Hey everybody! So, a year has come and gone, and it was a crazy crazy year. Now's the time for Jen and me to start thinking about what's next, and I'm thinking about all kinds of stuff. For instance, one of my favourite boardgame publishers offered me a job a few weeks ago as a game developer, and while I said no on the spot, it's still been swirling around in my head....
Also, tax time is upon us, and OUCH! We're getting taxed more heavily now that we're back in the US than we have been for years. We weren't quite expecting this, and it looks like we're going to be officially in a higher bracket than in the past, which means our health insurance costs are going to go up again. So we're taking all of that into account too while deciding the future of the channel.
Plus, all the plans I had a year ago to try to scale back on how many hours RRT eats up seems to have backfired, and I'm working harder than ever now, covering more games on average than before. Case in point, the new rundown thing was supposed to be a simple 20 minute video that went out once per month at the end, where I just talked about what we played over the previous 4 weeks (kind of like what Jon Gets Games and Gaming Rules do). So my plan was that an average month of Rahdo-content consisted of 10 runthroughs, a top10, a ramble, and the single rundown. But right away, i started doing the rundowns as individual videos, and then they just got longer and longer, and while I'm happy that I'm getting more stuff covered for people, it's really upped my workload significantly.
Plus, the Patreon perks I've been doing add up to a lot too. I mean, who spends over $2500 on postcards in one year? This guy! Plus we're trying to make the upcoming Regent+ rewards fun, but OMG shipping from the US is so crazy expensive!
So anyway, netting less and working more, this isn't quite right! :) Hence the thinking about what to do next. One thing for instance is that I'm literally a hair's breadth away from starting to charge publishers when I do Kickstarter videos. People have been telling me for *years* that I'm insane not to, and I'm pretty much the only "popular" channel not doing it, and as such, I'm leaving a lot of money on the table. This really hit home with the game mat video I did recently. My vid went up the same day as Dice Tower and Watch it Played, and I know they both charged hundreds of bucks for their vids, and I charged nothing, and yet my video has almost more views their both of theirs combined. So clearly I'm insane! (no surprise there)
So, here's what I'm thinking the new 5 step plan is going forward:
1) continue regular runthroughs like always, the # based on how high my monthly backer level is. I might have to shift the goal levels a bit, however. Currently I'm committed to 10 per month, but it might go to 8 a month to make room for some other new content (see below)
2) introduce a new additional show: Rahdo Previews. These would be regular videos like what I've always done, except a) they're paid for by publishers and b) because they're paid, I give no subjective opinion about the game (i.e. no final thoughts) - just the facts! This would be similar to the games I've covered in the past where Jen had a financial tie since her glass was included, so you could check out the vids for Monster Lands and Dragonsgate College to get an idea of what this is like.
One thing worth noting: it's unavoidable for me not to be implicitly giving some opinion, because it would be my commitment to Jen not to make her play games we wouldn't enjoy, and if I can't play it, I can't film it. So like always, I'd only be taking on projects for games that we would like, and if I were to receive a prototype that we ended up not liking, I'd simply return it to the publisher rather than film it and receive payment.
3) another new show: Rahdo Revisits! For a LONG time, folks have been asking me to go back and cover old top10s and games, and I've always thought I simply didn't have the time. But I do like the idea of it, so this would be a new monthly segment for me to make which I think would be a lot of fun. Probably most months, it would result in an extra top10, but occasionally it'd be a runthrough of something that really needs it (Trickerion springs to mind).
4) ANOTHER new show: Rahdo Roundup! This would be what the Rahdo Rundown was originally supposed to be... a quick wrap-up at the end of the month where I talk briefly about what else we've played recently (or done, like conventions and the like). It'd be a single show, where no game would get more than a few minutes, but you'd get to see what the game looks like and I'll do my best to quickly articulate the feel of the gameplay. This is how I'll be able to ensure that all the games I've got to cover get some time off the shelf, without destroying my schedule completely :)
5) no more physical backer rewards (almost... see below). I'm really sorry about this one, but the costs are just too high! I fully expect my backing level will drop because of this, but Jen and I agree it's something that we have to do. But, to make up for it, we'll try something a little different:
Folks at the Relative level and above won't be getting real postcards in the mail anymore, but instead, each month they'll get a special "video postcard" from me and Jen where we talk about what's going on outside the Rahdo-verse. Like, updates on the 14 new chicks Jen recently got, or what's Jen's up to when she's not playing games with me, or anecdotes about the pups, reports when we're on the road, how's life with Mom, what new shows are we watching, what did Jen recently read, etc.
For the higher Regent+ tiers, we're going to be discontinuing the Mystery Box reward. We're in the process right now of trying to get the first one together, and it's proving to be a greater challenge (and higher cost) than we ever imagined. We will get them out for everyone who's backed at this level for the full 12 months as promised, and for folks who have not quite made it to the 12 month threshold, we'll send out "partial mystery boxes" to cover what they've already invested.
To replace these rewards, we're renaming the Regent tier to Rahdo's R&R. The reward at this new level a monthly private video stream where Jen and I will simply relax and play a game, with no pressure to perform, no deadline to hit... just to have fun. And you can watch and chat and help us decide which game it will be. Note, these will likely be a bit more informal than the old live playthroughs I used to do, because I won't bother with split screens and all of that, because that's a lot of pressure, and this is just supposed to be fun and relaxing. Of course, if you can't make the live broadcast time, you'll be able to watch the video after the fact, and like Rambles, these casual games will only be viewable by Relax+ level patrons.
Royalty & Right Hand members will get to relax with us as well, AND they'll get a physical postcard in the mail every month! Yes, the postcards return, but a LOT less of them going out means it's more financially viable for us to continue with these. I have to say, we really do enjoy doing them, and we also send them out to our own family members, so I'm happy to keep the post flowing at this smaller scale.
Phew! So that's what's I'm thinking for year 8 of RRT! Let me know what you think.