Splits.io

is creating open source speedrunning tools
Select a membership level
Tier 1
$2
per month
  • No ads!
  • Be in the footer of the website!
Includes Discord rewards
Tier 2
$4
per month
  • A gold username on Splits.io!
  • Practice predictions for your next PB(s)!
  • Tier 1 rewards!
Includes Discord rewards
Tier 3
$6
per month
  • Permalink redirectors! Static URLs that always forward to your PBs!
  • Complete run comparisons including splits, charts, and videos!
  • Tier 1-2 rewards!
Includes Discord rewards

48

patrons

$221

per month

About Splits.io

History

Splits.io is a free speedrun backup, comparison, and analysis tool we launched in 2013.

Our biggest complaint about getting into speedrunning was how hard it was to figure out where to save time; the prevailing opinion was that you had to just study runs raw until you developed a magical intuition for timesaves. We thought that was silly.

We threw together Splits.io, made a post to /r/speedrun that got 14 upvotes, and kept working to solve our own problems. Today, we serve ~50,000 Splits.io pages every month to ~10,000 users and store over 100,000 runs.

Openness

We strongly believe in open source software and transparency of development! Splits.io has been open source since day one. We encourage you to remix it to make money, overthrow us if we become evil, and contribute back by adding cool stuff on your own.

You can see our incomplete ideas kicking around on GitHub, and many people who chime in on our proposed changes get their feedback directly added into the code. Even outside of code, we're always happy to talk about anything we're working on -- no secrets!

Us
Splits.io is open source, so anybody can contribute! However the core team -- the people this Patreon page supports -- is Glacials, who was previously an engineer at Twitch and now works on Splits.io full-time, and Batedurgonnadie, who joined by contributing to the source time and time again and now is officially a part-timer on the team!

Our Vision

We have some gripes with speedrunning as it is today, and we're excited to tackle them! Our biggest three are below. None are individual features and none are guaranteed to be done in any timeframe (or at all), but these represent our grand visions for speedrunning, and they're what we try to work towards incrementally.

1. Better analytics. This goes without saying, but Splits.io's foundation is analytics and we believe that foundation can keep growing its square footage in interesting and cool ways. Sometimes the only difference between a chunk of data you can act on and one you can't is how the analysis is presented. Building better-conceived, better-grown, and better-visualized analytics will always be near the top of our priorities.

2. Better splitting. All our analytics get better as your data grows in size, accuracy, consistency, and precision. If you run a game with only three splits, the advice we can give you is much worse than if you run the same game with 100. Or than if you have a slow splitting hand, or use different splits from your community, or have unpredictable variations in your reaction time.

Autosplitting is by far the biggest leap forward here! We ❤ autosplitting. It improves all four of these areas. But there are many leaps that haven't yet been taken, and many games and platforms where autosplitting in its current form isn't usable. Splitting needs to be better than it is today: more frequent, more available, more precise, and more consistent. Splitting every level change is great! But what about splitting every second? Is that even possible? Would it make any sense?

Maybe not! But we want to find out. Image recognition, machine learning, audio cues -- the better splitting gets, the better Splits.io gets. It's a win-win, so even though it's not our primary wheelhouse, we do everything we can in the community to make splitting get better in all four of these dimensions.

3. Commentary tooling. Over the years, Splits.io accidentally became a speedrunning data warehouse. Our data is well-organized enough that the analysis we supply for individual runners, we can also supply en masse for a community. We can also supply it live.

So naturally it's a pipe dream of ours to take everything we love about analytics and apply it in realtime, for hype races, with a commentator at the helm. When commentators have great tooling, they're empowered to provide great commentary. When speedrunning has great commentary, it grows in intensity and in size! And it makes us happier.

We think we can supply that tooling. Whether it be a simple information page to use as a live smart reference, or a page of charts you can embed in a stream with a browser source, great commentary feeds off well-assembled data, and that's our expertise.
(Are you a professional commentator? Get in touch!)

n. More! Some of our ideas are very nebulous and can't yet be written down without looking a little off our rocker (we've tried!). But we love spitballing with people about them! Catch us at an event and we're happy to chat about any of our crazy thoughts bouncing around.

Traffic, Costs, and Revenue

In the spirit of openness, we like to share how much Splits.io costs to run and how much money it makes towards paying for itself. (Last updated: May 2019)

Traffic: Splits.io hosts hundreds of thousands of runs and serves tens of thousands of page requests every month. It does this from one server! Our infrastructure is flexible and will autoscale up to any number of servers automatically under heavy load, but it usually stays at 1.

The heaviest task for Splits.io is parsing runs. Unspeakable hours and immense effort have gone into making parsing more efficient. Early Splits.io would frequently crash from overloading due to parsing. It went through a few stages of life where multiple servers were needed just so parsing wouldn't kill the website. Today Splits.io has the benefit of using livesplit-core for parsing, and we have plans in place to completely remove parsing from the server that serves the website so the two can scale their workloads independently.

Costs: In total Splits.io costs about $150-$200 per month to keep online. About 75% of that goes to the servers hosting the website and doing the parsing, ~15% to storing runs, and ~10% to miscellaneous items (load balancer, domain, etc.). We're very proud of achieving such a low cost of operation (this took effort!) considering the amount of work the infrastructure does under load.

Please note that this does not include feeding ourselves! We are working on Splits.io for free so the servers can stay online. Many of our low operational costs come only as a result of great time costs, so this is a constant trade-off.

Revenue: Patreon is by far our favorite way to pay for the site! It lets us work on what we think the site needs, and not what we think would make it money or give it pageviews. It also keeps us in check -- with one-time large amounts we'd be incentivized to build paid features then abandon them! But with repeating small amounts it's in our best interest to keep doing great work over long periods of time, especially with regards to site stability and bugs.

In addition to Patreon, Splits.io gets some ad revenue. We don't enjoy running ads, but we unfortunately also can't survive without them. After ad blockers, our ads bring in anywhere from $5 to $40 / month.

Rewards

To spread the love, we've built a few nifty features on Splits.io that are available to patrons! See the right side of the page for details.
Goals
$221 of $1,156 per month
This amount will put the income to Glacials above the poverty line.
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