PXA's Extra Life 2012 Campaign - Amnesia Stream Done, Maybe More In Future


UPDATE 3: Holy crap, remember when this was a thing I was doing?! I apologise for the delay everyone, this has been way too long coming but a merger at work and a pile of other stuff just completely screwed my time lately. I'm happy to report however that the Amnesia single session stream is a GO and will take place on Sunday, March 24th, starting at 3pm EST. I know this was the show a lot of people really wanted to see so I'm hoping this is enough notice for everyone. I also picked the late start time because aside from having belated birthday brunch with my girlfriend in the morning, I wanted to give everyone on the west coast an opportunity to tune in without having to get up early. This is going to be must-see TV everyone and though it will be archived for you to laugh at later, you'll have way more fun making fun of me in the chat so come one, come all!

I'm pleased to announce that I'll also be using this event to kick off my new YouTube show Retro Flashback. I've been working on this thing for a little while now and while it's still going to need a lot of refinements going forward, I think it's ready to launch. I'll be uploading the first episode the right before the show and forgive me but I'll be pimping it hard. I'm really excited to be doing it and I hope it's something people will find interesting and entertaining. I'm going to be adding a little additional stretch goal to this whole campaign related to this. Since Extra Life is now closed for 2012, there's no more donations to be had but since I'm launching this new show that day, I'm hoping maybe I can convince people to subscribe to it and ask their friends to subscribe if there's another potential suffering for me attached to it. I've got an idea brewing but I'll announce it when the show starts and post it here at the same time.

I hope a bunch of you are able to come watch. This is going to be quite the thing. I'm dreading it already.


UPDATE 2: Sorry for being incognito for so long on this. December was an absolute madhouse at work and I was completely burnt out so I took my employer's holiday break to not do much. The next couple of months are shaping up to be pretty nuts too but I'm determined to flog myself for everyone's amusement with this Amnesia stream. What I'm waiting to hear on now is whether or not I can do it from home. I had to do the other streams at the office because my ISP wasn't able to offer better than 1MBps upload to me but thanks to some regulatory rulings in their favour, they're going to be able to do 4MBps at some point, I'm just not sure when yet. It would be way easier to do the stream from home so I'm hoping to hear on that soon. In any case, I hope to do the show by the end of February at the latest, if not this month. My hope is to give everyone here at least two weeks notice since I know a ton of people really want to see me suffer and I want to give everyone time to get a free afternoon in their calendars. Rest assured, this is still gonna' happen! More details when I know.


UPDATE: I had already passed this stretch goal before my Dark Souls day but thanks to the epic awesomeness of a great many people, I crossed the second goal during that day as well! I'm still not sure when the Amnesia stream is going to happen yet as work might get nuts soon but for now, I can schedule the second stream for my single session, snark ridden playthrough of Duke Nukem Forever.

The live stream playthrough of Duke Nukem Forever will tentatively be Sunday, November 11th, starting at 10am EST.

This should also be quite the show as this is a game I was trying to avoid and I intend to take the piss out of it the entire time. A couple of programming notes: Firstly, I won't be playing any of the DLC. The base game will be painful enough for me.

Secondly, this game doesn't normally play nice with XSplit. Since no one's streaming it, they've never added proper support for it and I'm having to use a workaround where I feed the video to XSplit from another application. It's very touchy and the game video will often go black if I swap out of it, requiring me to restart the stream. I'm hoping to monitor the chat and such from my laptop so this won't be an issue but we may run into hitches from time to time.

Thirdly, November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada (basically Veteran's Day to US folks). In keeping with our country's tradition, I will be pausing at 11:11am that morning for a minute of silence to honour our veterans. I won't stop the stream for this but just word up that it'll happen.

Lastly, I thought that people could only contribute to the campaign until the end of the main day but it turns out things are still going. So feel free to spam everyone you know to pitch in at my page if you want, though no more stretch goals are planned. I can only handle so much and I've gotta' save something for next year.

A couple of incredible stats: Thanks to all you amazing contributors, I've raised more than 94% of other participants and on their global leaderboard, I am 66 of 16,175 which is insane! As terrified as I am just thinking of doing the Amnesia stream, I think it's also going to be fun and I can't wait to give everyone some laughs. Can't wait to think of another idea for next year's campaign! See you next Saturday!


Hey all! Forgive the spat of shameless self-promotion here but it's for sick kids so I hope you'll bear with me. Last year I participated in the Extra Life 24 hour charity gaming marathon for the first time. Thanks in no small part to the generosity of people here, I beat my goal by a considerable amount and I've got bigger ambitions for this year's event which will take place on October 20th.

Last year's event wasn't easy but it didn't end up being as tough as I thought it would be so I aim to up the challenge this year. How you ask? By devoting the entire 24 hours to a single game, one I've purposefully avoided and been content to watch others play. That game is Dark Souls. This type of game is not normally my thing at all but for the entire 24 hours, I will be digging into the PC version of it with both hands. I expect it to be both rewarding and hilariously aggravating. In the event of some kind of technical issue (which I mean, this is the Dark Souls PC port so who knows), I'll be switching to Evochron Mercenary as a backup.

On top of that, I'm also planning to live stream the entire thing! I've never done a live stream before and let me tell you, it's quite a rabbit hole to go down. I'm going to have to do it at my office where we have fibre because my upload speed at home is too slow to stream 720p. I'm hoping people might be able to chat/mock me through Twitch and maybe even Skype too but I'm not sure if that's going to work yet.

Lastly, in the hopes of raising even more money for the kids this year, I'm introducing stretch goals! If I hit two pre-defined targets of (I'll add more if people are insanely awesome and donate that much), I'll do separate live streams at later times of two other, very different games. At $1,000, I'll play Duke Nukem Forever front to back in one sitting. I've purposefully avoided this pile of burning garbage and even watching videos of it frustrates me. Beating the whole thing in one sitting should make for much entertaining snark.

At $2,000, I will single session Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Anyone who knows me knows I hate horror, be it movies, games or whatever. I'm a huge weak sauce when it comes to this stuff. How weak? DOOM 3 scared the crap out of me. Seriously. It will be torture for me to play through a game like this which even horror fanatics have a hard time getting through. Doing it in one sitting, live on video will be even more nuts. It could be one of the biggest challenges I'll face as someone who has been gaming for more than 25 years.

So there it is. I've upped the stakes for myself a lot this year but I'm also really stoked to do this again and I'm hoping to shatter last year's record and do some more good. You can donate directly from my page on the Extra Life site as well as track my progress. I know the GWJ Donation Drive just kicked off and there have been other important causes worthy of donation here lately. This isn't nearly as important as those but if you have a few bucks to spare, I'd really appreciate your support. Feel free to spam your friends, relatives and the Internet at large with word of this as well. I think it's going to be a fun time supporting a great cause. I'll see you on Twitch TV!

Heh, the Amnesia experience sounds like must see TV!

LeapingGnome wrote:

Heh, the Amnesia experience sounds like must see TV! :)

Oh it will be. If you want kind of an idea, go look up TotalBiscuit's playthrough and picture it with even more swearing and shrieking.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

I expect it to be both rewarding and hilariously aggravating.

Yes, and probably yes. Just test the game a few days prior to streaming. I haven't heard a peep about performance issues for anyone that gets the game up and running smoothly right away. And make sure you download the resolution fix.

Good luck!

I don't want any other stretch goals other than watching you play Amnesia. Maybe at $3000 you will play with the lights off around, $4000 you will play with a noise cancelling headset on, and at $5000 have a good friend who will randomly scare you while playing the game.

DeThroned wrote:

I don't want any other stretch goals other than watching you play Amnesia. Maybe at $3000 you will play with the lights off around, $4000 you will play with a noise cancelling headset on, and at $5000 have a good friend who will randomly scare you while playing the game.

If I can find a way to make my web cam able to see me without any lights on, that's how I'll be playing it and I will be doing it with a headset. On the weekends, my work office (where I'll have to do the streaming) is dead quiet so yeah, I'm going for the full experience.

Dyni wrote:
Parallax Abstraction wrote:

I expect it to be both rewarding and hilariously aggravating.

Yes, and probably yes. Just test the game a few days prior to streaming. I haven't heard a peep about performance issues for anyone that gets the game up and running smoothly right away. And make sure you download the resolution fix.

Good luck!

I plan to do a test stream some time in the next couple of weeks that I'll probably invite people to check out. I've managed to run Dark Souls (with the resolution fix) through XSplit (the streaming software) just recording locally to my hard drive and it seems to be OK. The real test will be if the fibre at work can handle doing 720p consistently without dropping frames. There are no Twitch TV servers in Canada and a lot of the ones in the US have lousy ping times for me. I found two that should be OK but testing's the only way to know for sure.

So I did a test stream using my home connection this morning (which was obviously laggy as Hell, it was more to test the software) and ran into a potential snag. When playing Dark Souls with it feeding into XSplit, my frame rate drops to about 10 after several minutes. Doesn't matter if the stream is active or whether I run the resolution fix mod. It turns out that Dark Souls is not officially supported by XSplit right now. Thing is, the game support list is user maintained and it says that XSplit causes it to crash which isn't what happened to me. They just pushed a new version so I'm hoping they're working on it or I can tune it to work. The game's unplayable with a frame rate that slow so if I can't fix it, I'll have to fall back to Evochron Mercenary but I'm really hoping I won't have to.

I don't know if anyone here has experience live streaming or knows someone who does but if so, I'd appreciate any help. I'll crawl the XSplit forums and I'm going to e-mail a couple of YouTube people who've done some Dark Souls recording and I hope that'll help too. This won't beat me so early!

Just noticed this thread, PXA. I went ahead and put a link to this thread in the Dark Souls thread. Hopefully that'll drum up more love for the thread.

Edit: Doh, just read your latest post. Well, I hope you get it up and running.

Thanks man, I appreciate it. I'm really driven to promote the crap out of this event this year but I don't want to overstep bounds and just have it become annoying. At least not by my own hand.

I'm still confident I can fix the streaming issues. I shall not be defeated!

I so wish I had money. I'd love to donate just because, but I also totally want to see you play Amnesia. I need to man up and actually play that game, but I've been a weenie.

Playing Amnesia should have a front facing camera as well then.
Good luck with the whole endeavor!

Sparhawk wrote:

Playing Amnesia should have a front facing camera as well then.
Good luck with the whole endeavor!

I should make it a bit clearer how my setup will be, unfortunately my Extra Life page has a character limit. This is going to be a proper live stream setup like the pros use. I'll have a high-res webcam on me the whole time and I will be in the corner of the feed so people can watch me play and lose my mind at Dark Souls. Needless to say, that will be the most valuable part if I get to my Amnesia goal. I will also be mic'd and judging from the results of my test today, I'm hoping I will even be able to chat with people over Skype or Steam if anyone feels like doing that. I was not pleased with the voice quality I was getting today but I know my mic can sound much better so I think that's down to how I have the XSplit codec configured. This is a journey I tell ya'. To be clear though, the stream will be open to everyone so if you don't want/can't afford to donate, you'll still be able to watch the show.

I'm hoping to be able to do another test on the office fibre connection that I'll be using this upcoming Friday. My plan is to bring my rig into work and do the stream around 5pm when the office should be cleared out and the load on the connection should be minimal. If I do that, I'll post about it if people want to join in for a bit and provide feedback on the lag and audio quality and such. I'll keep the plans posted here. It's an excuse to bump the thread once in a while.

What about using VGA or Component output? Does the analog DRM hole still exist?

heavyfeul wrote:

What about using VGA or Component output? Does the analog DRM hole still exist?

I'm actually playing the PC version so the game feeds directly into the software. You can capture one PC into another and use the second one to handle the encoding and broadcast but I don't have a second machine powerful enough to run XSplit in HD. AVerMedia makes a newly released PCI-E card that works with XSplit and hardware encodes the gameplay but it's way too expensive if you don't plan to live stream regularly (it's over $200 and I'd like to do more streaming but I'm not there yet) and I'm not even sure that'll solve the problem. I've got posts in the XSplit and Dxtory forums and I e-mailed TotalBiscuit who has managed to record Dark Souls through Dxtory so I'm hoping one of them can assist.

Well, I bring potentially good news! I was configuring the scene layouts in XSplit tonight and after checking their forums (where exactly no one is talking about Dark Souls), I found a few settings to tweak in threads related to other games. They are both settings that are disabled by default in the software but which most people enable anyway. It at least appears to be working so far. I ran around randomly in Dark Souls for a while and then left the game running in the background while I spent the next hour setting up all the scenes. When I came back, everything was still running tickety boo! I wasn't streaming at the time (it wouldn't work properly on this connection anyway) but I think the problem's been solved. I'm hoping to do a streaming test on either Thursday or Friday. Once I know, I'll post here and if people want to join in while I try it out, that would be awesome. So help me, I'll get this working!

I'm sure you stated this; I'm likely just doing a poor job skimming. When is the deadline for contributing to the cause?

demonbox wrote:

I'm sure you stated this; I'm likely just doing a poor job skimming. When is the deadline for contributing to the cause?

Right up to (and I believe during) the event on October 20th. Possibly after as well but I'm not sure yet. Lots of time left!

I saw Garion's re-title of the thread and came here immediately! Sounds like a great and entertaining idea, although I'm sure I would be a shell of a man after 24 hours of Dark Souls, as much as I love it. I guess that's where the schadenfreudian fun comes in, eh?

I suggest you not spoil yourself on anything about Dark Souls, but possibly accept tips in real-time from Goodjers who donate a certain amount. "I've got no idea where to go from here, but if one of you has $XX for the cause, you can give me some direction," etc.

Anyway, looking forward to it!

That's an interesting idea! My plan is to have the Dark Souls wiki handy on my laptop but not to use as a walkthrough. Stylez has also said he's going to try to get me to summon him into the game which will be fun (we tested it and it takes a while but he does eventually appear to my game). I also have confirmed that I can get Skype working as well as Steam chat so in addition to the Twitch text chat, people can feel free to call in and chat during the event if they want. I think that would be kind of fun.

SO! Another thing as well. Are a handful of Goodjers going to be available and in a place where they can stream Twitch TV at either noon or 4:30pm eastern time on Friday? I ask because I'd like to do a test stream on my office Internet connection to make sure that it can handle doing 720p without lagging. I'll be bringing my rig in that day and it would be great to have a few people who can watch random gameplay and commentary for a few minutes and tell me how the performance is. I'm reasonably confident it'll work fine but I want to make sure. Anyone think they'll be about? I'll do whichever time slot has more people (or perhaps both since the network has lower load at 4:30).

I'll be around then. Earlier is better for me.

I'll be around as well. I need stuff to do during this time stuck at home and am happy to help via a test. Hell, I owe you that at the very least since I'm not in a position to contribute cash-wise but am eager to see you push yourself through the game for such a long stretch. Half the fun of Dark Souls, for me, is hearing or even witnessing other people's experiences and comparing them to my own. It's such a finally crafted world, the layout is cleverly deliberate, but the experience remains intensely personal by my reckoning.

While I'm thinking of it: you mentioned having the wiki open during the game. Any plan to familiarize yourself with reading stat symbols and understanding stat-mechanics pre-game? I wouldn't consider that cheating, just setting yourself up not to waste souls, materials, etc. needlessly in what's already going to be a challenging slog.

So FYI, the stream might be closer to 1 or 1:30pm than noon. I forgot I have an appointment at 11am tomorrow and I may have to go back to the damn tire place again after and both of these places are halfway across town from my work. I'll post here and on Twitter when the stream goes up though and hopefully I'll be able to run it for an hour or so.

I definitely plan to give a couple of getting started guides a read. When I've been testing the game, I've been like "What the Hell is Kindle and Reverse Hollow?" Stylez kind of explained it to me but I still don't really get it and there's obviously lots to know beyond that. I do plan to go into the game literate of it at least. If not, I can see large sections of the stream being pretty boring as I sit there trying to figure out what to do.

Hey all. A bit late but my streaming test is going up soon. If anyone's able, I'd appreciate a few people joining in and letting me know if the stream lags. This is mostly to test if my work's fibre line can handle the bandwidth requirements. You can post experiences here, to @PXAbstraction on Twitter or I think in the chat room which I'll have open on my laptop. Thanks!

Looks good to me.

Looking pretty good. Saw some stuttering but it wasn't too bad. Your audio quality is good and the stream is okay - quality-wise.

Will the stream be saved for watching after the fact? It's gonna be pretty impossible to watch this from my timezone. No worries if it's not.

Audio sounds good, so does video.

In re your question about audio levels, we can clearly hear the game voices, but if you try and talk while someone is talking in-game you are lost behind the game a bit.

Seems to be working good even from my phone--I don't have the ability to chat or else I'd suggest possibly turning down your game audio just a smidge as it seems to be drowning out your own voice a little.

EDIT: ...which, I'm realizing is dumb to suggest here, since you're watching the TwitchTV chat, but you know

Working great here! Just caught the tail end of your fight against the Taurus Demon. Can't wait for the real deal.

Oh, and seconding the call for a stream capture for later viewing, just in case I'm back at work or out for treatment on 10/20.

Great success! Even during the day without network under load, not a frame was dropped according to XSplit. Very pleased with the results, I honestly wasn't sure what would happen. To answer a couple questions, Twitch does archive the shows but I'm not sure if it'll archive one this long or not. I guess we'll find out. This will be a 24 hour straight event so people will definitely be able to watch at least some of it, from whatever time zone. It really sucks that people can't use the chat room without signing up for Yet Another Account. I may see if I can find an alternative way. I didn't get to try Skype today but as I understand, it's easy to setup so we'll just assume it'll work fine. What's the worst that could happen? Thanks for the help all! I'm really stoked now that I know it works.

Sorry to necro a thread for another shameless plug but hey, it's for the kids!

A pile of people have already stepped up and at the time of writing, I'm only $123 away from my $1,000 stretch goal where I will endure the pain of one-sessioning the pile of burning garbage known as Duke Nukem Forever. I've had some trouble getting it to work reliably with XSplit but I think I have a backup plan to still make it go should the primary means fail. Unless there's an epic rally in the next couple of weeks, I think my $2,000 Amnesia goal is not going to happen but I purposefully made that goal very lofty since well, even thinking about that game gives me anxiety.

Even now, my total has already passed last year's and according to the site, last year's total already was higher than 94% of the other participants so that I'm already where I am is amazing. I would love to be able to cross 4 digits though. If anyone's got a few bones to pitch in, I would really appreciate it and hey, if anyone out there has more money than sense and really wants to watch me go mad playing Amnesia, there's no upper limit.

Things are still a go for the 20th. I will be starting at 10am EST instead of the official start of 8am EST, simply so that more people will be awake when I start the stream. I plan to setup all my gear at my work the night before so there shouldn't be any delays (touch wood). People will also be able to chat with me throughout the day on the Twitch chat room, Twitter and probably Skype too if anyone feels like it. Can't wait to do this, thanks for your support all!