You know what we mean by "Text Adventure," right?
We're talking specifically about the type of interactive fiction game where the screen says "YOU ARE IN A FIELD." and you type in "LOOK FIELD" and the screen says "I DON'T SEE THAT HERE." That is the kind of game we're talking about. The kind of game that you type into. That is where the podcast gets its name.
For the past year and a half, we, Jenni Polodna and Ryan Veeder, have been finding text adventure authors and playing their games with them over Skype and releasing the thing that results as a podcast.
(I'm not sure how easy it is to tell, but the heading above is a hyperlink to our website. Go check it out.)
The game's author serves as the player-text parser intermediary, reading the text of the game and typing in the commands that the others choose. (Our guests have included Emily Short and Jim Crawford, among other such luminaries in the field.) It's a unique venue for an author to provide commentary on their work, and for the players to interrogate or complain to the author, while also playing a game and goofing off together.
This is not a professional podcast. We record episodes infrequently, we release those episodes on a basically random basis, and our approach to audio quality is "hey, we'll take what we can get." But our fans love listening to it, and we love making it, and our intention is to keep on making it so you can keep on listening to it.
The point of this Kickstarter campaign is just to handle hosting fees.
Clash of the Type-Ins is for the most part a dollar-neutral entity. It's free to you; we don't get paid to make it; there are no ads. Why would there be ads? You must be thinking of some other podcast. (There was a joke ad one time but it was a joke.)
Money only enters the equation insofar as it's not free to host the mp3s on a server where you can download them. If you like our podcast and you want to support its continued existence, here is your chance. Our goal of $240 will pay to host the podcast for another year, plus the Kickstarter fees, plus the credit card fees, plus the 6/12N shirts that you know you want.
We do have a list of stretch goals, though.
- $380 will cover hosting the podcast for a total of two years, during which, if current trends continue, you can expect the release of approximately 26.666667 new episodes.
- $480 will cover hosting the podcast for a total of three years.
- $6,000 will pay for Jenni and Ryan to record a live episode in San Francisco during the Game Developers Conference.
Not at GDC, just near GDC, around the same time as GDC. For more on this topic and to discover how we calculated the $6,000 figure, please listen to our Stretch Goal Mini-Podcast:
Anyway. Here are the deets as regards backer rewards:
- At the $1 level we'll put your name in a hat and pull it out at random on a podcast to thank you for your support! At the same time we will read a text adventure command (e.g., "SIT ON BLOOD THRONE") written by you, and type it into whatever game we are playing on that episode. There is no way to know what game it will be, so your command will probably do nothing. Fair warning.
- At the $5 level we will also send you a collection of Deleted Scenes from the podcast! This will include a minimum of three mp3s with a total runtime of at least 40 minutes, because that's how long the "Let's do the audio for the Kickstarter video!" recording session lasted.
- At the $10 level we will also mail you a Combo Pak consisting of, minimally, a sticker and a button. We have all Kickstarter campaign long to add stuff to this, but stickers and buttons are a lock, collectively. Here is the design for the sticker:
The buttons will look similar to this, but definitely not exactly like this:
- At the $30 level we will also send you the 6/12N t-shirt that Jenni threatened you with in Episode 12 or whenever that was. Ryan is going to stencil these shirts by hand, with his own ten paint-encrusted, caveman-like fingers. It will look something like this.
Hold on, though. What is the Arbitrary Audio Club?
If you add $15 to your pledge on top of the dollar amount of the pledge level you choose, you thereby join the Arbitrary Audio Club, which strictly speaking is less of a "club" and more of an "extra reward that requires some explanation."
If you join the Arbitrary Audio Club, Jenni and Ryan will record a short (think 15 seconds or less) custom audio file for you to do with as you wish. Here are just a few of the things that you could do with your membership:
- Make Jenni and Ryan say "Sorry, [your name] isn't available, please leave a message" and make that your outgoing voicemail message (I don't know how to do this)
- Make Jenni and Ryan say "Hey you got a phone call!" and make that your ringtone (I know how to do this, but only with OS X and an iPhone)
- Make Jenni and Ryan say "You can do it!" for you to listen to as a 15-second loop for the duration of your morning run
- Make dolls of Jenni and Ryan that say "Ow!" when you punch them
The only limit is your imagination—except for the other limit, which is, Jenni and Ryan reserve the right not to record anything gross or offensive.
Kickstarter does not require projects to have videos.
Risks and challenges
Podcasts of this level of professionalism tend to disappear without warning as their hosts lose interest and move on to other, better podcasts. There's a risk that this may happen to Clash of the Type-Ins!
But in 20 episodes we've only scratched the surface of the text adventure world, and our passion for this ridiculous medium isn't something that's just going to fade away. We want to continue to entertain others and entertain ourselves.
And this specific format, in which an author essentially defends their game in real time as it's being played, doesn't really exist anywhere else. Ryan thinks that's something valuable, and he wants to make sure it sticks around. I don't know what Jenni thinks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)