Thank you for taking the time to check out the campaign for 'Dreamcast: Year One', an unofficial look at the first year of Sega's final home console with a decidedly British slant.
After backing Sandeep Rai's excellent 'PlayStation Vita: Year One' project last year, I was reminded of the short lifespan of my own favourite console, the Dreamcast. It was my first love (as far as game consoles go) and has gained a massive cult following in the years since its discontinuation on March 31st 2001.
Launched in European territories on October 14th 1999, and with its final official game release in May 2002, it had a criminally short lifespan, yet with its varied library of games and innovative technology managed to lodge itself firmly into the imaginations of most who played it. Beyond its official life, Dreamcast continued on thanks to enthusiasts and home-brew developers.
However, this book focusses on the conception, launch and first year on the market for Sega's white box.
This is the first in what I hope to be a trilogy of releases to give fans both old and new a history of the console. 'Year One' will therefore be split into three sections.
'The Story' will consist of several chapters exploring how the Dreamcast was originally conceived, it's launches around the world, and how it fared once on store shelves. We'll therefore be examining the console historically from the launch of the Saturn in 1994 up until March 31st 2000.
We also have an 'Interview' section, featuring interviews with people prominent on the Dreamcast scene in the UK both then and now. We spoke with Caspar Field, former editor of DC-UK magazine for a first hand account of the Dreamcast launch from an insider perspective. We also quizzed Tom Charnock, founder of 'The Dreamcast Junkyard', currently the biggest online community of Dreamcast enthusiasts, about his experiences with the Dreamcast as a consumer in the nineties. In update number one we also unveiled that the former president for Sega of America, Bernie Stolar, would be getting the interview treatment, and in update number five we revealed former Official Dreamcast Magazine UK reviews/deputy editor Ed Lomas would round out our interviewees.
Finally we have our 'Library' section which contains retrospectives of key games from the period we're covering, focussing mainly on PAL releases. We'll be taking the PAL release date of a game as the main one in this series, unless it was never released in the territory. There will also be a gallery with all box art for PAL releases during this time (and some NA and JP only releases) as well as a timeline with an overview of the period covered in the book.
Games being covered in Year One are:
House of the Dead 2
Sega Rally 2
Sega Bass Fishing
Virtua Fighter 3tb
One of your favourites missing from that list? Well, we're also offering the opportunity for twelve backers to write their own 100 word retrospective for any release in our time frame not already covered above! A list of these games can be found here. More about this pledge level below!
For this book, I wanted to commission some amazing art work to really give it something extra special. I did consider adding art as a stretch goal originally, however when choosing an image for the cover of the book I came across illustrator Eric Pavik, who had produced a series of images paying homage to consoles he loves. One of these was the Dreamcast, and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.
I therefore decided that not only would we feature his work on the cover, but that he would form a thread throughout the entire book, with each section, interview and key retrospective having its own illustration. Not only this, but all people working on the book (including Kickstarter backers at our highest pledge tier) will have a portrait created by Eric and featured in the pages!
We have some examples of his work right here, and after the campaign is successful we will commission him to start work on the remainder of the art for the book.
I'm Andrew Dickinson, a gamer and lover of the Dreamcast since the year 2000. I was bought a Dreamcast for my 16th birthday, with copies of Crazy Taxi and Power Stone, plus the Official Dreamcast Magazine demo disc of Resident Evil CODE: Veronica. At the time I was a super fan of the Resident Evil series, so my need for a Dreamcast was simply to play the latest entry in the franchise. However, it wasn't long until the little white box won me over with more than just scenes of violence and gore. I became obsessed with the console, so much so that I sought out chat rooms (man, I feel old...) dedicated to the device so that I could talk about it with fellow enthusiasts. That's where I found someone who had set up a fan site and was looking for writers.
Since then I have always had a Dreamcast in my home. My library of games dwindled as I sold some off to make some much needed cash in my early twenties, and expanded again as I entered my thirties, but I could never bring myself to sell my entire collection. Games like Power Stone and Shenmue would be taken off the shelf at various points through the years, cases slightly more cracked each time from various house moves in the intervening period (those PAL cases are damned fragile!).
Now I want to share my passion and improved writing skills (I need to make up for my atrocious fan site articles somehow) with others.
In keeping with the 'PlayStation Vita: Year One' format, this book will be 104 pages long and A5 in size. This is in order to keep postage costs to a minimum. Adding just a few extra pages puts the book into the next price bracket, so we've found the sweet spot at the lowest tier.
Unlike our sister publication though, there will be no deluxe digital version. I wanted both the physical and digital editions to contain the same content. More content may become available to both editions depending on how well we fund! Check out the stretch goal section!
The first run of the physical edition will be limited. Copies will be available to buy later, but only after all Kickstarter copies have been posted. We may have a second run on the book during a future Kickstarter campaign (depending on how well we do this time around), however your copies will clearly be marked as first edition!
Most tiers are self explanatory! If it says you get your name in the book, then your chosen name will be added to a thank you section at the back of the book. If your chosen tier does not mention this, then your name will not be added to the book.
Our top tier 'More Than A Dream' (based on the title of an article I wrote for a blog back in 2012, if you were interested) is very special though. Backers of this tier will be able to write a 100 word retrospective for a game released within the time period the book covers which hasn't already been covered by me. A list of choices is available here. First come, first serve!
Your retrospective will feature your name, Twitter (or other social media) handle, plus we will commission Erik Pavik to create a portrait of you to accompany the piece (in the same style as my very own Eric drawn profile pic!). We'll even send you a digital copy of your portrait to use as your profile pic!
Your retrospective should aim to give readers a good idea of what your chosen game is like, and can include your own opinion of the game if you want to. Due to the space constraints of the book, your retrospective must be around the 100 word mark (we may need to edit it with you to get it right), so keep it concise.
If you also wish to provide the screenshot to accompany your words, then fantastic! We do ask that you take your own screenshot in the highest possible quality. However, if you can't or would rather not then just leave it to us! We may put out a call to our wider backer community to help source screenshots for games that we are unable to get.
Backers at our top tier will also receive three copies of the physical book and a digital edition!
I wanted to make this book the best it can be, even if we only just hit our funding goal, so I have included a lot of content and factored in the illustrations already. However, should this be more popular than I anticipate then I do have a few ideas for potential monetary stretch goals, which I'll start talking about once we've hit our target!
Until then, we do have a super cool SOCIAL STRETCH GOAL to work towards! If we can collectively get the shares, retweets and likes mentioned below, then I will include a round 75x75mm vinyl sticker of the cover image with every physical pledge - for free!
100 shares of this Facebook post
100 retweets of this tweet
100 likes of this Instagram image
I am aiming for an October 2019 delivery date to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast launch in the UK/EU. This is when I project to begin shipping, so some backers further afield may receive theirs later. See the 'Risks & Challenges' section for more info on timelines.
Risks and challenges
I am new to this, however I have the backing and knowledge of Sandeep to help me ensure the writing and production of the book go as smoothly as possible. I have also backed many Kickstarter projects over the past several years, and so have experienced my share of amazing (and terrible) campaigns. With the knowledge I have gained from these experiences I hope to make this a fun and transparent process for everyone involved. I'll answer questions to the best of my ability (around my work and study commitments) and be open and honest about challenges I may face along the way.
The book is around 20% complete at this stage, taking into account illustrations yet to be done and articles not yet written. As I do also work and study, I am wanting to give myself a good amount of time to complete the book and get it printed and shipped. While I feel October 2019 is a fair estimate, it is just that, an estimate. There is always the potential that factors may delay the book, or even potentially bring it forward. I will always endeavour to update you as soon as I'm able to with any adjustments to the timeline.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)