Extra Life 2016 Recap
Earlier this month, 26 of our fine Relicans took part in Extra Life 2016, an annual fundraiser in which gamers from around the world take part in an epic 24-hour gaming marathon. Extra Life is a brilliant organization that supports children in treatment for serious illnesses such as cancer, heart defects, and other life-threatening conditions.
We believe games have the power to inspire, connect, and make a real difference. Extra Life is a great chance to put that into practice while supporting a great cause. Last year, our noble Extra Life team raised CDN $8,612 for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Our squad for this year’s event hoped to best that total.
So it was, that on November 5th at 10am, the team bunkered down for the long haul. 24 hours of nonstop gaming is no easy task, so we made sure our volunteers had the necessary provisions for such an undertaking. Shout-out to Tim Hortons, Tacofino, and Sushi Nanaimo for being our fuel of choice!
Loads of awesome Relicans who weren’t taking part in the full marathon stopped by throughout the day to play games and chill with the team. Their visits really helped the long-haulers stay alert and in good spirits.
Our players were free to play whatever they wanted, and we saw a great range of games over the day with Overwatch, Civilization 6, and Titanfall 2 being among the most popular. According to David Phan, our Producer and Event Organizer, multiple Relicans gleefully teamed up on Overwatch to “stomp on other players.”
Some Relicans stuck doggedly to just one game. Both, Alex Mueller and Steve Crozier played Overwatch for almost the entirety of the event. Steve said that while it felt like a good idea at the time, by the end things had got a little rough.
Damon Gauthier, one of our Senior Designers, had a particularly epic session on Civilization VI. Damon said he played for 18 hours in total including one monster 15-hour stint. Perhaps more impressively, Damon wasn’t satisfied with a mere 24 hours of gaming. He stayed after everyone else had called it a day because “there was like 10 turns to go and I wasn’t going to stop, the end was too near!”
We really wanted the fans to see what we were up to, so we took to Twitch. Relicans streamed Company of Heroes 2, Dark Souls, Mass Effect 2 and more. Quin Duffy, our Principal Designer put on a throwback stream where he played some Homeworld and Impossible Creatures, two Relic classics. Quinn worked on both titles and was able to give some really cool insights to the fans.
Dungeons and Dragons was a huge success at last year’s Extra Life, so demand was high leading into this year’s event. Our resident D&D expert Drew Wretham put in a heroic effort, acting as Dungeon Master for three epic games, each of which was at least five hours long and involved seven different Relicans, many of whom had never played before.
Weird and wonderful tales emerged after the campaigns. There was talk of boulder throwing ogres, rotating tunnels covered in burning oil, and a monk who chopped down trees with his bare hands. One party was sleeping at the base of a mountain, when a malevolent ghost attacked, nearly killing everyone and ending the game early. Another group had a near miss with underwater kelp sirens, only to be saved by Brent Disbrow, who realized that as a druid he could shapeshift into a giant crab. A less fortunate party had no giant crab on hand and was therefore destroyed by the alluring kelp monstrosities.
For some reason, Relicans seem to be really good at suspending their disbelief and immersing themselves in imaginary worlds. Drew had this to say: “I’ve run DnD in a lot of places, and to get 21 people fully engaged within 30 minutes of starting play is really impressive.”
The Dungeon Master’s efforts didn’t go unrewarded. It was his birthday on the 6th, so special efforts were made by the team. Stealthy baker Ryan McGechaen went above and beyond, making an awesome surprise birthday cake, even calling Drew’s wife to find out his favorite flavor. Once the clock struck midnight the team came together to wish the D&D king a happy birthday, and stuff their faces with chocolate cake.
Now, we’re not here to lie to you. The last few hours of the marathon were pretty brutal for most. However, everyone powered through to the finish line. In the end, it was definitely worth it, as we managed to raise $9,178.54 CAD for the BCCHF, besting last year’s total.
We’re really grateful for the support of family, friends, and colleagues which allowed our team to contribute to such a fantastic cause. A big thanks to all Relicans who took part. We’re really proud of you guys. Bring on next year!