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Thread: Experts and masters of WipEout, let's bring it to Awesome Games Done Quick!

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    May 2014
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    Default Experts and masters of WipEout, let's bring it to Awesome Games Done Quick!

    Hi everyone

    Recently, an idea went through my brain while I was replaying WipEout HD. Something that could give more exposure to the WipEout community and also do it for a great cause.

    I guess some people are familiar with speedrunning: the art of completing video games as fast as possible. Since 2004, the Speed Demos Archive is hosting videos of speedruns for over a thousand games, of various genres: adventure, RPG, platformer, shooter, and, even if the genre doesn't really qualifies for the "speedrunning" motto, racing games. Most of the runs on-site are however individual tables for each track. Its only recently that racing games started to qualify for speedrunning, by basically completing a full set of races in the game or the career/campaign mode or whatever you want to call it, as fast as possible. When livestreaming became a thing, speedrunning racing games wasn't in fact that awkward: it even produced some surprising results.

    In 2010, the Speed Demos Archive, inspired by gaming marathons for charity, decided to host their first speedrunning marathon called Classic Games Done Quick. The principle is simple: complete a huge amount of games over the course of a few days non-stop. And the event is livestreamed so people can watch, react, and donate as the event progresses. As this event was conceived with charity in mind, the viewers are encouraged to donate with various goals and prize raffles. For example, people can donate to name a character in Final Fantasy, or to do a level blindfolded, or even to play some bonus games. By donating, they can also win prizes generously brought by the runners or other people in the video game industry.

    The first edition of the marathon, in January 2010, lasted for three days and featured classic video games from the 8-bit and 16-bit era, with some 32-bit exceptions. They managed to raise over $10,000 for charity, which was roughly twice the amount they expected to collect. Being a success, the event was reorganized for a second edition, and this time regrouping games from all generations since 1985: the event was then renamed Awesome Games Done Quick. As a matter of fact, the marathon was named as Speed Demos Archive was, at its birth, a speedrunning website on Quake. The first speedrun of the game with advanced speed strategies and glitches was named "Quake Done Quick", and as a result, this created a legacy that still exists to this day.

    Year after year, the Games Done Quick marathons expanded and became more and more popular. After raising more than $50,000 in January 2011 benefitting the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a summer edition was organized for the people who didn't live in the East Coast and wanted to have a "closer" marathon. Summer Games Done Quick was born, taking place in August and raising $21,000 towards autism research.

    Then the popularity simply exploded and shattered previous donation tallies year after year. Last January, a mythical barrier was broken, when in the final hour of the marathon, which now lasts for an entire week, they announced to have raised more than a million dollars. That's right. In four years, they went to a small event in a basement, raising $10,000 for charity, to a big event, booking an entire hotel and raising a hundred times more money than their first marathon. The Games Done Quick marathons became a true phenomenon, and being one of the most viewed events on Twitch: it reached a peak of 110,000 viewers and over 70,000 in average. At several occasions, it had more viewers than every League of Legends stream combined.

    Next June (22-28 ), the 2014 edition of Summer Games Done Quick will take place, benefitting Doctors Without Borders, and will feature over 150 games during an entire week. There's no doubt that the $255,000 tally of the 2013 edition will be beaten easily. If you don't know what GDQ is, that will be the place to start.

    Here's the Games Done Quick website.

    Anyway, after this presentation, here's the reason that explains my presence here.

    Basically, I had the idea to bring WipEout HD at a Games Done Quick marathon, preferably the 2015 edition of Awesome Games Done Quick. Because there has been runs of racing games: Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Crash Team Racing, and of course, the futuristic racing rival of WipEout, F-Zero. WipEout however has yet to appear in a marathon like this, and I think it would be a great addition to the next marathons. However, I can't propose to do a WipEout run at GDQ and for several reasons:
    - Being a french student, financial resources are low, so flying to America has a high cost that I can't afford.
    - I'll probably have some classes during the early January period.
    - Even if I can manage to win Phantom Elite races without struggling much, I don't have enough skill on this game to be really impressive to watch, and I know there are people there who are infinitely better at this game than me and could blow the mind of viewers who have, and haven't played these games. And I only played Wipeout HD extensively (only had a few minutes playtime on Pulse and 2048 ). Some guys here are true veterans and know the series since its creation. So I wouldn't do justice to the series and the community by applying.

    And that's why I come to you. Because there are members in this community who could make WipEout shine for charity and show that despite all the claims that WipEout is a "discount F-Zero" in terms of speed and skill, that the Psygnosis/Sony Liverpool franchise definitely has something to show at a high level of skill. So then...

    What could be proposed at AGDQ 2015?

    The following propositions will be focused only on Wipeout HD, as this is the only game that I know well. But I'm pretty sure you could propose runs for other games (but I'll tell you why, in my opinion, HD is the best choice). Wipeout HD has the reputation of being of the hardest racing games on the PS3 when talking about Phantom Elite difficulty. I know that Hellfire did some videos that absolutely crush this AI on several races, but for the majority of the players, even going through Phantom Class in Novice difficulty is a steep learning curve. Let alone winning in Elite difficulty.

    To keep a run length under an hour, obviously Campaign mode will be ruled out. So I think the best way to show them the game is by doing the Arcade Perfect trophy (or a variant):
    - Arcade Perfect Redux: Winning on the normal version of all 12 tracks (HD + Fury) in Phantom Elite.
    - Arcade Perfect: Winning on all 16 HD tracks in Phantom Elite.
    - Arcade Pefect Complete: Winning on all 24 tracks in Phantom Elite.

    I think that's the best way as it would show every track in the game (except tracks that are exclusive to Zone mode), in the fastest class and the hardest difficulty, and people would see how pros can navigate through hard tracks at maximum speed like a breeze.

    We could add, as bonus content, two other hard trophies from the game:
    - Beat Zico
    Beat Zico is a pain for many people, but only one good lap is enough for the die hard trophy hunters, as long as it is under 30.82 seconds. What could be cool is to show a lap with advanced techniques, and completely obliterate Zico's time. Several laps could be done to explain the techniques. To put on perspective that 30.82 is actually a hard time to reach, you could pass on the controller to someone who played the game a little bit and let him do two laps.
    - Zone Zeus
    Zone mode is pretty psychedelic and is always worth a watch. The first minutes being pretty calm, it's definitely a good time for donation reading. After Zone 50, it's where things start to go really fast, and the sky's the limit after. What could be great is to put a custom soundtrack containing classic Wipeout songs, or trolling songs like Rick Roll, Trololo, Nyan Cat, Loituma and whatever remixes, and show them the "magic" of Zone mode. For the track, showing Syncopia isn't probably the best bet as it's not that technical: Anulpha Pass is already harder to perform Zone Zeus on it.

    And other incentives inspired by "Elite AI My Arse" videos from Hellfire like winning a race with a headstart, or no barrel rolls, or no use of weapons, etc. There are also other incentives that could be brought in, like the team used (even if pros can manage to win in Phantom Elite with every team!) and the HUD (HD, 2097 or Wip3out style). For example, if Feisar and the 2097 HUD have the biggest amount before the run starts, the whole run will be played with Feisar team with the 2097 HUD.

    If a run like this could be brought to a future GDQ marathon, it would be awesome for your community, and for the PlayStation nation. If you get selected, you could also ask to the community, to Firesprite or to the WipeoutZone founder Infoxicated to bring Wipeout-related prizes up for a raffle, where everyone who donates $10 during the run enters the raffle and gets a chance to win one of the prizes. It could be games, posters, goodies, soundtracks, even a console if you want, anything is possible, and that could motivate people to donate and watch a Wipeout HD run.

    So then, how to apply?

    Surely during August, the Games thread for AGDQ 2015 will posted on the Speed Demos Archive forum. Remind that AGDQ is an on-site event located in the east coast of America at the very beginning of the year. All travel and accomodation costs are at your own charge, and that's what holds back a ton of runners who want to show off their game at AGDQ.

    Here's an example of the proposal thread, from last year. As you can see, there's a TON of applications and "only" 150 of them were chosen to be at AGDQ 5 months ago. So feel free to push forward the candidates, and bring in videos and livestreams of yourself playing the game at a high skill level. The more impressive and complete the submission is, the more chance it has to be selected in the final list.

    And if it doesn't make the final cut (some games make through a first batch of cuts, then there's the final batch), still support the application by having your voice heard. For example, last year, Halo 2 wasn't part of the final list, because previous Halo runs on GDQ marathons were deemed unimpressive and left a bad experience. After a huge support of the Halo speedrunning community, they finally managed to get a spot after a desist. The Halo 2 run then became one of the best runs this AGDQ.

    Also, as a matter of fact, between 50 and 65 % of the games in a GDQ marathon make their first appearance, so there's a lot of room from new games in the GDQ Family, and WipEout could be definitely one of them.

    Of course, nothing prevents you to propose runs for other games. As a personal opinion, the PS1 WipEout games (and also 64) have the nostalgia feeling for themselves, but probably lack the "wow" factor (even though some races in 2097 and 3 are impressive). Fusion on PS2 has the speed and the "wow" factor, but it isn't the most popular game of the series due to its different physics and gameplay. And for the "portable" versions of WipEout, they mostly share their gameplay aspects and skills with HD. I think Wipeout HD is the best bet, as it's eye-candy, well-known by players, contains the "pure" essence of the series, and has a reputation of being a very fun but challenging game. It has by far the best viewing experience. If it gets a one-hour slot, it will be a victory for everyone, as long as the chosen player really delivers and shows his mastering of the game.

    TL;DR: Wipeout HD is awesome to play and to watch, we should bring it to Awesome Games Done Quick for a good cause.
    Last edited by Linkinito; 27th May 2014 at 06:20 PM.

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