About this project
Guns, Dice, Butter Season ONE www.gunsdicebutter.com is a podcast of a series of conversations with members of the wargaming tribe that will run from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. YOUR support of this Kickstarter project will allow us to improve the capabilities of the podcast and increase the reach of the show; hopefully, expanding our wargaming hobby.
By wargaming, we mean historical based, strategy games (think Risk, but on steroids and set within a historical context): people with a passion for history, who enjoy intellectual stimulation/immersion in sophisticated simulations and the joy from playing games with friends and family. We began in March 2012 when one of our favorite podcasts, Point2Point, left the airwaves. We thought we might be able to fill a hole in the dialogue left by hosts’ Jason and Scott’s engaging banter.
The goals of GDB are:
Catalogue the hobby: Get the interesting stories from members of our tribe recorded for the ages. Use that resource to enlist more gamers.
Contribute to the dialogue in the hobby: Provide a voice for gamers, designers and game co’s to discuss the great content we have in the hobby: our 5,000+ games from the past 50+ years.
Provide a resource for the hobby to promote itself: I don't think we've always done the best job promoting ourselves. Yet, we have great content. Guns, Dice, Butter gives the hobby a great tool to sell ourselves: more games sold, more gamers enlisted and more games being played.
Expand the hobby: Capitalize on new technology to gain a wider audience for our fabulous content and speak the language of the next generation of gamers. Our listener statistics show that about 1/3 of listeners are new to the hobby; which is great! We want more. Backing for this project will allow us to purchase the necessary presence (advertising) and promotion in cyberspace to reach out to the various gaming communities.
This Kickstarter project will help us better develop GDB and serve these goals over the next twelve months (July 1,2012 thru June 30, 2013)
Progress to date...
The response to GDB has been fantastic: Many listeners: We're averaging about 110 downloads a day since beginning with our lark…over 5,000 downloads so far. iTunes hottie: Made the top downloaded podcast (Games & Hobbies) and the new & noteworthy podcast numerous times on iTunes. Chatter: posts on boardgamegeek.com and consimworld.com and response to our listener polls. Participation: our guests!
While this lark began on a shoestring – and we could continue in a limited, sporadic way - we believe it makes much more sense to raise some funds to improve the quality of the show and expand its reach. That’s why we need your support.
So why contribute?
We received inquires from both advertisers and listeners asking how they can support the podcast. And a BIG thank you to those of you that already have. We do not want to charge for the podcast, since it would limit access to the dialogue. And, we don’t really want to spend much time and energy on the advertising side; we would MUCH rather devote energy to the content.
A few weeks ago, a listener turned me on to a few game/podcast related Kickstarter projects. After examining those projects, it occurred to me this might be a great way to raise some funds and help take GDB to the next level: improved technical quality, some technical assistance and more reach (purchasing presence via advertising and promoting the podcast to touch a broader gaming audience). And, a way to recoup my funds already devoted to this effort, so that I can reallocate them to buying more wargames! Of course, the podcasts will remain free; so, sort of a public radio model - if you can contribute, great! That will allow us to take the podcast to the next level and really get the word out.
Taking it to the next level: use of funds
Why $5,500 (actually about a net of approximately $4,000)? And, how do we propose to use your hard earned dollars meeting our three goals? Regarding the amount, we’ve made a budget for the next year reflecting operating costs and getting the word out, including:
Reach: Get the word outside of our traditional haunts – we would like to do some banner/click advertising on websites besides BGG and consimworld. Many wargames begin with other games and then migrate to our titles. In the days of yore, one would see these titles on the shelves of many a store (Sears!); sadly, not anymore. So, the plan would be to use a web designer/web promoter (I've actually got one lined up) to help us push Guns, Dice, Butter on the web.
Webspace/Podcast professional: Need to upgrade the kit, website host costs money, web designer/podcast assistance, etc. to do Season One.
Out of pocket & time invested: When I started this lark, I envisioned doing occasionally a few episodes. Consequently, I funded the start-up, have devoted the necessary time to get the ball rolling. Given the response to date, I think there is a path to make this something better & bigger than what I first envisioned and a great resource for the hobby.
In order to net around $4,000 we’ll experience costs related to fulfilling the backer levels (about 20%) and KS/Amazon project fees (they take a cut...about 10%) …so, that's why we've asked for $5,500 from the tribe.
We’ve assumed that about175 listeners (out of an estimated 2,000 – 3,000) step up with an average of $20 (about 1/3 the cost of one game a year). We’re hoping that amount is supplemented by about $2,000 from game co’s, game con’s, game magazines, etc by selecting the sponsorship backer levels.
So, what do backers get?
A way to contribute to this effort: To date, we have received unsolicited support (donations to our paypal account..THANK YOU!) and numerous offers to assist with the podcast. This project is partially a response to that.
Some Cool New Stuff: Instead of the usual trinkets (although, they’re there if you are so inclined), we included a number of other benefits including “power voting” to help determine GDB direction, a new analytical piece on wargaming, magic dice (very helpful when you absolutely need that key dice roll), fashion tips for gamers and a cool poster at the highest level.
New channel/new voice: A way for game co’s/game store’s/game mag’s to advertise a little more effectively than simple print or banner ads. To date, we’ve received sponsorship inquires. Here a few stats regarding our listeners:
· Purchase 11 games/year…about $600/yre spend. If you check out the GDB listener polls on boardgamegeek, you'll see a variety of other interesting stats.
· Nice mix of newcomers to the hobby (about a 1/3 of listeners), veterans and old guard
· GDB impacts play/purchase according to our listeners. We've done two polls so far and in each case listeners indicated that the show is helpful in making play/purchase decisions.
· Loyal listeners. 99% of listeners indicate they play to continue to listen to future episodes.
I do plan to have game co’s reps on the show, but, how decide who and how much? An easy way to resolve those questions is to have a system of sponsorship.
…specifically, rewards regarding each level…
- Auxila: $12: Gaming fashion tip, 1 vote
- Hastati: $20: Magic dice, 1 vote
- Principes: $29: Magic dice, analysis pamphlet, 2 votes
- Triarius: $59: Magic dice, analysis pamphlet, t-shirt, 4 votes
- Centurion: $79: Magic dice, analysis pamphlet, dice tower or dice tray (depending on volume of preference for both), 6 votes
- Praetorian Guard: $119: Magic dice, analysis pamphlet, poster, 10 votes
- Tribune: $200: 12 minutes of ads (1 minute/podcast), 5 votes
- Praetor: $300: 24 minutes of ads (1 minute/podcast…and either one longer or two shorter segments), 10 votes
- Consul: $500: 36 minutes of ads 2 minutes/podcast…and some combination of longer and shorter segments), 20 votes
- Senator: $1,000: Special podcast focus on just your stuff within the context of a gaming topic of interest to our listeners) , 45 votes
…and the items…
Gaming fashion tip: Send us a image file (G rated please), and GDB’s very own Fashionista will give you a gaming fashion tip to help you get your game face on: presentation is everything.
Magic dice: 2 die’s …instilled with good karma from GDB’s outstanding technical Applenista and Fashionista. While we can't guarantee that you will always receive the results you need with these dice, we predict good things will happen with these magic dice; as long as you only use them in the appropriate situations and you've treated your games kindly. At the higher levels, we'll try to get you cooler dice (depends upon our ability to secure via a decent price).
Analysis pamphlet: I’m planning to update the piece I did a few years ago: http://www.thewargamer.com/grognard/gamedata.pdf It will be available in PDF form, to cut down on costs.
The usual swag: Dice tower or dice tray (depending upon the preference for both) and GDB customized, somehow. GDB T-shirt.
Poster: Something cool I’ve been working on to show the genres of our games over the last 50 years.
Votes: We’ve been putting up listener surveys (and, of course, anyone can respond) to help determine content. While we will keep moving ahead with listener surveys, we would like to directly put questions (topics) to GDB backers – and have those results help drive content of the show. Of course, I would continue as the benign dictator/GM and make the final decisions, but, it would give us a much better feel what topics the listeners would like covered :-)
NOTE: Unfortunately, international backers will need to add $10 for shipping of items associated with their backer level.
Ads: Pump sales by targeting an important and influential segment of the gaming community. We’ll work with you to develop an effective campaign: maybe a few spots or segments focused on your games, magazine or content. We reserve the right to deny advertisers as backers that have either run afoul of the gaming community or have products not consistent with the goals of GDB. Generally, we share a mutual interest: more quality games, more gamers and more gaming. So, we want to provide gaming advertisers with a way to more quickly and effectively reach potential customers.
Special podcast: We’ll work with you to sponsor an entire podcast within the context of a topic that interests GDB listeners.
…and what does the hobby get?
- · An expanded voice
- A tool to evangelize for our hobby
- A commitment from us to continue regular podcasts from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
Join the cause; enjoy the hobby, help us grow the hobby.
We do hope you decide to support us.
Often in our hobby, it is quite difficult to gain traction with an effort to better promote the hobby. We’re hoping that Guns, Dice, Butter will be a resource for the hobby: keeping it healthy through dialogue/interaction, capturing the great gaming stories of members of our tribe and enlisting new recruits to fill our ranks. Your support will make that possible.
- (41 days)