Currently there are around 25 Game Pie Advance units (kits or fully-functional systems) out in the wild (like this GPA over at PiTendo). Things are going well so far. Our goal was to get some units out there in the hands of some makers and see how they work out. I feel like the response has been positive thus far.
So, what’s the next step? Of course we want to build more DIY kits, so you can build more working systems. I think we need some help with that, though, and that’s where my big question comes in.
Should we open up pre-orders of these kits?
Here’s what I’m thinking. We do our own mini kickstarter sort of thing. I would put up a pre-order product at FlashMasta.com, and we’d try to get as many sales as we could in say 10 days. Then, we’d try to move as quickly as possible to use that money to buy PCBs, LCDs, and all the other components.
There wouldn’t be a specific goal of raising a certain amount of funds. We would definitely still go ahead and make kits no matter the outcome. The big deal here is immediacy. The more we have to work with (in terms of both money and excited participants), the faster we can move to expedite production, shipping, and our assembly.
This next batch would likely have the ability to charge your batteries (via micro USB). We are already prototyping and testing that feature. We have also come up with a solution to allow users to add X/Y tactile buttons. These modifications to the design are already proven, but they have not been incorporated into a circuit board. I must say up front that, if we add these features, there is some risk that we would find problems requiring another redesign. Since we are only changing a small portion of the design, I feel like this risk is small, but it could set us back a month or so if we needed to redesign and reorder circuit boards.
Leave a comment here if you think the pre-order idea is a good plan, and please tell your friends. The more people that are involved and excited, the better we can focus resources.
The pre-order product would be very similar to the previous one (which you can see here), and it would be that same price ($79.95 USD).
If you want to be part of the pre-order, please tell us that very explicitly in your comment below.