Let’s talk about the video plan

Can you believe the Kickstarter venture is creeping steadily toward quadrupling our initial goal? We’re all a little taken aback — in a good way, of course. We’ve been thinking about ways to expand this venture beyond just a podcast and website, and we have some very interesting and exciting things in the works that we hope to be able to talk about before the Kickstarter campaign ends. But for now, let’s talk about the most ambiguous piece of the plan that we’ve made public so far: Video.

We haven’t really said much about our intentions for video besides “We’re going to do some video stuff and you can contribute money to help pin down the topics.” Not surprisingly, those goals haven’t proven to be nearly as popular as the podcast topics, and I think that’s because the podcast is a known quantity whereas video… isn’t. You guys know what you’re getting with the podcast. We’ve done something like 160 of them to date… though our goal is to make the new episodes more like very early or very recent shows, and hopefully not like the Sonic call-in episode. Though that was magical in its own way.

But video… we’ve tried a lot of things with video, and nothing’s quite stuck. For the most part, that’s been a result of us lacking the tools and resources to do what we want. With the Kickstarter earnings we’re collecting, though, that shouldn’t be a problem this time around. We can buy the equipment and software we need for quality video production, and we can even afford to work with video pros to compensate for our own video incompetence. So the question is no longer “What can we do?” but rather “What do we want to do?”

Truth be told, we’re still pinning down some of the specifics of our video plan, but we have a pretty good idea of where we’re going. It’s not entirely unlike our podcast plan, which is to say the three of us will be sharing duties. Podcast hosting will be a revolving responsibility, with each of us planning/hosting/editing one episode and then sitting in as second/third chairs for the next two. We’ll each be handling our respective hosting duties the best we see fit, meaning that the tone and style of the show will likely vary somewhat from episode to episode even though the three of us will serve as the constants for each episode.

Similarly, we’re aiming to publish a different video (by which we mean a produced video, not livestreams, which will be something else entirely) every other week, and our planning/hosting/production duties will rotate from episode to episode (with a total of 26 or 27 episodes). I suspect there’ll be greater differences in the videos than in the podcasts, though, as each of us has different ambitions and interests for this particular medium.

  • Bob: Wants to produce a series of videos looking at the work of specific game directors.
  • Jeremy: Wants to go back and take another crack at Retronauts: Bonus Stage.
  • Ray: Wants to create a series called “Games on the Floor,” conversations about classic games recalling the days of sitting around on the living room floor in front of the TV.

Different folks, different strokes, but each and every one should be a lot of fun. We hope!


Filed under Retronauts

22 Responses to Let’s talk about the video plan

  1. Sean C

    This has my very excited. Variety is good. I think mixing it up is a good idea and allows for a lot of interesting topics and videos and will let each of your creative outputs flourish. Sounds great. And I hope there is room for doing new kinds of topics and not just rigidly following the old show format.

  2. Aaron

    I’m so happy that Retronauts is coming back in full force, and glad that I can contribute towards making it happen.

    Just a bit curious. Video production is very expensive. I know all three of you endeavor to maintain a high level of quality in all the work you do. How much of the funds do you imagine will be used for the video production? Producing even a five minute video could potentially use twice the resources than even the best quality 90 minute audio podcast. With the second to last stretch goal aimed to continue for more than one year, I wonder if a focus on video production might limit the life that Retronauts Advance will have. I know my concern is probably unfounded, but I just though I’d bring it up!

    Long Live Jeremy Parish!

  3. Marc

    This is going to be amazing!!

  4. All 3 sound awesome but I loved Bonus Stage so I’m most excited to see that return.

  5. I personally think the Sonic call-in episode was bluperfect.

    I think mixing up the non-live video content is a good idea. And I still want to see Ray put on his section chief suit and marathon some games.

  6. Ryan Johnson

    you guys are gonna put these on YouTube, right? Or are you going to make them available as video podcasts on iTunes as well?

    Either way, the content sounds delectable.

  7. I would like to see Retronauts, The Animated Series, where the three of you guys solve retro game mysteries with adorable 8-bit animal friends. Like Rescue Rangers or Shirt Tales, but EDGY. Plot suggestions include, “Someone stole my copy of Stadium Events!”, or “This Vetrex doesn’t work!”. Just sayin.

  8. Darin Cavallero

    I was always a big fan of the Bonus Stage when those videos would hit. I’m particularly excited about Bob’s idea because I think it can sometimes be hard to trace a game director’s path outside of the one or two studios he or she might have worked within at a certain time. Also, I think development studios tend to get credit for a game, and rightly so (games are usually a team effort), but I’d be very interested to see what types of games a specific director has made throughout their history.

    I’m excited to see all of your guys work in the future!

  9. I think the video plans are a splendid idea. I’m interested in each of those three categories and with some level of production behind them they could make for fantastic footage.

  10. Josh

    “Games on the floor” conjured up some great imagery and memories. Although thinking about playing games while sitting on the floor at my age made my back start hurting…

    I’m very curious about what that series will be like!

  11. James McClellan

    Having three different approaches might seem like the makings for a disaster, but knowing each of your capabilities and passions it will only make Retronauts stronger. I really hope the $72,000 goal is reached, so maybe just maybe Retronauts could become a self sustaining website.

    • Ryan Johnson

      amen to that.
      $72k would be magic… it would basically be what i loved about 1up reborn.

  12. Scott

    Perhaps you should record a 5 minute blurb about the Kickstarter and send it out on the old Retronauts podcast feed? I almost didn’t hear about this – I just found out about it yesterday, because Bob mentioned it on the 3 hour wake for 1up that went out as the last Games, Dammit.

    I’m guessing there are others who care about Retronauts who have not heard about it, as I didn’t see it on my regular channels – IGN, Polygon, Penny Arcade, Telebunny, Gamasutra. I know that there was a Polygon story, but I missed it, so maybe others did, too? It would be a shame if you all couldn’t get as much funding as possible because some of your audience didn’t find out about it until too late.

  13. Raymond Fernandes

    I’m excited for video. It was always something I was hoping you’d do more of, but knew that it would a problem. Especially after that 1up-acolypse gutted the video crew years ago. Bonus Stage was awesome.

  14. Tony Todoroff

    Really excited, guys. Glad you’re coming back in full force!

    That said, I hope you guys also continue the Retronauts Lunch Break style of video, where you take an hour or so and play a classic game. For me, this is where Retronauts really shines (with the podcasts at a very close 2nd).

    Regardless, I’m super psyched for you and wish you nothing but continued success!

  15. DanielJay

    Great news, all around. I’ve enjoyed sifting through the podcast archives at 1up.com (just listened to the TMNT special).

    For me, the audio are terrific to listen to while I work on tasks at the office desk. But I’m eager to learn more about the audio features for my lunch breaks!

  16. DanielJay

    Oops – I mean video features.

  17. Kris

    All three ideas sound good but I definetly loved Bonus Stage and would like to see that return for sure. But I’m up for all 3 🙂