Game Speeds

StarCraft 2 has five game speed settings that a player can choose from: slower, slow, normal, fast, faster. In my previous post I determined the velocity of an SCV in terms of seconds when playing the game at normal speed.  At normal game speed, one unit of time, which I will refer to as an in game second, corresponds to an actual second. However when moving to different game speeds, that exact correspondence between game time and real time no longer applies.  In order to determine how fast a game second occurs in terms of real life seconds I devised a simple experiment.  I measured the amount of real life time it took a siege tank to traverse 224 grid lengths on each of the different game speeds:

slower slow normal fast faster
real seconds 127.42 169.62 102.10 84.88 72.55
real : game (seconds) 1:0.6 1:0.8 1:1 1:1.2 1:1.4

The first row above shows the actual amount of time it took the siege tank travel the entire distance. The second row shows the number of game seconds in each real second. To see how those numbers are calculated, consider the game speed faster:

\frac{102.10 \text{ real seconds @normal}}{72.55 \text{ real seconds @faster}}\times \frac{1\text{ game second}}{1\text{ real second @normal}} = \frac{1.40 \text{ game seconds}}{1\text{ real second @faster}}

These ratios can be useful to determine how quickly things will happen in fast game mode. For example, we know that an SCV has a full speed velocity of:

\frac{2.8125\text{ grid lengths}}{1\text{ game second}}

To figure out the velocity in terms of real seconds when playing the game at faster, use the following calculation:

\frac{2.8125\text{ grid lengths}}{1\text{ game second}}\times \frac{1.4\text{ game seconds}}{1\text{ real second @faster}} = \frac{3.9375\text{ grid lengths}}{1 \text{ real second @faster}}

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6 Responses to Game Speeds

  1. pat says:

    i have confirmed this by watching the windows clock and watching the game timer while starcraft is in windowed mode several times, i know my measurements are exact to the second
    427 real seconds = 600 game seconds
    means the game is 1.4051522248243559718969555035129 times faster in faster mode (need to work on significant figures lol)

    • sc2mathematician says:

      Yeah, my calculator won’t even give me that many digits. So does that new in game clock actually follow game time? Or did you use something else.

  2. pat says:

    yup, game seconds, not real seconds on that clock. everyone should have it on, its in the options menu

    • sc2mathematician says:

      Yeah, I didn’t even know about the game clock until I recently saw it in a Day9 episode. My understanding is that it was added in one of the patches. Thats a good question about the game speeds slowing down. I don’t know the answer.

  3. pat says:

    ever get that message: playerX is slowing down the game?
    does the game speed automatically set to normal when this happens? or does it try to go to fast first? does it ever go slower than normal>?

  4. pat says:

    team liquid just told me that it doesn’t slow down the game at all and it just means that its possible he might start lagging, ill try to remember to look at the gameclock next time it happens

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