Fragapalooza 2010, pictures and videos

I’ve finally finished uploading pictures and videos I took at Fragapalooza this  year.  You can find the pictures as this flickr set. A all my Fragapalooza videos can be found here

I don’t have much more to say about Fragapalooza this year, except that a week later I’m still recovering from the lack of sleep, and I can’t wait until next year.

UPDATE: Fixed the youtube link, thanks to the commenter who pointed out that I can't spell :)

Fragapalooza 2010–Days 3 and 4

Sorry that I’m late on this, but after 4 straight days on a computer, I needed some time away.

Day 3 of Fragapalooza started much like I started day 2, with a swim at the pool. I didn’t swim quite as hard as I only slept for about 5 hours, but it still felt really nice and woke me up.  I’ve always been an early riser so I was able to swim for almost an hour, and still be back at the venue at my computer at about 10am.  the day started off kind of slow, because most people slept until around noon or so, but when it did pick up there were lots of games to be played.  I wasn’t very good at starcraft II when the weekend started, but I played it so much I had to get good at it, really quick. I’m not going to say I’m amazing at the game, because I’m not, but at least I wasn’t getting completely destroyed every game by the end of it.  I also played a whole bunch of Team Fortress 2, which I like to think I’m pretty good at. It’s an older game now so everyone there is pretty good at the game, and it made for some really good matches. I could have played that game for a long time.  With the event being a bit smaller than in past years, there are less “uncommon” games being played.  When there were 800 people attending every year, it was easy to find someone who wanted to play pretty much any game you could think of. It’s been a bit different the past couple of years, as mostly newer and popular games are what everyone is playing, and it’s much harder to find someone to play those older games.

The highlight of Day 3 was, as it was last year, the Rock Band Tournament.  I’m still working on uploading all the video I took, but needless to say it was pretty awesome.fragapalooza 2010 172

the scary looking staff band

After Rock Band I participated in an unofficial Team Fortress 2 tournament. We ended up making it to the final through the losers side, but were unable to pull out the victory. The tournament was fun, but I had to play a character I’m not *that* good at so I didn’t do as well as I would have liked.  Still it was fun to get involved in a tournament, even if it was just for fun.

The later parts of my evening I didn’t even game all that much.  I spent most of the time in the chat room for the participants, playing a trivia game. I didn’t intend to play it for that long but before I knew it 3 hours had passed by.

The last thing I did before going to bed was play in a track mania tournament. The staff set up probably the most insane track I’ve ever seen, and the person with the fastest time won.  It took me 20 mintues to complete the track on my first try, 15 on my second try, and the eventual winner was finished in it 9:30. Needless to say it was quite insane.

Sunday, the last day of fragapalooza, is always pretty quiet.  Everyone is tired, people tend to start packing up.  I played games for about 2 hours, and did a sommersault to win a case fan. There wasn’t a whole bunch to say about Sunday except for the closing ceremonies, and the final contest of the weekend, the wall sit.  In past years I’ve been pretty terrible at it, and this year I finished in the top 20 out of about 80 people that tried to win I’m impressed with myself, and hope to do better next year. 

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the last competitors for the wall sit

I didn’t win any prizes in the closing ceremonies, for the 4th straight year, so that kind of sucks.  But the Fragapalooza staff did say one thing that made me very happy, after the difficulties last year and not knowing if we were even going to have an event, they were up front and said that they already can’t wait for Fragapalooza 2011. And you know what, neither can I.

This isn’t my last post about Fragapalooza, but I want to get all of my pictures and videos uploaded first, and then I’ll talk more about them.  I’m typing this on Wednesday afternoon and I feel like I’m still recovering from lack of sleep.

Fragapalooza 2010 – Tent City and Sleeping

Fragapalooza in 2009 had a very small “Tent City” for sleeping. You can see my post about it here.  This year is very different, as Tent City is actually outside, behind the venue.  I have a tent set up there, and have been using that to sleep in.  I’m not quite sure if I like it this year though.  I mean, for the amount I use it it’s been ok, but I heard someone equate it to setting up a tent on the side of a mountain, and they are not wrong.  Most of tent city is essentially on a dirt/gravel area.  When setting my tent up the biggest concern I had wasn’t what direction it was pointed (though I screwed up there), but finding a spot that was flat with few rocks so I could lay down and not feel a sharp object.  Once I actually get to sleep it’s fine.  The other issue with it being outside is just a fact of life. In the evening of day 2 we had a thunderstorm watch, and while we didn’t get anything, in Day 3, we probably will. I’m used to camping and sleeping in a tent in the rain, so it’s not a huge deal, unless it gets super nasty, then there could be problems.

My only issue is 100% my problem; which is that I do not sleep well when it’s basically daylight outside.  When I am going to bed at 4:30am, that doesn’t’ leave a lot of darkness before daylight begins. I’m writing this post on 4 hours of sleep because it was too light for me to go back to bed.

Either way, I just appreciate the fact that I actually get a tent this year, as I didn’t get a “roof” over my head at all last year.  Small blessings, I guess.

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These are a few of the tents in tent city. Mine is the small blue/gray tent to the right of center on the screen. There are about 8-10 more tents on either side of the frame, as well as a couple of trailers.

Fragapalooza 2010–Days 1 and 2

So, you didn’t get a blog post from me about day 1 of Fragapalooza simply because there was no way for me to do said blog.  Day 1 of Fragapalooza was plagued with power issues.  We actually had no power at all from 10:30pm on Thursday night until around 11am on Friday. And even then, it took about 3 hours to get every computer running.  It was not fun.  Put simply, through no fault of the event organizers there was not enough power for the number of computers here, and as more got turned on, there were outages.  Entire rows would lose power, shutting down the computers of up to 34 people at a time. There was even an outage that killed someone’s power supply on their computer. It was really neat, as I haven’t heard a pop like that before, nor have I seen a computer smoke quite like that.  Needless to say the first day was a bit of a bust. The organizers did what they could, including having a dodgeball game in the gym beside the soccer pitch we are on, but honestly, 300 people were here to play video games, and we had no power. It didn’t work out well. I want to stress though that the staff here at Fragapalooza did an amazing job in what was a very difficult situation. They got us power as soon as they could, did everything they could to keep us entertained and informed.  As much as people here have complained about not having any power for basically an entire day, I almost promise you that the staff feel even worse about it.  I was just happy that they were able to resolve the problem and get us back to gaming at a decent time.

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This is what the event looked like on Thursday night. over 250 computers, all turned off, with no power.

As was mentioned, we didn’t get power on Friday, day 2, until about 11am.  Because of this, I actually went for a swim at the pool in the rec center where the event is located. I swam for about an hour, which was actually really nice, and made me feel really good to start the day. When I got back to the venue I was one of the lucky ones, my row was one of the first to get power, but there were not many people to play games with for a while, so I ended up playing a couple of online games of Starcraft II against people from somewhere until more people were online.  After about 1 pm though, things really started to kick into high gear.  Throughout the day I played a lot of Starcraft II, Team Fortress 2, and Alien Swarm. I finished off the night/morning with a game of Left 4 Dead 2.

There were also other events, such as the traditional rock-paper-scissors contest. This year there were 128 participants, I made it through the first 2 rounds, but lost in the 3rd, which is actually my worst result ever, so that was pretty disappointing. The gaming decathlon also started, which I failed to qualify for in another game of rock-paper-scissors. The gaming decathlon have 10 people face elimination challenges until a winner is declared. Each challenge eliminates 1 person, so there will be 10 challenges. The first challenge was playing an old game on a computer and seeing who got the highest score. The second was a paper airplane throwing contest, which I have a video of that I will post after the event. The last challenge of the night was forcing the participants to translate 7 lines of 1337 sp33k.  If you do not know what that is, I’m not going to explain it.

At the end of my night, which was about 4:30 in the morning, there were still quite a few people playing games.  And I must say, Day 2 was significantly better than day 1.

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this picture was taken at 2:30am on Thursday night/Friday morning. Still going strong.

Now, I have one more quick post to write, then off to gaming!