(Thanks to mute for the graphics!)
Finally the holiday season is upon us once again, and the spirit of giving has begun to enter our bodies through whatever orifices we're warm enough to leave exposed! Over the past three years, we here at r21freak have developed a tradition of celebrating the holidays with the one thing we do well: stepfiles! So it should come as no surprise that we are now hosting our fourth annual Secret Stepfile Santa! So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that come Christmas morning you'll not only be able to open presents from your real friends and family, but also your internet friends and family! Except your internet friends ran out of money so they just gave you a brand new stepfile! Woo!
So, with that, here's how the event will work. Obviously, even if you read all of this last year or the year before, read it again. As always a few things have changed.
From now until November 30th (11:59PM EST) is sign up time. If you're interested in joining this then simply post a reply in the Sign Up topic after you read all of this, and I will add you to the list. Once you're added to the list, you have until November 30th 11:59PM EST to send me a song of your choice that you want to be stepped, along with a .sm skeleton for it. The song should be in .ogg format (NOT PATCHED NOT PATCHED NOT PATCHED PLEASE GOD NOT PATCHED), and the skeleton should (of course) be in .sm format. The .sm skeleton MUST include the song title, artist, and the BPM(s), but that is ALL. Nothing else. NO STEPS! If your song drifts offsync or if you want to add in any BPM changes/stops or whatnot, you must do all of that yourself in the skeleton. You must sync it to your own satisfaction.
So for those of you who are new to this, you must be asking, why are we submitting a bunch of blank stepfiles to you Blazing? Well you see, therein lies the fun! On December 1st, I will take the names of all the people that have submitted me a file and randomly* pair them together (in the event of an odd number of people, I will assign one group of 3). Then later on December 1st, I will PM each person who submitted a file, linking them to the song that their partner requested to be stepped. You will then step the song for your partner on the difficulty and style (Singles or Doubles) that they requested. You can step more than one difficulty or style if you like, but you must at least step the one that they requested. You must also provide graphics (even if you don't have any graphical skills, you can just slap some text on an image in Paint) for your partner. Your file should be wrapped up, like a present!
So that is why I encourage EVERYONE to join this, even if you have barely any stepmaking skill. This is NOT a contest at all, it's a sitewide event that's open to everyone. If you need any help with any part of making the stepfile for your partner, just ask. That's what this forum was created for! Just don't be TOO specific. You don't want to give away who you're making the stepfile for. That is also why I require each person to sync their skeleton to their satisfaction before submitting. This is to ensure that no one picks a song that is so hard to sync correctly that they themselves could not even do it. Of course, your partner can add any additional BPM changes or change any of the ones already in the chart.
So I know you're excited so pick you're favorite song, slap on a skeleton and send it to me, but hold on one second. Just a bit more reading before you do so.
Once you've got your song selected and skeleton made, then you can either link me to it in a PM (just upload it in a .zip or .rar to Mediafire or some other place like that--don't host it on r21freak!), or send it to me over AIM. Included in your PM or AIM with me, tell me what difficulty you want to be stepped for your song (typically Novice , Easy [2-5], Medium [5-7], Hard [7-11] or Expert [9-14]). While it is up to your partner to choose exactly what difficulty to make the chart, you can choose which range it can fall into. You can be more specific and specify exactly what difficulty you want, or other specific things you want included in the file (lots of hands, no mines, etc), but there is no guarantee that they will be included.
Also, you can only choose ONE difficulty for your partner to step. If you want Doubles instead of Singles, then please specify that too, but then you can only choose one Doubles difficulty and none for Singles.
As for the song, it doesn't have to be Christmas or holiday themed, but it certainly wouldn't hurt! The song cannot be inappropriate (PG-13 language at worst), cannot be completely boring to step (as in, not a terrible song - funny songs are okay, but terrible songs are not), cannot be something that has already been popularly stepped, cannot be something that was stepped in the previous Secret Stepfile Santas, and must be between 1:15 and 2:15 long. Other than that, almost anything goes. I retain the right to not accept any song I do not see fit for this event.
Also, you will NOT know the name of your partner until your get your file on Christmas. The only way you would know who he/she is if they tell you. I HIGHLY encourage you NOT to do this, as it wrecks half of the surprise. If I find out that someone told someone else who they were making the stepfile for against their will, the person who let out the secret will not have their file released and will be punished accordingly. The same thing goes for someone who signs up and does not finish their assigned stepfile. They will be punished accordingly for wrecking someone's Christmas. If you know that someone else you know personally has signed up already, or if you think they might sign up (and it would be hard to not come in contact with during the stepping/testing process), then please tell me over AIM or through a PM, or just make a note in your sign-up post. I will make sure that you don't get assigned to them, in order to keep the element of surprise alive.
Another note: this isn't 1000% ZOMG ANONYMOUS like the competitions are. While we definitely don't want people discussing which song they got and which song they requested on the board (or anywhere else where they might be seen/heard), feel free to get help from your fellow non-signed up ITG playing friends if you need help making the file.
When you are done with the file and graphics, send it to me (again through a PM or over AIM), and I will compile them all together. All completed files are due by 11:59PM EST on December 20th! No files will be accepted after that time. I need a few days to make sure everything is perfect and set for Christmas. Then, on December 25th, I will release them all. I will put all of the files up for download in one, convenient zipped file in this forum. A list of who stepped what for whom will also be posted at that time.
SO, sounds like fun, right? HUH? Well obviously it sounds like the most fun anyone could ever have. So go sign up for it already!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or whatever about this, then feel free to post about it in this forum. Just don't talk about what song you got and what song you chose! Feel free to contact me on AIM or though PMs concerning anything as well.