I thought I made a hard game and then speedrunners totally destroyed it
July 1, 2019 10:26 AM   Subscribe

This is my game. It is a good simple platformer that I spent over 1 Year Making. It is my first Steam game so I purposely made it very small. In fact, the entire game fits on this one screen. What you see here is the entire game. Your goal is to get through it as fast as you can. [...] What I wasn't expecting was to have every challenge totally torn apart by Speedrunners. They attacked my game like a hundred little ants taking down a grasshopper.
posted by smcg (19 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
One thing I love with games released on physical media is that they cannot be patched. Bugs and what not are forever, which makes speed-running possible in the first place. I humbly suggest that game devs consider this when patching their games, especially if they are single player where exploits don't negatively affect other players.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:40 AM on July 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

This is an ad for the game, phrased as a war story so it gets spread on sites like this.
posted by w0mbat at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2019 [29 favorites]

w0mbat, either it’s a very poorly done ad or a very subtly done ad, as it wasn’t until his second edit to the post that he mentions the actual name of the game.

If taken it at face value, I don’t see how the attention from speedrunners is anything but a win for him anyway. It’s less a hundred ants dismantling a grasshopper as it is a hundred ants lifting the grasshopper on their ant shoulders and shouting, “hey everybody, check out this grasshopper!”
posted by ejs at 10:53 AM on July 1, 2019 [9 favorites]

This is an ad for the game, phrased as a war story so it gets spread on sites like this.

Even if this is true, we let actual full-on ads for AAA games slide a lot of the time, so I'm fine with letting an indie dev benefit for once.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2019 [33 favorites]

(Assuming he doesn't milkshake duck, that is.)
posted by tobascodagama at 10:58 AM on July 1, 2019 [9 favorites]

I love everything about this. (even if it is a little hype ish) .
posted by poe at 11:37 AM on July 1, 2019

You can also keep digital games patch-free if you disconnect from the internet and/or turn off automatic updates. But speedrunning isn't just about exploiting glitches, and many games have glitchfree categories.

I guess this is a good time to post my favorite speedrun ever, Dragon Warrior from Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 by NEScardinality.
posted by Automocar at 11:43 AM on July 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

If it weren't brutally difficult, speedrunners wouldn't bother ripping it apart.
posted by wotsac at 11:48 AM on July 1, 2019

I'm very glad he didn't feel that the speedrunners destroyed it, and I thought that the way he told the story of his thought process and how he came around to accepting and then welcoming the speedrunners was a neat and concise piece of storytelling.

But yes, that feeling of letting something go and seeing people react in a way you hadn't planned and going from hostile and prickly to happy and flattered takes a fair amount of honesty to tell correctly and fairly to yourself. I'm happy for him and it looks like a lovely game.
posted by ambrosen at 12:12 PM on July 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

This is an ad for the game, phrased as a war story so it gets spread on sites like this.
Yeah, Imgur can be a bit weird with posts like that. You're never quite sure what the true intent is. There are some weird accounts there set up specifically to push really ugly ideologies/politics.

That being said, it's still interesting how speedrunners jumped on his game and tore through it.
posted by Fizz at 12:12 PM on July 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I mean, it's a guy talking about his own game so isn't it inherently an ad? SpeedRunners still did their best to break it and indeed, broke it. The analogy of them as ants taking down a big grasshopper is pretty apt.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:20 PM on July 1, 2019

Yeah, it's kind of framed more adversarial than reality would dictate. Speedrunners "destroying" your game are people playing your game, and enjoying it.

The specific design of the game as one long level on a single screen almost seems perfect for tempting speedrunners, really.
posted by RobotHero at 12:27 PM on July 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

I read about these speed runners and ponder how I never successfully pulled off the Super Mario bros unlimited lives trick with the turtle.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Speedrunners "destroying" your game are people playing your game, and enjoying it.

It's the same hyperbole we see so many other places. It's not really ruined, but a weird glitch-jump bypassing 1/3 of the entire game is crushing/compacting/reducing the game by that much.

I don't think it's truly adversarial, but it can be a little disappointing (even if also awe-inspiring) if the challenge you set up turns out to not actually be challenging!
posted by explosion at 1:27 PM on July 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can say from second-hand experience a game developer would rather see speedrunners dismantle their game than not see anyone play their game at all.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:30 PM on July 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is a cute little blog post about a personal project! It's also an ad I guess - and I been believe a good brand manager would add the name of the game after an edit, just to sell the amateurishness of the thing- but I'm happy for this guy and his small indie game success. I hope he savors it for a while.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:30 PM on July 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

I am looking forward to speedrunners finding the absolute optimum glitch-assisted method of maximizing a goose's assholic potential
posted by delfin at 2:11 PM on July 1, 2019 [7 favorites]

agreed about this is an acceptable post. we literally make FPPS for trailers to movies and video games all the time.

that's a fun story. I think if I ever made a game the idea that someone would actually play it would make me happy. I remember when I noticed people were actually liking simple levels I made in LittleBigPlanet 2
posted by numaner at 8:14 AM on July 2, 2019

Nice little story about the mixed feelings speedrunners can evoke! They’re playing my game... wrong?!
posted by Secretariat at 8:35 AM on July 2, 2019

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