Difference between revisions of "Speedruns"

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[[Player Augmentations]] make [[Speedruns]] easier and may be seen as cheats if the execution is seen as a primary component of performing a particular [[Speedruns|Speedrun]] (as compared to finding out how it can be made).
[[Player Augmentations]] make [[Speedruns]] easier and may be seen as cheats if the execution is seen as a primary component of performing a particular [[Speedruns|Speedrun]] (as compared to finding out how it can be made).
<ref name="Scully-Blaker">Scully-Baker describes two types of [[Speedruns]]: ''finesse'' and ''deconstructive''. While the first relies on speedrunners behaving like "ideal" players and thereby complying to design intentions, the deconstructive speedruns makes use of glitches. Thus, games can be design to support ''finesse'' [[Speedruns]] but

Revision as of 08:15, 6 November 2019

The goal of completing a game or a part of a game where time is the most essential measure of success.

Many games, e.g. racing games, depend on completing some activity as quickly as possible. Even so, after one has manage to be the quickest one can try to be better than one was previously or quicker than others have been in other game or play sessions. Similarly, if one has managed to complete a game or a section of a game that didn't depend on time one can have a new challenge in trying to solve the same part quicker. Such attempts are called Speedruns.

Note: Although it is common to differ between the voluntary speed challenges of Speedruns and those required by rules in racing games, this pattern make not distinction between the two as the design options between requiring or encouraging them is minimal.


Skilled players of the arcade version of Pac-Man managed to reach what has turned out to be the maximum score due to a software bug. The first such perfect score took about 6 hours, but players have found challenges in trying to do this quicker and in 2010 the time has been shaved to less than 4 hours[1].

Racing games such as the Need for Speed series and the Mario Kart series let players try to beat previously time lap records, and so does the 'parkour' game Mirror's Edge. For the Mario Kart series, players can in the Time Trial mode compete against the ghosts of others players' (and the developers') performances and for internet connected versions even download performances to compete against.

The number of stars collected for completing a puzzle in Cogs depend on number of moves and time. Since the unlocking of new levels only depend on total number of stars, players can proceed to complete all levels and later return to fully complete specific levels as a form of Speedrun.

A wiki devoted to Speedruns, Speedrunwiki, exists. Wikipedia also as a page for speedruns[2].

Using the pattern

Speedruns requires the setting of Time Limits for some other goal. These can be explicit set by designers which works well with making them parts of Goal Hierarchies (as in Cogs) or Handicap Achievements (as for the Bridge over Trebled Slaughter Achievement in Left 4 Dead 2). Another solution is to make them depend on the players own previous performances, which can provide a form of Smooth Learning Curves since inexperienced players only need to beat the performances of inexperienced players and let them gradually develop Gameplay Mastery.

Real-Time Games are a prerequisite for Speedruns. This since minimizing time consumption in games that have other ways of measuring times, e.g. by counting turns use in a Turn-Based Games, is more accurately described as a Puzzle Solving activity. Portal is an interesting case for this since it can be seen as an example of both these cases - players can try to solve Levels as quickly as possible in Speedruns but also try to solve Levels in as few steps or portal uses.

Like other cases where players performances are used to create Gameplay Statistics, the pattern require Dedicated Game Facilitators to ensure that completed Speedruns are trustworthy for people not present when the Speedruns occurred. Replays can be used to let others view the Speedruns whenever it suits them as long as means exist to share them.

Player Augmentations make Speedruns easier and may be seen as cheats if the execution is seen as a primary component of performing a particular Speedrun (as compared to finding out how it can be made).

Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag [2] [3] </references>


Rasmus Tomasson (for pointing out the Scully-Baker paper)
  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Pac-Man
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wikipedia entry for the Speedrun concept.
  3. Scully-Baker, R (2014). A Practiced Practice: Speedrunning Through Space With de Certeau and Virilio, Game Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1.