by Robert J Woodhead
I really hope something will be done about the packaging, an 'Ultimate Edition' in a single blu-ray case doesn't seem right to me. The packaging mostly makes a collector what it is. (Would have loved Jewel cases by the way :P)
Anyway, I'll just wait and see how it goes.
(Sorry for my poor english)
@James: I'm thinking of a new design using the classic artwork we have. One interesting aspect of this project is that there is no need for the packaging to have any marketing content, because you guys already know what BGC is. So my thinking is: minimal text, maximum graphics.
I will hopefully be posting another update in about a week or so with more details on packaging, the coin, and budgeting.
@Robert - As far as design goes for a Premium Artbox, have you considered possible variations of the original pink Megaseries or Remastered releases? If not, something entirely new?
I forgot to mention I backed at the $125 level.
I didn't vote. Not because of a lack of interest per-se, but because I'm primarily just wanting a complete BR set of the series with competent English subs, which the Japanese set lacked. Whatever extras that were appended would be the cherry on top.
I could take or leave things like Grand Mal, the RPG, and non-English subs. I had pretty much surmised that any of the spinoff series weren't in the cards. And the less said about Crash, the better (IMO).
Admittedly, I would like to see some sort of "deluxe" packaging. A commentary track from a knowledgeable individual would also be cool. Other than that, though, I'm good.
@James: BD cases
When it says 3-Amaray, you're referring to 3-Amaray DVD or BD cases?
It's really a shame that so few people voted - probably had to do with the "hastle" of finding your password in your email box and then entering it into the survey form. Hopefully it wasn't that, but that's where my guess would lie anyways.
As a premium backer, I would love to see the RPG Books, nice packaging and the Japanese Subtitles added. As for what should be premium only... I guess the packaging makes the most sense? Maybe the patch as well. It would seem odd to not give the subtitles to all the backers.
Like many of the comments below... I also didn't realize that the manga was an OEM, so I am not sure how I feel about it being at the top.
Mulling over it and now knowing what the quality of the manga seems to be, it makes me wish even more for the RPG Books and better packaging for all. I'm certain at least some of the extra subtitle tracks will see someone will come forward as a Patron to fund them though.
That being said, I'm looking forward to having a chance to read the manga if it's on the final set - it should at least be an ok distraction in the worst case scenario. :) It'll also be awesome to see the series in HD because from what I've seen of the series in it;s original form, it doesn't look to great on bigger screens anymore.
Several of us voted thinking it was an actual manga and not an OEM and are regretting it. I would not have voted for it if I knew.
The thing I wonder about the vote results- and I'm not sure if there is an easy way to quantify this- is how many people voted on the manga thinking it was an actual manga and not an OEM by Adam Warren.
While I think it's been made clear that it's an original English-language manga or comic book rather than an actual manga, I'm not sure everyone voting quite knew that, and I'm not sure if said knowledge would sway the vote.
I backed Mighty No. 9 which has had community votes on content which also led to a group of upset people who didn't get what they voted for. I don't really think votes are a better way of deciding on content than stretch goals and as @Richard Gray says I don't have a good idea of what each option really adds to the package.
I think people need to realize that according the the FAQ's at the bottom of the main page neither the product being produced for the basic backers or the product being produced for the premium backers will be available through retail channels. Since these products are being produced in such limited quantities the cost for adding additional content is split over fewer units.
@Christopher D. Jacobson ... There's no probably about it. Grand Mall - isn't - any good. As most people will realise when they read it.
I think there's a good reason that the contents of more releases aren't left up to the people that are buying them; the choices come from people that don't have a firm grasp of what's involved. This isn't just a shot at fellow backers, I also have no clue about the decision making process for what goes into a set and what does not.
I understand that everyone's tastes are different, but the poll results were why I was cautious about entering at the premium levels, and why I am now glad that I chose not to do so. If it were up to me, I would have much rather put in as many low to mid cost items as possible instead of spending the entirety of the buidget on one item.
It's rather deflating to have a nebulous "extra budget" get spent on a single digital item. Obviously this is still going to make the majority of people happy since it was a clear winner on both categories (honestly I may have even voted for it, because I probably thought it would have a smaller cost), but people aren't going to look at the contents of the set and go "Ooo, it comes with the Manga too?"
I hope I don't sound ungrateful, because all I really wanted out of this was the show in HD. It's existence alone is enough to make it a favorite of my collection. I just think that having professionals allocate the resources instead will produce a better product overall.
It's fairly disappointing to see this process result in a nicer physical product locked behind a $50 upgrade, when all is said and done. It's turned out that the thing I thought would remain consistent between the two is the only difference. It's a situation where I'd like the better packaging, but the voting process has made it an unreasonably expensive upgrade, that I have to imagine would have been possible for less cost to the backer if it was a stretch goal. That and all the votes for a pdf of a readily available western comic book confuse me to no end.
I agree with everybody saying that traditional stretch goals for a better product for everyone would have been my choice. To be clear, I'm happy to be getting BGC in HD, but since this is the only chance at it, it's hard not to lament it being used on an experiment with an unfavourable result. Obviously this is just my opinion though, and the majority are presumably happy getting what they voted for, so that's that.
I agree that the real meat and potatoes of this entire experience is simply having Bubblegum Crisis in HD in a release that doesn't cost $150 and is English-friendly, and is now spread across three discs. I think the voters were absolutely bonkers for wanting to spend nearly $7k on obtaining rights for and restoring a comic that's readily available in backissue bins and probably isn't very good, but them's the breaks.
I would have liked a traditional stretch goal for an across-the-board (Premium and Basic tier) packaging upgrade, but this isn't my Kickstarter campaign.
I don't know if it's quite fair to say all that $50 of a premium package goes to the artbox you receive. I'm not a premium backer but I see the greatest incentive to being one as having a greater say in the determination of what goes into the release, moreso than what necessarily comes out of the voting.
I think that there's only one (or two, for premium) things being added to the package makes this seem like not that special a release, where it's like with all the stuff from the 2004 set, and the Omake stuff, there's going to be more content on this set than there is on the vast majority of Blu-ray releases. And it's all about BGC, which is pretty cool.
Count me among those who would have liked to see these extras be normal stretch goals. CrowdProduction sounds nice in theory and it intrigued me at first, but in practice - at least in this case - I don't think it worked. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was drawn in by "Ultimate Edition" and is now feeling quite underwhelmed.
Also count me among those disappointed by how this poll went. Grand Mal was very low down on my list, in part because I already own a copy, but largely because I just didn't think it was any good.
Finally, while I am disappointed the artbox will be Premium only, I also find it quite funny. Congratulations Premium Backers, you spent nearly your entire budged on an artbox. You're paying an extra $50 for something that's a $5 add-on for most other North American distributors.
@Robert J Woodhead: Considering the fuss over the packaging basic vs premium, maybe future kickstarters should have identical packaging and differentiate the two with extras like with the Mai Mai Miracle Kickstarter by All the Anime. There everyone who backs at the hard copy level and above gets the same blu-ray and packaging but the premium backers get an artbook, a big poster and a signed B4 size giclee print (note the giclee has only just been added).
Also with regards to upgrading pledges, you mentioned that it can be done by using paypal, can I assume those that paid using credit card can upgrade using the same method (I don't know if I will upgrade but if I do it will not be with paypal).
@darkstorm: I understand your position. One idea I am considering is doing some sort of "prevote" on the next KickStarter (using the backers of this one as a focus group) to come up with a more defined structure, and then use CrowdProduction voting for some extra goodies and for decisions like "which images do you want on the postcards". The trick is going to be to find the right balance.
@Stephen: Several people have already contacted me about becoming the Patron of a particular subtitling effort, which I think is particularly awesome. Also, hopefully when I harden up the costing, there will also be enough funds freed up to ensure that they happen. I'll know more in a week or two, but if you want to explore it, email me.
@Brad: With respect to what I would have chosen, I am pretty hardcore on the "content is king" side, so if I'd done things with stretch goals, most of them would be ones that added content, interspersed with minor extra goodies (like the coin).
@Blair: Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated. I can see your point about the confusion, something I'll try and address in the next project (see my reply to @darkstorm above).
@Robert: I think CrowdProduction was a great idea. But I also think there was some confusion with this project and the money came in slow. I think OVA should been a stretch goals because the OVA were something everyone wanted. I fine with the voting result with this project, but I do think if you do another Kickstarter project you need to figure a way get more people to give more money during time period. For me I found CrowdProduction was very confusion during the pledging process of this project.
"If we had done the project in the traditional manner (fixed stretch goals), the choices I would have made would have been very different from the ones that you voted for -- and I wouldn't have known that!"
Just as a follow-up, what were the choices you would have made?
I'd still say the tantrums comment is unnecessary, because when debate devolves into ad hominem statements, it really isn't productive for either party. I think- especially since we all backed a project we believed in (otherwise, we wouldn't have pledged) we can maintain a civil discourse.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this is a Crowd Production process, which means there are a lot of difference voices all shouting to be heard, and not everyone is going to have the same opinion. We need to at least try to behave with tact. Starting a comment by saying "Wow, just a few tantrums being thrown." is just so negative and reflects very poorly on the project. At least people saying they are "very disappointed in this turn out" and "really regretting backing the premium set now" are talking about the project, not attacking other users for having the audacity to express their opinions on a crowd-produced Kickstarter.
I think, unfortunately, there has been a lot of confusion about this project. I'm not sure people quite understood what they were backing. Despite this, I do think the people who pledged believe in the project and want to see it succeed. I hope everyone here- all 2,175 backers- wants to create the best set possible, whether they pledged $5 or $2,032.
But it again, all comes down to opinions, and with projects of this nature, not every backer is going to get what they want- but hopefully the majority of people will get what they think is a good set.
It's hard to say if that's the case right now, largely because only 949 of the 2,130 who could actually vote voted. I don't know what can encourage more users to actually engage in the conversation, vote and participate, but inflammatory language certainly doesn't help.
Hello Mr Robert.
As I asked on the forum, and not everyone goes there, since the German, Finnish and Italian subtitles didn't make the grade, would it be fair for someone to maybe run a "donate just for the subtitles" to try and get them included? I was thinking I would drop 1/2 the price of one set of subtitles to get them in, IF they were a high priority and didn't make it - unfortunately it seems only the German subs will make the cut and I can't afford to put down 1/2 of the price of Finnish/Italian subs at the moment.
In light of that, maybe someone could design a Kickstarter JUST for the subtitles? Or some other campaign? To me, despite not speaking Finnish, Italian or German, it seems a little sad that people who do speak those languages won't have them included in their sets. I realize the process was democratized and it fell out as the people spoke - doesn't mean we can't work to get these subtitles included, especially since some of the work is already completed thanks to some of the backer's great work.
Well, I don't think I'll probably be going in for one of these "CrowdProduction" things again. Most of the additional video footage that could have gone in was either two expensive or unavailable due to rights issues, which pretty much left us with packaging, knick knacks or less desirable content, and it seems that the most pointless piece of content to me (manga scans) won the day(I love manga, but don't really fancy the idea of it in pdf form). I don't blame animeigo for this at all - I knew there was an element of risk here - but apart from getting the third disc so that we don't suffer from the usual inferior quality western releases get compared to the Japanese releases, there's not really anything here that gives me any enthusiasm.
I think next time it really might be better to go for fixed goals so that people know what they're getting themselves in for, and so that you can find out the costs for the super desirable stuff(like the animations you found out later weren't doable) BEFORE the KS begins....but then the problem becomes finding out what other stuff people might want. I guess you could do a KS update here to ask for(I often see old kickstarters updated to let people know of their new kickstarter), and post in major forums, but that's not a perfect solution either...although I suppose the more Kickstarters you do, the bigger the number of people you can easily reach the next time.
It's perfectly fine to debate and express positions -- in fact, it's incredibly helpful to me -- but let's be really careful about charged language. We all know how easy it is for online discussions to become derailed.
A big part of this project is the actual CrowdProduction experiment. We're really in uncharted waters here, trying to find new ways to deliver the maximum value to the greatest number of people.
If we had done the project in the traditional manner (fixed stretch goals), the choices I would have made would have been very different from the ones that you voted for -- and I wouldn't have known that!
But at the same time, with traditional stretch goals there is much less uncertainty.
To use an analogy, it's the difference between going to a restaurant that only has one meal (and you just choose if you want to eat there or not), and a restaurant that has a huge menu (but everyone that goes to eat there votes on what the chef makes for everyone that night).
In the latter case, I think most would agree that most people end up with a better meal -- but there will be some who end up saying "Escargot, Chicken Kiev and Tofu Mango Ice-Cream?! What were you people thinking?!"
As I've mentioned before, I'm going to be spending the next week or two doing some very hard costing to squeeze out some more budget, so we can add things to the set. Quite a few people have upgraded to Premium in the last day, and that will help as well.
But I'm also going to be spending some time thinking about how to address the concerns of the people who were disappointed by the voting results -- both in this project and in future one's we're planning.
I look forward to your suggestions and feedback.
@Logan, you're getting the Ultimate Edition because it will have the best quality images available (and there really is a tremendous difference), the AMVs, and the Holiday in Bali video. Robert said from the start that anything above that was going to be selected by by backers for their respective budgets. As it stands, Premium Backers selected digital content that can be shared with Basic Backers as their #1 bonus selection and the #2 was something to make their cases a little more distinctive for the extra $50 they paid.
@Brad, just look at the intant responses to the survey results -- OUR choices, not Robert's -- from a few very vocal people and tell me again that you don't think the word "tantrum" isn't justified. This whole process has been as fair and above board as I could imagine and people are still "very disappointed in this turn out" and "really regretting backing the premium set now".
Did Basic Backers really think Premium Backers ought to spend their extra dollars on buying them a packaging upgrade? Just how many Bluray sets do you see out there with this much content for $50 (including shipping!)?
Let's say the RPG scans and the RPG commentary (remember, it's not like this is commentary by the director or Sonoda or the voice actors) had been the #1 and #2 selections respectively. Let's say the next things were all the subtitling. That would have left the triple Amaray case for everyone and an O-card for Premiums as the only packaging upgrade in the budget -- just how much crying do you think THAT result would have engendered?
I'm surprised at the results too but I'd like everyone to just remember the key factor: that we are getting back a genuine classic with color and clarity that we couldn't have imagined from the VHS or DVD copies. That by itself is worth the fees we paid.
I've really got to express my displeasure at the outcome on this, and not so much based on the fact that the manga was the number one selection. When the Kickstarter was announced, and as is still listed on the main project page, it stated with regard to Premium backers that "up to 50% of that portion will be assigned to a special Premium production budget that only Premium supporters will decide how to allocate, either for special commemorative items made just for them, or to enhance the final product for everyone."
This, to me (and at least one other person who brought it to my attention), implies that the premium set could get bonus physical items such as the RPG Book or the patch, physical extras of that nature, while upgrades directly related to the set itself, which I would suggest include the packaging, would be done for all backers, no matter if they were basic or premium.
The way this is looking now, instead of one, unified "Ultimate Edition" as was advertised, there are now two versions, a standard edition and an enhanced packaging edition, and that goes contrary to the way the plans were presented from the first day this went up.
All I know is that I didn't back this to find out months later I was actually only getting the "Almost-Ultimate Edition". I chose Basic because I didn't care about getting a bunch of extra baubles that would go in a drawer or on a shelf that I wouldn't likely look at/use. I realize the content of both sets will be the same, but one can hardly say they got the Ultimate Edition they were promised when backing in the face of a version with superior packaging.
I'm sure someone will suggest I either upgrade to premium and quit complaining ($50 for a chipboard artbox and three cases instead of one? Yeah, I can't justify 50 bucks for that) or request a refund. I'm still interested in the set and I have no intention of asking for a refund, but I think this is a strong case for standard stretch goals rather than picking things after the fact. If these had been done via standard stretch goals, I could have thrown in an extra $25 (which I would find fair for an artbox upgrade) if I thought we were close to getting the goal, and if it looked like it wasn't going to happen, I could rescind the extra pledge just as easily. Instead, we were asked to put in an extra $50 and then hope the groupmind wanted the same stuff.
I'm not Robert, but this is what was linked to in the previous update: http://home.amaray.com/media-cases/red-tag-range/rt-bluray/blu-ray-3-disc-case/40/
@Robert: Is there anyway to see what the NORMAL cases might look like? The premium sounds cool, but I don't think I can afford it.
Anyway, I'm ready for the set and can't wait for it to be released. ^_^ Couldn't come sooner for my benefit.
@Seth Osborn: Grand Mal was released by Central Park Media YEARS ago in English. If there is another copy of it, I'm sure I've never heard of it, but that's the only one I know of... I've only SEEN it, and haven't read it, but I assure you that it's worth the time. ^_^ I'm just glad SOMEONE could save it before CPM went under.
Just so we're clear, it would cost ANOTHER $50 on top of the $40 if you contributed for the Basic and want to upgrade to Premium?
I regret my vote for the "manga" as I assumed it was Japanese. I should have investigated. Now a little of my money is being wasted on something already available and it could've been used for better items.
I'm still stoked, I love BGC I'm sure the episodes themselves will look great. I hope they're not delayed due to the remastering process for Grand Mal.
I'd like to think we could have a conversation with negativity like that, actually. I don't think accusations of folks throwing tantrums are necessary.
Wow, just a few tantrums being thrown. Let's not forget the primary purpose and benefit of this project: high definition versions of BGC. I can tell you the high def picture is definitely worth what you paid and that's without considering the postcards and coin. After attempting to edit one of the videos this weekend, the color and clarity of the high definition scenes is fantastic and I can't wait to get the actual disks.
Maybe it would help everyone appreciate the difference if Robert put up a few frames showing the high def and standard def side-by-side but right now I suspect he needs sleep after putting up with me all day (literally).
Anything else is a bonus, seriously. I don't see where Basic backers are whining about separate packaging for Premium backers since they're not having to pay for it. As it stands, Basic backers are getting their #1 bonus item (the manga) courtesy of a large number of Premium backers.
I can understand the confusion about there being significant differences between the Basic & Premium versions, given the big bold letters in the project pitch saying this Kickstarter has "A Singular Goal." It seemed, at least back in November, Basic vs. Premium meant you were putting up more money to get a bigger say in shaping the project.
It's clearly not entirely the case, but it's tough to know what you're backing in November 2013 when more details about what you're backing don't become clear until March 2014, with elements still up in the air, but that's probably the nature of running this as a crowd production project.
@Robert: While I don’t think this would be taken under consideration, since I’m assuming it would fall outside of what you’re considering to be “fair,” a reasonable upgrade price could be established that covered the cost of the packaging and included some additional amount to be put towards the Premium Backer’s budget. Of course, people choosing this packaging option would not be allowed to help allocate the remaining Premium budget funds.
Otherwise, I just want to say I’m disappointed this project has allowed for the creation of such a significant difference in the packaging, essentially creating two separate physical products.
@John: I am sorry, but that will not be possible. It would not be fair to the people who have already chosen the Premium option.
@Brant: We cannot put additional music on the Blu-Rays without arranging the appropriate music licenses. We checked into it and the time and effort it would take to arrange everything rendered it infeasible.
@Christopher: As mentioned in another comment, the impact on the cost of the Basic set caused by a reduction in quantity is minimal and has already been included in the cost of the Premium packaging. Worst case it's ~$200 extra cost for the parts of the set that are unique to the Basic set.
@William: I agree that it would be wonderful to be able to add the RPG books, I was really hoping people would spring for them. With a bit of luck, they might come within reach -- now that I know what the priorities are, I can do some much harder bargaining and try and squeeze out some costs.
Would there be any possibility of creating an upgrade option for people who’d like to get Premium packaging, but aren’t interested in the rest of the extra content?
I find it difficult to justify doubling my cost by upgraing to Premium, when I’ve absolutely no interest in the other items which will potentially be on offer (or even the current extra, the comic, that's already getting included in all sets). As it stands, upgrading would essentially amount to paying $50 for cardboard and plastic.
I thought Grande Mal was a manga and not an English original when I voted for it, regretting it now. I also have the original copies of the RPGs and would much rather have an additional copy of them. The extra details in them are great.
I missed the deadline to vote, but not knowing anything about the comic book, I may have voted for its inclusion. I saw the word manga and assumed it was just that, not a wapanese publication. Even just looking on Amazon, all four issues can be had for peanuts, not to mention the likelihood that local comic shops have 'em as well as online stores devoted to backissues for much cheaper. Putting so much money into scanning/restoration/rights to include it seems a bit strange, but if it's how the people voted... I just wonder how many knew what they were actually getting.
The chipboard box being premium-only, hey, I can get behind that (as a basic backer) since I didn't throw in the extra money, but Paul Segal raises a very good point that doing two different packaging options with a smaller run each will likely cost more than doing a flat rate, clear-across-the-board option.
Naturally, the RPG books do have the content, rules & sheet layouts to perform physical pen, paper & dice RPG with friends but the vast majority of it consists of text as well as accompanying pictures & information we would not otherwise know from just watching the series alone. These are wonderful aids to complement the series. I assure everyone those books scans are worth it.
I have the complete vocal collection CD soundtrack set. If I send you the ripped copy of all the songs would it be possible to offer that on one of the Blu-ray discs for download say if we were to pop it in a PC? I don't think the soundtrack is in production any longer & the single CDs are difficult to find.
@Brant Bohnert: Yeah, that's true I would have put it higher if it was a full ep-by-ep commentary to the show itself, if I remember right I put the books ahead of it because of that. It sounds like those books would be nice.
@Robert J Woodhead: Klingon subtitles would have been rather interesting to see lol :D
Overall pretty happy with the turn out so far of the nice packaging upgrade and 3 discs for the eps and extra content videos to be at their best quality. :)
I wish I had known more about the RPG books in advance - I'd have probably voted for them much higher if I had known what was exactly in them or if pictures of them had been provided in an update here.
That being said, I'm pretty happy with the turn out in voting so far - I'm kind of hoping we see all the subtitle options as I realize how much work goes into them, and to see them not on the set would be a shame for fans of the show who would like to watch BGC in those languages.