Thanks to speedrunning events like Games Done Quick and streaming services like Twitch, speedrunning as a spectator sport has picked up in popularity over the last few years. The speedrunning community was always there, but now it’s easier than ever to show off your tricks and exploit glitches to the world, including the developers. Some devs get tickled at watching runners blow their games wide open, while others do everything they can to plug all the leaks they can. At a Digital Dragons panel last weekend, the MachineGames developers revealed that they are a bit of the former.
In particular, they discussed the fact that Zitadelle (Citadel) in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was purposely designed with speedrunners in mind. It’s possible for speedrunners to run past the Citadel boss because the designers left it open that way. In particular, executive producer Jerk Gustafsson wanted it that way.
“That [the ability to run past Zitadelle] might look like it’s incidental, but the boss actually wanted – he likes for people to be able to speedrun the game,” said senior game designer Andreas Öjerfors at the panel.
Öjerfors, however, doesn’t have the same enthusiasm for speedrunners breaking his designs. “As the designer of the Citadel, I don’t, because I want people to play my content!” he exclaimed. He and his team tried to prevent any potential bypasses for this boss, but they were never able to get it to fully function.
“In a very early version of the Citadel design,” Öjerfors said, “in the paper version, he had this big shield he could put down and block the places you go past. But we didn’t really get that to work very well. It was too slow, so we moved it out. So yeah, you’re supposed to be able to speedrun the game – you can run past him if you want to.”
Well thank you, Gustafsson, for allowing that bypass for speedrunners. I haven’t played Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus just yet, so I will keep this little tip in my arsenal when I do.