NES Oddities & the Homebrew Revolution: Games You Haven't Played is my second book covering games from the Nintendo Entertainment System (my seventh book overall!) and the followup to The Complete NES: Officially Licensed US Releases which was successfully funded in 2015 on Kickstarter. My original NES book only covered licensed games, and I felt a lot of fans were missing out on some great essential-to-play 8-bit Nintendo games. Never content with just doing what everyone else is doing, I have to go as deep down the rabbit hole as I can, instead of just doing a simple followup release!
For those that are OCD like me, this is the same large size and high quality as my other releases, consisting of a full color, hardcover, 8.5" x 11" book. This will be an amazing piece to add to anyone's game room and a perfect addition to those who have the original book, as well as those who just want to know about those odd and obscure 8-Bit Nintendo games.
The book is going to be close to 500 pages and covers all of the games that weren't normally licensed and released for the original 8-Bit NES. That means Unlicensed Games, that weren't officially released by Nintendo will be included, as well as unique unlicensed games released in other regions. Unique PAL Exclusive titles that were released over in Europe, along with major label/box Variants and Holy Grails for the system will be covered. We are even covering, for the first time in any book, an extensive selection of Nintendo Famicom and Famicom Disk System Games that specifically do not require a knowledge of the Japanese language to enjoy. Finally, we are covering Nintendo VS System and PlayChoice 10 Arcade Games for the first time in print, as well as Accessories for both the NES and the Famicom. This book could be considered the penultimate resource for everything abnormal released for the Nintendo Entertainment System!
To continue with the theme of the book, another first will be.....
The other aspect that has never been comprehensively covered in print is the hugely popular and ever evolving Nintendo Homebrew scene. This book will talk about this scene in detail, how it began, what it takes to program a NES game, limitations and even the difficulty in doing a smaller distribution for game runs. We will then go over a majority of the aftermarket games released since the end of the system's life cycle, which includes those that have gotten a Physical Release as well as Digital Only games, and we will even highlight Limited Editions and Upcoming Releases; giving everything focus.
Finally, there will be Interviews with the passionate people involved with this scene, from coders, musicians and even publishers. This is a topic near and dear to my heart as the people involved are providing brand new NES game experiences that you can play today!
For this project I have a pretty amazing artist from the animation and video game industry who has done the cover for this book. His name is Philo Barnhart and not only has he worked on many Disney Films and a multitude of Saturday Morning Cartoons, but he also was one of the artists who worked on the classic laser-disc arcade games Dragon's Lair, Space Ace and Dragon's Lair 2!
Philo also did a few voice-overs for the games and is a true legend in the industry. It is a privilege and an honor to have Philo work on a book cover for this project and the cover art is really turning out amazing!
With my previous book project, the Compendium of personal stories aspect was a huge hit, so I'm bringing it back again, this time for the entirety of the NES! This will be handled exactly like the previous project, where it is available to back right from the beginning, but we will still have to meet our stretch goal in order to unlock it as a separate book, instead of just as an add-on to the main book. This bonus book will be comprised of personal stories from people all around the gaming community, including YOU at the contributor tiers! You can talk about anything NES that you want and can even talk about your favorite licensed games, as nothing is ever off limits in the Compendiums!
These books have full graphical pages and are extremely fun to put together. Having this associated with the NES will bring everything full circle. The NES spreads will be done in the Compendium style similar to those that were included in my 90s Video Game Culture Chronicles book series.
Another aspect, coming back from my previous campaign, is the "Leather Bound Tome" tier. This will again be a massive book, bound in leather and gilded in gold with a bookmark ribbon. Just to make things even more extravagant this time around, not only will the tome contain the NES Oddities book and the Compendium, but it will also include the original Complete NES in it! So that makes this a single gigantic 1000ish page volume to put on your mantle (at least that's how I envision it!).
It also will match my other Complete SNES Tome in size and style to be a perfect complement to this 8-bit beast of a system. (You can tell I'm OCD right?)
As I always try to do with my campaign releases, there are a bunch of other items that are available with the project that many talented people are involved with:
We have amazing custom controllers and consoles back again for this project, which are uniquely designed and hand-painted by the extremely talented CK Signs, who also did the consoles for the last project. These offer a really glossy finish that will never wear off and feature art from the project, along with having really cool themes. For the designs, I told him to come up with something that is representative of not only the books, but of the NES in general. He chose his Mega Man and Legend of Zelda themes for consoles, which will be all new unique designs for this project. With the controller tier, you will have the option to choose which controller design you would like from: Mega Man, Legend of Zelda as well as Metroid, Contra or the original Super Mario Bros. Just like with the previous campaign, all of these designs will be unique and limited to this project.
There are a lot of amazing NES homebrew game developers out there and I have reached out to them in order to highlight their work by including their games with this project. I have developed a Best of Homebrew Wooden Box Set that will showcase what I feel, as a serious collector of NES Homebrew Games, is a solid selection of some of the best NES Homebrew games that are available to date!
For creation of the box, I have reached out to Moto's-Glass, who I met at Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and they have created an amazing box that is laser etched with character artwork from the various homebrew games that will be included within the box. I want this box to have a classic feel to it that screams NES! The cover is also detachable and will be able to be displayed on the box or elsewhere, so you can showcase this however works best for your collection. (Note: The final box will also be stained to be a bit darker and allow the artwork to stand out more.)
The custom NES Homebrew artwork is being drawn by Larry Motament and it is really turning out amazing!
There are 12 NES games that will be included in this box and here is a list of the games/programmer/genre:
- Battle Kid 2 by Sivak Games - Action/Platformer
- Legends of Owlia by Gradual Games - Action-RPG
- The Incident by KHAN Games - Puzzle
- Quest Forge by Piko Interactive - Strategy-RPG
- Star Versus by Studio Dustmop - 1-on-1 Spaceship Shooter
- Get 'Em Gary by Second Dimension - Arcade-Style
- Haunted Halloween ‘86 by Retrotainment Games - Platformer/Beat 'em Up
- Armed for Battle by 1010 Howe - Strategy
- Log Jammers by Mega Cat Studios - Arcade/Sports
- Super UWOL by The Mojon Twins - Single Screen Platformer
- Assimilate by Nessylum Games - Scrolling Action Game
- Commie Killer feat Jeffrey Wittenhagen by FG Software - Single Screen Shooter
Each of these games will include the cartridge, manual (if available), and will be an amazing collector piece; limited to only 10 copies! I also have an extremely talented artist working on artwork for the front of the box, to really make this an amazing piece of NES video game history.
Games will also be available individually for purchase in the Hagen's Alley Book Store as well as via BackerKit add-ons to allow people who aren't getting the box set a chance to purchase these games directly from the people creating them. The price, games and versions available will be completely up to the developers of the games, but to me it is amazing to get these hardworking developers some extra exposure!
You can see videos of each game included in the Box Set in action here:
For stretch goals I like everything to be a combination of free stuff for backers, extra book content and, back by popular demand, the creation of a separate Compendium book. I'm also excited to add a Second Brand new NES Homebrew Game and the sequel to Black Box Challenge as a stretch goal!
*UNLOCKED!* $10,000 - Free NES Character Sticker - This will be voted on by backers and will consist of a NES character drawn for the book.
*UNLOCKED!* $15,000 - Compendium Book Unlocked! - A second book will be created with personal stories by all contributor tiers and above, along with selected members of the gaming community.
*UNLOCKED!* $20,000 - Free Bookmark - This will be single-sided and include artwork custom made for the project.
$25,000 - Philo Barnhart NES Compendium Cover! - I will commission Philo to also do the cover of the NES Compendium, which will be his take on some of the classic Nintendo characters we know and love.
$30,000 - Improved Binding - A very nice upgrade to all the books, we will be upgrading the binding as far as we possibly can. If upgrades are not available, then we will come up with another type of upgrade.
$35,000 - Extra Book Content - Unreleased NES Games! - Surpassing previous Kickstarter goals, I will add in NES games that were never released on cartridge; adding to the page content as well. 500 pages is the max I want, so depending on space is how detailed I will go.
$40,000 - Brand New NES Homebrew Game Unlocked! - I will program a brand new NES game using Joe Granato's NES Game Maker and it will be an Action-RPG sequel to Black Box Challenge. A digital copy will be given free to all backers, with everyone who has supported the project being given the first opportunity via BackerKit to purchase a limited edition CIB as well as a premium edition copy with a wooden NES game box from Moto's Glass!
Plus more will be unveiled when/if we get there...
Current New Likes/Follows: 663!
Adjusted to make things a bit more realistic and give more things for milestones! Here's how it works:
*UNLOCKED!* +500 New Likes/Follows - The Free Bookmark is now double-sided + A Free Digital NES Homebrew Song from Sergio Elisondo!
+1000 New Likes/Follows - Second Free Sticker + MoreFree Digital NES Homebrew Gaming Music by Sergio Elisondo!
+2000 New Likes/Follows - Free Double Sided Poster of both Book covers!
+4000 New Likes/Follows - Insanity! I'll include a free Check Mark Stamp for all double book backers and above! That way you can track all of your games without having to write in the book.
Facebook Likes (Start): 4800
Twitter Follows (Start): 590
Instagram Follows (Start): 210
FYI the social media stretch goals started a month early when the preview page went live. Triple Dip on Likes and Follows for maximum benefits!
NES Oddities & the Homebrew Revolution Book
- 500 Pages, Full Color, Hardcover
- Content: Unlicensed, PAL Exclusives, Variants, Grails, Famicom, FDS, 500+ Homebrew Games, Nintendo Arcade Games, & More!
The Nintendo Entertainment System Compendium Book
- 250 Pages, Full Color, Hardcover
- Content: Any NES Game can be covered, Personal Stories, Articles, Translations, Hacks, Interviews (including contributors)
Contribute Your Own Review or Story!
- You can write you own review or story on any NES game, the choice of game, story and length is up to you.
- I will do the graphical layout and create an entire book out of them. You can even make me write about your favorite game!
Custom NES Controller (Limited to 10)
- Created by CK Signs, you get the choice of controller that you want and it has a professional finish that looks amazing!
- Choose from: Mega Man, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Contra or the original Super Mario Bros.
Leather Book Covers
- Created by Artisan Leather, you can choose from one or both covers for this project. They are hand carved and subdued.
- These covers are 3D in nature and tactile to the touch!
1000 Page Leather Bound "Tome"!
- Gigantic book consisting of The Complete NES, NES Oddities & The Nintendo Complendium books all bound into a single volume from an 1800s Bindery!
- This uses the highest quality leather, is gilded in gold, has gold foil on the cover and has a ribbon bookmark.
Custom NES Consoles (Limited to 5)
- Created by CK Signs, these consoles are professionally done and are an amazing addition to anyone's game room!
- You get the choice of either Mega Man or The Legend of Zelda!
NES Homebrew Wooden Box Set (Limited to 10)
- Included in this 12 game set are a variety of the best NES Homebrew games out there!
- The box is laser etched by Moto's Glass and the cover can be detached to be able to be displayed however you'd like!
- How this box is designed the dozen cartridges and manuals look amazing in it and the box itself will be stained to allow the custom artwork to pop out.
- Amazing Custom NES Homebrew Artwork by Larry Motament!
The budget with this project is the same as my previous one with 80% going to book printing & shipping from publisher, 10% to Kickstarter fees and 10% production costs and advertising.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my project! Without the amazing backer support that we have gotten, these projects would not be able to happen! Even if one person gets enjoyment out of these books, I'll keep doing them!
~ Jeffrey Wittenhagen
Below are some of the other awesome projects and creators that you should definitely check out. They have supported this campaign so I want to support them!
Risks and challenges
This campaign is a true grass-roots project and we are the definition of the term indie. Our goal is to make this Kickstarter interactive with all backers, having fan interaction, backer polls, live-stream events and even online gaming opportunities; as in the end we are gamers and collectors, just like you!
This campaign strives to be as self sufficient, and give back to the community, as much as possible. Not only is each person involved with the project responsible for their part; you, as the backer, will also be directly supporting them. Each member of this project owns the rights to the items they have on this campaign. You aren't backing us to allow us buy licenses, you are just simply supporting each person's work, making everything possible on a much larger scale. This is the true meaning of a diverse community project, and everything, from the item pricing to the stretch goals, have been structured as such. We have tried to add as many bonuses to reward tiers as we can to make each reward tier worthwhile.
Talking with multiple other creators of successful Kickstarter campaigns, their biggest problem was not accounting for "Overhead" when running their projects. Due to those conversations, we decided that the easiest way to cover this is to account a simple 20% for all overhead expenses. This means Kickstarter fees, taxes, excess shipping/packaging costs, etc are all accounted for within each item's price.
You may have noticed that some of the tiers have come down in price, when compared to older projects, and that is due to being able to print in larger amounts, which I want to pay forward with the book prices to the backers. As I continue to do projects I want to constantly refine things to make it a great value for supporters of my work. It's the least I can do!
International shipping has always been a hot button item, and we are only allowed to charge a flat rate for most international backers. Shipping is cheaper this time around, however the difference will have to be charged later upon checking out to receive your items (which will be calculated by country). It is a necessary way to be able to ship out all the items properly and not lump all the shipping together. What we will do, which we have done in the past, is make it worth your while by offering free items. I would prefer to keep the cost per item down, and in order to do that I to charge what it costs to ship the items internationally.
As for challenges, there could be unforeseen circumstances, out of our control, that delay the process of any of the project items. Our pledge to you is that we will keep all backers up to date with anything that happens with the project. We want to keep you involved as much as possible as this is your project as much as it is ours!
All non-book related tiers will be released as they are completed. Combination tiers, that include any physical rewards, will be shipped as one package, in order to save you on shipping costs and avoid confusion. As I have done in the past, I will give backers the option to pay extra for shipping to get the first book early, making that entirely up to each person.
We will put out a BackerKit poll after the completion of the Kickstarter, that will have an address field for all backers with a physical reward. It is extremely important for this to be up-to-date as this will be the address we use for shipping rewards! It is also very important to specify any add-on items you may have purchased.
Thank you for supporting our endeavor and we look forward to seeing how much of this we can make a reality for everyone!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)