Over the course of 160 episodes, the Retronauts podcast has delved into the history of your favorite titles, interviewed legendary developers, and explored the many strange tangents that exist within the realm of classic gaming. Since 2006, we've made a habit out of talking way too much about the intricacies and oddities of video game history.
But now that its benefactor has gone kaput, Retronauts as we know it is without a home -- and its various contributors are without the platform they've used to educate and entertain these past seven years. That's where you come in. We'd like to keep Retronauts going for at least another year, but we're in need of the equipment and resources necessary to produce the quality podcast you've come to expect. Sure, we could always use Skype, but nothing beats the intimacy of four people in a tiny room screaming at each other about Milon's Secret Castle.
OUR PODCAST PLAN
We'd like to produce an entire year of new Retronauts episodes, released semi-monthly (that's twice a month) with three regular hosts and a rotating fourth chair -- and an ever-changing guest to sit in this rotating chair. All told, if this KickStarter reaches its minimum amount, we'll give you kind folks 26 new episodes to dig into, with the possibility of more on the way. But -- with the help of some extra fundage -- we'd like to do a hell of a lot more than that.
WHO ARE WE?
Behind this revival of Retronauts, you'll find some very familiar faces.
- Bob Mackey: Former host of Retronauts (2011-2013), and contributor to fun things like Something Awful, EGM, and Gamasutra.
- Ray Barnholt: Frequent guest on Retronauts, and current one-man band on the ultra-rad video game publication SCROLL.
- Jeremy Parish: Original host of Retronauts (2006-2011), current executive editor at IGN, Telebunny webmaster, and all-around sharp dresser.
WHY A KICKSTARTER?
We'd like to keep Retronauts operating at the same level of quality it's always had, but we unfortunately lack the resources necessary to make this dream a reality. As it stands, we need all of the proper equipment, an acoustically friendly space to record, and the many gadgets and gizmos that a regularly produced podcast demands. We've done our research, and selected modestly priced and durable gear that will assist in bringing you the same Retronauts you've listened to these many years. Okay, and maybe we'll pick up a few fancy, vibrating chairs if this thing breaks a million.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
To be honest, we've tried to keep most of our rewards immaterial -- we'd much rather devote our time to making podcasts than packaging and mailing tchotchkes and doodads. But as a special "thank you" to our fans, we're still offering a handful of prizes that exist in the physical world. Here's what's in store for you, should you decide to donate:
[UPDATE: Due to popular demand, we're now shipping internationally! If you don't live in the USA, simply add an extra $10 to your pledge, and we'll ensure your rewards make it to your corner of the earth safely.]
Pledge $10 or more: SHOUT-OUT ON A SPECIAL THANK YOU SEGMENT. Hear your name read by one of us on a segment of the show specifically engineered for fan-thanking. Plus, bonus karma for helping us make our podcasting dreams come true!
Pledge $20 or more: A RETRONAUTS STICKER AND BUTTON PRIZE PACK. Show the world how much you love Retronauts by stabbing your expensive clothing with a shiny button or slapping a sticker on your car's impeccable paint job. Plus, you'll get a shout-out on a special thank you segment of the show!
Pledge $30 or more: AN EXCLUSIVE RETRONAUTS VIDEO DVD. Prepare yourself for an hour of exclusive, never-before-seen content that will only exist on flat, circular discs (of which only 300 will be made). Plus, you'll get a shout-out on a special thank you segment of the show!
Pledge $50 or more: AN EXCLUSIVE RETRONAUTS T-SHIRT. Be the envy of your arcade or gentlemen's club with a piece of apparel that shows your fine taste in podcasts -- and we're only giving away 200 of the dang things! You'll also get a shout-out on a special thank you segment of the show!
Pledge $80 or more: THE COMPLETE RETRONAUTS PRIZE PACK. Show your true fanitude by netting one of 150 packages containing the rewards from our previous tiers: the sticker and button prize pack, exclusive DVD, t-shirt, and a special shout-out on a thank you segment of the show.
[HEY THERE: Donors who pledge on any $100-or-greater tier will receive the rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers at no additional cost!]
Pledge $125 or more: DECIDE THE TOPIC OF AN ENTIRE MINI EPISODE. We've sold out of the option to pick a regular episode's topic, but now that we'll be doing mini-episodes on off weeks, you can buy the right to boss us around in new and different ways. You alone can decide our future... for like 30 minutes at a time. (Plus, you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
Pledge $130 or more: DECIDE THE TOPIC OF A RETROSPECTIVE ARTICLE. As we continue to build Retronauts.com, we'll be posting all sorts of written content. Want us to write a big article about some retro game subject in particular? With this reward we'll do just that. (And you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
Pledge $140 or more: A FANGAMER PRIZE PACKAGE. We've been working with the awesome folks at Fangamer to make the best merch possible, and they've been nice enough to donate a boatload of their amazing merchandise. Donate $140 to our cause, and you'll get a package that contains some choice goodies inspired by some of our favorite games. (And you get to decide which one.) Here's a handy link where you can view all of the available packages. You'll also get the Retronauts sticker/button, DVD, and t-shirt at no additional cost!
Pledge $140 or more (part deux): AN EXCLUSIVE RETRONAUTS BOOK. Take home roughly 50 pages of exclusive, all-new Retronauts content, including the original illustrations from our $250 tier, and written pieces from Bob, Ray, and Jeremy! And since you're so nice, we'll throw in the Retronauts sticker/button, DVD, and t-shirt at no additional cost. There's no better way to rake in our physical rewards!
Pledge $150 or more: DECIDE THE TOPIC OF AN ENTIRE EPISODE. Has there been a topic you've been dying for Retronauts to cover? Well now you can make us -- with money! You'll also get a shout-out on a special thank you segment of the show! Only twelve lucky donors will net this prize, so you may want to start planning your battles to the death immediately. (Plus, you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
Pledge $160 or more: DECIDE THE SUBJECT OF A VIDEO SEGMENT. Our video plans will also include one-off videos on retro gaming subjects. With this, we'll work with you to make a video on the game or series your heart desires. (And you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
Pledge $200 or more: DECIDE THE GAMES FOR OUR LIVESTREAMS. We're planning livestreamed game marathons for charity, and with this reward, you can tell us what game to play for one of the hours we'll devote to broadcasting (between two different 24 hr. marathons). Good, bad, it's up to you -- it just has to be old. (And you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
Pledge $250 or more: OWN A PIECE OF CUSTOM RETRONAUTS ART. You pick a classic game, and we'll draw it for you! We've tapped some of our favorite artists to create fancy fan art at your command. You'll receive either the original piece or a digital print all neatly mounted and framed, and the best part is that the art belongs to you and you alone. So far, Bill Mudron, Rusty Shackles, Nick Daniel, K.C. Green, Lars Brown, Elizabeth Simins, Chris Furniss, Jacob Smiley, Rey Ortega, Jon Cairns, Philip Armstrong, Shmorky, and Jeremy Parish are on board with their paintbrushes ready, and we'll raise the number of images available if we can sweet talk more artists into joining. (Plus, you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
Pledge $300 or more: HELP US CO-HOST AN ENTIRE EPISODE. Be the envy of your friends and loved ones (living and dead) as you join the Retronauts ranks and help us soldier through an entire episode. Sorry, we can't take care of accommodations or travel, but we'll probably buy you a delicious pizza or something. Plus, you'll undoubtedly receive the most amount of praise on a special thank you segment of the show! A mere six lucky donors will make the cut -- will one of them be you? (And you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
Pledge $400 or more: GAMESPITE'S THREE-VOLUME "ANATOMY OF A GAME" BOOK SERIES, PLUS THE COMPLETE RETRONAUTS PRIZE PACK. Our own Jeremy Parish is putting together some lovely, full-color books based on his Anatomy of a Game series, and you can take home all three of them -- along with the goodies found in the $80 tier's complete Retronauts prize pack. Three beautiful, full-color 10x8 paperback editions devoted to Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, and a TBA mystery game (that you'll no doubt love) can be yours! We'll also throw in the exclusive Retronauts book from the $140 tier because you're just that cool.
Pledge $1000 or more: A PERSONAL PODCAST. Yes, we'll record an episode of Retronauts just for you, and only you, on whatever relevant topic you want. We'll say your name and everything! You can share it if you want, but it goes straight from us to you. (And you'll get the physical rewards from the button/sticker, DVD, and t-shirt tiers as our special gift to you!)
While this Kickstarter is intended to fund a year of podcasts, we'd love to do much more with the Retronauts brand, including a website beyond just the basics, extra episodes, books, live streams, video, panels at events like PAX, and much more. And if we break our initial goal, we'll start revealing our gradual plans for world domination via crowd-sourcing. Deal?
That said, in the absence of our former home, the only way for Retronauts to live on is through its listeners, and we hope you agree. And hey, maybe we'll pick up a few new fans along the way! Thanks in advance for your support, and here's to one more year of being hopelessly stuck in the past.
Risks and challenges
Well, considering that none of us have much (or any) KickStarter experience, we've tried to keep things as simple as possible, and limited the amount of physical rewards to a number we can actually handle. We'll make it our goal to get everything sent out during Summer 2013.
So what happens if we miss a recording, or don't put out an episode in time? Well, we hope this never happens, but considering we're all human beings full of easily broken parts, it's a possibility. Regardless, we'll put out 26 complete episodes if we meet our goal, and try our best to recover from any unforeseen problems as quickly as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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