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The best game magazine ever is getting best-er, but we need your help.
The best game magazine ever is getting best-er.
The best game magazine ever is getting best-er.
1,399 backers pledged $77,471 to help bring this project to life.

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Help Kill Screen Reinvent Their Magazine

$77,471

1,399

Missed our Kickstarter? You can still subscribe through our store, and stay on top of all Kill Screen news by signing up for our mailing list

A NOTE TO OUR US BACKERS: Please check out our FAQs to learn more about our FREE US SHIPPING. 

Five years ago, we published the first issue of Kill Screen thanks to a successful Kickstarter. Independent games had begun to break into the mainstream, with Braid and then Limbo proving that small teams could make financially successful games that at once simplified and expanded the possibilities of gaming. We wanted to expose the innovation we saw making its way into the mainstream and treat games like any other art, colliding them with film and music and design. That is why you’ll see that our new magazine is changing visually, with a sleeker design, cleaner image, and a more personable, grown up feel.

So on just six thousand dollars that we raised on Kickstarter, we produced 9 issues of our magazine, helped launch the careers of many fantastic game writers, published a daily website that has consistently pushed the boundaries of game criticism, and put on three conferences that have thrown the relationship between games and culture into stark relief.

We are now back on Kickstarter to reinvent our current magazine: to be much bigger, bolder, and better looking than ever before.

Kill Screen is back on Kickstarter because we owe so much to the success of our first project. Without our initial successful Kickstarter and this amazing community, we would not have been able to publish our magazine or build our company into what it is today. We remain an independent publication, and we want to stay that way. So it’s up to this Kickstarter and our lovely supporters to make this revamp a reality–– if the project isn’t funded, we won’t be able to make this happen.

There are a lot of exciting new changes to our magazine. Firstly, it's going to be physically larger and will contain full-color portraits of the creators we're featuring. We are working once again with Shapco for our printing needs. They are a family-owned company in Minnesota that has been in business for almost forty years.

We’re going to showcase the independent creators that are important to us through reported features, visual essays, and rigorously researched, long-form criticism. We’ll dig deep into the most important new games by sending writers and photographers to find out how they came to be: not through Skype interviews but through a week of embedded reporting.

We'll continue to seek out the most thoughtful, curious writers in videogames and give them space to thoroughly grapple with games past and present. 

Our magazine will feature writers from top publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, GQ, the LA Times, and many, many more.

An issue of Kill Screen will be an essential collection of videogame writing, with a laser focus on what’s important and new alongside Saturday-afternoon longreads. People familiar with the site will see their favorite writers off the leash, exploring the things they love with unprecedented resources.

Those who don’t have time for videogame writing in their day-to-day will have a sumptuously designed, one-stop-shop to know what matters. We believe games are for everyone. We want to show you why.

For an idea of who we'll be covering, here's who has already committed to be featured in this project, among others:

-Ben Esposito, Donut County

-Teddy Diefenbach, Hyper Light Drifter

-Nina Freeman, Cibele

-David OReilly, Mountain

-Jenny Jiao Hsia, Beglitched

-Winnie Song, Badblood

-Jane Ng, Firewatch

-Marc Ten Bosch, Miegakure

-Fullbright, Tacoma

-Erica Gorochow, Specimen

-Brendon Chung, Quadrilateral Cowboy

The change we saw coming in 2010 has taken root. Videogames have grown up! The promise of “indie games” now thrives in little online spaces and onstage at E3; game jams pop up, and blast out dozens of games worth playing and talking about. Perhaps most importantly, this is the first time in history when gaming’s old monoculture has started breaking down. Now you can have taste in games, the same way you might in film or music. You don’t have to like Call of Duty on one end of the spectrum or Gone Home, on the other; there are a million shades of gray—and blue, and purple, and taupe, and so on—to choose from. All of which creates a new challenge for Kill Screen: to inspire a life well-played. Our magazine launched as “smart” videogame writing, but in 2015 it needs to be more than smart: it needs to be deeper, better reported, and curatorial to cover an exploding culture.

Top, left to right:

Rachel Catlett - Project Associate

Jamin Warren - Founder and CEO

Judy Romano - Business Development Associate

Middle, left to right:

David McDowell - Photographer

Justin Kielbasa - Designer

Bottom, left to right:

Jane Mai - Business Assistant

Zach Budgor - Editor 

Clayton Purdom - Editorial Director

Pledge $5 or More: You will receive a digital issue of our new magazine and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers, designed by Camp Cult's Cale Bradbury.  

Pledge $25 or More: You will receive a physical copy of our new magazine, plus a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, a digital issue of our new magazine, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers. 

 Pledge $30: DIGITAL LOVE TIER. You will receive a digital subscription (4 issues!), a one-year subscription to a monthly club of original digital wallpapers from our favorite artists, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros 2, by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers. This tier is, at this time, excluded from higher tiers. 

Pledge $50: KILL SCREEN GAME CLUBS. You will be a member of the exclusive Kill Screen Games Club. This incredible tier includes download codes for over 20 games, including former Kill Screen game of the year Gone Home as well as favorites like Sylvio, Heavy Bullets, The Floor is Jelly, Elegy for a Dead World, Beeswing, FEIST, Catlateral Damage, and many more. You can choose between weird games or arcade games, but we promise, they’re all great. You’ll have permanent admission to a dedicated online space to chat with other club members and Kill Screen writers, get sneak peeks into upcoming print content, and to take part in online chats about these games.

This tier is limited to 75 backers for each club, and excluded from higher rewards tiers. You will also receive a physical issue, a digital issue, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers. 

Pledge $80 or More: You will receive an annual subscription to our magazine, including four physical issues. You will also get a one-year subscription to a club of original digital wallpapers straight to your inbox from our favorite artists, a digital issue, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers.

Pledge $130 or More: You will receive one full-access ticket to our annual Two5six festival, praised as "the TED of videogames" by Mashable. This day-long celebration of games and culture has previously featured speakers such as MOMA’s Paola Antonelli, Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey, legendary game designer Tim Schafer, and many more. You’ll also receive an original drawing of your beautiful self by our resident illustrator Jane Mai (check out our team illustration to see an example of her work). You will also receive one year of physical issues of our new magazine, a one-year subscription to a club of original digital wallpapers straight to your inbox from our favorite artists, a digital issue, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers.

 Pledge $200: You will receive a full set of all of our back issues, two of which are completely sold out and unattainable. Limited to fifteen backers. You will also receive one year of physical issues of our new magazine, a drawing of you by Jane Mai, a one-year subscription to a club of original digital wallpapers straight to your inbox from our favorite artists, a digital issue, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers.

Pledge $500 or More: You will receive three years of admittance to our annual Two5six festival, praised as "the TED of videogames" by Mashable. You will also receive one year of physical issues of our new magazine, a drawing of you by Jane Mai, a one-year subscription to a club of original digital wallpapers straight to your inbox from our favorite artists, a digital issue, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers.

Pledge $1000 or More: You will get to chat with our founder, Jamin Warren, and two of the devs we feature via Skype or Google Hangouts for 30 minutes. Also includes a lifetime subscription to our magazine. You will also receive three years of admittance to Twofivesix, our annual festival, a drawing of you by Jane Mai, one year of physical issues of our new magazine, a one-year subscription to a club of original digital wallpapers straight to your inbox from our favorite artists, a digital issue, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers.

Pledge $2500 or More: You will be our inside cover sponsor for one of our issues. (Limit 4) Also includes Skype chats with our founder & devs, a lifetime subscription to our magazine. You will also receive three years of admittance to Twofivesix, our annual festival, a drawing of you by Jane Mai, one year of physical issues of our new magazine, a one-year subscription to a club of original digital wallpapers straight to your inbox from our favorite artists, a digital issue, a digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros. 2 by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin, and your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers.

The main cost for producing each issue is production––printing the magazine larger and with higher-quality paper. We're boosting our schedule to a rigidly-kept quarterly event, we're including beautiful color photography rather than solely illustrations, and we're going to be sending out writers for international embedded reporting. And of course, we want to be able to pay the writers and artists that work with us what they deserve rather than trying to make do on a shoestring budget.

Our funding goal is much higher this time around than it was during our first campaign. Kickstarter was a very different place in 2009, and you couldn't ask for large funding goals to support the quality of publication you wanted as easily as you can now. We wanted to make a quarterly publication, but it proved impossible to do so on just $6,000. So this time we're asking for upgraded funding to support an upgraded publication.

We have an extremely thorough model to calculate costs to make this magazine, and we've spent a great amount of time carefully determining how much money we need to do the magazine right for a full year. We don't want to undersell it and risk not being able to fulfill.

Risks and challenges

By upgrading our magazine to a quarterly publication we recognize that we're giving ourselves a lot more work. Luckily we have an awesome full-time staff, as well as a group of dedicated writers that are ready to handle the larger work load. Our full-time team is twice as big as it was during our run of the magazine to this point. Of course we initially wanted our publication to be quarterly, but we were overconfident when we believed $6,000 was enough to make that dream a reality. We have learned a lot over the last eight issues of our magazine and have come out with a wealth of knowledge about making it a reality, including a higher funding goal to enable our team.

By including photography and embedded reporting, we are certainly opening ourselves up to a challenge. However for the first time in Kill Screen's history, we are lucky enough to have a staff photographer rather than relying on many different freelancers. This will create creative consistency in the visuals in the magazine as well as meaning that we have a staff member dedicated to this portion of the magazine. We also have an international team of writers that enables embedded reporting beyond our previous issues. The longer release calendar of our quarterly schedule will also enable us to plan content well in advance.

Finally, making a magazine is not easy. Luckily, we've already done this eight times (nine including issue zero). We are using the same printer we've used many times over and have a great working relationship with them. For the first time in our history we have a new, dedicated full-time staff ready to make this magazine happen and deliver it on schedule. We have budgeted our time and money to ensure that we have the resources necessary to stick to a rigid quarterly schedule and make sure our magazine gets to you on time.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Digital issue of our new magazine
    +
    Your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers

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    Estimated delivery
    382 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Single print issue of our new magazine
    +
    Digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros 2, by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin
    +
    Kickstarter exclusive Kill Screen lapel pin
    +
    All previous rewards

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    192 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    DIGITAL LOVE TIER:

    Digital subscription (4 issues!)
    +
    One-year subscription to a monthly club of original digital wallpapers from our favorite artists
    +
    Digital copy of Boss Fight Books' Super Mario Bros 2, by Kill Screen's own Jon Irwin
    +
    Your name forever on a weird digital monument to our backers

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    207 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Membership to our Weird Screen monthly game club. Together we'll play & discuss the following games:
    Soda Drinker Pro
    Beeswing
    Elegy for a Dead World
    Gardenarium
    Neverending Nightmare
    Sluggish Moors
    Sylvio
    PANORAMICAL
    Point Perfect
    Prune
    Prowl & Trawl
    TimeFRAME
    +
    All previous rewards

    **THIS REWARD IS NOT INCLUDED IN HIGHER REWARDS TIERS

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 75 backers
    $
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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Membership to our Arcade Screen monthly game club. Together we'll play & discuss the following games:
    6180 the Moon: Deluxe Edition
    Catlateral Damage
    Crest
    FEIST
    Heavy Bullets
    Year Walk
    Gone Home
    Home Imprövisåtion
    Lethal League
    The Floor is Jelly
    And Yet it Moves
    Reflections
    +
    All previous rewards

    **EXCLUDED FROM HIGHER REWARDS TIERS

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 75 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    US-ONLY SUBSCRIBERS:

    One-year subscription to our new magazine (4 issues!)
    +
    One-year subscription to a monthly club of original digital wallpapers from our favorite artists
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    276 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    One-year subscription to our new magazine (4 issues!)
    +
    One-year subscription to a monthly club of original digital wallpapers from our favorite artists
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    56 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    US-ONLY TWO5SIX ATTENDEES:

    One full-access ticket to our annual Two5six festival, praised as "the TED of games" by Mashable
    +
    Drawing of you from our resident illustrator, Jane Mai (check out our team illustration to see her work)
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    30 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    One full-access ticket to our annual Two5six festival, praised as "the TED of games" by Mashable
    +
    Drawing of you from our resident illustrator, Jane Mai (check out our team illustration to see her work)
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    35 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A full set of our back issues (Issues 1-8) in mint condition. Includes issues that are sold out.
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 12 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Three years of admittance to our annual Two5six festival, praised as "the TED of games"by Mashable
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    30-minute group video call with our founder, Jamin, and two of the devs we feature
    +
    Lifetime subscription to our magazine
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Inside cover sponsorship of an issue of our magazine
    +
    All previous rewards (excluding $50 tier)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (35 days)