18. Practical TASing

TODO incomplete

TASing is fundamentally much more practical than theoretical. Mastery of any practical skill, be it playing the piano or tennis, can only come through practice, and so creating many TASes yourself is essential in understanding and appreciating the nuances of TASing and the Half-Life game physics. On this account, this document alone will not teach you how to be good at TASing. Instead, we will provide some tips and general notes.

18.1. Console setup

There are many commands and variables that are usually considered as cheats in a human speedrun, but are permissible in the process of developing a TAS. These commands include the various HUD aids like the viewing of target entity health, making triggers visible, and so on. Other cheat commands that require sv_cheats 1 are still banned for us except during the planning phase of a run. These are the familiar commands such as noclip, impulse 101, or commands that modify player health directly. In the first category of cheat commands, there are many of which a TAS runner should enable to aid the process.

r_fullbright 1

This is essential to illuminate the entire map so that the runner can view the run clearly.

r_drawentities 3

Consider turning this on at all times to display the hitboxes of

18.2. Workflow tips

A run must begin with a initial planning and testing phase. Without at least a rough idea on how various parts of the map are to be run, the resulting TAS will tend to be suboptimal. It may be helpful to have some human runs of the map or game that you are going to TAS already available, because they can give you a clearer idea of the routes and strategy to be used in this game. A downside of having a human run available in the public, especially a highly optimised one, is that the novelty of the TAS version could be reduced significantly, and unless new tricks and routes are used to spectacular effect, the TAS may be viewed as a mere imitation or repeat of the human speedrun and lack novelty in itself.