally interested and motivated. But for a more strategic answer, check out this essay I wrote.

Using the Sheet

First, join the sheet by messaging one of the admins mentioned on the sheet’s front page on Discord with your Google account’s email address. Be warned that the name on your Google account will be clearly visible in the sheet’s activity. One given access, you can freely edit the space at the end of each sheet – take out a row (column in the case of RTA Strat ILs) on any sheet you want by typing in your name, and now, you can submit times – see the submission guide. A mod will later protect your row so only you and the mods can edit it. Don’t take out a row unless you’ll enter a time right away! Empty rows get removed from time to time.

Sheet Rules

ILs Sheet Rules

Ensure that you abide by the leaderboard rules specified at this link. These are for the (main) ILs tab only; they loosely apply to the other sheets, which have informal rules whereby you’re expected to check some example videos and ask in the Discord’s #help channel if still unclear.

Setting Up Hardware

Practice Codes

ILs in SMS are based around the infrastructure of these cheat codes. This makes them accessible to every Wii and PC Dolphin emulator setup, but rarely any GameCube. Homebrew is required for Wii/GameCube. Timing is done via a hacked in-game timer, and selecting and resetting levels is done by holding button combinations during a load (usually an “exit area”).

Practice Codes Guide

Here’s the installation guide. Please make sure to follow it exactly – particularly when it recommends something, you should see it as mandatory unless you know what you’re doing or otherwise got things working. In particular, check that:

ILs in SMS are less accessible in (mostly) requiring cheat codes and hacked Wiis, but this is necessary practically. Having to retime every IL from video is an unmanageable amount of work that sets back the accessibility (and popularity) of doing ILs far more. Having fast resets is also a substantial buff to how much they can get optimised, and like the previous point, how enjoyable and healthy they are to play, learn with and compete in.

Submission Guide (ILs Sheet)

These guidelines largely apply to the spreadsheet tabs other than “ILs” as well, but not entirely, and aren’t currently rigidly enforced. Check examples from the sheet you want to submit to, and ask in the Discord for clarification.

Formatting

Make sure your time is formatted as 4.51 or 16.30 or 1:39.22. This is different to what the timer looks like in-game – there’s a . between the seconds and centiseconds, and a : after the minutes if required. 1 decimal-place (e.g. 16.3) is accepted for now but I wouldn’t bet on it being accepted in future. Check back 10s after typing in a time; if it gets highlighted red then the formatting needs to be fixed. Misformatted times don’t count for points.

Video?

The top 3 times for a level that have video are highlighted and counted for medals. Video is otherwise optional, but highly encouraged. Let me explain why…

The cost of recording an IL video for someone who’s able to record an Any% run is very small. See this section to judge for yourself. The benefit is that you contribute to a collection of videos that can be used by everyone to learn strats, time strats, and get a feel for what level of play corresponds to what times. Videos also legitimise your runs and show respect for the competition, particularly when they rank highly for a specific level or you’ve reached a high overall level in points ranking.

Video Tools Guide

Everybody should check this out to find out what options are available for recording videos of ILs, as well as cropping, frame-analysing/retiming and downloading them. YouTube submissions are preferred, though Twitch clips are fine if that’s simpler for you. Twitter is allowed but discouraged. These preferences are due to how easy it is to frame-advance and download videos, as well as Twitter’s uncontrollable viewer-side video hyper-compression.

Hyperlinks are used to link videos for IL submissions; right-click a cell, then Insert Link (or ctrl+k). If you replace a time with video with one without video, check that the link is gone (possibly right-click, then Remove Link). The time you achieve in the video must match the time you put in your cell (0.02 of leeway is allowed to recognise that sub-frame discrepancies are usually random error in the timer). To provide evidence that doesn’t meet this standard, you can use notes. For example, if you have an unrecorded PB, you may decide to either a) type it in, unlink it and put the old time + link in a note, or b) keep the old time + link and put the new time in a note. Any other supporting evidence like pictures of times can go in notes as well.

Please also ensure the whole IL is present in the video (i.e. all gameplay), the video is legible and that there aren’t serious frame-drops.

Notes

Adding notes is a convenient way of commenting on your submissions in a way that’s immediately apparent to people browsing the sheet. Right-click a cell and select Insert Note. Use comments to communicate messages to mods; other uses of comments are being phased out, largely because anyone can delete any comment.

IGT and Retiming

Retime Log

By default, all stated times for ILs must match the time shown in-game with the Shine Get Timer cheat code. However, you’re allowed to submit times without the timer, e.g. from a full-game run, to be retimed by a mod; just post them somewhere in the Discord. Such submissions must be accompanied by a cropped (not timestamped) video, for ease of verification (see here for the motivating philosophy). If you’re interested in learning how to retime your own videos, see here. The times are frame-counted and/or adjusted for loads/text.