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A big book full of spectacular artwork from the greatest games machines ever to grace the floor of your favourite arcade!
A big book full of spectacular artwork from the greatest games machines ever to grace the floor of your favourite arcade! Order now from www.artcade.co.uk
A big book full of spectacular artwork from the greatest games machines ever to grace the floor of your favourite arcade! Order now from www.artcade.co.uk
514 backers pledged £22,055 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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ARTCADE - The Book of Classic Arcade Game Art

£22,055

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The artcade.co.uk website will go live 48hrs after the Kickstarter campaign ends, where you'll still be able to back the project and get detailed updates about what's happening.

Here's the plan...       

What I want to create is a beautiful hardcover book with 200+ pages absolutely full of the spectacular arcade machine artwork that was such an integral part of growing up in the 80s and early 90s. It'll be something to browse through and make discoveries, just like wandering around an arcade as a kid, never knowing what gem of a game you might find lurking around the corner. It'll be fairly unstructured, rather than a reference guide; full of familiar favourites and 'Wow, I'd forgotten all about that one!' moments.

It'll be a limited edition, first run and will have a bound-in page identifying it as such. Each one will be individually numbered and any future print runs will be easy to distinguish from these very special copies, made possible by some very special people.

This book just needs to exist and as the custodian of this archive of incredible images, I'm asking for your help to make it happen. I've tried to create rewards to suit as many potential backers as possible; from a basic digital download of the book, through to actively participating in curating the content and some advertising opportunities for businesses.

One of the important questions that often comes up is that of copyright and trademarks. Many of the companies that produced or originally licensed these games are sadly now gone, their trademarks expired. Others have been acquired, broken up or re-licensed multiple times and tracing the current legal owner has been a mammoth task. At this point, I either have written permission, a formal license or confirmation of trademark expiry for all of the images I intend to use. Technically, it's not necessary to obtain permission to use the images in an art book, but it seemed like the right thing to do.

One thing I'd love to be able to do is credit the original creator of each piece of work, but the vast majority were never signed, attributed or the name of the artist even recorded by the game manufacturer. The best I can do is try to get their work out into the world, where it can be seen and appreciated by as many people as possible. To that end, I've already applied for a small publishers ISBN registration and I'll provide a free copy of the book to any public library that requests one.

Here's the story...

A few years ago I acquired a massive archive of original arcade game artwork, collected by a Hollywood movie props company over the last 40 years. They were closing their doors permanently and the collection was in danger of being lost forever.

I couldn't let that happen.

So, I sold off a whole bunch of stuff (including my arcade machines) and raised the cash required to buy the archive. It was very expensive but turned out to be a worthwhile sacrifice.

Most of the 4,000+ images on the drives are high resolution, multi-part scans of the artwork taken from original arcade game cabinets and as you can probably imagine, many of those machines weren't in the best condition after years of abuse in arcades across America. I'd previously bought another archive of arcade artwork (from a restoration workshop) that I shared with the retro gaming community, but these images far exceed the quality and range of that collection. I've spent well over a thousand hours  reassembling, restoring and preparing the marquee, bezel, control panel and side art images for printing. 

Restored and colour matched Choplifter
Restored and colour matched Choplifter

I've had some fun creating cool framed artwork using some of the marquee scans and they're one of the rewards available to backers.

Any favourites here?
Any favourites here?

When the idea to put them in a book hit me, having backed a few projects in the past, Kickstarter was the obvious choice to turn the idea into a reality.

I'm into classic arcade gaming, pop art and comic book art and my hope is that this book will appeal to gamers, pop culture vultures and art fans alike. These amazing images have been overlooked for too long; they should be considered as art in their own right and that's why this project exists.

When I was a kid, I didn't have a lot of cash and that meant I spent more time wandering around the arcades looking at the machines than I did playing the games. Maybe that's why this artwork means so much to me.

Here's where I am...

Right now, I have final quotes and timescales for the printing and finishing of the books, samples of the printers' output, the vast majority of the images in a ready-to-print format and some layout ideas for the pages...

I'm happy to say that I have a small band of willing helpers to assist with the packaging and shipping of the book in Europe and a reliable distribution partner in the USA, ready to take care of shipping the books out to backers over there. I'll ship to anyone, anywhere on the planet!

Here's what I need...

This project is ready to go - it just needs your support!

Thank you.

--------------------

Want a custom sign for the wall of your games room or office? Check out the new reward :-)

Here's an example of one I made for the guys at GamesYouLoved.com

 --------------------

This is something a bit special...

It's a professionally framed art print of the Star Wars arcade cockpit backglass and an ORIGINAL production-used storyboard page from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (from my personal collection) 

You get the arcade art AND a piece of movie history in one amazing package! 

The frame is anodised aluminium, the CNC-cut double mount boards are conservation quality and the whole thing is mounted behind invisible gallery/museum quality UV protective glass. It really is a one-of-a-kind piece and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from a reputable prop supplier. 

You'll also get 2 copies of the book with your name in it, the signed CD from The British IBM and the exclusive 'I made it happen!' t-shirt.

Even if it's not for you, maybe you know a hardcore Star Wars fan who'd like it?

It's available as a one-off reward NOW!

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Reward Power-Up: The EXCLUSIVE Artcade T-Shirt!

So many people have asked about t-shirts that I felt compelled to do something about it so, thanks to the brilliant Zombie Media, here they are!

Here's the deal:

Every existing backer at the £40 level and above will get a shirt added to their existing reward (just like a stretch goal). I've created a new reward level that includes the exclusive t-shirt and a copy of the book with your name in it at £40. If you've backed the project at the £25 level and want the shirt, you can upgrade your pledge and select the new reward level to get one too. In essence, I've added a t-shirt to the £40+ levels but Kickstarter doesn't allow changes to existing rewards so, this is my way of doing it!

The shirt will come in the two colours shown above and will only ever be made available to you guys. Nobody else gets one. That's why it says:

I MADE IT HAPPEN!

You did!

:-)

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Free bonus CD!

Now that the total backing for the project has hit £12,000, every copy of the book will come with a specially produced and signed CD copy of The British IBM's acclaimed debut album!

This album has pretty much been the unofficial soundtrack to the whole project, right from the very beginning. Every time I sit down in front of my Mac to do more work restoring the artwork for the book, The British IBM is on 'shuffle/repeat' :-) I find it inspiring, uplifting and it helps me to focus on getting stuff done. You can hear some of the tracks by clicking on the album cover below:

Aidy, David and Paul's unique blend of vintage-computing inspired indie rock is something that I really want to share with you all, and the boys have really committed to the project by offering their music as part of this stretch goal - thank you very, very much gentlemen.

-------

A selection of the games (and there's more!) I have print-ready artwork for are:

  • 1942 
  • 1943: The Battle of Midway 
  • Airwolf 
  • Alien vs Predator 
  • Altered Beast 
  • Area 51 
  • Arkanoid 
Unrestored
Unrestored
  • Asteroids
  • Asteroids Deluxe 
  • Bad Dudes vs Dragon Ninja 
  • Battlezone 
  • Berzerk 
  • Black Tiger
Unrestored
Unrestored
  • Blaster
  • Bomb Jack 
  • Bubble Bobble 
  • Burger Time 
  • Captain America and The Avengers
  • Centipede
  • Choplifter 
  • Cruisin' USA
  • Crystal Castles
  • Daytona USA 
  • Death Race 
  • Defender 
  • Defender Prototype 
  • Dig Dug
  • Discs of Tron 
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr. 
  • Double Dragon 
  • Dragon's Lair 
  • Eagle 
  • Elevator Action 
  • Empire Strikes Back 
  • Final Fight 
  • Frogger 
  • Galaga 
  • Galaxian 
  • Gauntlet 
  • Ghosts n Goblins 
  • Ghouls n Ghosts 
  • Golden Axe 
  • Gorf 
  • Gravitar 
  • Gyruss 
  • Joust 
  • Klax
  • Lethal Enforcers
  • Major Havoc 
  • Mario Brothers 
  • Metro-Cross
  • Missile Command 
  • Moon Cresta 
  • Moon Patrol 
Best marquee ever!
Best marquee ever!
  • Mortal Kombat 
  • Mr Do 
  • Ms. Pac-Man 
  • NBA Jam 
  • NFL Blitz 
  • Out Run 
  • Pac-Man 
  • Paper Boy 
Unrestored
Unrestored
  • Pengo
  • Phoenix 
  • Pole Position 
  • Popeye 
  • Primal Rage 
  • Punch Out 
  • Punisher 
  • Q*bert 
  • Raiden 
Unrestored
Unrestored
  • Rally X 
  • Rampage 
  • Rampart 
  • Rastan 
  • Road Blasters 
  • Robocop 
Unrestored
Unrestored
  • Robotron 2084 
  • Scramble 
  • Shinobi 
  • Smash TV 
  • Space Ace 
  • Space Duel 
  • Space Invaders 
  • Spy Hunter 
  • Star Wars
Reserved for GamesYouLoved.com
Reserved for GamesYouLoved.com
  • Stargate 
  • Street Fighter 
  • Street Fighter II 
  • Super Cobra 
  • Tempest
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • Tetris 
  • Time Pilot 
  • Tin Star
  • Track and Field 
  • Tron 
  • Vanguard 
  • Warlords
  • Warp Warp
  • Wizard of Wor 
  • Wonderboy 
  • X-Men 
  • Xevious 
  • Zaxxon 

Feel free to get in touch and let me know what else should be on the list!

Risks and challenges

Having already acquired the images and prepared most of them for printing, agreed pricing with printers (and with backup printers, just in case!) and garnered the support of the license holders where appropriate, this project is looking like quite a low risk venture right now :-)

Distribution of the books is the only real challenge. If the support for the project is significantly greater than expected, it may make sense to split the distribution between the US and the UK, to reduce the burden and ecological impact of shipping individual books across 3,500 miles of ocean!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes! Absolutely anywhere.

    There already backers in the UK, Canada, the USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong and a whole bunch of other countries.

    If you want a book: you can have one shipped to you wherever you are on the planet.

    Last updated:
  • Sure!

    Let me know what you want to see in the book and I'll check the archive and let you know if I have it, how much restoration it needs and if it's something that makes sense to include in the book.

    Last updated:
  • A few reasons:

    1. Because it doesn't make sense to ship heavy boxes of books from China and then to reship individual copies out to backers.

    2. It wouldn't save very much, if anything at all. The order would have to be significantly larger than I'm expecting, to achieve any real cost savings through printing in China.

    3. Quality. The book printer I'm working with in Ireland has been around since 1862 and they've learned a thing or two about printing in the last 151 years!

    4. Timescales. I can go from print ready artwork to the finished book in under 10 days with the printer in Ireland. There's 6-8 week lead time for the same process using Chinese printers.

    Last updated:
  • Massively!

    Right now, almost 80% of backers find the project from outside Kickstarter; from Forums posts, tweets, blog postings and through sharing on Facebook.

    Every time you mention the project, it makes a real difference.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    I love you! You're helping to bring the art of the arcade to the masses and for that, I'm eternally grateful. I'll add your name to the supporters' page of the website for all to see!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    You get the book as a digital download. I'll also add your name to the supporters' page of the website.

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    28 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $40

    You get the book! The wonderful, vibrant, full-colour, hardcover book of the best arcade cabinet marquees, bezels, control panel overlays and sideart ever created. You get a mention on the website too.

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    Pledge £40 or more About $64

    You get the book and it has your name in it! I'll add your name to the list of supporters on the website and you'll appear in the list of of people deserving special thanks that'll appear in the back of the book. If you want me to include your URL or Twitter handle rather than your name then just tell me!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $64

    The EXCLUSIVE T-Shirt deal! You get the 'I MADE IT HAPPEN!' t-shirt that'll only ever be available to Kickstarter backers. You're proud to be part of making this book right? Then wear your shirt with pride and let the world know you were part of this thing right at the start! You'll also get the book with your name in it and I'll add your name to the list of supporters on the website. Existing £40 backers and above will get the shirt anyway and, if you already backed the project at the £25 level you can always upgrade to this level to get your hands on one :-)

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    Pledge £50 or more About $80

    The retro gaming advertising deal! You get the book itself PLUS one of 16 full colour advertisements for your gaming-related business right there in the book. It's like a physical banner ad that you KNOW is being seen by your target audience!

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    Reward no longer available 16 backers
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    Pledge £65 or more About $104

    The framed marquee print deal! You get a 20 inch wide, professionally framed art print of the arcade marquee of your choice and a copy of the book with your name in it.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £65 or more About $104

    The extra framed marquee print deal! You get a 20 inch wide, professionally framed art print of the arcade marquee of your choice and a copy of the book with your name in it. The 'early bird' framed print deal sold out fast and my framing partner can only handle another 20 of these so, this is the last chance to get a gallery quality framed marquee of your favourite game!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £70 or more About $112

    You get two copies of the book with your name in it and a mention on the website.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £120 or more About $192

    The custom CNC carved arcade sign deal! You get the book with your name in it, the CD from The British IBM and the exclusive t-shirt PLUS a custom carved foam sign for the wall of your arcade in any size up to 1000mm x 500mm (36" x 20") finished to look like solid rock! I make these myself, in house on my own CNC carving machine. Check the photo on the left to see an example.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $240

    You get to choose a game! That's right, for your £150 you get to make sure the artwork from a game of your choice from 1980 to 1998 is included in the book (assuming I already have or can lay our hands on the artwork).

    Not only that, your name will appear on the same page as a contributor, right alongside the image. Oh, and you'll get two copies of the book too!

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    Pledge £150 or more About $240

    The big canvas print deal! You get a 3' wide, gallery quality stretched canvas print of the arcade marquee of your choice and two copies of the book with your name in it.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $400

    The 'CHOOSE YOUR OWN CANVAS' option! You get a 20" by 30" gallery quality stretched canvas print of ANY sideart of your choice. Let me know what you want before you pledge and I'll make sure it's something I already have or can lay my hands on. This is the ONLY way to get a custom sideart canvas and this has to be limited to only six, due to the amount of work involved in producing each piece. You'll also get two copies of the book with your name in it and worldwide shipping is included!

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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £500 or more About $800

    The one-of-a-kind STAR WARS movie memorabilia deal! This is something a bit special: a professionally framed art print of the Star Wars arcade cockpit backglass and a production-used storyboard page from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (from my personal collection, drawn by Joe Johnston) You get the arcade art AND an piece of movie history in one amazing package! The frame is anodised aluminium, the CNC-cut double mount boards are conservation quality and the whole thing is mounted behind invisible gallery/museum quality UV protective glass. It really is a one-of-a-kind piece and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from a reputable prop supplier. You'll also get 2 copies of the book with your name in it, the signed CD from The British IBM and the exclusive 'I made it happen!' t-shirt.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,601

    The sponsor deal! You get a full page colour advertisement* right next to the 'special thanks' page in the book, along with twenty copies to give away or show off to your friends!

    *No adult content or anything untoward please!

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Funding period

- (29 days)