General Speedrun Routing Guide

Mar 27th, 2017
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  1. This is a guide for anyone looking to start routing speedruns or maybe improve their current ability.
  2. This has just about everything I or the people I asked could think of to add.
  3. This is split into 5 sections:
  5. 1. Original ideas and how to start a route change.
  6. 2. Over and underestimation and learning not to just make assumptions about speed and difficulty.
  7. 3. Knowledge and experience: The more you try and the more you learn, the better you become.
  8. 4. Complexity and how to build off of previous route changes.
  9. 5. Discussion and open-mindedness: Talk to other people about your ideas and be open-minded of other people's ideas.
  17. Make notes of all the negative parts of the current route.
  18. Long, seemingly unnecessary amounts of time between useful parts of the route.
  19. Maybe you perform a long trick just for one purpose.
  20. Extra trips to certain areas. Can you skip a trip and compensate for the downsides?
  21. This could be a huge area, or it could just be restocking on supplies somewhere.
  22. Even if skipping a trip doesn't work very well in the current route, can you make a lot of alternatives if a specific part doesn't pan out?
  23. Does the current route do a specific area without having an item that would potentially save ~30s in that area?
  29. Try not to overestimate or underestimate how fast or slow something is.
  30. If the current route does a specific thing and every route of the category that you can remember has to, people tend to get attached to it, even though it might only save a few seconds and a new route idea might not be able to do it.
  31. Double-check almost anything; even if you remember a particular downside costing 20s, it might only be 16s and you rounded up.
  32. Maybe once you go through the "slower" part of the route, you realise that there's a faster way of doing it.
  33. Even if after timing the route, it ends up being slower or a similar speed, maybe it's easier or uses fewer resources.
  34. Timing and retimings things is incredibly important to make sure you're on the right track towards faster routes.
  36. Similar to over and underestimating speed, don't overestimate how difficult something is.
  37. Maybe a potential route change would save a lot of time, but becomes a lot more difficult.
  38. Try to run through the segment a lot; see how difficult each part is.
  39. If it's an in-game time segment (eg. Majora's Mask), try to run through the segment and make it to wherever you need to be by the set time.
  40. Note any mistakes you make along the way and try to work out how to avoid them.
  41. Ask other people who are maybe better than you at the game to help.
  42. If it's a particular trick that is difficult, try to work out the specifics and come up with a setup.
  43. Again, ask other people to try things to make it viable.
  44. Don't underestimate what glitch hunters and runners are capable of doing with it to make it consistent.
  45. Don't sacrifice an idea because you think it might be too hard.
  46. A lot of the time, runners will discard your idea and not do it in their runs due to how unnecessary difficult it seems.
  47. It's up to you and the people you've talked to to prove just how viable it is runs, though you really should be sure of this yourself first.
  48. It's their runs; if they don't want to use it, then they are the people who won't benefit from it; maybe they simply want to get better at the current/beginner route first.
  54. Be aware of tricks, glitches and concepts within the game.
  55. Maybe a route idea would work if you used a trick that isn't in any category of the game, so there's not much knowledge of it.
  56. Similarly, maybe a route idea would work if there were a trick that existed that hasn't yet been discovered, but seems as if there could be some relatively fast way of doing it (eg. A to B without item X)
  57. Bbe aware of various resources scattered around the game. (eg. rupees in Zelda games.)
  58. A lot of routing is experience; the more you do it, the more that you can intuit how long it takes to get from A to B with different items.
  59. The best routers of the game have some of the best knowledge of the game.
  60. Whether that be obscure, never used glitches, or old strategies not used in years. They could always have a potential to have a purpose.
  61. This works both ways too. Maybe you found a cool trick that makes it very fast to get from A to B, but no current route can benefit from it.
  62. Share it with everyone just in case someone thinks of a route that could benefit from it.
  64. Become familiar with either older routes of the game/category you are routing, or route changes in other games.
  65. A lot of these concepts work for multiple games, and you can draw parallels between two completely different games.
  66. Discuss routes of other games with the people responsible for them, and maybe how they thought of them.
  70. 4. COMPLEXITY:
  72. Route changes and tricks can often inspire other route changes.
  73. If you used to setup a trick that was used to make both A and B faster, but a faster way was found to do A, maybe it's not worth it just for B.
  75. Don't be afraid to create incredibly complex route changes that completely change the route just to save ~5s or so.
  76. I often go by a tier system:
  77. Tier 1 is simply moving something to a different trip or doing 2 things in the opposite order for a direct timesave.
  78. Tier 2 is essentially the same thing, but by moving it, it's slower or the same speed, but allows the route to change in such a way that it can be faster overall.
  79. Tier 3 would just be doing a tier 2 route, but even that isn't faster, but allows the route to be faster with a further change, etc.
  80. Almost all the time, people tend to go for tier 1 or 2 ideas.
  81. Going for tier 3+ ideas are not only unlikely to be thought of thus far, but might change the route so dramatically that a futher route change is possible due to the specifics.
  87. In general, share just about every potential idea or concept with at least one person with routing experience.
  88. You never know exactly how other people's minds work and how they might think about routes.
  89. Even the worst idea that you think is impossible, slow even if it does work, and too difficult can end up being a good change.
  90. This can also be realised even if you haven't yet shared the idea with other people.
  91. Maybe you think of a really simple tier 1 idea and you presume that it has to have been thought of before, but after timing, you realise that it is faster.
  92. This can be due to the fact that a lot of other people immediately discarded it, also thinking others must've thought of it before.
  94. In very general terms, just be open-minded about ideas and share them often.
  95. There is no downside to trying an idea that turns out to be slower, other than the fact that someone has to time it.
  96. Even if you believe it is real time wasted, you've gained experience and learnt specific timings about the game, and in general.
  102. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me:
  105. Discord Tag: Gigopler#1058
  109. Written by Gigopler, with help from:
  110. VPP
  111. TrogWW
  112. Hyperresonance
  113. Venick
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