Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Interviews / Phil / GEE2005

Interview of Phil for September 2005 issue of GEE

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This interview was answered by Phil for a German gaming magazine called GEE in July 2005. The interviewer is Moses Grohé. It was conducted by e-mail.

How was the genre of "Tool-Assisted-Speedruns" born?
Do you know who did the first "Tool-Assisted-Speedrun" ever?

All I know, it started with the game Doom.

More details there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doom_speedrunning

On NES, Morimoto's SMB3 makes TAS more popular but it seems it wasn't the first since Yy had made SMB1 as "NES Super Mario Bros (PRG 0) by Yy in 19:27 (2000-06-09)" which is a full run of the game but beaten by me and Genisto ;).

Some details there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool-assisted_speedruns

Can you remember what was the crucial factor to start "Tool-Assisted-Speedrunning" for you?

When I first saw that SMB3 movie made by Morimoto, I thought it was legitimate so I started making movie with Zsnes without savestates then I discovered Bisqwit's site and started doing TAS.

Can you please describe the process of making a "Tool-Assisted-Speedrun" in every detail.
- What is the trickiest part?
- What talent is needed?
- How long does it take?

First, you choose a game that you know, though I have already made a movie of Dragon's Lair which I have never played before, and want to to do.

Then if you want, you can check some FAQs, though rarely useful but still, and/or ask people if they know some tricks which may help you doing a good movie or watch a movie that you want to beat and analyze the errors in the video.

The trickiest part, is try, retry and retry until you find the good way to do perfect things. Try finding useful bugs. It requires a lot of patience. In fact more tries = better results. So a video may take more than 50 hours to do for a 10 minutes movie depending of the game.

Which games are best suited for "Tool-Assisted-Speedruns"?

Apparently, platform and especially popular games are best.

Which ones do you prefer? Why? Wich one is the best run you’ve ever seen? (Why? What makes a run stand out?)

Hard to tell but Hitler no Fukkatsu by Genisto is pretty interesting to watch because of so precised movements. I think movies that can't be done or hard to achieve at full speed, makes the game more interesting.

Can you describe the kind of satisfaction which you get when you did a movie of a perfect run?

After taking a lot of hours to make a video and see the final results, evidently I am proud. I am even more satisfied when people are pleased to watch my video.

Can you imagine those movies in a different context than the internet? (I'd like to see them as visuals in dance-clubs, that would be cool. Have you ever heard of someone using them for that or any other purpose?)

No, never heard of that things before. I know someone wanting to make a DVD but that's all.

Which one should be done?

Jyzero's should finish its FF3 US run but when Zsnes's team will fix the sound core, I will do FF2 US.

Are you interested in "normal" speedruns? Do you like them?

Yes, for games that I want to do. Well, they are not as interesting as TAS but some of them are still good. For normal speedrun, I prefer watching modern games like Doom 3.

Do you still enjoy videogames like the average casual gamer?

I play often Medal of Honor Breakthrough in Multiplayer mode but other than that, I don't play very much games lately.

I prefer strategic games, especially those made by KOEI, and RPG.

What makes a videogame a good or even great videogame for you?

Original history, good music. I hate remake of games. I said that I would love to see a speedrun of Doom 3 but I don't like this game. :P

What is the best compliment you ever got for one your your runs?

Personally, when someone say: How did you find that" is better than "Excellent run" because I know he was impressed.

What was the worst affront?

Those anti-tas guys with childhoosh attitude. I will not name them and other details.

Please tell me the one thing you ever wanted to read about "Tool-Assisted-Speedruns" in a magazine.

The article must be informative so people must know what TAS means and doesn't involve any cheating.

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Interviews/Phil/GEE2005 last edited by Phil on 2006-12-26 03:05:50
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