About this project
We can't believe we've made it already! Anyway here is what will happen with the extra money we raise:
$5,500 UNLOCKED!: The project is definitely happening and Coleco - The Complete History should be available by June 2016. We'll ensure we meet that date.
$8,000 - FRENCH - UNLOCKED!: French version! As you might have guessed, we’re not a native English speakers. For example, I’m from France and the previous projects I worked on were in French. But I wanted to make this one in English first to have it available for as many people as possible. Anyway, if we reach that goal, we'll make it in French with a dedicated portion of the book for the French part of Coleco history with the arrival and reception of the ColecoVision for example. If you already backed, just let us now if you wish to switch to a French version.
$9,500 - HARDBACK - UNLOCKED!: Hardback cover for everyone! If we reach that crazy goal, we'll make the switch from paperback to the hardback cover for each and every backer who backed the paperback version to show how grateful we are!
$12,000 - HARTFORD MEMORIES - UNLOCKED!: Let's be crazy! If we reach that goal, we'll go in Hartford, Connecticut to do some research directly on site from where Coleco actually was! This would allow us to reach some people, to have very good pictures for the book and a genuine grasp from that era.
$13,500 - BADGES - UNLOCKED!: We just can't believe it! To thank you for your generosity, we will include a badge for each backer who at least backed the Paperback (now Hardback) version.
$15,000 - SPUNKY'S ROM - UNLOCKED!: It's surreal! And to thank you even more, we'll release Spunky's ROM for each and every one fo you awesome backers!
Hi there! I'm Antoine Clerc-Renaud and I want to tell you about the amazing journey of Coleco Industries, a famous company mostly known for its video game console the ColecoVision but that pioneered in so many different ways. I’ve always been interested in video games being an avid gamer myself. But the more I grew up the more I became interested in people actually making them. So I started documenting myself, reading awesome books on the subject, started a retrogaming website which led to founding my own publishing company to deliver high quality books on North American video game history. With the help of my dear friend Jean-François Dupuis who actually started the project, we decided to start with Coleco Industries which is, surprisingly, a company we heard so little about but innovated so much at so many levels. This book will be the untold story of one of the pioneer of the video game industry that was big enough to have offices and factories up to Montreal, Canada. I look forward to make this book as exciting as their journey.
The book will cover the entire history of Coleco Industries, which was founded in 1932 by Maurice Greenberg and went bankrupt in 1989. The company name actually stands for Connecticut Leather Company. With a lot of imagery, including pictures ranging from the 30s to the 80s, but still a lot to read, Coleco - The Complete History (working title) will provide detailed information about this rather unknown company. It will, for example, include an entire part about Coleco Canada and its Montreal-based factory which used to build sophisticated toys that were distributed all over the world.
We chose to put the emphasis around the video game and electronic game years of Coleco Industries because this is what enabled them to get recognition from all around the globe more than with any other of their products.
Finally, after the downward spiral that lead to the demise of Coleco Industries, there will be another focus on the legacy left by Coleco and how the name still resonates in the hearts of thousands of gamers.
Additionally, a list of all the ColecoVision games, homebrew games, hardware and accessories will be present as well.
But what will make this book truly unique is that we managed to get in touch with many former employees who used to worked at one of the Coleco offices or factories and ask them what it was like working on different line of entertainment products that ranged from plastic toys to sophisticated video games.
Therefore, there will be new photography of the ColecoVision and Adam computer, their hardware and many prototypes never seen before...
In total we plan on having a little bit more than 200 pages to fully display the illustrations and photographs we unearthed during our research.
As fellow Montrealers, we want to implicate our community. This is the reason why the book will be printed will be printed by an eco-friendly company in Montreal, using vegetable-based inks on high-quality paper.
Also, the final cover of the book as well as the overall aesthetic will be provided by fabri-k, a Montreal graphics company.
As we want to focus on the people who worked either at the company or at the competition, as well as passionate people who continue to ensure the legacy of Coleco we already reached out to some of them to know more about that era. Among the interview already performed we manage to get in touch with:
- Lorne Lanning; President of Oddworld Inhabitants - his father used to work at Coleco
- Michael Katz; first VP of Coleco
- CollectorVision; indie and homebrew game company
But we don't plan on stopping there. Indeed, we already planned other interviews with more people like:
- Al Nielsen; Former Director of Marketing SEGA of America
- Jennell Jaquays; Head of Game Design department at Coleco
- Alek Maul; homebrew game developer
- ColecoVision Holdings LLC; owner of the Coleco brand
Of course, the list will continue to grow as we're eager to collect as many testimonials as we can get in order to crosscheck all the information we already have but also to show the company through the eyes of the employees that were actually on site.
Our perks include the following:
- Your name in the book as fellow supporter
- Digital version of the book in PDF
- Paperback version of the book
- Signed book by us authors - only 500 of them
- Signed book + Special Kickstarter edition of 45 Spunky's Super Car for ColecoVision
- Signed book + Special Kickstarter Custom painting edition of 5 ColecoVision consoles (design in progress)
I am based in Montreal, Canada and am responsible for producing a magazine (in French) on the awesome local video game industry we're so lucky to have here in Quebec.
I also co-founded retrogamer.ca a website specialized in retrogaming in general on which I wrote almost 500 articles. Also, twice a year, we're organizing retrogaming events in Montreal to share our passion and gather former developers as well as passionate people.
Finally I wrote the hardware part as well as some interviews and games reviews for the massive PlayStation Anthology project along with some talented people.
Jean-François Dupuis is the founder of Collectorvision, a homebrew and indie developer focusing on retro experience for nostalgic and modern gamers. He is also a collector of all things Coleco since 1996.
The Coleco book will hopefully be the first of the history series that will allow us to tell the North American story of video games especially considering that video games were born in the United States.
Our website is currently under construction and hopefully the campaign will help us to have an awesome, easy-to-navigate website.
Our expenses will be as follows:
- Designing the special edition of Spunky's Super Car
- Customizing five ColecoVision consoles
- Copyrights of documents and logos
- Website creation
Many great people are currently supporting us in our endeavour:
Lorne Lanning - President of Oddworld Inhabitants
“This book comes at the right time and is made by a team of passionate people whom I had the pleasure to talk to about my father’s work at Coleco.”
"One of the many exciting aspects of publishing books about video games is just how many important stories from gaming history have yet to be told. It sounds like Antoine Clerc-Renaud has hit on one of these fascinating stories in his history of Coleco, and I can't wait to read what he comes up with."
Risks and challenges
With a project like this, one of the biggest risk is that we miss the deadline of Spring 2016. However as we are already hard at work on the book this event is unlikey to happen except if we discover some new information that we would need to crosscheck to be sure we can use it.
Our biggest challenge will be to ensure the accuracy of all information regarding Coleco that we'll find during our research. Hopefully we started to connect with some former employees that kept accurate memories from their time over there. Even though our discussion are often solely based on their memories, we make our mission to verify the accuracy of each and every information we encounter.
Our goal is to release the book by Spring 2016 as we are already hard at work on the book. We aim to produce 500 books in total but we need to sell them upfront to ensure that the print costs are viable.
Please be sure to check back in with us throughout the campaign for news, interviews, press, stretch goals, and updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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