How does speedrunning software know what segment you just completed?
September 26, 2018 10:45 AM   Subscribe

I enjoy watching some speedrunners and have been wondering how the software knows what segment is being played and when that segment is completed? Does the speedrunner have to enter something manually to indicate that a segment has been run?
posted by One Hand Slowclapping to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
The most popular tool is called Livesplit and it can do automatic split detection for emulated games. This feature is appropriately named "Auto Splitter." I don't know how splitting works for console games - I believe there are modules which can read image states but I'm not sure.
posted by muddgirl at 10:50 AM on September 26, 2018

Dark Souls runners have to hit a key to manually enter their split. For this reason, they usually put splits at cut scenes so the act of hitting the key doesn't add to their run time. This makes displayed splits approximate, and they use in-game time, which is measured by the game, as their official time. I assume many games work this way.
posted by dbx at 10:54 AM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've seen people doing manual splits with a USB foot switch as well.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Some games the software can read the game memory to determine when to split. For most games it's a button that the speedrunner presses at will.
posted by dilaudid at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2018

It's also worth mentioning that most speedrunners will go back over the recording and manually adjust the split times when they get a personal best time.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:25 AM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

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