If you’ve been following our coverage throughout the week, you know that I love to take time to breakdown how speed runs are accomplished. When I cover runs, I try to take the time to analyze the routes taken, glitches done, and tricks performed. However, when it comes to the ClusterTruck run at this year’s SGDQ 2017, the greatest parts truly need to be seen to be appreciated. The independently developed first-person platformer is equal parts absurd, challenging, and quick. The game’s playstyle and the skill required to speed run it are not the most impressive things about this run. When runner 097AceofSpades sat down to run the game, I don’t think he had a clue just how crazy it would get.
If you don’t want any of the fun spoiled, I recommend checking out the run in it’s entirety here. The run is just over 26 minutes long, but it’s definitely one of my favorite speed runs in years.
ClusterTruck Devs & Twitch Viewers Strike
Why? You might ask. Two words; Twitch integration. ClusterTruck is well known on Twitch thanks to its unique streaming feature that encourages participation from those viewing. When the feature is turned on (which they did for the SGDQ 2017 run), the game will occasionally call for a vote. As three options appear on screen, the chat votes for a modifier they want added to the game. By simply typing a number between 1 and 3, your vote would be cast and 097AceofSpade’s fate sealed.
Modifiers can range from somewhat helpful to absolutely horrendous. A bit of low gravity to make jumps easier? Yes, please. Giant laser that shoot out of every truck and instantly kill you? Oh, god.
If you know Twitch chat, you know that they can be pretty chaotic. When runners ask for good wishes, chat usually reciprocates with tons of positive emotes and “givepls”. Twitch chat isn’t always malicious. However, when presented with an option to throw endless amounts of insanely difficult modifiers at a speed runner, I don’t think they could pass up the chaos.
As soon as the majority of viewers figured out why people were spamming numbers in chat, it was all downhill. Laser trucks, exploding trucks, and so much more. It’s truly an experience that can never be replicated; a run that will never be redone. But that’s not what takes the cake.
Landfall Games Says Hello
When designing the Twitch integration feature in ClusterTruck, the developer wrote in a few modifiers that would only be recognized if sent from their Twitch account. It’s a neat little back door that caught a lot of streamers off guard in their first few weeks of playing it.
I won’t spoil everything Landfall Games can screw with, as 097AceofSpades gets a full helping of it during his run. As the developer toys with the game’s mechanics, they even playfully taunt the runner as text appears across his screen. The whole thing is an excellent barrier break between the developer and the community, and it’s honestly one of the most unique things I’ve ever seen at a Games Done Quick event.
That’s mainly because everything is done in good fun, the runners and commentators are enjoying themselves, and Twitch chat is constantly howling in laughter. In one of the most rarest occasions on the internet, trolling actually makes things more fun for everyone.
If you’ve read this far, I highly recommend checking out the run. The fun really kicks up around 10 minutes in, but it’s worth it to hear all of the commentary and explanations. 097AceofSpades is still a damn fine speed runner, and pulls off a ton of cool tricks and skips. It’s definitely on the list for best runs of SGDQ 2017.