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Salsa's dev index

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Posted: 21 Jul, 2018 11:20
This hack is one o which I consider using for Roll-chan Evolution, Episode 2, the other ones are Rockman Claw 2 and Rockman GrayZone. Still Basic Master seems to be the most balanced of them all for the time being. Currently the picked one is still Claw 2, but I wanted to reconsider it before starting my work.

Posted: 21 Jul, 2018 13:23
If there's a few N64 games I'd love to see you do, here are my suggestions.

LEGO Racers
Worms Armageddon
Wipeout 64
Penny Racers
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Namco Museum 64
Army Men - Air Combat
40 Winks (Yes, there is a rom of the unreleased port)
Tigger's Honey Hunt (A game from my childhood. I used to play it on my PC)
Super Bowling
Tom & Jerry in Fists of Furry

Posted: 20 Oct, 2018 23:22

Posted: 12 Jan, 2019 00:02
Last Edit: 12 Jan, 2019 00:39

I love Perfect Dark and the achievement set of this game is very good, so I wanted to master it. Infortunately it has a lot of bugs. Maybe you have a bit of time to fix the set?
I opened a ticket for each bugged achievement, with all the informations I could give, if it can help.

Posted: 13 Aug, 2019 21:14
Last Edit: 18 Aug, 2019 13:40
A week ago (7.08.2019), I have abandoned official server and resigned from being a patron after 2 years of support. This decision was an effect of extended all-out pressure put on me resulted from chain reaction of many concerns, but catalysed by introduction of support for PlayStation. I am not against bringing it to the site, by all meanings. Yet it's by far the most important system for myself, with which I spent most of my total gaming time (even more than arcade games), about library of game for which I know more then about any other system. I personally think PlayStation shouldn't be brought at this point, because a lot of other things should be done on the site and arround it before, and opening it right now will make everything much more problematic. Yet as I have mentioned the release of PSX is mainly a catalyst. There are many other considerations, which put together are much more serious and thus crucial especially synergizing.
Primarily, I want to ephisize that those are my personal point of views. I don't want to invoke polemics about those points. If you have different opinion, keep it for yourself. It's not that I don't respect you or your way of thinking. Only there is no point of trying to convincing me to change my mind, comparing it to other frames of references or common sense. At this point there is no way back to what was before (but I don't want this to be taking as something negative). I will explain it after bringing my concerns of objective nature more in detail:

1) MAINTENANCE OF ACHIEVEMENTS should be top priority not only for individual developers but globally de rigueur. Because RA promotes individually hermetic form of achievement production, there are multiple related issues, which will keep being replicated with increased developement activity. The most critical problem is the fact majority of developers only think about their own work or interests, a lot of achievement sets are abandoned, and because of that the overall number of tickets is just rising (and tickets are just top of the iceberg visible on the surface, cause potenitally a lot more of issues are not). Sort of side effect of relying on closed form of production is thinking that revision will fix all problems in the future (and this is ultimate excuse for everyone here, but also it could relate to most of issues I will call here). The critical flaw of such thinking is undeniable relation of revision with personal interests, and this relation is much stronger than in case of any other form of maintance. Such point of view will be ultimately damaging for the site, and it's visible in all of those poorly done and abandoned sets. Good idea might be to restrict any new content from being added to the base until such issues are resolved to respectable point.

2) AUTHORSHIP IS BADLY IMPLEMENTED AND A SOURCE OF FURTHER ISSUES. Something that will be potentially resolved by raweb v2, but still have huge influence on both players and developers right now. The person who intiated an achievement creating/cloning a vessel to which all triggers are attached, and only because of that they are indicated as authors, and becasue on RA sets are treated as units of attention, and there are no author fields brought to Rich Presence and leaderboard scripts, the people visible as Authors in the entry are recognized as people who created all of those contents, when in most cases this information is very completely divergent from the actual state. In my opinion RA shouldn't wait until v2 is being finished, but recognize a problem arround it and run a campaign bringing proper credits to everyone, or at least stop exposing incomplete information to the public. In case when the info is accurate and it reveals bad performance of individual person, it has bigger defaming effect to the site, than. It's more importan how something works, and how high the overall quality is, then who is guilty of bringing bad stuff. RA shouldn't be a gallery of performance, but provide quality content.

3) COMPELLED BY MAJORITY AND UNBRIDLED FOCUS ON QUANTITY AND FAST-PACED BUT LOW TO AVERAGE QUALITY ACHIEVEMENT PRODUCTION. There is almost nothing done to reassure achievement sets to be designed including proper balance (good ratio of progress, side and meta elements, if it's possible). Addtionally some elements on the site, allowed behaviour, resolving colliding matters through voting, but also the contents of the site in general, could deter creative developers from attempting to influence changes. The major part of contents on the site demands reworking, and a lot of set concepts requires redesigning. Someone could say - "It's your opinion", "You have high standards", or even "Don't try to enforce your own style of prodcuction on everyone"... especially because of such point of view on this situation, some people will stay away from RA, or leave it. Protection of personal vision (even if it's cheap) here is stronger, than care about quality and the difference between low and high quality is ofen recognized as "style". The fact that naturally the count of average developer is bigger, experienced and passionate creators are forced to go with the wave or deal with effects of being outside of the standard.
There is general problem with discrimination of good effort in the community, and through contents of the site. Everyone is "treated equally" here, and that's why creative people who don't just mind their own business ignoring discouraging distractions, could get easily detered. Because of set standard of focusing on game progress and other ingame contents (reflecting not using as a base), players could and are refusing to accept meta game elements (requirements different from regular game playtrough, which are mostly harder to perform) or even boycotting more detailed sets, as uncomfortable, because they require more time and effort to be completed. Creative elements like icons, badges titles and descriptions, can get replaced easily, no matter how good they are, no matter if developer had individual concept, and it was a part of it. It's just a matter of two things - what will be recognized as better by specific collective (people who will vote at this point), and personal interest of person who decided to change it.
The rule of "first come first served" is sort of ultimatly detering element. Of course it applies to any other developer (no matter how skilled, and how good ideas they will have), but it could and is reducing the passion and willinness for anyone who was "isolated" this way. This way a game could loose a chance of recieving good treatment, and it happend many times.

4) CHEATING is still a really big problem, barely being dealt with. Some time ago, brought a long list how it's possible to cheat on RA, and his list was addressed, but ultimately weren't treated seriously. Before that on RA there was common opinion about cheats not being worth attention, because it's impossible to deal with all of the cheating. I always thought cheating can't be eliminated completely, but should be limited to the point it would be harder and/or less effective. Simple achievements (which are majority on the site) can be upgraded to be more resistant to cheating generally, including checkpoints of related ranges. Recent introduction of code seperator flag is also allowing to actually finally try to work on more sophisticated protections from cheating. The actual matter will never be a big enough priority here to be treaten as weighty.
Speaking about cheat protection, there is one very serious thing that need to be addressed especially in case of recent events, and that is battery save protection and enforcing battery save/memory card individuality. Something like this relates to extreme majority of games using saves already, but PlayStation adds a lot to the problems, especially when almost all of games in it's vast library require using memory card. The fact RA didn't had this before PSX being announced, doesn't mean this problem can keep being pushed away. It applies to forms of abuse like possibility to edit battery save file, or using 3rd party save files to do short cuts. Restriction to precise trigger point won't be good enough, when you can simply abuse a save done right before that point. The game itself might not provide ways of proper protection, and in some cases it will make it really hard or impossible. Although abusing saves like that is treated as cheating, it's near to impossible to deduce actual cheating, especially when the cheater will be smart.
To be able to properly protect specifically simple progress achievements, it would require all previous progress achievements to be unlocked, but also chain of progress detail checkpoints, which will need multisession (allowing to save progress of achievement porcessing between sessions), to avoid tedious requirements (like playing part of the game in one session) from the player.

5) CURRENT TOOLS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY LACKY to think about using them for comepetent quality achievement developement for majority of games for PlayStation. Recently they were improved a lot, but their general capabilities are still below of what is required to produce. I'm not interested in making makeshifts of achievements, and returning to and update them when some features will be introduced. I'm a person who can't produce achievements to just have them done in form requiring update right after they are published. Expecting something like this is sort of insult to me actually. The fact achievements can be done, doesn't mean the system is ready to be added, as much as the fact achievement can be done, doesn't mean it will always be good to add it.
I realize the issues correlating with too simple tools aplies too all systems, not just PlayStation, but introduction of vast library of bigger, longer and generally more complicated games, makes significant difference, making turning blind eye about it and other issues impossible. Systems, which have similiar issues are GBA and N64. GBA was here before I have joined the site, and I always felt it's already a bit too sophisticated for availible toolset, to make it right, not just make it. Although it's not one of my favourite systems, I was really worried about adding support for N64. Right now some sets (for example and ) are good example, why this system shouldn't be there yet. I could say, alttough a lot of N64 sets are looking ok, they feel more like enforced makishift to me - something done properly, yet not in good enough form, only because the tools don't give enough capability.
Current tools also don't give possibility to bring support to multiple regions and different versions of the game, without specific makshift treatment (in many cases it won't be possible regardless). Because of much bigger prominence of different regions in PlayStation library, the support for multiple game versions under one entry shouldn't be any time longer a low priority.

6) THE ASPECT OF SINGLNESS OF RETROACHIEVEMENTS WAS NEVER USED TO WHAT IT SHOULD BE USED FOR. My biggest concern is again the fact that RA should influence players and not vice versa. Starting with policy of proceeding system implementation - adding older systems first and ending with modern, giving more obscure systems more promotion. Instead of something like this, systems are released without proper campaign arround it or the campaign is rushed in, especially about very anticipated systems. Some players will get what they want and the hype will drop. Better organization would give it huge synergy, especially when all other issues are minimalized (through improved and exteneded maintance). PlayStation also was probably the last very exciting system everyone was waiting for, which will have it's attraction effect, but in front of what could be organized arround it withing it's introduction, it's a terrible waste.

7) RA IS AN INITIATIVE THAT FEELS MORE LIKE ATTEMPT OF TESTING SOMETHING WITHIN IT'S FOUNDATION... It continued to be pushed within the same rails, and regardless of many controversies arround it, and at least a couple of moments of high doubt, it's still on the same path. The staff, developers and players are used to what they have there, and that's why any change will be sort of compromise between old and new, without completely fresh point of view on it's foundation. A lot was done to make RA better, but ultimately it's more like giant with the feet of clay, who decided to take care of himself. Better looking, more operational, but still very much disabled.

These are not all concerns, that influenced me, only those I could fish out of my mind right now. There is multum of more personal things which caused everything too. For example the release of PlayStation basically nuked all of my other plans, and that includes rescoring processing, which I barely started. I have coded arround 50 simple sets for arcade games last summer, with intention to flood RA with it, exposing how easy it is to do just progress stuff, and the fact it's nothing "cool" or meaningful about having only basics of the gamplay reflected. But I retracted from it, realizing it's just silly thing I am forced to by how the things are here, my own ambition, and nobody will take it as I would like to see... They would love those sets, so what? I'm not here to render current standard stronger. Ultimately I have decided to extend those sets to what I would be satisfied with in present state. All arcade sets I published starting from september are the result. None of other will happend the way it was before...
At this point I want to say that I'm not blaming anyone for what happend earlier. I think staff is mostly doing the best they can nonetheless. Developers are forced to some things, or just doing what they did before. This specific "freedom" which favors those who care less here, was always detering. It's still there, and it will remain... that's why I am ultimatly assured that I don't fit here as who I was before. I need to adapt to stop trying to protect my old standpoint from my side of happening.
I need to take a break from RA in general, but I don't want to leave it completely. The fact my freetime only shrinks in general is only making it more complicated. Right now I can't say anything else basically. I'm not sure when I will be ready to return, but I'm sure about one thing - I won't be able to support this initiative the way it was before.

Posted: 13 Aug, 2019 21:36
FWIW, thank you for your work. I especially enjoyed the Phantasy Star set. It was the first time I actually finished the game. Previously I'd burn out at the same spot every time about halfway through. I see the best sets as something like DLC: extra content that enhances what is already there. I really enjoyed having a reason to clear the dungeons.

Posted: 13 Aug, 2019 22:26

Posted: 14 Aug, 2019 02:19
Last Edit: 14 Aug, 2019 06:04
I originally had a large essay here but my power shut off before i could post it so ill give you the tldr version.

- honestly, you are completely justified in being frustrated with releasing psx and n64 in the state that ra is in

- its hard to care about your own work when people who only do basic sets or do sets exclusively for romhacks that are well documented are going to inevitably get veteran dev before you and get more praise from the general masses than sets that require thought and effort. Im definitely part of the problem basically only having like 2 actual sets with the rest being memes, and i wish i had the time and dedication to make sets as quality as you do.

- points stop mattering when theres so many ways to break the site. Some exploits have been known for over a year now and still havent been fixed.

- theres a reason celery left to make their own site. I love ra and its community. 2017-2019 has been a massive jump in quality, but the skeleton of the site, being integration and v1, is massively flawed and werent really designed to work with anything past snes and mega drive.

Posted: 14 Aug, 2019 15:17
Sorry to know that ...for me you are who made my favorite sets for my favorite games and hoping that all goes well for you and for sure always keep on retrogaming!

Posted: 17 Aug, 2019 09:47
It's sad you're leaving. Also it's sad to realise people don't want to play high quality sets.

When I only joined the site 2 years ago your sets seems the best ones. Not everyone can cover the game content fully like you did many many times.

Now the best thing I can do is continue making sets and revisions following your high standarts.

Posted: 17 Aug, 2019 11:58
@JAM, I agree with you on so many levels. People just don't care about quality sets anymore. They would and will prefer meme sets or basic ones with achievements copied and pasted over and over again like my sets.

Posted: 17 Aug, 2019 12:24
I agree with those who posted earlier too. Salsa was a inspiration to me when i joined the Site, no other Dev put out such high quality content in short time as she did. Salsa could easily create her own Site and it will be lot better than the average content we see on RA. Difficult Cheevos are relative based on the users perspective, but at least all her Cheevos work correctly and if not she fixes them very quickly, how many other Devs would actually spend the entire night to fix Cheevos others can enjoy them instead of go sleeping, probably not many, yet she did stuff like this but such things are getting uncredited and most don't know about it.

The people who lead RA don't care much about the quality of the content that is getting put on the Site and prefer quantity as long it fills the Site with as much content as possible, they allow basically everyone to become a Dev and literally spam the Site with bad content. Its a disgrace to anyone who ever spend months of time into creating quality content but most Devs didn't and don't know how it is to sit there working for months on something (for free) so others can enjoy it. But as always, its best to ignore all the issues like they don't exist and pretend everything is good.

Posted: 17 Aug, 2019 12:42
Last Edit: 17 Aug, 2019 13:00
> The people who lead RA don't care much about the quality of the content that is getting put on the Site and prefer quantity as long it fills the Site with as much content as possible, they allow basically everyone to become a Dev and literally spam the Site with bad content.

That may be your opinion but is factually not true. The standards for being a developer are rigorous and demand a strong demonstration of most aspects of the toolkit. While we do have certain concepts that are not allowed ( ) we do not tell devs what they need to put into a set because it is believed that a developer should be free to use their own ingenuity and creativity to decide how a set should be made. When other devs find a published set lacking they are free to add more achievements to improve the set, after peer review, and often they do.

Posted: 17 Aug, 2019 13:08
Salsa, since I joined Retroachievements a year ago it was immediately clear to me that your sets are in a class of their own in terms of professionalism and comprehensiveness. I'd like to voice my appreciation of your hard work because seeing your name attached to a set is essentially a seal of quality for me, and makes we want to play the game even if I had no prior interest in it, just because I know the achievements will be fun and challenging.

Honestly, if you stop making sets then it's a huge loss for Retroachievements, and I can only hope that there will be others who will take your work as an inspiration and try to emulate your style.

Posted: 17 Aug, 2019 13:33
Last Edit: 17 Aug, 2019 13:33
@: 'That may be your opinion but is factually not true.'

'But as always, its best to ignore all the issues like they don't exist and pretend everything is good.'
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