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madmanquail

Any C&C TD speed runs around?

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I got the itch to play C&C last week and replay the old beloved campaigns and particularly the covert operations. As a challenge, I decided to try and complete the missions in the minimum possible time (aka speed running).

 

I looked for some examples of C&C speed runs to follow and found a guy who has recorded the original campaign kbut not covert operations or funpark).  Link to that stream: http://www.twitch.tv/leonpowpow

 

However, this run is pretty sloppy and could certainly use some improvement (as he knows!).

 

This game is old enough and popular enough to have a solid, tight speed run... Right? I couldn't find much out there.

 

As an aside, it's a great way to play... I am having a lot of fun with it, finding safe strats and dealing with the RNG all over the place! I might even record a few missions if it would be of interest.

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I once did a speedrun of GDI mission 12:

Tiberian Dawn: GDI mission 13 speedrun (5 min)

 

To be fair though, I never intended to speedrun it; I was just getting bored playing through the campaign and decided to suicide my units on the enemy base. Turned out the side wall is out of range of their Obelisk. So then I decided to replay it and do the same thing, but record the game :D

 

Some other people later refined this some more, and got a better time.

 

Do note, the only time that counts in speedruns is the score screen time. As a basic rule of speedruns in general, game speed does not matter, and higher game speed usually both makes it harder AND gives you a higher time on the score screen.

 

Anyway, searching for "speed run command conquer" or "speed run tiberian dawn" on youtube quickly gets you a few though.

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My friend Christo161 has also done runs of C&C, focusing on both speed and minimizing casualties. Also, to make 'em a bit more special, most of them are done on the Nintendo 64 version of the game :)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Christo161/videos

(I'm not sure how accurate that makes the game speed compared to the PC game, though. C&C64 has no game speed settings I think.)

 

He has some incredibly cool tactics in some of these videos, especially in the Covert Ops / Special Ops ones. Really worth checking out. They're generally of the "screw the starting objective; let's go straight to the enemy base and take it over" kind :)

 

Command & Conquer GDI PSX spec ops mission 3

 

This is another magnificent rush, of the Covert Ops mission "Deceit". Like the GDI 13 one, I once attempted this tactic as idle curiosity, but Christo161 actually refined it to a workable solution, whereas I got my helicopter killed by the enemy orcas after barely unloading my commandos.

Command & Conquer Nod mission Deceit

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i bet that 3d engine for tiberian dawn had some serious issues since they kept doing 2d voxel shit years later. that game is not from this world.

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That's the Nintendo 64 version. It was made in 1999, and the port was made by Looking Glass Studios (the guys who made System Shock), so, just like Dune 2000, it's completely independent from the development of the C&C engine itself.

 

As for the engine, well, the models are simple, the infantry and tiberium are still 2D, and the maps are just the normal ones with an added height map (which is actually pretty cool, though it looks odd on some more 3D-looking elements in the theater graphics, like rocks in water). The reason it's not more advanced than that is that this already seriously pushed the boundaries of what the N64 console can handle.

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thanks for the great response - some very interesting videos there, Nyerguds, i'll definitely be checking them out.

 

Do note, the only time that counts in speedruns is the score screen time. As a basic rule of speedruns in general, game speed does not matter, and higher game speed usually both makes it harder AND gives you a higher time on the score screen.

 

Really? I find this a bit unsatisfactory...To my mind, the challenge of a speedrun is to play fast and accurate, not just accurate. However, the flip side of this is that one might aim to complete the game on MAX speed, which is nearly impossible to control accurately. There is an agreeable speed somewhere in the middle which is fast enough to be thrilling to play/watch, and challenging, yet slow enough for the user to have a reasonable degree of control. I believe this to be speed 5/7, although others might disagree.

 

I suppose there is no precedent for C&C speed runs being played at a "reasonable pace", and timed in real time? :)

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That is somehow interesting...

The Covert Operations and the PSX missions is included in the N64? Is there anyway to access it from the Nintendo 64 itself?

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thanks for the great response - some very interesting videos there, Nyerguds, i'll definitely be checking them out.

 

Do note, the only time that counts in speedruns is the score screen time. As a basic rule of speedruns in general, game speed does not matter, and higher game speed usually both makes it harder AND gives you a higher time on the score screen.

 

Really? I find this a bit unsatisfactory...To my mind, the challenge of a speedrun is to play fast and accurate, not just accurate. However, the flip side of this is that one might aim to complete the game on MAX speed, which is nearly impossible to control accurately. There is an agreeable speed somewhere in the middle which is fast enough to be thrilling to play/watch, and challenging, yet slow enough for the user to have a reasonable degree of control. I believe this to be speed 5/7, although others might disagree.

 

I suppose there is no precedent for C&C speed runs being played at a "reasonable pace", and timed in real time? :)

The standard C&C game speed, at which one time-unit in the ini scripts equals one minute, is the middle game speed on the slider... which is pretty damn slow. THAT is the "real" game speed. If you would play without taking game speed into account, you should technically always play on that speed.

 

Do note that perceived game speed has gone down as the screen resolution increased. On DOS C&C, I'd actually consider the middle speed; everything goes faster when you have less overview of the battlefield.

 

The ingame timer thing is something I've seen as submission rule on a speedrun website where I watched Starcraft 1 speedruns. This rule's purpose is obvious; it changes the goal of the speedrun from "crank up game speed and spam tanks as fast as possible" to "invent interesting tactics that allow you to win without ever needing a tank rush".

 

In my opinion, this makes the speed runs infinitely more interesting. See also, the two videos I linked.

 

Oh, also? C&C has no maximum game speed. Setting the slider to the highest runs the game at the maximum speed it can crank out of your CPU. So that's really not a reliable timing method anyway. The actual play time on highest speed is completely meaningless.

 

That is somehow interesting...

The Covert Operations and the PSX missions is included in the N64? Is there anyway to access it from the Nintendo 64 itself?

Most of them are in there, yeah, in various states of playability. Sadly, they can't be accessed from the N64 itself, though the BARRACUDA-cheat does unlock some of the hidden test maps, if I remember correctly.

 

As for the CO/PSX ones, I found them when messing around with the N64 rom, and Christo used my rom-hacking method for accessing them. You can find a full list of the missions, and how intact/playable/defunct they are, here:

http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/N64Project/editing/N64extramissions.txt

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The standard C&C game speed, at which one time-unit in the ini scripts equals one minute, is the middle game speed on the slider... which is pretty damn slow. THAT is the "real" game speed. If you would play without taking game speed into account, you should technically always play on that speed.

 

Cool, great info thanks! So, are the other game speeds based on interpolating between "real time" and the max speed setting? e.g., Is speed 5/7 the same for all systems, regardless of CPU?

 

In my opinion, this makes the speed runs infinitely more interesting. See also, the two videos I linked.

 

Those videos are exactly what I am looking for. The deceit game by Christo is brilliant, i love it. It game me a few other ideas:

 

Lossless/minimum losses playthrough

Lossless speedrun (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw0ifH0AJOI)

Infantry only run

Minigunner only (perhaps analogous to Brutal No-Upgrade runs in Starcraft 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs47ee8xzU4))

Marathon "no-save" speedrun

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can you imagine trying to do later GDI Missions with only minigunners.

A single flame tank appears and its game over really.

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Cool, great info thanks! So, are the other game speeds based on interpolating between "real time" and the max speed setting? e.g., Is speed 5/7 the same for all systems, regardless of CPU?

The last speed setting is the exception. For the others, the game will run at the same speed on any computer.

 

Those videos are exactly what I am looking for. The deceit game by Christo is brilliant, i love it.

Yeah, he really did some awesome stuff there. His campaign playthroughs also have some interesting tactics :)

Mind you, since this is (again) a no-losses run, he could probably have done it faster.

 

Minigunner only (perhaps analogous to Brutal No-Upgrade runs in Starcraft 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs47ee8xzU4))

That seems pretty impossible, given the fact there are tons of no-base missions in C&C where your units are simply the stuff you got at the start, and a few where you have a base without CY and limited cash. Not to mention the fact minigunners can't destroy walls. I know the Rescue Agent Delphi mission actually requires you to destroy a wall.

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can you imagine trying to do later GDI Missions with only minigunners.

A single flame tank appears and its game over really.

 

Yes! That would be part of the challenge! Actually if you surround a flametank correctly, it will get stuck constantly re-acquiring the target without firing. You could also lead flame tanks to their deaths by running them through a choke point. It wouldn't be easy!

 

That seems pretty impossible, given the fact there are tons of no-base missions in C&C where your units are simply the stuff you got at the start, and a few where you have a base without CY and limited cash. Not to mention the fact minigunners can't destroy walls. I know the Rescue Agent Delphi mission actually requires you to destroy a wall.

 

Ah-  but you begin the mission with 6 grenadiers! In general, the Brutal-Marine-only-NUR principle is to use what 'ya got given, the restriction is only placed on unit production. E.g. If you get given a commando, you can keep it for the rest of the level.

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I think I've only once managed to salvage one grenadier from the start of that level (you have to fight a light tank with them remember)

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I think I've only once managed to salvage one grenadier from the start of that level (you have to fight a light tank with them remember)

Pssh. That's peanuts. I rarely lose more than one grenadier to that.

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GDI Mission 11 is a complete challenge for a noob player.

 

As for map differences, there are some:

 

- In GDI Mission 15C, there is another way to the place where you begins near the bridge.

 

- In Nod Mission 11A, the south land is linked with the main one, the gunboat was replaced by two Advanced Guard Towers,

- In Nod Mission 13A, the south land is linked with the main one, north gunboat was removed, and a flametank was added, and there are a bunch of changes into the South GDI Base,  You can easly take GDI base there and undeploy your MCV inside it.

- In Nod Mission 13B, the North land is linked with the main one, your cash is changed to 2000$, and a refinery is added in north land.

 

- In GDI Spec Ops 1, all north Power plants are simple ones, while in PC version, it is Advanded Power Plants. I guess the guy who ported that changed to avoid low power after taking the two south power plants.

 

As for engine differences, there are some that I can remember by memory:

- The bridge is larger, you can pass with two units there.

- You can't remove trees. After you attack it, when it "dies", it is not removed from the map.

- The Infantry Sell bug is fixed, at least in the USA version.

- APC have a turnable gun.

- Rocket launcher does not have a turnable gun. You can see it shooting into some weird ways.

- Airstrike seems to be more powerful. (trows more bombs)

- You can't sell the Hospital. (You could in the original game)

 

 

As for the C&C64 game's speed: It is funny, it runs as faster as Nintendo 64 processor can. The maximum speed is when the hardware renders at 60fps, someting that never happens unless you got an overclocked Nintendo 64

 

Anyway, It seems that almost all Covert Operations missions are fully playable except Tiberium Strain, beside some small terrain 3D glitchs (see Hostile Takeover, lol).

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- You can't sell the Hospital. (You could in the original game)

This is wrong. This is a bug introduced in C&C95, and fixed in my patch. In the original DOS C&C, the hospital can NOT be sold.

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There's zero point in doing speed runs on the single player maps the AI is thick as pig shit.

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We could have a ruleset for speedrun i.e. 6/7 gamespeed so its not too slow and boring but the play time would be fair.

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We could have a ruleset for speedrun i.e. 6/7 gamespeed so its not too slow and boring but the play time would be fair.

Well, as I said, if you simply use the ingame timer as indication, there's no need for any such rule set.

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I'd like to see a speedrun of PSX Nod 2. That ones kinda hard.

 

Speaking of hard missions, has anyone tried, in Cloak and Dagger, to move the MCV out of the base and into the middle of the map? I wonder if Westwood wanted you to do that or build in the base, because there wouldn't be large tiberium fields unless there was a reason.

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I could never really understand Cloak and Dagger. I basically always win it by using defenses to attack the GDI base from within... which means that it doesn't trigger GDI units to come to the aid of their base being attacked. Would be cool if someone could... but there's so many AGTs and 2 Mammoths outside.

  -Liam

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Well I did remember seeing that attacking the church with the stealth tank alerted the mammoths to come to the village.

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I could never really understand Cloak and Dagger. I basically always win it by using defenses to attack the GDI base from within... which means that it doesn't trigger GDI units to come to the aid of their base being attacked. Would be cool if someone could... but there's so many AGTs and 2 Mammoths outside.

  -Liam

 

I thought the idea was to shoot power plants with turrets so that the AGT's would de-power and you could go and engi everything

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