Timeliness (when should I be ready for my run?)
Our schedule doesn't have any pre-defined spaces for each individual run's setup, so we want to get the runs started at the time listed on the schedule, not any later. With this in mind, please be ready to go and start your game feed stream at least 5-10 minutes before your run's scheduled start time, with earlier being better.
We will start runs ASAP if we are behind schedule, but if we are ahead or on schedule and a run finishes early we will not be starting the next run any more than 15 minutes before the scheduled time. This is because starting earlier and earlier could eventually lead to a massive wait between runs once we reach someone who isn't available to start their run earlier than scheduled. A run starting early is also fully dependent on the runner being ready and willing to start their run early - please don't feel pressured at all to be available super early if it would inconvenience you.
Runner game stream setup
For runner streams we have opted to just use Hitbox instead of trying to use our own RTMP server or anything complicated like that. So what you need to do before the marathon starts is create a Hitbox stream account to use for your game feed and send us (the committee) the URL privately. It isn't the end of the world if a few people watch your direct game feed on game day, but we would prefer the main bulk of viewers to remain on the proper PokemonSpeedrunsTV channel, so set your stream title and description appropriately.
So what you should put on the stream?
Please stream only the game feed and nothing else, and stream at a 16:9 resolution such as 1280x720. Take the feed from your capture device and place it in the topleft of the stream, then expand it to its maximum vertical size without changing its aspect ratio. This should leave a feed that we can easily crop appropriately to put on stream. Please do try to crop off things like the Gameboy Player border on your end, though we can cover that if necessary.
(Edit for DS/3DS games: If you are running a DS or 3DS game, place both screens on the stream side-by-side horizontally rather than vertically. Make them as big as possible without changing their aspect ratios)
You are allowed to run splits for your own reference and talk about them during your commentary, but don't include them in your video feed; we will run a timer on our streambox so the timer matches the overall stream layout.
If you want something special for your run on stream (a cam for blindfold runs, or the Pokedex counter for 151 runs) you can talk directly to the committee. Most of that should be fairly easy to sort out on a case-by-case basis.
For audio you have one of two options, one preferred option and one backup if your stream setup is configured in a certain way.
- Option 1 (the vastly preferred audio) is that you stream game audio, TeamSpeak audio and your own mic audio all combined along with your game video. With the exception of the added TeamSpeak audio, this is what you should be used to doing on your personal stream anyway, and adding TeamSpeak audio is no different to adding audio from a Skype call. This means that the game and voices will be in sync without us having to do anything extra on the streambox side - we will just restream your audio as-is without adding anything to it, the host's voice will come through on TeamSpeak.
- Option 2 (the backup option) is that you stream only game audio(+video) and nothing else. In this case we will add the TeamSpeak audio on the streambox side, which will include your own voice. This option is not preferred because it will make the voices be ahead of the game feed by the duration of the Hitbox delay, which can lead to unintentional spoilers and the like. We can attempt to delay the audio on our end so everything matches up, but the delay is not necessarily constant so we'd prefer not to.
More general audio setup and commentary
As you will have inferred from the above information, we will be using TeamSpeak for voice chat during the marathon. The address of our TeamSpeak server is forums.pokemonspeedruns.com . Please take care to include the forums bit in the server address - trying to connect to just pokemonspeedruns.com won't get you anywhere.
(Edit 11 August: The TeamSpeak server is now up and available for testing, it will be up continuously until the start of the marathon unless things go wrong.)
Once you have connected to the TeamSpeak server (when it's up) you will notice a special room which will contain only the people whose voice audio is actually being broadcasted on the marathon stream. You and any co-commentators you have will be added to this room before your run by the current stream host. In the meantime, you can create your own rooms to test stuff or just talk in the main lobby.
As far as co-commentators go, it's fully up to you (the runner) to organize other commentators for your run if you wish to have them. They are not necessary unless you will have issues commentating yourself - we would like at least one source of reasonably constant commentary on the run. To make sure the right people get added to the stream room on the TeamSpeak server just talk to the current host before your run is going to start and let them know who's coming with you. The host should be able to participate in commentary to some degree but there is absolutely no guarantee that they will have any serious knowledge of your specific game/category so don't rely on that at all.
So what's up with the two "setup/filler" blocks? What will happen during those?
If we're behind schedule when these blocks are scheduled to happen, we'll just use the time as extra buffer to catch up. Easy, problem solved.
If we're on schedule when we reach one of these blocks, we will fill it with appropriate short runs that are not currently on the schedule such as Green Any% (Dokokashira Door). Because these blocks are relatively short, most of the runs will probably be from Gen1 or Gen2 as other games lack shorter well-known/practiced categories. Our current plan is basically to just make it up as we go along depending on how much time we end up having - several committee members will be around for a large proportion of the marathon's duration and could potentially do runs, and we have spoken to a few Gen1 short category runners regarding this as well.