Alien Swarm TSA Project

I’ll be keeping track of stuff through that thread more.

What is this?**
A project I’m going to work on, but would welcome any help with.
I want to make an Alien Swarm TSA speedrun. TSA stands for Time-Scale Assisted. It means using the console command “host_timescale” to slow down gameplay, allowing for near perfect inputs. The eventual speedrun will be played in real time. This allows us to do absolutely perfect runs. I want to perform flawless, TAS-like runs of all the levels and tie them together into a full game run.

Need help?
While I could do this all by myself, it’d be cool to have it be a community effort as well. So I’m posting this in case anyone wants to join in the effort. I don’t want to divide roles or limit people’s abilities, I’d prefer to give everyone freedom to help whichever way they want.

How can I help?
1. Routing
TSA removes the need for stimpacks in every level. That means every level has the option to take something else to save time. I’m looking for the most minuscule time saves, as well as the most unthinkably difficult time saves. Anything to shave milliseconds off the run. Try to verify things being possible, though I’ll take empty suggestions as well.

*2. Running *
If you want to contribute with a level run of your own, just feel free to attempt. I’ll note instructions on how to record below. The only limitation on doing the run is to not use Stimpacks. Stims aren’t necessary and mess with demo replaying, just don’t bother with them. Other than that, get at it, and post here with any results. Obviously it’s all 1 player runs, it’d be a mess to do it multiplayer.

*3. Technical *
I don’t expect this, but I’ll list it anyway. Currently, any runs with Time-scale Assist will show [CHEATS USED] at the score screen. I don’t know of any way to prevent this. It looks ugly, it hides the in-game timer, I’d really like to get rid of it somehow, so if anyone knows a way to do so, much obliged.

**How do run a TSA level? **
Step 1: Activate the console command [sv_cheats 0]. Then activate [host_timescale 0.2]. 0.2 can be changed to any value you want (1 is normal speed. 0.2 is 20% speed, etc). Note that at really low speeds, spamming the off-hand item key stops working. 0.2 seems to be the lowest functional speed.

Step 2: Record the run as a demo. [record “title”] will start a recording, [stop] or switching maps will end the recording. Keep the title something recognizable, of course. You can use the same title while grinding attempts, it automatically overrides.

Step 2b: Recording guidelines!
Try to wait a few seconds in the lobby to avoid the slow screen fade.
Please start the recording without a marine selected.
Please give a LOT of time at the end of the map, to allow people to see the end screens properly.
Do NOT use the [map] command for resets. This cuts out the menu for traveling to the next level, and I want those in.

Step 3: Time your demo file using RTA timing (start when the cursor appears, stop when the cursor disappears). For this you can use the in-game demo menu (press Shift+F2). Upload the demo somewhere and post it along with your end timing.

Best of luck with this project! I have next to zero knowledge about this game but the IL stuff that you showed off at the SourceRuns marathon a while back looked pretty promising already. Will this be like a compilation of the hardest IL strats or are there also some TSA only strats involved that you normally couldn’t do?

I haven’t yet found any TSA-only strats that really save time. For the most part it’ll just be the hardest IL strats executed perfectly, with some minor extra power from not needing stimpacks. But who knows what we’ll figure out in the end.

Good luck with the project I love to see other than hl/portal projects on sourceruns.