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PetrolDrinker

Tips for a beginner speedrunner

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Hiya all.

I've taken a massive interest in speedrunning Doom 2 recently, and I've made a couple of attempts. However, all this talk of Source Ports and whatnot had me quite confused. Especially when it came to actually recording the gameplay. I've heard talk of competition Doom and Chocolate Doom, but when I look them up they seem to fall under the CNDoom title; could someone clear that up for me? I would also appreciate if you guys could point me in the right direction in terms of actually being able to record my runs and such. I'm using a Doom WAD file if that is any help. Any advice would be appreciated and apologies if this is posted in the wrong forum.. 

 

- Charlie 

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Hey, not sure how new you are to this, so I apologize if some of the info I give here is too basic. Trust me when I say I'm not a great speedrunner by any means, so if anyone else comments with stuff that conflicts any of what I say, I'd advise to trust them. 

 

Recording a demo: I personally like to use the source port prboom-plus. A quick Google search will turn up what you need for pretty much any major downloadable source port. If you use prboom-plus to record a demo, first open your command prompt and prboom-plus folder, then click on the prboom-plus launcher icon (dying marine) and drag it into the command prompt. Hit space. Next, type: -iwad [one of the 4 IWADs].wad -skill [1-5, ranging from I'm Too Young to Die through Nighmare!] -warp [map number you want to play] -complevel [# (use -complevel 2 for Doom 2 based WADs like Alien Vendetta, -complevel 3 for Ultimate Doom based WADs, -complevel 4 for Final Doom based WADs, or -complevel 9 for WADs that use specific Boom-compatible features like SODfinal or Scythe 2)] -file [the PWAD name you want to play].wad (optional -fast if you want to play with fast monsters, -respawn for respawn monsters, -nomonsters for nomo demos) -record [demo name - standard conventions can be looked up for WADs, and it is customary to keep demo names short and sweet, usually 8 characters or less]. You don't have to use this specific order for entering all the commands, but it's the order I personally use.

 

Example command lines for recording a demo:

-iwad doom2.wad -skill 4 -warp 17 -complevel 9 -file scythe2.wad -respawn -record s217r

 

The s2 stands for "Scythe 2," the "17" for MAP17, and the "r" for a UV-Respawn demo. After you record a demo you like, you can go to C:/Users/[you] and find s217r (or whatever you named your demo) and drag it to your desktop if you prefer. After the demo is recorded, the time is usually added to the end of the demo name. (For example, say you got a time of 5:42 on your UV-Respawn. You could then change the demo name to s217r542. And there you have it, a demo name that is 8 characters, short and sweet.) I also recommend watching your demo at least once before releasing it to make sure you didn't accidentally record over it or find that you only got 99% kills or something like that.

 

Now that you have a completed demo, it's a good idea to write a text file (Notepad document) with some basic information about the WAD you played, map(s) you played, run category, time, complevel, etc. You can include comments about the run if you'd like. When you have both the demo and the text file ready, put them in a folder, zip it up, and submit wherever is appropriate on Doomworld. Andy Olivera (who maintains DSDA) should see it, and DSDA gets updated every Monday or so. 

 

If you didn't know any of that previously, I know that's a lot of information. If you have any clarification questions or want to know about other stuff, feel free to reply or PM me and I'll see if I can provide answers. :) Happy speedrunning!

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@PetrolDrinker

 

I will send you a .bat file that you should use when recording your demos:

 

I provided an example in it; glboom-plus -iwad doom2.wad -file av.wad -skill 4 -complevel 2 -warp 01 -record av01-xxx, where the  demo will record Alien Vendetta MAP01 on Ultra Violence, using - complevel2. I use glboom-plus instead of prboom-plus because the game looks a lot smoother, the gameplay is not changed between the two (I name my .bat file 00000000 so it always appears at the top of the Doom WADs for easy convenience).

 

One more thing, if you record a satisfying demo, make sure to rename it into something else that is different to what you have in the .bat file, otherwise it will be overwritten if you re-record it without changing the LMP name.

 

00000000.bat.zip

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1 hour ago, TheV1perK1ller said:

One more thing, if you record a satisfying demo, make sure to rename it into something else that is different to what you have in the .bat file, otherwise it will be overwritten if you re-record it without changing the LMP name.

You can make the .bat file produce a demo with a different name every time to prevent this, in my case I use this command, I stole it from somewhere in the forum and I have no idea how it works, but it works.

 

-record "demos/ng05p%1-%date:~4,2%%date:~7,2%%date:~10,4%-%time:~0,2%%time:~3,2%%time:~6,2%"

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Coffee instead of petrol also helps. ;-)

 

Not sure if it's been pointed out in some of Grazza's links already, so assuming that's not the case: There will be RNG. A lot of it...

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1 hour ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Not sure if it's been pointed out in some of Grazza's links already, so assuming that's not the case: There will be RNG. A lot of it...

*ring* *ring* -nomonsters parameter called.

 

I recommend trying something like Doom2 map31 nomonster speedrun, so you get to practice the basic straferunning and door handling. First try to get under 40 seconds. Then try to beat 35 seconds and so on... Eventually you will get the 30 seconds, but 33-34 seconds is very good for starter :-P It will help you a lot, especially if you encounter a trick/jump. Don't do it if that is something you don't enjoy though.

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I always recommend for players not to start with IWAD full runs or even IWADs by themselves. Running IWADs is a good way of improving since you more often have at least decent demos to compare against, but it is also an easy way to get discouraged if you compare yourself too much. It's much better to pick up some PWADs to run as well on the side, since you're much more likely to get less competitive records to go up against or cases when there are no records, which is more likely to keep you motivated. I personally started off my non-TAS career by doing some Sunder runs alongside a bunch of random levels I picked out on idgames, but what may be the best starting place for this is choosing any PWAD where maps are likely to be short and/or easy. The Scythe series is a good example of that; personally, I prefer the original for speedrun purposes, but opinions differ there. I've also heard that TVR and Demonfear work well too, but I didn't run them much. Speedmap sessions are a good place to start as well like the Abyssal or Doomworld sessions or perhaps more polished sets like the 3 Heures d'agonie series.

 

I also suggest doing nomo runs to anyone, especially anyone interested in non-max type categories. Most people don't care for running with nomonsters I think, and you can get by without it even if you do UV-Speed, but it is still the absolute best way to up your basic movement skills IMO, which are valuable to have in every category (and it goes well past just learning strafe50). As Looper suggested, Doom 2 map 31 is a fantastic way to practice, I could also suggest Doom 2 map 24, Scythe map 28, Doom E2M1, Plutonia map 11 for movement practice.

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