ExtraLife Gameathon 2016 – Team Bombshelter

Well, first off, the final numbers aren’t in yet but:

2016extralife-minuscash//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Yeah. Given that we’re a Canadian team, and that’s in US Dollars? I’m incredibly happy, and proud of my team. Seriously, they all come together at the last minute, and it just works. And they’re brutally generous with both their time and money.

That’s also not the end of the story, either. I’m currently sitting on about $325 Canadian in cash donations from the day-of (we keep a donation bucket).

And finally, if you’re so inclined, you can donate until December 31st, 2016. Just click right about here, and we thank you. Please, remember that this is in aid of CHEO (the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario), so,if you’re Ottawa, Kingston, that kind of area, and have, or know kids, chances are, someone you know will make use of CHEO’s services at some time. It’s a great cause, and we’re always happy to try to help them out in some small way.

So, the event itself!

I must admit, I had some trepidation going into it. It’s been … All round it’s been a rough year – I’ve had a lot going on at work, and personally, and I’m exhausted. So, it was tough to organize this year, and I almost didn’t bother. Almost. But, I had some concerns that we were going to get a super small turn out (we didn’t) that donations were gonna be tough (they weren’t) and that maybe the events time had passed for us (it hasn’t).

Call it a minor crisis of faith.

Well, I did the traditional lessons learned – We sold our pool table (that came with the house when we bought it) last winter, so that opened up a ton of space in the basement. That really made the PC gamers a lot more comfortable (And a lot more comfortable than they deserve! Basement trolls, every one of them). I picked up a couple of sets of folding table LEGS, and built two more “door tables” to provide as much space as I could, and that left us with an extra tabletop space surrounded by bookcases (which was actually really nice, the ambience was pretty great!) The network was strung from the ceiling like a spiderweb (main connection to gigabit switch, out to a gigabit switch on each set of two tables). I actually planned the layout of the house for the event on paper this year, and had myself an honest-to-god checklist, rather than just doing it all in my head. And, it all appears to have worked out fairly well.

So, speaking of that house layout, this is what we had:

14900476_10154476718271210_6740630198956388496_n//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The living room – aka “Xbox Alley”. All consoles, all the time. Three years ago, this would have been the primary hub of activity, this year, not so much. We did have some bodies out sick, though, which made a big difference. Even so, our console division dropped off, which is interesting to note (also, smaller screens showing up this year, with the exception of my own, more on that later).

14906935_10154473336561210_7324270953252276124_n//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Like I said, my own TV was the exception. In the dining room, I took over: That’s 65″ of 4k love – It’s my house, dammit, I’ll play the way I want to. I also knew I was going to have a huge set-up, anyway, because of my racing rig. What you see in front of you was: Xbox360, Xbox:One, Logitech G920 racing wheel/pedals/shifter, LED backlighting on the TV from the powerbar (those are AWESOME), and my Republic of Gamers G571 laptop. I was all set to play pretty much anything. Next to it was @pingoderp’s Xbox360, which basically got used for Portal.

14907126_10208361354894837_8904421695485429636_n//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Family room was a general congregation area, and Rockband/DJ Hero. I was surprised at the turnout for the Rockbanding. Very good though. And the SumoSac’s were, as always, well loved by the kids for flopping out and spending time on mobile gaming, and Nintendo DS.

Basement. I wasn’t kidding. This is where the PC Master Race is shunned… I mean, situated.

Tabletop room 1!


Tabletop room 2!

I ended up not involved (for obvious reasons) but for a number of reasons, we tried a “PokeWalk” – a couple of the parents (primarily organized by @Yumi Kiddo) took a number of the kids to Carleton University to do a few hours of Pokemon Go. It does sound like it went well, and definitely helped us at the house, because it lowered the crush of kids running around for the afternoon (our highest volume of bodies is about noon to 9pm, and it can be a distinct “crush” of people in a relatively small space). I get the impression this went very well, but may have been a horde of babbling kids tearing at the nerves of a couple of parents *grin*

Lessons learned? Always.

  • the couch in the family room can’t be on the west wall – kids would jump onto it, and bump the wall-socket network cable, taking everyone out down in the basement
  • Rockband, even on a smaller scale, is still a success – IF it’s separated from all the other gaming, because it’s loud, and not everyone wants to listen to it
  • upgrading the connection (from 27/3 to 60/10 made a huge difference, and no one had any issues beyond the bumping from the couch).
  • consoles have dropped off, tabletop has grown hugely, and PC gaming staged a notable increase
  • it remains a huge amount of work to set up. Like…. a lot.

    How much? Well, take a look at the pictures, and you see what goes into the rooms. We move furniture around. the networking consists of eight gigabit switches, and somewhere around 700 feet of Cat5e. Four of those switches were new this year. We upgraded the connection, as noted, and that costs money. Ok, sure, I wanted that too but. There’s the hydro – November is our biggest month of the year for obvious reasons. It’s about an extra fifty percent of our monthly bill, for that weekend. Food, that we lay in, beyond what other people generously provide.

    And mostly… time. It takes A LOT of time to set up, tear down, organize, lead, and fundraise for. Probably 130 hours of pure, physical set-up and tear-down, plus time talking to people about the event, what we’re doing, how we’re doing it.

    This is the thing. We’ve now done this for five years. And it IS a lot of work. And early on this year, it was somewhat disenchanting to see the… lack of enthusiasm. And I know, times get tough and get better and we have good years and bad years.

    But, what I know at this point is, to turn the house into a charity fun-house (which is really what we do) for about eighty people coming and going (which is about what we have) costs me. Well, us. It costs money – I spend about $200/year now – it was more three years ago, but now we’re down to just replacing broken/obsolete things, and any hardware needed. It costs time as noted.

    But you know what?

    It’s still worth it. It really is. The event comes together, it’s really fun, we have a great time, there are some great moments, and once we’re doing it, I’m reminded of just how awesome the people I’ve surrounded myself with, are. I’m incredibly fortunate. And that good fortune is one of the reasons we still do it, despite the work, the frustration, and the inconvenience. Because we can, and it is just work, frustration, and inconvenience, and we can deal with that.

    Because at the end of the day, we do something good, and that’s really worth it. Especially right now.

    So, will we do it again?

    Well, at five years? Yeah, we’re totally going to. I’m not completely sure what form it’ll take. We may have some other options for a location coming up. Something that would really take the pressure off us in terms of the intrusion of the event into our home for weeks. I’d miss having the event at home, for sure, but it’s grown to a point now that it may really not be viable to keep doing it at home. However, a bunch of other stuff will have to come together for that to work, too.

    Cryptic much? 😀

    At the end of the day, we do it for CHEO, and I think we do an amazing job. I haven’t heard what the numbers are for fundraisers for Ottawa, for CHEO specifically, but we are regularly near the top. Which means we really are doing something good for the world, and for our community.

    Pretty much every parent we know has made use of CHEO’s facilities at some point or another, and those that haven’t? Likely will. It’s that kind of facility.

    So, one more time, with feeling, if you want to drop a few bucks, it would be hugely appreciated. Just click that link up there at the top. You know the one. Go on. Click it. You know you wanna. Makes you feel good. Doooo iiit.

    Seriously, if you’d thought about it, but didn’t get around to it, now’s the time! so, please do, if you can.

    And yeah, we’ll probably be back next year.

    But for the moment, I’ll leave it with this. I’m wicked proud of my team. Players, fund raisers, donators, all. All amazing. Thank you again Team Bombshelter, you’re awesome, and I don’t do this by myself.

  • 2015 #extralife #gameathon

    Yes, I hashtagged my title. Live with it.

    I had previous written this “We’re right on top of the Gameathon”. Well, I never posted that. So, this is a little bit of pre- and post-gameathon.

    First things: if you don’t know, it’s a charity event that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network, via Extra-Life. In turn, you choose your hospital, in our case, that’s CHEO, or the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

    With that explanation, if you’d care to donate a few dollars, five, ten, fifty, five hundred, whatever you can, the best place to do so is here, through me!

    Donate via me!

    Yes, we have already completed our gameathon for 2015: However, donations are still counted towards this years totals until December 31st, 2015. So, if you want to donate? Please click the link. CHEO is a great, great cause. And, honestly, I would expect them to be busy in the new year: Refugee kids are going to need help, and I’m sure CHEO will be part of that effort.

    Anyway, back to the event!

    The team has become this weird combination of nerds, geeks, car-people, and .. yeah. General weirdos. There’s Chapter 11 Section 62 representation, @wrenchhaus, and the old university crew: The Bombshelter. Basically, we are legion.

    This year, we changed things up. How? well, you’d need to know last years, first. So, here’s last year:

    This year, instead of the island in the livingroom, we’re trying a long table around the walls. I think it’s free’d up a bunch of space: we had a problem last year with people needing to get in and out (food, bathroom). I think we’ve alleviated a lot of that with the new set-up.

    On top of that, with The McFee being out of town, we’re skipping Rockband and making room for more PC’s. The entire basement, in fact, is dedicated to PC gaming this year.

    Then, we’ve set up two bedrooms/offices upstairs with tables and chairs for serious tabletop action:

    At this point, in fact, we’ve got a full walk-through video for 2015, again. My apologies for … yeah. that’s me doing the voice over. So, I apologize in advance.

    Once again, I failed to do a second walkthrough. This year did, in fact, end up being signficantly different to previous years: not only did the Tabletop gaming get a lot more attention, but at the same time, one non-nerdy-family-game got played for no less than four straight hours, by a group that grew to nearly fifteen (somewhat intoxicated) bodies: “Catch Phrase”. I know. I don’t get it either. Sadly, I didn’t get any video of the idiocy involved, either, but that’s life. That said, we brought in the kids, too, and there were games of My First Carcasonne, and the like. The adults delved into a group favorite, Pandemic, as well as Elder Sign, and a multitude of others.

    The PC master race was, as is appropriate, well represented by basement dwellers. I mean, I set up the PC gear in the basement. Note the network cables EVERYWHERE.

    Speaking of the hardware, this is what it takes to set-up the house, to do things the way we do it. I’m not sure I’d recommend this to others: it’s a ton of work, and every year I end up buying more and more gear, especially networking gear. I got very lucky this year, and a neighbour was throwing out two tables (and by tables, I mean doors, with those folding legs bolted to them) which I picked up for free. Without that, we’d have had issues, so it was incredibly fortuitous.

    So,yes, the hardware and set-up. Couches get moved from basement to ground floor: the ground floor is entirely consoles.

    Also, my racing rig, which I finished at about 11pm the night before the event, and stood up extremely well. Althuogh I think I need addtional plyons… I mean, bracing.

    The hardware!

    Ok, so the house is rigged, before anyone shows up, with:

    Ground Floor:
    -Asus AC68u router
    -TP Link 8 port switch
    -TP Link 5 Port switch
    -TP Link 16 port switch
    -350′ Cat6 network cable

    Basement:
    -TP Link 5 port switch
    -TP Link 8 port switch
    -TP Link 32 port swtich (it’s what we had)
    -250′ Cat6 Network cable

    Once everyone was plugged in we had:

    Ground Floor:
    -11 TV’s (32″ to 50″)
    -5 Xbox360s
    -6 Xbox:One
    -1 lonely PS4

    Basement:
    -12 gaming PCs of various sizes, shapes, and forms

    This year, though, we didn’t blow a breaker. You laugh, but last year, we blew breakers repeatedly (due to a bad piece of wiring we’ve since had corrected) so badly that it blew a hole in the breaker itself, which had to be replaced, last winter. I’ve never seen anything like that. Compared to last year, I think we were actually bigger this year, but it’s hard to tell, because, as I pat myself on the back, I think we organized much, much more effectively this year.

    So, while it IS a ton of fun, both in the set-up, preparation, and the event itself, there is a point to all this. And the point is, to raise money for CHEO. Which we did in spades.

    Again, donations don’t close on this year’s event until December 31st, 2015. So, feel free to click that link up there, and make even a small donation.

    Here’s the numbers so far though.

    We’re showing up as the 285 biggest fundraising team in the event (international, 6265 teams, total). However, once the $400 USD I have addtionally makes it to the organizers (next week) then we’ll jump… We may jump into the top 100 teams. Which is INSANE. Most of those top-100 teams are corporate, and where they’re community teams, they have dozens, even hundreds of members raising funds. Again, I’m incredibly proud of my guys and girls: they put a ton of effort into this.

    And yes, I know it’s not a competition. But boy, leaderboards, am I right?

    Team Bombshelter is, once again, the #1 fund-raiser for CHEO, via Extra-Life, and the gameathon. I’m incredibly proud of not only our direct team, but the people who support us (with fooooooooood, in large part), those who donate incredibly generously, and those who come to wish us well. Our numbers are not 100% yet: I have a number of cash donations that are still coming in, but it looks, on the surface, as though we’ve (in what we thought was going to be an “off” year) broken through $3200 USD. That’s somewhere around $3800 in Canadian funds, going back, directly, to CHEO. Over the last four years, we’ve raised juuuuuuuust about $15,000 in Canadian funds[1].

    It should be noted, however, that the newly-formed “Ottawa Guild Superstars” were nipping at our heels this year! That’s pretty damn, awesome, too.

    [1]we lost our team historics this year, and we still don’t know why. Fortunately, I had screen captures of the previous years’ totals, so we’re not totally lost, but it is a shame, and I have to get back in contact with Extra-Life again to see if that can be rectified. It’s not a huge deal, but we are gamers, and our leaderboards are important to us. 😉

    ExtraLife2014

    Once again, Team Bombshelter took part in ExtraLife. This is the biggest we’ve ever gone, for several reasons.

    The long and short, as I’ve talked about before, is that Extra-Life.org coordinates an event wherein you play games (console, computer, tabletop, whatever you like) for twenty-four hours. The money is organized by Children’s Miracle Network, and distributed to the Children’s Hospital that your team chooses to support. In our case, that’s the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, or CHEO. This is a great cause. Doubly so, because despite the trouble that charities have had with, ummm, “overhead”, 100% of proceeds go to the hospital you choose.

    We’ve done this for three years now. This is, in fact, my birthday event. It costs me a bunch of money, but, honestly, it’s a great cause, I have a good time, and it’s a good party, too.

    This year was, admittedly, planned to be big. @thirtyyearhouse and I bought a new house in February, and we planned to have space to entertain (in our own, distinct manners). Which means I may have gotten enthusiastic in the way we set-up. On top of that, we not only grew the staples (PC Gaming, Xbox360, Xbox:One) but we also added tabletop.

    What we ended up with was:

    15 TV’s varying from 32″ to 55″
    1 projector (at about a 120″ screen)
    8 xbox360s
    5 xbox:ones
    1 PS4
    1 PS3 (epic rockband setup)
    15 PCs, gaming laptops, and Alienware
    1 combined game of Cards Against Humanity and Crabs Adjust Humidity
    1 room devoted to tabletop gaming

    So, yeah. You can imagine the parking we took up on the street (at least it’s a relatively quiet street! who knows what my neighbours think?)

    The list there is pretty impressive. But you don’t really (I don’t think) get the scope of it until you SEE it all:

    SO, yeah. That.

    We blew the breakers twice: primarily for the xbox360 room, and family room (PC game overflow). The power meter read 36216 on Saturday morning, and 36316 on Sunday morning. I don’t know how that measures, what the units are, but I’m intrigued to see the power bill.

    On top of all the direct gaming hardware, I upgraded the entire house’s network. Fortunately, I have my connection through Distributel and had ZERO issues all weekend with my 28 down / 2 up connection. There’s no cap on it either, so all the updates that people inevitably had to do, won’t cost me.

    The network:

    1 ASUS AC68u Dark Knight II router
    1 ASUS 24-port gigabit switch (basement/PC Gaming)(borrowed)
    1 TP-Link 8-port gigabit switch (Xbox:One room)
    1 TP-Link 16-port gigabit switch (xbox360 room)
    1 TP-Link 8 port gigabit switch (basement overflow room)
    10x Cat5e 10′ cables
    1 Cat5e 25″ cable
    1 Cat5e 50″ cable
    1 Cat5e 75″ cable

    Why the gigabit cabling? Well, all the consoles, and PC’s have a wired network: not everyone uses it regularly, but it’s there. With the sheer volume of devices, I figured that was going to be a better way to organize: messy, but we weren’t going to kill the wireless throughput (good thing too: pretty much everything in the family room, which we weren’t expecting to use for electronics, went on wifi, as did our lone mobile gamer, @simonsage (who also brought MobileNations into the fray as a sponsor, and with them, Nvidia, and Gameloft. Gameloft donated a thousand freakin’ dollars! So, HUGE thanks to them): Basically, what I’m saying in this tired, near-fugue state is that I wanted to keep the wireless for people who definitely needed wireless.

    So, the gaming!

    The gaming was excellent: I didn’t get my Forza 4 race this year, but I did venture out into the online world for some racing for a few hours. There was some typical (about three hours) HALO shouting (you put 10 people on consoles in the same room, playing HALO, there’s gonna be some shouting!) and the Xbox:one guys, with the exception of jumping to 360’s for the HALO 3 multiplayer (we had enough copies of HALO3: I’d have preferred CE/10th anniversary, but… what do you do?), played the entire time on Destiny. SO much so, that the servers was so empty at 4:30am they all ended up gathered and chilled out, together, despite technically being on different servers!

    There was TombRaider (2013); @thirtyyearhouse and ProonJoos played the entirity (I think) of Portal 2, together; Fallout3:New Vegas, PAYDAY 2 (PC), WOW (PC), Borderlands2, Borderlands2:ThePreSequel (PC & Xbox), and, oh, of course:

    Rockband.

    I know, if you’ve read the previous years, you know that @blingdomepiece‘s rockband setup is pretty damn epic. But, if you’re new here, here’s a few shots:

    He brings all of this in one car-load. It’s pretty impressive. And even more so/more fun with it being on the projector, with the right sound behind it. It’s a hell of a lot of work to tear down, move, and set-up, and he does this every year. He’s one of our total heroes here, because there’s a lot of love for Rockband in our group, and he makes it just a little bit more special than you expect with rockband.

    The other thing I have to bring up is the food. We’re a (mostly) middle-aged group now: most of us have been friends for closing on twenty years, and we met in university. But the way people put effort in before the event to ensure there’s enough food for people, is spectacular.

    There was (and I’m pretty sure I have a kitchen picture), 9.5 dozen assorted homemade cookies (Loralei), Chicken Tika, made fresh (Bundy), Ribs (Magoo), Chicken BBQ Dip (SketchedOut), Two pans of Lasagna (Phae), McMuffin fixin’s (Pwned88), vegetable and fruit platters (thirtyyearhouse), Dr Pepper & Keiths Lager, and Canadian (Dwight), cupcakes (Kathy & Phae), pizzabites (Jiff), and so much other miscellaneous foodstuff…. Unbelievable. No one was going hungry. So much coffee, as you can imagine.

    Not everyone managed the entire twenty-four hours. No one is required to. We value the effort, and as I said, this is for charity.

    4am Eternal.

    Here’s the thing.

    Even after all of the above, I’m blown away by the generosity of my friends: this core group, and the ones surrounding us. As I write this, I need to go to the bank and make a cash deposit: we keep a bucket at the door, and ask people to make donations that way, if they just want to come hang out: it’s not obligatory, but it’s nice if you can throw a couple bucks in (Five dollars, a handful of change, whatever). Again, these people? So far above and beyond, it’s not even funny. There were TWO hundred-dollar, effectively anonymous cash donations. It’s OK. I know who you are, and thank-you. Twenties abound. Tens. A plethora of fives.

    A four year-old boy, Moe, who is awesome (and drove some Forza), donated the contents of his piggy bank:

    ANd it’s so friggin’ dusty in here, we’re all tearing up on the internet.

    All told, there was somewhere around $420 in the bucket when I turned it in to the bank this morning. I then made that single, lump donation with my VISA so it gets to the tally-card quickly.

    WHere does that leave us?

    Not so fast. There’s some serious shout outs.

    Again, I want to thank our PRIMARY, leading fund-raiser. That’s @simonsage. Yes, he brought in a single donation of $1000. He didn’t stop there, and did more than $700 on top of that.
    I’ll pat my own back too: prior to making the lump-sum cash from the bucket, I was at $715 raised.
    Jason pulled in next, at $590.
    Bambi: $390
    Greg M: a new-comer, $301!
    Sean: $240
    Rob: $165
    Ryan: $165
    Greg: $130
    Jaron: $125
    Alex: $100

    Here’s the thing. The top three teams in the event raised between $190,000 and $250,000 each. HOWEVER. They have thousands of members on their teams. RoosterTeeth (who are awesome) had 3000 members on their team. They raised about $80 per team member. Which is fantastic. But my guys and girls, who I am superbly proud of, averaged $380 per person in terms of fund raising. That takes serious effort. Asking people for money is hard, it really is. And my guys and girls do an awesome job, and have done all the way back to the days of the Labatt 24-hour Relay.

    One more thing. Donations are US Dollars. SO, that $5100 or so is in US. We raised in Canadian. That means it’s closer to $5800 in “our” money, for our local (Canadian) hospital. Damn.

    SO, the final numbers. I know you want ’em.

    Well, you can see any movement that may occur in the next month over on the Team Bombshelter page on Extra-Life.org, but the day-after numbers look like this:

    There’s a couple of things there that stand out. First: we raised more than FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. For a Children’s Hospital. It was noted that, even prior to the event, we were the largest-donating group who’s target hospital was CHEO. That’s a big deal to us. The whole point is to make a difference. And that, apparently, is what we’ve done. Second, we’re gamers: leaderboards count. There were nearly 6000 teams participating in ExtraLife this year. We were the 94th biggest fundraiser, as a team. We did better than a lot of notable corporate teams. We, as a community team, with a dozen members, did better than a large number of corporate and community teams, who had more members (in some cases, a lot more members). SO, yes, I am totally, again, patting us on the collective back, because you guys deserve it. For everything I’ve written about above, you deserve it. Those who fund-raised, those who contributed, those who ran coffee runs, wrangled kids, helped trouble-shoot electrical and network problems, everyone who spread the word, shared the links on social media, everyone who was part of the whole thing, thanks.

    It’s something this group of people I call my friends do very, very well. I just rarely see it laid out in a format like this. It’s pretty damn awesome, and I’m proud of all of you.

    That’s the entire international event. How cool is that?

    The Extra Life Gameathon is a truly wonderful time. Let not speak of it again for a while, because… wow. Just so tired. Worth it, but so tired.

    Also… can we have a fundraiser to pay my electrical bill? 🙂

    [gaming] It’s Coming to Gameathon Time Again!

    In the same way that some people love Christmas, I love October/November. Why? Because it’s time for the Extra-Life.org Gameathon again.

    I’ve organized this for two years now, and I think we’re going to do it again this year. I really do love the event, and as the money raised goes to the Children’s Miracle Network, and then funnels down to your local Children’s Hospital (CHEO, in our case), and 100% of the proceeds go to the cause, NOT to administration?

    Yeah, it’s a good cause.

    There is only ONE glaring problem. It’s at halloween. Specificlly, October 25th (two days after my birthday, and six days before Hallowe’en night.)

    And these are my friends:

    To Infinity, and Beyond 2

    Bane 2

    Yeah. There’s more of them, but you get the idea. Halloween is the most important day of the year, for them.

    So, what to do?

    Screw it. We’re doing the 25th. Yes, it IS the final-push weekend for costume creation. However,

    The other thing I want to do is, make everything bigger.

    Because that’s what Team Bombshelter does.

    Ok, here’s the first year. See? Looked pretty cool, right? And, apparently, I never did a write-up for the second year (dunno how that happened!). But, somewhere, I do have pictures. I gotta find ’em, but they’re there.

    Again, pretty sweet. We tried to do something different. A single Forza4 race. It turns out that the longest Forza4 race you can set up is about 8 hours (Class B, modified, running 200 laps of the Nordschliefe). We only made it about an hour in before SketchedOut ruined all our cars by flipping his. So, after that, we ran some shorter (10 lap) races on smaller tracks. There was also the inevitable HALO free-for-all-deathmatch, Rockband in the basement, and gaming PC’s all over the house.

    I kinda want to make it bigger again this year.

    I’d like to do the big race.

    Scratch that. I REALLY, REALLY WANT TO DO THE BIG RACE. Especially if we’re going to be in a situation where the majority of the console gamers are going to be car guys (more on that later), due to the costume folk celebrating THEIR holiday the same day(s).

    SO, I’m thinking about bringing other car clubs and/or regions/sections of car clubs in, to see if they’ll do the same thing. IF they will, and we can get a sizable group together, I want to see if Turn10 will host the race on their own servers/hardware, and broadcast it. I’ve talked about this before. But there’s not been any real sense in actually trying to do it, with only seven or eight drivers. We can do that locally.

    BUt if we had, say, 32 drivers, willing to be on their xboxes for eight hours or so, maybe Turn10 WOULD in fact get involved and help us out. This is what we did last year, and I’ll be planning the race for this year, too, but I’ll do that later.

    The only bad news is, I’d love to do it on Forza5, but I don’t have the hardware (xbox:one, wheel/pedals) yet. And, I don’t think enough people have new One’s yet to make it viable.

    For those who’re taking part locally, I need to know:

    a] that you’re coming!
    b] what you’re bringing. If you’re bringing a console, you need a TV and/or Monitor, too. Gaming PC’s, same deal, right? We can help with transport if you need it.
    c] How much you plan on fund raising. It’s seven weeks to the event, lots of time to bother family, friends, and co-workers for five bucks. Go sign-up on the Team Bombshelter team page at Extra-Life.org, then get to it!
    d] if you’re out of town… (and this is mostly for the car community guys & girls) are you just gonna start your own team and compete with us? 🙂 If so, go to Extra Life, sign up, and create your own team.

    All in all, this started as a fun thing for me to do with friends on my birthday, and ended up being a charity we raised (in two years) just about five grand for our local Children’s Hospital. I’d love to see that jump to seventy-five hundred total this year (so, team fund raising goal of $2500 for this year). It’s a good cause, and a large number of families I know have made use of the facilities at CHEO. Even five, or ten bucks helps.

    Three months to go, so more details will follow, obviously.

    Also, you’re welcome to Sponsor me, directly. GO SPONSOR ME NOW, I COMMAND IT.

    [24-HOUR GAMEATHON] The Rules: 12 Hours of Nordschliefe

    Driftin' for the Children

    I was bored, so I made a thing! It’s not great, but it gets the point across.

    So, we’re on. Right now, it appears we have seven to ten drivers, which, for an inaugural event, is decent.

    I’ll have to work on a driver list.

    But, here’s the ‘terms’ of the race.

    1] the game is Forza Motorsports 4 on xbox360.
    2] The track is the Nordschliefe:

    3] The car class is B. Specifically, topping out at B-500. Other than that, anything goes. Tune as you see fit. If you need assistance setting up your car, I recommend ForzaDroid as a set-up tool. It’ll give a good, basic tune that’ll get you around the track.
    4] The settings are “Full Simulation”. So, you gotta worry about tire wear, gas, and damage. The pits will be open. Under simulation… body damage does not get fixed. I found that out the other day. That means major contact? your downforce is FUBAR, and probably, so’s your aero. that takes your carefully-set-up handling and top-speed into the shitter. For the rest of the race. Be warned.
    5] Because of 4] keep the contact to a minimum. There’s gonna be some (rubbin’s racin’), but don’t be a moron and ruin everyone’s day. It could be 14 miles/fifteen minutes plus to get back to the pits in a wrecked car.
    6] No quittin’.. You wanna stop racing? park the car on the grass and wait for the race to end.
    7] Race is 12 hours. I have a feeling that’ll stretch a little, because you can’t set a ‘timed’ race. But, with a 9 to 9-and-a-half minute lap, approx 6.5 laps per hour, makes for a 77-lap, 12 hour race. I’ll probably set 80 laps, just to be safe, and we’ll run 12, maybe 12 1/2 hours.

    Right now, the starting grid is:

    Me
    Colton
    Kendra
    Adrian
    Melissa
    Andrew T

    I’m hoping I can interest a few players from XBL into joining in: HOTLZ77, Choccy, and Sleight-of-foot (who have all been bustin’ my rivals times for months, and are therefore worthy adversaries).

    Sadly, it’s not quite as big as I’d hoped. But, I think the easiest way to deal with that is…. Fill up the spaces with AI. Which is going to make for a sixteen car field. If anyone wants in at this point, let me know.

    One reminder: If you’re not actually raising money: MAKE A DONATION. This is especially important for players. While the race is gonna be fun (hell, the whole weekend is gonna be FUN) the point is to raise money for CHEO, The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, via Children’s Miracle Network. Even small donations make a huge difference: if we have twenty people playing and everyone chips in $10, that’s $200. If everyone on my facebook list chipped in FIVE bucks, that’d be over a grand. It adds up really quickly. And it’s a really good cause.

    And if anyone wants to commit to double their donation to me IF I WIN THE RACE? You’ll know by 8:30pm on November 2nd, as it’s a 12 hour race. Tell me ahead of time. I will, of course, race dirty to double the donation.

    Extra-Life Gameathon Preparation

    I’ve been running Forza4 a lot again, in prep for the 24 hour gameathon in November. I’m STILL trying to organize a long race on Nordschliefe, with a dozen drivers. I’d hoped for a 24hr race, but I think I may have to cut it back to 12, or even 6 hrs, just to build the interest.

    So, yeah. I’ve been prepping my car. *grin*

    Set up suspension.
    Run on autocross for handling feel
    Tweak.
    Run
    Tweak.
    Run.
    Tweak.
    Run.
    Head to Nordschliefe, verify it works at high speed.

    Part of the high-speed verification is watching the tire temps, and whether I’m getting camber-wear on the straight-away at 140mph +, and decide whether I want to sacrifice some corner to increase the longevity of the tires.

    Extra-Life.org 24-hour Gameathon 2013 – The enbegininininining.

    Well, I’m starting it up again, TeamBombshelter is live again for the 2013 Extra-Life.org 24 (or 25) hour gameathon. The proceeds not only go via the Childrens Miracle Network, but extra-life/CMN allows you to pick the specific hospital you want to funds to go to. Due to proximity, I’ve chosen the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario again this year (CHEO).

    So, two things.

    1] PLEASE DONATE! It’s a really good cause, you get a tax recipt, and the 100% of donation goes to the cause, NOT beauracracy.
    2] If you’re willing, join the team. Last year, we set up five TV’s, a projector, and several PC’s and did a ton of multi-player LAN gaming. I’ve already been asked if tabletop is acceptable. IT IS. If you wanna play boardgames at 2am? I’m all for that. If you want to play from home, that’s awesome too.

    last year, we raised just shy of $2700. I’d like to beat that this year.

    We did it, much like this, if you want to see the fairly epic set-up:

    To that effect, I’m not just gaming for 24 hours. I’m setting up a 24-hour RACE (one race) on Forza4. I plan on having a co-driver, so I can opt out for a few hours to play HALO deathmatch, but I want to race 24 hours. More details will follow, and I will be looking for other participants! If you’re a race fan, totally want you in! I’m working on classes now, but I will be running a 2010 3.8L Hyundai Genesis Coupe, modified, and tuned to B500 level/class, that should give you something to work with.

    The event is November 2nd, 2013. I know, that’s like, three months from now. But I want to start now! If you want to join, join up, and start your own fund raising! If you want to donate, do it now, so I don’t have to bug you again. 😉

    DONATE HERE!

    More will follow over the next little while!

    GAME ON!