ENDED - The Random To Do List Challenge - Season 2017 T3

Zed to Zed Podcast Presents…

The Random To Do List Challenge - Season 2017 Trimester 3


The Great Annual Random To Do List Challenge was originally the brainchild of @FacialLaFleur. The idea was to use the TA “Add Random Achievement to the To Do List” functionality to add 100 randomly generated achievements to work on over the year, and the winner was the person who’d unlocked the most achievements after a year.

There were great prizes throughout the year and the grand prizes at the end of the year. There were always a lot of sign ups and good progress for the first month or two, but then things fell to a trickle once the list became more challenging. It was a lot of fun, but after the initial push, participants tended to lose interest and only a dedicated few could really get this list down. Only one person ever completed unlocking all of their achievements.

in later iterations of the contest, our own @zzUrbanSpaceman got involved and started adding advanced features such as exclusion lists, removing discontinued and unobtainable achievements (and in fact, this is where the terms “knobs and discos” originated from), and more.

@FacialLaFleur decided to stop running the contest, and so @Freamwhole and @zzUrbanSpaceman got together and decided to run their own variant of it.

With the help of the good folks over at True Achievements we were able to improve on almost all aspects of the contest and automate scanning, scoring, and many other cool things!

The Challenge

Every month, each player is given 25 semi-randomly selected achievements to work from. The achievements will be randomly selected from several bands of your available achievement pool. Your achievements are ordered by ratio, then your draw is selected from the following bands:

  • 14 achievements from the lowest 50% (up to the 50th percentile)
  • 7 achievements from the next 25% (50th-75th percentile)
  • 3 achievements from the next 15% (75th-90th percentile)
  • 1 achievement from the final, and top, 10% (90-100th percentile)

Points are scored based on the ratio of the achievements times 100, e.g. a 2.45 ratio achievement would be worth 245 points. Ratios are updated daily and so your scores may fluctuate based on changes to the achievement ratios on TrueAchievements.

Every month your progress is recorded, your list is wiped, and you’re given another 25 achievements.

This goes on for 4 months (one trimester), after which time the totals are tallied and the winner is crowned.

Good luck!

The Leaderboard and Statistic Tracking

We automatically select and record unlocks of the achievements in a public spreadsheet:

Random To Do List Challenge Season 2017 T3 (Google Sheets)

Additionally, global standings and historical lists are available in this spreadsheet:

Random To Do List Challenge 2017 T3 Global Standings (Google Sheets)

As people unlock achievements, they will be automatically scanned and updates will be posted in the following thread:


  1. Achievements will selected from games listed in your TrueAchievements game collection based on the following criteria:

    • Games with a status of anything except “Done with”, and:
    • Games with an ownership status of “Owned” or “Games with Gold”
  2. Achievements will not be selected from DLC, title updates, or those flagged as discontinued, unobtainable, partially discontinued or unobtainable, or leaderboard required (TruSkill).

  3. You must maintain an achievement list of “locked” possible picks of at least 1,000 throughout the competition. This will ensure an appropriate pool of achievements to pull from as well as curb those unscrupulous hunters stacking their lists. You can see your current pool on the contest spreadsheet linked above, or ask @zzUrbanSpaceman.

  4. Each month starts on the 1st of the month at Midnight UTC (Universal Co-ordinated Time).



Contest Requirements

  1. Xbox LIVE Gamertag with at least 10,000 GamerScore
  2. Have a TrueAchievements account in good standing.
  3. Be a member of the Zed to Zed Forums
  4. Players that fail to unlock a single achievement within the month from their list will be removed not have a new list generated the following moth. You are free to rejoin at a later time, or ask one of the contest managers to keep you in the contest the next month.

That’s all great but how do I join this crazy thing?

I’m so glad you asked! You can join at any time by simply posting in this thread with your gamertag.

It is highly recommended that you go over to TrueAchievements.com and update your Game Collection:

You can edit the status of games by clicking on it’s boxart image when in Image View:

Or on the Edit button on the far right in List View:

Set the Ownership value as appropriate (usually “No longer have”) or set the Play status to “Done with” to avoid having achievements from that game selected.

You can also add games you have not started yet to your collection by going to the game page itself and selecting “Add to my Game Collection” from the Game drop-down menu:

I have an achievement in my list that I don’t want!

Don’t panic! We will reroll achievements in certain circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • Any Windows Phone of Windows 8 App achievement can be rerolled as these platforms are particularly flaky and can bug out or simply be wiped or lost. Additionally, many of these achievements are so ridiculously grindy that nobody in their right mind wants to do them. For the sanity of the organizers though, please remove these games from your collection if they are selected and you need them rerolled. Tarragon can get cranky if he has to reroll the same achievement multiple times.
  • You are new to the contest and didn’t understand how the TrueAchievements Game Collection worked.
  • An achievement has subsequently been flagged discontinued, unobtainable or PDU since it was selected.
  • An honest mistake was made when adding a game to your game collection, for example you added the wrong regional version of a particular title.
  • Other reasons at the discretion of the organizers.

UGH! Adding all these achievements to my TA todolist is painful, surely there’s a better way?

Indeed there is! Now, this is not compatible with all browsers, but is known to work in Firefox and Chrome. Firstly, go to your page on the public spreadsheet.

This is cell A27: it looks blank, but it’s actually a secret field which has some text you can use to populate your TA todo list.


  • Copy cell A27 from your sheet
  • Go to your homepage on TA
  • In the address bar, type javascript: then paste the text you copied earlier
  • Press enter
  • Wait a few seconds - it takes a little while to make a bunch of calls to TA, if you navigate away you may miss some todo list items
  • Go and look at your todo list
  • :dancer:

TL / DR:

If you are in the current competition and unlocked an achievement in August - you are automatically enrolled in this competition.

Changes from previous competition:

  1. Implemented a hard cap on possible points at 6500 - this is your total list value - if the system cannot get you a list that qualifies, you will be asked to modify your Games Collection Pool
  2. 1000 achievements required in the available Games Collection Pool.

FYI: The new contest will start a bit later due to a change to new code and some other changes, which means I need to be more hands on. The cut-off time is normally 10am my time, and I’m at work.


just a couple of questions

I take it by

‘If you are in the current competition and unlocked an achievement in August - you are automatically enrolled in this competition’

you mean the ENDED - The 4th Annual Great Random To Do List Challenge competition?

and also will this competition replace the 4th annual or run alongside? and if it runs alongside will they be 2 different lists or both the same list?

sorry if the answers are obvious i just want to make sure.



Yes, that is what was meant by that. We are automatically rolling over people who were active at the end of the previous season into the new one.

This contest replaces the previous contest - that contest ran for a year and is now finished.


@wembleytor I was unable to select a list for you. We have a maximum value of a draw capping at 6500 points, and even after several retries I was unable to draw a list for you below this figure.

The only real way to rectify this is to increase the size of your pool I’m afraid.

Looks like the javascript shortcut didn’t make the transition to the new sheet format. Any chance you could add that back in? Or am I just not seeing something obvious?

Actually you’re missing something completely not obvious, by design. :slight_smile:

Try copying this cell from your gamer sheet:

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Thanks for doing this again! The new spreadsheet looks very nice.
I was wondering, any chance this would qualify for a re-roll under “leaderboard required”? Not a big deal if it doesn’t, but figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. Thanks!

OOF, yes, yes it does. Let me queue up a reroll on that one for you.

Thanks, my legs really appreciate it.

@wembleytor - actually looks like it eventually picked up a list for you, just took a lot of tries.

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Thanks. It looks like it happened just after I started adding some unplayed games to my game collection. I’ll add a bunch more to give a wider pool for next month.

Mr. Spaceman!

Hopefully I get get a reroll on this from my list:
Reckless Racing Ultimate (Win 8) Done.

I’ve made this a “done with” game.

Thank you!


hi Is it possible to get a re roll of the wordament ( win 8). I marked as “done with” It seems they put my version into the ultimate word games and it has a different achievement list. thanks

Both of those re-rolls are queued up.

We plan to lock the contest to Xbox 360 and Xbox One achievements only in future.

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Thank you. Really enjoying this contest. thanks for all the hard work you guys do behind the scenes

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Can I get in this please?

I’d like to join please.