by Chimp & TreZ
(TreZ) Hello everybody :)
It's been a hot minute, hasn't it? When I created the format of the OoTR.com community update last year, I thought...hey, people like reading TreZ news, lets do one of these every few months.
Well? Okay, well, here we are, it's Christmas now. Good job me... And frankly...it's crazy that it's December already. Do you feel the same way?
Anyways, enough babbling for now. Let's get down to the community update.
Uhh...I know, it's almost been a year at this point, so this is old news...but hey, we got a new secondary Admin this year, and I NEED to talk about him!
After last year's community update, our very own atz decided to leave. That's just fair. He gave everything he had since OoTR was founded, and sometimes, one just needs to move on. Maybe stuff didn't develop the way you envisioned...that's okay. One's contributions never fade. And the gratefulness stays. And atz will never be forgotten. Anyways, we want to look forward today...
I have to say: When Chimp stepped up, I felt big relief. Why is that?
Well frankly, it's a very personal thing: Even if it often doesn't seem that way, leading a community the size of OoTR (and that means over 48000 Discord members just for the main discord) is not only a lot of work, but also mentally challenging.
All these people from all over the world, with strong beliefs, their own principles and culture, and age 12 to 50+ - it's completely normal for there to be clashes. And that's before you start talking racing and competitive arguments.
And from the get go, I knew Chimp was willing not just to get his hands dirty (he's a monkey after all...), but also willing to share the load in this regard. To share the toll it takes to handle cheating cases when you actually feel unsure, to share the toll it takes when a big fight between subsets of the community breaks out (for example the disconnect between the french and english racing scene), and to share the responsibility when it comes to big decisions and giving everyone the feel that you are available for them and able to share your time with them.
I think his impact on the community has been gigantic already, and I am grateful for every single day he's willing to work next to this chaotic, impulsive and stressed human being that is known as TreZ. Thank you bud!
Version 7.0/7.1 - OoTR Development
Oh, so sweet... the scent of a fresh release... always such a thrill. To be honest, for 6.0 and 6.2, I've not been a big part of development. This changed with 7.0.
With our lovely maintainers TR and Zannick taking a step back, last year we were wondering..."hey, who's gonna maintain the project now?". And well, it was clear that this wouldn't be me. Heh - who am I kidding. But then two people stepped up BIG TIME:
ShadowShine57 and Cuphat decided to pick up the role.
They didn't get a shiny introduction, they didn't ask for any benefits, they just arrived and started working. Frankly, we all should be incredibly gracious for their work. Being a maintainer can be a tough job. People expect you to develop features, to accept PRs without question, to solve any issue within hours. And with so many old and new contributors showing up and providing their ideas, it's also a freaking lot of work. Seriously.
But they managed. They pushed through, and the two of them are the one big reason OoTR v7 is OUT and became one of the, if not the biggest release OoTR ever had. While only playing a minimal part, I'm proud that I was able to be a part of it, contribute with ideas and feedback, do a few minor changes myself (big shoutouts to oidamo for finally pushing for the GUI update!), and I think if we all, contributors, staff, and maintainers, keep up the spirit and the motivation and the creativity that defined v7 development, the future for OoTR as a software will have fantastic things in stock. One massive example of this is the next paragraph:
MODELS! AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?
Yea. It actually happened. Those of you who've been around since our humble beginnings in 2018 know that custom player models were the thing that everyone always wanted and that we always said wouldn't happen here. Remember the term "display lists"? But yea, look at us now.WE HAVE CUSTOM MODELS. AND THEY ARE AWESOME!
I want and need to give a hefty shoutout here to not only our very own ShadowShine and Maple who kept pushing and made this happen, but also to the ModLoader64 community, who had this for a while and helped us a lot to get it on the road, even with the added challenges of us requiring platform parity. Every race ZSR restreams since I am thrilled to see how people decide to customize their models, next to the meanwhile sheer insane amount of cosmetic options, and it brings great joy to the entire team. This was a project between two different communities, not even talking the leads, but individuals within these communities, and the results are fantastic.
I hope you all are as excited as we are to finally have custom player models.
Website Updates & Sneak Peak
While we are extremely pleased with how ootrandomizer.com has been growing, the website has not seen major updates in a while. It's why I am glad to share two new pages that we have added:
The season 6 qualification races have wrapped up, the top 64 and 128 are chosen, but we felt it was about time these standings are reflected on OoTR.com - so here they are. Faster, better, searchable - and accompanied by an archive of all OoTR main tournaments. We hope you enjoy. In addition, we'd be happy to provide the same service for other qualification based tournaments in the community - let us know.
As I mentioned before, the amount of contributions and crazy creative and highly skilled contributors in the community is one of the huge staples of OoTR. Many of these devs maintain their own forks which cool custom features that have not made it to the main fork yet or maybe are not planned to be added. This page will feature all of those forks and share infos about them...before you click over to their own ootr.com generator page to get your fix of daily OoTR madness.
Wanna get your fork added? Let us know! Every developer can get their own fork on the website with a small web tool to deploy to the website, provided that the fork is reasonably different from any of the existing options.
Meanwhile...work on a design rework has begun a while ago. This is done by myself, so extremely time limited, but I want to give a quick sneak peak at least.
Looks nice, doesn't it? Please know this is a very early proof of concept.
The design idea is to have a dark mode based theme, a lot less bloated experience, and also less intrusive ad placement. Hopefully, you all will be able to enjoy the new website before the end of the first half of 2023 - but no guarantees here.
Do you have your own design ideas (note that the OoTR GUI is an angular app embedded into the page) or desire to help with implementation? Hit me up!
Competitive Scene - Challenges...and Chances.
For many, OoTR is racing. It's often easy to forget that the majority of seeds rolled on the website consists of casual seeds, but either way, within our community, if you are deeply invested into the usual community events, you are either racing or interacting with races.
There are tournaments all over the place, hosted by TSG or the Scrubs community, for SGLive or by members of the main community, and that's not even counting the big main tournament once a year. On top, we have the weeklys and all the side gigs, the language specific tournaments, DDR, RSL, TFBlitz..it's hard to even stay on top. That shows a gigantic desire in the community to stay diverse and to not have racing get stale. This is a very positive desire, but often clashing with the concept of a very competitive environment.
We've seen that a lot during the settings finding process for S6. Many played their own styles, found settings, advertised them to their friends, and when these settings did not become the S6 official ones, some responded with anger. The race moderation is convinced that the settings we have now work great, but others gave up on them, never played them, or are still not happy with the changes. And we take that feedback serious cause every single racer of the community deserves to be heard (as long as they decide to be open and fair about their feedback). So for next year, there are a few more diverse options on the table, and we are planning to involve the community in this earlier. Hopefully, we'll find a great system together that can motivate racers for years to come.
Theres more topics about the scene that are also on my mind, but they will have to wait for another community update to not let this get out of hand here: The amount of increasing cheating cases, especially in season 5, the tension between Standard, glitched rulesets, and those in the middle, racing concepts next to tournaments and weeklys, and more. Especially the last two I mentioned deserves a lot more attention. So we'll postpone this to the next update, which will be out before XMAS 2023, promised!
What a crazy year. Really. We could extend this article by probably another 5 paragraphs. But...eh. Naaah! Too proud to provide a tl;dr - so we need to stop soon.
Thank you for all these crazy milestones. Passing 1 million seeds on this very website, and about 300k this year alone...adding more and more dev forks, creating new modes and tools - this page has grown more than we would have ever believed...just like the fantastic community behind it. And 2023 has so much more in stock! We know you are all waiting for MW2.0 - and at this point, it feels like Duke Nukem Forever, we know that. But rest assured that we're closer than ever, and that some people have seen a proof of concept by now.
So we're getting there, and to be honest, do not expect to write another community update before it's out. And i want to do these more often :P
APE TAKEOVER (Who let the Chimp out?)
(Chimp) Ah I remember it like it was only yesterday... The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was starting my first rando in Season 1.
Now I'm co-admin, we have luxurious quality of life such as a website, racetime.gg (because using IRC can go to hell) and enough bots to fill a factory, and hey we can even shuffle beehives now (Thanks RealRob!)! Good lord. TreZ has summed up the bulk of what I was going to say (no really, I wrote stuff out before seeing what he wrote then deleted most of it) so I'll keep it short. It's been a tough year for everyone, the world climate is harsh right now but I'm glad that we can continue to run this community for you all to seek out that escapism, be it to rush ice and be a meme-lord, or be it full mixed pools OHKO because you really want to punish yourself. I mostly just want to thank you all for every minute you spend in the community, both those that say a lot and those that say nothing and just watch/play in the background.
I hope you all have a great 2023, me and TreZ will still be around to continue to learn and grow, it looks like active development is flourishing again and I'm sure there will be other surprises. As always I welcome any and all feedback on how to foster this amazing community and continue to push it forward.
A big thank you to TreZc0_ (full name) for being a fantastic leader and partner. He loves this community more than anyone, even if he is a pain in the butt sometimes 😉 He has worked so hard behind the scenes and doesn’t get the credit he deserves at times! Lets make 2023 fantastic.
Merry Christmas to those that celebrate it, I hope you all get some peace and rest over the next few weeks, see you on the other side for some more rando!
That's all for now. We want to end with the same words used last time: If you have any feedback for us, know that our doors (read: our dms) are always open. If you don't go forwards, you go backwards, and we are convinced that moving forwards, there is a lot of journey left for all of us.
It's been a hot minute since the last bigger community update, so here we are. Over the past few months, A LOT changed and many plans and ideas grew behind the scenes.
Today, I am thrilled to share some exciting news with you all.
Discord Updates - New Icon & New Secret Logo Animation
We have a NEW SERVER ICON and we LOVE it. Our very own shiroaeli proved her art skills. The result speaks for itself. Make sure to hover over it in Discord to see the full animation, it is crazy ;)On top, support team's finest Maple started working on a cool 3D animation of the OoTR logo, which we will be able to use for community announcement videos and maybe restreams? Yours truly created a little jingle, so stay tuned for that!
Both shiro and Maple decided to devote their free time, and I will make sure to come up with a reward for both. For now, both received a special colored role in the Discord. In general, we want to go back and value volunteer work in our community more.We'll look into handing the Contributor role to more people and have a few more ideas in stock.
Dev Branches on OoTRandomizer.com - starting with devR
Ever since the OG dev branch made it to the website, more and more people got into testing, trying to bring more, cool new features, and we really enjoy your participation. With this feature, more creators and more devs can make use of OoTRandomizer.com's infrastructure for seed sharing, VC patching, and more. We hope that people use this to get their branches out there. Afterall, we're a community of creative minds, and with this, I am sure many new cool idea will rise to the surface.
For now, check out the latest features on devR on the devR Generator page.
OoTR Multiworld v2.0 - Developer Update
Long time rumored, work on a completely new version of OoTR multiworld has been ongoing for a long time. Today, our very own dragonbane0 is providing you with an update:
While the whole project has never been formally announced, many of you know that there has been increased efforts to modernize the OoTR MW framework to bring it into the current era and make it more accessible to players without the common struggles such as port forwarding and desyncs. Increasing the synergy with the current online presence and infrastructure that we maintain is another goal, which is why I mostly took it upon myself to design the 2.0 spec.For a while development progressed quite smoothly and several key components have been fully finished. The scope is large, we are talking supporting 3 different operating systems, at least 4 emulator platforms and complete hardening of all aspects against desyncs and that's not even close to all. That, the required interplay with other existing components and needed core adjustments to the rando code to support this rewrite, especially in regards with some less publicly talked about subjects such as encryption and tournament security, which are nevertheless important, have caused several prolonged stalls so far.
(TreZ) I know many of you are super eager to see more. You want to play Multiworld in a stable, modern way, long for convenience features like a forfeit option and more. I can assure you: I want those too. Many of us want them.
However, as devs, we and especially db himself want to do this right. When he started, we had no infrastructure in place for this whatsoever, and we started from scratch. That's why it is taking a long time, and I hope you all bear with us while we try to get the best possible solution out in y'alls hands.
I have worked with dragonbane for the past 5 years and have been blessed to see what he is capable of and how good he is at what he does. I know that, once he is ready, he will amaze us all. So all I can do now is ask you all for a little more patience. I promise: It will be worth it.
OoTR version 6.1 - coming soon!
Multiworld greatness aside - it also has been a while since OoTR version 6.0 dropped. A long enough while to warrant another release. The past year and a half have been challenging for most, if not all of us, and with that, development on the randomizer slowed down increasingly.
However, I am now happy to report that version 6.1 is just around the corner and will drop in the next few weeks. It will feature the latest dev version goodness and a few extra things that are still to be merged. v6.1 will also herald the beginning of Standard season 5, which we will be able to provide details about very soon.
After v6.1, I will take it upon myself to find a few new active maintainers for the randomizer code to push development forward (and try to contribute more myself) - OoTR has not reached its full potential, I strongly believe in this fact, and I want to do my very best to push it forward as a community admin.A few cool ideas for version 7.0 are already in the pipeline - if you want to join us as a maintainer, on a frequent and regular basis, please let me know. Note that I will need a few examples of your work, as the randomizer code does come with its challenges and quirks that do require a certain routine.
While saying all this, I do NOT want to forget our current maintainers, especially TR, zannick, and also Roman, who beside their extremely busy schedules still try their best to go over the very long list of contributions.
Between all the things going on, the amazing tournaments (Co-Op Season 2 coming VERY soon!), RSL, the League, Scrubs and TSG, Blitz, and everything that's going on, it's hard to NOT forget something. OH!, a new podcast episode featuring the scrubs team aired yesterday, make sure to check it out - the Gossip Stone podcast team has been on fire lately!
Once again I want to thank you all for being a part of this amazing community. Many of you came to me in the past year and told me how they felt at home here, how the community helped them to get through these troubled times, and it fills me with pride to hear that OoTR is more than just a fan mod.Thinking about everything that is done and that is to come has me thrilled, and I can't wait to talk about all these new things and all the creative ideas you are coming up with yourself in the future.
If you have any feedback for us, or me personally: Know that my doors (read: my dms) are always open. If you don't go forwards, you go backwards, and I am convinced that moving forwards, there is a lot of journey left for all of us.So remember: