NeoMagicWarrior's Blog

Posted on Oct 24th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (NeoMagicWarrior)
Posted under Extra Life

It is that time again! Extra Life 2017 is upon us, and I though I'd take it upon myself to do a "part 2" to a post I made last year (find it HERE). Go read that, especially if you aren't familiar with Extra Life (and you should be...because you read Zophar53's excellent article HERE]). Last year, our team raised 1905.00 Dollars for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and we intend to try and break that record this year!

First off, a recap from last year. We ran a single stream, with 25 game challenges between ourselves and our close friends, Plus 2 Comedy. We eventually blew an early lead and lost 12 to 13 challenges over the 25 hour live stream. I tend to think it is because I back loaded the stream with games they are generally better at, as well as most of my team falling asleep. In reality, it was all down to a single game of puzzle fighter that just didn't go our way.

Puzzle fighter after being up for over 30 hours was not a smart idea.

Now onto the things we did that worked out well:

1) People:
No event, no matter how large or small can go off well without a team of hardworking, dedicated individuals. I have been gifted the best group of friends that I could have asked for and would be remiss if I didn't thank them both first and often. Everyone who sponsored (looking at the Colectorcast & Playcast here), donated, advertised,or just hung out were also super amazing and I couldn't have done any of this without all those super people.

Being surrounded by friends and family really makes things go all the more fun.

You might not think it as much, but the setup itself plays a key roll in how much fun you get to have over the course of the day. Running a stream and a single TV isn't hard, if you know what you are doing.  Doing it in a public place and practically bringing an arcade with you (8 extra TV's with enough consoles and games for anyone who wanted to hang out) was another whole mess to worry about.

My older brother...deeply engrossed in some Black Ops

I lament not having any good pictures of this, but food was one of our strong suits. Friends and family sent us baked goods, we brought a cotton candy machine, and our good friend Jenny cooked Chinese food for us. I can not stress this enough: MAKE SURE YOU EAT AND STAY HYDRATED! Staying up for overnight puts enough strain on your body as don't have to put more on it by not properly taking care of yourself.

While we are talking about taking care of yourself, make sure to use proper hygiene. We had over 20 people with us the entire time, with plenty of people coming in for shorter terms. Not once did I ever have the issue of having to smell someone's BO, which is a miraculous feat considering I spent over 30 hours crammed into a small room with all those people. Kudos to the team for making sure air fresheners were well stocked, as well as everyone having changes of clothes.

My wife in some sweet pikachu pjs

I said it in the last post and I'll say it again - being organized is the single most important part of any successful event. Everything from getting sponsors and coordinating equipment to schedules, graphics, and advertisements all had to be at their peak performance to make things go off well. Google drive is the real star of this one, as sharing documents and having multiple people edit them is a godsend. This year, I took almost all of the design work in house to try and create a more "unified" look to everything, and i think it has paid off significantly. 

Wires and cables and mics oh my!

...and the things that did not go so well:

1)Game Selection:
I scheduled all 25 challenges with having a 1 hour window. Not only was this not enough time for some of the games, but some games were doing so well that we would have liked to keep playing them. Some of my other game choices, especially indie games, almost fell flat entirely.

my copilot playing WoW while a friend speedruns Wizards & Warriors

Board games were a particular culprit of the time sink. The board game setup was also hard to videotape, and without better equipment and a dedicated area, it it pretty hard to really video a game being played properly.

Although it made for some great dress-up, board games were particularly hard to get filmed right.

2) Delegation:
This one is more a personal problem. I already expressed what a wonderful team I have to work with, but I failed to mention that I had a hard time letting anything go without my hands firmly on the wheel. I got super stressed out, and almost burnt myself out right before the event. This year, I hope that I delegated enough, while still keeping enough grip on the reigns to help steer things into the right direction.

Me, at my console with unwavering focus on the stream

I sort of eluded to this in game selection, but it deserves it's own bullet. I planned last year's event down to the minute...which lead to very little flexibility. The event is about having fun, and too much rigidity can be a bad thing. BE able to play something that is getting a good response a bit longer, and skip games people are not in the mood for.

Turns out that a party would want to play party games longer...who knew??

Overall, last year's event was a blast. This year we have some sweet new additions to the party, like game raffles and prizes - both piratically through the event and big overall drawling. I've upgraded the computer and streaming equipment to be able to handle a better signal and a nicer quality overall. Even better than that, now all of sponsors/local businesses know what we did and are even more on board than before, with donations of arcade passes, movie tickets, and food among other things. We even hope to have some actual arcade cabinets and pinball machines this time around!

just a few of our "fabulous" prizes!

I hope that this article serves as a good set of "Do's & Dont's" for any prospective EL streamers, or at least to get you excited to watch us and be part of the excitement! Even if you arn't there in person with us, hanging on the twitch chat, participating in raffles, and most importantly DONATING is really helpful! Hope to see you there!

Till next time!

Watch us here:
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Also, go support Zophar53 too!

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Thanks for the peek behind the scenes.  It sounds super hard, but I am glad you are keeping up with it (despite the issues you listed).  If anything, I imagine the kids and hospital really appreciate the word.

Are you going to do an addendum or anything after the stream?
@bombatomba: Yeah! it really makes you feel good at the end of the day knowing that you had a blast AND helped kids. I've got a crazy idea to try AT THE HOSPITAL one year....I doubt that will happen though.

If you are interested, I can do a recap of this year once all the crazy is over. Totally at least turn it on for a few minutes though. It is pretty miraculous what we can do in a library!
@NeoMagicWarrior: Looks like you had an amazing setup last year, can't wait to hear how it went this year! We should def try and get together to do something together for 2018. Did a forum thread ever get made? I remember we talked about that last year but I'm not sure if it ever happened.

My setup went pretty well. I don't stream very often so there was a bit of a learning on the fly for me with XSplit lol. I don't think I ever figured out how to get the game sound to not drown me out, even after turning the game volume down. Maybe I just need to project more myself, idk. I raised over $500, not bad for one person. It's more than I've ever raised in previous years, so I'm pretty happy about it.

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