Some things we should consider:
As far as I know, the bonuses you get (messages and stars) from Sigils of Elohim are incredibly difficult to remove once they have been added. From what I recall, the previous runner who experimented with SoE could not remove them even after deleting all local content. He eventually asked the Talos dev team for help removing the bonuses and even they could not provide a method to do so barring creating an entirely new steam account. (Please do note that this is what other runners have told me. I have not tried experimenting with it myself, for obvious reasons.) Given this, any person who wanted to run the proposed "NG+" category would be barred from running the "NG" category without having to essentially create two different steam accounts just for Talos.
If we wanted to be most true to the clean slate philosophy of the proposed NG category, we should also require that local saves and player profiles be deleted between each run. This is obviously a great hassle given the frequency with which most runners reset. Of course not deleting saves would not change anything fundamental in the run, but it is a requirement to have a technically clean version of the game.
Whereas having a previous save file is completely achievable with only the base game, SoE is an entirely separate application. SoE also includes bonus stars, whereas a previous save file only provides paint messages. Whether any of this is problematic or not is debatable.
I predict that, if we were to create dual categories for each present one, we would see half of the categories stagnate without runners. Already we only have a few runners in each category. Given the above described hassle of switching between the NG and NG+ versions of a category, my bet is that the community would naturally gravitate towards one version and leave the other one inactive. Is it better to stick with a single set of categories which does not fully represent the different ways Talos can be run, or have twice as many with half being inactive?
Personally, I am on the fence about whether to include SoE or not. We could create dual categories, but with the challenge of removing SoE after it has been added I predict that one set of categories will quickly dominate. Ideally I would like to avoid a situation where runners start running with SoE and then discover that the most active categories ban it, leaving them to struggle with removing SoE in order to participate in the community. Because of this I must say I'm against having two sets of categories; we should commit to either "NG" or "NG+", or agree to using previous saves but not SoE. Of course this all changes if we do discover an easy way of toggling SoE on or off.
My explanation for perfect item jumps (mostly speculation):
There are two distinct collision effects for items. The first (which I'll call static collision) pushes you away when your character model overlaps an item. You can see this effect when you attempt to stand in the same space as a jammer or connector. The second collision effect (drop collision) occurs only when you place an item next to you; it also pushes you away, but pushes you a farther distance. (To observe this, take a jammer and walk into it: you will be pushed back until you are just outside the jammer model. Now without moving pick the jammer up and place it back in the same spot: you will be pushed significantly farther away.)
Static collision is what causes you to jump higher when performing an item jump. Drop collision is what causes you to slide up near-vertical surfaces (i.e. paint/perfect item jump). The reason perfect item jump only works if you place the item at a very specific distance is because the static collision interferes with the slide from the drop collision. By placing the item some distance away from you, your character model ends up inside the range of the drop collision but outside the range of the static collision. Nozu jumps (quickly placing and picking up an item then jumping) work because you are removing the static collision before it can fully interfere with the push from the drop collision. Paint is special in that it has no static collision, and thus there is no need to worry about the static collision ruining the jump.
The above also explains why paint jump height > perfect item jump height > Nozu jump height. Since you can place paint directly underneath you, you get the full force of the drop collision. With a perfect item jump, you are only pushed by the outer edge of the drop collision. With a Nozu jump, the static collision of the item removes some of your momentum before you pick the item back up.
A couple of us have already made some attempts at this. Glad to see another person is into allsigilsnoitems% ^^. If you want spoilers, you can have a look at this run by Extodasher:
Unfortunately, we have yet to figure out a way to get those three stars you listed from B. Also, because we glitch our way into the last star world, we can't both complete the game and get all the grey sigils. If you have any insights let us know!
Are you playing on the moddable version of the game? I've found the game does not give you the message for reading a QR code when using the moddable version.
If paint fails to appear again, you can find out which message is giving you problems by continuing on to world B and then using paint to see what messages are available to you. If you do not see the message "I am not the first one to undertake these trials..." then it is the QR code message which you aren't getting.
Here is a video demonstrating a method for manipulating paint spawns:
Summary of the technique:
- Unlock 4/5 messages needed to unlock paint (see http://www.speedrun.com/talos_principle/thread/m8hra )
- Enter a world with predictable paint (A5-7, B4-8, C1-8). For an explanation of paint prediction, see http://www.speedrun.com/talos_principle/thread/cd2w3
- Look at a QR code (or use another trigger such as hitting an OoB reset) to get message 5.
- Without hitting a checkpoint (such as entering a purple gate, entering a world portal, or collecting a sigil) check if paint is in the desired location.
- If paint is not where desired, reset and return to step 3.
- Once paint is in the desired position, hit a checkpoint to save that spawn configuration for the rest of the run.
Explanation: As soon at the 5th message is unlocked, the game generates a random number that determines where paint will spawn. Normally, this number is saved by the game and will remain constant for the rest of the run. However, this number is only saved after a checkpoint is reached. Resetting the game before reaching a checkpoint also resets the random number, allowing you to generate a new number and thus a new spawn.
A question for the community:
Should the use of QR codes placed by previous runs or by steam friends be allowed during a speedrun?
Using such QR codes would make the above technique much more useful as we could place QR codes right where we need them. The only issue I see is that using such QR codes requires some initial preparation, meaning that the run would no longer be possible with a "clean slate" game (i.e. offline, fresh install version of Talos).
Below are a bunch of videos highlighting newer strats, many of them using perfect item jumps, pick-up jumps and paint prediction. Most of these strats were not discovered by me; credit to the Talos speedrunning community for finding this stuff.
Below are two quick videos describing how to perform a perfect item jump and a pick-up (AKA Nozu) jump.
In summary: Both a perfect item jump and pick-up jump allow you to perform a paint jump with any item in the game (except for the fan blade). A pick-up jump allows you to take the item with you.
To perform a perfect item jump, the item must be dropped a specific distance away from your character model at the moment you begin a jump. The distance at which you must place the item will vary depending on item type.
To perform a pick-up jump, quickly drop and grab an item while looking straight down, pressing jump at the same moment you re-grab the item.
Both jumps give the same effect as a paint jump, and can be used on the same surfaces. Like paint jumps, they are FPS dependant. A pick-up jump gives less height than a perfect item jump, which in turn gives less height than a paint jump (pick-up jump < perfect item jump < paint jump).
Other runners have been having trouble with getting the 5th message from reading a QR code. I've observed that the message does NOT unlock when cheats are enabled. My guess is that using the moddable version of Talos will also stop the message from unlocking. If you have trouble with paint not spawning, try running the unmoddable version.
Here is a quick video demonstrating the method in-game:
For the majority of levels (A5-A7, B4-B8, C1-C8) there are only 5 distinct paint spawn configurations. By observing where paint spawns in the first few of these levels, you can fully predict the location of paint in every other level.
Here is a table of all the spawn configurations:
Each column (0-4) is a specific spawn configuration. Each number in the table is an index representing a specific spawn and includes a link to a picture of its location.
An example of how to use this table for All Sigils:
- In A7, observe in which location paint spawns. If paint spawns in location 4 () you have paint configuration 0. The images in column 0 will show you where paint will spawn for the rest of the run. If paint spawns in location 1 () proceed to step 2.
- In B4, observe in which location paint spawns. Look at row B4 and find the corresponding column containing your spawn location (ignoring column 0). This column is your paint configuration. The images in this column will show you where paint will spawn for the rest of the run.
There are some interesting consequences to these limited configurations:
- In some levels, paint has a large bias towards spawning in one particular location. For example, there is a 87.5% chance that paint will spawn in location 4 () in level A7.
- Some levels have as few as 2 possible paint locations. For example, level A7 has only 2 possible locations ( and )
- There is no possibility of ever getting “perfect paint” by our current definition. For instance, getting good paint in A5 and A6 means you are guaranteed bad paint in B4.
Hopefully we can use this information to improve our routing and perhaps incorporate some new paint strats into our runs. Also, if there is interest, I will try to post a more detailed explanation of why the above method works.
After studying how paint spawning works for Low%, we have discovered a quick method for spawning paint in World A for categories that allow item unlocking. Here is a quick summary of the method:
The appearance of paint requires that you unlock at least 5 paint messages. The fastest (known) messages in World A are:
- Start a new game.
- Unlock an item.
- Solve a puzzle that (normally) requires an unlocked item.
- Solve the puzzle "Don't Cross the Streams!"
- Be reset by an out-of-bounds trigger (EDIT: Reading a QR code is faster. See below.) Notably, most current routes already get messages 1-4. Thus, to unlock paint, the only added hurdle is to hit an OoB trigger. The easiest ways to do this (so far) are with a jammer jump at the start of A1 or to run to the beach after finishing A2. Both methods take ~10 seconds. (Note: The cliffs in A4 don't count as an OoB trigger)
After a small amount of testing, we've already found a few time savings opportunities using paint in A5, A6 and A7. Assuming we can make up the time needed to hit the OoB trigger, it seems like the addition of paint could provide some interesting routing opportunities to runs like Messenger and All Sigils.
(Shoutouts to Foerumokaz, Birdoxer, MousseMoose and Extodasher for help in finding this new strat)
Most of the game files are stored as .GRO (which is some big agglomeration of files used by the Serious Engine). These .GRO files are unreadable normally, but thankfully there are programs that will split them back into their constituent bits. I used a program called Dragon UnPACKER 5 (and I presume there are other programs out there that will perform the same function).
Splitting up the .GRO files gives a whole bunch of stuff, including models, textures, sound files, lua scripts, plus some other stuff that I'm still not sure about (.WLD and .RSC files??). Besides the plaintext files, most of these will still be unreadable without other specialized programs. However, of particular note are the lua scripts (which can be found just by searching for 'lua' using the unpacker program, and can be read as plaintext). The lua scripts seem to control a lot of the game events (such as paint spawning!) and most of them are commented (<3) so reading them isn't too difficult.
The other method I used (with less success) was to open the game within the level editor. As long as you own the game, you can download the level editor on steam (in the top bar of steam, go to Library>Tools>The Talos Principle Editor). With the editor, you can open all the odd files that can't just be read in plaintext. Unfortunately, I could not find a reasonable way to search the game files within the editor, but if you know what you are looking for this method might be useful.
As a side note, I've only found about a quarter of the triggers for unlocking paint messages by reading the lua script files. If anyone stumbles upon the rest (maybe in these arcane .WLD and .RSC files?) I'd love to know.
Turns out one of the easiest ways to get an extra message is to hit an out of bounds trigger! The two quickest ways I've found to do this are:
- Go OOB immediately in A1 (first item jump)
- Enter A4, turn 180 degrees, and jump OOB
I'm not sure which is faster. Did a very quick test and they both added 10-15 seconds. However, either method should save time compared to backtracking to B for the sigil in B4. With your paint-less strat in A5, this strat should eliminate the need to backtrack entirely!
Delving into the game code, I've found the following:
Paint spawning is dependant on the number of messages you are able to write with the paint. For a paint can to appear on a level, you must have AT LEAST 5 messages unlocked. There are 45 possible messages, but you only start with 1 message unlocked at the start of the game.
I've been able to find some of the triggers for unlocking messages within the game code, but many I do not know the triggers for. I will be documenting the known triggers here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kT3-y5Xjge2PVMOjP0rOnXxhr9vRBEajxlgL9bT7esg/edit?usp=sharing
If anyone knows other message triggers, let me know and I will add them to the document.
Of special note, one of the triggers for getting a message is going back to world A after having visited world B. This is why, in low%, paint in B only spawns after going back to A. There are also several messages that get unlocked when we travel to B for the first time. The consequences of this are:
- getting paint to spawn in A before leaving will be very difficult, as we will need to find several easy to get messages in A to replace those we get by travelling to B.
- getting paint to spawn in B so that we only need to make one trip to B will require finding just one message. As of now, the most promising candidate I know of is to visit the tower (step off at floor 1 and go immediately back down) before heading to B for the first time.