I will be representing TASVideos at the Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 charity marathon
for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
on January 5th starting at 8:25 PM EST and I am requesting donations from you (yes, you, reader :) toward a $10,000 USD goal during the TAS block where I will be showing TAS's on consoles. Donating during the block will enter you in a raffle to win various prizes, including the first production run bot from true in the form of a ROBBerry Pi!
In August I started discussions in IRC about the idea of TASVideos supporting the AGDQ 2014 charity marathon and I'm very happy to see the level of support from across the TASVideos and SDA communities. Before I go into details, I should explain what AGDQ is and my motivations for doing all of this work. The website SpeedDemosArchive.com
is the largest community of players completing games as fast as possible using human skill alone. Several years ago they started a yearly charity marathon now known as Awesome Games Done Quick
and the marathons have driven more than $1 million in donations to various charities, primarily to the Prevent Cancer Foundation
. As cancer claimed the lives of three of my grandparents when I was young I am motivated to support SDA's charity efforts any way I can. As part of this, I've had good discussions with adelikat about having TASVideos actively support the AGDQ 2014 marathon through things like a website banner on the front page and representing the TASVideos community during the marathon itself.
I pitched the idea of a TAS block in the AGDQ 2014 Games List thread
and mikwuyma (who is generally in charge of game selection and the marathon itself) responded on the next page
by initially allocating a 30 minute block (which he later bumped to a full 45 minutes
) during primetime on the opening day of the marathon on 2013-01-05 at 8:25 PM EST.
Many people contributed to this project over the course of the last several months, including Ilari, zid', micro500, DarkKobold, adelikat, and true. Here is what we've accomplished, with the original post at the bottom to provide historical context for the discussions in the rest of this thread.
I attached a Raspberry Pi
computer and the board that true built
to a ROB
and dubbed it
ROBBerry Pi can play back NES and SNES games and will be used to play back Gradius
with adelikat commentating, SMW total control
thanks to Masterjun, and a bid war between SMB3
and something as-of-yet undecided.
On the N64 front, micro500 has his existing bot
and has also started work on a new revision. We'll be playing back SM64 0-star
My wife and I will be at AGDQ 2014 for the entire marathon. She's made a few raffle prizes and I will be volunteering at various stations
What I need now is for people to spread the word. The TAS Block will run on 2014-01-05 from 20:25 - 21:10 EST (8:25 PM - 9:10 PM EST). My personal goal is to raise $10,000 USD in those 45 minutes. It's an optimistic goal, and it can't happen without the help of the TASVideos community. Donating will enter you in a raffle to win various prizes, including the first production run bot from true.
The second half of the original post is below for historical context
We even have some good ideas
for donation incentives
So far, we have the following suggestions on things we can show in a TAS oriented block:
- NES bot running Gradius, potentially with commentary from adelikat if he can attend Update: He'll be there!
- N64 bot running Super Mario 64 0-star
- SNES bot showing Super Mario World, possibly with total control based on work Masterjun is doing Update: There are exciting developments on this front!
For my part, I have experience and access to a hardware lab and am committed to doing the following:
- Post regular updates of my progress (in an entertaining and educational manner)
- Build an NES bot (using either the Arduino hardware or my own attempts using the ENIO board)
- Build an N64 bot (either the existing design by micro500 or my own design)
- Build an SNES bot (based on the design feos came up with)
- Attempt to build all three on common hardware (as a TASBot) using a Raspberry Pi and engage the Pi community in the project
- Attend AGDQ 2014 early around January 4th, 2014 to help them with setup
- Read donations during the marathon
- Set up hardware and give a demonstration of all of the bots that work during a TAS block
Here are the parts I still need to pull this off:
A copy of Gradius that will sync with adelikat's run Update: micro500 lent me his cartridge - Thanks!
A copy of Super Mario 64 (an SDA member named Corrodias on #SDA offered to donate an N64 console for this project)
A copy of Super Mario World (I own one, but it's not with the rest of my SNES games and I have been unable to find it)
Four sacrificial SNES controllers (I only need the cords so broken controllers are fine) Update: I bought SMW, SM64, and two controllers from a local enthusiast and I bought a third controller using Bitcoins from SDA member AniMeowzerz
- A Raspberry Pi to backfill the one I plan on using to create a new TASBot platform (still needed)
Potentially a GERTBoard for the Raspberry pi to protect the Pi's sensitive 3.3v GPIO pins from voltage spikes No longer needed
- Wiring harnesses for each console, possibly with console-specific circuitry as needed
An Arduino (as a "backup strat" :) Borrowed from a co-worker with much thanks
I'm seeking donations from the community to help obtain these items as some of them might be difficult to find.
In particular, getting the correct copy of Gradius could be a challenge, and not many people actively sell broken SNES controllers
(I'm good here now). I'm planning on financing the plane trip itself from California to Washington, DC and covering room costs for a week at the Crowne Plaza
as well as covering the costs of all of the materials needed but at the same time I would not turn down donations. Update:
Bitcoin donor (namely, Sonny from Butterfly Labs
) covered all of the existing travel and materials costs! The only remaining costs I have are food and transportation while we're there and a few smaller materials (lots of yarn for raffle prizes, primarily :). If you're inclined to donate but do not have any of the needed materials I can receive Bitcoin donations at the address 1CknXDyb5jTG1Nw1hs437r6fnz7npBSEfA and can publicly thank donors during the stream if you make your identity known.
Thank you in advance for the support,