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What is SDA?
Speed Demos Archive provides the speedrun community with a non-commercial platform, solely dedicated to hosting high-quality speedrun videos. Each hosted speedrun on the site has gone through a peer-review verification process to ensure that the published runs meet the site's requirements in terms of gameplay and A/V quality. SDA also maintains a forum, where speedrun-related news and topics can be shared and discussed.

Who runs SDA?
The main man behind SDA is Nolan 'Radix' Pflug. He founded SDA in April 1998 with the merger of two Quake sites, then expanded it with his Metroid Prime 100% 1:37 run in November of 2003, and opened it to all games in March 2004.
Nathan Jahnke joined in Summer 2004 with his valuable capturing services.
With the site's popularity increasing and the existing staff's free time decreasing towards late 2006, Mike Uyama was drafted in to take over the contact and verification process. During the supervision of Mike, the site started to become more selective in what speedruns to publish and the focus shifted towards higher standards of gameplay. In May 2011, Mike Uyama decided to spread out his duties and concentrate on the 'GDQ' franchise marathons.

SDA of today is a continuation of the foundation laid in the early days and with the core values remaining intact. The focus is still on providing a place on the internet for speedrunners and speedrun friends to watch and share speedrun highlights.

How can I help the site?
Just doing runs is one option, but you can also volunteer to help verify a run. A topic on the forum keeps track of the list of runs needing verification.

If you're feeling generous, you can use PayPal or just a credit card to send some spare cash to SDA using the donate button below. Keep in mind that none of this would be possible without the hard work and vision of Radix.

The run of game X is great! May I link to it?
Feel free to link to the individual game pages, the news, threads on the forum, etc. However, please do not link directly to the download pages or the movie files themselves. This way, visitors can read the runner's comments and explore other areas of the site.

Could you host videos that show all the cutscenes, plot, tricks, glitches, or sidequests?
Sorry, but exhibition videos are not SDA's focus. The objective measure of a speedrun is time and that is the first and foremost priority for SDA. If a game allows cutscenes to be skipped, then we require runners to skip them, and they are probably not interested in watching them for the hundredth time either. Depending on the game, you may catch some of these aspects in a run if you're lucky.

Could you please do a run of game X?
SDA is not a 'team' of speedrunners that do speedruns on request. We're a community of people who share the same passion. Most runners speedrun for personal reasons and not because someone else wants them to do a run.


What types of games do you accept runs on?
The Rules go through which games are not suitable for SDA. In short, basically any speedrunnable (i.e. not on a fixed timer or similar) computer or video game that was ever distributed by a third-party retailer (i.e. not homebrew, shareware, pre-release copies, etc.) is acceptable.

What's your stance on games released on different platforms?
SDA's philosophy is to be a place of 'fair competition'. A speedrun that is faster only because of language, version or platform differences will not obsolete or be given priority over another run. However, if it's possible to make a fair comparison (such as a fixed time difference because of the amount of text), runs on different platforms/versions will be compared with each other. If it's not possible to make a simple comparison between two runs of the same game, they will be considered as belonging to different categories based on platform or version.

Why do you allow glitches but disallow cheat codes and tricks like crooked cartridge?
Using glitches is simply trying to use whatever is within the rules of the game to your advantage. When you use a cheat device or outside alteration, then you're breaking the game's rules. As for cheat codes and debug codes, they differ from glitches in being intentionally programmed, so for the purpose of SDA, they're considered being outside the rules of the game.


What is 'SDA-timing'?
To put it as succinctly as possible, SDA times speedruns from the moment you gain control of your character until the moment you lose it at the end of the game. A bit more detail is found in the Rules. When SDA was founded, this method was chosen as the preferred one among a number of other possibilities. Later on, as the speedrun community grew, other ways of timing speedruns started to appear. In this plethora of ways to time speedruns that we have in our days, the term 'SDA-timing' has stuck for the timing method that is still used here and that is based on character control.

How do I record my run?
For PC games, you'll need software that captures your playing. Commonly used software for newer games include Fraps, Camtasia, and CamStudio. For console games, the method we recommend is to connect your console's output to a DVD recorder and record it, but capture cards are also very common and can achieve great results. Runs with no sound, horribly loud or overpeaked sound, or mixed-in music are unacceptable. The video needs to contain the game footage and nothing else. If you're interested in exactly how mean we are, here is a laundry list of Ways to get your run rejected for video quality.

More detailed information about recording methods can be found in the Knowledge base.

Why don't you accept videos hosted on youtube or twitch (or other video stream hosting sites)?
In order to save bandwidth, these sites generaly modify videos for the worse in terms of framerate, resolution and image quality. In the best cases, these effects are negligble and the videos are then acceptable for SDA. If you're interested in submitting a run to SDA, you should however be prepared to set up a way to locally record your runs. This is something that is anyways highly recommended as the commercial platforms can change policies on a whim to cater to their financial interests (or just randomly delete videos for other reasons), which means that speedruns are regularly forever lost for the community.

 

 

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