WHERE AM I JP?!
Greetings and Salutations! I am JP the Third and I work on a small corner of the Internet called VNs Now! For the past six years, VNs Now has reviewed the best and worst of visual novels. It has been a lot of fun, with a few insufferable moments along the way, and it has been a privilege to see so many talented individuals get their start in game development. However, as they’ve leveled up and improved their skills, I have realized that it is necessary for VNs Now to also level up to keep up with the growing market.
HENCE WHY WE ARE HERE TODAY! TIME FOR BACKSTORY!
Those who have been long-time readers know that I have stayed away from crowdfunding myself because I had hoped to fund the site personally as long as possible. Unfortunately that has led to extended periods of no updates as the site had to take a backseat to me making the money I need to sustain basic life functions (Yes, even I require such modern conveniences as toilet paper and soap! Who knew?) It has been rough, especially in the latter months of the year. But despite my erratic schedule the site and its audience has endured, for which I am eternally grateful.
Moving forward though, I know that consistency and growth will be key if VNs Now is going to be the site you and I want it to be. There are several plans I have to grow the site and improve the content, but doing it all out of my pocket alone is currently off the table. So, I am asking you for your help in growing this small corner of the Internet. I do understand that I am asking for a lot because everyone needs their basic life functions met as well, but I believe what I will be working towards is worth your patronage.
With that said, let me share with you my plans and what your Patreon dollars will go to! Get on your gold-wire business glasses folks: this is the official part of the pitch!
WHERE WILL MY MONEY BE GOING JP?!
VNs Now currently averages two reviews per month along with news and features of demos and upcoming games. Again, though, that has been one of the areas of the site that has been difficult to maintain thanks to my work schedule. So, before we can grow the site I have to ensure it is as stable as possible; which my first two immediate goals address.
Stage One: My first goal is to average at least four reviews a month instead of two. This will ensure that all new visual novel releases (Western and Eastern) get timely coverage and consideration. My second goal is the return of the site's reformatted podcast. It has become a sporadic deal now because proper quality requires time that, I reasoned, could be spent writing. However, I have a lot of fun with it and the podcast has led to some of the best discussions on the site, so I want to go back to having two podcast updates a month.
Stage Two: Once these two goals are met, VNs Now will move into Stage Two and do something I have experimented with in the past and now want to make full features on the site: videos and livestreaming. I have done a few Let's Plays over on the VNs Now YouTube Channel, but we have excellent Let's Players involved in the visual novel sphere right now. So I want to move the channel to more specialized content focusing on commentary, retrospectives, video reviews and live streams. I've already begun acquiring the assets to have the videos look the way I want them to look, but more time is definitely needed to get the aesthetic I want. I've also begun putting together a livestreaming schedule that should work currently.
Stage Three: Finally, depending on how well we do in Patreon, some of the funds will go to developing official VNs Now swag. That will be discussed in more detail on the site in the future, but having stuff with my mascot's face on it is a major goal. This stage will also see extra content on the site featuring Oracle such as comedic small visual novels and a digital 4koma because I have wanted an Oracle 4koma since I conceived this mascot and still cannot draw a stick.
WHERE ARE THE REWARDS JP?!
(Edit May 31, 2017) After some consideration, I've decided to change a few things about the Patreon moving forward. Specifically, we will be including reward tiers. This was done after being mentioned by several VNs Now readers, and the number one goal of this Patreon is to listen to those who support our efforts. So I thank you all for that!
On thing that will not change is that as we release video content, all Patreon supporters will have first access to those videos twelve to twenty-four hours before it will go live to the public! Patreon supporters will also see and have influence on VNs Now swag as it is developed! The first merch idea is a poster featuring our lovely mascot Oracle and, once finished, all consistent Patreon supporters will receive that as a free gift as a token of my gratitude. After that, $10 and higher patreons will have In order to ensure fairness for everyone since I'm not doing reward tiers, all I ask for in exchange is that you've been a Patreon donor during the process the poster is made to be eligible plus one month. That time period will be announced on Twitter so be sure to follow me if you don't!
WHAT ARE YOU NOT TELLING US JP?!
This Is Still Not My Full-Time Job: Unless you guys go absolutely nuts on this thing, I am not in a position to leave my current jobs. Since it will not be my full-time job, daily content for VNs Now is still a future goal. However, a solid Patreon will allow me to take more time away from those jobs and focus it on VNs Now: securing weekly content and my goal of four reviews a month. In fact, how much I need to ensure I can do four reviews a month is my only milestone goal.
I Cannot Account For Life: Unfortunately, I am only human despite how I often act otherwise B) Many of my goals for this Patreon requires a large time investment on my part and that is time I may not have to give to VNs Now. It will not cause the month-long lack of content we've seen in the past, but it does mean things like videos may be interrupted or altered due to something that comes up in my life. I will do my utmost to keep these disruptions to an absolute minimum, but I cannot account for life and I hope everyone understands that moving forward.
Donations Do Not Equal Agreement or Endorsement: This probably doesn't have to be said, but I am going to say it just in case! At any given moment, I will say something to piss someone off. Whether it be in a review or on social media, we're not always going to agree with one another. That is just the way it is and that is cool! Civil discourse is the foundation of Western society and all of that. However, if you expect as a Patreon donor to be able to say, 'JP I'M NOT DONATING ANYMORE IF YOU DON'T STOP TALKING ABOUT -Insert Dev Group/Visual Novel/Anime Series/Shuuki Here-!' please know in advance that it's not going to work. I'm going to say what I believe to be true. I'm going to be as nice as possible about about it, but I'm not going to shut up or change my tune regardless of how much money is thrown at me. If you have made it this far into the Patreon pitch, I'm going to assume that you already know that and appreciate that particular side of my personality. For all of you new folks, you've been warned!
IS THAT IT JP?!
Yup, that's about the gist of it. I am always open to questions through VNs Now social media channels as well as through e-mail. The only thing I have left to say is thank you to the amazing audience of VNs Now. We have made great strides in the VN community in a very short time and I want us to be there as more VNs come to us from around the world and more developers ply their craft in front of our very eyes.
I am committing whatever free time I have to making VNs Now a better gaming site. It's been rocky, but it's also been a Hell of a lot of fun. I am extremely humbled that anyone reading this is even considering a donation to this venture. Thank you so much for your continued support of this corner of the Internet. It's going to be a lot of fun moving forward B) I am glad to have you guys with me for the journey!