Large text "Rando Marathon 2022 " followed by a logo of a circle divided into rainbow segments

Q&A with the Final Fantasy Randomizer Organizers, a Group of Gamers Who Raised Over $4,000 for The LIAM Foundation Over Three Days

Between June 17th-June 19th, the gaming community Final Fantasy Randomizer raised exactly $4,035  for The LIAM Foundation. We wanted to take the time to get to know more about the organizers and the work that went into running this campaign! Below is a little Q&A that offers such insight!

Q: Tell us a little about yourselves. Who are you and who is FFR as a group? How did you find one another? What do you do together?

A: Final Fantasy Randomizer is a community built around a classic game from the 1980s. The game (Final Fantasy Randomizer) is an updated and “randomized” experience that provides a new path through the game with each randomization. It allows for fun and excitement each time a player plays the game, never knowing the exact layout of the game each time. This breathes a lot of life into the classic NES game. The community built around it supports the game and produces events to share the game among its members and the larger world.

Most of our players have found the game, over the years, on Twitch and YouTube, watching current races and past recordings. The game drew us in, and we joined together on Discord to be a part of the experience.

The current leadership in the community is represented by DarkmoonEX, Dani3883, LordFizzlebeef, BurtReynoldz, and Greggly_puff. The admins, along with a small team of volunteers, organized the Marathon.

Q: So for those on the outside, what is a gaming marathon? How does it work?

A: Gaming Marathons involve gamers coming together to run their favorite games, generally in a “speed running” capacity (running a game as fast as you can), throughout a weekend or (on a larger scale) a full week. Many of these events take place online (either due to smaller size for the event or, as with the last two years, due to health concerns in the larger world), although some events do have “in-person” experiences, like a convention with crowds, panel discussions, and other events. As this was the first ever FFR Rando Marathon, we kept the scale small for this event keeping things online only and focused solely on the Marathon proper.

Q: How do donations work? What kind of things to people put money toward?

A: Donations are run online through a charity payment processor (in this case, Tiltify handled all donation processing). The link to donate is posted online, alongside the schedule for the event and the broadcast of the Marathon. The Marathon is then advertised on social media, bringing in viewers to the event.

During the event we have “donation incentives,” things for viewers to donate toward. These can be additional “flags” added to the games, things that will spice up runs and make things more interesting. There are also naming incentives, where viewers can donate to try and name the characters the players will be using in their runs. As they donate, viewers will be entered into raffles for prizes, which can run the gamut from fun little collectibles to “grand prizes” like gaming hardware and game collections.

Q: What kind of planning did the marathon take? How did you all put it together?

A: The admin team at FFR has some experience running events, having handled a number of tournaments and league championships over the last three years. During that time we’ve seen other gaming marathons come up and they’ve managed to do great work, raising a lot of money for various charities. When one group we were connected to, Randomania, stopped handling broadcasts (effectively shutting down their own randomizer marathon they’d run yearly for many years) we felt there was room for us to host a randomizer marathon and support a good cause. After discussions for a few months about whether we could handle adding this to our schedule, we collectively agreed to try and pull it off.

The actual organization worked similarly to how we’d handled other events: lots and lots of paperwork. Forms for people to sign up, spreadsheets to organize times and players, and a lot of planning rooms to get everyone on board and work out the fine details. End of the day, an event like this runs on paperwork.

Q: What was the best part of running the marathon?

A: It was great seeing all these runners come together for a good cause. So many players had a great time with their runs and it seems like everyone really just loved the experience. All these gaming communities being together, sharing their games, and seeing whatever all else was available, that was such a highlight for all of us.

Q: What was the hardest part?

A: The hardest part was handling technical issues on the fly and keeping focus to ensure a good transition from run to run for basically 3 days straight. It was a lot of work, and all of the event organizers are very tired now, but it was a lot of fun. It was absolutely worth the effort.

Q: How do you feel about earning over $4,000? Was that what you expected?

A: Our goal was $500, although secretly we hoped we’d make $1,000. To see that get smashed in just the first day (getting to $2,000 by the end of that day) was amazing. We really weren’t sure what to expect, or just how high that number could go, but for our first time doing this, over a three-day period, this was all we could have hoped for, and more.

Thank you to everyone that participated and donated to the event. We couldn’t have done all of this without the fantastic randomizer communities.

A: Would you do it again? 

Q: We absolutely would do this again. Plans are already being discussed for a future marathon of some kind.

Q: Anything you’d like to tell the LIAM Foundation community?

A: We want to thank the LIAM Foundation for being a part of this experience. Your team was very supportive of the idea, and we know it took some work on your end to get everything organized (especially with the paperwork for Tiltify). So thank you for being a part of our first ever marathon.

There will be a small amount of extra runs done this week that didn’t make it into the marathon so the donation link will still be active until the upcoming weekend in case anyone would like to make a donation.

For anyone interested in watching the marathon, VODs will be uploaded to our YouTube channel over the next week.

And if anyone would like to join our community and learn how to play a randomizer, we would love to have you! 

The LIAM Foundation also wants to thank every single person involved in organizing and donating to this marathon! We plan to update the community with the types of ways this money is used to help the LGBTQIA+ community in Rockford, IL and the surrounding area!

And of course, you can follow our socials for more information and regular updates about events, services, and news we put out.