Speed Runs

11 09 2008

I recently found a video of the game Killer Instinct which was quite nostalgic. Although it certainly wasn’t the best game ever made, it had a certain indescribable appeal to me. In said video, the player defeats every opponent with un-human like skill, and I of course was in complete awe. As I later discovered, it was in fact not a person playing but what is known as a computer assisted speed run.

The process by which you create a speed run seems immensely complicated. My loose understanding of it is is that a computer program analyzes every aspect of the game from the layout of the levels to the so-called “random” events that occur during game play. After processing this data, it then calculates the fastest way possible to complete the game. For all this time and effort, speed runs to me are a novelty at best. One point to note however is that those who create speed runs have tried to make it clear that they in no way intend to compete with human only speed runs.

You can find more videos at SpeedRuns.net.

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