Archive for December, 2009

Charter finished

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

The last major addition was to the Schedule portion of the 2010 Charter. A graphical/table version (similar to the one in 2009) will be ready later on, so it will be easier to read. With a few other structural tweaks to the Charter, we’re finished with our first release and are removing the “draft” status.

No changes have been made to nomination rules since the last announcement about eligibility.

The ‘do not nominate’ list has been enhanced to help you recognize the characters. Remember that you don’t have to worry about nominating from this list; they have already qualified to either Prelims or the Regular Season.

Have a happy new year, everyone!

Latest donation

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

The Staff would like to recognize shinz_zhu for his donation to ISML. Every gift, no matter how large or small, means the world to us. Thank you for helping to keep the tournament online and running. Since our move from shared hosting to a virtual private server (VPS), annual costs have risen to the hundreds. But we are just excited about the site’s growth, and we remain confident that support is out there to keep us going year after year.

Extra nomination tips

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

The Rules FAQ has been updated to include some quick tips for the upcoming nominations.

How should I format my nominations?
  • Any language is acceptable, but we highly prefer you write them in romaji (English).
  • Name order does not matter. “Katsura Hinagiku” is the same as “Hinagiku Katsura.”
  • Please give the full name of the character, so we know exactly who you’re nominating.
  • You do not have to use macrons over the vowels (e.g. ō and ū); “ou” and “uu” are sufficient.

As always, please keep our eligibility rules and the “do not nominate because we’ve already qualified” list in mind, too, so you don’t accidentally waste a nomination slot.

Revisiting Relegations – an apology and new statement

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

As you know, the voting community is ISML’s most valuable asset, because without it and without you there wouldn’t be an ISML at all. We, the Staff, do our job as organizers because your participation and your excitement motivate and inspire us. We want to host the best saimoe tournament we can, and that means representing your voice and your will as we stucture and execute this contest.

About a week ago, we made a decision regarding character eligibility: Restrictions were added such that characters from Touhou Project would not, in their current state, be eligible for the 2010 main event. This particular decision has had no issues, but it caused a conflict regarding the validity of 2009 Relegation, and we had to make another decision.

At the time, we believed the fairest resolution was to void 2009 Relegation in its entirety. We did not want Reimu’s exclusion to have caused regret from voters, who would have otherwise voted for other characters and thus changed the outcome of the tournament. To clear up the potential “what-if” situations, we elected to drop Relegation completely and start fresh.

However, you have voiced your concerns, and we have been listening. Over the last two days the Staff debated the issue again, and our conclusion now is that we were wrong. Rather than Mikoto, Mai, Sayuri, and Ayu having unclear futures as a result of Reimu’s disqualification, you have voiced instead that they are still winners and should advance to the 2010 Preliminaries.

Because our original justification for the first decision was fairness in your best interest, we don’t have any reason to deny this recent concern when your interests are different than we had thought.

In the 2010 Charter**, we have restored Statement I.C. which states that the “Top 5 finalists of the ISML 2009 Relegation Tournament”, pending eligibility (which only prohibits Reimu), will be given automatic entry to the 2010 Prelims. Statement I.E., which was added to void Relegation, is now removed.

You will still have 12 nomination slots for your benefit.

We apologize again for the mistake and the confusion it caused, but we hope that everything is on the right track now as the new year approaches. Just like you, we are very excited about 2010, and we want to make sure it’s done right. Thank you for all your input and feedback.

** The Charter is still in draft status, so we are still making modifications and additions. We promise to complete the entire document by Jan 1, so you are clear from Day 1 of the tournament what all the rules are. And any modifications since that day will come in the form of an amendment.

12 Nomination Slots

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Here’s a late Christmas present for all of you from all of us at ISML — two more nominations slots!

We’ve been noticing how tough it is for many of you to choose just 10 girls. Plus, we didn’t realize how our recent decision on voiding 2009 Relegation would make it that decision even tougher, since now you have 4 more girls to factor into your decisions.

Well we hope we can make up the difference a bit by allowing everyone two more nominations when our Nomination Period begins this Friday. The same minimum restrictions apply, and you don’t have to use up all 12 if you don’t want to.

Thank you for your comments and feedback on our progress so far; we appreciate it. We’re less than a week away; get excited!

Possible brief downtime

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

I received this email from our hosting providers (excerpt; server name removed for privacy):

As you know, we have recently had some problems with the hardware and operating system on [server_name]. This has regrettably resulted in multiple outages that have frustrated many of you as well as our support team. We offer our apologies again for these issues.

As a result, this Saturday, 12/26, we will be replacing most of the hardware in this server. We are confident this will put an end to the instability we have been experiencing and will provide an excellent hosting platform for the forseeable future. Due to the nature of this maintenance we expect there to be a 2 hour window where services will be unavaliable.

So if we’re gone for a little bit today, don’t worry~

New front page

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Beginnings of the new front page are up. I’ll try to have little “modules” to keep things compact but informative.

The video on the site is the PV from 2009 Double Elimination. More videos to come.

Twitter plugin and Firefox

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Testing a new plugin that updates our Twitter whenever a WordPress post is made.

Also, we heavily recommend using Firefox to view and vote in ISML. I do all my primary development and testing using that browser. But I try to make things as compatible as possible for Internet Explorer and other browsers, too. There are some transparency settings that are optimized on Firefox but can be hit or miss on IE. Google Chrome is okay, though, except for the loss of rounded border corners. And I have a few reports that things look okay on Safari.

Happy holidays again!

We’re considering giving voters another nomination slot or two, since the general opinion is that 10 is causing you a lot of stress to rank your personal moe list. And I admit I didn’t consider how many of you may have been banking on the automatic entries to make your nomination selections easier.

Eligibility and other site updates

Friday, December 25th, 2009

EDIT (12/29) – This issue has been revisited and updated in this post:

If you’ve been noticing changes on the site throughout the day, I apologize for not reporting about it until now. There was a lot to do, and I’m glad I found the time to address everything, one page at a time. Now it’s time to review what I did.

Our Constitution has been ratified and can be found here. Also, the draft of the 2010 Annual Charter is now available for your preview; a few more tweaks will be needed before we can make it official. I also need to add more series and studios to the list; community members on the forums have been helping me out, and I appreciate it. :)

The biggest update to the Constitution before it became final was the eligibility requirements in Article III. The last version was not clear on characters who had both male and female forms. For characters like Natsuru from Kampfer or Ranma from Ranma 1/2, their female forms will be accepted, and their male halves will simply not exist in ISML. This distinction be important when determining series impact and significance, which is another eligibility requirement.

A clause regarding humanoid appearance and anthropomorphic qualities was added.

After much debate among the entire Staff, we have concluded that eligible characters for the Preliminary Rounds, Regular Season, and Postseason (i.e. Candidates and Contestants) must come from anime produced by a registered studio and distributed on a large commercial scale. What this results in is the removal of characters in the Tōhō Musō Kakyō OVA from Candidate-eligibility consideration in 2010. They are not out of the scene completely, though, because they are still Competitor-eligible, which means they could appear in our Exhibition Matches held throughout the year.

Because of this removal, we also have to void the results of the ISML Relegation Tournament held at the end of the 2009 season. The tournament was an entry point into the 2010 Preliminaries for Contestants who performed below-average in 2009, but Hakurei Reimu’s participation in it causes an inconsistency with our recent ruling. Simply removing her scores (while keeping the others) would not solve the problem either, since we can’t guarantee the final rankings would be the same. And without the time or resources to redo Relegation, we believe and have decided it’s best to drop Relegation altogether. Our Constitution and Charter have been updated to reflect this action and ensure that such an inconsistency will not happen again.

To summarize: Kawasumi Mai, Kurata Sayuri, Tsukimiya Ayu, and Misaka Mikoto must be nominated next week in order for them to have a chance at advancing to the Preliminary Rounds (and then the Regular Season). They no longer have automatic entry.

As for the remaining updates, you can see that new pages have been added to the menu bar at the top of the screen. The Rules page now has an FAQ that will steadily grow throughout the year. We understand that the Constitution and Charter are perhaps 11 pages of combined reading you might not necessarily have time for, so the FAQ will be crafted to explain the most important things in the most concise way when you’re in a hurry. However, please give our full-length documents a chance when you can, as they have been written to ensure that we do things thoroughly, properly, and precisely.

Our Staff page has been updated to make everyone’s assignments known .. and also to give us a chance to remember our good friend mokuhazushi, who did so much for our tournament but then had to leave to fight a battle with cancer, which he unfortunately lost earlier this year in August. We miss him a lot, and we have since been working hard in his memory to keep ISML running.

The voting arena is set up with our nominations page ready to go when New Year’s Day arrives. Thanks to everyone who helped beta-test the form earlier in the month. The form will open up at 0000 GMT, January 1 and last for 7 days. Tell everyone you know to get his or her nominations in!

Finally we were able to add Google Translate to our site. The drop-down menu on the right of the menu bar has a long list of available languages for you to explore our site with. The one obtrusive thing it does is create mouseover highlights on all the text. This would be fine for a light-background site, but instead we’re a dark-background site. I’ll continue investigating the script and try to work around that, but for now you can still enjoy ISML in exotic tongues such as Swahili and Icelandic.

Merry Christmas everyone, and we’re about one week away from the start of ISML 2010. The anticipation is rising. Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding.

Constitution draft

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Our rules draft has been updated. The primary addition is the humanoid/anthropomorphic clause to the list of criteria for Competitor eligibility.

Also added to the site is the draft of our Constitution.

Still missing is the 2010 Charter, a secondary set of rules to complement the Constitution and fill in the blanks. A draft will be online soon for your preview before the Staff finalizes it.