Days Gone: speedrunning a game port

A PC port for Days Gone was recently released. Let's take a look at what impact a port has on the game's speedrunning community.

By Cam "Meta" Enright

Filed Under: community

Ports of a game to a new platform can breathe new life into its community if it’s done well. Playstation has recently been re-releasing a lot of their previously console-exclusive titles to the PC, meaning the speedrunners of these titles have experienced quite a few changes to the game they're used to.

The latest Playstation title to be ported to the PC is Days Gone. Let’s take a look at what's happened inside the Days Gone speedrunning community since the release.

New Activity

The re-release of Days Gone not only brought excitement to the previous runners who played on the Playstation, but also introduced the game to runners on the PC who otherwise would’ve never even had a chance to play the game. New runners in a speedgame are always useful, because having a fresh pair of eyes looking for better routes and new strats almost always leads to new timesave, especially in a smaller community like the Days Gone Speedrunning community.

Timing Method

Aside from the changes inside the game due to routing or strat discoveries, the introduction to the PC platform brings some other quality of life things. Because PC users have access to tools like Cheat Engine. which can read game memory, custom scripts can be made to remove loading times. This helps keep competition on different hardware on a level playing field. It’s also possible to create functionality in this script to split automatically, meaning runners don’t really need to touch their LiveSplit much at all and instead focus entirely on the run. Autosplitting is a very nice quality of life change, especially considering the full game of Days Gone takes between 8 and 10 hours.

Category Discussion

So yeah - as of the writing of this article the world record for the full game of Days Gone is 8:11:10 by Matt_The_Ogre - an incredible feat considering the staggering amount of content to mow through in Days Gone, but a great test of endurance nonetheless.

Because the Any% category is so long, it was recently decided that there would be shorter segments of the game added as categories. The first of these segments is the Lost Lake category, which has you playing through just the first act of the game as fast as possible. The creation of these shorter categories has been revolutionary so far, and shows an exciting future for Days Gone speedrunning. Not only is a shorter category easier to manage for the average runner, it’s allowed for runners to focus more on specific routing and optimizations. Right around the launch of the PC release, the fastest time known for Lost Lake was just above the 2 hour mark by Hess. Since then, runners like Hess, Matt_The_Ogre, and IEKevin have been optimizing the category finding further optimizations allowing Kevin to get a blazing time of 1:37. If this level of optimization can be done for the rest of the segments in Days Gone, we could potentially see the full game run dropped below the 7 hour mark - a time cut of over 10%

Note: The previously mentioned 2-hour time by Hess was never submitted to the leaderboard.

New Discoveries

Of course, routing optimization is incredibly useful in shaving off time, but you know what’s even more useful? Abusing the game's cover system and a little ingenuity to fly through the air like a majestic eagle — skipping entire sections of travel in mere seconds.

This trick was discovered by NoScopeFrog on May 27, 2021, dubbing it the “Frog Jump”. Depending on your setup, you can take this trick anywhere from a couple of hundred meters to over 30 kilometers.

Of course, this is a very new discovery, and its full potential has yet to be uncovered, considering there have only been a handful of spots found where it can be used.

That said, if even just a few more spots could be found, the potential of this trick grows exponentially. Considering you can fly pretty much any distance, even across the entirety of the game world, the major restriction at this time is finding spots with good angles.

Theoretically, finding some Frog Jump setups at places we can fast travel to and then boost anywhere on the map would cut out nearly 75% of travel time from the entirety of the run. Not to mention, if we find a way to boost to later sections of the game from the beginning, we’re talking about shaving off hours from the run rather than minutes. The possibilities of the future of this discovery are incredibly exciting.

Conclusion

Even with just a few runners, the future of Days Gone speedrunning seems very promising. If you don’t think you can stomach the endurance test of an 8-hour speedrun, I definitely recommend checking out some of the shorter categories. If you fancy yourself to be a handy glitch hunter, this game seems to be on the verge of some massive timesave, maybe you could be the one to discover the next big find. If you’re looking to join the Days Gone speedrunning community, you can join their Discord server here!

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