Whoa, hey, wow

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?


Filed under Kickstarter

17 Responses to Whoa, hey, wow

  1. Zen

    A huge congratulations and good luck to you all! The future of Retronauts could be very exciting, can’t wait to see what it holds.

  2. Rhett Lauffenburger

    I’m pumped! Can’t wait to see where you guys take this!

  3. Ryan Johnson

    I know I am not alone in saying that that sounds fantastic. For me 1up was often basically a retronauts site with some articles about new games…
    When the kickstarted didn’t hit the $72k stretch goal, I was bummed that the blog would stay a blog, but hearing phrases like “non-profit” and “Guggenheim of games”, well…
    I am stoked.
    Good luck, guys!

  4. Dan Diemer

    I’m incredibly excited for the future. Retronauts has been a constant in my life for the past 6-7 years and I’m so pleased to have a part in it’s continuance.

  5. I’m sincerely looking forward to the great things I think you guys can achieve. I’m further excited by the fact that I get to help out, perhaps on a yearly basis! Maybe I’ll finally be able to be on the show one day so that I can sit silently and nod for fear of sounding like an idiot.

    Regardless, Retronauts is what got me into podcasts in the first place and it’s one I look forward to each time a new episode is posted. Congratulations and here’s to the future!

  6. Christopher McTiernan

    Not only am I incredibly happy for you, but I also feel like I finally understand where you’ve been coming from all this time. I’ve adored this podcast since its inception, and I’ve always wondered why you frequently sounded so dissatisfied with it, especially once you’d been hosting it for a few years. The more you tell us about the ambitions you’ve always had for Retronauts, the more your frustration absolutely makes sense. I can only imagine how excited you are to finally have the chance to make it what you always wanted. So congratulations, best wishes, and thank you!

  7. Congratulations to you gents for turning an event that could have been a very sad ending into a new beginning full of even greater possibilities.

    This podcast has been a constant in my life since I stumbled across it 5 or so years ago. The simple act of reliving and sharing your experiences has helped to connect so many different people through this shared passion. As this medium grows and matures it’s important that we preserve what has gotten us to where we are today, and more importantly share what remain very vibrant and viable games with those who weren’t lucky enough to experience them the first time around. Listening to you guys is like finding that group of friends in the schoolyard who shared our passion for games when we were young, and that is something that is very much worth saving.

    So congratulations again, and if anyone can pull off the grand plans that you’ve outlines it’s you three. Looking forward to what the future brings!!

  8. Congratulations with the Kickstarter. I’m so glad that Retronauts will continue for the foreseeable future and that so many people would not let this simply go.

    This has been one of my favorite shows of all time. I’ve been hooked on the podcast since I first downloaded it. And I while I still listen to past episodes and I can’t wait to hear the new shows.

  9. Scotty

    Many congratulations! I’m looking forward to the first (and second, and third . . .) of each of your endeavours.

  10. Doyle

    I am truly thrilled that this endeavor has succeeded so spectacularly. Retronauts has been with me through thick and thin over the past half-decade, and I’m quite proud to have helped keep it alive. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you three.

  11. Mantis

    Congrats guys! I can’t wait until you are pumping out those podcast! It’s been a pleasure to be able to contribute.

  12. Lordjoebill

    Sounds awesome! Like so many, I’ve been a fan of Retronauts…since you guys first argued about Zelda and Castlevania’s 20th anniversaries. I was bummed you didn’t make it to $60,000, since Retronauts in print is a great idea. Then again, the stuff you’ve done with Gamespite is fantastic in its own way. Cannot wait to see what sort of topics you come up with! (Hope Kohler shows up to rant about the potential of the Virtual Console at some point, too.)

  13. Lloyd

    Good luck guys. Really looking forward to the future of Retronauts and I can’t think of three better people to be leading the charge.

  14. Adam Campbell

    Congrats and good luck :D.

  15. Really happy for you guys. Best retro podcast ever. Glad to see that there is retro life after 1UP.

  16. Mel

    Very happy beginnings, I hope. Loved you guys on 1up, and looking forward to the podcasts.