24 Hours in Paradise

As some of you may know, six members of the Ready Up staff attempted to set a World Record by playing Burnout Paradise for 24 hours. As some of you may also know, they succeeded. This is their story.


I thought I should write up some stuff from the player’s point of view, while throwing in some of our statistics from the event as gleaned from criteriongames.com, and finally thanking, once again, the people without whom the whole thing would have been impossible or at the very least a hell of a lot harder.

So. Let us first speak of Paradise City and the things we did there. Our initial plan was “we’ll start off with some challenges and see how we go from there” and, as it turned out, we did challenges most of the time, because there’s enough variety there to keep going for quite a while. When the challenges started to get a bit samey, we’d throw in a few games of Marked Man or Road Rage to change the pace a little, and then we’d go back to doing more challenges again. Some of the team had never played Burnout Paradise before, and the rest of us hadn’t spent significant time with the game since before they began putting out big updates (and we deliberately did not play before the record attempt), so the timed challenges were new to everyone.

We also played with the bikes for a few hours. It must be said that while they add a bit of variety, they are definitely not the game’s strong point. Some of the team didn’t like them at all, and all of us expressed a definite preference for the cars. So back to cars it was.

During the whole of our time in Paradise City, two of the slots in the game were open for people to join us; there was a spare 360 at the end of our area in ESC Gaming where people present could sit and join us in the game, and we were also taking friend requests and sending out invites to people on Xbox Live during the event. Most of the time at least one of our two game slots were taken, either by people at ESC or people online, and it was nice to see so many jumping into our game to support and be crashed into by us.

Now, stats. Oddly, Criterion’s site doesn’t have stats for the number of challenges you’ve completed, so I can only guess based on what I remember of the event; I think we got through around 150 of the 490 which were available. However, they do have other stats, so here are a few, with our highest and lowest scorers.

  • Takedowns: Martin (332) / Kirsten (227)
  • Times taken down: Shaz (334) / Kirsten (194)
  • Crashes: Dan (1279) / Shaz (808)
  • Jumps found: Kirsten (37) / Simes & Fran & Martin (30)
  • Smashes smashed: Kirsten (358) / Martin (279)
  • Billboards broken: Kirsten (72) / Fran (57)

From this we can conclude that Martin is the most vicious of us, with Kirsten the least vicious; Kirsten is also by far the keenest explorer.

Additionally, Shaz seemed to have rivalries going not only within the six of us but with several of the people who joined, leading to a lot of people taking her down. Kirsten, conversely, was wise enough to stay out of people’s way a lot more than anyone else.

Finally, Shaz (with the help of her nippy Toy Jansen P12) was able to avoid smashing into walls more than anyone else, while Dan’s preference for wrecking his car to get a fresh one whenever the paint got scratched makes him the crashiest member of the team.

“But what,” you must be asking, “of world records in general? How does it feel? What should I do if I want to set one myself?”


After being sleep-deprived for over 24 hours, the knowledge that you and your pals have succeeded in doing what you set out to do is a big rush. I am proud of what we did; I know there are a lot of people who will not consider it to be much of an achievement, and I know that there are many things more difficult than the thing we did. I am nevertheless proud of what we did and of the other people on the team with me, and I feel honoured to share in this achievement with them. I think they’re all awesome.

If you want to set one yourself, you should. Talk to the Guinness people about doing it, and find out what you need to do. If you decide that you want to go ahead, and arrange it, a bunch of us will be there to cheer you on. We now know what it’s like, some of us more than once, and we’ll happily back you up.

It’s very important, though, to choose the right game. Burnout Paradise is a great example because there is a variety of things to do in it. You’re not going to be stuck doing effectively the exact same thing over and over for the whole marathon. Variety is all-important. Street Fighter IV is an awesome game in about a million ways, but it’s probably not the right choice for a marathon event like this one. You need to find a game you’d be happy to play for a very long time, and being happy to play it for five straight hours at home isn’t the same because that isn’t a situation where you’re unable to just stand up and go and do something else if it gets boring.

Marathons aren’t the only type of record, though. Different games will suit different types of record. Decide on the kind of thing you want to do. Then go for it. Our hobby needs more public demonstrations of awesomeness, and you don’t need to have your own web site to be able to do that.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there are some people who need to be thanked. They’ve been thanked already, but in my opinion, probably not enough. So here we go.

Firstly, thank you to the people at Guinness World Records and in particular our lovely adjudicators Karolina and Gaz.

Thank you to Elephant for providing such comfortable seating. 24 hours in that beanbag and my dodgy back didn’t act up once. I can’t really think of higher praise than that.

Thank you to EA and Criterion for getting behind us and for making a game which is such great fun to play. I can’t think of many games I’d come off a 24-hour stint on and still feel I’d be happy to play for longer, but Burnout Paradise is now unquestionably one of them.

Thank you to the awesome folks at ESC Gaming in Glasgow, for giving us a place to do our thing and for looking after us, and all the other people who travelled up to see us, so well. If you’re in need of a place for an event, folks, I can heartily recommend ESC.

Thank you to the members of the Ready Up community, who joined us both in person and online. It would have been a hell of a lot harder without your support, and I’m still surprised and quite humbled that so many of you would travel all that way to watch six people staring fixedly at TV screens. You guys rock.

Thank you so, so much to Anthony, Jake, and John, our fantastic support crew, who kept us fed and watered and tended to our every whim, and who took care of all the annoying niggles (like helping us clamber out of our bean bags) so we didn’t have to. We literally could not have done it without you.

And finally, of course, my fellow drivers. The Burnketeers. Team Awesome. The members of the Paradise City Residents’ Association. Dan, Kirsten, Fran, Martin, and Shaz. What can I possibly say? I’m proud to have been part of this with you. Respect and much love to you all.








17 responses to “24 Hours in Paradise”

  1. Ray avatar


  2. Leon avatar

    I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – well done! Love the image at the end!

  3. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    When someone asks “Where were you when Ready Up set the world record for a 24 marathon in Burnout Paradise?” I can proudly say, “I was there.”

    We may not have got to talked to your guys much, but it was to support you guys and support the charity. I’m glad I got to be there. I also got to meet many other RU staff and people from the forums, and the mighty guys of ESC.

    Congratulations once more to everyone who took part, and to all those that made it happen. Ready Up is a great place to be a part of.

  4. arc14716 avatar

    Congratulations on making it through. Wish I could’ve joined you.

    I haven’t played much with the bikes myself. I definitely prefer the cars. I wasn’t able to get any of the toy cars before my 360 broke down, but I did get a few of the special ones.

    And I’m definitely going to be downloading Big Surf Island when it comes out later this year. The jumps I heard are amazing.

  5. Lorna avatar

    Loved the post Simes and that last image is a great one ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. John.B avatar

    That last pic is superb, congrats again!

  7. Emily avatar

    You know what I love about that first picture? Everyone sits like a bloke. Including the girls. You’ve *got* to sit like a bloke when playing video games ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Stacy avatar

    Well done to all – I know I couldn’t have stared at a screen that long without crossing my eyes permanently. Glad the photographs are appreciated too, I certainly learned a lot about imagery (and also how frustratingly tiny I am thus having to stand on tables and things).

  9. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    The last picture is cool. Great to see all 6 players congratulating each other. No one knows exactly what they went through better than each other.

  10. Van-Fu avatar

    Well done to the Ready-Up crew. Great last picture. It’s almost as if they were taken hostage in Paradise City and were released, into the arms of their loving friends and family.

  11. Lorna avatar

    Considering the last one was a moving shot, Stacy, it was fantastically well takem and so clear. Can I ask what camera you used and if poss, what lens?

  12. Stacy avatar

    It was Ready Up’s camera kindly lent to me, a Sony DSLRA200K with zoom lens. It worked a treat ๐Ÿ™‚ Admittedly I used a bit of Photoshop there too to define the focus but the colours were hardly altered, the camera seems to have a great colour balance.

  13. Lorna avatar

    Great stuff, you did a fab job! Looking forward to meeting you properly at the fabled Glasgow meet up btw ๐Ÿ™‚ You looked dead focusssed and concentrated at the event so I didn’t want ot grab you and say ‘oi, hello’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. MarkuzR avatar

    I really wish I’d taken my camera, but enjoyed watching everyone else snapshot their memories of the day. I really liked your hat by the way Stacy ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. markB0SS avatar

    Congrats RU, will look out for this one in the next world record book.

  16. Jake avatar

    Awesome blog. Awesome photos. Awesome weekend. Awesome team. It really is just that awesome.

  17. Anthony avatar

    I was genuinely upset I didn’t get the chance to meet more of you guys that turned up to support us all. I’ll be back up for the Glasgow meet to make amends!

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