Machine Update

A significant machine is being applied over the next couple of weeks. It will include significant upgrades to hardware, software and gameplay.

We were due to upgrade the machine over this week and install a number of new features. However, only half of it got done today, and we aren’t quite sure what went wrong.

The following changes were applied to the machine on February 12th:


The hard drive got upgraded to a SSD. Load-up time in the mornings – including Vista’s whinge about not shutting down properly – is under two minutes, and SelectSongMusic loads substantially faster.

The box should (from Sunday) be running off the DVI port rather than the VGA port. This will (hopefully) make the images a little bit sharper.


There is a new revision of the theme, but it didn’t apply because I’m a spork. Not that it matters, because I expect by next week the revision will have a revision of the revision.


arceast + 1

Hot: NEW SONG. Difficulties on single: Beginner 1, Easy 3, Medium 5, Expert 9.

Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix

Zenius-I-Vanisher updated their packs for the two Korean mixes. The update provided a full set of doubles charts for all songs, improved mp3s and better quality graphics. We added both the packs on, so this means five returning songs (Byul, Gaagai, Gamyunwi Shigan, Sung Suk, Tell Me Tell Me) and ten more with extra charts and/or better quality music and/or better quality graphics.

Dance Dance Revolution 7th Mix – MAX2

Break Down: Fixed the error on the song wheel, and added background videos while I was at it.

Dance Dance Revolution UNIVERSE3

Songs starting with A, B and C have had their backgrounds modified so that they don’t appear as a small image with a huge black border around it. (They’re now 688 by 516, in case you care.) However, I don’t think they’ve been updated.

A Fifth of Beethoven: Offset and sample start suitably modified.

Rave Until The Night Is Over (Universe Edit): An updated banner has been included.

Dance Dance Revolution X

An extra 50 songs were added. Unfortunately, the difficulties are in the new 1-18 notation, because we haven’t had a chance to fix them back to 1-14.

Dancing Stage EuroMix 2

The files are of a better quality, like with 3rd Mix’s, but I forgot to add them to the patch. I’m sure somebody out there will appreciate this when it gets done.

In The Groove 1 and 2

Miscellaneous offset adjustments to 5 ITG1 and 18 ITG2 songs. Almost of all of them are within 0.015ms, so you’ll barely notice them.

Deleted songs

64 songs got deleted, mostly because nobody was playing them. I’ll try and get a list together at some point this week.

Participation in standard competition formats

Here at arceast, we don’t like doing single-elimination tournaments much. Sure, it’s nice and dramatic, but it often means a long journey for little action. And whilst that may be great if you can disappear off in half an hour to do something else, it rather defeats the whole participation objective.

Each of the scenarios below makes the following assumptions (unless specified otherwise):

  1. Each tournament has 16 players.
  2. A seeding match lasts 1 song.
  3. Non-seeding matches are best of 3.
  4. Each result is just as likely. Therefore a best of 3 match lasts 2½ songs, as it assumes that a 2-0 win is just as likely as a 2-1 win.
  5. A song takes 4 minutes to do. This might sound like a lot, but it allows a minute of head-scratching beforehand, two minutes of stomping, and a minute of organiser faffing.
  6. There is always a third/fourth play-off in knockouts.

Each format is summarised as follows:

  • Expected duration: how long the tournament is most likely to take
  • Lower and upper bounds: how long the tournament could take in the best and worst case scenarios
  • Play split: how many songs and matches each player would get, expressed as minimum/estimated/maximum number of songs.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the format
  • Anything else noteworthy

Seeding into single-elimination KO

Expected duration: 48 songs in 3:12 (8 seeding songs, 8*2.5=20 last 16 songs, 4*2.5=10 quarter-final songs, 2*2.5 semi-final songs, 2.5 songs for 3rd, 2.5 songs for 1st)

Lower/upper bounds: 40 songs in 2:40 (8 seeding songs, then 32 KO songs) or 56 songs in 3:42 (8 seeding songs, then 48 KO songs)

Play split: 8 players get 1 song + 1 KO match (3/3.5/4 songs); 4 players get 1 song + 2 KO matches (5/6/7 songs);, 4 players get 1 song + 4 KO matches (9/11/13 songs).

Advantages: Easy to run, easy to understand.

Disadvantages: There’s a huge imbalance between the amount of playtime for the bottom half and the top four.

Notes: 32/40/48 songs is the spread for a single-elimination KO, which I’ll use a lot later.

Seeding into double-elimination KO

Expected duration: 81.75 songs in 5:27 (8 seeding songs; 37.5 single-elimination KO songs (due to no 3rd/4th place necessary); 2 sets of 4 loser QFs = 2*4*2.5=20 songs, 2 sets of 2 loser SFs = 2*2*2.5=10 songs, 2 sets of 2 loser finals = 2*1*2.5=5 songs, 1 winner v loser match = 2.5 songs, 1 possible rematch = 1.25 songs).

Lower/upper bounds: 66 songs in 4:24 (8 seeding songs, 30 single-elimination KO songs; 16 songs for loser QFs, 8 for loser SFs, 4 for loser finals, no rematch) or 98 songs in 6:32 (8 seeding songs, 45 KO songs, 24 loser QFs, 12 loser SFs, 6 loser Finals, plus a rematch of 3 songs.

Play split: Volatile due to extra matches in loser bracket. Weakest 4 players get 1 song + 2 KO matches (5/6/7 songs). Winner gets at least 1 song + 5 KO matches (11/13.5/16 songs) if no final rematch needed. Very possible some people play more than the winner does.

Advantages: Prevents one bad match ending the tournament.

Disadvantages: Long. Complicated. Tournament much longer and more complicated if persons 17 and 18 enter.

Notes: Tried this once with about 24 people and one dance machine. Nearly lost the will to live.

Seeding, group phase, top 2 to KO phase

Expected duration: 80 songs in 5:20 (8 seeding; 4 groups of 6 matches = 4*6*2.5=60 songs; 20 songs for 8-man KO).

Lower/upper bounds: 64 songs in 4:16 (8 seeding, 4*12=48 group phase, 16 KO phase) or 96 songs in 6:24 (8 seeding, 4*18=72 group phase, 24 KO phase).

Play split: 8 players get 1 song + 3 group matches (7/8.5/10 songs); 4 players get 1 song + 3 group matches + 1 KO match (9/11/13 songs); 4 players get 1 song + 3 group matches + 3 KO matches (13/16/19 songs).

Advantages: All players get a decent number of songs.

Disadvantages: Gets complicated with 17-19 players as groups of 5 needed which can nearly double the group time.

Notes: Losers can also have their own bracket, as in Gold Rush Revolution. This adds 16/20/24 songs (1:04/1:20/1:36) to the tournament. Better than double-elimination in most ways for 2/4/8/16/32 etc fields.

Modified Swiss

Expected duration: 100 songs in 6:40 (4 rounds of 8 matches = 4*8*2.5=80 songs; 20 songs for 8-man KO).

Lower/upper bounds: 80 songs in 5:20 (4*8*2=64 songs; 16 songs for 8-man KO) or 120 songs in 8:00 (4*8*3=96 songs; 24 songs for 8-man KO).

Play split: 8 players get 4 group matches (8/10/12 songs); 4 players get 4 group matches + 1 KO match (10/12.5/15 songs); 4 players get 4 group matches + 3 KO matches (14/17.5/21 songs).

Advantages: No seeding round (i.e. everyone getting bored of hearing the same song 8 times in a row). Everyone gets lots of songs, increasingly with players of their own ability. Two losses can still be enough to win the tournament.

Disadvantages: Difficult to follow, nightmare to manage without a computer. Not designed for events with one “table”!

Notes: Similar format to how Gold Rush +1 worked, except all went through to knockout. 2^n+1 players increases the time over 2^n players by a factor of about (n+2)/(n+1), for example 17 players take about 20% longer than 16, 33 players increases the already epic schedule by about 17%.

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