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Difference between revisions of "Demo Recording"

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* -screen <width> <height>
* -screen <width> <height>
:Set the window size or screen resolution
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== External Links ==
[ Zloth's Screenshot and Demo FAQ]
[[Category:Player Guides (Commands and Binds)]][[Category:Game Client]]
[[Category:Player Guides (Commands and Binds)]][[Category:Game Client]]

Revision as of 19:32, 31 July 2007


A demo in City of Heroes is an in-game recording made via the /demorecord Slash Command. The demo feature allows you to make recordings of your gameplay and use the game engine to play back those recordings. The recordings created this way are not actual video documents, but simply text files with a record of all the commands, models, effects, and animations that tell the game engine how to render the recorded demos. Because the demo files are just text files, demo recordings can be edited with any text editor, or with player-made tools specifically designed to manipulate demo files. This gives you the ability to modify demo recordings (or even create them from scratch) to make custom "movies" for playback via the game engine, allowing situations and events which may not exist during actual play. The demo playback can then be captured with a video capture tool and then further edit and customize your film, and to share it with others.

How To Record A Demo

To begin a demo recording, type the following on the chat command line:

/demorecord "demo_name"

Where "demo_name" is the name of the file you wish to save the demo name as. Do not use quotation marks in the actual name. The demo name should be all one word and should not contain any punctuation (hyphens and underscores are acceptable, spaces should be avoided). For example:

/demorecord coolinvasiondemo1

To stop the demo recording, type the following on the chat command line:


Please note that the demo will also automatically cease recording if you zone, such as when exiting a mission. If you have recorded a very large demo (either lengthy or one featuring a lot of in-game activity), the game may pause very briefly when issuing the /demostop command. It may therefore be advisable to wait until after the big boss fight to stop your demo recording.

The recorded demo will be saved to your City of Heroes directory in the "client_demos" folder. The demo recording file will have a suffix of "cohdemo". In the example used above, the "coolinvasiondemo1" file would be found as follows:

\city of heroes\client_demos\coolinvasiondemo1.cohdemo

Playing Back A Demo

Recorded demos can be played back multiple ways. Two of the more common methods are either to create a shortcut to the cityofheroes.exe application and modify it to launch a demo or to use a player-made application specifically to play back demos.

Playback Via A Windows Shortcut

Method 1

To play back a specific recorded demo via a Windows shortcut, use the following steps:

  • Locate your City of Heroes directory and make a shortcut to cityofheroes.exe on your desktop (or wherever you prefer).
  • Right click on the shortcut and select Properties.
  • Within the Target box you will see the command line: "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CityOfHeroes.exe" (the directory path may be different if you did not install City of Heroes in the default directory).
  • At the end of this line, add a space, followed by -demoplay your_demo_name (where your_demo_name is the name you gave the demo).
  • For example: "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CityOfHeroes.exe -demoplay coolinvasiondemo1"
  • Exit Properties.
  • Double-click the shortcut you just created. This should launch the game client into demo playback mode and play the demo you specified.

Note that when playing back a demo via this method, the demo you specify in the shortcut properties must be in your client_demos folder.

Method 2

Similar to above, however if you leave off the your_demo_name in your shortcut, you can drag and drop any *.cohdemo file onto it and that particular demo will play without need to specify the file name in the shortcut.

Playback Via A Demo Launcher

An alternative to playing back a demo via a shortcut to the game client is to use an application specifically designed to play back a demo (the application still does this via the game client but handles all of the operations required for demo playback automatically). Many people find this less cumbersome than launching via a modified shortcut or other method. Another advantage of using a demo launcher is that is may also perform automatic functions to "fix" certain aspects of demo playback if there are known playback issues resulting from playing the demo directly.

Probably the most popular demo launcher is Zloth's CoH Demo Launcher program.

Uses For Demos

Recording Game Play

The most straightforward use for demo recordings is to capture some segment of game play for later viewing, sharing, or editing. Alternatively, there are stand-alone video capture applications (such as FRAPS, for example) that can directly record graphics displayed on your screen to a video file as another means of recording game play. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using the /demorecord function over other methods of recording game play.

Capturing Screenshots

Demos can also be useful for capturing Screenshots. If you have a particular screenshot in mind that requires specific timing, it can often be difficult to capture that specific moment during actual play. If you plan in advance to record a demo during the time where you wish to capture a particular screenshot, you can play back the demo and use this to capture the screenshot.

At its simplest, this can be done simply by playing back the demo and trying until you get the right moment. However, the available demo functions also include options to export the playback of a demo to a series of image files for each frame displayed, as well as the option to adjust the speed of the demo by specifying the frames per second (FPS) of the playback. Between these two options, you generate very precisely timed screenshots. The disadvantage of this is that exporting the playback of the demo to a series of image files can use a significant amount of disk space.

Further, the ability to edit and customize demos gives you the capability to produce screenshots of situations or events than can not be produced during actual play.

Please note that the game user interface (UI) is not displayed during demo playback. If you require a screenshot that shows the UI, this can not be captured from a demo.

Creating Custom Videos


  • /demorecord demo_name
  • /demostop
  • -demoplay
  • -demofps
  • -demodump
  • -demosize?
  • Game Client

Just the list that I've got --GuyPerfect 14:21, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

  • -demodump
Dumps JPEG images to client_demos\screens\demoname
  • -demodumptga
Dumps TGA images to client_demos\screens\demoname
  • -demofps <fps>
Will not skip frames; rendered at fps (supposedly)
  • -demopause <milliseconds>
Stops at milliseconds
  • -demoplay <filename>
Plays client_demoes\filename.pigg
  • -disable2d
Removes all UI elements
  • -fullscreen <fullscreenflag>
fullscreenflag = 0 for windowed, 1 for fullscreen
  • -screen <width> <height>
Set the window size or screen resolution

External Links

Zloth's Screenshot and Demo FAQ