Ghosts 'N Goblins Kickstarter

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Ghosts 'N Goblins - Demon World - On Hold (Pending approval of developer license from CAPCOM)





Thank you so much for your incredible enthusiasm and support on the beginning of our journey. I’ve been amazed by the outpouring of encouragement from our supporters.

The genesis of Phantasm Studios was because of the OUYA contest. Three months ago, our company didn’t exist. The money looked like it was going to be gone in December, so I started sprinting as soon as Capcom’s licensing department said I could submit a Ghosts ‘N Goblins game for their review. Capcom’s legal department recently stopped our Kickstarter, because we didn’t have a developer license. A promise of review was not enough. This is the chicken or the egg problem startups constantly face.

What’s great about Kickstarter, is it can be about almost anything. Our Kickstarter was for an attempt  to secure a developer license from Capcom. It was to manifest an idea. This is a new way to think of game development. Activision Blizzard embraces this new Kickstarter ethos as they recently supported a similar effort by indie studio Upheavel Artsand their StarCraft Universe Kickstarter.Ironically, our Kickstarter was already failing because we clearly stated we had no prototype and no developer license. We were trying to sprint a marathon and this was a bad strategy.

Your passion about our mission to reimagine arcade classics taught me an incredible lesson however. The contest doesn’t matter. With a year’s worth of preparation, we can be successful. So, here’s the plan:

We will re-launch Ghosts ‘N Goblins – Demon World as soon we can secure a developer license. This may require starting with the 1% instead of the 99% for funding. Demon World is just the beginning of this adventure. We have dozens of ideas, so we will be coming back in 2014 with a new 80s classic, a license, and a prototype. We will come back twice as strong with much better execution. Two of my favorite philosophies are: Failure is just another steptowards success and ideas are only as good as their execution.

As a small thank you for joining us early, we’ve included some exclusive high-res in-game concept art showing Arthur battling in the Skull Caverns. This is currently just fan art, so feel free to do whatever you would like with it.

Have a great Thanksgiving and see you in 2014!


Monty

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 7 - OUYA vs. Kickstarter

Day 7
Kickstarter success, 50%. OUYA success? Less than 10%


The majority of people have been cheering me on in the "David wants to work for Goliath" story. I'm getting so many "Don't give up!" and "Sell your idea to them for a million dollars!" followed by "Kick some ass I know you will overcome this obstacle and will laugh at it down the road!" This is why I'm here. Because retro-gamers are awesome. People who were complete strangers a month ago feel like the greatest friends right now. We are obsessed with the golden age of video games and stick together. The community here is incredible and embracing, and I'm not leaving. I'm just getting started. This movement is much bigger than Ghosts 'N Goblins. The children of the 80s are taking the reigns, and we aren't going to let die what made the 80s incredible. It's just a matter of who is going to come with us on this journey.

I was certain the OUYA Free The Games contest would be over in December. Since they are "only" giving out a million dollars, that's only ten games raising $100,000. There has been a lot of games raising $70,000-$100,000 in the contest. However, OUYA changed the rules where you have to have 100 backers for every $10,000 raised. That's the hard part. Currently, there are only two winners, and dozens of games have failed. Not because of funding, but because of backers. Today, OUYA finally added a "Successful Projects" section. I was keeping track mentally before but since the rules changed during the contest it was hard to know who won, who lost, and how much money was left. Hopefully they will post a "Remaining Funds" area too. I love this contest because nobody has done this before, so of course it's going to evolve. The last project I was watching was Speed Rush, and they raised $70,000 on Kickstarter which means they succeeded on Kickstarter, but failed the OUYA contest. They only had 200 backers, so that means they were 500 short! That is massive. They basically had their rich friends and family save them at the end. But, OUYA knows this, which is why they aren't in the "Successful Projects" area. The OUYA contest isn't about money, it's about building a community. 

Getting 700 backers is insanely hard. I didn't realize this when I started. I had to stay wired to my computer for 20 hours a day just to get 160 backers. I was going for 5,000 backers! A backer every ten minutes. HA! I was so naive. Just the amount of exhaustion and stress on my family (since I was jacked into the Matrix) to get 160 backers is insane. Of course, with a year of planning followed by a massive 30 day attack I think it can be done. Because of the contest, I only gave myself three months, not nearly enough time. Runway is too short. Also, I finally realized the majority of Kickstarter backers are Twitter users. If they don't use twitter, you have to explain Kickstarter to them and....good luck! Twitter users understand Kickstarter culture and that is crucial. Do you know 700 active twitter users that are interested in your project? If not, you better have a lot of rich friends and family and don't count on a double-backing from OUYA.  I recently heard about a family that actually setup a laptop on their demo/promotion table at a convention. They would walk people through backing them on Kickstarter. That's a great idea. 

Highlights Of The Day

2:00ish: My youngest called me "Dada" for the first time today. By far the most important event during this entire campaign. 

9:00pm. My oldest did his first Bill Cosby impression and it was awesome.

Good to be unplugged from the Matrix.

Goodnight!

Monty



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 8 - CAPCOM vs. CAPCOM

Day 8
 
 
11:56am. "This can't be good" is an email I get from a friend. I immediately get a notice from Kickstarter that "Ghosts 'N Goblins - Demon World" is under copyright dispute. I post updates everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, etc. to let people know I'm aware and on top of the issue.
 
A few people canceled their pledge which I find strange because the campaign is frozen. If this infringement is legitimate, nobody gets charged. So, why cancel the pledge? Even better, are major backers that adjust their pledge from $300 to $25. Why? Because now they don't trust me and they want me to know it! Great. I let them down.
 
I have been 100% transparent throughout this campaign. We are a brand new company with a big idea. We started this big idea because of a contest. If we get funded we have industry veterans ready to work for us. CAPCOM said we could submit a game to them for their review but they promised nothing. All of this is in the video, all of this is in the Kickstarter risks area. Kickstarter is about manifesting an idea to reality. To give the little guy a chance. David trying to work with Goliath though? Now you have a conflict of cultures and business models.
 
You see, many of the major publishers are still thinking like it's 1982. In 1982, one man, Trip Hawkins met with Sequoia Capital to secure 2 million of venture capital for his less-than-a-year old company Amazin’ Software. All he had was a marketing background and a vision. Now, this company is called Electronic Arts and is worth 8 billion dollars. Now, I live minutes away from Goldman Sachs. If instead of going to Kickstarter, I went to Goldman and said "CAPCOM isn't promising anything, but if we create a great Ghosts 'N Goblins game they said they would review it. If they like it, they'll publish it! Can I have hundred grand?" that would be business as usual and nobody would think twice. But, this is 2013 and this is the era of Kickstarter. This project has caused waves at CAPCOM so now I'm working with their licensing department to figure out what they want to do. This is CAPCOM's IP, I never claimed it was mine. Phantasm Studios wants to develop Demon World for CAPCOM, not publish it. We discussed this with their licensing department before we launched. This has always been 100% clear.
 
But, with CAPCOM freezing the campaign now, it looks like I'm lying to the masses. Running a campaign is basically being interviewed by world and everyone is looking at you going "Can this team deliver on what they are promising?" Very similar to what it would be like running for political office I would imagine. What's ironic to me is Kickstarter isn't easy. I'm basically working a full week every 2 days. I've invested thousands in this project already and if you include all the previous investments to actually make this project happen, tens of thousands. I'm not lighting money on fire and sleeping four hours a day to waste people's time or money. I want to make a great game for CAPCOM, period.
 
This will be an interesting side-note in Phantasm Studio's history. Reimagining arcade classics is how I will be spending the next 30 years, it's just a matter of which classics. Eventually, people will understand and embrace Kickstarter. I've been going back and forth with CAPCOM's licensing department today to figure out what the next move is and I'll be hopefully sending out an announcement soon. Obviously, this is very political. Stay tuned!
 
Goodnight!
 
Monty

 

Day 9 - Compounding

Day 9

"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Einstein

I'm finally getting into the groove of a promotional strategy that is working. Of course, we are nearing the end of the campaign. I really wish I would have figured this out 21 days ago! Over the past two weeks, we have doubled our backers from 69 to 139. Some great compounding! But, we only have 9 days left! Will it be enough time? Thankfully, many of our backers are huge cheerleaders and will be shouting our message through the streets about re-imagining retro games. Hopefully it will be an interesting last 9 days and the momentum will continue. But, I'm not leaving this up to fate. More announcements this week.

Good night!

Monty

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 10 - Find Your Mental Mickey

Day 10
Final Third Pep Talk From My Mental Mickey


Kickstalking is starting to work. However, it has to be done with extreme care otherwise I quickly become a car salesman smelling like I hadn't showered for a decade. Not a used car salesman, but a car salesman. We are in the era of Tesla now and people hate being sold to now more than ever. 

Basically, the strategy is this. Imagine walking around wearing a t-shirt that says "Join us on our mission to re-imagining arcade classics" at a video game Kickstarting convention. You don't say a word. You only talk to someone if they talk to you first.  Not easy. But if it works, it really works, one person a time.

One thing that's interesting about people who are familiar with Kickstarter, is they are from the East or West Coast. Right now, many people think we are going to fail. This is because the Kickstarter group is such a niche market, their patterns are somewhat predictable. They only pay attention at the beginning and the end of a campaign. But, you want to ignore these trends. Every hour I don't get a pledge I a panic a little. You should be the same way. You want to spread the message of your campaign and awareness to Kickstarter so it's not tied simply to the predictable pattern of the coasts. There's no reason to have a "slow period" in the campaign. That just means you aren't working hard enough and are waiting for the coast pledgers to swing back in at the end. 

Every hour there is a person out there that would be interested in your campaign if they simply knew about it. You need to find them. Don't buy into the statistics because they don't apply to someone who is doing their first Kickstarter. Anything is possible.

I'm writing this to you because if you are reading this, you are probably thinking about launching your own campaign or you might be in the middle of one. I'm also writing this to me as a personal pep talk to not give up. Finding my mental Mickey from the 1976 classic, Rocky. I'm in the final third, and it's almost time to use all my energy to pound Apollo Creed with thunder and lightening and see if we can convince the judges that we are ready to deliver the best Ghosts 'N Goblins game ever.

Highlights Of The Day:

7:00am. Rob, of the NES video game documentary "The NES Club" gave us a nice shout out on the Retro-Junkies podcast. Thanks Rob! 

Goodnight!

Monty



Day 11 - KickStalker

Day 11



11 days left and we are sitting at 9% funding. We are at 126 backers which is actually quite good for a first-time Kickstarter, however, it's not going to take us to our goal. People are actually getting annoyed/angry we aren't doing better. I love this passion and am so glad they want to see this campaign succeed. So, my focus today has been to stalk people in the gaming press and introduce myself to them without spamming them. This takes a lot of research as many of these people are not easy to find. We really need to get a mention on the front page of a high profile blog. But, without a prototype, this is very difficult to do. 

Highlights of the day


8:08am. Now you're playing with power! One cool thing about spending 20 hours a day talking to retro-gamers, is you find a lot of cool projects going on. Read Nintendo Power growing up? Nintendo power started in July 1988 and lasted until last Christmas, December 2012. It was one of the longest-running video game magazines in the United States and Canada, and was Nintendo's official magazine in North America.

The retro gaming community is so incredible, that the world's most well-known Nintendo writers are carrying on the torch, and created Nintendo Force Magazine. Their debut issue was the most popular single issue ever sold through MagCloud.com. What's MagCloud? These guys know what decade they are in, so the magazine is printed on-demand through HP MagCloud. This basically means the magazine will probably be around forever as the number of subscribers doesn't matter. Or, you can get it digitally of course. Amazing!

5:00pm. Arkonviox writes about Demon World on Destructoid and the mission of Phantasm Studios. Arkonviox has been an incredible supporter and I can't think him enough for all of his help.

Goodnight!

Monty

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 12 - Welcome To Fight Club.

Day 12

Why Your Wedding Day Is Like Fight Club

"While I do not know much about retro video games, I am a firm believer in helping out someone following their passion. Life is too short.... I would love to donate to your kickstarter. I will also pass this along to anyone I think might be interested. I hope you meet your goal!" - Jenny

Today has been our biggest day when it comes to support from friends. Now, maybe it's because it's payday for a lot of people, but I don't think so. I think it's because I wrote a blog post about my first year in high school and how it reminds me of this campaign. As you can see from Jenny's message, this is about more than the game. This is about people joining us on our mission to achieve a dream. In the OUYA contest, I watched so many videos where it would show 3 minutes of game footage and that was the whole video. The creator thought it was 100% about the game. It reminds me of my 13 years in the music business, where I would go to conventions and musicians would spend the whole time talking about themselves and throw CDs at you. I was on both sides of this. I started out being the annoying musician constantly trying to promote, and learned a lot when I switched and was on the other side of that conversation. They thought it was 100% about the music. Now, like a great game, great music is crucial for success. But what's even more important, is the social element. Many in the OUYA contest didn't get the point of the contest. They hit up their relatives and rich friends for $5k pledges. You only need to convince 10 people in their fifties to take a chance on you and...funded! But, OUYA isn't trying to attract a dozen senior citizens. The money isn't the hard part of the contest, and OUYA actually changed the rules when they realized people were either gaming the system or didn't get the point. The challenge is getting hundreds, and hopefully thousands of people, to be emotionally invested in your project. That's the hard part. A $10 pledge is adult lunch money, but if you ever been asked for $10 from a complete stranger and recoiled, now, YOU'RE THE STRANGER. Congratulations, you are living in the netherworld between what homeless people do and what silicon valley start-ups do. If someone thinks you're a cutting edge entrepreneur, congratulations! If someone gives you the respect of a homeless beggar....Welcome to Fight Club.

The first time I learned this lesson was after reading Fight Club, one of my favorite books. 10% Fight, 90% Club. When Chuck Palahniuk wrote "You DO NOT talk about Fight Club!" he was being completely ironic. He didn't want nobody talking about Fight Club, he wanted everybody talking about Fight Club. Fight Club isn't about a vigilante, it's about building a social network while preaching the end of the social network. It's about religion, political parties, RPG game clubs, support groups, sports fans, and any other clique you can think of. It's about rebelling against the herd by becoming the herd. Brilliant.

I'm a big fan of Synthpop, which is an extremely niche group. I went to a festival in 1996, called Synthstock thrown by Todd Durrant of A Different Drum. One of my favorite bands there was Brave New World, promoting their album Understand (Note: I can't find these guys digitally. So, here's a YouTube 90s dance remix of their track Regret.) I loved their music, and bought their album based on that fact. But the majority of the people bought their music because they turned their show into a party, not because of their music. They actually put a Twister game on the stage, and invited the audience to come up and play during their songs. For awkward teenage boys and girls, nothing breaks the ice like a game of Twister. Then, the band actually threw candy at the audience, like a parade. They were a massive hit, only second to the headliner Anything Box. Why? Because this wasn't just a concert, this was a party!

If you're planning a Kickstarter, remember that nobody cares about your project as much as you. We're going to make the best Ghosts 'N Goblins game in over two decades, because I'm a work-o-holic obsessed with retro gaming and creating quality products. But, that's not why the majority of our backers are backing us. It's not about pre-orders, it's about community. It's about jumping on the train that's going somewhere exciting. Now, because of the OUYA contest likely ending in December, I didn't have the runway to throw a massive retro gaming party to practice what I preach. But, this is just the first three months of a company I plan on running until I die. We are just a baby taking our first steps. But, if you're doing a Kickstarter where time isn't an issue, start planning over the next year. Make your runway as long as possible. Create a three page plan of everything you want to happen during the 30 days of your Kickstarter and what's it going to take to execute during those quick 30 days. Have a wife that was an awesome wedding planner? Have her attack the planning of the project like she did your wedding. If you approach your Kickstarter with the same strategy as a great wedding, you will succeed. What makes a good wedding? Watching a bride and groom yell to the world "Hey world!! No matter what happens, we are devoted to each other forever (or maybe just death Larry David)!!" What makes a great wedding? If it's like Fight Club. A great exclusive party! Alcohol, fighting, soap, and mayhem are optional.

Highlights of the day:

6:32pm. Ever need a tool to keep track of all those great 80s games you didn't have time to play? Check out http://backloggery.com

Over the years I have collected many video games that I want to beat. Obviously, I'm not the only one with this problem as there are over 100,000 people on a website called Backloggery. Their mission? To provide a free tool for you to create a list of games and the systems they're on that you've always wanted to beat. Then, track your progress as you beat them. *Love* this idea!

12:00am. Got a Demon Package pledge. Incredible! The generosity blows my mind.

Good night!

Monty




Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 13 - The Sport Psychology Behind Kickstarter

Day 13

Northridge Knights. Our school chant? NoooooooooooorthRiiiiiiiiiiiiidge! (While flipping an "N" gang symbol)
My sophomore year in high school was also the opening of Northridge High school. It was brand new. This is incredible because schools last for generations. You can't buy a new school, it's all luck. I was at the right place at the right time in 1992, and it was incredible. My locker and the bathrooms had never been used. They just finished laying down carpet and painting the walls. Even better, no seniors! The seniors didn't get moved to the new school because they wanted to graduate at their school. Initially, I was depressed I wasn't going to the old high school, Layton High. Many of my friends and people who I looked up to went there, and I wanted to be a Layton Lancer. This new school split the gang. Looking back, it's amazing how you can feel a sense of ownership and loyalty to a school in just a few years.  Utah's schools were/are frequently over-crowed, but not this year because... no seniors! We had the run of the place. Like a toddler running through a house before the furniture is moved in, we felt like kings in our massive new castle. Not only that, the sophomores and juniors bonded in a way I have never heard of. It was almost like one class, one school for the first year. We were the pioneers of the school, and we could turn it into whatever we wanted. 

The Marathon

The cross-country team was brand new, like everything else, and was looking for members. My best friends got recruited, and were pushing to get me to join. I played "all star" soccer in elementary and was decent, so I could run, right? The first meet was the next day, but they were so desperate that "Oh come on! Just run the race. You can start training next week." So, I ran my first meet with no training. I made it to the end and I came in dead last, but it didn't bother me because it was my first day. My friends were cool, and just laughed about it. I couldn't walk for almost a week after. Legs like a jelly fish. 

Training was brutal, sometimes jogging 9 miles up a steady incline towards the Wasatch Mountains. Half way through, I didn't remember the beginning, and I thought I would never see the end. But, what kept me going was being surrounded by friends. Talking or being silent, everyone pushed each other to make it, one step at a time, simply because it was a group effort. Together, we decided on a goal, and none of my friends would face the humiliation that was getting a car ride from the coach. She used to drive right along side of us, cheering us on. This used to bother me, because I thought the coach should be running right there with us. I still think this. 

The Kickstarter campaign is currently sitting at 8%, with about two weeks left. I don't know if we will reach our goal, but I feel like I'm in cross-country again. Two weeks doesn't matter. The next step matters. Every hour, we jog a few more steps. Not only has the retro-gaming community been incredibly supportive, friends and family are starting to talk about the campaign. People are writing me and are mad we aren't doing better because our campaign is "way better than that other one who easily funded because of a rich uncle." People think Kickstarter expert Richard Bliss is wrong (see Podcast below) because this “campaign just needs some more press and it will fund instantly.”  I love this passion because it's a team effort. I feel like we are all running together, focusing on one step at a time, and eventually we will reach the end. Will I be replaying my sophmore year over again and come in dead last? Maybe. But when you're running with a team, it's not a matter of if you will win, it's a matter of when you will win. Eventually, the team keeps pushing to get everyone into shape, and eventually, everyone hits their goal.      

Highlights of the day:

7:00am. Had a nice conversation with global Kickstarter Expert Richard Bliss and he also let me know our interview is up on his Podcast as he discusses what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong.

1:00pm. Even though I told my wife not to, she posted a shout-out about the campaign on her Facebook page. What's strange about this, is people I wrote individually, who ignored me (the joys of asking a friend for 10 bucks!), responded to her post, and pledged. There's an incredible psychological element to Kickstarter that's just starting to unfold. For example, people don't want to be associated with a loser, so they will cancel their pledge before the campaign ends, even though it would auto-cancel anyway. People will jump onto a successful campaign once it funds so they can be associated with a winner. Fair weather sports fans! I think this mentality is ridiculous because it's not logical, but I do find it interesting. Kickstarter has a lot more in common with sports than I ever would have imagined. Winners, losers, count down clocks, fans. When I got into this, I viewed Kickstarter like I view Paypal, a tool. But, it's much more than that. Are you a psychologist?  Study and write a book on the Psychology Of Kickstarter. Or maybe, The Sport Psychology Behind Kickstarter. You would own the market as I see a few blog posts on the subject, but no book. I study a lot about business and marketing, and the key is always the same: Be the first to fill a void. I will be the first one to buy (or pledge?) your book! The biggest surprise about this whole process is just how fascinating it is. Kickstarter is constantly evolving, and I feel like I'm watching the next great invention grow in front of me. 

Technical Challenges Of The Day:

9:20am. Learned that Facebook keeps a local copy (cache) of your Kickstarter video. So, if you update your primary video, like I did (to put the pledge instructions at the end), it breaks the video link people use on Facebook. The good news is, this is only a problem for people watching the video on their laptop/desktop on Facebook. Which, most people don't do. For mobile, it actually re-routes to the Kickstarter page and doesn't use the embedded video. I reached out to Kickstarter about this, but it's a Facebook problem. Kickstarter suggests not updating the main project video, and post updates with a new video. I thought having a dedicated domain name to the project (http://GhostsNGoblins.com) would prevent this issue. It doesn't. Lesson learned! Also, if someone shares the campaign link on Facebook through Kickstarter itself, then a friend clicks on it, it actually prompts the person to install the Kickstarter app on their phone. This is a bad thing as you don't want someone to think they need to install an app before they can pledge.  I suggest having a dedicated URL for your campaign, and giving that to everyone. Also, when the campaign is over, you can point it to a blog about the progress on the project. So, people aren't going to an old campaign.

Goodnight!

Monty







Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 14 - Mmmmmmmmmm SPAM (Homer voice)

Day 14



I'm a major fan of VAST and they just released two EPS. Check out their "Works in Progress 1-4" if you have heard all their previous material. If you have never heard of them, start out with their first album, Visual Auditory Sensory Theater. Love listening to all the new music while I market...I mean SPAM people. I try not to spam, and I hate it when I'm viewed as a spammer. But marketing to new people is exactly that, spam. When physical mail comes from someone you love it's exciting! When it's from a new company asking you for money, it's junk mail. Thankfully, I'm fully invested in this project and love it. So, when spamming turns into a nice introduction where you talk about your favorite retro video games, it's awesome. When someone swears at you, blocks you, and reports you, not so much. "Piss off you @#%*) Troll!"

That happened today and Twitter temporarily suspended my primary twitter account for Phantasm Studios. When you read this, you probably won't even notice as it's supposed to be back online tomorrow.

(UPDATE: 11/14/2013 - 1:52pm)

Twitter didn't give me a speeding ticket, but gave me a warning. They said to SLOW DOWN, you're going 200 MPH. So, they unfroze the account, and I'm going to drive the speed limit.

Of course perfect timing since my interview with Richard Bliss is going live tomorrow and I'm right in the middle of my Kickstarter campaign. "Tread Lightly" - Heisenberg. What I'm doing is following people and talking to them. I'm not DMing them saying "Go to http://GhostsNGoblins.com" over and over. But, here is the main challenge for your first Kickstarter. When you're new, you have to prove yourself to everyone, and nobody wants to talk to you. It's like going door-to-door 20 hours a day. "Hi! Can I interested you in some Ginsu knives?" Some neighborhoods are nice, others you get shot. The good news is, as you pay your dues this process will get easier. If you have a big, legit following on Twitter you can get funded your first day because everyone knows about you and loves you! The bad news is, for every pledge you get for your first Kickstarter, you will probably have to talk to a hundred people until someone likes your smile. Except they can't see your smile. Door-to-door is probably easier because people view you as a real person instead of a robot. This is exhausting, and being a spammer is no fun. It's a delicate balance to build followers and talk to them, and make sure not to spam them.

Highlights of today:

7:00am. @Philip is helping us by uploading our artwork to various sites on the Internet like Deviant Art. He even wrote his own pitch and ran it by me in the comments area. The retro gaming community is so cool.

7:30am. Spoke with the creator of the Game Over TV series, a TV show about 5 employees working a t a video game story. He says his show hasn't been picked up yet. I ask him if he spoke with Netflix or Hulu about his show. I've seen a lot of niche retro gaming programming on Hulu. Twitter is awesome.

1:00pm. Electronic Arts software engineer Evan Bell gave Ghosts 'N Goblins a shout out on his Facebook page. Why? Because I went to High school with him (we were in the same journalism class writing for the Northridge High school paper). Then, both went to the University Of Utah at the same time in Computer Science to learn C++.  Evan is a guy I highly respect so a shout-out from him means a lot. If you've ever played Star Wars: The Old Republic, or the Hulk you've played his work.

Goodnight!

Monty






Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 15 - Take 30 Days Vacation and Sick Leave to run your first Kickstarter


Take 30 Days Vacation/Sick Leave

If you want to run a somewhat large and successful Kickstarter campaign I suggest you take two weeks of sick leave and two weeks vacation so you can put 100% focus into the 30 days it requires. It's not just a full time job, it's like having a screaming newborn baby that requires 24 hour attention. Think of it like a presidential nominee in a tour bus, 30 days before the election. If you can afford it, isolate yourself in a hotel for 30 days (or tour bus!) with one goal: Kickstarting. Actually, I bet eventually, we see people traveling the country in a tour bus promoting their Kickstarter. Social media while they're driving, then visiting conventions when they're not. Promote. Promote. Promote!  In the future, I want to hire a team for help with Kickstarters.

I'm a freelance network administrator, which means sometimes I have a very flexible schedule to do things like devote the majority of my time to this project, which right now is Kickstarting. However, sometimes I spend all day on-site to handle issues and the campaign suffers because of it. No tweeting, no pledging. Today was one of those on-site days. The solution? Try both.

6:00am-9:00am. Kickstarting, aka tweeting and talking everywhere. Breakfast.

9:00am-7:00pm. Doing on-site computer work for a client.

7:00pm-8:00pm. 26 minute NASA power nap in the garage at a nearby Smith's. Throw a coat over your head, set the iPhone timer to 26 minutes....recharge! Freak out onlookers? Maybe. Then, dinner.

8:00pm-2:00am. Kickstarting. Somehow going to bed at 1am seems early now so now the new schedule is closer to 2am.

Some Kickstarting Surprises Today

  • Amazon Payments vs. PayPal

Another issue I'm fighting that I didn't think would be an issue, is Amazon payments. That's the only way to pledge on Kickstarter, and I can't pledge on people's behalf. It's against the rules to prevent gaming the system in the OUYA contest. Just had a backer, Philip, say he knows people who want to pledge but the only way they can pledge is Paypal. I'm going to turn this obstacle into an advantage. I told Philip to elect a team leader, and a team name, and have a team pledge. The team pledges will be kept in the comments section in Kickstarter because comments cannot be edited or deleted. I love Kickstarter's thinking here about comments, ultimate transparency. This also has a great benefit of rallying the troops, and keeping them even more involved. In the music business we would call this street teams. Teams that would hit the streets and wallpaper the city with posters to promote an album release or a concert. Street teams can be the factor at determining the success or failure of a concert, and I can see them taking us to our goal here if this idea takes off. I revised the FAQ here

Goodnight!

Monty

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 16 - Interviewed by Richard Bliss of Funding The Dream, who I'm a huge fan of!

Day 16

Richard Bliss interviewed me today. Huge fan! Very excited.
Richard Bliss interviewed me today for his Podcast. Huge fan! Very happy about this.

Went to bed at 2:00am so woke up at 6:00am.

6:00am. Woke up to the same number of pledges I went to bed with. I've stuck around 100 backers and can't really figure out why I lost momentum. Hmm. No more bananas left so just Red bull. Just knocked my Red bull over and it spilled all over my mouse. Monday! Now I'm mad I didn't take a picture of it because I need a photo for this post. But, I'm excited it's Monday because even though I've been skipping weekends lately, psychologically it feels like a new week. Thank you veterans for fighting for my freedom so I can spend all day Kickstarting.

Got emailed "You should post your campaign on reddit under games!" My response. "They don't allow Kickstarter campaigns in there games area, but thanks!" It's so amazing how helpful people are with advice. Love it!

I spent almost all day on Facebook yesterday, will it matter? Who knows. It does get people talking however. No immediate pledges but hopefully it will start some chain reactions. 

8:06am. Comment on my KS page if I will take Paypal donations. Not sure what the logic is behind this so I ask. 

Ok, what else can I try to get more backers? Mouse is sticky from Redbull and is annoying. Going to wash it.

8:26am. I have a small and rather dated mailing list from my old publishing company but I'm going to upload it to FanBridge, send out an email, and see if anyone is interested. That reminds me, I forgot to mention FanBridge yesterday. Updated Day 17 so it includes FanBridge

9:00am. Imported 628 contacts. I compose almost anything I write in Microsoft Word and then post it into the "cloud." That way, if a web page freezes, I don't lose my work. I also have a backup of everything I do just in case I need to use it again. 65 of the messages were opened, 61 bounced, and 505 unopened. More proof that Twitter is the main weapon here. Still, everyone counts. One person pledging the "Graveyard Mountain Package" to etch their name in video game history would be huge for the campaign. What if that one person came from my email list?

10:30am. Getting a weird response from Facebook still. "What are you asking from me? Money? I can't figure out how to pledge." I really didn't even want to involve Facebook in my campaign but we are not going to get funded if I don't try everything. I'm contacting Kickstarter right now about this. What would really help is if during the playback of the video, when you hovered over the video, there was a big green "Back This Project" button right in the middle. One-click pledging option like Amazon's one-click shopping option.  Projector creators could have a default pledge of $10 or $25. Kickstarter is great if you actually go to the KS site. But, if you are just watching the video on Facebook, there's only a small "KS" logo in the lower right that most people probably don't even know what it is. Edited the video and re-uploaded it so it explains how to pledge at the end. 

12:24pm. Vuk posted a better contrast version of his bosses here but the KS wasn't launched yet. So, I just reached out to everyone who commented and posted in the thread.

5:00pm. Was interviewed by Richard Bliss for his Funding The Dream Podcast. Goes live on 11/14/2013. Big fan of Richard so very excited to talk to him! He wanted to talk to me because of my "10 Apps For A Successfull Kickstarter" post on this blog. His audience is people like me, just launching their first Kickstarter. I'm one of the few people documenting the process via blog. I'm not expecting any increases in pledges as his audience is people trying to raise money, like me.  But it's so awesome to be a part of a show I'm a major fan of. Richard is the Kickstarter expert!

7:00pm. Placed an order for the surprises coming in a week to help juice the campaign.

11:39pm. Just got warned by a friend about filming in Ogden Cemetery for our KS video.  Funny story: When we were filming the graveyard scenes about 5 minutes into filming a funeral started setting up. Right next to us! Acres and acres empty and we were right next to the location of the funeral. Thankfully we worked quickly and got out of there before the funeral started. Nobody said anything to us. I thought we were going to get kicked out.

1:08am. Paid Vuk via Paypal for his work and asked him to start on some in-game art. The level? Skull Caverns!

Goodnight!

Monty



Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 17 – Top 10 Apps For A Successful Kickstarter

Day 17


Yesterday I did a play-by-play of what it's like to constantly talk online for 20 hours. But, it can't all be about the exciting world of Internet messaging, drive-thrus, and power naps. 

Today I spent the majority of the day talking to many of my Facebook friends all individually. No status updates. This lead to phone calls, Voxer, etc. Talk talk talk! Since that's a boring blog, today I will discuss the tools I'm using and highlights of my 20 hour day today. In the past two days I have worked 40 hours. I love it! If I had a traditional job, I could take off all next week. Anyone like the idea of 2 days on, 5 days off? I do! But that's not what I'm doing here. I did the math, and since I'm kicking it into over drive, doing 20 hours of tweeting for 20 days is equivalent to two and a half months of full time work! Awesome. Ok, about the tools I am using.

1) Facebook. 

Statistically Facebook is a bad place to raise funds. Personally, I think this is because everyone is on Facebook now, and 70% of people say Kick what? ZERO of my 200 Utah friends like their Facebook page. Which is surprising, since Utah is one of the top Kickstarter states when it comes to board games on KS. One challenge is I'm not only explaining our unique project, I'm also having to explain what Kickstarter even is! Is it investing? No. Is it pre-ordering? No. My answer is "Kickstarter is fans of an idea getting together, throwing ten bucks at it, and making it become a reality." It's reward based pledging. I had someone say on Facebook today "Love your project and video! How do I pledge?" It would be really cool if after the video, and during it (if you hovered over) it displayed a big green "Back This Project" button right in the middle that used a default pledge amount, like ten bucks. Like Amazon 1-click shopping. I'm surprised and frustrated at the confusion. The little KS in the lower right isn't enough for first time pledgers.

Never post an update for people to "Check out your Kickstarter."

I individually wrote every person whom I think would be interested or know someone who might be interested. This took all day but you will actually get a response. No one wants to be spammed and your update will get ignored. You're asking people to split with their hard-earned cash not watch "What's a fox say?" As I'm typing this I just watched SNL's "What's a girl say" on Hulu. Since these people are in fact, my actual friends, I'm also catching up on personal items with them too. News about the kids, jobs, moving, etc. I'm not 100% advertising, I'm quickly touching base with people I routinely talk to and say "Hey! Glad to hear you are still playing music and your son is doing well. Here's what I'm up to and I thought you might be a retro-gamer." 

#1 Facebook Application: Smartphone app!

The great thing about Facebook is you can always be on it, always be talking. It's easy to use and all you need is your smart phone with their default app.


2) Twitter.

Twitter is the #1 weapon right now in a Kickstarter campaign. This is because I believe almost 100% of people who actively use Twitter know what Kickstarter is and how to use it. Twitter is not easy to use like Facebook. Know what "#FF @PhantasmStudio @Thornybleeder" means? A lot of Tweeting is like computer code. Twitter users don't need to be sold on the concept of Kickstarter. Also, a tweet only has a life of about an hour. So, you can talk more, and people expect you to. 

#1 Twitter Application: TweetDeck

For your Kickstarter war, I suggest TweetDeck to manage the massive inflow of information you have to deal with. 

3) E-Mail

Email is your central "To Do" list to make sure you answer everyone. Get a Kickstarter comment? Email notification. Someone mentions you in Twitter? Email notification. Respond to the person, then delete the email. Task complete.

#1 E-Mail Application: Outlook

The reason Outlook is my favorite application is because of speed. If your Kickstarter gets a lot of attention, you will be getting hundreds of email notices from all these wonderful apps. More importantly, you are probably starting your business here, you should be keeping track of every important person you come across. A backer that deserves a special shot-out at the end for helping save your campaign? Create an email folder for that. An investor that wants to talk after the campaign is over? Create a contact for them with their phone number. Someone wants to get together for lunch? Better put it in your calendar. Yes, you can do this all on your phone. But, when your campaign only lasts a month, you need to be filing information at the speed of light.

4) FanBridgeDo You Have A Mailing List? A sign-up form on your website?

If not, I suggest FanBridge. You can sign up for a free trial during your campaign (30 day free trial!), import any email addresses you may have, and if your campaign fails? Freeze your account. It's rather pricey at $20 a month if you aren't using it frequently. They also have a great widget tool you can use to collect email addresses on your other sites. I would add the widget to my KS site but the last thing I want to do is make it more cluttered or confusing. I do have it on my Phantasm Studios page however. Most people follow via Twitter or Facebook but you don't want to lose anyone. 


What are you going to do when Facebook and Twitter are replaced? You're building your business and want to think in decades, not days.

E-mail is like the ground the Internet world sits on. You probably can't imagine a time without Facebook, or Twitter. But, I've been doing this since the early 90s. BBSes, Prodigy, AOL, Napster, mp3.com, Classmates, MySpace, etc. all have become Goliaths only to be crushed by time and David's innovation. If Facebook and Twitter become obsolete, what are you going to use to reach out to your fans? Email addresses have a much longer life-span and are controlled by the user. Facebook and Twitter could pull your access anytime they want.

I can't believe it but Nintendo, Capcom, SEGA, etc. have never reached out to me. Not via physical mail, and not email. When my wife plays Zelda and register's her first character, it should quickly ask for an email address and send it to Nintendo. These devices are connected to the Internet people! If I go to Capcom.com or Nintendo.com there should be a quick "Enter your email address" at the top like on our Phantasm Studios page. The fact these major studios haven't kept in touch with their customers boggles my mind. Just some quick information on bankruptcies here:

Bankrupt!

Data East: 2003
Acclaim: 2004
Bally/Midway: 2009
Atari: 2013

Email hit the masses in the late 90s. Marketing is one of the largest expenses in the gaming business. Could they have survived if they kept in touch with their customers and sent them an email when a new product was released? I have no idea, but it's insane they didn't try.


5) Drop Box. 

I am using drop box to constantly take notes during the campaign. Someone emails you a list of great gaming sites to reach out to? Put that in an Excel file in Drop Box. These apps work on your laptop, desktop, tablet, phone. Anywhere you are your Office files can be. If your kickstarter fails the first time, you will want to reach out to them when you re-launch. People really reach out to help, and it's good to record and organize all of it for future campaigns.

#1 Microsoft Office application to edit your files? Documents to Go

6) Chrome

Bookmark anything that needs constant attention, like message forums. Sign into Chrome on all devices and make sure you are syncing your book marks. That way, if you need to respond to a forum post while your wife is driving you somewhere, you can quickly find it. 

7) GoToMyPc. 

Sitting for 20 hours in one location is impossible. So, here's my strategy. Have your primary computer be a desktop with dual screens. Then, install GoToMyPC on it so you can remotely control it on your laptop. Every few hours, change the scenery. For me it's the office, then it's the living room, then it's Starbucks, etc. Why dual screens? Because GoToMyPC allows you to easily click a right or left arrows to switch between screens. With the laptop, that's access to three screens while you are working. Kickstarter works best with an "Air Traffic Controller" setup. One screen for Tweetdeck, one for Outlook, one for Facebook. You get the idea. Wife wanted me to sit next to her during the 49ers game. No problem! 


The smartphone app is great because it notifies you when you get a pledge, comment, or message. It's not annoying, just a pop-up Window. If a pledge comes in, you just swipe the screen and you can easily send them a message from your phone. Easy and fast. Love it!

9) Voxer.

One thing about talking to people for 20 hours a day is it's a Boot Camp of education. I discovered Voxer today thanks to a friend Doug Vernieu. He said "I want to talk to you but I'm cooking breakfast. Get on Voxer." This is a great application for someone who wants the multi-tasking abilities of texting but wants the emotional connection of voice. It's like a CB radio with scheduled delivery. You can talk and respond while you are on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. I love it because when my children are having melt downs I can wait for the crying to stop, and Vox someone back. I could be having complete voice conversations with someone in a war zone and they wouldn't even know because I'm only recording when it's quiet.

10) Educational Podcasts.

Become a learning machine before and during your campaign. Learn everything you can about the tools you are using. I love Podcasts because I can download information into my brain like Neo in The Matrix while I'm tweeting, driving, cleaning, etc.

#1 Favorite Kickstarter Podcast: Funding The Dream with Richard Bliss. 

Have any tools that are better than mine? I would love to hear about them! Please comment below.

Highlights of the day:

11:50am. All my time yesterday spent on the message forums pays off. Because of the forums, the project lead and developer of RetroFX, who did a graphics upgrade, not a re-imagining, on the original Ghosts 'N Goblins in 1999 just made a very nice donation and wants to help us succeed in Demon World. 

4:02pm. Another forum post pays off. Bryan (last name not posted because he still works for another studio), 14 year animation veteran for games like Spider-Man and Star Wars loves our mission to remake classics. Wants to work for me. I tell him I'll contact him when I have a budget. This has been my high quality problem lately. Money is always the hardest part, isn't it? Demand has been so high, that when I successfully raise capital (I really hope it's through our Kickstarter!), I'm going to have to hold a "Zuckerberg" like coding and graphic contest to expand our team. I think that's why Facebook has always been such a great application. Anyone remember how bad MySpace was coded and how bad it looked? That's why everyone migrated to Facebook. Same idea, better execution on the social network idea. The twins didn't invent anything but a marketing launch strategy (make it exclusive to Harvard first!). Facebook focuses on quality coding and design. Holding contests, like they did, is a great way to do this.

4:54pm. Vuk Kostic, our concept artist, is working on some surprises for when we get closer to the end of the campaign. He sends me art, I review it and suggest changes, usually making hack edits in Photoshop, send them back, and he makes them look pretty. It's great having a 3rd monitor dedicated to Photoshop when going through this process. The surprises are going to be great! I can't wait to unveil them. 

1:21am. Going to create a simple image for this blog then...Done at 1:40am. Goodnight!



Monty

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 18

Until next year Mr. Stay Puft!


Play-By-Play

Today I'm going to post a play-by-play of my day if you ever wanted to know what a solid 20 hours of Kicksarting is like.
  • 5:39am. Three hours of sleep and my body is buzzing. Really wish I was one of those "Doesn't need sleep" guys. 
  • $1 pledge has been cancelled. This happens because they pledge to read the updates and then cancel.
  • Red Bull and Banana.
  • Reddit complained about my Kickstarter news being in video games. They don't allow Kickstarters. So, I moved it to news. 
  • 6:60am. Onto the message forums to answer everyone's questions. Keeping up on dozens of conversation I have going is essential. I'm using Google's Chrome where I'm signed in to sync bookmarks. I have a folder called "Forums" where I put a favorite of every forum I've posted in and I check all of these once in the morning and night. Many don't have email notifcations that work. I answer everyone's questions. I literally had met a strange and he said "Thanks, I'll check out the project." I responded "Great, let me know if you have any questions." and boom, $99 donation for the NES Shadow Box.
  • 7:00am. Spending my time in forums like this . This isn't promoting, it's campaigning like a president 19 days away from election night. People are very passionate and divided about us doing a Ghosts 'N Goblins game. Got a Kickstarter notfication about a comment. Better go respond! 
  • 7:05am. Someone just pledged $99 for a Shadow Box (Skeleton Package). BOOM! Off to go tell them thank you for contributing 10 times what we are asking. This is a perfect example of me talking, and pledges happening. If you are constantly talking with someone in a message forum not only is it fun, and answer everyone's questions, but it makes the thread rise to the top of the list. Currently 67% of our pledges come outside of Kickstarter. 
  • 8:00am. Mother-in-law is recoverying from minor surgery so paying her a visit. J (wife) drives while I'm on my iPhone the whole time. Facebook, twitter, email, ...never stop talking.
  • 9:46am. Respond to a comment on Kickstarter.
  • 12:14pm. A $10 pledge is cancelled, no reason given.
  • 1:38pm. Brian Thompson, helps me re-tool my Reddit post. My first time ussing Reddit.
  • 1:52pm.  $49 Magician Pledge comes in. I send thank you note.
  • 2:23pm. Twitter Ads approves my account for promotional tweets. Took over night.
  • 2:44pm. $10 pledge made. I immediately contact them and say thank you!
  • 3:07pm. Send an update to backers about this blog for people who like behind the scenes.
  • 3:19pm. Pledger increases their pledge from $49 to $99 for the NES Shadow Box. I send them a thank you note. I love how popular the box is. The idea came from my wife being a huge Zelda fan. I bought her a mint condition original "The Legend Of Zelda" on eBay for Christmas almost a decade ago. I put it in a shadow box for her to display so it just wouldn't be in a box somewhere in storage. Little did I know I was planting the seeds for the future.
  • Constantly cleaning inbox from Twitter notices. Followers, DMs, etc.
  • 5:00pm. Wife finishes taking down all outside Halloween decorations I put up with a baby and a toddler. No easy job as we are hard core. For example, our 8.5' Stay Puft Marshmallow man.
  • 6:00pm. Took a 26 NASA power nap to keep going. My hero, Nolan Bushnell suggests it in his new book, Finding The Next Steve Jobs. This book, and Derek Sivers Anything You Want are my two favorite business books, hands down. 
  • 7:00pm. Went to McDonalds and shouldn't have. This schedule makes me crave junk. Curses! Sent emails while I was waiting in the drive-thru.
  • Son is working next me to on letter to Santa. Mother and friend just contacted me for Thanksgiving plans. A great reminder I'm less than 3 weeks away from this campaign ending.
  • 8:00pm-1:00am. Facebook, Twitter, forums.
  • 12:44am. Falling asleep as I tweet. But quickly review this and post!
- Monty

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day 19

 

The Universe Screams:


The universe has been screaming with this project which is why I am pushing so hard with the 20 hour tweeting schedule. I think destiny whispers and screams, but it’s the execution of these thoughts that are the most important. 

Here are the 10 things that have happened over the past two months that makes me think this is my opportunity. 

1) I found out about the OUYA contest the same month that it launched. Just because I was thinking about it and Googled OUYA. 

2) After I decided my focus was going to be remaking classic arcade games, I had to find a game where I could have the opportunity to get the license. Nobody wrote me back, except Capcom, about remaking my favorite arcade game, Ghosts ‘N Goblins. The hottest chick in highschool is also the nicest! 

3) Spending 13 years publishing music, I know how important a dedicated URL is. I was thinking of names and I thought, “there is no way GhostsNGoblins.com is available.” It wasn’t. It was in AUCTION with GoDaddy (my provider) as I was looking for names. After 13 years, whomever owned it didn’t renew it. 7 days left on the auction, and there was only one other bidder. I got it for $30! 

4) I started assembling a team, and the enthusiasm was incredible about “reimagining classic arcade games for future generations.” I didn’t even mention which game and I already had 40 people wanting to work for me, 4 people wanting to move across state, and graduates and interns were contacting me. People are excited about remaking arcade classics.

5) The Kickstarter launches and suddenly a guy who I’ve been a major fan of for years, with decades of experience in the media industry, wants to take me out to lunch. We go out to lunch and the chemistry is fantastic. People from everywhere are reaching out helping me improve the Kickstarter page. A guy by the name of @Asavarserkul comes out of nowhere and drastically helps me improve my KS page for almost a week and pledges for a Silver King Arthur. The community that supports this idea is awesome.

6) The NES Club filmmaker Rob McCallum has a sister who lives near me and he wants to interview the Phantasm Team for the film. No matter what the outcome of the Kickstarter.

7) Another video game documentary wants to interview the team but the project hasn’t been officially announced yet.


9) Nintendo Life said they want to interview me.

10) Brian Thompson tells me to create this blog. I do it, immediately. He tells me to put it on Reddit. I created an edited version, and do that instantly.



All this has happened over the past two months (5-10 happened over the past 10 days) because of the massive enthusiasm from the retro gaming crowd, and relationships I have built over the decades. People are excited and their enthusiasm about remaking arcade games is like a shot of adrenaline. 



I find these 10 “Universe Screaming” items incredibly inspiring. But there is no way I’m going to sit back and wait for destiny and see if we get magically funded. In my opinion, this is just a crack in the door in the sky. If I don’t knock the door off its hinges with a sledge hammer, tweet 20 hours a day and talk to anyone online who will listen, the pledges will stop, and the project will never exist. Kickstarter is all or nothing and getting five thousand $10 pledges is getting a pledge every 10 minutes over the period of a campaign. Every hour we don't get a pledge, I push even harder online.



Kickstarter is like a wrench, it’s a tool in the garage. Without devoting every hour I have to it over the course of the campaign, it’s going to fail. 



Tomorrow’s update will be a lot shorter. Just wanted to give you some back story. Thanks for reading!



Monty


Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 20:

2 hours ago. “i love the 20 hours on twitter for 20 days thing you're doing! is that for real? if so, have you blogged about it?” says social media expert Brian Thompson. as I’m talking to him on Facebook. I’m using it all, Twitter, Facebook, message forums, phone calls, emails, you name it.
I tell Brian yes it's real, but no, haven't blogged about it. But he’s brilliant, and thank you Brian! I’m on it! Warning, when I’m tied to a computer for 20 hours a day, my brain gets numb. This may show in my writing (I’m drinking a Red Bull right now to stay awake). 

The universe screams again.

When I started this journey, I asked my wife for the next 30 days if she could act like a single mom. We have a baby and a toddler. She said yes and since then, I’ve chained myself to my computer, and have been  promoting and tweeting from 5:00am-1:00am, every day. Four hours of sleep, repeat. For our Kickstarter to be successful, I need to never stop talking. When I stop tweeting, the pledges stop. I learned this lesson in a day but quickly fixed it thanks to Kickstarter guru Richard Bliss.If you have ever thought about running a Kickstarter, listen to all of his advice first. 

The blog is born!

So, I immediately register domain name tweeting2020.com, create an account with blogger, and edit CNAMES and A RECORDS on GoDaddy. I created a header graphic for the site using Photoshop, and here I am typing my first blog about the experience that is Kickstarter from a creator’s point of you. I have been in the computer industry for 20 years professionally starting with Prodigy, and have been a freelance network admin for 13 years while at the same time running a music publishing company. All of these skills are the only reason I even knew Brian and whipped up a dedicated website in 2 hours. 

Some backstory:

I am ten days into my first Kickstarter on a company, Phantasm Studios, that was started August 23rd 2013. I started my first company, Liquid Records in 2000, right around Napster, and for 13 years I have been a fish trying to swim upstream. I tried everything from winning a slot on the Japanese version of Public Enemy’s Revolverlution as a bonus track (Dimension Zero redu), publishing great industrial acts like Mozart Khadaffi, to attempting to land work scoring under the name Destroy The Evidence. When I started using Taxi a few years ago, a decent movie/game/tv placement could bring in $50,000 if you could land it. In August, I got an email for an opportunity that was paying $100. I’ve been watching the race to the bottom for 13 years and I was finished. That was it. So, what next?

A Gave Development Contest Is Announced: 

I was thinking about what my next move would be. I wished I thought of the OUYA console which was just an idea a year ago and now available at Gamestop after raising 8.5 million on Kickstarter. This is from a women who had never been in the console business, and had a background of game publishing. I was searching to find out the latest news on OUYA, and came across the freethegamesfund.com. OUYA started a contest where they would split a million amongst all developers who could successfully fund a Kickstarter and then launch a game. I noticed a major interest in the OUYA from the retro crowd, and thought a big hit would be to reimagine a classic arcade game. The retro fans play games on emulators, many which are pirated. Why is this? Why is Nintendo the only company properly developing their franchises? *BOOM* I found a void. The universe was whispering and over the next two months I was off to the races before the contest funds run out. I think they will be out in December as games are raising $100,000+. That’s less than 10 games! So, I needed to start a company fast, with a focused mission, build a team, and start game pre-development.

Monty