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The Gamers: Humans & Households / Natural One's video poster

Two web miniseries projects set in the world of Dead Gentlemen's "The Gamers". Read more

Seattle, WA Webseries
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This project was successfully funded on April 29, 2013.

Two web miniseries projects set in the world of Dead Gentlemen's "The Gamers".

Seattle, WA Webseries
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About this project

Set in the worlds of The Gamers, Dorkness Rising, Hands of Fate, and JourneyQuest, The Gamers: Humans & Households and The Gamers: Natural One are web miniseries that combine tabletop roleplaying games with a comedy twist.

Written by Matt Vancil, Tom Brown, and Christian Doyle, and produced by Zombie Orpheus, Dead Gentlemen, and Lynnvander, both will be shot in May of 2013 for an online and DVD release later in the year under the Fan Supported, Creator Distributed model.

Humans & Households follows a group of fantasy heroes on their day off as they sit down to enjoy a rousing roleplaying game set in a mundane world of traffic lights, errant puppies, indoor plumbing, and other diabolical evils. Written and directed by Gamers creator Matt Vancil, this three-episode miniseries shows us that perspective is everything, with hilarious results.

Natural One begins with a summons to Gary (Christian Doyle) from his Canadian half-sister, Monica (Monica Zelak). She's getting married and family tradition calls for her future partner to be vetted in-game—is he gamer enough to be worthy of the family name? Gary, accompanied by Leo (Scott C. Brown), travels to Canada for an epic cyberpunk gaming showdown. Written by Christian Doyle and Tom Brown and directed by Tom Brown, this miniseries is also three episodes, because three is the magic number.

------------STRETCH GOALS------------

UNLOCKED Stretch Goal #1 - Summon Andy Dopieralski

Our boss, Zoe Adastra, will relent and let Andy come to Canada too. A man of many hats, Mr. Dopieralski will assist as a co-producer and as our Rude Mechanical showrunner. For reasons.

UNLOCKED Stretch Goal #2 - Summon VFX Supervisor

What's a double feature of magic and technology without a VFX mastermind to destroy evil? With this stretch goal the Visual Effects team from The Gamers: Hands of Fate will return for another bard-slaying quest.

UNLOCKED Stretch Goal #3 - Bring on the Tanks

The Gamers: Natural One thrusts Gary, Leo, and their team of cyber runners into the fray against a torrent of well trained, futuristic foes. By reaching stretch goal number three our team will collaborate with the 2X fight team from Toronto, Ontario to choreograph an epic battle worthy of many, many waffles. Want to see some of their work? Check out Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and this website.

UNLOCKED $20,000 – Stretch Goal #4 - Cyberware Expert 

Modding out a group of cyber runners and their enemies takes a skilled hand. If we hit this goal Production Designer Pete Mander will join the crew to upgrade the props and costume departments. 

UNLOCKED $20,000 – Companion Stretch Goal - Pay It Forward

We will run a week long promotion to highlight other worthy campaigns and will make generous contributions to each from our general fund. Shows supported by this stretch goal include Gamer Chick, Standard Action, Pwned: A Gamers Novel, Nobility, and Bar Flies.

UNLOCKED $25,000 – Stretch Goal #5 - Rude Mechanical 

Andy will produce two tie-in Rude Mechanical (behind the scenes at Zombie Orpheus) episodes in Canada during the Gamers shoot.

UNLOCKED $30,000 – Stretch Goal #6 - Soundtrack Download

Every backer at $25 and up will receive a DRM-free download of the soundtracks for both shows when this stretch goal is unlocked.

ON DECK $32,000 – Stretch Goal #7 – Gamers Natural One Video Game

We didn't make it to this one, but we'll see if we can pull off something cool anyway as a bonus for everybody.

Both miniseries will be released episodically for free online under a Creative Commons license (BY-SA-NC). We'll stitch the episodes together into two seamless narratives for the DVD and digital download releases. We hope to have progress to show at Gen Con Indy this year, with online and physical release and reward fulfillment later in the fall.

A co-production of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, Lynnvander Inc, and Dead Gentlemen Productions, these miniseries are the ultimate Canadian/American gaming team up. From the States are Ben Dobyns (Executive Producer) and Matt Vancil (Creator/Writer/Director), and in the Canadian corner are Thomas Gofton (Producer) and Tom Brown (Writer/Director). When these four got together to fight until only one emerged victorious… Wait, scratch that… When these four worked together in 2012 to shoot The Gamers Live and much of The Gamers: Hands of Fate at Gen Con Indy, they quickly decided that a fan-funded fight to the death…sorry, sidetracked again…that a fan-funded Gamers miniseries extravaganza collaboration had to occur. All four producers are still standing. Check their individual credits on IMDB and then let us know who you expect to win when they ENTER the CAGE of DEATH!

And why this Kickstarter? Our goal is to raise enough money to fly core members of the ZOE/DG team out to join the rest of the cast and crew in Ontario, as well as to help increase the scale and scope of the two miniseries if our three modest stretch goals are met.

This campaign is a great chance to get a limited collector's cover DVD, be the first on your block to see these awesome new shows, and to help us find out what happens when we take Christian Doyle out for that traditional Canadian gamer delicacy: poutine and waffles.

Final Thoughts

Many thanks to everybody who pledged, spread the word, and provided feedback to make this campaign a success. We are immensely grateful for your support and trust. It's a big production year for Zombie Orpheus and we can't wait to share the results of everything you've made possible recently, including Hands of Fate, Natural One, Humans & Households, more Rude Mechanical episodes, and a plethora of stretch goal tie-ins and merch.

Together, we're changing how independent media is funded and produced—one show at a time—with No Network, No Studio, and No Cancellation. We are proud to be fan supported, ad free, and entirely independent. Thank you!

Risks and challenges

While we've worked hard to cross every "t" and dot every "i", we're still crossing a national border. There's always a chance that despite our careful documentation, part of our cast would not be allowed to enter Canada. That's a worst-case scenario, albeit a highly unlikely one.

Other risks include a delayed release of the project. We're mitigating that by having Lynnvander handle post-production on these two projects while Zombie Orpheus remains focused on delivering The Gamers: Hands of Fate. Using the post collaboration tools that we tested and developed with them on Hands of Fate we'll be able to review and oversee every aspect of the post process.

We also will have very little prep time with the Canadian team before the shoot begins. That means relying on them to get all of the moving pieces lined up and ready to go when we arrive. By scheduling Natural One first, which they are directing and on which we are advising, we'll give ourselves more time to prep for the Humans & Households portion of the shoot.

When it comes to release and delivery, we now have three successful Kickstarter campaigns under our belt. Every one of these campaigns has been a learning experience, as well as an opportunity to become more efficient and effective. Our new automatic address management system will make it much easier for backers to update their information and check on the status of their rewards. We've also streamlined our rewards delivery process, made good relationships with vendors for quality production of DVDS and delivery of multi-gigabyte downloads.

Finally, there's a chance that Kickstarter fatigue among backers will affect this campaign and our ability to hit our target. While we've tried to keep our ask extremely reasonable, we have friends and colleagues running concurrent high profile campaigns among the same audience. Many people will have to make difficult choices about what campaigns, if any, they can support.

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    41 backers

    TIP JAR – Thanks for your support! Enjoy access to private Backer updates.

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    115 backers

    LEVEL ONE – View the shows before anyone else with an exclusive link to episodes before they release online. Plus, we'll immortalize your name in the credits for both shows.

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    Pledge $25 or more

    238 backers

    LEVEL TWO – Receive an HD download of both miniseries, DRM-free. This will be the definitive cut of both shows. Includes all prior rewards.

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    196 backers All gone!

    LEVEL THREE – Receive a signed DVD with both miniseries, plus all prior rewards. DVD comes with a Kickstarter-exclusive cover, embossed and numbered with this campaign's unique seal.

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    202 backers

    LEVEL THREE POINT FIVE – Receive a signed DVD with both miniseries, plus all prior rewards. DVD comes with a Kickstarter-exclusive cover, embossed and randomly numbered from 201 and up with this campaign's unique seal.

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    23 backers Limited (77 left of 100)

    LEVEL FOUR – Receive an 8x10 exclusive embossed and numbered Gamers poster, a PDF quickstart guide to play your own game of Humans & Households as developed and written by Matt Vancil, an exclusive screen-featured six-sided die with the N1 logo on it, a PDF of the Legacy of Mana campaign setting for Pathfinder, plus all prior rewards.

    $32,000 Stretch Goal – Beta participation in videogame development

    If you jump to this level from LEVEL THREE, send us a PM right after you upgrade and we'll save your DVD number for you.

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    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (16 days)