Even More Tiers, and Some Stretch Goal News!

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!

Expanded Tiers, New Additions, and a Hint of Things to Come

Well, the weekend has come and gone, and we just squeaked past $30,000 — no doubt thanks to the help of sites like PolygonKotaku, 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 MudronRusty ShacklesNick 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:

Twitter
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Facebook

Kickstarter, transparency, and accountability

The Retronauts Kickstarter is closing in on 250% funded in two days’ time, and as with any successful Kickstarter venture (or, really, anything involving money, ever) some people have questions about legitimacy and greed. Fair enough! For all the great stuff Kickstarter has brought us, we’ve also seen plenty of projects that collapsed under their own weight or whose creators seemingly took the money and ran. We talked long and hard before launching this to avoid either of those happening.

For one thing, we always had modest ends in mind, which is why we launched with a relatively small goal and didn’t offer any reward tiers above $300. Although we talked about some pie-in-the-sky ideas at the beginning, we ultimately decided we should take a manageable approach and simply try to get a biweekly podcast funded. The pie stuff is pretty far out there in the unlikely $60K+ territory. For our basic ambition — making a podcast — Bob sat down and calculated the real costs of buying some semi-pro-grade equipment, renting a nice quiet studio, and paying for webhosting and Libsyn bandwidth for the show. Then we took that number and doubled it, not for the sake of pocketing it, but because we’ve spoken to people who have been caught off-guard by their own Kickstarter successes when they learned the hard way that tax filings on “online donation” earnings that exceed a certain amount is something like 45%.

The one non-material/service expense we factored into the initial goal is the cost of launching a company (LLC or corporation) in California. That way the money we raise this month goes directly to an outside entity’s business account rather than into our pockets, which protects us (from massive personal tax debt) and you (from getting screwed over).

Each and every one of our stretch goals has been established with the same frame of mind. The first stretch goal (which we hit last night; thank you!) won’t actually soak up the full amount of the additional cash we’ve earned to reach that point, since the initial goal took care of a good many of our initial sunk costs. But it has allowed us to expand the number of rewards available and to make sure that our friends at Fangamer, who offered to handle reward disbursement for us, will see a fair return on their efforts.

The 30K tier’s earnings will help us hire a musician to compose a new theme (since the old one, like all previous Retronauts content, doesn’t belong to us). The 36K tier requires us to acquire some video recording, editing, and broadcasting gear. The 42K tier involves a service that will cost us very little to produce, so we’re using the earnings from that tier as donations for charity. The next tier will be just enough to handle travel and hotels for the three of us to attend three live events. And so on, and so forth. At every turn, we’ve endeavored to pour these earnings directly into the podcast and surrounding concerns.

Of course, we realize that some people simply won’t be satisfied with any explanation and see only the worst in every project like this, and there’s nothing we can do about that. I’ve seen a few indignant huffs about our greed for wanting good recording equipment and locations, because lots of people put together podcasts with their built-in computer mikes in their living rooms. That’s true. But we’d like to maintain the level of polish that made the past seven years’ worth of Retronauts so good. Actually, since we won’t have to worry about other people screwing up our equipment or rely on phone lines with call-waiting we can’t figure out how to deactivate, the sound quality should actually be better than it’s been since we lost the services of podcast grandmaster Andrew Pfister with the Hearst layoffs in 2009.

This is all kind of in the weeds and it’s probably stuff most people don’t care about, but we want to be up front with it. Feel free to hit us with any additional questions about this stuff.

Whoa

So, we’re funded, and then some. Guess we’re on the hook for podcasts through tax day 2014, huh?

Our Kickstarter King, Bob, will be rolling out stretch goals throughout the weekend. Alternative podcasts, videos, live events… honestly, I can’t remember what all we had planned. I’m sure it’ll be neat-o, though. Keen, even.

Let’s get it (kick) started

Hi everyone. Welcome to Retronauts.com.

We have (hopefully) interesting ideas for this site, but for the moment we’ll simply refer you to this fancy little venture we have going on to fund the podcast again as an independent entity. Hopefully $12,000 doesn’t seem like too steep a goal; we built in a fair amount of padding for taxes and overhead after hearing horror stories about folks who hit their goals on Kickstarter only to discover the following April 15 that they were personally liable for thousand upon thousands of dollars of tax debt. If we can hit our goal, we’ll be able to cobble together some decent but not overly spendy recording equipment, rent some recording studio time, mail out goodies, pay for this website, and not go horribly into debt as a result. We’ll be able to record shows about great old games with no extra burden or B.S. — just the way it should be.

So, please! Contribute! Thanks!