Ninja Blues is creating Video Game Opinions 'n' Stuff
13

patrons

$46
per month
The setup
Hello, Patreon visitors! Welcome to the Ninja Blues Patreon page. We are Dylan 'Jarenth' Schouten and Justin 'Ninjustin' Hall, and we play, write, and talk about video games on our website, Ninja Blues. Seeing as though you're here, you're probably familiar with it? But if you're not... well, very happy to make your acquaintance this way! Maybe you'll want to check out Ninja Blues before reading any further? Here's that link again!

Alright, now that we're all definitely on the same page here:

The backstory
The two of us, Jarenth and Ninjustin, have been playing on and writing for Ninja Blues since January 2014. Coming off of separate hobby projects -- one den for ninjas and the games they play, and one blue screen that was objectively pretty rad -- it was only natural that we'd continue writing in a hobby capacity at first. We both really enjoy writing about video games, you guys! Plus, even though we've both been friends for years, there was always that tiny chance that our personalities would horribly clash and explode into a giant Internet fireball, taking the website and everything with it.

That fireball-clash didn't actually happen, obviously, and Ninja Blues has been rolling along quite happily for some time now. The stuff that we've produced in that time includes:

- Jarenth's regular indie game review column, Indie Wonderland.
- Ninjustin's irregular games-that-he-likes column, Talk of the Ninja.
- Jarenth and Ninjustin's games podcast slash ramble-a-thon, Discourse Dojo.
- A variety of Let's Plays.

Suffice it to say our first year of 2014 has been a pretty productive and relatively successful year, by our standards. And we'd enjoy nothing more than to continue doing this well into 2015 and beyond.

We'd also like to earn some money, though.

Like so many other regular 'hobby' content creators, the introduction and rapid spreading success of Patreon has paved opportunities for monetization for us that didn't exist before. Rather than mess around with annoying Google ads or PayPal donation buttons, we can just... well, do this! Patreon is an excellent system for allowing fans of incidental content creators to express their ongoing support in the most hassle-free way possible, and we've honestly been letting it lie fallow for far too long.

The here and now
So, here's the nitty-gritty:

Ninja Blues is going to continue running as it does regardless of how 'well' we do on Patreon, here. This website is a hobby project for us, a labor of love, and we wouldn't have been doing it for as long as we have if it wasn't for the sheer fun we get out of playing and writing about games. This is not a 'we're in trouble and need financial support to stay afloat' kind of Patreon.

That said: there are costs involved in running Ninja Blues. Website hosting, domain name, bandwidth. Buying video games, obviously. But also buying hardware, and support software, and subscriptions to streaming services, and whatnot. None of it is really big enough to sink us, but we'd be lying if we said we wouldn't like to get rid of those costs.

There's also things we'd like to do for and with Ninja Blues that are currently very impractical from a financial standpoint. Hardware upgrades, for one. Doing anything related to console games, which requires expensive gaming consoles. Conference visits. Hell, the two of us live on opposite sides of the world, as you can see in our profile. We'd love to fly up and down to hang out together and do co-located live streaming, but... well, you know. Plane tickets be pricey, yo.

And finally... honestly, we'd just really like to make some money off of this. Being able to turn Ninja Blues into the kind of venture that can support us, partially or (heaven forbid) would be an amazing validation of the kind of work we've been putting into it. It's a bit of a pipe dream, for our relatively small publication, but hey. Dream big.

And that's more or less where we are, readers.

Like many other regular content creators, we don't really have anything to 'sell' or to reward you with. You'll notice we only have the one backing tier, the one-dollar-minimum, because that's just a handy way of doing business. It gets you our gratitude, mostly, and we'll be putting up a 'Patrons of Ninja Blues' page on the site to celebrate your generosity. Patreon is also a handy platform for distributing polls, articles, and streaming links, but we have no intention of gating anything off to people who support us. Ninja Blues is now, and will always be, open to anyone willing to pay us a visit.

Make no mistake, though: when we say your support gets you our gratitude, we mean gratitude. Seriously, snacks and drinks are on either of us next time you're in the neighbourhood.

The future
Similar to reward levels, we've made a conscious decision to steer away from milestone goals, too. There are two reasons for this:

1. As much as we'd both love to work on Ninja Blues only and forever, the reality of the situation is that both Jarenth and Ninjustin currently have day jobs. As such, we're not really comfortable with promising 'more Ninja Blues content' as possible reward tiers. Not just yet. What happens if we make wild promises, we reach the backing total, and then we find we can't live up to the hype?

2. Setting enumerated milestone goals with concrete money amounts attached to them gives off the implication that we have any kind if idea what kind of response to expect here. We don't. And setting arbitrary milestone that end up being either far higher or far lower than the support we get makes us look either ungrateful or clueless.

Now, while we're not formalizing anything, we have obviously thought about the things that Patreon money would allow us to do. To wit:

- If we manage to get 'only' a couple dozen dollars per month, something like €50, that basically solves our monetary upkeep forever and always. This kind of money would be enough to pay for website upkeep and keep us supplied with reasonably-priced video games, basically ensuring that Ninja Blues keeps running as it does now with a minimum of fuss.
- If we get backed into early three figures, around €100, €200 a month, we can comfortably start expanding our range of activities. Hardware upgrades, professional software, and console purchases become realistic prospects around this time.
- If the gravy train keeps rolling even further, into the €500s and beyond, we can start taking Ninja Blues into the real world. Specifically, money like this would make it feasible for us to actually pay for trans-Atlantic air fare, allowing us to hang out in person on a semi-regular basis. This is also the level at which we'll probably start going stark raving mad.
- And finally, if we manage to get into four figures -- like I said, we like to dream big -- things start getting really interesting. Remember that thing about both of us having day jobs? Around this level of backing, it would actually become possible for Ninjustin to phase out his full-time day job into part-time work, or to even quit his day job altogether, effectively working on Ninja Blues full-time. There's no telling this far ahead what the consequences of this would be, but... guys, it'll probably be sweet. Don't you think it'd be sweet? We should totally try to get us backed at this level, just to see what would happen.

The wrap-up
In conclusion:

We love Ninja Blues. We enjoy everything related to Ninja Blues. We'd like nothing more than to do more with Ninja Blues than ever before, and we'd really, incredibly appreciate the financial support of anyone who's as keen to see this as we are. Seriously, every little bit helps. Every dollar we receive is like a precious gift to us.

Ninja Blues will remain as free and open to everyone in the future as it is right now. So if you're a reader, but you can't support us financially or you don't want to, that's alright too! We're grateful for your readership and patronage, no matter what shape it takes.

Come 2015, we're kicking Ninja Blues into the highest gear your continued support will allow. Thanks for being there with us, every single one of you. Let's see how good we can get.

- Jarenth
- Ninjustin
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
13 patrons
The minimum 'one dollar' level. This gets you into the Patreon comments and onto the Patreon mailing list, as well as in the gratitude list of our hearts. And the actual Patrons of Ninja Blues gratitude list on our website, that too. If this campaign takes off a little, it's also not unlikely we'll use Patreon for announcements and for stuff like queries and polls more and more often.
The setup
Hello, Patreon visitors! Welcome to the Ninja Blues Patreon page. We are Dylan 'Jarenth' Schouten and Justin 'Ninjustin' Hall, and we play, write, and talk about video games on our website, Ninja Blues. Seeing as though you're here, you're probably familiar with it? But if you're not... well, very happy to make your acquaintance this way! Maybe you'll want to check out Ninja Blues before reading any further? Here's that link again!

Alright, now that we're all definitely on the same page here:

The backstory
The two of us, Jarenth and Ninjustin, have been playing on and writing for Ninja Blues since January 2014. Coming off of separate hobby projects -- one den for ninjas and the games they play, and one blue screen that was objectively pretty rad -- it was only natural that we'd continue writing in a hobby capacity at first. We both really enjoy writing about video games, you guys! Plus, even though we've both been friends for years, there was always that tiny chance that our personalities would horribly clash and explode into a giant Internet fireball, taking the website and everything with it.

That fireball-clash didn't actually happen, obviously, and Ninja Blues has been rolling along quite happily for some time now. The stuff that we've produced in that time includes:

- Jarenth's regular indie game review column, Indie Wonderland.
- Ninjustin's irregular games-that-he-likes column, Talk of the Ninja.
- Jarenth and Ninjustin's games podcast slash ramble-a-thon, Discourse Dojo.
- A variety of Let's Plays.

Suffice it to say our first year of 2014 has been a pretty productive and relatively successful year, by our standards. And we'd enjoy nothing more than to continue doing this well into 2015 and beyond.

We'd also like to earn some money, though.

Like so many other regular 'hobby' content creators, the introduction and rapid spreading success of Patreon has paved opportunities for monetization for us that didn't exist before. Rather than mess around with annoying Google ads or PayPal donation buttons, we can just... well, do this! Patreon is an excellent system for allowing fans of incidental content creators to express their ongoing support in the most hassle-free way possible, and we've honestly been letting it lie fallow for far too long.

The here and now
So, here's the nitty-gritty:

Ninja Blues is going to continue running as it does regardless of how 'well' we do on Patreon, here. This website is a hobby project for us, a labor of love, and we wouldn't have been doing it for as long as we have if it wasn't for the sheer fun we get out of playing and writing about games. This is not a 'we're in trouble and need financial support to stay afloat' kind of Patreon.

That said: there are costs involved in running Ninja Blues. Website hosting, domain name, bandwidth. Buying video games, obviously. But also buying hardware, and support software, and subscriptions to streaming services, and whatnot. None of it is really big enough to sink us, but we'd be lying if we said we wouldn't like to get rid of those costs.

There's also things we'd like to do for and with Ninja Blues that are currently very impractical from a financial standpoint. Hardware upgrades, for one. Doing anything related to console games, which requires expensive gaming consoles. Conference visits. Hell, the two of us live on opposite sides of the world, as you can see in our profile. We'd love to fly up and down to hang out together and do co-located live streaming, but... well, you know. Plane tickets be pricey, yo.

And finally... honestly, we'd just really like to make some money off of this. Being able to turn Ninja Blues into the kind of venture that can support us, partially or (heaven forbid) would be an amazing validation of the kind of work we've been putting into it. It's a bit of a pipe dream, for our relatively small publication, but hey. Dream big.

And that's more or less where we are, readers.

Like many other regular content creators, we don't really have anything to 'sell' or to reward you with. You'll notice we only have the one backing tier, the one-dollar-minimum, because that's just a handy way of doing business. It gets you our gratitude, mostly, and we'll be putting up a 'Patrons of Ninja Blues' page on the site to celebrate your generosity. Patreon is also a handy platform for distributing polls, articles, and streaming links, but we have no intention of gating anything off to people who support us. Ninja Blues is now, and will always be, open to anyone willing to pay us a visit.

Make no mistake, though: when we say your support gets you our gratitude, we mean gratitude. Seriously, snacks and drinks are on either of us next time you're in the neighbourhood.

The future
Similar to reward levels, we've made a conscious decision to steer away from milestone goals, too. There are two reasons for this:

1. As much as we'd both love to work on Ninja Blues only and forever, the reality of the situation is that both Jarenth and Ninjustin currently have day jobs. As such, we're not really comfortable with promising 'more Ninja Blues content' as possible reward tiers. Not just yet. What happens if we make wild promises, we reach the backing total, and then we find we can't live up to the hype?

2. Setting enumerated milestone goals with concrete money amounts attached to them gives off the implication that we have any kind if idea what kind of response to expect here. We don't. And setting arbitrary milestone that end up being either far higher or far lower than the support we get makes us look either ungrateful or clueless.

Now, while we're not formalizing anything, we have obviously thought about the things that Patreon money would allow us to do. To wit:

- If we manage to get 'only' a couple dozen dollars per month, something like €50, that basically solves our monetary upkeep forever and always. This kind of money would be enough to pay for website upkeep and keep us supplied with reasonably-priced video games, basically ensuring that Ninja Blues keeps running as it does now with a minimum of fuss.
- If we get backed into early three figures, around €100, €200 a month, we can comfortably start expanding our range of activities. Hardware upgrades, professional software, and console purchases become realistic prospects around this time.
- If the gravy train keeps rolling even further, into the €500s and beyond, we can start taking Ninja Blues into the real world. Specifically, money like this would make it feasible for us to actually pay for trans-Atlantic air fare, allowing us to hang out in person on a semi-regular basis. This is also the level at which we'll probably start going stark raving mad.
- And finally, if we manage to get into four figures -- like I said, we like to dream big -- things start getting really interesting. Remember that thing about both of us having day jobs? Around this level of backing, it would actually become possible for Ninjustin to phase out his full-time day job into part-time work, or to even quit his day job altogether, effectively working on Ninja Blues full-time. There's no telling this far ahead what the consequences of this would be, but... guys, it'll probably be sweet. Don't you think it'd be sweet? We should totally try to get us backed at this level, just to see what would happen.

The wrap-up
In conclusion:

We love Ninja Blues. We enjoy everything related to Ninja Blues. We'd like nothing more than to do more with Ninja Blues than ever before, and we'd really, incredibly appreciate the financial support of anyone who's as keen to see this as we are. Seriously, every little bit helps. Every dollar we receive is like a precious gift to us.

Ninja Blues will remain as free and open to everyone in the future as it is right now. So if you're a reader, but you can't support us financially or you don't want to, that's alright too! We're grateful for your readership and patronage, no matter what shape it takes.

Come 2015, we're kicking Ninja Blues into the highest gear your continued support will allow. Thanks for being there with us, every single one of you. Let's see how good we can get.

- Jarenth
- Ninjustin

Recent posts by Ninja Blues

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
13 patrons
The minimum 'one dollar' level. This gets you into the Patreon comments and onto the Patreon mailing list, as well as in the gratitude list of our hearts. And the actual Patrons of Ninja Blues gratitude list on our website, that too. If this campaign takes off a little, it's also not unlikely we'll use Patreon for announcements and for stuff like queries and polls more and more often.