Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

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Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby MatrixCL » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:00 am

Speedrunning Doom is perhaps the most epic of speedruns and is perfected to such an extend, that 'official' runs should be done with the same old mechanics as the original Doom. And thus ZDoom is not an option. You'll find runs done with ZDoom on dsdarchive.com, but they are no longer accepting any more, because the mechanics are just too different now.

I have considered switching to PrBoom+ for that reason, but ugh, so clunky! The other ports are even worse. Well, that's the whole reason we're here playing ZDoom instead, right?

However, competition is always fun! But it's also very enjoyable watching other people excel, which is the whole reason we watch (e)sports. So in addition to just enjoying people their creative works in modding and creating new wads by simply playing them, I think it would be a great addition to have this competition of speedrunning the classic wads as well as all the populars wads that are out there.

I've been contemplating on this...and I'm a web developer! So it would be relatively easy for me to build a website where people can upload their demos and state with which wad, episode, and settings it was played, possibly with a link to the video of that run. It will be stored in a database and anyone can just search and filter for other runs and then say "I can do better than that!"

So now my fingers are itching to make that. :D But first I want to scope if there would be any interest in that. Would you browse and check every now and then to see what results have been made in ZDoom? Would you try and compete? Could we have a ZDoom speedrun competition? Or it is just a wild dream of mine?
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby Graf Zahl » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:40 am

Hard core speedrunners would never try to play Doom with an engine that isn't 100% faithful, their greatest skill is perfect knowledge of the glitches and how to exploit them, after all. Bad times if they had to use an engine that fixes several of them. I do not see much interest in engaging in speedruns from the non-experts, meaning the entire scene is focussed on PrBoom.

The other caveat is that we do not attempt to keep demos compatible between versions so you have to take care of that yourself to ensure that the proper GZDoom version is used.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby Blue Shadow » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:44 am

As someone who takes his time playing the game, I have zero interest in all aspects of speedrunning. I don't see a point in finishing a map in a fast time.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby sinisterseed » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 am

I would actually be interested in seeing this a thing here, but DSDA actually does accept ZDoom demos, it's just that only for ZDoom wads to my knowledge, no vanilla/MBF/Boom/limit-removing demos are accepted in such ports. ZDoom demos also break between versions.

That being said, I doubt there would be enough interest or demand for this here. The interests and attitude of the folks on ZDF seems to be quite different from DW for instance, so I don't think it would work out.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby MatrixCL » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:43 pm

Graf Zahl actually describes exactly the reason why I prefer speedruns with ZDoom: no glitches and bug exploits. :D

And for the record, I was never interested in speedruns myself. The point of playing Doom is to shoot monsters, not run past them. But then I learnt about a category called "UV max", where the goal is to get 100% kills and secrets on ultra-violence difficulty as fast as possible. Seeing coincident's world record for Knee-Deep in the Dead inspired me. :)

Anyway, I'm in between two thoughts. On one hand I think some people would enjoy speedrunning if they didn't have to cope with inferior source ports and crappy archaïc mechanics. On the other hand ZDoom players might indeed be of a different kind, like lowskill. says. And yes, version compatibility will be an issue. At least all previous versions are saved, and these days it's so easy to create and save a video on YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitch.

I'll let this thought simmer for a while. Who knows I'll make something for this anyway. It's only a couple of days work. If nobody uses it, tough luck. At least then I'll have a personal database with my best runs to boast around with. :biggrin:
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby Arctangent » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:40 pm

calling other ports inferior and describing classic speedrunning tricks as "crappy" and "archaic" seems like an absolutely terrific way to drive away the people who care enough about doom to break it down to the last molecule actually
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby sinisterseed » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:47 pm

I can't tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing, actually.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby Arctangent » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:50 pm

it's the exact opposite of what you want if you want a healthy speedrunning scene, becausing speedrunning takes a lot of time, effort, and motivation to grind down every single time save you can possible find

trying to build a speedrunning scene without those people is like trying to build a rocket with people who are really not all that interested in reading through the piles and piles of text on rocket science
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby MatrixCL » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:33 pm

Oh, I certainly would never downplay the effort they're taking into it! Nor those who built the other source ports. But I doubt that the modern speedrunners could even be convinced to switch to ZDoom for speedrunning. That is actually also not my intention. I have a number of friends who enjoy playing ZDoom, but wouldn't enjoy any other source port. ZDoom makes Doom fun to play even in modern times because it's so smooth. We were a lot less critical in the 90's.

I'm aiming to make speedrunning fun and interesting for casual players who indeed have no interest at all in doing rocket science. Rocket scientist may emerge from this though. And then they might switch to PrBoom+, because they want to aim for the all-time records. And that's fine! After all, I didn't appreciate black metal before I listened to Nightwish.

Edit: there is a high threshold to start speedrunning at the moment. I thought about switching to PrBoom+, but I don't want to deal with bugs and glitches and I'll never even come close to the world records anyway. Yet I do enjoy doing speedruns by myself, a lot, with GZDoom. It's addictive even. But perhaps I'm the only one in the world. I just thought I'd pop the idea.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby 3saster » Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:21 pm

The DSDA absolutely allows ZDoom (or any other port); in fact, that's one of the intentions of the DSDA, to allow any easy way to submit runs recorded on any port for any mapset, in theory. On the contrary, it's more that a ZDoom record (for a non-ZDoom mapset) generally won't be considered seriously as a record in Doom's speedrunning community, since as people mentioned, the main concerns are (sometimes important) gameplay differences and the lack of compatibility in ZDoom demos. That is why the top record contenders are, and many people don't realize that the gameplay differences that ZDoom has can have a larger effect than many realize, even with compat settings (for example, rather different flying monster behaviour, or different physics).

With that being said, there is no harm in speedrunning on GZDoom if you enjoy it! You have to remember that for speedrunning in general, you should be doing it for yourself first and foremost. If you want to speedrun on GZDoom, go for it! I've certainly done that, and Doomgods like j4rio actually started out speedrunning seriously on GZDoom on well! They just switched to PrBoom+ when the times really started getting nice, and, community or not, they realized PrBoom+ is simply a port much better suited for hardcore speedrunning than GZDoom, especially for UV-Speeds and the like. I'd recommend doing UV-Maxes personally if you want to use GZDoom; maxes generally depend less on the particular differences and more on just raw player skill. Generally, it's Speed categories that where the differences become more prominent and noticeable, but that doesn't mean you can't still try on GZDoom if you want. For GZDoom in particular, it's not a bad idea to upload a video to youtube, due to aforementioned demo incompatibility.

If you want a cute little speedrunning challenge, try to match (or beat!) my 0:23 UV-Speed on Icon of Ruin. I'd be very impressed if you could get faster that 23; I believe 23 is as fast as possible on this level, but feel free to prove me wrong!
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby MatrixCL » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:53 am

Challenge accepted! :D Do you have the demo file of that run by any chance?

By the way, I'm in coincident's Discord group. Someone else in that group checks runs for DSDA and said they don't accept ZDoom runs anymore. But perhaps there was some misunderstanding then.

Here's a bit more of my vision. Imagine there's a site where people can upload their own speedruns and state with which source port, wads and settings they played. ZDoom can in time be adapted to play the demo without actually playing it (feature request), but just deliver a text stating the end time(s) of the level(s and whole episode) and how many kills and secrets they obtained. Perhaps it can even be fully automated, so that the run is checked automatically after uploading it. Thus making participation as easy as possible and any low skilled player is still tempted to do this, e.g. to compare his times with his buddies.

We could even have a monthly challenge! "Here's a new WAD. You have one month to give us your best run. Good luck!" Oh well, one thing at a time. :p

I would feel a bit bad about competing with DSDA though. It shouldn't be competition anyway. But the thing is, posting runs is done by posting them on Doomworld's forum and the filtering the lists is limited. Perhaps I should actually see if I can help out there to make it all more accessible.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby Rachael » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:22 am

It might be possible to set up a competitive speed-running scene specifically for ZDoom, but unfortunately I do not see GZDoom as much of a viable candidate for that. It might even be possible to do it with Zandronum, since demos last a lot longer between releases than they do with GZDoom.

The main issue is that GZDoom is still a moving target, whereas ZDoom is not. I think this was brought up before, actually, where since ZDoom has had a final release it is effectively 'locked' to that version, which means that demos you record on that version will reliably stay years from now.

The same could be done for GZDoom, obviously, if you were to put in place a policy to lock to a specific GZDoom version. But then you get all the advantages *and* drawbacks of doing such a thing - notably that if you find any bugs, you're stuck with them forever.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby 3saster » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:04 pm

MatrixCL wrote:Challenge accepted! :D Do you have the demo file of that run by any chance?

I don't have a demo file of that unfortunately, I did that one with just a video recording. Nothing fancy as far as compatibility settings go or anything btw (other than no freelook). I'd be happy to give you a sort of friendly competition, I'm a fairly skilled Doomer I'd say, and I have some all right times, especially on some of my favourite wads, like Hell Revealed 2 or Scythe 2. I mostly do UV-Maxes if I feel like beating times though, UV-Speed doesn't normally interest me.

MatrixCL wrote:Here's a bit more of my vision. Imagine there's a site where people can upload their own speedruns and state with which source port, wads and settings they played. ZDoom can in time be adapted to play the demo without actually playing it (feature request), but just deliver a text stating the end time(s) of the level(s and whole episode) and how many kills and secrets they obtained. Perhaps it can even be fully automated, so that the run is checked automatically after uploading it. Thus making participation as easy as possible and any low skilled player is still tempted to do this, e.g. to compare his times with his buddies.

We could even have a monthly challenge! "Here's a new WAD. You have one month to give us your best run. Good luck!" Oh well, one thing at a time. :p

All of this stuff already exists for the most part, curiously enough, and PrBoom+ can play a demo without actually playing that (along with fast-forwarding the demo, etc.). Zero Master even did some sort of automation/procedure for the video process, check out this channel. The monthly challenges are also done at doomworld as well.

MatrixCL wrote:I would feel a bit bad about competing with DSDA though. It shouldn't be competition anyway. But the thing is, posting runs is done by posting them on Doomworld's forum and the filtering the lists is limited. Perhaps I should actually see if I can help out there to make it all more accessible.

Don't worry too much about that though, even the Doom Speedrunning community has another site they are working on which is designed to include new information and be a little more "open" (for example, Heretic and Hexen). That posting runs thing is not how the runs end up on DSDA btw, it's simply a way of showing that you got a run, since DSDA isn't a message board :P

Still, as me and Rachael have said, bias and other things aside, it's not a coincidence GZDoom is not used that much in the speedrunning community, it's simply not a well suited port for this kind of thing, especially when compared to PrBoom+ which is specifically designed for demo recording.

I should also point out that you may want to join the Doom Speedrunning Discord. They can give you more specifics as this kind of thing, etc. though I suspect they will reiterate a lot of the information we did. Like I said, it's not a coincidence that ZDoom doesn't have a speedrunning community.
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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby MatrixCL » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:15 pm

Yea, all things considered I think it's best to drop the idea. Rachael makes a good point about LZDoom being a potential candidate - we certainly should not stop fixing things to support speedrunning! - but I don't think there's enough enthusiasm for this anyway.

I wouldn't know how to submit a run on dsdarchive.com though. There's no link or anything, except to Doomworld's forum. That's why I assumed that's how you submit runs. And right now it feels like there's no point in submitting any run if you haven't beaten (or came close to) the world record. But good that they're making progression. :)

I completely failed to mention that one of my aims was to support cooperative speedruns, by the way. Right now that doesn't seem reasonably possible with any source port. And it's part of the reason why I made a few feature requests recently.

The results can be seen in this video, which I just uploaded. This is a speedrun I did on Knee-deep in the Dead. My best result so far, even though I was only testing how it worked in practice. :D A friend of mine was willing to do a coop speedrun with me, but he bailed out, saying he wouldn't enjoy doing the same map over and over. So 3saster, if you fancy doing a co-op UV Max speedrun some day... :wink:

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Re: Could we make speedrunning a thing here?

Postby Enjay » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:01 pm

While I fully take Rachael's point about demos and the fact that GZDoom is a shifting sand, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, why are demos considered to be such a limiting factor in this? I mean, I know that the engine has always supported demos and having a file that weighs in at just a few KB that someone can download and run on their own copy of the engine is attractive, but many other games don't have an equivalent demo system and yet still manage to share their runs via other media (i.e. videos).

Is there something particularly problematic about sharing GZDoom speedruns via captured video? I mean, the runs in this thread are videos. Does it need to be tied to demos if demos are not be the best way to do it?

Speaking personally, I would rather simply click on a youtube thumbnail than download a file and load it via the command line. (Full disclosure, I rarely watch other people playing anyway, so the whole scene is not that important to me. I'm certainly not going to get particularly excited about someone shaving microseconds off a run, but it that's your thing - more power to you. I can see why it appeals; it just doesn't appeal to me.)
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