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A book with more Japanese developer interviews than any other; a wealth of untold anecdotes from Japan's video game history in English
1,549 backers pledged £70,092 to help bring this project to life.

One last charge over the hill, comrades

Posted by John Szczepaniak (Creator)

Since my last update I've continued to contact and be contacted by various developers, or those who know developers. Notably one of my backers in Japan has been helping me, and is trying to put me in touch Yoshio Kiya, who developed one of Japan's earliest RPGs. Alongside about 10 other really, really cool people.

I did a count, and I've now had replies from over 40 developers, expressing interest in being interviewed, and several promising to put me in touch with colleagues (some have already done so).

Here's a few:

Takashi Kogure - artist on multiple games, including Metal Storm, Little Samson, and Cannon Dancer.

Hiromasa Iwasaki - lots of work at Hudson. Already on my list of contacts, but contacted me again to express a strong interest and putting me in touch with colleagues.

Takuya Iwasaki - designer on Klonoa, and producer at Cavia

Professor Yoshhiro Kishimoto - I was contacted by one of his students, who will introduce me. He developed the Famista series, Baraduke, and - I believe - that unusual Star Wars game for the Famicom, which never reached the West.

Fumio Kurokawa - formerly at Sega, Konami and Digicube, now working on his own crowd-funded project in Japan.

Akinori Nakamura - Famicom researcher and book author.

Kiyohiro Sada - early Konami musician, now runs a production production company.

Manabu Yamana - early Japanese computer games (MSX, PC-88, FM7), Chunsoft, Dragon Quest, Pokemon.

Hidenori Shibao - I mentioned him on the front page, but I want to say it again. He started as a manga writer, before moving into games journalism during the Famicom era. He has seen the industry change, documenting it himself. He wrote strategy guides (including the only one for the infamous Super Monkey Daibouken - which is almost impossible to complete), moved into design, including Paladin's Quest and its sequel Lennus II, and was a scenario writer for Enix. As he said to me: "There have been so many untold stories since the dawn of video games."

Acquire - the company that made Tenchu and Way of the Samurai. I've been given the contact details for two people, but haven't contacted them yet.

I've also been investigating avenues for contacting key figures at ZOOM, Climax Entertainment, Telenet / Wolfteam, GameArts, Red Entertainment, Taito, SNK, and a whole bunch of others. I've also gotten fairly close to tracking down two of the four surviving gentlemen in that Enix poster from a previous update (my idea: let's recreate that photo). Plus I've been promised introductions to a few known figures who I can't name yet (think RPG developers who are not related to Konami, Falcom, Square or Enix).

Given the volume that I've already contacted, and the fact the Kickstarter has stopped moving, I am going to put all further contacting on hold. As it is, if the KS fails, I will need to apologise to over 40 people. Each time I make an update regarding the interviewees, it doesn't bring in any more backers. I've shown my ability to track down those with interesting stories - beyond this, I'm not sure what else I can promise.

If this Kickstarter is to succeed, I will need all of your help.

There are about 16 days left, and about £24,000 still to go.

I have contacted every news website I can think of, from the big to the small. Two of the biggest, Polygon and Kotaku, both ran stories on it. If these two websites, which get millions of hits, can't spread the word far enough, I don't know what can. Some sites, such as SiliconEra I have emailed and tweeted about 8 times. Given the displeasure localisation company 8-4 has with me (I turned them down regarding interpreters), and the fact that SiliconEra is staffed by an 8-4 intern, I can only assume that's why they won't cover it.

As for other news websites? I guess it doesn't interest them. About 8 months ago I publicly called out unethical behaviour among certain publications and websites, regarding withholding writer names in articles. I suppose a few of them are still bitter and would rather see the last of me.

Well, this is not a popularity contest. I'm not here to make friends with my peers. I'm here to correct a problem - the lack of English documentation regarding the last 35 years of Japanese gaming history. And I'm doing it without any help from the big publishers.

If this project is to succeed, I need you, my faithful backers, to spread the word. Keep posting on Facebook and Twitter, these two avenues have generated a lot of backers. Post on personal blogs and websites. Send "News Tip" emails to all the big news websites that haven't yet covered this story. I believe that there are enough of us, who want this information, to make this possible.

If this is to succeed, we need to go guerrilla. Or gorilla... depending on which obscure PC-88 computer game you've been playing. This little known gem by Xtalsoft is a personal favourite.

Over the hill, my comrades!
CHAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGE!!!

  • Image 273620 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1

Comments

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    1. Matt Sephton on

      Sadly that mention is worthless as there's no link to get here. :(

    2. John Szczepaniak 2-time creator on

      Thanks, I will contact other KS projects and see what they say. I've already messaged ShovelKnight. Will do for others too. I also emailed Mark from CGR ages ago, though I don't know if he got it. I used the online contact form, and I usually have most scripts disabled in Firefox, so it could have gone wrong. On a plus note, David Hayter mentioned my Kickstarter after I Tweeted him:
      https://twitter.com/DavidBHayter/status/346163145422811137

      Hope to have a new update posted soon-ish.

    3. Senchaholic on

      I've pledged to a lot of game kickstarters, and I'm telling you that it's very common among them to spread "the love" so to say. They have shout outs to other projects at the end of their updates. Both before and after having reached a pledge goal. I understand you're a modest guy, but you're doing yourself a disservice. Just ask them to check your kickstarter and see if they could give you some space in their updates. They can't say anything worse than no. If they like your project, they may support you, if they don't, they don't, so what? :)

      They might even pledge to your project themselves having learned about it. Who knows?

    4. RayZ ***H-Hour: World's Elite*** on

      John, the only rivals you might face would be if another project was also doing a book about japanese game developers, in which case it probably wouldn't be a good idea to cross-promote.

      Other project creators are not rivals or competitors but potential allies. I understand you being reluctant about asking for help from strangers, but isn't that what Kickstarter is all about?

      If you still feel weird about directly contacting them why not try another approach. Find a project or multiple projects you genuinely want to support. It doesn't have to be a book or anything related to video games as long as it is something you want to see succeed. Make a pledge and talk about them here. It happens more often than you think. As a backer I would be grateful if you steered me to a project I might not otherwise have heard of.

      How does this help your project? At least some of your backers are likely to back those others projects as well...they'll post comments and maybe mention your project, word gets back to the creators who then give you a shout out. It's not guaranteed but it can't hurt to try.

      And don't be afraid that you might lose backers to other projects. While it is (slightly) possible, many people back multiple projects at the same time...just check some of the your own backers history.

      Finally, while contacting websites and Facebook should be pursued I wonder how helpful that truly is. As you stated Polygon and Kotaku get millions of hit yet we have less than 700 backers.
      Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks and he replied "cause that is where the money is". Do you know where Kickstarter backers and their money are? There on Kickstarter! And since you can't advertise here you only other option is spreading the word through other projects.
      Your backers can post comments but I believe having other creators supporting you will have a far greater impact.

      And remember many creators are also avid backers as well and would welcome the opportunity to back a unique project such as this.

    5. Matt Sephton on

      Well said Brian, again.

      John:in my experience this is just how Kickstarter works.

      Extra tiers encourage backers to up their pledge; constant small updates maintain engagement; cross pollination of projects raises awareness: stretch goals increase the final total.

      I've backed almost 30 projects, in almost all categories, and the most successful campaigns do all of the above.

      But you have a more difficult time because this is very much a niche thing. I have a feeling that most gamers today don't really card about the history of classic Japanese games.

      In my experience Sunday is the best day to advertise this stuff on Facebook. And we're running out of Sundays.

      Finally, this makes me realise that there is no "brand" representing your campaign. If you had to advertise using a specific image to summarise the project, what would it be? Food for thought.

      Maybe mocking up a couple of pages of the book using an existing interview, or showing a mockup cover might help people realise what we're trying to achieve?

      I'll keep tweeting and promoting as best I can.

    6. Missing avatar

      BSL on

      Also very quickly, I don't personally consider CGR, AVGN, or other internet guys celebrities, and I'm sure they don't consider them as such. But I can't see Mark from CGR not willing to do an interview with you since he's a HUGE Sega nut and classic game fan, and I think he'd be willing to talk to you on Skype for an interview, again can't hurt to ask and they can only say no, right?

    7. Missing avatar

      BSL on

      Part 1:
      Hi John,

      Thanks for the reply.

      A few comments on your response. (2 part reply since it's over 2000 words...heh, on my way to writing my own book ;-) (it's another long one, but one I hope gets some ideas churning, some reluctancies pushed aside and some things in motion to put some fire into this campaign in the last two weeks, so it goes the distance and then some)

      "I will look at adding more higher tiers. Ideally I would prefer to bring in more backers for the available lower tiers."

      I hope you're willing to reconsider and at least open some more in the £120-500 range (something in between or additional to the £120 would be ideal) this would give incentive to those who came late who WANT to contribute at those levels and cannot due to those levels are all gone. £500 tier is almost full too, so I would seriously suggest considering adding more slots or additional tiers to those interested in those reward levels. (many KS projects did this, either when slots ran out when a popular one filled up, to paraphase, "Give'em what they want."

      "In my mind, it seems unfair of me to squeeze the backers I already have for more. Someone I know said he sold a whole bunch of stuff to back a higher tier - it breaks my heart to hear things like that."

      And I respectfully disagree with that assessment, I see it as they pledge what they can and if sacrifice is something that they are willing to do for a project they BELIEVE in, then I would not dimiss or lessen that sacrifice because of my feelings. (I'm not dimissing your concern) but these people WANT this campaign to SUCCEED, and if a little sacrifice is needed to do that then they are willing to do so, so please don't think of situations like that as you squeezing more money out of donors, if you offer fair rewards for those levels people will back them because they WANT TO not because they HAVE to.

      Out of many of the sites I've read those main concerns still pop up, there is major interest in the concept and they want it to succeed and but are concerned about failure because the word is not getting out.

      Yeah reddit, sadly not as popular as people might think (and only 5 posts there), but the Neogaf thread should be bigger than it is (which also shows interest), I know you can't post there which would help, but Vic Ireland was all over his thread and on Twitter for Class of Heroes 2 which helped drive sales, maybe if your in contact with on of the posters there maybe they can act as a proxy for you to answer questions, concerns, etc.

      Yeah succesful kickstarters that have some end goal issues require a lot of time and resources to become successful because they worked hard, showed the supporters they were committed and people backed them.

      The ones that failed or barely succeeded were because they sat back and didn't care (see Shadowgate KS which barely succeeded and I let them know how I felt about that attitude too, per my public posts on their KS page updates), but I know you do care so that is not the point, I'm just stating this is going to be many things for you to juggle while you try and coordinate things with the project while trying to get the word out, again not a fun thing, but it can be done, it just takes large amounts of time to do.

      Re: Contacting Japanese sites. See Stretch goals...
      Make the offer then I don't know how much it will take to transcribe/write it in english, but if you do record the interviews, it shouldn't be too expensive for someone to transcribe then edit it in their native language, then translate your text back when the book is complete, again that is something you'd have to run by your contacts who do it for a living, about cost, etc. I'd guess (total assumption on my part) that the cost would be no more than $5000-10000 for that work to be done, that seems fair, and would allow those Japanese readers who are interested and would like a translated copy the ability to get one in their native language, and honestly should already be there since those Japanese interested have already approached you with doing this.

      "Additionally, any message in Japanese asking for backing, might be misconstrued by developers I contact - and who see the project - as my asking them for funding."

      I don't see this the same way as you do. Why would the developers wonder this or why would they beleive you are asking them (the developers, not the interested japanese fans) for financial support, am I misunderstanding something? You're just providing a service and accomodating the japanese who are interested and I'd think they'd be more upset that they missed the opportunity to get this book rather than be angry over a perceived pandering for money to them.

      And as I mentioned if the campaign doesn't succeed due to second guessing and hindsight...then what was the point right. ;-)

      You've taken the big leap of faith John, you need to keep that FAITH that people will back this project if you let them know about irregardless of where they are in the world, just TRUST them and beleive in yourself and the goal as it WILL succeed and not state, "well if it fails..."because then it already will have in some people's mind. Big difference, no? So stay positive and expect success.

    8. Missing avatar

      BSL on

      Part 2:

      "But do people actually publicly cross-promote rival KS projects? That's very egalitarian."

      John tough love time, overwise I'll need to fly over the pond and lovingly smack you on the head to get my point into your thick skull, heh. ;-)

      Of COURSE they do, otherwise I would have been as audacious to recommend it in the first place.

      Some examples with links.

      C-Wars by Onipunks, they even posted specific updates for other projects to help them out. See update 17 for instance)
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1054244612/c-wars-roguelike-pixel-art-pc-game/posts

      ANNE by Gamesbymo look at update #11 lots of cross promotion there.
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1445624543/anne/posts…

      Shovelknight by Yacht Club Games did a few as well (one for C-Wars and one for a their musicians other KS project to name a few)
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yachtclubgames/shovel-knight/posts…

      Even the big names do it, Star Citizen's own Chris Roberts was willing to put his name out there for other projects such as Chris Taylor and Lord British to name only a few (he assisted a few more if memory serves) by letting his backers know Lord British's game wasn't going to succeed, however when Chris Robert's stepped in and the Star Citizen backers who were interested in the project came aboard with nothing than his recommendation they crushed their goal, and this was just due to him putting his name out there and asking his backers to support the game if they were interested, nothing more.
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen/posts

      Even Obsidian (Project Eternity) and InExile (Wasteland 2 & Torment) did this in their campaigns, what's so wrong with wanting to see someone else succeed, unless you're a total rotten bastard at heart.

      And that's only four of probably many other examples if I kept on looking for only projects I've backed, I'm sure there are many more out there, and even if you contacted only the some I've mentioned there it would be a great help to you as I'm sure every one of these developers grew up playing and loving Japanese games and would love to hear these stories.

      John...honestly, if you want and ask for our (the backers) help on this, then don't be afraid or think it unthinkable to ask these people for help, all they can do is say no, and is that too much to swallow a bit of pride and ask? All we ask as supporters is for you to take those chances and do what you can to make this succeed.

      I don't see any reason not to do so. And I'm sure MANY of them will be more than willing to help (feel free to ask current and completed KS projects if they'd assist) if they think this project is worthwhile and I'll bet most of them will jump on board without any hesitation, since they don't have to do anything to take a few minutes and post a comment asking their backers to checkout a project they think is worthwhile and support it, if they think the same too. (PM me if you want some of the projects I've back and that I think would be willing to help out)

      Rivals...? Come on now John, if you bring more backers and funding to their KS campaign and they do the same for you who are you competing against? Other than only than your pride at that point. We're gamers with the same interests and values and we want this to SUCCEED, not denigrate into petty scabbles over scrupples. Silly notions are just that...silly.

      Many of these (even big named) projects wouldn't have succeeded without asking for help from other KS projects and the community and I don't see why you should feel ashamed or not comfortable doing the same.

      And John, your not competing for advertising dollars (like the sites you mentioned) with any of these people or stepping on their toes with this book since you won't be covering or even doing the exact same thing with your projects. If anything look at it as free advertising for both of you and I'm sure he got a few backers from this very campaign since his book was mentioned....so I mean seriously again, what can he (or any of the others) do but say no, and I think that's worth the risk.

      "I had a very noble vision of this project being akin to Field of Dreams: build it, and they will come."

      But if they don't know about they WON'T come...

      7 ) typo, sorry, posted this at work on 2 hours sleep, meant £80 tier.

      And lastly about Mr. Itoi, like another poster mentioned, if you can't get to him find another team member and try that route, as you mentioned before you've gotten many developers willing to put you in touch with their collegues, and I would suggest this situation would not be unheard of to get access to him that way. Hey aim high, you never know John, I bet you were very surprised when you managed to get some of these gracious people to agree to interview for you, let alone many of them offering to introduce you to others as well.

      I just wanted to clarify this point to make sure you understood what I meant when I posted it.

      About my recommendation for letting people add to their rewards is not for them to get more at a certain level they've already pledged at, but to add to their pledge level to get an extra item or reward available at another level (see Star Citizen's KS page for how they did it) scroll down to reward custimization.
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen

      Chris Roberts brought in a very large amount of funds doing that, and that's why I suggested you seriously consider that. As I'm sure many of the backers from the lower tiers would like to get the dvd only available at the £80 and above tier.

      And about stretch goals, feel free to mention them, if they happen, fine, if not so be it, they are to make people excited and give them something to shoot for. Many KS projects added strech goals (some realistic and some outlandish, but they gave the community something to get excited about and aim for, and when they did succeed they only made the end product all that much better. And feel free to take my suggestions, (with my blessing) be it with translation of the book to Japanese, and also to be able to interview more developers and make the book even bigger at whatever level you feel the need (financially) to name to make that goal a reality.

      Dream BIG.

      (Especially if this is once in a lifetime to interview with some of these folks, and in some cases, it will be the only time this can be done since time marches on, and which I believe was the purpose of this project to begin with to beat the clock and get this information down for posterity's sake)

    9. Riddles McKhan on

      Apologies for multiple posts and for the range of comments here:

      As to "friendly rivals" I think you're looking at it much the wrong way. I actually had never heard of Boss Fight Books before reading the comments here. I checked out their page, and pledged to fund them as well. You're not competing over scarce resources (i.e., us backers), you're competing with not having your name out there.

      Especially since they're already met their goal, I can't see them being unwilling to cross-promote you. If I understand correctly (and I may not) your (as in you and BFB) end goals aren't to sell books (per se) it's to document history which is not being recorded. Getting backers and selling books is a means to that goal; since they are funded I don't think your their rival - it's not really like two gaming magazines advertising for each other, especially since your audience is a pretty niche bunch.

      As to tiers I'm a Kickstarter newbie who joined to fund this project. I don't think I could go in for a second higher tier, but would happily go to a smaller tier to (for example) buy a book for a friend.

      As for Itoi, that makes sense. The guy is a big deal, and outside of Mother, a well respected writer himself. Still there may be others you could contact who would be of interest to Mother fans: Nobuyuki Inoue or Shogo Sakai from Mother 3, for example.

    10. Riddles McKhan on

      Amano was one of the people I actually had in mind, but thought him far too high profile to mention. That said, I have also heard about him being a very nice guy. I don't know what Akihiko Yoshida's schedule or ability to do freelance work look like, but I'd suggest him as well.

    11. John Szczepaniak 2-time creator on

      Wow, so many points to cover, Brian.

      1) I was considering arranging a new Platinum tier, with a cover by someone famous like Yoshitaka Amano. He's well known, and available for freelance, and a very nice guy based on interviews. I would love to hire him. Unfortunately his website hasn't been updated since 2010.

      I had the following artists on my cool people for covers list:
      Yoshitaka Amano (former Squaresoft artist)
      Yasushi Suzuki (Treasure artist)
      Ayami Kojima (Konami cover paintings)

      They all do freelance, from what I can tell. Meaning they are available to hire. But this involves me going through a third party because my Japanese is nowhere near the level needed to broker a commission. Significantly, the group I was in talks with to broker such a deal on my behalf, are a little bit nervous about approaching any artist, making an agreement, and then the KS fails. They'd look bad having to pull out. So I'm back to square one (excuse the pun).

      If anyone wants to broker such a deal for me in Japanese, let me know - I'm emailing Yasushi Suzuki right now about being interviewed. I'll drop Florent Gorges a line to see if he knows the whereabouts of Yoshitaka Amano.

      I will look at adding more higher tiers. Ideally I would prefer to bring in more backers for the available lower tiers. In my mind, it seems unfair of me to squeeze the backers I already have for more. Someone I know said he sold a whole bunch of stuff to back a higher tier - it breaks my heart to hear things like that.

      2) I thought that NeoGAF thread was going really well to be honest (my account isn't activated, hence why I haven't posted directly). I also posted on Reddit (but that went nowhere).
      http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1fnj3l/kickstarter_the_untold_history_of_japanese_game/

      I also had Bordersdown run a feature, it's on the HG101 front page. I've approached as many places as I can think of. There's a nice topic on ASSEMblergames, but, leading on to point 3...

      3) Yes, I've seen quite a few posts from those unsure of the validity of the claims. Assuming I get the time over the weekend, I'd like to announce the themes chosen by my Guest Editors, my own personal goals I'm aiming for, and more of the book's intended structure.

      4) I was going to contact Japanese sites to generate publicity, but it seems a bit cheeky to ask someone to back a text-heavy book in a foreign language. Additionally, any message in Japanese asking for backing, might be misconstrued by developers I contact - and who see the project - as my asking them for funding. All I require is their time and recollections (and video footage if acceptable).

      5) A lot of names mentioned, I will contact Mark, James, et al likely this weekend. I also had a lot of recommendations sent via PM and email which I will do the same for.

      Some of them already have spread the word, via social media, which I appreciate tremendously.

      REGARDING CONTACTING OTHER KICKSTARTERS FOR PROMOTION

      Call me old fashioned, but I feel very, very uncomfortable with the idea of this. I contacted Bedrooms to Billions to ask for advice on advertising on Facebook, and I tweeted Chris Barnholt of SCROLL issue 10 to recommend a pedal-operated dictation machine to make his transcription easier, but it feels very weird to contact active or completed Kickstarter projects to ask for publicity. I've spoken with a few behind the scenes, but do people actually publicly cross-promote rival KS projects? That's very egalitarian.

      Technically we're al friendly rivals, aren't we? But we're still rivals. I'm happy that Boss Fight Books has proven the ability of Kickstarter to invert the traditional book publishing model. Who needs publishers when writers and artists can deal directly with the public? Good for them. But they're still my competition. I would not expect them to support me if I approached them. You don't see EDGE and GamesTM advertising in each other's pages. I don't see what it benefits these KS projects - they're not news outlets.

      It's the same line of thought with tweeting celebrities, which someone recommended. I know everyone does it, despite being against Kickstarter's rules, but do I really know David Hayter, for example? I interviewed him once, but I'm sure tweeting known people comes across as just annoying.

      Perhaps I'm not selling this enough, through any means possible. I had a very noble vision of this project being akin to Field of Dreams: build it, and they will come.

      Nice spot with the Lovedelic blog - I know who runs it, I flat-shared with them many years ago. There's a comment by me regarding Telenet on there somewhere.

      Kotaku already ran a story! I might contact them again for a follow-up.

      Nothing from any other big news website.

      6) Good idea.

      7) When did the DVD tier cost £85?! It's definitely £80. That's a good idea though. I'll consider adding a lower DVD tier for just the Silver edition with DVD.

      Thank you for the advice - it's all appreciated. I just need time to digest and go through it.

      ---

      Shigesato Itoi

      I mentioned this in the general comments section, but a colleague who speaks Japanese and lived in Japan (and wrote some amazing articles for RG), told me in private that he tried to arrange an interview with Shigesato Itoi, and his people absolutely would not allow it. The man is more than a game designer, he's one of Japan's most beloved writers. I would say he's on par with trying to arrange an interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi.

      I did email him in Japanese, however (I'm a big fan of the series, and wrote a feature on the first two for The Escapist). I didn't hear back, so I've just emailed him again. But I don't expect a reply. He's much too important to agree to a tentative interview for a book that may or may not end up existing.

      I've already shot myself in the foot with Shinya Arino. His agent said yes and asked me to send more details - I had to say I'd get back at the end of June. He's still waiting! If this succeeds, come the end of June, I hope he's not annoyed.

      As for quantity of content - I'm glad followers have mentioned this. Of course there's going to be overflow. My loose plan had been cast a wide net, get contacts, then selectively whittle them down if too many. There's 35+ years of history which has not been properly documented in English. I can only hope to skim the surface. I'm anticipating an excess of material, which I will have to filter based on backer expectations. Thankfully the current money to pages ratio means I can expand the book from the promised 300 to likely 400 pages. It's too early for stretch goals - we've not even reached THE goal.

      I definitely intend to make an update highlighting my personal interests, and those of Guest Editors, so people can picture its likely form (ie: Japanese computers are a keen interest of mine).

    12. Senchaholic on

      Try to see if any of the Kickstarter's that Brian S Lang mentioned could be kind enough to send out an update to their backers about your project. Similar project to project support has been done before. Even if Shovel Knight is completed, they could still send out something to their backers.

    13. Riddles McKhan on

      I'll second Shigesato Itoi. I read some of his posts about Mother and they are fantastic, and the Mother English-speaking fanbase is amazingly enthusiastic.

    14. RayZ ***H-Hour: World's Elite*** on

      To echo what Chris Walden said below you should try cross-promoting with other projects. One that is currently underway is called Boss Fight Books. It a series of books focused on individual games like Earthbound and Galaga. It has over 600 backers and they've already exceeded their funding goal.

      If it looks like a worthy project why not make a pledge and contact them about supporting each other?

    15. Missing avatar

      BSL on

      Thanks Matt.

      John, one more suggestion to help bring in some pledges. I thought of it when I couldn't sleep last night (which makes for a fun night at work, heh)

      Shigesato Itoi

      Not sure if he was mentioned yet, or considered (if not, why not) but if you could confirm that interview, and then let folks over at Starmen.net in on it, I'm sure you'd get quite a few loyal and vocal supporters from that. They KNOW how to get the word out.

      I'm also glad to see you bounced past the half way point goal wise by the half way point time wise. Congratulations on that. I know most KS projects make a lot of funds towards the end, but I would hope some of my suggestions will be helpful and lead to an early success for the campaign.

      Also someone over at NeoGaf mentioned something about being too ambitious or having too much content for one book, this would be something to consider addressing, possibly a stretch goal to make the book bigger with more interviews, or even a Vol. 2? Also releasing (as much as possible) a list of confirmed interviewees would help bring some interest as well. (I saw many people who waited, sign up and pledge due to a favorite developer being announced, so something to seriously consider for the main page)

      Lastly one more request, I know you've made mention of SNK, but It'd be nice if you could try and interview Eikichi Kawasaki, since SNK was an early innovator and a big mover until their demise, then rebirth, I'm sure there would be lots of interest in hearing about that and other things from Kawasaki-san.

      Hope some of my suggestions pay off, best advice keep us informed on how we can help (other than what some of the backers are already doing on their own) and update on things as much as you can to keep people motivated and excited to see this thing through.

    16. Matt Sephton on

      I've just tried the most simple thing: tweeted about this with a note asking people to please retweet. We'll see.

    17. Riddles McKhan on

      I'm off to pester some sites about posting about this Kickstarter, but have you thought of Japanese artists doing a special edition cover? I'd back again to get a book with another special edition cover .

    18. Chris Walden on

      A lot of the Kickstarter projects I've backed have happened because I've read about it in an update to another project I'm backing. It may be worth looking for projects that have some kind of similarity, and asking politely if they can help you out. Projects that are still in progress are good ones to aim for on a "cross promote" level.

      Anyway, keep it up! I've bumped up the Jtor article to try and get a few more eyes, so hopefully everyone can spread the word a little more.

    19. Missing avatar

      BSL on

      John,

      Don't get down too much, just rally and keep going, if the community needs too help more I'm sure they will.

      Some suggestions that might help.

      1 ) Add more backer tiers the £120 is all gone, can you add another similar tier for around the same level and other levels (I've seen this done on many a kickstarter, just be specific with the goals, unlike Jagged Alliance Flashback's KS) since the next jump is £500 which honestly is a massive leap for many people, and I'm sure a few extra questions or something in that realm would not be too much to ask (also given since it seems to be a popular level, since it's already gone)

      Give the backers as many options as feasible without loosing the main goal or confusing them (again like JA:F did with their levels)

      2 ) Get some grassroots effort going where it needs to be, I lurk on Neogaf from time to time and have not seen anything posted on there, I'm sure they could bring some backing in, will post suggestions, help out, etc. Has this been considered yet?

      Edit: I see it was, http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php…

      Even the "legendary" fan translator GhaleonQ (who I know you've been in contact with) is behind the project, but that thread...ouch.

      3 ) Add some clarification on the project. This was something I wrestled with early on too, I initially put off the KS pledge until I read some updates, looked deeper into your goals and read a few HG101 articles and saw your work, this is a **BIG** one for most people. Someone on that GAF thread posted this.

      "This is very temping to fund, but it's hard to justify it when I still don't know the full content and quality of the book."

      "It sounds like it could be a real gem but so many things could go wrong and many stories may remain 'untold' so to speak."

      So going into last two weeks, I think you might need to address concerns for people who are interested, but on the fence with pledging (even as I was) to get them convinced (and offering other backing levels not as "scary" ;-) to people on a budget.

      What about www.assemblergames.com and Digital Press www.digitpress.com?

      I know they have some passionate communities that love Japanese gaming, worth a shot, I would say.

      4 ) You mentioned Japanese readers being interested. How has your outreach been done on that front? Any Japanese gamesites covering the news? Do you have any colleagues that can help on that front, I'm sure between America (North and South), Europe and Asia, you'd be able to find enough backing, it's just getting the word out (which I know is a full time job for you right now), and letting those who would be interested to know about it, find out about it (which is the main issue right now) (I can only imagine how hard running a one man kickstarter is)

      5 ) You have people out there helping out with getting the word out, (this for instance)
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yachtclubgames/shovel-knight/comments

      Sadly that's for an already completed KS, but at least the effort is there.

      Your getting mentioned on hardcore fan sites with niche fanbases (see shmups.system11.org)
      http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php…

      There's this too, https://twitter.com/NeoGAFNewThread/status/339155205700591617

      You're mentioned quite a few places online too.

      goo.gl/N6TZq

      Was there any luck with Mark from Classic Game Room? (if nothing else ask him for an interview, he does do things like that)

      James Rolfe from Angry Video Game Nerd and Cinemassacre would be all over this (did you contact him over at Cinemassacre? (I know James is leery of promoting another KS after the Cheetahmen debacle, but maybe he'll be willing to do a Skype interview or something, can't hurt to ask right?

      Has anyone from Retroware TV been contacted? You could cross promote with the fund raising campaign they are doing. (it's ongoing, btw)
      http://beyondthegamer.com/2013/06/08/retrowaretv-the-video-game-years-indiegogo-fundraiser/
      http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-video-game-years-help-keep-the-show-going

      MetalJesusRocks, Happy Video Game Nerd, etc. I'd think many of those guys who grew up playing these games would be willing to help out, maybe it's worth a shot.

      I see many mentions on forums and a few sites, but no "big" sites, sadly. (E3, nuff said)

      This should warm your heart a bit (good blog, for information on Lovedelic games btw)
      http://lovedelicgames.wordpress.com/tag/kickstarter/

      This too (from http://www.micahmcfarland.com/) and I'm sure there's more like him out there, that just don't know about the KS project.

      "Never backed anything on Kickstarter, but this was just too good. Very few truly great games might ever be made again; it’s important to preserve the history of the ones we’ve got."

      Here's another
      https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php…

      And don't give up hope that some of the bigger sites will post news, any luck with Destructoid, Kotaku (exclusive interviews to entice them ;-) for instance?

      I see a lot of news posted when the KS began, some fairly new and some not so recent, maybe it's time for round 2 for the press barrage, then once again at 7 days, then about 3-4 days out, until the SUCCESSFUL conclusion of the campaign. ;-)

      6 ) Maybe another video post with an update, clarification of the project, some big name drops to get people excited and posted on Youtube would help and make it easier to spread the word.

      7 ) Keep the faith, be pesty (at least until the campaign is done, ;-) and take good advice where you can get it.

      I hope some of my suggestions are useful. I've watched and backed many a KS, some massive and some very small, but all were successful, some moreso than others, but based on that exp. and watching their campaigns, I hope I can provide some insight to why some of them could have been run better (Shadowgate, Road Redemption), almost asked for too much and came close to failing (Jagged Alliance Flashback) until the community rallied to their aid, or were DOA from the start (be glad you're not associated with a certain unnamed former iD Software founder, his name is a kiss of death for any KS campaign, also why I refrained from naming him, heh), and even some simple things like expanding the offerings for backers (which might be a bit of a hassle, but if you have pledge levels all gone, then you know what people want so give them some more.

      And also feel free to open up rewards (within reason) to those at lower tiers, if someone at the £25 would like to get a DVD, then let them (just an example) for an additional pledge amount of course. Cater to the fans needs and I know some will be willing to drop some extra money to get some things that were on higher tiers, that might not have been attainable because of the price of those higher tiers. And honestly if the £85 tier level isn't close to being gone, then what about those other 750 dvd's that you were planning on producing. (I know you mentioned, I thought, about selling the copies later, at this point, why wait, let those who are interested add to their pledge, send a message and let you know, more can be made later)

      **This isn't to take away the specialness of the £85 tier level for those who pledged there, like myself. This suggestion is to give ideas to make this KS successful, because if it's not, then what difference does it make who gets what, when no one will get anything, makes sense no?

      Good luck, I'm (still) rooting for ya.

    20. Patrick Benfield on

      What about trying here? There might be some like-minded people....
      http://steamcommunity.com/

    21. Michael Stearns on

      It's enough that you're trying, sir. :)

    22. John Szczepaniak 2-time creator on

      Hmm, I don't like Kickstarter splits comments between sections. I posted this earlier in the main comments:
      ---
      I was originally going to go with 8-4 for my interpreters, but changed my mind and sought alternative interpreters (via Agness Kaku and Alexander O. Smith). I don't think 8-4 were happy about this, and I believe this is why SiliconEra has not run a news story on the Kickstarter (one of their staff interns at 8-4). I'm afraid 8-4 is not an option for publicity.
      ---

      I've seen people on Twitter tweeting 8-4 regarding this. Please do not bother them. I did not call anyone out. I gave an honest answer to a question. I parted company with 8-4 on polite terms.

    23. John Szczepaniak 2-time creator on

      @Matt
      Sorry Matt, I should have responded to your message/email regarding that. After you suggested it, I immediately contacted the Bedrooms to Billions team asking about advertising on Facebook. Haven't heard back from them - though I've been following their Twitter, and they seem rather busy with filming.

      @Michael
      Well, members of Wolfteam are those I'd like to contact. I looked into some angles, but haven't actually sent emails yet.

    24. Michael Stearns on

      Metal Storm! And Wolf Team! Oh gosh.

    25. Matt Sephton on

      In my experience, I've missed out on a number of Kickstarters simply because I didn't hear about them in time. I missed out on Bedrooms to Billions the first time round, But for their second Kickstarter they advertised the campaign on Facebook and I saw it. So, I think that's probably a worthwhile thing to do?