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guffaw
Regarding my mention in the front page update from last week.

"SDA 2.0" was the site's big missed opportunity. The Cathedral model of a small team administering the site had many advantages, but the labour required to do it was unsustainable, and we all knew it. SDA 2 was based on the Bazaar model, in which we wanted to set up web interfaces to let the community do as much of the work as possible.

I had a carefully planned, working database schema (which handled all of the site's quirks as elegantly as possible) and had built a working read-only PHP prototype of the front end. I wrote scripts to scrape as much of the data from the old static HTML pages into the database as I could. This, at the very least, served reasonably well as test data for development. I posted the code for this prototype on the forum, sometime after I quit the site entirely. You should still be able to find it if you're interested. I had hoped somebody might pick up the work I did, but nobody bothered.

Here are the mistakes I made.

i) I wasted six months coding the intro video for PaX (while simultaneously still being responsible for site updates), when I should have been lobbying for and working on a site overhaul instead. This pushed my already-festering burnout to breaking point;

ii) nate wanted to migrate the whole site over to SDA 2 in one shot, so that one day the site would still be served from static HTML pages, and the next we would abruptly flip it over to the new database system, with all the data magically in place and ready to go. I always knew this wasn't going to happen with the constant influx of runs. My plan was to work on SDA 1.0 and 2.0 simultaneously, in such a way that we would slowly try to migrate stuff over bit-by-bit as new SDA 2 functionality was completed. If I had fought nate on this, we might have ended up retaining our position as the Internet's speed running nexus, but I didn't;

iii) persuading Radix to change anything fundamental about how the site worked was a struggle from day one, and added a needless political challenge to the technical ones.

Sites like speedrun.com and SRL had a couple of big advantages: They didn't have years' worth of legacy data to migrate, and they could develop their own sites at their leisure, while SDA still had to post updates day in and day out while simultaneously trying to work on upgrades.

That's the story.
Thread title:  
thank you for posting about sda 2.0!

what you've said tracks broadly with my memory of events. i was just talking with someone earlier today about how our community's culture of selflessness ("it's not about me") allowed the charity marathons to outgrow me and then sda as a whole soon after. i'm sure you remember - i was heady as fuck about that stuff. "how will i make sure i'm replaceable?" that was the culture i inherited and worshiped.

so your post here was timely. it's so weird. sda had both the best and the worst of committee governance. radix is the founder, but he delegated. and that allowed me to join when i did. i know i would never have started helping sda if it had seemed like someone else's site. i slapped my metroid 2002 statids on metroid runs i captured for sda. i made up this thing called "m2k2sda," a mental fiction to allow an egotist like me to produce content for a site i hadn't founded. i started capturing runs like crazy and the site grew. i was involved in the site infrastructure and even wrote a news update or two. all that was possible because of committee governance.

but without someone in the driver's seat, where are we going?

and i mean - i knew. i couldn't figure out a way to solve the problem without making decisions unilaterally (even though it wasn't my site!). ordering people around would have been like using cheats. i wanted "victory on my terms." i wanted our culture to win. i wasn't in denial, but i didn't see another way. i thought, well, if sda can't change, then what's the worst that could happen? other sites take over, right? that sucks for me, but it's not about me.

Quote from DJGrenola:
i) I wasted six months coding the intro video for PaX (while simultaneously still being responsible for site updates), when I should have been lobbying for and working on a site overhaul instead. This pushed my already-festering burnout to breaking point;

my first reaction to this was like "no! not zwei!!" because i absolutely adored it and still cherish the memory of working on it (for some definition of working - you had the top credit for a reason). but thinking more about it now, it's hard not to agree with you. i mean, as cool as it was, it was just a promo video. in my life, i try not to look back, but i wish i had known then what i know now. i never once thought of it as a distraction. if i had, i would have kept my mouth shut.

Quote from DJGrenola:
ii) nate wanted to migrate the whole site over to SDA 2 in one shot, so that one day the site would still be served from static HTML pages, and the next we would abruptly flip it over to the new database system, with all the data magically in place and ready to go. I always knew this wasn't going to happen with the constant influx of runs. My plan was to work on SDA 1.0 and 2.0 simultaneously, in such a way that we would slowly try to migrate stuff over bit-by-bit as new SDA 2 functionality was completed. If I had fought nate on this, we might have ended up retaining our position as the Internet's speed running nexus, but I didn't;

now this was interesting for me to hear! i want to be clear here and say first of all that i have absolutely no reason to doubt your recollection of events. the trouble is that i simply don't remember telling you this - i can't even suss out a motivation for me to have told you this. i mean, i guess backward compatibility always makes a mess, but wasn't i convinced of the need to open up site operations to the wider community as soon as possible? wasn't that always my goal with sda? to prove our culture superior? i know i was younger and a lot dumber. maybe i thought things would go on forever exactly as they had been and there was no need to rush. i just don't remember.
guffaw
Quote from nate:
thank you for posting about sda 2.0!

what you've said tracks broadly with my memory of events. i was just talking with someone earlier today about how our community's culture of selflessness ("it's not about me") allowed the charity marathons to outgrow me and then sda as a whole soon after. i'm sure you remember - i was heady as fuck about that stuff. "how will i make sure i'm replaceable?" that was the culture i inherited and worshiped.


I ended up in this position too, mainly just because I didn't want to work on SDA forever and I wanted to leave it better than I found it. I don't know whether you remember this, but Uyama and I volunteered to help because it was already dying back in 2003-04-ish. Without our assistance it was likely that someone would have replaced it much sooner. This was the shot in the arm it needed at the time, but the labour we provided was never sustainable. I know I was worried that after I quit it would return to its former decline. So making myself replaceable was something I wanted too, just because in the long term there wasn't any other way. I feel like I failed, but that wasn't entirely my fault.

Quote:
Quote from DJGrenola:
i) I wasted six months coding the intro video for PaX (while simultaneously still being responsible for site updates), when I should have been lobbying for and working on a site overhaul instead. This pushed my already-festering burnout to breaking point;

my first reaction to this was like "no! not zwei!!" because i absolutely adored it and still cherish the memory of working on it (for some definition of working - you had the top credit for a reason). but thinking more about it now, it's hard not to agree with you. i mean, as cool as it was, it was just a promo video. in my life, i try not to look back, but i wish i had known then what i know now. i never once thought of it as a distraction. if i had, i would have kept my mouth shut.


Yeah, it was cool to work on it at the time, more for the technical challenge than anything else, but in hindsight it wasn't a sensible use of resources. We did get a bit of attention from the online gaming press on its release but I don't think it was the publicity bombshell we'd hoped. I did actually watch it again a few years ago for the first time in over a decade, and was surprised that one or two of the effects still impressed me. I still have the POV-Ray source I used to generate it. I remember you wanted me to do the whole thing in HD and I shot that down because it would have taken forever, but it was a surprisingly forward-thinking suggestion in hindsight. It would probably be pretty easy to do an HD remix now.

Quote:
now this was interesting for me to hear! i want to be clear here and say first of all that i have absolutely no reason to doubt your recollection of events. the trouble is that i simply don't remember telling you this - i can't even suss out a motivation for me to have told you this. i mean, i guess backward compatibility always makes a mess, but wasn't i convinced of the need to open up site operations to the wider community as soon as possible? wasn't that always my goal with sda? to prove our culture superior? i know i was younger and a lot dumber. maybe i thought things would go on forever exactly as they had been and there was no need to rush. i just don't remember.


I may have been unfair to you here. I definitely remember that switching everything over in one go was initially what you wanted to do. I think you always had an affection for the shock value of publicity stunts, so perhaps this was your motivation. A sudden reboot has viral potential that a slow migration does not. But thinking about it a little more, I may be wrong in that I think perhaps you did come round to my proposal of trying to do it piecemeal.

If you hadn't realised this yet, I have regrets about this time. We were in a position where we could and should have been able to "conquer the world" -- for some narrow definition of "world", and at least until the Twitches and Discords showed up to eat everyone's lunch -- but it slipped through our fingers, and I still carry at least some of the responsibility for that.
I'm addicted to games
Quote:
iii) persuading Radix to change anything fundamental about how the site worked was a struggle from day one, and added a needless political challenge to the technical ones.


I guess this refers to the SDA rules against "out of bounds" and similar "hacks"? If so, guilty. I let my personal preference for "what makes a good speed run" dictate the rules.

There was also early bad community reactions to things like a "dante must die" run that led to rules like "normal difficulty first" and asking for a complete set of levels - but that one just made updating the site even harder.
Edit history:
DJGrenola: 2022-03-21 01:35:27 pm
DJGrenola: 2022-03-21 01:33:38 pm
guffaw
Hi, Radix. It's been a while.

I actually wasn't referring to the out-of-bounds stuff in this instance. Rather, my recollection is that I would always encounter resistance from you whenever I suggested changing something about the "back end" (if you can call a bunch of HTML pages and a Perl script a "back end"). Thinking about it now though, one thing you almost certainly didn't want was for someone to come in, change how everything worked, and then vanish into thin air one day without anybody else understanding the code. And to be fair, I didn't want to put myself into a position where I would be the only person who knew how it worked, so I'd be stuck as the back-end maintainer until the end of time. So perhaps I've been unfair to you too here. One advantage of doing everything in straight HTML was that the skill level required to do maintenance on the site was much less. But a disadvantage was that it made the site very dependent on manual labour, and also made the submissions process awkward, and something of a black box from the point of view of a runner submitting a run.

The whole out-of-bounds debacle was another thing in itself. I know I lost my temper over the rule reversal on that, ostensibly because it directly affected my Prime 2 runs (I think it was stanski's Sonic 2 runs which finally got this rule changed). Again, though, looking back, I think my explosion on the forum had less to do with secret world nonsense and more just several years of frustration finally boiling over. I suspect that unconsciously I just flipped everyone off because it drew a line under the whole thing and made it impossible for me to come back. Of course I did end up briefly returning a little while later to post the SDA 2 prototype sources, because it made absolutely no sense at all not to share them -- they were no longer of any use to me.

Occasionally I've asked myself the question "what was my personal contribution to speed running?" and the honest answer may just be "I speeded its development up by a couple of years". I suspect it would be in more or less the same place now, either with or without the work I did.

I do have a few regrets at the opportunities we missed, but I no longer have any hard feelings towards anyone.

I hope you're well.
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2022-03-25 08:21:04 am
LotBlind: 2022-03-25 08:20:50 am
DJGrenola: I picked your contributions to talk about in the update to avoid using someone who's still working here (awkward) but also because you seemingly did a lot of work that went to waste in some sense... the point I wanted to make was how far-less-than-straightforward these things are that are happening behind the scenes. I think a lot of people would like to hear all these stories told in full about what kinds of phases the site went through and what led to the early marathons etc. Like for someone like me it comes as a big surprise that the site was already experiencing a decline back in 2003! And that the natural growth seemed to be stifled again by 2008. Such a history doesn't have to only contain 100% verifiable facts, but rather each person's takes can be given their own space. A few years back you said you'd be interested in contributing to something like that but it definitely requires multiple old-timers pooling their increasingly vague recollections. I could maybe act as an editor in such a project though I've also got lots of stuff to write on for the front page.

Those early strange rulings (no OOB, no adventure games etc.) have luckily long-since been removed. Some of them I can understand where they came from.
I'll admit I was sufficiently lazy to only read the opening post. However, I am a professional frontend web developer with 3.5 years experience with an expertise in React.js, and if there's a need to overhaul the site, I could definitely handle the frontend for you. I would even do it for free since I love the speedrunning community that much.
Now that I've read more, I would like to offer some positive encouragement. SDA is a valuable resource in that it archives historically important runs. Even after I rage deleted my youtube channel a few times, my Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn 3:13:38 run (which is sacred to me) remains on the site, and backed up on archive.org. The run will literally outlive me. When I die, my ancestors will still be able to watch it.

I think all this site has to do to stay modern is include a link to TASvideos, speedrunslive and speedrun.com in an interface similar to lichess.org (the 3x3 grid of links), and integrate with Discord.
Vykan12: Thanks for the offer but let's take it to a PM instead of this topic. If you can't log into your old account I noticed you have, start a new one and PM me.
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stanski: 2022-06-23 09:34:02 am
wise fwom yo gwave
First, I just want to say I just rewatched the PAX video a bit and wow, it was incredibly well done, I forgot how crazy of a video it was and can't believe you put so much effort into that, its definitely something to be proud of! Sent shivers up my spine to watch it and get hype!

Quote from DJGrenola:

The whole out-of-bounds debacle was another thing in itself. I know I lost my temper over the rule reversal on that, ostensibly because it directly affected my Prime 2 runs (I think it was stanski's Sonic 2 runs which finally got this rule changed).


First, I thought it was fun to go back in history a bit and try and figure out exactly when it changed, basically there seems to have been a constant sort of "grumbling" from certain users or certain games wanting to change the rules. Its so crazy confusing trying to make rules for every game in existence uniform and consistent as evident by the arguing, here are some example posts I found, and this obviously leaves out the constant AIM/IRC conversations people were having at the time:
https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/discussion_on_the_out_of_bounds_rule.html https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/new_rules_read_first_post_for_new_changes.html https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/sda_2009_rules_revision.html https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/official_2009_rules_reworking_discussion.html

I don't think it was my sonic 2 runs specifically that changed the OOB/warping rules, there was definitely some discussion due to some glitches found in sonic 2 but I don't think it was actually that point when the rules finally changed. I looked back at my old sonic 2 run and none of the level wraps were included in it, and OO2 was done the "normal" way; some of the IL's had level wraps so at some point the rule changed and I decided to do IL's but not to do yet another SS after I put a fair amount of work into this one (even if it wasn't perfect it was pretty good for the time and I really didn't want to have to re-do it, even if the wraps made certain levels much easier like metro 2).

sonic 1 and s3k also were having issues/questions of what exactly constituted warping/OOB (I know many argued that there couldn't even be OOB in a 2d game), and I know the sonic adventure community basically ignored SDA because of OOB rules that were thought to be firmly in place. I remember it feeling like at the time that there constantly was something new discovered in some random game and it was always confusing making a decision on what exactly constituted OOB/warping. I always got the impression that Radix always seemed very confident that he knew exactly what OOB/warping was in every game and had the final say for a long time, but it felt like Radix got sick of Uyama bugging him for decisions about different games when Radix stopped having as much of an active day to day role in the website.

So Uyama had his own set of biases that was similar to mine since we talked and discussed it a lot, along with a lot of other runners in the old IRC channel and it felt like we started working from Uyama's biases instead of Radix's biases in order to make decisions. This bias for a while was somewhere along the lines of "if it seems really skillful and is cool to watch then its fine, if its cheezy OOB outside game physics ban it" which of course was also arbitrary. It was obviously super annoying as a runner when a significant glitch was a significant shortcut and made runs easier to complete, or when rule changes meant certain runs needed to be redone. My last sonic 2 single segment run I submitted I did just because a new glitch was found and I remember at the time feeling pretty frustrated that I had to do another run just to incorporate it, I think I even kind of hoped that the glitch would be banned as warping so that I wouldn't feel obligated to do another run. I had this massive ego built up around being cemented in history for something in this world, and put a dumb amount of pressure on myself to perfect something that I thought was obscure enough that would never be beaten and "go down in history." So there was a tremendous frustration with rules questions that could make runs less skillful or easier to complete, when you've put a shit ton of work into a run it is so maddening when a new exploit is found :). Its a lot nicer being older and slightly wiser, to let go of that ego and relax in the knowledge that it doesn't matter what you do or don't do in this life, there is nothing permanent.

There isn't really OOB in any of the 2d sonic games in the same sense that there is in other 3d games, level wrapping is a bit different than straight warping... anyways I know there was still a distinction at that time between that and straight up OOB which was still banned for a short while. I don't remember when exactly that ever changed but I would assume it had something to do with the OOT community (pure speculation) because there was always friction between SDA and OOT folks because of what was/wasn't allowed and their categories, and at the time of my sonic 2 level wrap stuff I believe a lot of things were still banned in OOT.

The OOT people also were always pissed that, among many other problems they viewed as unique to OOT, SDA took "so long" (when of course they had no idea of the workload to verify and post videos) to post their runs when at the time the community was obviously considerably larger than most other communities of SDA that didn't have a separate website. They felt they weren't getting enough special treatment even though their updates clearly were huge news events for the site every time they were posted; it was always weird deciding to move games up in the queue because of bias, game popularity or friendships. It was just one of many examples of people who aren't familiar with the community/game in 1000% depth having to make rules for said game. I also wouldn't be surprised if the portal/half life community had something to do with the rule change as there were lots of issues at the time with deciding about rules for that and macros... Basically I think there were quite a few different games that were putting pressure on the rules in different confusing ways and every person had their own individual bias about it, including the TG folks with their own weird quirks (no walljumping in SMB1 for instance).

I also recall at the same time there was a lot of stuff found in SMB1 (there was a weird warp during the vine glitch in 4-2 that was different from how it currently is done), and a lot of other runs I believe at the time were starting to incorporate things discovered from TASvideos, I believe maybe SMB3 and SMW, there was a funny death warp in super c, probably lots of other stuff that was making people question the rules and everyone had really strong opinions about how the rules should be interpreted for their specific games. Remember this was a time where there weren't even emulators capable of running N64 games and lots of runs hadn't been broken apart at all, so the level of warping and OOB discovered was miniscule and there was a big emphasis on "style" and getting through games smoothly and skillfully.

I remember runs being rejected even if they were improvements because they weren't considered skillful enough, which is a totally foreign concept to speedrunning nowadays but Quake really pushed this idea forward that speedrunning not only needed to be fast but it needed to look cool and skillfully done. I'm still totally anti-pause abuse, the current sonic runs are absurd with how much pause abuse is going on, that is actually one thing that went just like I predicted would happen that eventually people would pause at every difficult section creating in my mind a weird TAS/real time hybrid. Its always hard being one of the few people that understands the intricacies of a game trying to argue your point to others who you kind of view as "casual" non-runners, I know metroid prime had some major issues with that as well as many other games. Its hard when a subcommunity of a subcommunity has like 2 people who really should be the only ones making decisions about run categories and timing and you have hundreds of games to keep track of, in an era where video hosting and free downloads is a foreign concept and runs are still being recorded on VHS/DVD sent through the mail.

I appreciate all the work everyone did back then and the vision for an egalitarian community. I really had some bad predictions for the future, as I was very critical of live speedrunning when it was first suggested back at the first MAGfest meetup; I thought there was no chance anyone would ever want to watch someone restart over and over again, and that peoples consistencies in running would never be good enough to be entertaining in a "one shot" environment like marathons. The community was TINY back then, I mean literally I was excited when 5 other runners understood my runs at all and my runs were watched by 50-100 people total. I just couldn't have dreamed it would have grown like it has, and I think SDA's big contribution is the selfless model translated into these huge charity marathons.

It also personally gave me so much comfort having something at the time to do that felt meaningful and fun and got me through one of the most difficult parts of my life, so I really appreciate all the work you put into everything DJgrenola, Nate, Radix, Mikwuyma, Enhasa, Moooh, dex, flip, breakdown, and all the other staff that I'm forgetting to name. Feeling like I had a community of friends somewhere in the world to get me through those difficult moments in life that we all face was wonderful and I still am so grateful to everyone I met through this community back then. Sometimes when we are doing individual actions (like every 3 months having to rip my dumb 1 second level improvements from VHS and update the level tables, I know it was annoying and I thank you for that!), we can't necessarily see their impact on the world or for others, but it meant so much to me at the time and saved my life really having something that felt worth living for when things were pretty dark in the rest of my life at the time.

I like contemplating what it would have been like in an alternative universe with less left leaning, selfless, egalitarian, idealistic futuristic minded SDA folk; remember when the internet looked like it could potentially be a platform for openness, freedom, sharing, the ability to meet like minded folks and create an amazing society? Instead of SDA being a pivotal launching pad for speedrunning, picture a community designed around the weird thought that our only motivation in life can be selfish motives like survival of the fittest, profit, greed. I can see in this alternative universe without SDA that there just are no big charity marathons, but people just speedrunning for profit and selfish motives that our society takes for granted as being self evident and self fulfilling prophesies. It did something to change the culture of speedrunning compared to other gaming cultures having the people involved in SDA that were here, I can't think of another community that just assumes that playing for charity is the biggest honor you could ask for. This is something everyone that formed the site and played a part in it should be very proud of contributing to.

I have to admit I thought the first charity marathon was a waste of time considering how big the audience was at the time and the way runs were only considered worth watching if they were extremely precise and perfect with every known trick included. On a logical left brain level I couldn't compute the finances of how people flying in paying lots of money to play video games in Uyama's mom's basement would compare to the potential charitable contributions received. I was totally and utterly wrong, it was a real life lesson for me felt on an experiential level. Having faith in what you believe in and your values can lead to something greater than yourself or your organization, and that is what SDA has managed to do. I learned everything doesn't have to make sense in life to lead to something really great and special, and that everything in life can't be broken down into a math problem; the future can't be laid out and planned for in advance. Life often has this weird way of working when a bunch of kind, open, and friendly people with common interests just get together for some fun and have some crazy ideas. Who would have thought Radix's Metroid Prime run would lead us here?
Thanks stanski for your insights! It goes to show how fallible everyone's memories can be, increasingly so with each passing year.

"I remember runs being rejected even if they were improvements because they weren't considered skillful enough, which is a totally foreign concept to speedrunning nowadays"

You probably weren't thinking of SDA here because that's something we still do to this day. You most certainly know this (?) but that was as I understand to reduce the number of easily improvable runs and futile work... but also because it seems lazy and looks bad, going against the quality standards.

I don't know if there are any recent examples of it but we've allowed IGT and real-time runs existing side-by-side for some games so maybe pause abuse would fall into the former category. I suppose importantly, they're bound to be quite different.

I know nate had the same sentiments about live speedrunning / streaming never taking off, although his doubts were raised by what he thought would be unsurmountable costs of the bandwidth involved.

I don't know but maybe SDA's universal rules did help to keep a sense of standardization even between segregated communities, and thus a sense of legitimacy past just "that's what the community decided". To no-one's surprise I find them very valuable to have.

If you feel like writing something for the front page, e.g. an edited version of that comment, PM me. We do those "community column" posts whenever an older member feels inspired.
stanski, thanks for sharing what you remember. you had a lot of insight into stuff i didn't.

i was just along for the ride with the first marathon too until i saw the viewer count and the amount of money coming in. then i went from worrying about it being a flop to worrying about it becoming too successful. as lotblind already mentioned, i thought "who is paying for all this bandwidth?" i expected twitch to kick us off at any moment. what i didn't know at the time was that venture capitalists had placed a bet that twitch would become a monopoly and then get acquired. and they also knew more about ad revenue than i did. so today i look like a genius but i was actually against the idea, or at least i thought it would never work. when it looked like it had started working i became even more alarmed. people had just finished putting away their pitchforks from the crappy hotel internet incident and now i was going to have to deal with twitch. i remember waking up on my own during it thinking a meteor must have wiped out the other half of mike's house because i had been asleep for hours without anything going wrong. it's hard to convey how amazed i was that this idea was working and had been working for more than 24 hours at that point. i was so incredulous i mostly pushed it out of my mind, like an ostrich putting its head in the sand.

actually while i'm talking about the first marathon i should give breakdown proper credit for it. at the magfest hotel, it had been hours since we were supposed to go live and there was still no sign of a good internet connection. breakdown walked up and asked me how it was going and i told him. he asked if we could host it from mike's house. i said we could try, but there was no guarantee it would work. i asked him what he thought we should do. he paused a moment and then said "the show must go on." the significance of what he said took a while to dawn on me. in fact it's still dawning on me today as i type this. it turns out you get lucky sometimes if you just keep moving forward. it's almost like the difference between knowledge and belief. i had no idea how our project could be successful, but i put in the work anyway, and here we are. maybe mike knew. he was the mastermind.

i also doubted streaming of speedrun attempts would take off for the same reasons you mention. i think we actually joked about it back then, like "my stream: watch me reset 5000 times." today i can explain its success succinctly by saying another community grew up around such streams on twitch, just as sda had around video files. and of course sda was only possible because of the internet, which was funded by people with deep pockets, just like twitch's vcs. i think especially when you're young, you tend to miss that stuff. you take the computer and the internet connection for granted. so when i saw the beginning of twitch i didn't understand how it could grow, because i knew how expensive it was to run. but i never thought about how expensive home computers and internet connections were to build. lots of people said the internet is a fad, there's no use for personal computers, that kind of thing. maybe the people who built them had no idea too, just like i had no idea how a speed gaming marathon was supposed to work.

so today i like to think i'm more balanced when it comes to money and desire or "good" versus "bad." i thought i could make the perfect society by getting rid of money, but my experience in the community here that gave me that perspective wouldn't have happened in the first place without huge american post-wwii "defense" spending behind semiconductors, fiber optics, and friends. and then i talked about the role of venture capital in creating twitch. i couldn't have built twitch myself, even if i'd been willing to pretend streaming was going to take off. it was just too expensive, just like i couldn't have designed and built computers and vcrs and capture cards and the postal service myself for sda. that's a long way of saying that today it seems to me like there's a role for wealthy people to come in and place bets and for gross military spending too. no one could have even imagined sda without 40 or 50 years of a superpower pouring its made up money into technology intended for its military.

someone once said that history is unintended consequences and i agree with that. you do the best you can with what you have, but the bigger picture is always out of view, at least until years later. it's like reality resists us telling simple stories about it, or us relating to it in its totality from our individual experiences.

one of these days i'll be able to predict the future ...
Edit history:
stanski: 2022-06-25 02:23:39 pm
wise fwom yo gwave
Yep agreed Nate money and capitalistic tendencies themselves aren't evil and don't cause problems, they are just items in our inventory that we can use when needed to have fun and improve gameplay in the game of life. Very interesting to hear the story about the first marathon and how close it came to being dead in the water, and it shows our human tendency to worry worry worry about everything that can go wrong instead of having faith in the knowledge that we can handle whatever life throws at us and whatever situation we find ourselves in, especially when friends get together and have a deep desire in their hearts to give whatever service and skill that particular moment in time calls for. Hope you are well buddy always nice to hear your philosophy, you should write a book some day I'd read it :).
Can't log in right now for whatever reason.

Thanks everyone who made SDA possible. I never would have guessed speedrunning would end up where it is now. I think each of us in a small way contributed to the success of what it is now.

As for "mysterious teleportation/OoB" I know that the rule change happened pretty shortly after my 5:00 SMB1 run with the new 4-2 wrong warp. I had no idea if SDA was going to accept the run at that point (April 2007), but decided to make it anyway.

I hope everyone is doing well.
BTW that PAX video is awesome. I mentioned it a few months back in one of my Twitter posts. Still blows my mind. I'm thankful to all of you who put in such hard work into SDA.

From my 4:58 post:

"I would like to thank...
- Radix and SDA staff over the years: Mike, Nate, Flip, Enhaha for their contributions. Thanks for all the help with video transfer, timing, and verification. Without you guys, SDA would not be what it is today. I hope SDA continues to thrive as it has."

And well, SDA is why speedrunning is thriving.
guffaw
Quote from andrewg:
BTW that PAX video is awesome. I mentioned it a few months back in one of my Twitter posts. Still blows my mind. I'm thankful to all of you who put in such hard work into SDA.


Thanks, Andrew. I remember posting the 5:00 Mario run, and having a cheeky dig at Twin Galaxies in the update, because they wouldn't accept it. I know I chose to finish off the hour-long PaX showcase video we made (which followed the intro vid) by playing the 5:00 in its entirety. I proposed that idea to Radix, and I recall he said something like "hmm .... not a bad idea."

I'm glad people still remember the promo vid. You could probably make a similar video very easily now with Blender or something, but back when I made that one I had to write code to do everything. The software I used wasn't even intended for making videos -- it was designed to render single-frame images, and native support for animation was extremely primitive. There was a lot of vector mathematics involved just in doing rudimentary things like controlling the camera and moving objects about -- and, of course, it was all painstakingly rendered on a single AMD core. I don't remember its clock speed but it was probably somewhere between 1 and 2 GHz.

I have actually recycled that codebase for a couple of other little video projects since.

Another thing I find strange to recall is that I posted some very, very early Trihex runs, when nobody had any idea who he was. He of course ended up becoming this huge star, with his own memes and everything.

Quote:
And well, SDA is why speedrunning is thriving.


I'm still not sure this is true. I feel like the phenomenon might have happened anyway whether we'd done all that work or not -- just perhaps slightly delayed, and with a different set of celebrities at the wheel -- but this might be my own existential doubt doing the talking. I still have no shortage of that.

Nice to see you again.