Gameathon: You did good, and you should feel good!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m ecstatic with how the gameathon went. Despite the technical glitches and scheduling issues and having to cut it off about 2.5 hrs before our predicted end time (oof), it was still ridiculously successful. We got more guests than we were expecting and often had to double, triple and quadruple up. We got more donations than we were expecting, raising a total of $523.89 each for Women In Secularism and Camp Quest, and covered all expenses necessary to start this up so I’m not even in the red! Yes, seriously, I was a bit pessimistic at first, thinking nobody would show or donate and that we weren’t going to make enough to cover those expenses. I was fully prepared to have to eat the cost just to have something to give to CQ/WIS. But as it stood, we had enough to cover all the major expenses and plenty to give to both charities.

And the fun we had! If you missed the broadcast, it’s all still available here, and I plan on pulling chunks of it out to put on Youtube for easier access. I curb-stomped JT repeatedly at Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, though in fairness his internet was basically horrendous throughout the whole event (despite them sending someone out to fix it). He got his comeuppance when he played Contra on the NES and got to Stage 4 on the default three lives — he’s a beast. And despite my immense experience with Megaman, he beat me handily a few times when we did some stage time trials . I played some Bible games to show the audience the kind of crap available for the NES from Wisdom Tree, Jodi played some Toejam and Earl, we did some three-player Ninja Turtles (albeit briefly), we each played a few games that we’d never seen before (including Ninja Baseball Batman — which is awesome!).

Then there were guests. Ed Brayton made a surprise appearance, Glendon Mellow hung out for a while, Russell Glasser was a good sport and visited twice — once on Saturday afternoon and once on Sunday morning shortly before we threw in the towel. Stephanie Zvan made a yet-unmet challenge: find proof of the existence of an Atari II (or thereabouts) Taipan! clone called Shanghai (and no, not the Mahjongg Solitaire game). James Croft visited to give us a rousing speech… or two. Though both of which may have been lifted from other sources, come to think of it. I met a bunch of people for the first time, like Lauren Lane and Lux Pickel. And we introduced Brianne to the concept of emulation and she was absolutely ecstatic to play as Yoshi in Mario Kart and drive into a wall repeatedly.

This is going to happen again next year, without question. But it may have to happen with JT and I in the same place, if the internet is going to be any near as recalcitrant next time around.

And none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you all, so very much.

Gameathon: You did good, and you should feel good!

4 thoughts on “Gameathon: You did good, and you should feel good!

  1. 1

    Did anyone try disabling their own webcam during a game to conserve bandwidth?
    IIRC you once toggled JT’s video at the receiving end, but I’m not sure whether skype would disable each client’s features that nobody paid attention to, or if your end would merely disregard packets that flood in regardless.
    Players had emulator states downloading, skype audio and video uploading, and possibly the twitch A/V stream downloading. Hmm, the multimedia streams’ quality settings were probably more important than Kaillera’s keyframing, too.

  2. 2

    Yeah, the majority of the time, I disabled my own (built-in) cam to them and used a different cam to broadcast me to the audience. A few times, when restarting calls, I didn’t think to disable my cam to them immediately. And where JT had bandwidth issues, he avoided streaming anything but video to me and connecting to the games — and when he used his phone tethering, all the gaming issues disappeared. However, that’s expensive as ass. JT’s internet was the single biggest stumbling block and we were doing everything we could, sadly. Despite our efforts, the best ping times I got from him all night were still in the 150-200ms range. The majority of the time, they were no better than my alpha-testing with AliasAlpha from Australia.

    The biggest problems with lag on my end came from running all the streams. Skype on Windows apparently really can’t handle multi-person calls on a multi-core processor. When you hit four people, oh man, does that one core get slammed. And I think having Xsplit open actually pipes all keyboard/joystick input through it so it can handle its special keyboard shortcuts, which created a noticeable input lag when I was trying to do some precise things in Megaman. I tested it yesterday with only my emulator, and yeah, my performance improved significantly.

  3. 3

    where JT had bandwidth issues, he avoided streaming anything but video to me and connecting to the games

    I meant to say: maybe having him skype-broadcast to you audio-only to you would have helped.

    Streaming video is really resource intensive for the information it conveys.

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