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13th Official Tournament Round 1

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on June 30th, 202010 Comments »

A large cityscape awaits in the distance, with eight transports skirting the otherwise abandoned territory. As they flew into a rectangular formation over the desolation, the nearing landscapes cracked into view, revealing a myriad of conditions that were impressive to behold.

D1: Jump Up, Super Star!
The first transport departed from the formation — a very hard left, separated from the remaining seven ships in a rather rapid descent. After a brief, controlled fall onto a bright green field, combatants were shoved out one by one.

The newest and most inexperienced fighters stared around in complete disbelief and confusion; the realization of having to do battle with these unknowns was already disorienting enough. Any semblance of normalization appeared to be divorced from their reality. Many realized relatively quickly that travel would be exhausting, with the ground beneath their feet shifting regularly in intervals that resembled the average height of each competitor. Skies were at least a vibrant blue, though the occasional cloud found itself staring downward, just… watching.

D2: Darkside
The second transport continued on, splitting from the remaining ships around the same period but veering almost opposite from the counterpart, descending parallel to its landing position – a nearly lightless ravine.

In the distance, a surprisingly alluring melody penetrated the soundscape of what was otherwise a nearly deafening silence. It seemed too real to not be played by a person, but the lack of attenuation sounded nearly robotic — it was performed to perfection. Some sort of string instrument was leading the competitors, somewhere. The dangers of not using your own eyes were immediately apparent.

D3: Rain
Our third ship of competitors continued along a similar flight path as the remainder of the competitors, only to abruptly halt in place; already agitated fighters became even more on edge at the jarring impact along the already tightly packed structure. Various expletives coming out in numerous languages roared within the ship at what felt like a seemingly relentless pace.

The slow descent relaxed the competitors momentarily, though the relaxation was shortly lived with a sudden permeation of metal clanging along the outside of the ship that forced the bodies within it to yell in order to be heard. They abandoned the interior of their ship and stepped into what appeared to be an unending downpour, where the only point of audibility was the rain pattering on and around them.

D4: SAIKOU
The fourth transport traveled due north along the same flight path, stopping only a short distance ahead of the third ship, descending at a relatively slow pace. The 56 competitors glanced around at one another upon exiting the ship, nervously awaiting whatever was due to strike them, as many of them faced challenges similar to this in the past. Within eyeshot were numerous structures, rather tall in stature.

Within seconds, a deep, well-timed rumbling beneath the challengers’ feet created unfathomably strong pulses, simulating the intermittence of earthquake aftershocks. Trees uprooted, smaller buildings — shattered. Then… silence. A perpetual sequence of calamity and serenity was occasionally interrupted by a heavily synthesized voice, one that continued to chuckle at their path of destruction.

D5: RENDEZVOUS
Transport five veered very far west, settling near the border just outside of a well-illuminated metropolis, a rather fitting destination for a competition of this density. As the fighters departed from the ship, they all found themselves fixating at the various points of the unkempt city limits. The enticement wasn’t the stunning vista, but rather the sequencing of large neon arrows pointing in all different directions, each of them marked “GO HERE” in different languages, some of which were native to this unfamiliar locale. Exploration of the high-class appeared to be a secondary — perhaps, tertiary goal.

D6: kiss the sexy robot ultimate championship 201X!!!
Transport six stood the course for a rather extended period, taking an easterly berth away from the remaining ships before slowing itself down and lowering itself to the terrain. Filing out one by one, the fighters arrived at what appeared to be an exceptionally futuristic city. Many of the abandoned buildings all featured the same tall, slender and monochromatic appearance, with lights of blinding brightness.

“What the hell?” Competitor focus shifted to the transport’s operator as he began to swat his own body furiously. “Look out!” At a moment’s notice, the gauntlet participants began to scatter after setting eyes upon numerous pink-colored androids whose motions produced a gentle buzzing around along the metallic surface. Hundreds, if not thousands of them began to skitter about, all with heart-shaped eyes and open arms.

D7: Inferno of Fomalhaut
The second to last transport sped along, quite far away from the remaining ship headed due north, running into a tremendous level of turbulence along the way. Even as the ship gained clearance to land, the shuddering grew to extreme force. The group found themselves awaiting their objective on a dark and stable — but fragmented landscape. Between the naturally formed gaps were a highly luminescent shade of red that emanated a substantial amount of heat.

A loud roar heard in the distance was accompanied by an ear-shattering crash — the terrain shook heavily and spurts of an unknown substance resembling that illuminated color sizzled in the distance. Just another thing to look out for.

D8: G e n g a o z o
The last transport lagged a bit behind the seventh before eventually taking an eastward path as well. After a short bit of travel, forward motion ceased to exist. Unlike the others, the commander seemed to have no interest in landing. “I’ve no interest in giving you brutes the luxury of engaging in these battles. But, since all you brutes want to do is smash everything in your way, I guess I have no choice.”

The commander begrudgingly lowered the altitude of the ship to let out the fiercest of them all, settling within the center of an old, retired arena. It was in ruins, clearly standing the test of numerous skirmishes.

With all ships landed, large screens seemingly split along the horizon illuminated the sky. No face was clear on them but an absolutely obnoxious backing track complemented a voice that resonated loudly enough to be heard from any point.

“Fight, and earn your keep.” It was hard to be taken seriously with the hilarious amalgamation of music behind the voice. It would become suppressed shortly after.

“Or don’t.”

-TC_Halogen & psychoangel691

Reminders

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on June 26th, 202013 Comments »

Hello hello, Happy Friday! Just a few reminders for you:

Signups for the 13th Official Tournament will be closing this Sunday evening at 10:59pm server time (CDT). Don’t miss out! We’ll be doing live previews again this year starting Sunday the 28th at 8pm server time (CDT). Be sure to give the Official FFR Twitch a follow to get notified when we’re live!

Tomorrow evening (6/27) in the FFR Discord we will be doing a Q&A session with Synthlight starting at 8pm server time (CDT). Now’s the time to get those burning questions answered by Synthlight and other FFR staff members. Drop your question here in this form even if you can’t make it, we’ll be taking a recording of it.

See you guys then!

-psychoangel691

13th Official Tournament Reminder and QA Details.

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on June 23rd, 20208 Comments »

Hello everyone! I hope your week is going well so far.

Official Tournament
Can you believe the 13th Official Tournament is just one week away?! if you haven’t signed up yet don’t worry, there’s still time! You can find all the info in the 13th Official Tournament Thread. We’ll be doing live previews again this year so be sure to follow the Official FFR Twitch to catch those.

Q&A
I also wanted to give you all a few more details on the upcoming Q&A session with Synthlight. We will be hosting this in a voice channel on the FFR Discord this Saturday, June 27th starting at 8pm server time (CDT). If you have any questions you’d like to ask Synthlight or the rest of FFR staff please use this form to pre-submit them. We will also take live questions time permitting, but the best bet is to submit it on the form there.

That’s all I have for now, happy key smashing!

-psychoangel691

QA Time!

Posted in FFR News on June 20th, 202017 Comments »

Good evening, morning, afternoon, brunch, coleslaw, bubble wrap, or whatever time it is where you live.

First and probably most importantly, I want to thank every person that has taken the time to chat with me over the FFR Discord Server this past week or so. It’s been an absolute pleasure telling old stories, meeting new players and just reconnecting with the FFR community in general. I will maintain in my conversations that I may have started FFR but the community is why it’s still here. YOU are FFR. Because of this, I want to make sure that the community has a say in the direction that we take things and that everyone is aware of our ideas on how to move forward. What do you hate? What do you love? What does FFR need for a new generation of players? What questions do you want to ask me? The developers? The admins? The mods? We are at a point right now where we have so many people selflessly contributing their time and nearly unlimited infrastructure potential. The only thing missing is your voice.

After thinking about it for a bit, we decided the best way to host this will be through a QA session on the FFR Discord server. We are just starting to pull together the details but it’s looking like we will be hosting it next Saturday evening. A few of us will be chatting live, taking pre-submitted questions and live questions as time permits. I wouldn’t be surprised if the session runs late into the night.

We will be finalizing everything early this upcoming week and will let everyone know over both the FFR front page and through Discord. To start this off, please feel free to leave as many questions as you would like in the comments. We will start collecting and organizing them for the live session. Nothing is off-limits and no question is too small. At the same time, I am looking forward to sharing a few stories from FFR’s past.

P.S. Omg… So busy with FFR infrastructure over the past few weeks. All of us have been working hard behind the scenes. I will be updating you guys on that front with a different front page post.

Cheers,
Synthlight

SoTW and Batch

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on June 9th, 202014 Comments »

Hey everyone! With the official tournament a mere 3 weeks away we will be suspending songs of the week temporarily. Once the tournament starts there will be 8 brand new songs going in per week for the 8-week duration, that’s a lot of new songs! Holding off on songs of the week will also help us ensure that we have some extra on deck just in case we need to swap any planned files out or accommodate any tiebreakers. We actually have only a small queue of files right now, which is awesome considering how large it was last year.

Now on to the batch, so far we’ve left it consistently open but with the influx of work from special batches, we will also be temporarily closing the batch after the May/June concludes. Don’t worry, we’ll be back with it shortly after. I just want to ensure we get all caught up and can keep moving forward smoothly with all the content coming in.

I think that’s it for now, as always any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to reach out!

-psychoangel691

13th Official Tournament signups & Updates

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on June 8th, 202018 Comments »

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend. I have a few things to talk about today, the 13th Official Tournament is near! But first, I need to address a small bump we ran into:

Due to some corruption in the database, we had to do a mandatory rollback to May 28th. If you’ve submitted any files or updates to your files in the submission area during this time, please re-submit them to ensure we’re not missing any. I know some of you have lost some scores as well if you have screenshots you can submit those directly to the unrecorded scores form and I will get them in for you asap. We’re really sorry for the inconvenience, but it’s good we caught this while we had backups and were able to address it quickly.

Now for what you’ve been waiting for, signups for the 13th Official Tournament are open! The signup period is a little longer this time around as the requirements for participation have changed some. We are requiring more games played over more songs in order to place people more accurately. Please be sure to check out the 13th Official Tournament Thread to get all the details about that and more for the tournament. Hype!

If you have any questions or concerns you can always reach me via DMs here on the site, or through the FFR discord. My tag there is Azlynn.

See you on the dashboard!

-psychoangel691

It’s About Time…

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on June 5th, 202029 Comments »

History is important and this is going to be a long front-page post. Sorry in advance. Legacy is important. It’s why above all else, the FFR staff has chosen to prioritize keeping songs, scores, replays, forum posts, profiles, and more. This community has been around since early 2002 and we have had some incredible journeys together. The ups and downs… The stories… The business aspect… Friendships… I have seen people get married, have kids, get FFR tattoos, and be inspired to become game developers. Just amazing. At the same though, this is why our FFR database has grown so large over the years. We are not just talking about a few records here, we are talking about hundreds of millions.. maybe billions of records. Almost 70GB worth if you just count the main database and this is just the “text” records. There are another 100GB of code and site files.

So whats up?

Over the past week and a half, I have been working behind the scenes to modernize the infrastructure, database, services running the game, and then move it into a more robust private cloud platform. It’s on that platform right now as we speak. You might also wonder if we are ever going to move the database off of the webserver and give it more than a few GB of RAM? DONE… I wrapped up modifying about a hundred scripts and moved it all over on Sunday night. As a result, you should already start seeing things like level rank generation getting faster, the site should be more responsive and generally more reliable. The exception would be me interrupting you with snapshots or testing deployments in the middle of the night. I have completely replicated FFR as a staging server(s) on my local home machine so that I can quickly deploy, debug, and push to production additional upgrades as we move forward.
The current developers have done an incredible job over the years but they need more support on the infrastructure side and while I do hold a full-time job, I am the most qualified to continue that tradition and essentially take care of that nest. So that’s what I am going to do. With that being said, over the next few days, I will be deploying a significant number of database upgrades, DB configuration optimization, and query optimization. The same will happen on the webserver side. I have a heaping handful of base services I want to make sure are completely up to date as we get closer to planned releases and additional *SECRET* plans. In all, this phase of upgrades means that you can continue to go about your daily FFR lives without interruption with the only thing you notice being is a more responsive site as time moves forward.

While life has taken me in all kinds of twists and turns over the years, I still pay monthly for the infrastructure and along with the admins, developers, and moderators, we keep the game 100% free and void of ads. Just the way it was originally envisioned. It’s best for me to be involved right now and I owe it to everyone to be so. As a community, as a site and as players, we still have some amazing things to accomplish.

So on the subject of history… How many of you have been around since we had a simfile database with tens of thousands of entries for the Stepmania community? FFR was THE source for simfiles for a number of years. I bet you didn’t know those files were held in a RAID array where BOTH drives went bad. Like that, pooooff, they all the files vanished. Tragedy. I kept the drives all these years as some sort of nostalgic piece of history in the corner of my closet. About 6 months ago, I was going through things and I decided it was worth a shot to have them sent off to a company specializing in physical data recovery. That company finally reached back out a few months ago to let me know what was going on…. Should I ruin the surprise? I think you know the answer.

One last thing I want to mention was that Google converted all of our free email accounts that they assigned us access to about 15 years ago into gsuite accounts and started to charge $5 or so a piece for the hundreds of user-based email accounts. Needless to say, that was no bueno. The bad news is that I have been having a hell of a time getting them to switch it back, the good news is that we can pay on a per-account basis if anyone out there needs permanent or even temporary access to this @flashflashrevolution.com email addresses. I/we will do what we can to get that back on track and I am still working with Google on this.

Enjoy the upgrades so far and please feel free to let me know what you would like to see changed on the site, game, server, or whatever. Stop by on the official FFR Discord to say hello to me and the rest of the devs, moderators, and players if you get the chance.

Feel free to reach out with questions, I’m an open book.

18 years and counting…

Cheers,
Synthlight

Songs of the week 05/27/2020

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on May 27th, 202014 Comments »

I know, I know I’m a day late. My bad guys, but here’s a bonus song to make it up to ya:

Labradorite
Musician: OSTER project feat. Yu Tokiwa
Step Artist: bmah
Song Length: 2:25

Sail On
Musician: Masterplan
Step Artist: storn42
Song Length: 2:58

Son Of Robot
Musician: Dance Gavin Dance.
Step Artist: Pizza69
Song Length: 3:52

Sarcophagus
Musician: Ninja 9000
Step Artist: M0nkeyz
Song Length: 2:48

Enjoy!

- psychoangel691 & The Game Management Team

Songs of the Week 05/19/2020

Posted in Flash Flash Revolution on May 19th, 202013 Comments »

LIGHT OF HARMONY
Musician: NeLiME
Step Artist: gold stinger
Song Length: 2:00

Wine & Roses
Musician: L’Indécis
Step Artist: M0nkeyz
Song Length: 3:40

Handle Your Business
Musician: b.i.n.t.
Step Artist: ositzxz369
Song Length: 2:10

Enjoy!

- psychoangel691 & The Game Management Team