A call for arms: Real time speedrun records

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BrandonWalshGP
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A call for arms: Real time speedrun records

Post by BrandonWalshGP » July 25th, 2013, 9:24 am

Most games that are picked up by speedrunners nowadays are played using the same formula:

- Real time clock
- Clock is started when the player assumes control of the character for the first time - i.e., in the case of Prince after the dududududuuu in the first dungeon.
- Clock is stopped when the player loses control of the character and the end sequence is played. In this case I guess that would be when we enter the princess room.

This is how they do it over at the ESA, SDA, and all other major speedrun events I've ever seen.

Why is this method so popular? Well, a speedrun should reflect the complete time from start to finish, including any deaths and/or mistakes. This is how we can have "proper" world records that are a thrill to be watched being played and broken. Not so much when you can restart a level 500 times until you get it right. Naturally, restarting and saving/loading is per definition ALLOWED in speedruns, if the game supports it (savestates and emulator cheat does NOT count however), but the time used to employ such measures will still be counted.

Although the segmented runs I've found so far are very impressive I feel that a lot of the "wow"-factor is lost when you realize it's been restarted and loaded/saved a million times. The real excitement of watching a speedrun, or playing one for that matter, comes from the fact that you are doing it all at once.

What do you guys think? Do you have any opinions or input? I will lead by example and post a video of me playing PoP within the near future. I really do suck at this game currently, but I thought I would throw it out there to see if anyone else is interested in the "normal" way of running games, translated over to PoP.

If it is already being used by anyone, please get in touch with me so I know what time I need to beat, as this is the only form of speedrun that I am interested in! :)

Cheers,
Brandon

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Norbert
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Re: A call for arms: Real time speedrun records

Post by Norbert » July 25th, 2013, 2:54 pm

BrandonWalshGP wrote:- Clock is stopped when the player loses control of the character and the end sequence is played. In this case I guess that would be when we enter the princess room.
Hm... not necessarily, though.
At, for example, the SDA plenty of speedruns are not single-segment runs.
For example, The Sands of Time (16 segments), PoP 2008 (46 segments) and PoP for SNES (20+5 segments).
The same goes for non-PoP games, most notably Quake (see, for example, the November 2010 Quake Done Quickest).
After each PoP level, the player temporarily loses control of the character.
I guess it depends on how you look at it.
BrandonWalshGP wrote:[...], including any deaths and/or mistakes [...] thrill to be watched
I do agree though that a single-segment run could be more interesting to watch when it comes to PoP1.
Speedrunners could still restart the game 500 times, of course... ;)
Since properly running through PoP1 should take only 25-35 minutes or so, saving/loading shouldn't be necessary.
Anyways, go for it. I'm sure some of us will watch the footage.

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Re: A call for arms: Real time speedrun records

Post by BrandonWalshGP » July 25th, 2013, 3:05 pm

There are indeed examples of games being run segmented. I should have been more clear, I guess. I like the "marathon" style of runs, where the rules are stipulated more or less as I laid them out in the original post. I.e., loading/saving and whatever is allowed but the real time clock is started when the player gains control of the character and it is not stopped until the game has been completed and control is lost.

I will post a video and challenge you guys who are a lot better than me to run it as well, so we can get something going. I just need to get up to "semi-decent" level and not utter rubbish, where I am at now! ;)

There is a BIG difference in running it like this though, sometimes when something goes wrong you need to have safer strats towards end of levels and so on. It is really exciting, in my opinion :).

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Re: A call for arms: Real time speedrun records

Post by Norbert » July 26th, 2013, 12:31 pm

I've been thinking about doing something similar, but with mods. When Jakim and yaqxsw released A Place Of Despair, my plan was to record not a regular - fast, after practicing - walkthrough of a level (as I did with, for example, level 7), but to record how I'd first arrive in a level and tried to figure it out, including mistakes I'd make, until I'd finish the level. I actually started with this for level 1 and even recorded a spoken commentary while playing, but I ran into the problem that even after half an hour I wasn't even close to finishing the level. Maybe I should have persisted and maybe then I would've finished the level after an hour or so, but it seemed the level simply wasn't suitable for such a recording given the broken room links and required tricks. I may give this another try with a different mod. If anything, it would most likely make the playthough more interesting to watch for the mod's author(s).

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Re: A call for arms: Real time speedrun records

Post by Norbert » August 3rd, 2013, 12:25 am

I think Raman ("raman22feb1988"), who was active at POPUW in 2007, uploaded a single-segment run to YouTube here.
I'll send him a message via YouTube, to let him know the PoP community is still alive. :)

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Re: A call for arms: Real time speedrun records

Post by Jakim » August 3rd, 2013, 7:58 pm

I've achieved today 14:38, next time (probably I'll waste another day) I will try to save whole minute. Since I'm not a machine*, I've frozen the game between particular levels for a small rest, it sometimes was very stressful - so, technically, it's one run :P. I did record a video of it, so if anybody's curious (I assure you, there are much better speedruns even on YouTube), I can share it.

Anyway, did anybody check how PoP counts time? Hardware/software? I've had various cycles during game and I'm curious how it its affect is.

I admit, after some unsuccessful attempts I started to consider writing speedrun tool assistant but I was afraid of synchronization issues: keystroke macro recorder would be working if and only if it was an ingame module (imagine recording "demos" from PoP level - it should be possible but effort demanding I guess).

* - I regret.
http://jakim.org.pl/ - my site, welcome!

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