13 years ago, Mike Uyama started games done quick in his mother's basement. It wasn't supposed to happen. The founder of the speedrunning charity event, Uyama, had a nice venue and was ready to go, but the internet was too slow.
The original plan was to have it at the festival. We had it in my mother's basement because their internet wasn't good enough.
Games Done Quick has evolved into a biannual event that enthusiasts look forward to, clearing schedules, and making special trips to its live events. Almost every year it has broken its donation records. After 13 years, Uyama is stepping back and taking a break.
We had it in my mom's basement because the internet wasn't good enough.
The challenge and rewards of working on the event that is one of the most heartening and wholesome examples of gaming achievement and charity was discussed by Uyama and his successor.
Uyama says he is stepping away because of his health.
I have been a part of AGDQ for 13 years. He said that he decided it was time for him to take a break. I realized that I have to take care of my health.
Uyama needs to take a break. He and his team at Games Done Quick have accomplished a lot. In addition to the marquee Games Done Quick events in January and July, the organization also hosts a bunch of regular programming focused on building up the speed running community. There are Frame Fatales for women and Black speed runners.
Uyama wanted to create a charity streaming event that was different from the one that happened in 2009.
There were two main charity events. We used to have a thread about having a charity event in the past.
Uyama focused his desire for a charity event into Classic Games Done Quick because he wanted to run older games and raise money for charity.
It was the first year that Uyama learned the most.
He said that the first lesson was to make sure the internet worked.
No more basements is the second lesson that will be taught by Merkle, who will be taking over as the head ofGDQ.
Make sure the internet is working.
It was a wake up call to move it out of there when it grew from 15 to 50 people.
The simple desire of people to belong in a community doing good work is what drives the growth ofGDQ.
A lot of it is just a community vibe. That needs to be a part of something larger.
When we hit one million dollars, it was amazing. Everyone in that room was excited to be a part of that. Everyone watching and donating from home needs to be a part of it as well.
The in-person aspect of the events became a way for speed runners to connect with each other outside of forums and chat rooms. Organizers had to shift to online because of the conflict with Florida.
He said that it became a central place for speed runners to meet and play their favorite games. Runners and other people who attend our events feel that our event is a lot more laid back and relaxed than other ones.
One of the most talked about moments in the 13-year history of the event is the first $1 million hit byGDQ.
There are too many hype as hell moments to recount here. The level of technical skill it took to play the hardest game in the world was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the exhibition. Runners were making shapes out of Tetrominoes falling so fast that they couldn't be seen.
This run of Mike Tyson's punch-out is a must-watch.
My favorite moments have nothing to do with the technical skill on display and everything to do with the heart and emotion flowing from the crowd and the audience. The last game played at AGDQ was a run of Undertale, and the runner was encouraged by the crowd to hug the boss that they had lost.
They have their own favorites as well.
The run is memorable because of the atmosphere around it. The Super Metroid four-way race was held in 2004.
The four top players were all in one place. It's absolutely incredible. They are all very close to each other, so it was great to see, and we had some great commentary behind that. People used to call it the pro golf of speed runs.
Some of Uyama's favorite moments are backstage.
There will be a tournament for a fighting game called Evil Zone that is organized by a man who calls himself a member of the Sony Nation. We will just play for fun and not practice for the tournament.
The community has done a great job of keeping the event running smoothly. Getting the schedule right is one of the biggest challenges forGDQ, according to Uyama.
He doesn't remember how much overscheduled we were in 2011.
There will be a tournament for the game called Evil Zone.
There is a lot happening at aGDQ that isn't usually shown in a broadcast. The timing of everything can be impacted by runs going over estimate, technical difficulties, or complicated setup.
It is easy to fill up time if we are ever running ahead and accounting for what is on the schedule. It's hard to make up time if you're behind.
It's a challenge to choose what goes on the schedule.
Uyama said that back in the day, it was possible to give a game to everyone at the event. When you have thousands of submissions, it's not possible unless we wanted GDQ to be all the time.
It is difficult to pick games because you want to go with established classics that people know and love.
Merkle wants the schedule to reflect that speed running is just as diverse as the community of runners.
It is important that we mix it up because it is a real challenge to get into the event. The entire speedrunning community needs to be represented.
It's difficult to get a run accepted forGDQ. Runners submitted time and time again before they were accepted.
Questions like when the last game we saw is taken into account. Have we ever watched this game before? "He said that." What is their time like? The run is enjoyable. It is really funny to watch if it is not enjoyable.
Runners who want to be featured atGDQ can learn how to do it from Uyama and Merkle.
We asked the community for more runs outside the box. We are experimenting with virtual reality games at events. We will have Half-life: Alyx atGDQ. I am really looking forward to that.
Even though he is stepping down, Uyama plans to stay in the area. I don't want to give up on them. I would like to be a part of it. I need to take a break and regroup.
The community will step up now that Uyama is leaving. More than any one person, the community is at the center ofGDQ. For years, GDQ has raised millions of dollars in support of various organizations. When they talk about the good things that have happened, they speak with pride.
Uyama said that they did a donation drive for the Houston Food Bank after the storm.
It wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the support of strangers from around the country who love games so much.
In the last few years, there have been interviews with doctors from Doctors Without Borders so people can see where their money goes. Games Done Quick has made a huge impact on the charities it supports.
The first fundraiser for Prevent Cancer was held in 2011. When we hit the $40,000 mark, I received an email from Prevent Cancer saying that they funded half of the research study.
People told me that thePrevent Cancer Foundation didn't have much of an international reach before we came along. They have been able to conduct studies around the world thanks to our community. I don't know what country it was, but there was an African country that was using technology to detect cancer early. It is going toward a good cause.
I can't wait to watch Awesome Games Done Quick.