A Spinterview With Slival: A Dancer of Difficulties

"XD players could PFC it while half-asleep, drunk and hanging upside down. This is not something I have actually done but you get the point."

Chart for yourself. It’s a general rule that many charters follow, and for good reason – why chart something if you don’t enjoy it? However, since many of the charters on SpinShare are high level players, oftentimes they opt to create charts exclusively for the highest “XD” difficulty. As a result, the customs scene for Spin Rhythm can be somewhat inaccessible to newer and lesser skilled players – an issue which is answered by the charter Slival.

For those who aren’t quite capable of what many other customs demand from a player, Slival opens a door – several doors, in fact, as all* of his charts consist of the full difficulty spread – from Easy to XD, and everything in between. From the calm and soothing J-Pop of Shin Sakura’s NIGHT RUNNING to the more frantic and energetic dubstep of Skrillex’s Bangarang, Slival’s charts are accessible to players of any skill level, leading to his charts being among the most downloaded on SpinShare.

*Slival does have a handful of collabs and contest entries which are XD only, but all of his non-collab, non-contest charts are full-difficulty; even his meme chart “Childish Gambino Reviews Oreos In The Front Seat Of His Car” is full difficulty.

Crab Rave – Noisestorm | Charted by Slival

One of the charters who opens the customs gate for many players, Slival is undoubtedly responsible for introducing many people into the world of Spin Rhythm XD customs – so I talked with him to unravel the secrets behind his dance with difficulties.

What got you into Spin Rhythm XD? How did you find out about it?

I was just going through the Steam discovery queue when suddenly I stumbled upon it – Spin Rhythm XD. Just looking through the gameplay I was very drawn into how fun and unique it looked. I glanced over to my Steam wallet funds and saw I had enough cash to get it. So what do I do? I instantly buy the game. Never regretted that decision.

What made you decide to chart for Spin Rhythm?

I wanted to play my favourite songs in Spin Rhythm XD. So naturally, I started charting. The first few charts were pretty bad but I got better with each one through community advice and feedback. I’m just a guy who’s a charter for fun. I mean, who doesn’t chart for fun?

“As long as the chart is fun and anyone can play it, it’s a good chart in my book.”


What’s your general process behind a chart? What makes you decide you want to chart a song, and what about that song influences the chart’s overall design?

I usually decide what songs to chart just by listening to stuff on Spotify, and occasionally I’ll come across a song and think to myself, “Hey, that’s pretty good.” Then I chart it. I’ll also chart songs if people send in requests and I like the song they sent, so that too.

Bangarang – Skrillex | Charted by Slival

As for the chart’s design, I usually try to keep my charts ‘standard’, safe, and not pushing any boundaries. Personally, I like following rules and keeping things in order because I find it satisfying, so when charting I’ll try to follow the current charting standards as much as possible. Although I don’t have the most unique charting style, I factor game feel, fun, and accessibility over anything else. As long as the chart is fun and anyone can play it, it’s a good chart in my book.

Are there any other charts or charters that you look to for inspiration in your charts?

Programmatic, smb, Loosiano and imfallinfree are all great charters whose charting styles I can really get into. Their charts are never boring and always feel great to play so some of my charts take inspiration from theirs.

There aren’t many charters who opt to chart full difficulty, much less for every one of their charts. What is it about full difficulty charting that draws you to it?

Full difficulty charting is something I do so that more people can get into Spin Rhythm XD customs and make the process less scary for them. Imagine putting yourself in the shoes of a new Spin Rhythm player, wanting to try out custom charts and see if their favourite songs have been charted. They go on to SpinShare and see nothing but difficult charts that are way out of their skill level. Would be terrifying, right? Initially, I was charting all difficulties because some of my friends were in the same situation, but over time it’s just sorta stuck with me and now I try to keep my charts playable for everyone.

Sirius – Eir Aoi | Charted by Slival & imfallin

Is there anything about full difficulty charting that you find different from if you were to chart a single difficulty?

The biggest challenge with charting full difficulty would definitely be trying to balance the difficulty of each, well, difficulty. Hard can’t be as difficult as Expert. Normal can’t be as difficult as Hard. My earlier charts were pretty bad because I found that each difficulty was more difficult than they should be. I was ‘overcharting’ and sort of treated each difficulty like an XD wherein I tried to chart as many sounds as possible. Now I realise for the lower difficulties, it’s better to underchart than overchart, so that means not charting any sounds that aren’t very prominent in the song, and that may even come to removing some parts of the main melody in exchange for an easier difficulty. Better safe than sorry.

Are there any specific quirks about charting a particular difficulty compared to another difficulty?

Every difficulty has its own rules that you have to follow about what not to chart and how much movement should be present, so that you don’t go over the top when charting it. I won’t go through all of them but some main ones are:

  • In Easy, you can only use match notes, spins, and taps at the end of spins. No isolated taps. Movement has to be very, very minimal to the point where XD players could PFC it while half-asleep, drunk and hanging upside down. This is not something I have actually done but you get the point.
  • In Normal, you can now have isolated taps, and you can introduce holds. No liftoffs just yet. There is more movement here than in Easy.
  • In Hard, you can introduce beats and liftoffs but don’t spam them. Movement is more difficult than Normal.
  • In Expert, there is nothing new from Hard except there is way more movement, and you should expect harder patterns and more beats.
  • In XD, you can go nuts and do whatever you want. Also there are beat holds now.

Songs under Monstercat makes up quite a bit of your charting library. What is it about the type of music Monstercat has under their label that you enjoy charting?

Till It’s Over – Tristam | Charted by Slival

Most of the music I currently listen to is from Monstercat, so I mainly just chart Monstercat songs because I like them. Other than that, I think the repetitive nature of some Monstercat songs makes them easier to chart.

You’ve also dabbled a bit in charting anime music, from Tokyo Ghoul, to BNA, to Kill La Kill. What is it about anime music that draws you to chart it?

I’ll chart a song from an anime if I really like the anime itself and the song too. Steins;Gate is my favourite show, so I’m definitely gonna chart Hacking to the Gate at some point. Though, I don’t think I’ll ever get to imfallinfree’s level of charting anime. Too powerful.

imfallinfree 01/12/2020
> I’m definitely gonna chart Hacking to the Gate at some point.

Slival 01/12/2020
that too

imfallinfree 01/12/2020
whoops i accidentally bought and provided a file for fatima from steins;gate 0 oh well

Are there any other artists or songs that you love outside of Spin Rhythm? Any that you want to chart, but just haven’t gotten around to yet – or you just don’t think their music would be a good fit for Spin Rhythm?

My favourite artist has to be Porter Robinson, but I haven’t charted any of his songs because Programmatic has already done an amazing job of charting them. Perhaps I’ll do one in the future, who knows? Apart from that, I actually have a list of songs I want to chart. Some notable ones I wanna get to charting are The Veldt by deadmau5 and Supernova by Laszlo (the Linus Tech Tips theme). Maybe a few from Cyberpunk 2077 too. I just finished it recently and I have to say that the soundtrack is absolutely amazing.

Alright, now let’s finish up. Of your charts, are there any that you’re particularly proud of? Which one was the most fun for you to chart?

Bangarang by Skrillex was definitely the most fun song to chart. So much stuff was happening in that song and I had a great time trying to figure out what patterns would fit best, what goes where, et cetera. I’d like to think that currently, my best chart would be NIGHT RUNNING from BNA: Brand New Animal, so I’m proud of that one.

NIGHT RUNNING – Shin Sakura | Charted by Slival

Any charts that you consider your favourite, or any that you feel got overlooked?

Programmatic’s chart of Nemesis by Rogue has to be one of my favourite charts. Zick’s charts of Barracuda by Noisestorm and BEWM by Tokyo Machine and Slushii are up there too.

Anything that you have to say about the SpinShare community?

I’m not very active as other people in the SpinShare community but I can definitely say that everyone is nice and kind. I hope more people join as Spin Rhythm XD grows as a game.

Any advice that you’d like to give for charters?

Feedback and advice is the best way to improve your charting skills. So don’t be afraid to ask for some input so you can learn what to improve on for next time. Also, to new charters, your first few charts will almost inevitably be bad, but don’t let that discourage you from continuing on, as you’ll get better with each chart and gain more experience.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Watch Steins;Gate.

Also I’ve noticed everyone’s been pronouncing my username wrong and saying “Sli-vl”. I actually got it from a character I liked from the very first game I played – Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime.

Image: Square Enix. Pictured: Slival (left), Rocket (center)

It’s a pun because this character is a slime, and he’s your rival. So, slime + rival = Slival, so it’s pronounced “Slai-vl”.

imfallinfree 01/13/2020
looking up dragon quest heroes rocket slime for the article and


Slival 01/13/2020

One last thing: one pattern must be made illegal. Which pattern is now illegal?

1515’s in a song with 999999 bpm.

imfallinfree 01/12/2020
I lied, there is one more thing I want to add: who is best girl?

Slival 01/12/2020
best girl is speedwagon haha i’m so original please laugh
okay for real though, for me it’s Rikka Takanashi. Megumin is also a tough contender.


Spin Rhythm XD charter and SSSO Playtester. Interviewer for SpinShare.

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