Let us introduce you to our awesome team member, Krystian, aka dexterw! Not only does Krystian excel as a talented programmer on our TDCM team, but he's also a pro at organizing charity speedrunning events that have been garnering widespread recognition and heartfelt appreciation from both the gaming community and those in need since 2017. Get ready to embark on an inspiring journey as we delve into Krystian's remarkable story, where the worlds of gaming prowess and altruism collide in the most extraordinary way.
How did you come to be a part of TDCM?
It was quite a challenge since everything was happening during the pandemic. I was actively searching for internships when I came across TDCM's recruitment announcement. The entire process was conducted remotely, which was a significant convenience during that period. Eventually, I received an offer and was thrilled to join the team.
What is GSPS?
GSPS stands for "Gramy Szybko, Pomagamy Skutecznie" (Playing Fast, Helping Effectively) in Polish. It is a speedrunning marathon that takes place twice a year and is live-streamed on Twitch. The event draws inspiration from other speedrunning marathons such as GDQ (Games Done Quick) and ESA (European Speedrunner Assembly). Throughout the GSPS marathons, we collect donations that are directly contributed to various charitable organizations.
What is speedrunning in general?
Speedrunning is the act of completing games as quickly as possible. Speedrunners compete to achieve the best time in completing a particular game, usually in different categories. It involves completing games in the shortest possible time, often utilizing game glitches or unexpected tricks not intended by the game developers.
Why are you involved in GSPS?
Ever since I can remember, I've been fascinated by speedruns, primarily as a viewer, although I also participate occasionally. I greatly admire the dedication of speedrunners and their ability to continually advance in completing games faster while devising optimal strategies. It's an exhilarating pursuit.
What is your role and involvement in this event?
In 2018, a friend who was the main organizer of GSPS approached me and suggested that I join the team as a chat moderator. Then, at the beginning of 2019, I transitioned to becoming one of the event organizers. My journey can be summarized as progressing from a viewer to a moderator and eventually assuming the role of deputy head organizer. Currently, I serve as the face of the event, appearing at the opening and closing ceremonies. I am responsible for overseeing the games and managing the schedule. However, my involvement extends beyond these tasks, as I remain a viewer responsible for evaluating all the speedruns submitted for the marathon. Specifically, I work on verifying the quality and characteristics of the runs and organizing them into a coherent and engaging schedule grouped into thematic blocks. Given the substantial workload, I have been fortunate to receive support from a dedicated volunteer throughout the process. Another aspect of my role involves providing guidance and education to participants who are new to speedrunning and wish to take part in events like ours. It is important to make them aware that playing from the comfort of their own homes differs from performing live in front of an audience, where they must introduce themselves and manage their nerves. Often, the estimated completion times declared beforehand may not align with the actual times during the event due to the influence of stress and emotions. In such cases, I am there to offer support and help beginner speedrunners navigate these challenges.
What does the GSPS community look like?
Generally, the community is known for its friendliness and openness. The atmosphere is relaxed, ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and at ease. Newcomers are warmly welcomed, and we make efforts to quickly break the ice. Our events have been experiencing remarkable growth in attendance, exemplifying our positive trajectory. This year, we encountered an unexpected situation when we unexpectedly ran out of badges and tickets! However, we swiftly organized and acquired additional ones to accommodate the demand. Above all, we share a common goal of combining fun and charitable impact for those in need.
What does the overall organization and structure of the event entail?
To ensure the smooth functioning of the event, a team of dedicated individuals is essential. Those individuals include long-time associates of the foundation and an increasing number of volunteers each year. They contribute their skills to various aspects, such as technical support, social assistance, social media management, photography, presentations, and entertainment (including consoles and board games). All these activities take place in conference rooms that can accommodate participants, the audience, and the foundation's event equipment.
The day before the event, we meticulously set up the technical aspects, arranging computers, monitors, additional consoles, lights, sound systems, and various smaller equipment. Our technical staff and volunteers assume responsibility for checking and testing everything. By the first day of the event, we are fully prepared and ready to commence. The setup resembles a well-organized TV program. The hosts inaugurate the event, and the players eagerly await the starting signal. Typically, players introduce themselves, share information about the game, and then begin their speedruns. Regarding the conclusion of the games, there isn't a single method of completion. It can be approached in different ways, such as finishing the game in any manner (any%) or completing all the requirements the game demands (100%). Usually, shorter completion methods are considered the endpoint, although we have also witnessed extraordinary spectacles where players dedicated 18 hours to complete six games at 100%! We do emphasize moderation and incorporate breaks for players and commentator rotations.
To further enhance the event and encourage additional donations towards specific speedrunning goals, we introduce challenges and special incentives. For instance, players can opt to play with their eyes closed for an additional fee. Moreover, there are paid bids that grant participants the opportunity to influence in-game elements, such as deciding a character's name or selecting a song for the entire GSPS community to perform live at the event's conclusion.
Who did you play for this year and with what result?
This year we played for the "Na Ratunek Dzieciom z Chorobą Nowotworową" Foundation and managed to raise over 68,000 PLN! It is the highest amount we have collected in a single event so far.
How can one support the cause?
You can support our cause by making donations through PayPal on our website (https://gsps.pl/) during the event, which can be followed on Twitch. Additionally, you have the option to provide financial support to our foundation by purchasing GSPS-related merchandise. Every contribution helps us in organizing future events
What is the future of GSPS?
Without a doubt, we are in need of a larger venue! :) The number of participants continues to grow, and we are thrilled to see such enthusiastic support. We also aim to expand the reach and visibility of the entire event. We encourage everyone to help us by spreading the word about GSPS among their circles and beyond. Nothing is as effective as word of mouth. Our plan is to sustain and expand the event, likely with a larger team, as its recognition and popularity continue to rise. If you would like to join us at the next event, where we will be supporting the ITAKA Center for Missing Persons, you are welcome to Kraków from August 22nd to August 28th, 2023 (Hotel Swing, ul. Dobrego Pasterza 124, next to the Water Park). Additionally, on July 1st and 2nd, 2023, you will have the opportunity to play games and get to know our GSPS team at the
CD-Action Expo in the Centennial Hall in Wrocław.
Join the GSPS movement today and make a difference! Whether you're an avid gamer, a passionate supporter of charitable causes, or simply someone looking for an exciting and meaningful experience, GSPS welcomes you with open arms. By participating in the speedrunning marathons, donating to our cause, or spreading the word about GSPS events, you can actively contribute to positive change!