Almost since we started publishing the podcast, lots of people have been asking us what’s up with the physical rewards; if we’ve asked for shipping info, and so on. Though we’ve been responding to many of those people directly, we probably should’ve been saying something more public. And that’s what this is!
Basically, we haven’t forgotten that we’re on the hook, and in just the past week or two, we’ve made a renewed effort to get it all done. At the risk of slinging excuses, the launch of the podcast and the almost-immediate trip to the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo threw us off-balance for a little while. So right now, we’re pushing forward on producing the relatively easier-to-produce merch (shirts, etc.; thanks again to our friends at Fangamer for giving us a hand there), and doing pre-planning on the more custom stuff (namely the DVD and book projects), which will naturally follow a bit later.
Crowdfunding projects often deal with people moving and changing addresses before the project is fulfilled, so we’re trying to minimize that as much as possible by making sure we’re ready before we ask you to be ready. All that while re-settling ourselves in the groove of making the podcast — which, of course, is the product that matters most, but we’re not about to leave anyone hanging.
Long story short: We have not asked for anyone’s address yet, but we will when we’re ready. You will get an email, and we will post updates all over the place. Nevertheless, thanks for all your kind words so far, and for sticking with us. See you next episode!
Bob, Jeremy, Ray
We’ll be at the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo Sunday afternoon at 1, talking about… a mystery topic. But there’ll be audience participation! Yes, our presentation will be recorded and posted as a bonus podcast, but really, don’t you want to step up to the mic and share your darkest gaming secrets with the world? Of course you do. Come see us. It’ll be good times.
We’ll also be putting in live appearances at a couple of other events over the next 11 months or so, but we’re not sure which ones yet! (We’re still waiting on confirmation.) So, Seattle is your sure bet.
Sunday. 1 p.m. Be there.
1229 backers, 56,728 dollars. That’s kind of amazing. You are all kind of amazing.
When Bob and Ray and I first started discussing the details of this Kickstarter venture a couple of months ago, we speculated how much we could reasonably expect to raise. We generally agreed we might be able to drum up something like $40-45K in an ideal universe where everything is perfect. Yet here we are in our deeply imperfect universe having totally blown past that goal. Sure, we didn’t quite make it to the book or expanded website or multi-year commitment goals, but no matter: Some of those things we’re likely to do anyway. And we have plenty of things to keep us busy in the meantime….
Now that the excitement has happened and we have to deal with the fallout of this success, we need to take stock of how much of a commitment we’re in for and come up with a timeline. We need to:
- Record 26 podcasts and 26 mini-episodes;
- Send out backer emails to figure out who’s going to be on our show and what topics we’re committed to;
- Sort out which two events we’ll be appearing at (we’ve already committed to the Seattle Retro Expo in July);
- Record and produce 26 videos;
- Assemble mini-books, shirts, buttons, artwork, create DVDs, bake some cookies, and mail it all;
- Sort out the logistics of two charity livestreams;
- And probably some other stuff, too.
I can think of worse reasons to have a long to-do list than “people like us and want to support our work.”
Finally, we also need to round up recording equipment and finish incorporating as a proper business. Actually, I’ll let you in on something we’ve been keeping under wraps: If things work out as we hope, we’ll be establishing Retronauts as a non-profit organization (one focused on promoting the arts), not a standard commercial venture. One of my dearest dreams has been to properly enshrine the history of video games somehow. I’ve been pushing for years to make that happen under the auspices of my various employers, but I could never make a compelling enough business case to convince anyone. And they’re probably right: $56K isn’t enough to sustain a corporate venture. But it is more than enough for a handful of people to develop a passion project, and in the coming year we hope to be turning Retronauts into far more than a podcast.
All of this is still in the “nebulous cloud of ideas floating around in our heads” phase of things, because it’s all kind of new — an idea made possible as a side effect of this Kickstarter campaign. And there’s no guarantee the government will grant us NPO status at all. All of this could fall through horribly. But I hope not. We have an opportunity here to take the Charlie Brown of gaming podcasts and spin it into the Guggenheim of video games, and that’s surely a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
So… wish us luck. And, of course, even if none of these grand dreams come to pass, we’ll still be doing the podcast and fulfilling other Kickstarter commitments. It’s nice to look beyond the basics, though, don’t you think?
We sat down on Sunday to record a little podcast on the state of our Kickstarter. If anything, this episode should prove why professional-grade equipment is important.
At this point, I can’t imagine our Kickstarter won’t reach its next stretch goal of $52,000. We still have nearly a third of the Kickstarter campaign to go, and we’re less than $4,000 away. That tier, as mentioned, will pay airfare and accommodations for the three of us to attend three different conventions or shows somewhere in the U.S. and — convention organizers willing — present a live panel to you. Provided you are at the show. And, if not, we’ll have to record and publish them in our new, forthcoming podcast RSS feed instead.
With the 52K mark so close at hand, we need to start thinking about our convention plans for the year. Retronauts has been a presence at PAX and PAX East for an alarming number of years now, and it would make sense for us to maintain that tradition… but is that too easy an answer? We know classic gaming conventions happen all around the country, and even events like New York Comic-Con may not be specifically tied to games but certainly have video game connections. I think we’re all quite open to new ideas and opportunities.
So, we put the question to you, readers and followers: Which three conventions would you like to see us attend in 2013/14? Which cities should we drop classic gaming knowledge bombs on? We make no promises — and who knows, maybe we won’t quite make it to 52K after all, so it could end up being moot — but we have our fingers crossed and our minds open.
We’ve just snuck past the halfway point of the Retronauts Kickstarter campaign, and while donations have slowed to a much less ludicrous frequency, we’re currently approaching the $45,000 mark, with nearly 1000 backers showing their love for our little podcast. With less than two weeks to go, we think it’s more than possible to make our $52,000 stretch goal and take our show on the road — so we’ve made a few adjustments to existing tiers, and added a new one to entice lovers of physical goodies. (You know who you are.)
Check out our Kickstarter page, and you may notice that it’s now much more affordable to commission a retrospective article or original video. That’s right; getting a chunk of text devoted to the game of your choice is now just a mere $130, while a video project with the same focus now costs only $160 to sponsor. If you know of some strange, obscure, or off-the-wall game you’d like to see receive the Retronauts treatment, let us know with your generous donation.
We’re also proud to announce a brand-new $140 tier brought to you by the great folks at Fangamer. Donators who invest their money in this extremely limited tier will get to chooseone of these amazing Fangamer prize packages, and — like anyone who donates to a $100-and-higher tier — they’ll also take home the Retronauts button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt at no additional cost. If you’d like to reap the most physical rewards, this is the tier for you. But you’ll have to act fast.
As we’ve said, things have slowed down a bit since the initial burst of excitement, but we’ve still been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that all the pieces fall into place. Thanks again for your support, and please spread the word if you can!
Thanks to everyone’s continued support, last night we broke $36,000, putting us on the track to produce original video content. Along with that, we’ve added two new reward tiers related to video: $200 (x48) to decide a game to be played during one of 48 hours of our planned marathon streams, and $225 (x13) to decide the topic of one of our short-form video projects.
But it doesn’t stop there! We have two other new tiers: $300 (x20) to decide a topic for a future retrospective article on Retronauts.com, and for two of the biggest spenders, you can give us $1000 and get a personal podcast in return. (We were going to call it a “personal pan podcast,” but it’s not a physical reward.) We’ve also bumped up the quantity on our custom art tier a bit, and added 50 more of our big prize packs.
We’re also hashing out new stretch goal milestones. Solid details are forthcoming, but we know that we’re going with a $78,000 goal, with which we’ll produce a Retronauts-exclusive Let’s Play series, likely from an established pro in the LP community. Other goals still being nailed down include additional marathon streams that may take after a certain Japanese TV show, and in time, we’ll figure out how much it’ll cost to bring in Scott Sharkey.
We can’t say thank you enough, so what’s one more? Thank you, everyone!
Well, the weekend has come and gone, and we just squeaked past $30,000 — no doubt thanks to the help of sites like Polygon, Kotaku, and Tiny Cartridge, who each gave us some helpful publicity. Thanks, dudes! If you happen to be connected to a video game site and would like to write about our Kickstarter, let us know — we’d be more than willing to give you a tasty quote and a shout-out of our own.
That said, you may have noticed we’ve already met our new theme song stretch goal (hooray!), and if what we want to happen actually happens, well, you’d best order some new socks because the ones on your feet will undoubtedly be knocked off. We’ll try to give you more information on this as soon as we can!
And, once again, we’ve expanded our reward tiers — so if you missed out on ordering a DVD or the illustrious combo pack, you’re in luck! We’ve also added a new tier which can net you an original, framed piece of video game fan art for a $250 donation. So far, we’ve enlisted Bill Mudron, Rusty Shackles, Nick Daniel, and K.C. Green – even our own Jeremy Parish will be lending his talents to this reward tier. And we’re currently in the process of finding other artists who’d like to contribute. We’ll be sure to let you know more on this as soon as we do.
We’ll also be working with the fine people at Fangamer to make sure our rewards are of the highest quality. They’ll also be contributing some amazing merch to reward tiers we hope to announce very soon. (Geez, don’t we sound like a broken record?)
In closing, we’re coming incredibly close to hitting our next stretch goal, which will give Retronauts the power to create video content — and we have some great ideas that will entertain and delight you. So please, spread the word! We’d definitely appreciate it. And just in case you’re not aware, here are all of our Internet haunts: