Longplay submission requirements

Last updated on 10 years ago
JonL
General rules
- If you use a source port of the game, make sure it looks as closely to the original game as possible. No high-definition texture pack, no new 3D enemy models, no unofficial mods. This is all about being faithful to the original, NOT about looking as good as possible.
- Don't use cracked games. If you do, we don't want to know and it must absolutely not be visible in the video. No pirate intro or signature of any kind.
- Don't cheat. If you need to cheat (because of a bug in the game, for instance), make it so it's not visible, and indicate what you did and why you did it in the text file so that admins can decide whether to accept it or not. Indicating the time codes where cheats were used is requested but not mandatory.
- Don't skip intros and dialogs. You may know the game by heart, but people who watch the longplay don't. If it gets repetitive or boring, they will just go for the fast forward button on their video player.
- Don't rush through the game. Longplays are not speedruns.
- You can cut grinding sequences from the longplay to avoid getting boring, but indicate it in the text file and summarize what happens during the cropped sequence.
- Use default options in the game. Choose the default character. Use the default route (unless you want to show every possible route).
- Use default gamma correction settings. Videos that appear too dark can be easily tweaked by video players.
- Don't go for the hardest difficulty level if it only means you have to grind through endless ennemies that will only slow down the pace.
- Dying IS OK. We're all human. Just make sure you look like you know what you're doing, not running around playing the game for the first time. Look for walkthroughs on YouTube or Gamefaqs or IGN.com before actually recording.
- Don't add audio commentaries, unless you make them optional (as a second audio track). This is no "Let's Play" series.
- Text commentaries are fine as long as they are optional. External srt files are accepted.
- Refrain from adding custom signatures and introductions. You can do that on your own YouTube channel.
- First, look in our database if there's already an existing longplay for the game. Refrain from doing alternate longplays unless you can significantly improve the existing one.


Capture Device
Quality is the key word!
When capturing real consoles, you should use top quality capture devices like the Hauppauge HD PVR.
Make sure to use a component cable to hook it up to the console output, as that also has a huge impact on video quality.

Avoid the Pinnacle Dazzle. That device is cheaper, but gives noticeably bad results. No longplays of that quality will be accepted anymore.

For older consoles and computers, the easiest way to get pixel perfect captures is to play the game in an emulator on your computer instead of the real console.


Frame rate (consoles, arcade)
The frame rate must be that of the original game, or one of the frame rates supported by the games if such option is available.


Frame rate (PC)
If the game you are capturing allows to set a specific frame rate, favor either 60 or 50 (depending on your location in the world).
Frame rates of 30 or 25 should be avoided on action games like FPS or shoot'em ups. Games with slow gameplay may accomodate lower frame rates, but keep in mind that the lower the frame rate, the less smooth the video is.
Videos that are not smooth are not pleasant to watch and thus they may get rejected. YouTube videos may be limited in framerate, but the downloadable version of the video is not. That makes a big difference.

If your computer is not powerful enough to record the game smoothly, you should choose a lower screen resolution. Jerky longplays may be rejected.


Deinterlacing
The submitted longplay must NOT be interlaced.
As a general rule, try to avoid interlaced resolutions in games whenever possible.
On next generation consoles, choose 720p instead of 1080i.
When recording older consoles via HD PVR, the output will probably end up interlaced. Apply a deinterlace filter while making sure the video doesn't get blurry. This can be done in the AviSynth script.

More information on deinterlacing vidos can be found here.
(TODO: write FAQ about deinterlacing and add link here)


Borders
The final video must not include black borders, either left and right or top and bottom.
One notable exception is borders that appear during only part of the game, like during intros and non interactive dialogs.
Only borders that appaear during the whole longplay need to be cropped.

More information on cropping borders can be found here.
(TODO: write FAQ about cropping borders and add link here)


Video resolution (consoles)
NOTE: Most rejected submissions are due to this very strict set of rules. If in doubt, please, please, PLEASE join our IRC channel and ask for any admin's advices.

The video must be captured using one of the native resolutions supported by the console the game is played on.
The video must not be rescaled afterwards.
Depending on your location in the world, consoles may use different native resolutions (NTSC / PAL standards, for instance). You may choose any of them.
One notable exception concerns older consoles. Their resolution must be doubled without smoothing. This general rule should be applied for all resolutions lower than 400 pixels high.

Note that if borders are cropped from the video (as required in the previous paragraph), the final resolution may be smaller and the video must not be rescaled to compensate for the "lost pixels".

The following list gives acceptable resolutions for most consoles:

Microsoft >> Xbox: 720x480 (480p), 1280x720 (720p)
Microsoft >> Xbox 360: 1280x720 (720p), 1920x1080 (1080p)
Microsoft >> Xbox One: 1920x1080 (1080p)
Microsoft >> Xbox Series: 3840x2160 (4K)
Sega >> Master System: 256x192 (rescaling to 512x384 required)
Sega >> Mega Drive / Genesis: 320x224 (rescaling to 640x448 required)
Sega >> Dreamcast: 640x480
Sega >> Mega-CD: 320x224 (rescaling to 640x448 required), 256x224 (rescaling to 512x448 required)
Sega >> Saturn: (TODO)
Sega >> Game Gear: 160x146 (rescaling to 320x292 required)
Nintendo >> NES: 256x224 (rescaling to 512x448 required)
Nintendo >> SNES: 256x224 (rescaling to 512x448 required), 512x448
Nintendo >> DS: 256x384 (rescaling to 512x768 required)
Nintendo >> Wii: 720x480 (480p if possible - not supported by all games)
Nintendo >> Wii U: 1280x720 (720p), 1920x1080 (1080p). NOTE: Wii longplays recorded via a Wii U unit is fine (it outputs them on 720p) but it's not recommended.
Nintendo >> Switch: 1920x1080 (1080p)
Nintendo >> GameCube: 640x448, 640x480
Nintendo >> N64: 256x224 (rescaling to 512x448 required), 640x480
Nintendo >> Game Boy Color: 160x144 (rescaling to 320x288 required)
Nintendo >> Game Boy: 160x144 (rescaling to 320x288 required)
Nintendo >> Game Boy Advance: 240x160 (rescaling to 480x320 required)
Sony >> PS1: 320x240 (rescaling to 640x480 required), 640x480
Sony >> PS2: 480p, 576p, 720p. Please avoid using interlaced resolutions.
Sony >> PS3: 1280x720 (720p), 1920x1080 (1080p)
Sony >> PS4: 1920x1080 (1080p)
Sony >> PS5: 3840x2160 (4K)
Sony >> PSP: 480x272 (rescaling to 960x544 optional), 320x240 (rescaling to 640x480 required)
Sony >> PS Vita: 960x544
Mattel >> Intellivision: 318x192 after cropping (rescaling to 636x384 required)
Other >> FM-Towns: 352x232 (rescaling to 704x464 required), 640x480
Other >> PC Engine / TurboGrafx 16 / CD: 256x216 (rescaling to 512x432 required), 320x256 (rescaling to 640x512 required)

More information on resolution doubling can be found here.
(TODO: write FAQ about properly doubling size and add link here)


Video resolution (arcade)
The video must be captured using the original game resolution.
If the game resolution is lower than 400 pixels high, the video resolution needs to be doubled without smoothing. Otherwise, the video must not be rescaled afterwards.

Note that if borders are cropped from the video (as required in the previous paragraph), the final resolution may be smaller and the video must not be rescaled to compensate for the "lost pixels".

More information on resolution doubling can be found here.
(TODO: write FAQ about properly doubling size and add link here)


Video resolution (PC)
The video should be captured using one of the resolutions supported by the game, and not rescaled afterwards.
A resolution compatible with the period the game went on sale is advised. For instance, capturing a game from 1995 in 1080p is not acceptable.
If the maximum resolution supported by the game is lower than 400 pixels high, the resolution must be doubled without smoothing.

In any case, the video resolution should not be higher than 1280x720 (720p) or 1280x800. If you wish to use a higher resolution, ask the opinion of admins beforehand. Videos of very high resolutions require a powerful computer to play smoothly and thus will simply not display properly for most viewers. Many of them don't even have a monitor with a resolution above 1280. Not to mention that generates an unnecessary big file size to download. Oh! And you need an extra powerful computer to record the game smoothly too!

Note that if borders are cropped from the video (as required in the previous paragraph), the final resolution may be smaller and the video must not be rescaled to compensate for the "lost pixels".

More information on resolution doubling can be found here.
(TODO: write FAQ about properly doubling size and add link here)


Video resolution (other computers)
The video must be captured using one of the native resolutions supported by the computer the game is played on.
If the game resolution is lower than 400 pixels high, the video resolution needs to be doubled without smoothing. Otherwise, the video must not be rescaled afterwards.

Note that if borders are cropped from the video (as required in the previous paragraph), the final resolution may be smaller and the video must not be rescaled to compensate for the "lost pixels".

The following list gives acceptable resolutions for other computers:

Commodore >> C64: (TODO)
Microsoft >> MSX1: 256x192 after cropping (rescaling to 512x384 required)
Microsoft >> MSX2: 256x212 after cropping (rescaling to 512x424 required)
Other >> Atari ST: (TODO)
Other >> Amstrad CPC: 160x200 (rescaling to 320x400 required), 320x200 (rescaling to 640x400 required), 640x200 (rescaling not required)
Other >> Atari Jaguar: (TODO)


CODECs and file formats
The video track must be encoded using the h264 CODEC.
The sound track must be encoded using the AAC or MP3 CODECs.
Files can be either MP4 or MKV.
As a general rule, try not to split the video if you can avoid it. Let admins do it for you.
Video can be split in several parts if the files get too big (split every 2 or 4 GB, for instance). This is tolerated but not encouraged.
Video can be split in several parts if longplay gets too long. This is tolerated but not encouraged. In the end, the video will be split in 2:30 parts at most (more like 1:00 or 1:30 parts in general) when published on YouTube.


Video compression
When encoding the final video file, use higher quality settings. We don't mind big files, but we don't accept low video quality.
As a rule of thumb, choose your quality settings so that when the video is playing you can't notice any compression artifact.

More information on encoding your video can be found here.


Signature
Including our signature in the first seconds of the video is mandatory.
The signature contains the following text, which should appear horizontally centered on screen :

<Game name here>
Played by: <Longplayer name here>
www.longplays.org


The signature should appear approximately 1 second after the start of the video and remain on screen over the game graphics for about 5 or 6 seconds.
If the game name is already visible on screen at that moment, you can skip the first line of the signature.
If the first few seconds are not favorable to adding the signature (for instance because display is too busy and the text would not stand out), you can delay it of a reasonable amount of time.
Colors and fonts are not mandatory, but don't get too creative, for the sake of homogeneity.

More information on how to add this signature and how it should look can be found here.
(TODO: write FAQ on signature, or link to part of the encoding FAQ that refers to signature)


Screenshot
It is mandatory to upload a screenshot of the game along with the video. It is strongly advised that you choose a typical gameplay sequence rather than simply the title screen. Don't forget this picture will be used by people who don't know the game to decide if they want to download the longplay or not. The title screen gives no useful information.
The image will be added to the game page on longplays.org, so choose it wisely!
If no screenshot is provided, an admin will extract one from the video, but this is not OUR job, so please take the time to do it yourself.

More information on how to take a screenshot of the game can be found here.
(TODO: write FAQ describing ways to get a screenshot, from best to worst, and add link here)


Registering
You are required to create a user account on the www.longplays.org website before submitting longplays. This will allow the publishing team to contact you in case your longplay needs to be fixed in some way before being published.
Besides, the longplay description page created on the website features your name, and that field can only contain one of the registered usernames.


SFV File
It is mandatory to upload a SFV file to check if files are not broken. To create a SFV file, install QuickSFV. After installing it, right-click the video file and choose "Create .SFV file". Upload this with your video.

PAR2 File
This step is optional.
You may want to upload a PAR2 file along with the video, so that admins can determine instantly if the upload is corrupt or not. PAR2 files are small checksum files, so the extra data is minimal.
To determine if the uploaded video is corrupt or not, only the smallest of the PAR2 files is required.

You also may want to upload all PAR2 files. In this case, the admin can fix the uploaded video if it needs to. Once again, PAR2 files are small, so the extra data shouldn't take more than 10% of your uploaded video.

More information on generating PAR2 files can be found here.
Tsunao
I'm no deinterlacer expert, but I think the plugin "yadif" is decent as a deinterlacer. I believe AviSynth comes with it already.

Script thingy:

Load_stdcall_plugin("C:\Program Files\AviSynth 2.5\plugins\yadif.dll")
DirectShowSource("videofilepath")
Yadif(Mode=0)

DirectShowSource can be changed with AviSource.
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