Tag Archives: GDQ 2023

Some Sick Speedruns To Check Out

As this article goes up, it’s Awesome Games Done Quick 2023. It’s going to go down in history as Another GDQ, but notable because this one pivoted from a physical event to an online event in response to a Floriday business deciding to Florida very hard and lean heavily into COVID denialism with the wishy-washy ‘well we can’t act like masks are a good idea’ bullshit that really is just a soft landing for ‘people who deny germ theory have enough money that we don’t care about public health and safety.’ Point is, that it’s GDQ, right now, as you’re reading this.

You might not care that much about speedrunning, despite everything I’ve said about how interesting and engaging it is (in general), but are curious about now, how the experience of the event might feel, and what you might want to watch. I’d like to recommend then, a list of five things that haven’t aired yet (as of publication date) that you can look out for, and which I think serve as solid, single experiences (based on, admittedly, only partial knowledge).

These should all be screening, at some point after this articles goes up, on the Games Done Quick channel.

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3e: Haste!

Oh boy you know what’s the most broken spell available in 3rd edition D&D well now you mention it it’s a contentious slot because there are a lot of spells that are really, really broken and third edition had a lot of them flying around but when it got broken you kind of had to start in the core rulebook and see the things that you’d wind up seeing used all the time and nothing was really ever going to wind up being as broken as this one it’s haste it’s haste look it’s obvious I’m talking about haste haste was so very goddamn broken in third edition D&D.

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How To Represent Speed?

When working with videogames, there’s a a lot of different ways to represent speed, and a lot of the challenges they present start out as technical. Infamously on the PC, getting fast scrolling on a room to create the impression of single large spaces the player could move through was a big technical hurdle; outrun used a camera trick and moving single silhouettes, and the VR push of a few years ago (is it reasonable to suggest that VR is now over?) featured a whole host of ways to grapple with the question of duping a human brain that’s very very good at recognising when it’s standing still and convincing it that it’s not.

But that’s videogames, an entire form of games that I don’t really make. I could try, that may be interesting, but anyway for now.

How do we get to represent speed in tabletop game places, with human interlocutors? Have some ideas! Go go go!

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Story Pile: The Rendezvous

In 1976, Claude Lelouch, a french filmmaker, released a short video, about eight minutes long, which showed a single take of an anonymous driver driving ten kilometers through the center of Paris, at an average speed of 80 kilometers/50 miles per hour. You don’t see the car. You don’t hear talking. You don’t get any framing at all for the experience; you start in the car, as it leaves a tunnel, and then you have nothing to do but sit, like a passenger, as the car’s tires squeal, the engine revs, and the driver proceeds to break quite a few laws.

It is a real recording of a real excursion that really broke real laws: speed limits were ignored, eighteen red lights were violated and one-way streets were driven up the wrong way. While there’s no obvious danger to the public on the path, the fact that this was a real thing that was really done, there’s some inherent unpredictability about the things that could have happened, even at 5:30 in the morning in summer, where there’s not a lot of people going through the streets of Paris.

Now obviously, me being me, you might assume I’m pretty okay on some laws being ignored, and there’s definitely a case, though also, rich french dude who could afford a sports car getting away with violating a bunch of car laws isn’t exactly anarchist praxis as much as it is just what we expect. There’s not a lot of Being Gay in this Doing Crimes video. There’s also a potential angle you can take on this video about the way it’s a bit of a magic trick; we only see this version because this is the version where nothing went wrong, and we don’t know how many other versions of it happened, how many other versions of it could have happened, where things were a little different. We know there was a walkie-talkie and a spotter involved, even if it didn’t wind up being a factor, and regardless of the realities of how this video got made, as a text, you don’t get to know anything about that. With such a small, generic diegesis, you could dig into what it means, what the miniscule scrap of text really does explain.

I’m not going to do that, though.

I think this is a speedrun.

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