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Q1: What violations can make my recording invalid?
A1: Slowing down the emulator or hoarding scores would be a violation, but Compo Mode deals with those violations. The recording simply stops when the speed drops, and thanks to the Compo Mode we can give out key-codes in the last weeks of the Tour that makes it impossible to hoard. We feel its important, and a whole lot more fun, if players know each other's progress in each game along the way. We don't like to see someone hoarding his/her scores, uploading them on the last day, taking everyone by surprise. That's just no fun. A recording will also be invalid if a judge detect a player is leeching for points. This means that you can't stay in a safe spot, and collect points by shooting aliens, or anything like that. This is why some games in the Tour is judges by stage/level/round completed, and not the score, because there are many leeching spots in these games. Still it seems players sometimes find those leeching spots in games we thought was free of those. If you find such a spot we can DQ your recording, and disallow that leeching technique for the rest of the Tour.
Q2: Can I use pause command if it exist in a Tour game?
A2: Only once (...phone rings :-) eventually twice ('nature calls'), but don't make pause longer than 15 minutes. You can't go to lunch, bed... and then continue recording. Also you can't 'chop' games with pauses (e.g. fast games like "Space Harrier").
Q3: Hey, I'm a linux user, can I eventually join Speccy Tour?
A3: Yes, you can use FUSE in order to join Speccy Tour! See the rules section.
Q4: Why all this features like Compo modes, RZX digital signing etc?
A4: Because we want to play in the same conditions as we were playing on a real Speccy. That is to say, 100% Speed and not slower/faster, being able to pause the game only if the game allows it (not artificially) etc. RZX signing bridges the gap of having a faithfull recording under an emulator of open source code. It prevents from cheating by changing up a few lines in the code and provides a reasonable security. We do really hope that no body would use this sad tactics anyway :). Playing conditions are important though, specially if we want to have an official and faithfull scores chart.
Q5: Wouldn't it be much simpler if you just relied on players' good will rather than using recordings with compo mode?
A5: Well, we don't think any Specchum would care about losing time trying to defeat RZX signing in order to make good scores. But on the other hand, if you provided a player too many emulator facilities like being able to save snapshots, and send snapshots as proof of the score, it's very likely that after 2 months of competition he won't feel like going through the easy levels of the game again, and will eventually use this facilities. It's not quite the same playing Manic Miner for 4 hours or resuming the game after a good rest, so all this facts, made us think that we really need those features in order to have a fair compo. We might have some games of the first Speccy Tour (when no game recording was supported and snapshots were used) this year if they are selected, it would be a good chance to contrast how all this things have influence in the final scores, or to see if we are real security paranoids :)