As promised, we're ending this year's Leap Frog
coverage with a bang. Over the next three days we'll be bringing you an interview from each of our final three competitors where you can learn about what drove them to continue in the competition for as long as they did, how it affected their lives, how they planned for the coming days, and, most importantly, about the men behind the achievement popping machines.
First up it's the turn of third placed Mephisto4thewin
who bowed out of the competition on day 94 after earning a whopping 4,428 achievements totaling 74,520 Gamerscore and 105,922 TA score.
DK: I think a lot of people have the misconception that the only way you could get as far as you did in Leap Frog is if you’re single, have no kids and have minimal work commitments. Can you give us some insight into your personal life?Mephisto4thewin: Leap Frog 2015 3rd Place - Mephisto4thewin
Sure, well firstly I study part time at university. I'm hoping to ramp that up to full time next year. During the later weeks of the Leap Frog we have been on break with the studies, so that definitely helped me. I also work 20 hours a week in a part time job. I have a wonderfully supportive partner and we have three children. Two boys aged 5 and 7. Also an 8 month old daughter. My two boys love gaming as much as I do. They have an Xbox set up in our games room right next to mine.DK: How long did you normally spend gaming per day prior to Leap Frog? How did this change throughout Leap Frog, especially in the final weeks?Mephisto4thewin:
I probably play 4 hours on weekdays and closer to 8 on weekends. The first 40 days it didn’t really change, more the games I was playing changed. But in the final few weeks I was playing closer to 15 hours a day, sometimes even more if I had other responsibilities that day.DK: When you entered Leap Frog how long were you anticipating it to last and, if you’d have known it would have gone as long as it did, would you still have entered?Mephisto4thewin:
I honestly thought it would go past the 100 days. There are some very competitive gamers out there. None more so than the top 2. When I entered I didn’t think I would get even close. Then as each day rolled by I just kept going and kept surviving. I received a lot of encouragement from everyone I know which certainly helped.DK: Did you have to spend much time on planning which achievements you could earn a few days ahead?Mephisto4thewin:
I actually wish I planned a lot better than I did. I used a lot of easy stuff during days 30-50 which looking back would've given me more sleep towards the end. I never planned that far ahead, when I was safe for the day I would generally know the 1-2 games I was going to play for the next day. That’s about all.DK: Did you take advantage of Windows Phone, Windows 8, Xbox 360 and Xbox One or were you limited to what you had available?Mephisto4thewin:
Yes I have all formats available to me. I mainly survived by using my consoles though. Most of the easy WP and W8 games I already had finished prior to Leap Frog. During the later weeks I normally had both the x1 and 360 going at the same time. Telltale games are great for that as they play themselves for 90% of it. DK: Did you suffer burn out at any point during the competition and, if so, what kept you going?Mephisto4thewin:
I wouldn’t say burnout but around day 55 I caught something from my children and was really sick. That was the toughest period those 4-5 days. By chance or divine intervention I received a PM during this time by in reality someone I barely knew. He wanted my address to send me a package of games I didn’t own. I wasn’t going to quit at that point but my morale was low until that PM. I won't say his name as I'm unsure if he would like the recognition, but without him I wouldn’t have lasted anywhere near as long as I did.DK: Are there any games that you started purely for Leap Frog that you would have never started otherwise? If so which ones?Mephisto4thewin:
You may find this strange but I can find enjoyment in any game. All the games from my collection I would've played at some point. Maybe only the games I borrowed, if I wasn’t in the Leap Frog I wouldn’t have had them. There is probably too many to list but some notable ones are; Mayhem 3D
, Little League World Series Baseball 2010
and the two Civil War
games.DK: You already had a pretty high achievement count when the competition began, do you feel that this disadvantaged you?Mephisto4thewin:
This is actually tough to answer. On one hand yes it’s a disadvantage because I have already popped a lot of easy stuff. That said if you look at the top 3 or even top 10 there are a lot of us with high achievement counts. So we lasted longer than people with more available. So maybe in a twisted kind of way it's an advantage. I couldn’t really explain it but generally it's the gamers with high achievement counts that win these sort of competitions.DK: You started a lot of games throughout the competition, did your wallet/purse take a hit or were you able to use a combination of your backlog, rental services, and friends to keep your game stack fresh?Mephisto4thewin:
The only games I bought for myself during this was a couple of WP games, Q
on the Xbox One and Life Is Strange
on both systems. Everything else was in my backlog or borrowed or rented. I still have a huge backlog here, the ones that are left weren't very useful during the Leap Frog.DK: With the competition now over, are you missing the daily challenge and do you think that your gaming habits will change in the immediate future?Mephisto4thewin:
The first few days after I stopped I missed it. It became routine and even though it was draining at times I enjoyed it. I was lucky that I got to see the final two battle it out so I didn’t completely quit cold turkey. In the immediate future I will slow right down no more 15 hour days for a while. I don’t think my partner would be impressed. DK: Are you in the GTASC? If so, how have your teammates handled you dropping all of this Gamerscore in a relatively short period of time?Mephisto4thewin:
Yes I am in the GTASC, my team captain didn’t realize I was in Leap Frog until about day 60. When he found out he wasn’t too happy. My scoring alone was easily keeping us in, so my team mates basically had three months of not having to do much. They also know I have a backlog to keep me going throughout GTASC so I won't run out.DK: What sacrifices did you have to make, and do you feel it was worth it now the competition is over?Mephisto4thewin:
Probably the biggest sacrifice was sleep. Some nights I only had 5 hours and then it was straight up and playing again. I still spent plenty of time with my children they played co-op with me throughout the competition. I am a competitive gamer so I love going in Gamerscore competitions, so to me it was worth it. Plus I didn’t really know emerald or irish before this so it was good to get to know them a little bit.DK: Was there a specific reason that you were eliminated when you were?Mephisto4thewin:
Day 100 of this competition was my partners birthday. With how supportive my partner was I decided to stop for her. Gaming 15 hours on her birthday wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. She wouldn’t have ever asked me to stop, so I made that choice on my own. I knew day 99 wouldn’t have won it so that’s why I stopped when I did. DK: Will you be taking part next year?Mephisto4thewin:
Of course I will. Probably not to compete on this kind of level again unless the format changes a little. I would definitely be at a disadvantage next time. Others have seen the games to play to survive this long. We all did it without that information to help so next years I think could go to day 120. I vote next time we do it in pairs.DK: Did you rely on any friends or family members to help you stay in the competition, and if so how did they help?Mephisto4thewin:
My partner was the one that helped me the most. She took over 95% of the running of the house. Without her support this wouldn’t have happened. My two boys did a lot of co-op with me, especially on the Kinect. Also my brother who did all five Halo
campaigns co-op with me. I didn’t really need him there but he helped break up the monotony of solo play.DK: Any shout-outs that you would like to make before you go?Mephisto4thewin:
Thank you to TA and the events team for running this contest, I hope to see many more in the future. To all of my friends here on TA the encouragement you gave helped push me through. To MADeyePadEYE
he took time out of his life to help me with multiplayer stuff at no benefit to himself so big thanks to you mate. To my GTASC captain ROGUE 1992
you just need to relax aye. Finally to Emerald Axer
you guys are the reason these competitions are a success. There was no egos or trash talking. You guys were all class the whole way. I look forward to competing with or against you guys in the future.
Thanks Mephisto for taking the time to answer our questions and being a great competitor! Check back tomorrow when we bring you the interview of second place finisher, Emerald Axer.