Speed Demos Archive
|Type of site||Speedrun Video Archive|
|Owner||Nolan "Radix" Pflug|
|Created by||Nolan "Radix" Pflug|
|Alexa rank||92,841 (December 2013[update])|
Speed Demos Archive (abbreviated SDA) is a website dedicated to video game speedruns. SDA's primary focus is hosting downloadable, high-quality speedrun videos, and currently has runs of over 750 games, with more being added on a regular basis. SDA also hosts two annual speedrunning charity marathons, Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick. Across 8 marathons, SDA has raised $1,006,971.45 .
The site originally began as a demo archive of Quake play throughs. SDA was formed initially by Nolan "Radix" Pflug of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by merging with a site created by Gunnar and Jesse in April 1998. In 2004 after the success of his own 100% Metroid Prime run, Radix expanded SDA to include demos of other games. Mike Uyama took over in 2006 as the site's administrator. In January 2010, SDA ran its first charity marathon, Classic Games Done Quick, raising over $10,000 for CARE.
As of October 2013, SDA hosts speedrun videos of 936 games. All of these runs are available for download, and almost all are available in multiple video qualities. The site includes videos of such popular games as Mega Man, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. The site has been featured numerous times in publications such as Electronic Gaming Monthly and G4tv's Attack of the Show!. Some of the runs also appeared in an episode of Pure Pwnage.
Submissions to SDA undergo a verification process, where community members who are familiar with a game watch a run and verify the run's quality, both in terms of video quality and gameplay quality, and make sure it follows SDA's rules. Each run is reviewed by multiple verifiers, who report back to the site's staff; the staff then makes the final decision on whether or not to accept the run, and the verdict is posted along with the verifiers' responses publicly in the forum. Following an accept, a run is encoded in multiple qualities and added to the update queue; eventually, it gets posted on the site alongside the runner's comments. Some runs also contain a second audio track with commentary.
SDA accepts speedruns in three categories:
- Segmented, where the run is done in multiple parts using the in-game save system. These runs typically receive higher scrutiny compared to runs in other categories, as they are expected to be of higher quality since the player is able to retry each section of the game individually as many times as they want.
- Single-segment, where the entire game is beaten from start to finish in a single sitting. Single-segment runs are not allowed to reset the game, except in cases where a reset is required to continue the game.
- Single-segment with resets; as the name implies, this category is similar to single-segment runs, but resets are allowed. Not every game is eligible for this category; the staff approves or disapproves the category for specific games in cases where the resets save enough time over a normal single-segment run.
SDA accepts runs following three different completion requirements: any%, the "pure-speed" run, where the game is beaten as fast as possible; the 100% run, where the player gets everything and finishes the game; and the low% run, where the player beats the game with the lowest completion percentage possible. Other categories, like different versions of the same game, are allowed on a game-by-game basis.
Runs must be performed on their native consoles or on certain PC/Mac configurations; runs on emulators are not allowed for a multitude of reasons, chief among them the difficulty in confirming that the run is not tool-assisted. In-game glitches and exploits are allowed; in some cases in games with heavy glitches, a separate no-major-skips category is created. Non-cosmetic modifications to the game and modifications to the console or controller are not allowed. Glitches that are triggered as a result of messing with the console while the game is running, like the crooked cartridge trick in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, are not allowed.
Following an initial meetup at MAGFest, the SDA community, inspired by TheSpeedGamers, began their first charity marathon in January 2010, titled Classic Games Done Quick. Both direct-feed gameplay footage and webcam footage of the runners were live-streamed on SDA's homepage. The marathon was a success, raising over $10,000 for CARE. Starting in 2011, SDA began two annual marathons: Awesome Games Done Quick during the winter, and Summer Games Done Quick during the summer. Each subsequent marathon has become substantially more successful than its last iteration, with the January 2012 marathon raising $149,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
In April 2011, following the Great East Japan Earthquake, SDA put together a marathon titled Japan Relief Done Quick. The marathon was executed by having each runner live-stream their run from their home, rather than having everyone travel to a central location. JRDQ raised $25,000 for Doctors Without Borders.
During the marathons, a chip-in widget is placed beneath the streaming video, which visually displays how much has been donated so far, and which allows people watching the runs to donate money directly to the charity through a PayPal account. Viewers who donate are given the option to have a message sent to the marathon attendees to be read during the stream, allowing them to vote with their donation money for, among other things, which games they want played, what they want in-game characters to be named, or to request runners to perform specific feats such as difficult tricks or glitches. Prizes are available throughout the marathon; all donors with a donation of $5 or more are entered into a raffle for the prizes.
On the 24th January 2013, it was announced that Awesome Games Done Quick 2013's donation total had reached $448,423.27, supassing Desert Bus for Hope 6's donation total of $443,165.29 to become the most successful single gaming charity marathon at the time. It has since been surpassed by Desert Bus for Hope 7's total of $522,348.
List of marathons
|Classic Games Done Quick||1–3 January 2010||72||CARE||$10,531.64||N/A||SDA's first marathon|
|Awesome Games Done Quick 2011||6–11 January 2011||98||Prevent Cancer Foundation||$52,519.83||N/A|
|Japan Relief Done Quick||7–10 April 2011||67||Doctors Without Borders||$25,800.33||PC game pack||Emergency marathon to support victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake|
|Summer Games Done Quick 2011||4–6 August 2011||46||Organization for Autism Research||$21,396.76||Nintendo 3DS with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D|
|Awesome Games Done Quick 2012||4–9 January 2012||107||Prevent Cancer Foundation||$149,044.99||Replica Master Sword|
|Summer Games Done Quick 2012||24–28 May 2012||74||Organization for Autism Research||$46,278.99||Wii bundle|
|Awesome Games Done Quick 2013||6–12 January 2013||128||Prevent Cancer Foundation||$448,423.27||Wii U bundle, Squall's gunblade||At the time, most successful single gaming charity marathon ever|
|Summer Games Done Quick 2013||25–30 July 2013||90||Doctors Without Borders||$255,160.62||Hitbox arcade PS3/PC stick, Nintendo 3DS XL|
|Awesome Games Done Quick 2014||5–11 January 2014||139||Prevent Cancer Foundation|
- Video games notable for speedrunning — an extensively documented list of noteworthy games for speedrunning purposes.
- Sequence breaking — the act of performing actions or obtaining items in a video game out of the intended order, or of skipping said actions or items entirely while still successfully completing the game.
- Tool-assisted speedrun - technically fastest speedruns recorded on tool-assisted emulators
- "Speeddemosarchive.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "Charity marathon conclusion". Speed Demos Archive. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Jensen, Cheryssa (11 January 2012). "Gaming for Good: Charity Video Game Marathon Raises Over $145,000 for Cancer Prevention". Prevent Cancer Foundation. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- DWB staff. "Speed Demos Archive fundraising for MSF". Doctors Without Borders. Retrieved 23 December 2011.