BOUND

EDGE - - BUILT FOR SPEED - Charles ‘chuck­les825’ Maxwell

What as­pects of Bound are most help­ful for speedrun­ners?

The speedrun mode has the best built-in timer I’ve ever seen in a game. It pauses on load­ing times, has in­di­vid­ual level splits, and can be hid­den at any point. Records are of­ten de­ter­mined by ‘real time at­tack’, but this can lead to im­proper com­par­isons of runs due to dif­fer­ent gam­ing hard­ware. Hav­ing an ac­cu­rate in-game timer not only makes com­par­isons be­tween run­ners eas­ier, but also takes away from the dis­trac­tion of us­ing a sep­a­rate tim­ing pro­gram and man­u­ally hit­ting your splits.

Does see­ing a game that’s clearly ‘built for speed’ ever take some of the fun, or ex­tra chal­lenge, out of speedrun­ning it?

Whether a game is built for speed or not, the me­chan­ics are what make or break it. If a speedrun­ner is ded­i­cated enough to run­ning and try­ing to break a game, they are bound to find some­thing use­ful for a run, how­ever small it may seem at first. There can be plenty of things that make a speedrun route more en­joy­able than the devs in­tended. A de­vel­oper can be­come too fo­cused on what they see as un­in­tended or harm­ful ex­ploits to a game’s core ex­pe­ri­ence. It can feel very pun­ish­ing when an ex­ploit ap­pears to have only been patched out of a game for the sake of a de­vel­oper ap­pear­ing more pro­fes­sional with their work.

But Plas­tic has been sur­pris­ingly open. A few skips the com­mu­nity found re­ally broke some of the lev­els. Plas­tic not only al­lowed those skips to re­main in-game, but some were ac­tu­ally added to the in­tended list of short­cuts. This kind of thing is un­heard of. This game is hon­estly a very odd case when it comes to speedrun­ning, and I’ve grown to ap­pre­ci­ate how unique it is.

But no mat­ter the qual­ity of your game, speedrun­ning isn’t some­thing that can be forced. It’s the lit­tle bits of pol­ish that are in­ob­tru­sive to move­ment that keep run­ners from los­ing in­ter­est over time. There is a mys­ti­cal fine line in the QA process where a game should have most as­pects fully tested, but not be so pol­ished as to pre­vent any ex­ploits or glitches from ever be­ing found. Ei­ther that, or de­vel­op­ers could al­ways re­lease more games in barely func­tion­ing states. I’m sure that could catch run­ners’ at­ten­tion.

What do you per­son­ally get out of speedrun­ning a game?

Fluid move­ment and con­trols are the defin­ing fac­tor in my en­joy­ment of a game: speedrun­ning felt like a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion of want­ing to master a game and chal­lenge my­self. It al­lows you to re­play a game in ways you never would have thought of be­fore, and it’s a re­minder of ev­ery­thing a game can offer. Ev­ery­one has their own mo­ti­va­tion, but I would say most run­ners speedrun with the in­ten­tion of hav­ing fun to­wards a com­mon goal with their com­mu­nity.

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