USB Retro Cassette Collectors Series

We spoke to Rob Hewson with the last 2 days to go on the new Kickstater for the USB Retro Collectors Series.

This time The Mystery of Woolley Mountain - Collectors USB Cassette

The USB Cassette Collectors Series is a limited physical run series for retro collectors. Each collectors USB cassette release features a selected Neo-Retro game, DRM-free, for both PC and Mac. 

Q: What is the Collectors USB Cassette series?

It's a limited physical run series for retro collectors. Each collectors USB cassette release features a selected Neo-Retro game, DRM-free, for both PC and Mac. The great thing about the USB cassette format, aside from it slotting seamlessly into your existing cassette collection, is that there’s a tonne of storage for extra bonus features to be included too. We’ve added video documentaries, graphic novels, soundtrack albums, retro magazine archives and of course a selection of indie game demos to enjoy.

Q: How did the idea for it come about?
It happened in two stages. Firstly, we saw how people reacted to the Hyper Sentinel USB cassette, which was a reward tier for the games Kickstarter campaign. Secondly, we worked with Strictly Limited to do a PS4 boxed run for Hyper Sentinel. That was when the lightbulb went off – people love the nostalgia element of the USB cassette, and people want to preserve their favourite games physically, so we realised we could work with other developers to do a whole series of curated collectors USB cassettes.
Q: Why do each release through Kickstarter?
Firstly, we’ve had a great experience of using Kickstarter to fund our book, and Hyper Sentinel, so we’ve got a fantastic community on the platform. Secondly, the unit cost for the USB Cassettes is quite high compared to say a DVD or BluRay run, so we need to guarantee a minimum order quantity before we commit to production. Finally, we are big believers in working with the community to define the future of the series, and Kickstarter is a great platform to actively involve backers into the process. For example, backers of release #001 were able to vote for their favourite indie demo, and the winner became the headline game for release #003. They also voted for their favourite genres and recommended developers we should contact, all of which affects the curation process for future releases.

 

Q: How many games do you have signed up for the series, and what is coming next?
We’ve announced up to release #005, with Bard’s Gold and Titan Attacks! being the first two campaigns in 2020. Behind the scenes, we’ve signed or are in advanced discussions for a bunch of other games taking us all the way into 2021, which will be announced in due course.
Q: Can you talk us through the process of building, running and fulfilling each campaign? We want to make the whole process as easy as possible for the developers we are working with, so all they need to do is provide us with artwork, screenshots, a trailer and the builds themselves and we take care of the rest.
First, we layout the inlay and label artwork for the cassette and get sign-off from the developer, then we order samples so we can see what the final cassette will look like and take photographs and videos for the campaign. Then we build the campaign page itself, and again make sure our development partner is happy with it, before putting together the campaign video.

At launch, we promote the campaign to our previous backers, and naturally, we continue promotional efforts throughout the campaign on social media and working with our PR partner.Once the campaign has finished, we gather together the game build, and all the files for the bonus feature, and order the cassette stock which comes back to us shrink-wrapped and ready to pack with shipping packages. We pack up each one, including a leaflet promoting the next campaign in the series and ship them off to backers. That might sound easy, but it’s a lot of work, so I’m very lucky to have a supportive wife to help with that. Our goal is always to begin shipping within 4-6 weeks of a campaign ends, so backers have received their cassettes before the next campaign kicks off.

Q: How stressful is the Kickstarter campaign?It’s actually a lot less stressful than our previous campaigns for the book and for Hyper Sentinel because we are aiming for a relatively low amount to hit our minimum viable run and we don’t need to go away and write or develop the core product once the campaign has ended. The game already exists, so it’s a case of getting everything together and shipping it off.

Q: What are your ambitions for the Collectors USB Cassette series and how can people get involved?

Our ambition is to keep working with our fantastic community to build a series they are proud to display in their collection – there’s certainly nothing else quite like it. We’re getting lots of interest from developers as the series continues to grow, so with the help of our backers we hope to keep attracting amazing games to the label and to give the world something unique.

Back it here:The Mystery of Woolley Mountain - Collectors USB Cassette

The best way for people to keep up to date with the series is to sign up to our newsletter at hueygames.com/newsletter, and if you want to engage more actively with the community, join our Discord server at https://discord.gg/gzJHh6w

Rob Hewson
CEO & Creative Director 
Huey Games Ltd
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