>>>STRETCH GOAL UPDATE<<<
WE HIT THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stretch goals are here! Scroll down below for full details!
In 2011 I released my debut original music album, Impostor Nostalgia. I've been remixing video game music for years now, and I somehow managed to break into the Game Music Industry working on Mass Effect 2 as my first title. So once I became "on the radar" for writing orchestra space-opera music, I think I surprised a few people when my first original album was chiptune music inspired by classic Gameboy and NES games. But it happened and it was awesome. The album did super well and it made me a TON of amazing new friends. And while I do love modern electronic music, modern rock, and modern pop, there's something magical about hearing those 8-bit sounds I grew up with from the 80's. And I know I'm not the only person who feels that way!
The Glory Days, as the name suggests is a 2-way perspective of game music and life. Naturally, the first part is reflecting back on those days where my daily worries consisted of getting past the boss on level 4 or collecting enough coins or beating the game with a record number of extra lives. And as I relive those Glory Days, I remember that back then I used to sit and fantasize about what life would be like in 10 or 20 years. I'd think of all the amazing things games and music would one day offer. I used to fantasize about how awesome Super Mario Kart would be if only it had hills instead of a flat track, or what kind of amazing sounds would exist as technology improved. And that made me realize, the Glory Days weren't just yesterday, they're all the time--we're in them now! We were in them yesterday! We were in them 20 years ago! And THAT is what this album is about.
The Glory Days is the sounds of our gaming youth combined with the technology and techniques that didn't exist back then. So carrying the torch of its predecessor, it's a bridge between two eras of amazing music.
Big Giant Circles is the name I've produced music under (debuting on OverClocked ReMix in 2003). I'm a video game music composer and remixer. I was lucky enough to become a part of composer Jack Wall's team to help compose the score to Mass Effect 2.
The Normandy Reborn cinematic cutscene music is probably the thing I'm best known for in that game.
Down the road I later returned to assist Jack with the score for Call of Duty Black Ops 2. If you've played the game, chances are you've heard my track "Adrenaline" while sitting in the Multiplayer Menu (According to iTunes it's the most popular song on the soundtrack, so that's pretty rad!)
I like to think I do great work on my own, but to me there's also no denying that one of the reasons Impostor Nostalgia did so well was the sheer amount of raw talent I was able to bring aboard. There were 11 collaborators/remixers in total. I reached out to people who I felt were some of the best indie video game/chiptune musicians in the world, and the results were RAD. I want to be able to do that again. But talent deserves compensation. I'm asking for a low figure that if reached will only cover the money I've spent on the fantastic existing artwork, and the physical productions of the discs themselves. That said, I want this album to be truly special, to have tangible worth--actual hands-on value. And sadly, that's not a cheap endeavor, especially for us indie guys. And in order to bring another cadre of raw talent, I need to make sure the project will be worth everyone's while. More on this below under the Stretch Goals below.
At any rate, I think Impostor Nostalgia set a pretty high standard. And I want to not only meet that bar, but surpass it in every way. I've already completed 20 full tracks. Impostor Nostalgia had 17 full tracks, 4 of which are remixes and then 3 bonus tracks (which were essentially unfinished WIPs that I included as, well, a bonus). So I can effectively say I think I've already outdone myself as far as the track list itself goes. Also worth mentioning, Impostor Nostalgia had some great cover artwork by Blake "Protodome" Troise, but I really only hired him to design some cover art and that's it. This time around, I have lots and lots of artwork. A full color, several-page booklet will be included for physical CD's. How many pages? Well, it's hard to say, especially considering that one of my reward tiers means including pictures of those backers as part of the art (which I'm REALLY excited about!). There could potentially be a lot! :)
In essence, I want to push this album forward beyond a typical indie release. I want to push video game style music and chiptunes out of the niche corner and more into the spotlight! I want people to get excited about hearing chiptune music, whether authentic, fakebit, 8-bit, 9-bit, whatever the name be, I want people to hear it and love it as much as I do! It feels so good to see groups like Anamanaguchi and I Fight Dragons succeed in bringing the style to new fans and even tapping into mainstream outlets!
Part of an effective media experience is visual work, and while this is ultimately still an audio experience only, if resources permit I'd really like to pursue being able to produce more audiovisual content. Art, videos, flashing pictures, lights, laser beams, reflections. It all goes hand and hand with the spirit of video games, and it excites me and energizes me to want to make more. And lets not forget the #SWAG. I've never really made BGC-branded SWAG before. But rest assured, now that I'm taking on the task of supplying it, I'm gonna make sure it's awesome.
Of course, the most fundamental answer to "Why are you kickstarting this album again?" is simply, I've put everything I have into it for the past couple years, I've done it alone, and I've done it on my own dime. As with most other kickstarters, I'm reaching out to you to assist in the cost of producing the physical CDs and enhancing the overall experience beyond just the audio. Again, the main album is DONE. 100% Audio Completion Run Achievement Get! But with your help I could turn it into something REALLY fun. :)
- High-quality CD replication
- Beautiful full color full CD liner booklet
- Incredibly stylish color posters
- Stickers, buttons, and other SWAG
- T-shirt printing
- Shipping & handling (a lot)
- Music Distribution (on sites like Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes, etc)
- Money I Don't Keep (Kickstarter/Amazon fees/taxes)
- Beautiful Professional Artwork
- Licensing (if necessary)
- Supplies for reward fulfillment
- Additional musicians for Expanded Album
- Bonus SWAG (if stretch goals met)
- Other stretch goals. See below.
- Studio stuff (gear/software/plugins)
- The overall advancement of quality chipmusic in the world :)
The usual stuff, mostly, why don't you check out the stretch goals below?
The album is funded, physical CDs will be produced!
Bonus footage/extended "testimonials" from the Kickstarter video :)
Loopable versions of some of the tracks! (The ones that support it that anyway)
The Extended Album Begins! A digital bonus EP with remixes contributed by 2 of the remixers listed below!
2 more remixers added to the Extended Album! (4 total)
2 more remixers added to the Extended Album! (6 total)
2 more remixers added to the Extended Album! (8 total)
2 more remixers added to the Extended Album! (10 total)
All remixers will appear on the Extended Album! It's basically a 2nd Full Album release!
In regards to this stretch goal, I originally posted a list of names here in this section. I hinted that I'd contacted many of them and that several were actually confirmed as on board. I've since re-confirmed/finalized the official list of artists who I have hand-picked to construct the Expanded Album. I think you'll recognize the people below as some of the best names in the chiptune/indie game music industry. I'm honored by their willingness to participate and I'm excited to see what they bring to this project!
Since I've already sunk quite a lot of money into the artwork (and will probably be spending more the way this train keeps moving, I would really love the opportunity to showcase it all in a limited edition, collectible book. This goal will enable me to pay for more artists and more artwork to make this a reality! Furthermore, everyone at the $100 level will receive bonus mini prints of additional artwork to go with their poster! (updated poster designs shown below, under artwork).
I've always wanted to do one, a proper one, not a bunch of still images or looped backgrounds and stock footage trying to pass itself off as a music video. I think groups like Anamanaguchi have really done great at capturing the visual essence of the Chiptune Experience, and with the extra funding I could make this happen. There's something special when you attach the right footage to the right music. It's why movies are so popular and produce so many powerful experiences that we remember throughout our lives. It's definitely not cheap though, at least, not when it's done right. :)
Speaking of things that are not cheap when they're done right. I've already got someone in mind for the mastering. He's got a huge list of AAA-level credentials and could really give the album some true polish to really push it out into the world with the proper sheen!
With an album cover like mine, shouldn't an Actual vinyl release be in order? I think so. But as much as I'd like to, vinyls are incredibly expensive to manufacture and especially to ship. But if we hit $50k, I'll make it happen! Alternatively, if big and bulky isn't your thing, I'll be creating some custom-branded Big Giant Circles thumb drives to send out to all backers who buy the physical album so they can carry it on their keychains! As an added bonus, if this project hits $48000, it will join the ranks of fellow chiptune musicians Anamanaguchi and I Fight Dragons on the highly coveted 100 MOST FUNDED KICKSTARTER MUSIC PROJECTS! One step closer to Chiptune Internet Takeover!! :)
The artwork is in good hands. As you can see by the header image up top, Ian Wilding has nailed the visual concept of the music. If you're curious, I hired Ian after seeing the following image randomly on the internet, and tracing it back to his tumblr page.
If that's not awesome enough, check Ian's other Works-in-Progress for this album below. Worth noting, these designs look AMAZING on shirts, buttons, and posters, for obvious reasons.
I've also got veteran BGC album artists Jessie "axl99" Lam and Blake "Protodome" Troise cooking up some stuff for me. Jessie is a concept art wizard and Blake's pixel art is sublime.
And then there's that "Your face in the album art" perk, remember? (Hint, it's to the right if you haven't read it yet). Check below in the Rewards section for some examples of how that's gonna turn out:
I've got other artists on board and standing-by, and I'll include them as this campaign picks up momentum, but suffice it to say, the art is in good hands.
First off, the custom art reward of YOU!
PART OF THE ALBUM reward tier: you will receive an avatar created custom for you by Paul Hubans. I will assemble all of these into a montage and print it inside the album art along with your name and special thanks. Here's the general ballpark of the outcome:
CO-PRODUCER reward tier: In addition to Paul's rad rendition of your sexy visage, you'll get an additional, slightly higher res pixel avatar custom converted by Ian Wexler to adorn your status as a supreme BGC supporter. It might look a little more like this, style-wise:
The rest of this stuff is not 100% finalized yet, but Ian's working hard on them, and I'll update this stuff as we do get closer to the finish line. But for now, here's what we're looking at:
The Glory Days Wallpaper:
Shirts (not final):
Buttons (not final):
Once more, these designs are not finalized. Actual rewards may differ slightly form what you see above. These images are just to give you a general idea of what kind of awesome stuff you can expect. :)
Big Giant Circles is not liable for any injuries that occur during this kickstarter. If you find yourself affected by any such injury, please seek immediate medical attention.
As of right now, I don't have an exact date set, but the main thing is printing the physical CDs. I could release the album digitally tomorrow if I wanted to (since the music for the main album itself is already done). I'll know better once I get the ball rolling on the physical CD order, and that's sort of pending how well this campaign does because if you haven't been paying attention, this album might not be a single disc release :)
My release-or-bust date for the main part of the album is December 2013. But once I can gauge how likely the extended release will be and begin managing that, I can set a more specific time frame. And if necessary, I can consider a multi-stage release, so I can at least get the "as is" album in your hands/ears ASAP. Trust me, I'm as eager to give you the music as you might be to get it. :)
That's all I got for you for now! But please remember:
Whether you back the project or simply pass it along to a friend, thank you!
The following people are amazing and I am deeply grateful for their kindness. Follow them!
- Anthony Burch
- Ashly Burch
- Cort Stratton
- Daniel Floyd
- David "djpretzel" Lloyd
- Emily Hassler
- I Fight Dragons
- Ian Wilding
- Image Line Software
- James Turner
- Jason Wishnov
- Jessie Lam
- Kathleen De Vere
- Larry Oji
- Loading Ready Run
- Paul Saunders
- Sam Hulick
- Tally Heilke
- RavenProDesign (video intro template)
Risks and challenges
For one final reiteration, the album is in a release-ready state now (at least digitally). So you don't have to worry about me taking years to finish an album that might not even happen at all. That said, being my first kickstarter campaign, I'm sure there's a number of things that presumably might not go quite as planned. Shipping and fulfillment is pretty much always a reliable nightmare of sorts. Delays can happen, and pinpointing the source of the delay can turn into a run around of passing the blame and people declining accountability.
That said, that stuff is small potatoes. I've got a lot of good people ready to assist, many whom I've already consulted with (*cough* zircon *cough*) and all this stuff is ultimately not much of an issue. So really, the only things I have to worry about are forces of nature and catastrophes. And let's hope none of those lie in my or your futures :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)