Sardonic, silly, but always sincere, this Webseries will feature topical commentary on the games industry from journalist Sophie Prell
Dear games industry:
You inspire me. You make me smile. I wouldn't rather work with anyone else, and I want to tell people why. More than that, I want to show them why. I want to live the dream I used to have watching Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb on TechTV and G4 in my living room, between rounds of Super Smash Bros. on the N64. I want to create a show that will inspire, engage, and make people feel the way you make me feel. What should I do, games industry? Sincerely, Sophie
Hi there. My name is Sophie Prell. I've been a gaming journalist working in both a professional and non-professional (fancy way of saying 'I blogged about stuff') capacity for more than 3 years. You've read my work on Dorkly, Destructoid, G4TV.com, and the Penny Arcade Report, and hopefully, you've enjoyed it. I've covered E3, the PlayStation 4 reveal, CCP Fanfest, and a myriad of other events and games - but I've always done it under someone else's banner. Well, no longer; I'm here on Kickstarter to ask for your help so that I can work for you.
I want to create a web show that will become your go-to source for games industry information, opinion, and lovable quirkiness (or at least your go-to source who isn't British for all that stuff).The show will be a bi-monthly production which focuses on the game industry, as well as the people and products within it. More than that, however, it would be a show about you, the gamer, and the people who make it a reality. Your questions, your desires, your direction.
The show's moniker: Sincerely, Sophie
Lights, camera, and what the show's all about:
So, how are you going to determine my show's content? Allow me to explain how the show works:
I receive a pool of questions you, the viewer, want to know about the games industry or games culture. These can be "inside baseball" questions like, "Why do game reviews have embargoes?" / "What's the relationship like between journalist and publisher?" or they can be trivia-based, like "Why does Mario have a mustache?" / "What's the history behind Respawn Entertainment?" or anything in-between. Each Sincerely, Sophie episode, I'll answer one of the submitted questions, turning it into a 5-10 minute exploration and conversation.
This is your chance to get intimate with the games industry and games culture, and I promise to be the same cheerful, honest, no-bullshit personality I've always been, bringing you the content you want. Think of it like a Dear Abby column, only all about video games. And probably more penis jokes (I don't know that for sure, it's been awhile since I read Dear Abby).
Sincerely, Sophie will air twice a month for 10 months at minimum funding. However, should funding go above and beyond the $16,000 goal, I've got a couple ways in which to expand on the Sincerely, Sophie premise. Yes, we're about to talk about...
Sincerely, Sophie exists as much more than an occasional vlog in my mind. It's a brand and an identity that I can proudly carry with me and develop, like a rainbow-infused starchild born of video games and baseless hope. This Kickstarter's funding goal will help me get Sincerely, Sophie off the ground, but further funding will let me take the concept much, much farther.
Below are the Sincerely, Sophie stretchgoals, as well as what you'll get should we raise the necessary amount. In addition to the specified results, expect the show's audio and visual quality to rise incrementally.
$30,000: Sincerely, Sophie will now air three episodes a month. An extra episode, huzzah!
$40,000: Sincerely, Sophie will continue to air three times a month, but on the fourth week I'll also livestream games to give you company and keep you warm on those cold, lonely nights. Disclaimer: watching Sophie play games does not actually produce much heat and should not be used as a replacement for blankets or a heating system. Don't die, pls.
$50,000: Sincerely, Sophie gets a custom, fully-animated intro from artist Joseph Maslov! Joseph is the artist behind all the beautiful imagery you see on this Kickstarter page, but you can check out more of his work here.
$60,000: Sincerely, Sophie becomes my full-time job for the duration of Season One! At this level of funding, I can afford to dedicate myself fully to creating Sincerely, Sophie, which will now air four times a month, plus the livestream.
$70,000: Sincerely, Sophie keeps you up all-night more often with more livestreaming, which will now air twice a month instead of once per month.
$80,000: Sincerely, Sophie gets a travel budget! In addition to taking your questions regarding the games industry and gamer culture, Sincerely, Sophie will hit the road and travel to events like PAX, E3, CCP Fanfest, Comic-Con, and more. The show will still air four times a month, plus the livestreams.
$100,000: Everyone gets to revel in my pain, as I film an extra special vlog in which I get inked, hardcore. I'm a fan of both body art and video games, so I figure why not combine them with a sweet gaming tattoo? Look for a future update in which I reveal my custom design that incorporates more than 20 game characters! (Yeah, it ain't tiny)
NOTE: You are not paying for my tattoo - I'm going to get the design no matter what. This stretchgoal is about getting to watch the process.
$120,000: Sincerely, Sophie creates a spin-off show: Nerdy Jobs! This show does not replace the Sincerely, Sophie episodes, and instead provide you with all-new bonus content.
Nerdy Jobs will task me with performing some truly nerdy tasks; from board game design to coding to concept art to running a comic book store, this will be an opportunity to explore every aspect of nerd culture, not just the glamorous ones. Think of that other show that rhymes with the one I'll be making, and you should have an idea of what I'm talking about. The show will be produced once every other month.
$120,001+: World peace, probably!
Now, I realize this is quite a lot of money to ask for, and I imagine you're wondering how I justify it. Well, that leads right into my next point:
Why join all the other kids with the pumped-up kicks(tarters)?
Imagine yourself as the new kid at school. You grab a tray of food from the cafeteria and turn to look for a place to sit, only to find that you're not sure where you fit in. Are you cool enough to roll with the popular kids? Do your eccentricities place you firmly within the theater geek clique? Navigating this minefield often results in stress, a feeling of uncertainty, and unwelcome erections seen through the bulge of sweatpants.
Readers, I don't want an awkward boner, and that means I need to find out where I stand. I need to know where to sit in the cafeteria of life. I need to know if this show is something people want. If Sincerely, Sophie is something you want to see realized, I need your help.
I need your help to hire an editor, to rent out a studio, to set it up with proper recording equipment, to purchase a professional camera, to license music, and at higher funding levels, to create a travel budget, hire a camera operator, and even produce merch. This truly is a project being kickstarted from scratch, and I hope you will join me in making it a reality.
Can't you just get on a webcam and go on YouTube / What do I get out of this?
Let's be honest here: yes, I absolutely could do that. Sincerely, Sophie could be an amateur production made on a shoestring budget and thrown up on YouTube.
But I don't want that. I don't want to settle. I want Sincerely, Sophie to be a professional, quality product, and I want it to serve someone other than myself. What do I mean by that? Well, if Sincerely, Sophie weren't being funded via Kickstarter, it'd just be a vlog. While vlogs are great, vlogs also have little to no obligation - it's not a big deal if a vlogger misses an update, or can't deliver promised content. If Sincerely, Sophie reaches funding, that means I have an audience. If I have an audience, that means I have an obligation to serve them.
In other words: Your backing will not only give me the funds necessary to make Sincerely, Sophie into something special, but will also effectively turn me into your employee. Instead of being something fun to do on the side, producing Sincerely, Sophie will become an actual job, with all the stress and work and responsibilities that come with that word.
I want to work for you, and I thank each and every one of you who can help make that happen. But worry not, my thanks aren't all you'll get! We have tons of awesome rewards for backers, including custom art from Joseph Maslov! Here's just a small sample of what Joe can do for you:
Thank you very much for your support, and see you on the other side!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This project is being Kickstarted from scratch, and that means some of the biggest risks come from getting things up and running. While I fully expect and plan to get the show live, it may take some time to get things set up, and said amount of time may be more than backers would like. This time is to make Sincerely, Sophie the best it can be - simply put, I don't want the show to go live if it isn't ready and I don't have a committed crew behind it.
Also, regarding said crew: I currently live in Iowa, and have no plans to move anytime soon. Therefore, my crew and studio will also be located in Iowa, and the Midwest is not particularly known for being a hub of video editors and camera operators. Again, I ask for understanding and patience while I seek out the best, most dedicated team members I can bring on to the project. I will find them, it may simply take time.
The other major risk is that, while I consider myself an experienced and well-connected journalist, my name does not open as many doors as I would like (yet). The good news is that I've structured this Kickstarter so that the basic Sincerely, Sophie program (see explanation about stretch goals above) doesn't really rely on privileged access. While I promise to work my hardest to bring you content that is equal parts unique and worthwhile, it is nonetheless a risk that I may not be able to preview/review/whatever a particular game or event as quickly as other journalists.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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I will go "aww" when I look at pledges and think of your name as I do so.Estimated delivery:
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Your name immortalized in the hallowed halls of the Internet - meaning you'll be forever listed as a donor to Sincerely, Sophie on my website! You'll also get one of those "aww" moments as seen above.Estimated delivery:
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I will cook your favorite food and eat it on camera, giving my thoughts along the way. Note: Will not consume poisonous recipes. In return, you'll also get Sophie's recipe for her "Ultra Super Delicious Sweet Sausage Pasta." (It's not as dirty as it sounds... unfortunately)Estimated delivery:
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All above rewards, plus a hand-written note of appreciation attached to an Iowa postcard (most likely featuring a picture of corn or livestock). It's like you're really here! Tornadoes, flash floods, and 90% humidity not included.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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All above rewards, plus your name in the credits of every Sincerely, Sophie episode. You will be credited as "Goat Paladin." Baaaa!Estimated delivery:
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0 backers Limited (30 left of 30)
Get a custom gif icon to use on your favorite sites from Sincerely, Sophie artist partner Joseph Maslov! You'll work with Joe to design a custom Level-1 gif for you and only you! (Note: Joseph has the right to veto any objectionable ideas or overly-ambitious requests) These gifs are simply animated and colored in flats, containing a handful of frames. See Kickstarter text for references.Estimated delivery:
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All above rewards, plus a t-shirt with the Sincerely, Sophie logo emblazoned majestically (some might even say proudly!) on the chest. Show your support of the show, strike up a conversation, embarrass your loved ones; the possibilities are YOURS to imagine!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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All above rewards, but now your name seen in the credits at the end of every Sincerely, Sophie episode will be credited as a "Kangaroo Kickboxer."Estimated delivery:
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All above rewards, plus a DVD copy of Sincerely, Sophie Season 1. These DVDs will ONLY be made for backers, and each will be personally signed by me.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)
Upgrade your custom gif from Sincerely, Sophie artist partner Joseph Maslov! These Level-2 gifs will be more smoothly animated, with more frames per second. (Note: Joseph will retain the right to veto any objectionable ideas or overly-ambitious requests) See Kickstarter text for references.Estimated delivery:
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All above rewards, plus your name seen in the credits at the end of every Sincerely, Sophie episode will be credited as a "Fancy Dragon."Estimated delivery:
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1 backer Limited (6 left of 7)
The highest quality gif from Sincerely, Sophie artist partner Joseph Maslov! These Level-3 gifs will be even more smoothly animated, with more frames per second, and rich with vibrant color. (Note: Joseph will retain the right to veto any objectionable ideas or overly-ambitious requests) See Kickstarter text for references.Estimated delivery:
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0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
All above rewards, plus your own custom character will go on an adventure with others who donate at this level. Once a month, I'll write a short chapter in an ongoing story starring YOUR character and your fellow donationeers' characters. Plot and setting to be determined.Estimated delivery:
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All above rewards, plus an episode dedicated just to you! Ask Sophie your question - ANY question - and she will dedicate a full-length episode to answering it. These episodes do not count against the total number of episodes, meaning that they're a bonus, NOT a replacement for episodes!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
All above rewards, plus your listing as a "Producer" in the credits of Sincerely, Sophie (alternatively, if you're a fan of the goofy naming scheme, you'll be listed as an "Obsidian Unicorn"). Also, instead of going "aww" as noted in Reward #1, I will shit my pants. I will then send a picture of said shit-pants to your email, for you to print and frame.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
All above rewards, plus a trip to... IOWA! Majestic, corn-laden IOWA. We'll hang out for one day as I show you around the state! No look, I'm totally serious about this, and my state is the shit; we have underground cave systems to explore, awesome hiking/horse-riding trails, the nation's largest state fair (with fucking COWS sculpted entirely out of BUTTER) and a zombie theme restaurant. YOU WILL BE ENTERTAINED. I've got lunch and admission to any and all events covered, but you'll need to pay to get here.Estimated delivery:
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GOLDEN CALF REWARD TIER: All above rewards plus our eternal damnation. Why damnation? Because I will post your face in my studio, create an altar before it, and end each Sincerely, Sophie episode with a prayer to you.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $9,000 or moreYou selected
I will perform oral sex on you. Not really, that's prostitution, which is totes illegal. But seriously, what do you even WANT for that amount of money? A car? I can't give you a car. Please don't pledge this amount. I have no idea what to give you. Maybe a plant. Sure, you can have a plant. Like a really NICE plant.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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