In case you’ve been living under a livestream-shielded rock for the last three years, Games Done Quick is a pair of charity speedrunning marathons ran every year by the community. The larger of the two is Awesome Games Done Quick, taking place in January. It’s a massive event, gathering dozens of speedrunners, requiring months of preperation and watched by hundreds of thousands of viewers over the a full week. More importantly, it makes an absolutely ridiculous amount of money for charity, pulling just over a cool million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation at AGDQ 2014 alone. Over on the Speed Demos Archives forums, Event Director Mike Uyama laid out the finalised schedule for 2015 and it’s a doozy.
Next year’s event takes place between the 4th and 11th of January. To focus on the PC games for a moment, here’s a handy spreadsheet of just those. There’s some golden classics in there – all the Valve games, for example, are always great watches when it comes to speedrunning. If you missed it, the latest world record for Half-Life is a thing of absolute beauty. Half-Life 2 and Portal prove equally malleable under high-speed strain. Quake series games, being what popularised speedruns to begin with, are always worth catching too as is Duke Nukem.
But what’s really caught my eye is the new entries. Game’s like Rogue Legacy, They Bleed Pixels and Crypt of the Necrodancer that are begging for high skill optimisation. They’re fast, tense games in their own right, turning them into instant hits in the hands of the dedicated. Seeing N on the schedule also intrigues me. Surely – SURELY – they aren’t finishing all 1000 levels of a game that I spent about three years of my teenage life plugging slowly away at (and getting through barely half of) in less than 25 minutes? Please?
A quick nod to the Final Fantasy 7 run too, played on PC for the first time thanks to a new glitch discovered that lets around two thirds of the game be skipped in one go. The runner, puwexil, is probably my favourite streamer on all of Twitch. The worst part of getting a real life, schedule and not staying up until 6am every night is being unable to catch all of his 7+ hour streams. Got me through some tough times.
There’s loads more outside our home platform of course. From Pokémon to Metal Gear to Mario to the only interesting way to play Sonic, your favourites are probably covered. If you’d rather not wait, the excellent r/speedrun archives the VODs of the event every year, and here’s the one for Summer Games Done Quick, the sister event. There’s also a highlight reel, from which our noble header image is taken, which I’ve embedded below.