Author Topic: The problem with speedrunning  (Read 304 times)

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Offline homerwannabee

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The problem with speedrunning
« on: October 12, 2017, 05:06:57 AM »
I just realized something about the speedrunning community.  First let me say, that I truly admire the dedication, talent, and skill that is on display with their community.  Many of their records are much, much harder to break than our Arcade/MAME game records.  The record times are truly an art form.
Having gotten that out of the way, I can focus on what I see as the major flaw.
It's all about execution.  The games they play are rather predictable.  The randomness usually doesn't have the player make difficult choices.
Basically it's all about execution of very hard moves.  To master these moves is amazing, but in the end it becomes monkey see monkey do type play.
Yeah, I get it in our own community we also have games that are 100% about execution.  And to be honest, execution is vital for a world record on almost any Arcade/MAME game.  Still, usually there are difficult choices that the player needs to make on the spot.  One wrong move, and it's instant death despite the great execution.
So in that way I feel that most Arcade games have a much fairer balance of execution, and think for yourself play.
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 05:29:50 AM »
I feel that most Arcade games have a much fairer balance of execution, and think for yourself play.


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Offline homerwannabee

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 05:35:55 AM »
I feel that most Arcade games have a much fairer balance of execution, and think for yourself play.


http://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/161423

Like I said, some Arcade/MAME games are 100% execution.  Domino man with the cheap exploit falls into that category.
"Perception forged in delusion and refined by pain"

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"It's like we are able to play beautiful music out there, but no one can hear the instruments"

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Offline WCopeland

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 06:49:40 AM »
I strongly disagree.

Just like with arcade games, it depends on the game being run. The game I run has a lot of randomness that forces you to react in different ways based on the run. Some boss behaviors are completely RNG based, to the point that if you get poor RNG the run is over and it's not even your fault. Certain item drops must be coerced, but RNG may change when they drop and this impacts decisions that are made during the run which compounds randomness those decisions may pivot on.

You may only be looking at runs of games like Super Mario Bros., but if you look at some Zelda speedruns I think you'll find that a speedrun can have more than enough randomness to keep it interesting.
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 08:13:34 AM »
I think it was ALTTP that had that one section where you have to look under stuff and your run could be over if you don't find it right away which is RNG based?
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Offline NightRider

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 11:38:28 AM »
It definitely depends on the game. Also, in any game with significant RNG, the importance of good RNG is going to increase as you get closer to perfect execution. This is true of DK and many other Arcade/MAME games, and it's true of most games that are run for speed.
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Offline aarontruitt

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 01:48:59 PM »
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Offline Barra

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 01:58:39 PM »
Can see where George is coming from (probably a first) but yes depends on the game being run

Galaga - 100% execution, no RNG. Play perfectly for 12 hours and you'll have 20 million points without dying  <pacman>

DK - Plenty of RNG, 100% execution doesn't guarantee a world record


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Offline homerwannabee

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 06:10:58 PM »
Although Galaga has no RNG, I feel that human error is in it's own way a form of RNG.  Since no one hits with every shot the misses will usually create unique situations.  I suppose the exception to the shooter game rule is Space invaders.  It's possible to master the game where you rarely miss each time.
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-Leon Shepard
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Offline VON

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 07:58:04 PM »
Human error is not RNG.  RNG refers to all those aspects of randomness which are beyond the control of the player, and therefore not tied to skill.

In absolute terms, there's no such thing as true random.  RNGs in the games we play draw their randomness from things like cycling timers and seed data, so technically a player's inputs can always influence a game's randomness.  Of course, even knowing precisely how a given game's RNG works doesn't necessarily mean it's within human capability to control.  e.g. Yes it's theoretically possible to force bananas on every applicable board of Ms. Pac-man, but no human could ever do it.

When encountering unique situations in games it's important to be honest as to whether the situation was brought about by error or genuine RNG...  Sometimes an error can open the door for bad randomness, but players shouldn't be cursing the game for a situation they could have avoided altogether with error-proof play.  I don't want to pick on  <Allen> but he's an obvious example of a player who consistently blames the game for "bad luck" that could have been avoided with wiser choices and better execution.           

Offline NightRider

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2017, 11:26:33 AM »
Quote from: homerwannabee
I feel that human error is in it's own way a form of RNG
I agree with what Ross said about this, but I do understand the point. People are going to make mistakes, which even on a completely deterministic game like Pac-Man, can lead to seemingly chaotic situations that require improvisation, or at the very least, a series of contingency plans.

You'll see a lot of speed runners restart their games when RNG doesn't go their way instead of playing through. This isn't because they can't improvise. It's what I alluded to earlier: They've gotten so good that, even with perfect execution, the RNG made it impossible to beat the record. I'm pretty sure Dean used to restart a lot on his DK games for similar reasons.
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Offline krehztim

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Re: The problem with speedrunning
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 02:10:03 PM »
  First let me say, that I truly admire the dedication, talent, and skill that is on display with their community.  Many of their records are much, much harder to break than our Arcade/MAME game records.  The record times are truly an art form.

It's all about execution.  The games they play are rather predictable.  The randomness usually doesn't have the player make difficult choices.

One wrong move, and it's instant death despite the great execution.

Very much agree with a lot of this - dedication, talent and skill on some of the speedruns I've seen is superhuman, especially as Wes said, with games that truly introduce RNG, or at least programmed "RNG" per Ross.  I'd love to see a medical study on the association between OCD and speedrunning.  I've watched some speedrunners restart 100 times in 10 minutes because they are a hundredth of a second behind pace.  It can be ridiculous, the amount of time spent building muscle memory down to the hundredth of a second, encompassing thousands of inputs.  I'm amazed watching people who could literally finish multiple levels blindfolded.

With most games, though, speedrun or no, one wrong move and it can be instant death, execution notwithstanding.  Reminds me of some of the Dragster discussions.  What's more valuable - getting a dozen inputs perfectly timed on a 5.57 Dragster run, or getting thousands of inputs balls on for 4 hours getting 1.2m on DK?  I personally always prefer the RNG skill, the ability to improvise, the ability to snatch life from the jaws of certain death, and the creativity of "normal" MAME/arcade runs.  But I am in awe of much of the speedrunning I've seen.
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