Founder of both news site Polygon and media production company Flying Saucer Media, industry veteran Russ Pitts looks to expand video game coverage beyond play. Stage of Development centers the camera on the creators, the personalities, and the communities behind video games. From the cheekily remorseful words of Pitts, Pitts states “If you like [Polygon’s] Human Angle, you’ll love Stage of Development.” Pitts intends the Kickstarter-backed production to be a continuation of the broadcasted humanity behind the medium.
Starting the Kickstarter campaign today, Pitts marks the specific figure of $192,105 as the fundraising goal by September 16th’s end to advance work on the series. Stage of Development’s first episode focuses on developer Spry Fox’s fence-riding success, trailing the company’s struggles as a mid-sized indie studio awaiting a major hit. In addition, the second episode turns to the (John and Brenda) Romero family’s storied history as game developers and their son’s first game. The full six-episode plan includes people like Thomas Was Alone and Volume’s Mike Bithell, musician Gavin Dunne, and creator of the Oddworld series Lorne Lanning.
If funding surpasses $250,000, a bonus episode unlocks to fund and accompany world traveler Rami Ismail on his busy schedule advising game developers as well as co-maintaining his own development team Vlambeer (developer of games such as Luftrausers, Ridiculous Fishing). By $300,000, the funds allows another six episodes for Stage of Development. Reward tiers for Stage of Development feature over 20-plus options to support, ranging from the $5 Samaritan tier (production credit) to the $10,000 executive producer credit (where the episode focuses on the project of your choice).
Unlike most video game-related Kickstarter campaigns, Stage of Development will release its first episode the day the campaign ends. Pitts declares Stage of Development already started with personal funding and will release episodes on a monthly basis.
“This is not a Kickstarter where you ‘ll gunna wait a year to see what your money paid for. We’re doing it right now. We didn’t want to wait. We’re spending our own money to make the first episode of Stage of Development. When this Kickstarter closes, the very same day, you’re going to get episode one, and then every month after that you get a new episode.”
At the time of this writing, the Stage of Development Kickstarter remains at an under-$6,000 level. High production quality documentaries on games are hard to come by nowadays it seems; given the choice, who would be your go-to person of choice for a camera crew to follow?