Have you ever wanted to raise money for charity in your own way? Are you a hardcore gamer, watching those Let's Players on YouTube and think, "Man, I wanna be like them and make money for a good cause by gaming...."
Well you can! It's really easy! The easiest game you can do it with, in fact, is Super Smash Bros. Brawl, for the Wii. Being the 9th best selling game on what is already the 5th best selling console of all time, there's a pretty good chance you can get people who'd play and to find a copy. You could play that or its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee, as they have similar game mechanics, but we will be focusing on Brawl.
All You Really Need Is:
- A Wii Console
- 4 Controllers
- A copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, or Super Smash Bros. Melee
- A Television or Projector
- A Place to Play
For this Instructable, I will show you how you can effectively make yourself a successful tournament, and raise some money! Maybe you'll be as successful as the good folks at AGDQ? Are you ready? Here-WE-GO!
Step 1: Get a Location
Before you do anything, the first thing you need to do is get yourself a place to play. If you're expecting a full tournament, you will have 32 people (Brawl wise, 64 if you are playing Melee), so you will need a fairly big play area. As I am doing this for a High School, I managed to talk to several people, and got the whole school auditorium. Don't be afraid to ask people. If you tell them right up that you are doing this for charity, chances are they'll listen. When I told my principal I wanted to use the school's auditorium to play a video game, he didn't like the idea. But then I told him what it was really for. For charity. After I showed him that there was a demand for such an idea, it was quickly approved. I had secured a location. The next step, spread the word.
Step 2: Display Your Game to the World! (Or at Least Your Audience)
This is a very vital piece that can be life or death for your tournament, something to play the game on. By this point, you should have a Wii, Wii U, GameCube, or whatever you may be using. But you need a screen to display it on! Depending on your location, your display options can vary. Usually, the best bet for display purposes for a large crowd is either a projector, or a SmartBoard. As projectors are much easier to find, I suggest that. But if you are playing for a small audience, just about any TV can be used and still be effective. But if you want to look good, a projector never fails. If you don't own one, don't know anyone who owns one, or just simply don't have access to one, you can find someone who can rent them out to you. Just look in your local classifieds.
Step 3: Spread the Word
The next thing you need to do is to promote your event. If you don't promote it, chances are, it won't be very successful. The best way to do this is through advertising. Promotional posters on telephone poles, walls, you name it. If it's somewhere people can see it, the faster word can spread. Your poster can even be something as simple as some text and an image, or even a big movie poster with elaborate graphics and a great message! But the possibilities are endless, and a poster is up to you. Word of mouth is also something very valuable if used correctly. Talk to as many different people as you can and see where people are, and if they will listen. As well as posters, I also had daily announcements for the tournament, on top of telling anyone who would listen to me about it.
Step 4: Prizes? (Optional)
Something that can easily entice a crowd is prizes! But prizes are something that you need to be very careful about if you are going with. Prizes can be something like coupons, money, games, you name it, someone will probably enjoy it. But you must also be mindful of both your target audience for the tournament, who will be participating and a budget. As mine was directed to High School Students, almost all big gamers and Nintendo fans, as well as having a budget of $75, I bought 3 items. A Limited Edition Wiimote, a Limited Edition 3DS Case, and a $15 EB Games/GameStop gift card. Enough prizes to satisfy any gamer. The prizes brought in a few more players, therefore, bringing in more charity money!
Step 5: Sign Ups!
To have a successful tournament, you obviously need to have players. But you won't have any players if you don't have a sign up sheet. There are many ways you could do this. You could hang up a sign in sheet with an attached pencil, or you could do it the way I did. Good Ol' Fashion set up a table and chairs, have the sheet, a couple pens, and the character list. I thought that this would be the best method as not only if people had questions, they could easily ask me, but people also knew what the rules were, could pay right away, and knew who they could be as characters. Yes, that's right. This is where you will most likely be getting a majority of your money. We had a $5 fee to sign up, but feel free to charge how much you think is right. More people will come the lower the price tag, but the more money you get also means helping out the charity of your choice more. Remember to announce when your sign ups will end, and when the day of the tournament is. This is vital information your audience needs.
A template for a sign up sheet is provided
Step 6: Is Everything Ready?
At this point, you should double check to make sure you have everything. You should by this point have:
-A game system and game
-At least 2 controllers, recommended 4 or more
-A location to have your tournament
-A screen of some sort. Be it projector, TV, SmartBoard, etc
-A sign up sheet, hopefully with the names of contestants
-A donations box, or at least some way to keep your charity money safe
Step 7: The Big Day: Set-Up
This is one of the most important steps! DO NOT SKIP THIS ONE! You need to make sure that you set everything up ahead of time, be it an hour, two hours, or half an hour. Make sure you set everything up where the tournament will be located and make sure everything is secured. Problems can arise, and can even destroy everything in one go. Sometimes, it's not just as simple as a fire alarm going off. I ask you, beg you, if you take anything from this Instructable, PLEASE set everything up ahead of time. During my experiences, we have seen faulty power bars, dying Wii remotes, and even the game itself crashing. Make sure you have fresh batteries, the game is in a cool place where it can get air, and everything works.
Step 8: The Big Day: Finale
This is the easiest and best part. Play the game! If you need any set up help, you can go watch this video, or follow these steps. It is highly recommended you do this after setting up and before everyone arrives. No one will want to wait for you to input all the info.
- Go to Group
- Enter Tourney
- Set your Tourney up according to the number of players you have participating
- Make sure every character has a name set up beside their character
- Hit start!
The Tourney mode will auto-randomize itself, so it's always a mystery as to who will face who. And that's it! You did it! Congratulations~! Make sure you have a fun tournament, everyone follows the rules and you make plenty of money for a good cause! Happy gaming!