Let’s Write About: Let’s Play: Permadeath: Speedruns

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 20.25.32I’ve started a fun little project lately making what I’m calling Let’s Play: Permadeath: Speedruns. The general idea of some kind of “streaming” or video capture came up after a conversation with George Buckenham in Copenhagen last year. I can’t really remember the details of that chat other than that we both expressed a desire to “do something like that”.

Along with that, I found David Kanaga‘s kind of performance piece at GDC earlier in 2014 really inspiring as well. I liked the idea that you could kind of do what you want with your voice, your words, and the images they’re set to. So this series of videos is also about exploring different ways of doing the same basic thing with different presentation (mostly just in the audio).

The runs themselves are pretty simple: you choose a game and then you try to die in it as fast as you possibly can. Since it’s “permadeath” you can’t restore from that point, so it officially marks the end of the run. The speedrun is about achieving that nice and quickly. (This is a related thing.) And it’s a “let’s play” because for some reason I just love that turn of phrase at the start of titles.

The most refreshing thing from my perspective is that it’s a very new form to me (I don’t really do video) and I kind of suck at the basic elements (particularly audio), which means I don’t have to care much about quality. Rather, I can just have ideas and put them together and off we go. It’s also much faster than making a game – like, a lot. All that spells a fun kind of freedom that I’m enjoying so far. That said, I’ve only made four of these things, with another couple in the bank, so let’s not get too hasty in suggesting I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life.

Anyway, there you go. Permadeath Speedruns are a thing. Let’s Play them!


5 January 2015
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