Whoa, hey, wow

1229 backers, 56,728 dollars. That's kind of amazing. You are all kind of amazing.

When Bob and Ray and I first started discussing the details of this Kickstarter venture a couple of months ago, we speculated how much we could reasonably expect to raise. We generally agreed we might be able to drum up something like $40-45K in an ideal universe where everything is perfect. Yet here we are in our deeply imperfect universe having totally blown past that goal. Sure, we didn't quite make it to the book or expanded website or multi-year commitment goals, but no matter: Some of those things we're likely to do anyway. And we have plenty of things to keep us busy in the meantime....

Now that the excitement has happened and we have to deal with the fallout of this success, we need to take stock of how much of a commitment we're in for and come up with a timeline. We need to:

  • Record 26 podcasts and 26 mini-episodes;
  • Send out backer emails to figure out who's going to be on our show and what topics we're committed to;
  • Sort out which two events we'll be appearing at (we've already committed to the Seattle Retro Expo in July);
  • Record and produce 26 videos;
  • Assemble mini-books, shirts, buttons, artwork, create DVDs, bake some cookies, and mail it all;
  • Sort out the logistics of two charity livestreams;
  • And probably some other stuff, too.

I can think of worse reasons to have a long to-do list than "people like us and want to support our work."

Finally, we also need to round up recording equipment and finish incorporating as a proper business. Actually, I'll let you in on something we've been keeping under wraps: If things work out as we hope, we'll be establishing Retronauts as a non-profit organization (one focused on promoting the arts), not a standard commercial venture. One of my dearest dreams has been to properly enshrine the history of video games somehow. I've been pushing for years to make that happen under the auspices of my various employers, but I could never make a compelling enough business case to convince anyone. And they're probably right: $56K isn't enough to sustain a corporate venture. But it is more than enough for a handful of people to develop a passion project, and in the coming year we hope to be turning Retronauts into far more than a podcast.

All of this is still in the "nebulous cloud of ideas floating around in our heads" phase of things, because it's all kind of new -- an idea made possible as a side effect of this Kickstarter campaign. And there's no guarantee the government will grant us NPO status at all. All of this could fall through horribly. But I hope not. We have an opportunity here to take the Charlie Brown of gaming podcasts and spin it into the Guggenheim of video games, and that's surely a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

So... wish us luck. And, of course, even if none of these grand dreams come to pass, we'll still be doing the podcast and fulfilling other Kickstarter commitments. It's nice to look beyond the basics, though, don't you think?