About this project
PAPA TV will broadcast live coverage of pinball tournaments with the professional quality of other sports, including multiple camera angles, live commentary, and interviews. With PAPA TV, we will create a highly visible and entertaining production, bringing pinball to a new and substantial audience worldwide.
As you can see, we reached our initial funding level after just 18 hours! If you're new to this project, feel free to skip past this section.
Stretch Goal #6 IS LIT - All remaining funds raised beyond $57,500 will go towards a professional Web design for PAPA TV, allowing us to bring together the content from the Shoot Here and Here blog, the pinball.org Video Archive, and the new material we produce, into one coherent and professionally-executed presentation.
Bonus Reward IS LIT - We have released our fourth ringtone after reaching 600 backers, and will release more at 650 backers.
Stretch Goal #1 - $25,000 level ACHIEVED - we will build a broadcast studio at PAPA World Headquarters.
Stretch Goal #2 - $32,500 level ACHIEVED - we will add specialty cameras to our rig, such as slow motion, dynamic range, and a custom-built tilt-cam (which shows the tilt bob moving inside the game).
Stretch Goal #3 - $37,500 level ACHIEVED - Smooth HD Glass for glare-free broadcasts, upgraded overhead cameras with superior optics, and wireless microphones for capture of player sounds and game audio to mix with broadcast coverage.
Bonus Rewards ACHIEVED - For each $1000 tier from $38,000 to $49,000, we will present one new pinball tutorial approximately once per month for a year. The creation of at least six of these tutorials will be livestreamed on PAPA TV, and viewers will have the opportunity to either call in or ask questions in the chat room.
Stretch Goal #4 - $50,000 level ACHIEVED - There and Back Again! Fund a cross-country round trip starting at PAPA Headquarters to the PAPA Circuit Tournament "It Never Drains in Southern California" in January 2014. We will take along the latest and greatest pinball machine, and turn this trip into a long-distance public relations effort for pinball itself. In addition to livestreaming the Circuit Event in Southern California, content for a monthly show on PAPA TV will be created daily, with stops at arcades and private collections, interviews with pinball personalities, and visits to local leagues. We will be setting up the new machine in as many places as possible to encourage new players to enjoy the game. In addition to the monthly show, we will stream content live during the trip. This level includes the purchase of a PAPA TV van or trailer, which will also be used to haul equipment to future Circuit Events.
Stretch Goal #5 - $57,500 level ACHIEVED - We will develop and release a mobile app for PAPA TV. This cross-platform app will be a unified source of information for competitive players, offering rulesheets, tutorials and gameplay videos, as well as live tournament updates. Future updates may include features such as pinball locators, annotated playfields, ranking information, league features, and more.
What is PAPA?
PAPA is the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association. Founded by Steve Epstein, owner of the famous Broadway Arcade in New York, and Roger Sharpe, arcade industry icon, PAPA started hosting World Championships in 1991, attracting players from around the world with big prize pools and media attention. PAPA Champions have appeared on the Today Show, ESPN SportsCenter, and Late Night with David Letterman. Sadly, the Broadway Arcade lost its lease, and the tournaments were suspended after 1997, until PAPA came under new management and relaunched in 2004 at its current location.
On the outside, PAPA Headquarters is a plain-looking warehouse in Scott Township, Pennsylvania. On the inside, it is a gaming heaven with 500 pinball machines and classic video games. The collection includes some of the most popular games of all time alongside rare games and prototypes, spanning the years from 1946 to today.
PAPA continues to run the World Championships every August, along with the Pinburgh Match-Play Championship every spring. These tournaments are the largest and best-attended pinball tournaments anywhere in the world, featuring prize packages totaling more than $100,000 between them, and attracting a thousand or more players and spectators from around the world.
In 2012, PAPA launched the inaugural Tournament Circuit, sponsoring and helping run events across the country. Hundreds of players competed in these events for almost $150,000 in cash prizes. Our efforts have increased pinball’s visibility, through TV appearances in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Orlando, and Louisville, through coverage in print and on the Web, and through presentations at conventions like PAX East.
You Can Watch Pinball Online?
Yes, and lots of people do!
In 2010, based on a design by Keith and Randy Elwin, PAPA constructed overhead camera rigs to film the PAPA 13 World Championships. Players were competing for a prize of $10,000 and the World Champion title. While the live audience was large thanks to the cameras, the online audience was even larger. When our overhead footage of the decisive game was released, over 100,000 people watched it, even though it had no narration. We knew we had the tail of something huge.
In the three years since the cameras debuted, PAPA has built an online video archive at http://pinball.org/videos. The archive includes videos of games in action, tutorials from champion players, and tournament play with voiced-over commentary.
Altogether, our videos have been viewed over 1 million times by pinball players around the world. We have helped people learn that pinball is a game of skill, helped players develop those skills, and showcased the talents of the greatest pinball players in the world. We feel we are just scratching the surface of the potential audience for competitive pinball, and that PAPA TV can give our game a level of exposure never before seen.
How Will PAPA TV Work?
At the Tournament Circuit Finals on April 11, 2013, and again at the Pinburgh 2013 Finals on April 14, we partnered with GeekGamer.TV to conduct a proof-of-concept live broadcast of those events, using borrowed cameras and GeekGamer.TV's broadcast equipment. Even though this was our first attempt, the broadcasts were a huge success, each with over 30,000 viewers.
While we plan to continue fostering the relationship between PAPA and GeekGamer.TV, the distance between the two organizations and the effort and travel required to properly livestream events around the United States means PAPA cannot continue to rely solely on borrowed equipment and must purchase its own. The equipment list includes HD cameras and tripods, a mixing and broadcasting station, switched HDMI feeds, and much more, plus protective cases for transporting all of the equipment safely to events outside of PAPA Headquarters. As part of this project, we will also be developing a new, more flexible system for setting up overhead cameras, as the existing rigs are unwieldy and prohibitively heavy.
Chase Nunes from GeekGamer.TV, the primary technician behind the proof-of-concept broadcasts, will continue to be involved with PAPA TV broadcasting and will focus on events on the West Coast. The PAPA crew will focus on broadcasting events in the East, and together this team of capable broadcasters will bring the highest level of visibility competitive pinball has ever experienced.
We will commit to broadcasting an increasing number of tournaments through the end of 2015. Each year will feature a larger number of events, including all events at PAPA Headquarters and the entire 2014-15 PAPA Circuit. PAPA TV will be available for free as both a livestream and an archive.
Why Back PAPA TV?
PAPA knows pinball and loves pinball. We believe pinball is meant to be played competitively and enjoyed by everyone. The growth of our annual pinball tournaments has brought our facility nearly to its limits. By expanding to online coverage, we will be able to bring fascinating competitive pinball to an audience of unlimited size.
By backing this project, you will be supporting an effort that will last for many years. PAPA TV's quality coverage of competitive pinball can lead to sponsorships for events as well as players, larger prize pools, and perhaps even syndicated programming on television.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk to any livestreaming operation, other than equipment failure, will be poor Internet connectivity. We will work with tournament organizers ahead of time to ensure the best possible connectivity. At some locations, this may incur additional costs, or we may be limited to a lower-resolution broadcast.
Our collaboration with GeekGamer.TV has proven that pinball tournaments can be livestreamed, with commentators, successfully. We already know exactly what equipment and software we need and how to use it. We have worked on dozens of world-class pinball events, and a wide variety of skilled commentators. We are confident that with your help, PAPA TV will succeed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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