SCARE for a CURE Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Opportunities for Volunteer Groups and Service Organizations

Are you with a fraternal or service organization that's looking for an opportunity for community involvement that is fun and unique? Does your workplace have a volunteer activities program? We've got a great experience for you!

We've begun our build for this year's haunt, and it's going to be better than ever. We couldn't do this without our volunteers, and welcome group involvement. Our build days are currently scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am - 5 pm, although we will expand our days and run later as we get into cooler days and closer to opening. Lunch is provided for volunteers at 1 pm.

Upcoming available dates:
  • Saturday, September 2 - Monday, September 4 (Labor Day)
  • Saturday, September 11
  • Saturday, September 18 - Sunday, September 19
  • Friday September 24, 5 - 10 pm
  • Saturday, September 25 - Sunday, September 26
  • Friday, October 1, 5 - 10 pm
  • Sunday, October 3
  • Friday, October 8, 5 - 10 pm
  • Saturday, October 9 - Sunday, October 10
If you would like to participate, please send an email to with the following information:
  1. Dates that your group would like to participate

  2. Times that your group is available (all day? half day? if half day, staying/arriving for lunch?)

  3. Estimate of the number of people who would be involved

  4. Primary contact name(s) and phone number(s)

Please encourage your volunteers to bring refillable water bottles. Folks should dress comfortably, with sturdy closed toe shoes (no sandals) as the terrain is rugged in some areas. Jeans are recommended, but shorts are fine.

Once I receive this information, I'll send a confirmation email with more information including a liability waiver that must be filled out for each individual participating.

Thank you again for your help with this year's SCARE for a CURE event. We look forward to seeing you!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Volunteer for SCARE for a CURE: How to Get Started

As volunteer manager for SCARE for a CURE, I get a lot of questions about how to volunteer for our event. We have a lot of great plans for this year, and hope that you are as excited as we are! We've not announced our Casting Call yet, but sign up so you'll get the news about this and upcoming special events.

Here's what you need to get started as a volunteer:

  1. Submit your information through the Volunteer Registration Form. If you represent a group or organization, you can also use this form -- just be sure to complete the final questions. If you have any questions or difficulties with the form, please email me at

  2. Join our Scare-build email listserve. By doing so, you will be kept up to date on all current build related projects as we get ready for this year's haunt. Go to this page and follow the instructions. You can choose how to receive updates by editing your subscription.

  3. Come out to the SCARE for a CURE Build site this weekend at 10 am. Our build days are Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 4 pm, but any time that you can commit is appreciated! The site is located at 7400 Coldwater Canyon Dr., Austin, TX 78730. Just head west on FM 2222, go past 360 to City Park Road. Follow the road about mile, at top of hill turn left onto Bridge Point Pkwy. Follow road down and take a right at the dead end onto Coldwater Canyon Drive. Enter through the gate.

  4. Check in with the SCARE for a CURE gatekeeper. Follow the signs to the pop-up tent for Volunteer Check in. If it is your first time, you must fill out a liability waiver -- you will need to get your parent to sign as well if under 18 years of age. After that you will need to check in and out so we can track your volunteer hours -- which count towards your volunteer incentive awards!

  5. As directed by the gatekeeper, check in at the Job Board for further orientation, including location of portapotty, tool check out, snacks, etc. This is also where lunch is provided to volunteers about 1 pm.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, and closed toe shoes. Some of the terrain is a little rugged, so it's recommended to wear old shorts or jeans and sturdy shoes that are easy to walk in.

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask. You can find out more information also on our Volunteer FAQs page. There's plenty of different skills we can use on our projects, so don't worry if you don't have any special skills or experience.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Want to Break into the Games Biz? Then Get Scary!

SCARE volunteer and actor Jeff Johannigman wrote the following great article for the Mary Margaret Network newsletter. Check it out!

You out there looking for your way to get into the game industry. Yeah, you! I know what you’ve been going through. Working in the game industry has been your lifelong dream. You’ve played countless games. Built innovative mods. Gone through dozens of classes to sharpen your skills in programming, animation, design, or writing, or even all of the above. Put together a truly impressive portfolio. Written and polished a perfect resume. Called up recruiters. Written to dozens of game companies. Perhaps even attended some conferences or industry events hoping to meet some professionals. You know you’re talented. You know you’re dedicated. But you still haven’t gotten that job offer. Frustrated yet?

Let me share one secret that has helped countless professionals break into competitive businesses like the game industry. Understand that most job seekers think that it’s just talent, skills, experience, and education that employers want. While those are valuable, they are not the most important thing employers are looking for. What employers really want to discover is your character, who you really are as a person. Are you more argumentative or more supportive in dealing with others? Do you take initiative or wait to be told what to do? Do you communicate clearly, effectively, and diplomatically? Do you put in the extra effort to get it right, or do you take the expedient route to just get it done? How well do you really get along with others, especially when under pressure? Those are the character traits that employers really value.

But how do you demonstrate to game company employees how well you work before they actually hire you?Simple - work with them without getting hired. Work on a volunteer project. In Austin, one great example is SCAREfor a CURE. SCARE is an annual event staged by over 100 volunteers every October to raise money for the Breast Cancer Resource Center. (see

SCARE’s roots go back over 20 years to Britannia Manor, when Richard Garriott used to turn his own mansion into a haunted house. But being a master game designer, Richard was not content to have guests spend 10 minutes walking though a house with monsters jumping out and yelling “BOO!” Britannia Manor was an hour-long live, interactive adventure game, complete with a storyline, actors, special effects, clues to find, and puzzles to solve. In the finale, players could either save the world from a powerful supernatural entity, or doom the entire world by their failure. (See more on Britannia Manor at

Today, many of the same terror masters that created Britannia Manor are still at it, with the help of hundreds of newer volunteers, staging a unique SCARE for a CURE every year. In 2008’s “World of Horrorcraft”, guests were beta-testers for Dunstan Interactive Entertainment (D.I.E. for short), and were digitized into a virtual game world where things went horribly wrong. In 2009, it was “Blood Ritual”, a blood-soaked vampire adventure staged again on Richard Garriott’s property. (See the videos at:

In 2010, SCARE for a CURE “H1Z1: Zombie Wasteland”, and anybody in Austin can volunteer to help out. SCARE needs actors, builders, makeup artists, costumers, publicists, audio engineers, special effects technicians, and dozens of other volunteers to stage this epic, interactive adventure.

Volunteering for an event like SCARE is amazing fun for creative people such as game industry professionals, and it raises money for a great cause. However, for those trying to break into the game industry, it could also be a career opportunity. There are numerous game company employees and even recruiters who work for SCARE. If you volunteer, they will get to know you – not just your creative skills but your character as well. Friendships, networking, and personal credibility built through such volunteer work can translate into the right inside connections to land that job.

If you don’t live in Austin, ask around your town to find similar volunteer causes that attract creative professionals. For example, the Game Developers Conference recruits dozens of volunteer Conference Associates to help every year. (Details on the Conference Associate program can be found at Volunteering for causes like SCARE for a CURE is not only one of the most effective ways to find a new job, it is also personally fulfilling and just a good thing to do for the community. So don’t be afraid to get scary!

Jeff Johannigman is a game industry veteran who has worked for such companies as Electronic Arts, MicroProse, Sierra/Dynamix, and Origin Systems. He now runs People Type Consulting, an Austin-based company that provides career consulting and corporate training.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SCARE for a CURE at Cupcake Smackdown 2.0!

SCARE zombies will be infiltrating the Cupcake Smackdown 2.0 on Saturday August 21st! It will be a day of eats, treats, and good old fashioned zombie hunting with what may be the world's only cupcake cannon* designed by SCARE's own Mad Scientist and Lab Manager Edwin Wise. Check out its fearsome frosted projectile power in this awesome video featuring Edwin and Cupcake Smackdown honcho Jennie Chen! Cupcake Smackdown 2.0 will be held in The Domain from 11 am to 3 pm, starting inside Le Cordon Bleu for preliminary activities, then moving to the Westin Hotel parking lot for zombie target practice with the cupcake cannon. Here's the schedule:

11:30 am and 1:30 pm: Attempt to break Guiness World Record for most Jaffa Cakes eaten in one minute (two rounds) at Le Cordon Bleu

11:30 am - noon: Check in and setup for Most People Simultaneously Frosting a Cupcake at LCB

Noon: Attempt to set world record for Most People Simultaneously Frosting a Cupcake (at LCB)

12:30 - 3 pm: Cupcake cannon and cupcake pinata in the Westin's north parking lot

Go to for more info.

SCARE is very honored to represent at this unique Austin event. Come by and see us at The Domain on Saturday!

*Just a guess, not based on scientific fact

Monday, August 9, 2010

SCARE for a CURE at Eeyore's Birthday

Hey all! Ok, so it's been a few months since Eeyore's Birthday Party, but we just got access to this awesome blog about our day at the fest from SCARE's own Anna (annainaustin). Check it out HERE. And thanks, Anna! :)