Extra Life 2015 Recap

The big weekend of Extra Life is now past us, and before we begin, I must apologize for the delay in this recap, even if it couldn’t be helped. But I will go into detail later. Suffice it to say, I really could only begin writing on this one about 3-4 days after we had finished.

Still, I'm sure the first thing on everyone’s mind is “How did we do?” Well, I think I can sum it up in one word: Phenomenal.

This year was an insane increase for our own site. Usually each year have brought anywhere from $65 to $300 ourselves to help the children out and contribute to the total. Last year we did about that, but established a raffle I still personally intend to keep going every year. But this year, we made STAGGERING climbs in all ways, bringing in a total of $450 for Extra Life, $40 of which was from raffle participants! Suffice it to say, I am humbled and happy as hell to announce this. With any luck next year will bring even bigger success! (Although Extra Life is still accepting donations until December for this year, so if you are late to our party, you can still donate through the thermometer to the right of this web page.) We already began planning for it as the party broke down and our guests drove home, so the future of this event is bright indeed.

As of for the event in total, it was a night of record breaking and celebration. By 10 PM on Saturday, we had broken the total for the 2014 big weekend. By the end of the drive, we had broken into the biggest total of the year (last) so far at:

$6.2 million

Now as I type this, we have now reached almost:

$6.8 million!

Everyone who got involved with the massive event should feel proud of what we have accomplished and what we still will! The number is still growing (it was last counted Monday morning) and every penny is going to help sick kids in various hospitals around the world. This moment is always awe inspiring and I am honored to share the details with you.

And that is probably the next big question. If you are continuing to read, you probably want to know what happened here at the Red Sector homestead for the event. Well have a seat and I will tell you. For us, the events began several days before marathon, as I found myself with a last minute complication. You see, the way I run this place, I have four PCs with major rolls around the house: An office, a Gaming machine, A portable Media machine, and a file server/master media center. Unfortunately early that week, the office machine began to die spectacularly. The first warning I had was returning upstairs from a bunch of mundane housework to find that the machine still wasn’t booting up…. so I powered it down and tried again only to be met with wails of metal that either meant some metallic monstrosity was struggling from the depths of Hell to come through the screen and eat my soul OR the hard drive was REALLY getting fucked up. Suffice it to say the machine was on it’s way out. Thankfully I was able to coax enough life out of it to reset the hard drive and pay some monthly bills, but I needed a new machine which I got before the event began and am now typing on. But setting her up as well as the portable media system to be the new office would have to wait as they would take too long to do and the portable media would be needed for one last job during the marathon.

Friday: The day before everything began and one I took off from my main job to make sure we were ready for the marathon. At this time, I gave our network an upgrade via a new router and fine-tuned the software for the capture device I normally use to get videos (and pictures from it) when reviewing console games to do my best to prevent stream corruption issues, no matter what console, PC, or even if we played live games. It was also cleanup time since we were going to have guests over for this event. Unfortunately, not everyone who wanted to show up did, so it wound up with the core Red Sector crew and two guests who joined our team and helped tremendously for us to get what we have to this event.

These events intermingled and went to the literal last minute, as I was finishing the final checks on the capture when our guests arrived that night, but before we could toast the upcoming event, we still had work to do: setup their beasts on our network (which included an emergency run to Best Buy for wireless adapters) and plan how exactly the morning would go (which involved another emergency run to get eggs, bacon, and sausage for breakfast in the morning). But with all this done, it was time to drink and watch a few bad movies before bed.

Saturday: We were all up and ready come morning and with a small unexpected difficulty, we began with streaming with the Wonderful 101, Max and Lindsey playing while Sean took to Fallout Las Vegas and I made my way to some time in Guild Wars 2 and Dishonored. But these would only be opening acts and the less social games played. Over the night we got to many games, both as individuals and as a group, but I believe the highlights had to be:

  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch: Lindsey really wanted to play this game, and we all wound up tag-teaming to complete what can best be described as QWAP only actually funny. This took us collectively about 4 hours, and involved such fun moments as raging over having to climb a treehouse, putting on a shark-costume backwards, yelling at a raging fire where the controls were decidedly your enemy to finish the sequence, and my personal favorite, cheating in carnival games and trying to beat up anyone with a “whack-a-mole” mallet or other part of a game when they noticed.
  • The Yawhg: A cheap party game I picked up for this event where 4 players assume the roles of villagers 6 weeks before this terrible thing will attack the village. Each week every player decides what they will do, completing the turn. The game is very short and the first time around, we had a blast just watching what happens when we try to be descent people (some of us did not succeed… I burned down the garden by magical corruption while Lindsey managed to destroy the palace by becoming a werewolf) but it was a lot of fun, so of course we decided we needed to do the next logical thing: see what happens when we act like total D-bags and be as horrible as possible. Sadly, while this was funny, it also showed the weakness of the game, but I will go into that one when reviewing it (since we technically did complete it).
  • Cthulhu Fluxx: If you know me, you know how much I love Fluxx and how unstable this card game is. If you don’t know the game, the rules are simple and complex. At first, each player will take a turn to draw and play a card, but through the cards played, the rules of how you play will change and eventually a goal to win will occur. No one officially won once in the three or four games we played, for Cthulhu Fluxx included Ungoals, cards that if the goal on them are met, the deamon of Lovecraftian lore dictated by the card wins instead. This was our undoing every time.
  • Portal: The Board Game: I know how bad this sounds on the surface, but it proved perhaps the biggest surprise hit to me personally. You play controlling a team of test subjects who will be running the test chambers for Aperture Science… before GlaDOS went insane. But that does not make it any less lethal. Every player at the end of their turn moves the chambers conveyor-belt-style by “incinerating” a room on one end destroying everything in it, flipping it over, and putting it on the other end of the board as a new one. If a player had the majority of test subjects in the room when this happens, they get the rewards of the room. The game continues this way until someone runs out of subjects or every cake slice for their team has been burned away like this and the player with the most slices on the board at this time wins. The game is INSANELY cut-throat to levels I have not seen since Super Mario Party and a lot of fun.
  • Spooky’s House of Jump Scares: As the night moved past night to the next morning, we decided we needed to enter this game. Lindsey had already started this game with a full audience on her machine Halloween night so we started around room 400. But tonight we would collectively push the game to 800 and enjoy killer graphics, (literally the image slid around the wall and if you looked at it too long you would die), a science fiction monster you could not let go too far ahead less it just destroy your mind and kill you from afar before trying to eat you, and even some of the most demented killer deer ever created. It was a whole lot of fun, and we still have 200 rooms to go next time we gather for it!

By the time this game was finished, however, the steam was starting to be lost in all our strides, and by 6 AM everyone but Max were crashing and getting a little nap in.

Sunday: Napping for 3 hours, we finished the event. I pulled my last two hours finishing another game: Pneuma which was definitely interesting and another game that will be getting a review soon. But with that, we drew the event to a close. Max crashed out completely for a few hours while I treated Sean and Lindsay to breakfast before they packed up and left for home, ending the event entirely…. and letting me get back to setting up the two laptops so I could write this up for you all.

Overall a tiring but another amazing time taking part in yet another very successful Extra Life. Hope all who took part with it loved it as much as we did and those who plan on doing a raindate weekend can look forward to as much fun as we had!

Again, thank you all and you can all be proud of what we have done as a gaming community this weekend!

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