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rdwpa

Casual Speedrunning Contests

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It seems as if a lot of people don't bother competing, because the best times are often the work of highly skilled players, and some are highly optimized or highly lucky or both, putting the best times out of reach for 99.9% of people.

One idea that appeals to me, however, is a Speedrunning Contest where "par times" are set for popular levels in various categories, times that are challenging but not necessarily very hard. The goal is simply to submit a valid demo that reaches that time. Everyone who does gets a point. A bonus point, perhaps, is given for having the best time.

The challenge of course is setting reasonable par times. Perhaps older demos with slower routes will be useful for calibration.

Anyway, it's an idea I'll throw out there.

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i like the idea, but there are a lot of decisions to be made, that will/may affect participation.

what about having a wad picked (like in the DMWC) and then people have a week to submit demos - getting points for best times etc., and then you announce a winner. i think that might be easier to organise... if it was a 32-map then you could pick & choose the map that you thought might net you a point

or, alternatively, pick a map that allows for many different categories, and then give a week to rack up as many best times as possible, or perhaps 3 points for 1st in a category time, 2 for 2nd etc.

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rehelekretep said:

i like the idea, but there are a lot of decisions to be made, that will/may affect participation.

what about having a wad picked (like in the DMWC) and then people have a week to submit demos - getting points for best times etc., and then you announce a winner. i think that might be easier to organise... if it was a 32-map then you could pick & choose the map that you thought might net you a point

or, alternatively, pick a map that allows for many different categories, and then give a week to rack up as many best times as possible, or perhaps 3 points for 1st in a category time, 2 for 2nd etc.


Contests like this have been done before, though they've always eventually lost momentum and died. :P I'd definitely participate, though.

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rdwpa said:

...putting the best times out of reach for 99.9% of people.

...Everyone who does gets a point. A bonus point, perhaps, is given for having the best time.


First of all, this contest would still be dominated by the best players, so the whole idea is kind of moot. Also, this kind of sounds like the speedrunning equivalent of passing out participation ribbons, which seems pretty silly to me.

But the main thing is that your first statement there is a total bust. It's the mistake in thinking that too many people make. Almost every max IL for instance is awful if you look at it seriously, yes even Ancalagon's runs. They're filled with mistakes and bad luck, because that's just the nature of runs like that. There are some ILs of course that are optimal or very close, or that are insanely lucky, but I would say that most are beatable by anyone willing to put in the time and effort. An immediate example of my own comes to mind, pl13 pacifist, which took me 10 hours to beat but even my run is honestly horrible. Look at e1m1 max, that's the first map of doom, it should be insanely optimal, right? Well it has mistakes too. Pushing yourself to compete with existing times is a great way to improve. There's also plenty of wads that are unexplored, so anyone worried about not being good enough and who shies away from competition can still benefit the community in that way, while simultaneously getting better.

If you wanted to put out a list of maps that are good to train on, and times that are good goals for new players, I could get behind that, but a points system, I don't know. Just seems pointless to me. (pun intended)

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In Elastomania there is an official level pack consisting of 54 levels. Total time is also counted. Most people will probably never make a world record, but they can try to get as good total time as possible and that is fun for a player of pretty much any skill. Also, there is a target system that helps you understand how good your time on a particular level is. Here are my times, as you can see most of them are only "OK" so I can for example set a goal to get at least a "Good" time everywhere. Or I can just try to improve my total time as much as possible by playing the longer levels and maybe attempting some tricky styles that are difficult to pull of. Or at the bottom of the page I can choose to compare my times with AndrY and see that there are 33 levels where his time is better, so I can try to to beat him at as many levels as possible. I'm a weak player, but as you can see there is still a lot of fun stuff I can try to do and feel a good amount of satisfaction when I accomplish it. And there are tons of similar user made packs, so when I feel bored of the official one I can try one of these. On another site there is also a point system where you can gain points by playing various level packs and making good times at them. It is also a great motivator for playing even if you can't make a record.

So I guess I can sum this up by saying that I greatly approve of rdwpa's idea. Giving less experienced players motivation to speedrun anyway is very good think, and I think a system like this can work very nicely when done well. Definitely much more fun and friendly than the current "either make a new record or don't share anything" overall attitude in the community.

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