Today I was met with a little bit of a surprise. A big one in fact. A massive group of people from the Kotaku community blasted into the Allure Media offices with a giant pile of presents for the Kotaku team. We're all massively overwhelmed by the generosity. The time and effort put into everything has blown us away. Apparently this is just the beginning!
Crazily the above pic doesn't even show all of the presents. We also got a table tennis set, which is already set up, and the community gave us $150 worth of OzGameShop vouchers. We hope you don't take this the wrong way guys, but we've all decided to donate the vouchers to Child's Play. We really, really don't feel as though we deserve all this stuff considering working for Kotaku Australia and writing for you guys is pretty much the best job in the world.
Personally, I'm blown away and Tracey, who is usually only excited by the sight of newly minted business cards actually showed a flicker of emotion. I'd like to personally thank every single person involved in this. Thanks so much for making this Christmas so awesome for those involved with Kotaku. This is just so far and beyond what we deserve -- you guys are the greatest.
Special thanks go to the crazy mastermind behind all of this, Chuloopa. I don't know where to begin. This is incredible. And apparently this is just the beginning. In addition to bringing gifts for the Kotaku team -- that were perfectly chosen and tailored to our specific interests -- Chuloopa and his team have also found a way to get the rest of the community involved. It's all quite complication so maybe I'll just let him explain.
Take it away Lord Loops...
So the time has come - the reveal of the Kotaku Kristmas Project and a special surprise for contributors! Oh the joyous rapture!
So a few weeks back i thought to myself "Loops, you handsome devil, you really need to get something going to show those handsomer devils at Kotaku AU just how much we appreciate their hard work, dedication and all round rad-ness" It was then then i declared myself a genius and made myself a Nobel Peace prize from an old cereal box - but more importantly, the Kotaku Kristmas Project was born!
After some rather hasty Google research I found a free forum site and made my start. Easy part done, it was time to find people to participate. Hitting up every area of Kotaku the people started to come.
After this, everything was divided into phases and managed individually.
Phase one was, of course, the recruiting, but not just that. Picking out gifts for our delightful overlords.
Then it was on to Phase 2. Donating .
The guys and girls are a generous bunch and after some initial explanation donations started to roll in.
I thought we'd be lucky to raise $300, so i quickly started writing up a budget and taking gift suggestions from the community, via the scrappy looking forums, on what we should be getting. A think tank of sorts. After a hour or so of budgeting i finally had something together and it was just a matter of waiting to see the money stop so that we could apply my keen business sense. Thing was, though, it didn't stop.
I was completely unprepared. I had no idea what i had started.
In the end, we raised a mind-blowing $1311.73
Absolutely amazing work guys, AMAZING!
Phase 3 started sometime in the middle of Phase two.
Basically, what i asked of people here was to make a card which would then be printed up to send with the gifts, and you'll all be able to see them in a post to come shortly after this one. Those who didn't have time to make cards simply sent me their messages and i turned them into cards for them. Once again, i wasn't ready for the overwhelming response.
Phase 4 - the final total reveal and the final vote on gifts.
Honestly, this was one of the quickest things as we just had that much money and pretty much everyone said "ditto" to the person before them.
Orders were placed, gifts were wrapped and then dispatched.
So this is where we come to today - the gifts have been delivered by some of our most trusted TAYbies and all is well in the world.
That's where it ends, right?
No. Not on my watch. This ending isn't anywhere NEAR happy enough yet!
Ladies, Gentlemen. I have been busy. Very very busy.
I have prizes.
Prizes for everyone.
Prizes for the contributors.
Prizes for the entire community.
Donations have come in from five Indie Game Studios up for grabs by everyone in the community. This means that even if you didn't contribute, these prizes are up for grabs. And trust me, they are great!
But after all the purchasing we still had a surplus of around $400 if i remember correctly. In fact, i can't remember - i spent it on gifts far too quickly to remember a proper number. This money has been used to buy gifts for the contributors to the project. Only contributors will be applicable for these prizes. All sorts of swag from Think Geek, Ozgameshop and a massive major prize from Gametraders, as well as PSN and XBOX Live cards up for grabs for those that donated their hard earned cash and precious time. But more on that soon - you'll have to wait a LITTLE longer
Ok i think that was a long enough wait. The first surprise for our contributors is here now! Are you ready for it?
Ladies, Gentlemen and anything in between, just 2 nights ago i got a reply to an email from the folks at Ozgameshop.com. They very, VERY graciously wanted to donate $150 worth of vouchers to Mark, Tracey, Ben and Elly to use on anything in store, but they slyly added the question of 'how many people contributed to reach that goal?'. So i told them. The next morning i open my emails they have another surprise. A surprise of Oprah proportions. In fact, i may go as far as to say that Oprah may be Ozgameshop.com's Managing Director.
BECAUSE YOU ALL GET CARDS! YOU GET A CARD! YOU GET A CARD! YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU! YOU'RE ALL GETTING CARDS!!! AHHHH!!!
That's right, boys and girls, thanks to Ozgameshop.com, i now have 50 $10 gifts cards in my hot little hands to be sent out to EVERYONE who contributed to the project!!!
I also know a lot of you have been saying to me "ohhh 'Loops, you deserve something for all this effort" to which i've generally been saying "Pfffft, no wai". Well it seems Ozgameshop.com thought the same way and have gifted me with a $50 gift card just for organising and co-ordinating this whole effort! So now you can stop :) haha
Needless to say this is an AMAZING contribution and i can't thank ozgameshop.com enough for their generosity. This is dedication to a customer base, my friends. This is passion for customer service. Please don't forget to thank ozgameshop.com in the comments below for their awesome contribution.
This is going to be the greatest Christmas Kotaku has ever seen.
If you want to check out the project yourself in all it's hastily-planned glory, the official unofficial forums are now open for your perusal!
http://kotakukristmas.freeforums.org/viewforum.php?start= the password is 'aspecailsecret' if I have been too busy at work to deactivate the password at the time this goes live.
Lastly, a massive thank you to everyone. Not just the contributors or the staff, but the entire community. You are all what makes Kotaku AU my favorite place on the internet. You are all amazing. Hell, i even love the Trolls. We have the best darn Trolls on all the internet! C'mere you ugly ugly Trolls, i have some Mistletoe.
Seriously, though - you guys and girls are amazing - keep up the great work.
Merry Christmas, Everyone.
PS. For the Grammar Nazi's. You'll have to excuse my spelling, grammar and punctuation. I have been organising this in between a full time job, uni and designing a christmas present for my lovely lady, so my time is already incredibly stretched out. Plus, i'm not a journalist. So please keep the comment section nice and filled only with happy and festive comments.
Looks like next week will be an exciting one. At this point, I actually only really know 50% of what is going on. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Run for your lives.