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A few games make their whole point in levels that are easy to figure out but hard to pull off. VVVVVV, Super Meat Boy and the Bit.Trip games fall squarely into this category, for example. You're basically expected to put in the obviously correct sequence of button presses and depresses at the right time; that's "all" there is to it. For whatever reason, this is a category of games that is having quite the draw on me as of late.

This however results in pretty hostile game design where there is very little room for error and plenty of triangular spikes with square hitboxes.

Certainly, pulling this off by yourself takes time, focus, determination, reflexes, muscle memory, skill and is very rewarding when you finally do beat the fucking pong boss and collect that trinket just out of reach. Sometimes, however, it dawns on you that perhaps one challenge isn't just worth it in the greater scheme of things.

For those times where you want to give up, cheat yourself and move along.

Is there any software able to record and replay keyboard and mouse input for games?** I'm afraid general-purpose tools like AHK wouldn't be able to do so with the required precision (relying on system sleep()s isn't reliable for example, while running on each frame sounds like a better idea.)

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You want this for a keyboard? Because most gaming Mouse's and gamepads/gameboards got a macro manager in their driver software. And frames can sometime fluctuate so maybe a time bound macro? –  MrME Jun 9 '11 at 11:53
    
I'm amused... because Super Meat Boy made me wonder the same question. –  Raven Dreamer Jun 9 '11 at 20:29
    
@RavenDreamer and others: Maybe I'm just splitting hairs here, but doesn't this post constitute cheating and therefore warrant it's removal? I posted something similar a while back and got chased out of town by an angry mob... –  kevlar1818 Jul 16 '12 at 14:30
    
@kevlar1818 There's a difference between asking about something that could be used to cheat (though, regardless, I don't think any of the mentioned games would qualify it as such), and asking how to bot in a game which specifically prohibits it in its TOS (Diablo). –  Raven Dreamer Jul 16 '12 at 23:41
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@kevlar1818 Asking how to cheat yourself in single player games is fine on this website. –  badp Jul 17 '12 at 15:14
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2 Answers

It appears that Hourglass comes as close to "TAS"ing for Windows as it can possibly be done nowadays. Here's a "test run" by diggidoyo of the first two levels of Super Meat Boy.

The author comments:

I can't get the audio to dump, and save states crash the game. I'm sure it's because of the multi-threads (can't run with this disabled). I only used frame advance, but the later levels will need save states to be efficient. Still, frame advancing brought the times to attractive low numbers.

Thus, while it's not quite ready for serious tool-assisted speedruns, it might just be enough tools to be effective as an anti-frustration solution. (It appears, however, that it conflicts with Steam.)

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I've never used it, but a number of my friends have used AutoIt to write simple scripts that run macros. In games such as Magicka where you have to press a certain set of keys to activate a spell, it allows them to run around throwing out the biggest spells at the click of the button.

However, it is a simple programming language and would probably take some trail and error to work out for a non-programmer.

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I need no programming at all; just a sequence of events. If I have to do programming, I'll just whip out Python or something :P –  badp Jun 9 '11 at 17:11
    
Yeah, I wondered if it might be a bit more work than you wanted, but figured I'd throw it out there for anyone that wanted to DIY approach. –  Rapida Jun 9 '11 at 17:15
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