Today's interview brings an end to our Leap Frog
coverage for another year. What better way to finish than hearing from our overall winner, Infamous
.I think a lot of people have the misconception that the only way that 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?
Well to be fair I am all of those things, I’m 22, living with my mum, stepdad and 2 sisters. For the most part during the contest I was unemployed, it wasn’t until mid-august that I started working again – some boring warehouse work, nothing fancy, I also buy and sell PC games on the side to fund my expensive gaming habits. I’m very interested in game development, and have a few ideas I’m slowly working towards, I guess the dream would be to one day own my own gaming company but that’s a long way off! As far as a social life goes, I have none. I’m pretty quiet and like to keep to myself for the most part, and I do this best by sitting at home playing video games. :)
It’s no secret, being all of the above definitely helps in a contest like this, but it’s certainly not necessary, with enough planning, preparation and dedication I believe anything is possible and I hope to see more gamers with 'busier lives' in future contests!
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? Leap Frog 2016 Winner - Infamous
On a normal day I could probably spend a good 8-10 hours gaming, during Leap Frog it probably remained the same, there were only a few days where I had to spend longer than that and that was just down to sloppy planning. During the final weeks nothing really changed, there were far too many free games with inflated ratios coming out, if anything it became easier, and while it was a nice change of pace which allowed me to pre-load some achievements and play some games I wanted to play, it really took away from the challenging spirit of the competition.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?
Right from the start I looked at some of the achievement lists of some the more competitive gamers on TA and I predicted that it would go on until ~24.0, and I looked at my own and thought... maybe? Of course, I didn’t account for the ratio decay and all the new releases which in a way cancelled each other out and certainly worked in my favour. If I’d have known it would last this long I would have definitely still gone for it, but I would have planned it out a bit better and hopefully challenged myself a little more.Did you have to spend much time on planning ahead for which achievements you could earn?
My basic strategy throughout the entire competition was pretty much, look at what the other competitors are using, if I can use those and use my own achievements, I can win this. So I’d often find myself working towards one achievement while I wait for the others to pop theirs then I’d decide which one to go for that day, this worked fairly well for the majority of the competition but I also lost a few achievements along the way too. Overall I’d attempt to plan maybe 2-3 days ahead at a time, anything over that would likely be affected by ratio decay and become unusable. And towards the end it was just a case of trying to use some of my preloads in-between all the new releases, which is much harder than it sounds!Did you suffer burn out at any point during the competition and, if so, what kept you going?
Are there any games that you started purely for Leap Frog that you would have never started otherwise? If so, which ones?
There was one day that sticks out in particular, and that’s the day I went for three skulls on all levels in Chariot
. I already had 72 of the skulls and only had to do the hidden level, but I must have picked the hottest day of the year to do it on… I was literally sat there doing some of the trickiest platforming I’d ever done inside my sauna of a room on the hottest day of the year, my hands produced so much sweat the grips on my Elite controller started peeling off lol. This was the closest I came to being completely burnt out and I didn’t have any back-up achievements for that day, but I don’t know, I wanted to keep on going so I powered through and about 6 hours later I finally beat it. It’s not the hardest achievement out there, but given the circumstances it’s definitely one of my proudest.
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?
There were a few games I picked up just to stay competitive, 7 Days to Die
and Dynamite Fishing - World Games
would be the main ones, both incredibly grindy, boring games and I only got about four days between the two of them. I also tried to use Trackmania Turbo
which I started way too late and highly underestimated how difficult it would be. Same with Paranautical Activity
, crazy hard games... There were also a few f2p games which would likely have escaped my radar if I didn’t see the others using them, Happy Dungeons
, Lies of Astaroth
, Prominence Poker
, really enjoyed Happy Dungeons
and the other two are decent games in their own ways too.
Overall I didn’t have to start too many games, I was already playing the big ones like SMITE
, Killer Instinct
, Rare Replay
, even Elite: Dangerous
and BADLAND: Game of the Year Edition
I started forever ago, I should really start finishing more games.
I’m the type of person that prefers to be told what game I should play and when I should play it, I have too many games in my collection right now to choose from myself, I’ll just sit there scrolling through my games collection for an hour before giving up and deciding to watch Netflix instead. So yes, I really do miss it! Last week I started binge watching Parks & Recreation and haven’t really played any games since. I did a pretty big bean dive a few months ago which I plan on working through at some point but where to start?.. And of course there’s the upcoming UHH2 competition too, looking forward to that!What sacrifices did you have to make and do you feel it was worth it now that the competition is over?
I wouldn’t say I had to sacrifice anything really, just a bit of sleep, and I can always get more sleep!Did you prefer this year’s format over last year?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to participate last year, I think my TA account was too new or I didn’t meet some other requirement so I can’t compare really, but for me I really enjoyed this year’s contest because of the ratio involvement, there’s something about going for an achievement that not a lot of people have unlocked yet that just feels good, a real sense of accomplishment. Sure a lot of them are over inflated and not hard at all, but it still feel’s good!If you could choose the rules for next year’s Leap Frog event, what would they be?
I don’t think this years contest was enough like real Leap Frog, for next year I’d like to propose all participants meet up in one big field and proceed to leap over each other until one person is left standing, I’m not entirely sure how eliminations work in real Leap Frog... Pros – It would most likely, probably, hopefully not last 120 days, Cons – Everyone leaves with a terrible back ache. The winner receives a gold trophy in the shape of an Xbox 360 achievement notification saying Leapfrog Champion 2017 with runner up trophies for 2nd and 3rd, and all participants get a code for a true achievements t-shirt/hoodie as an avatar item on Xbox live.. You’re welcome..Were you surprised when the last remaining competitors decided to retire from the contest together? How much longer do you think you could have lasted if you needed to?
In all seriousness though there are a lot of great ideas in the Leap Frog discussion, I highly recommend checking some of those out. Personally I’d like it to remain ratio based with a cooldown period of 2-4 weeks on new releases, this year was a lot of fun but the new stuff just made it drag on a bit too long.
Will you be taking part next year?
Surprised is one word for it. I was pretty confident I could make the top 3 although there were no guarantees and anything could happen. I think I planned my end-contest pre-loads fairly well but the longer it went on the less effective they became, a game like Earthlock: Festival of Magic
could have easily ruined any advantage I might have had over the rest of the competition, which is why yes, I was surprised, but I was also relieved and a little disappointed. Relieved I didn’t have to play Earthlock
right away, disappointed because it would have been nice to see how it would have played out. I predicted I could have made it to ~10th September, though that might have been a bit generous.
Absolutely! In fact, I already have a few ideas on what I could end up playing for next year’s contest if it remains ratio based. I’ll definitely be giving it my all again no matter what. It would be pretty cool to hold the title for a few years! :DDid you rely on any friends or family members to help you stay in the competition? If so, how did they help?
Nope, managed to do everything on my lonesome. :) My family and friends don’t really understand the whole achievement hunting thing and to be completely honest I’m not sure I understand it myself! It’s fun and it feels rewarding, but some of the things I’ll do for an achievement really make me wonder...Any shout-outs that you would like to make before you go?
I’d just like to say a huge thanks to everyone who supported me along the way and to everyone who competed, especially the rest of the top 5, really makes me proud to be a part of such a supportive and competitive community. And of course thanks to the TA Team for making this possible, looking forward to whatever comes next!
Thank you Infamous for sitting down and answering our questions, and a huge congratulations on winning this year's Leap Frog competition!
If you enjoyed reading Infamous' thoughts on the competition, you can read our interviews with K4rn4ge and ORIGENxGarboMan here