This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, April 3 2019 4:30 PM UTC +00:00.
Wonderville will be a brand new arcade, event space and bar in Brooklyn specializing in independent video games, created by a growing and vibrant community of game developers in New York City and beyond.
We're not talking about retro arcade games from the 80s and 90s or just arcade versions of mobile games; these games are brand new, unique and ridiculously original experiences created by designers and artists today. Ever played games using only LED strips? Or door stops? Or juicers? At Wonderville you will!
Up to this point, these games have only shown up at festivals and short-term pop-ups as physical installations meant to be played by a group of people in a public space, and then they disappear. But no more! Wonderville will house independent games as a permanent home for these modern treasures. The space will also host tournaments, playtest nights, board games, comedy, live music and rotating art installations and exhibits.
We have an amazing opportunity to inherit one of our favorite spaces, and transform it into a new celebration of independent games and interactive art, but we need your support to make it happen. Join us, and help make this venture a reality, and you can also receive amazing Kickstarter exclusive games, art and handmade arcade cabinets from independent game developers and artists!
We've got a lot of great game developers on board who are volunteering to make an exclusive game for this campaign! And we're combining it all to create:
At $20 ($15 for the limited EARLY BIRD), you'll get new games from some of the most innovative video game developers working today! A slew of devs are donating a brand new, exclusive game for the WONDERBUNDLE! This is an exclusive collection that you'll only find as part of this Kickstarter and nowhere else!
You'll get 10+ new games by:
- BumbleBear Games (Killer Queen)
- Ramiro Corbetta (Hokra/Sports Friends)
- snowhydra games (Zarvot)
- Robert Yang + Eddie Cameron (Radiator 2 & Queer Space)
- Catt Small (Breakup Squad)
- Stephen Clark (Witch Ball)
- Fernando Ramallo (PANORAMICAL)
- Nick Fortugno (Diner Dash)
- Ayla Myers (Just One Boss)
- Ramsey Nasser (Dialog 3-D)
- Andy Wallace (PARTICLE MACE)
- Nick Santaniello (VOLLEYGON)
Many of these games are being made especially for this event and none of them have been released anywhere else! These game makers have agreed to have these games be completely exclusive to this backer reward for one year after delivery (some time before September), so this is your chance to play them anytime soon!
For the past few years, we've been selling DBA Arcade Snackpack volumes filled with assorted games from the developers in our collective. For $40, you'll get the Wonderbundle, as well as both Snackpacks, with modern classics such as PARTICLE MACE, VOLLEYGON, Slam City Oracles, POWERBOAT Italia '88 and more! That's 20+ games and art from DBA Arcade to you!
For $45 you'll get both games bundles, plus an exclusive T-shirt ONLY available through the Kickstarter campaign. There are three designs by artists Marlowe Dobbe, Preston Spurlock, and Tim Fite. These will be available in all sizes and in both straight and fitted cuts! Pledge three times to score all three Kickstarter exclusive designs! Then come visit us at Wonderville in your shirt and prepare for lots and lots of high fives and nods of admiration.
Pin your indie arcade pride on your chest (or backpack, hat or your dog's collar) with a set of four premium custom designed limited edition enamel pins featuring Wonderville and other arcade designs. For $60 you'll get both games bundles, plus this set of exclusive Wonderville enamel pins designed by Chris Hernandez. Dreamboxx and Videofreak will use glitter enamel for their reflective and shiny bits, and Dreamboxxx will also be rainbow plated metal. These are limited edition, and will only be available through the Kickstarter campaign!
On the weekends at Wonderville, we plan to host classes and workshops taught by game design instructors, fabricators, and designers from the community in Brooklyn and beyond. Pledge to one of our workshop tiers and you can choose to learn about game design in Unity, physical computing with Arduino, modular synthesizer design and/or animations in Processing. A laptop is the only required material for the workshops, no need to have any existing knowledge to take part, we'll get you all set!
If you select one of these tiers, we'll coordinate to host the class on a date that works best for all students. If you cannot attend for some reason, we will give you a voucher for a future Wonderville class.
For our top tiers, we'll send you a custom-made bartop arcade cabinet or a full size arcade cabinet that includes all of the games in our collection: PARTICLE MACE, VOLLEYGON, KungFu Kickball, Slam City Oracles, Nothing Good Can Come of This, Powerboat Italia '88, Fútbol Forever and Crystal Brawl.
We've built over 25 custom cabinets and we're confident these will be the best yet! The marquee and side art will be custom-painted by an artist from New York City - each one will be unique - and we can ship via freight anywhere in the lower 48 states.
Through our five years on the road, Death By Audio Arcade has been showcased at many venues and festivals. Here's a small sampling of the press we've received during that time:
Wall Street Journal: Nostalgic for the Atari-Era Arcade? Millennial Gamers Are Reinventing It
Bedford+Bowery : An Indie Game Arcade Has Opened at Elsewhere
Wonderville, the brainchild of Mark Kleback, was born out of his work as a creative technologist and founder of Death By Audio Arcade.
Death By Audio Arcade is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in New York City, founded in 2013 in the back of the punk warehouse, Death By Audio, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In addition to a music venue, Death By Audio was a loft space occupied by Mark and 12 other artists, musicians and DIY-enthusiasts. With access to a wood shop, Mark built his first arcade cabinet and started reaching out to local game developers to find games for his handmade arcade builds. Since independent musicians had dedicated spaces to showcase their art, why not indie game devs?
Wonderville builds on the foundation of Death By Audio Arcade, which collaborates with game developers and teaches them how to cut and paint wood, solder electronics and assemble physical installations for video games. Most game designers are used to making games to be played at home on a computer, but by showing games in public spaces, these designers also learn how to make great social arcade games.
We also host talks and panels and invite local artists to showcase games at public events. Since 2013, we've built over 20 custom arcade cabinets and we've been featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, MAGFest, World Maker Faire New York, South By Southwest, PlayNYC and Low-Level Festival. We've been a transformative organization for people looking to learn more about doing hands-on projects in an increasingly digital world.
When Death By Audio closed in 2014, Death By Audio Arcade was left homeless and shifted focus to partnerships with other local New York venues for months at a time. Over the past five years, we've had residencies at Elsewhere, Superchief Gallery, Babycastles, Caveat, Our Wicked Lady, Flattopps, Flux Factory, Silent Barn, Dreamhouse, H0L0, Brooklyn Research, Flowers For All Occasions, and Secret Project Robot.
Stephanie Gross is co-founder of Wonderville and has a decades long history of helping artists and organizations become non-profits and leverage their talents to achieve their dreams. As a NY city employee, Stephanie is a valuable resource for former residents of the DIY underground art world looking to navigate the bureaucracy of licenses, permits, and city departments.
Steph and Mark met at a show in 2010 at Death By Audio, one of her first clients. They're now engaged to be married later this year! ❤️💍✨
In late 2018, Rachel Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski, the owners of Secret Project Robot, approached Mark and Stephanie about taking over their space. Secret Project Robot has been an artist-run venue in New York City for over fifteen years, hosting art installations, performance art, live music and community meetings. The opportunity was too good to be true. Not only would this space provide a home for the nomadic Death By Audio Arcade collection, but it would be a hub for the entire New York City indie game community. Not to mention it's 100% legal with a bar and liquor license!
With your pledge, we'll have the funds to buy the business, with all of the necessary permits, licenses, inventory, and machinery. There are eight years remaining on the lease, and with your help, we'll be able to start with enough capital to run for the first 6-12 months.
And Wonderville isn't just for DBAA games, we have plans to collaborate with our friends in New York (and eventually the world)! While we spent time as nomads, we met a lot of like-minded developers: we've done collaborative events with Babycastles and The Sheep's Meow and continue to discuss setting up a rotating gallery space. We've shown work by Bumblebear and Videogamo and many many more. We plan to have a Killer Queen Machine, a Black Emperor machine, and a Line Wobbler. We'll work with the NYU Game Center and host playtest nights and panel discussions. On the weekends, we will host workshops based around game design, electronics, and fabrication.
We want to make sure Wonderville is a home for everyone doing or interested in indie arcade work!
We'll also host live music! Secret Project Robot has an amazing stage and sound system that we plan to keep: DJs, musicians, bands, comedy shows, and other events are all on deck! We want to create a community space that bridges the gap between the games community and the wider New York arts and music community.
With your help, we can make all of this happen, buckle up and join us!
Risks and challenges
The rent is too damn high! It's really hard to keep a venue open in New York City. We've already been pushed out of one underground space due to rising rents, and this time we want to make sure we have enough of a savings to get it off the ground. We have a solid business plan vetted by Stephanie’s non-profit background and informed by both Mark and Steph's years of living and working in music venues. We've also got many people volunteering their time to help with the success of Wonderville, but your contribution goes a long way!
Death by Audio Arcade will continue to operate as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization inside of Wonderville. We depended solely on donations and money from our events to sustain Death By Audio Arcade. In addition to this Kickstarter, you can make tax-deductible donations to Death By Audio Arcade.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!