Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Still In Awe And Preparing For A New Start!

It seems as though an eternity has passed since our Kickstarter campaign launched back in the middle of March.  The good news is as of today we are still fully funded and have until midnight this Friday to receive the final tally.  I have already started working on the new lighting scheme we will be using which includes LED and black light.  There will be a ton of before and after pictures for all of you and I am sure people will notice everything involved in this "extreme makeover."  I have also designed the stream station and console gaming stations and will release some more concept art to better show the near finished product.  Each station will basically be a type of desk with its own power source, a table top to place either a console or laptop on it, and both a storage shelf and a storage cabinet below to store a CRT and a console when not in use.  I am also working on designing a type of 2-man seat dedicated to each station so there will never be an issue with finding a chair before a match.  The only thing really left to do is complete my color scheme for the wall and and restroom.  I already know what I'm going to do with the restroom so have no fear haha!  I actually think I spent too much time planning for the restroom but hey, that was the most popular part of this whole ordeal so it's time well spent.

I also wanted to thank everyone who purchased our first run of t-shirts and hopefully everyone is enjoying them.  I will be releasing a few more designs that I've been working on and they will be available for sale right before we start remodeling.  We will also be making some commemorative memorabilia for people and it will have a cool concept I promise.  That's about all the new updates I have for now but there will be a much more consistent blog activity soon as things get rolling. 

EDIT: As I type this I am noticing quite a bit of people retracting their pledges and our total has dropped over $1300 in the past 3 days.  I know things in life come up and sometimes you have no choice but to remove your pledge, but if you guys can just do me the favor of not waiting till the last minute it would be greatly appreciated.  A couple of people that had to retract their pledge contacted me and that kind gesture of at least giving me notice is more than I can ask for.  This project will not be funded unless it stays above our goal and if someone is going to sabotage us it would be nice to have more than a 5% cushion to insure we keep this project a reality.  Over the past couple weeks after we reached our goal I have tried to not spam or force feed the issue to everyone but it looks like I will need to make a final push just to make sure things go right.  Hopefully you guys won't be too annoyed with this and can help by spreading the word until the campaign is truly over.

I am still going to carry on as though this is going to happen and keep working on more planning for the next few weeks.  As promised more artwork will be shared and updates will be of the abundance.  Thank you all for reading and talk to you all again soon!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Perspectives on life and... WE DID IT....We really did it!

This entry might be a little repetitive and contain some content from previous entries but one thing you must know is that this blogpost is written from the heart and contains some things that I probably haven't talked about for a very long time.  There has been so many things surrounding Super Arcade and my personal life for the past couple months that many people will never go through or experience.  I see a lot of people joke around with the hashtag "#thestruggleisreal" but I know that most of you honestly have no clue as to what a real struggle is.  For those of you who think you have it bad or feel like life is short changing you in any way, shape, or form, think again.  Just take a look at our own community and you will see things that should make me love and respect what you have even more.  Now I'm not here to ask you to sympathize for me as I do not have any health issues or mental issues as of yet, but I do wish more people would understand how truly rough it is out there for some.  I mean hell, we have a competitive gamer out there using his tongue to do things with a controller that many of you can't achieve with 2 fully functional hands.  If that isn't inspiration enough for you then nothing will be.  As you have seen from my kickstarter video, I mention autism and for those who know me closely, I have a huge soft spot for people with this problem and disabilities in general.  If you are complaining about life and how you don't have this or have that, honestly, take a few moments and think about what you do have and how some people would only wish to be in your shoes.

Now onto how this whole ordeal has completely humbled me and how the past couple years have really turned my life and perspective on life around.  I will be first to say that I have lived a very fortunate and full life up to this point.  I am an only child and at a young age I was given a lot of things many kids wished they had.  I was raised by parents who made me earn those things I wanted but still taught me how to value a dollar and work for what I want.  And I think that having these values instilled in me at a young age led me to be the person I am today.  I work hard, harder than many of you see or could even believe.  I put in around 60 hours a week on average at the arcade and there is a funny joke that will come out of this.  For the past half a year or so we have had a volunteer working for us here at Super Arcade that goes by the name Gerikuso.  He knows we don't make much money so he offered his services to us and in exchange I offer him rides home and food as compensation.  Well one night we worked out the numbers and he basically figured out with food costs and all, he was working for something like .60c an hour.  The funny thing was that month I made roughly .06c an hour and told him he should feel special.  He makes 10 times more than the CEO of Super Arcade lol.........  Anyways, if you see Geri at the arcade be nice to him!  He works hard and does it for the love of arcades and the FGC.

So yeah, we took a leap of faith and did a kickstarter, and guess what?  It worked!  People still ask me why I set go for 45 days instead of the standard 30 so I will explain once again.  This was a last hurrah in a sense and something I have been a part of for over 3 years.  If the kickstarter failed then ultimately Super Arcade was going to close 30 days after.  I was basically just dragging it out as much as possible and also giving the kickstarter more time to stand a chance had it not received so much support.  So there you have it, I was scared and I dragged it out.  Regardless, after this long journey WE MADE IT.  With the help and support of everyone this dream is really going to come true, but there are some things I would like to straighten out before I go any further.  Some people are saying congrats for making over $40,000 and congrats on the big score.  Let me tell you this guys, just about every penny of the kickstarter is going towards the arcade and renovations.  Some of it will cover the lease while we are not operational while most is going towards parts and labor.  I did not run a kickstarter to line my pockets.  This project is funded and carefully so with lots and lots of preparation in regards to gathering accurate estimates and drawing up a plan with a timeline.  So no, I did not hit the lottery, but I did accomplish step 1 in rebuilding and moving Super Arcade into the future.  Even if we hit our stretch goal(s), the rest of the money will be used to get more and more games into the place.  The only time I will ever be compensated is when this arcade flourishes from all the changes and new business, and even at that point I will still be pumping that money back in to make it that much better.  So I hope those of you out there don't keep this wrong idea of what is really going on.  I would also like to let people know that if you are a contributor and wish to see receipts or have any questions, I am always available to answer them.  If you are just a troll don't bother asking me to see anything or open my books because you have no right to them.

We still have a stretch goal of $52,000 to hit and 24 days left.  If we make it.... cool, but at this point I'm chalking this project up as a success and getting ready to start moving forward with more designing and planning. Only cause of such tremendous support and help, you guys made it happen, thank you very very much, and make sure you come check out the arcade sometime after July 2014.  Now it's finally time I can get some well needed rest and sleep comfortably without worrying if the arcade will continue to exist.  Talk to you all again soon!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

So today marks 2 weeks into the kickstarter and I can't really put into words how the last 14 days of my life have been.  Ever since I started this blog I have felt a sense of relief not only because the future of Super Arcade seems brighter, but because I have been able to share some moments in life that I normally wouldn't.  It might surprise some of you that a person with such a loud mouth and a strong opinion is actually really quiet and keeps his personal life....... well, personal.  But the years and years of build up finally caught up with me and I felt that if I can change maybe things would be for the better.  In the past few months the arcade has actually been doing better.  On one hand I am very happy to see people care enough to make an effort and actually enjoy our establishment, but on the other hand it does kind of suck that it took me having to expose my personal life and in a sense shame myself into getting customers.  But then again, there was self gain in sharing my stories and experiences so it isn't all that bad.  I know change is a very slow process, but also I think explaining all that has gone on around me has allowed me realize and rethink what was right and what was wrong.  Also exposing myself to judgement has given me the opportunity to force myself to break bad habits in terms of everyday language and attitude in general.  If any of you out there have something that might be haunting you or something you regret doing or not doing, find someone to share it with.  The weight of these things can honestly tear you down and before you know it, life is over and you may have missed out on all that could have been.  Anyways, I want to thank all my critics and people who spent time to offer both kind words and criticism.  You guys make me stronger and give me reason to fight the good fight for what i care about.

So now let's get back to talking about the kickstarter.  We are currently at 90% funded and I am finally realizing that this thing is becoming a reality.  I have spent so many hours just imagining how the arcade would look if I just had the funds to remodel and turn everything around.  Sometimes in life you kind of get to a point where you are just dragging your feet and just doing what it takes to live.  You have that same repetitive routine of forcing yourself to get out of bed, go to school or work, come home watch some tv or mess with your computer, go back to sleep, then rinse and repeat.  Well for me it was almost the same on many days, except for the fact I didn't get much sleep and I was lucky that my job was doing something I genuinely like.  So anyways, before I keep dragging on, I guess my point is that I took a leap of faith and I worked really hard to get where I'm at.  2 weeks ago I was headed towards ultimate failure and facing the cold hard fact that Super Arcade might be shutting down for good.  I haven't faced too much failure in life, aside from trying to block these stupid vortex traps and avoid this unblockable nonsense from this damn engine the ever so lovely game of Street Fighter 4 brings!  But in all seriousness, anything that I have put so much effort into has always come out alright, up until the arcade.  This time things were not in my control and it was no longer something I could do on my own.  Most kickstarters campaigns run for 30 days, but in fear of not being funded I set it for 45 days because at that point I was truly worried we would not succeed and just dragging things out.  So now where things sit, yes it looks like our project is going to be funded, but until it reaches 100% there is still a ton of work to be done.

I was questioned by many right at the start of our kickstarter project as to why I didn't have stretch goals.  Well, for starters I think it's a very bold and cocky statement to add anything without even reaching your goals yet.  Just because we started off so strong does not mean we are guaranteed of anything.  Hell, even at 90% I am not totally convinced we will hit our goal and might even have to run some special tournaments to get over the hump.  But regardless, with the request from our backers and input from some kickstarter professionals, I am releasing our first and probably only stretch goal.  Since the inside of the arcade is going to be completely remodeled, the next logical step would be to change the exterior sign.  Little did I know how much something like this would cost.  But to include all the design, installation, licensing, and so on and so forth, we are looking at close to $8,000.

The current sign needs to be replaced soon due to rain damage and electrical issues so this is sort of a necessity.  Only other real needs after the remodel will be a new fridge and some labor on the entry way doors.  Aside from that, if there is any leftover money it will all go directly into getting more games and all go towards the arcade.  Thanks again for all of your support as its completely obvious that without all your funding and effort, this place would not be given a chance and I really would be packing it in to become a family man.  All I ask now is that you guys please keep spreading the word and help us reach our goal.  Talk to you all again soon and hope to see you at the arcade or stream monstering it up!