Kickstarter, Coming Soon

I know that we’ve been telling a lot of you to sign up for out news notifications at http://gamepieadvance.com/subscribe/. We have been getting a lot of interest in the Game Pie Advance (GPA) project lately. While that is really awesome, the problem is that we’ve been working behind the scenes on a lot of different aspects of this whole project. That means we’re not currently soldering up circuit boards and shipping things out, so we also aren’t currently selling GPA kits. In the meantime, we’ve just been suggesting that people subscribe for notifications, because we know that there is news on the horizon. Well, even though we aren’t ready to publish much for details, the time has come to tell you that we are working on a Kickstarter campaign.

If you haven’t been following along this entire time, you might not know how this project has gone up until now, so here’s a quick recap. We had this crazy idea that people wanted to build their own retro gaming handhelds, but some of them might not want to cobble together a rat’s nest of wires and components. We also had this crazy idea that people might want to do their retro gaming on something that looked like a retro console. We put those ideas together to make the Game Pie Advance. To prove that our design worked, we built some working units and auctioned them off, but our intention was to sell DIY kits. We then sold around 25 DIY kits based around that initial design.

GPA DIY v2.1 kit
After we built about 30 units+kits, we decided that we needed to add some features, so we moved on to the v2.0 board. We ran our own very limited presale/preorder on our website. This second version proved to work very well, but it needed a few tweaks, so we did the same thing again for v2.1. Many people have now built GPA DIY kits, and you can see some of their results on the showcase page.

Pre-Shipping Test
Up until now, we have done all of the soldering and assembly on our own with our own equipment. To take this project to the next level, we need to change our process. We can’t be spending our time constantly soldering, testing, shipping, etc. We need to move toward mass production. We need to outsource our assembly. That’s where Kickstarter comes in.

GPA v2.1 Boards Ready To Ship
Not only do we need to outsource our assembly process, but we also have some ideas for the future of this project and how it’s designed and built. We still want to keep this as a DIY project. We just need your help to take it to the next level.

At the moment, we are planning to launch our Kickstarter campaign next month (May). Things are already going slower than I have wanted. I wish we could be shipping GPA DIY kits to everyone that’s been asking for one. I really want to do this Kickstarter ASAP, but I know there are details to work out if we want to do it properly. I need to calm down a bit and get it done right.

Translucent Orange GPA by “Zach”
I know this news post is light on specifics, but I hope that it gives you an understanding that we are working hard to move this project forward in a very beneficial way. Just know that we are making progress, and there will be more DIY kits in the near future.

In the meantime, can we ask you a favor? Can you share this post with your friends on social media? Can you share it in any forums you frequent? If you are part of a makerspace group or are attending any sort of retro gaming convention, can you mention it to people there?

http://gamepieadvance.com/2017/04/13/kickstarter-coming-soon/

If you are someone that has already built a GPA kit, can you post photos of it and link to this news article?

Customized GPA by “Sixbras”
If you haven’t already subscribed here to get our notifications, please go here and sign up.
http://gamepieadvance.com/subscribe/
That way, when we post news, you will be on the list to receive it in your email. If you want to get your hands on a kit ASAP, this is the way to get notified about Kickstarter news, which is important because the campaign will likely have some good “early bird” limited rewards.

We want you to know that we really appreciate your support. This project has already been very enjoyable and rewarding. Personally, I love hearing about the results people have had up to this point, and I want to share that experience with as many people as possible. Let’s make that happen!

12 thoughts on “Kickstarter, Coming Soon”

  1. I’ll share the crap out of this. I’ve been watching from day 1 of your posts and always been a fan. Great news and the kickstarter will be a success!

  2. With all due respect, please do your due diligence before launching a KS. I know you guys are clever, but just because you know how to design something in EagleCAD or solder up some prototype boards, doesn’t mean you understand how to navigate the complexities of manufacturing, especially dealing with Asian suppliers and assemblers, which I assume you’ll be doing. KS is supposed to be a platform for new companies/ideas to flourish but it isn’t a license to collect free money with no risk of failure. Again, I am not saying you haven’t thought of this, but look at the multitude of failures on KS and don’t think it can’t happen to you. If you want to find a real case that is super analogous to your project, look at the Raspi Boy project. It’s moving along well but look at the creator’s updates on the crazy and unexpected road blocks he’s hit.

    1. David,

      I’m totally with you on this. I’ve been researching KS campaigns, and I really do not want to be one of them that over-promises and hits roadblock after roadblock.

      Our plan is to keep this intentionally limited in scope. We have proven that our current design works as a DIY kit, and we want to keep it that way. We may be changing some components for supply reasons, and this may actually drive the price up a bit. We realize that. At this point, we’d rather have a little higher cost than something that we can’t build in quantity.

      We already are in contact with a PCB contract manufacturer/assembler in China. Of course, I expect things to go well, but I also want to be realistic about potential pitfalls. The scope of this project is a bit smaller than the Raspi Boy, but I do agree that we will encounter some of the same issues he has.

      I want to be very up-front about the risks before we collect any money. I do think that we are doing our due diligence on this, but there will be an aspect to the KS that is a higher risk (for those that want to support that part). I can’t discuss that yet, but I plan to make that as clear as we can when the time comes.

      I totally get where you’re coming from, and I really do agree with you. I don’t want anyone to be left with a feeling of not getting what they felt they were signing up for (whether that is in product or timing or whatever).

      I appreciate your comment. If you have any specific suggestions, I’d love to discuss them here or via email.

    1. Hey Matt. Thanks for commenting!

      What are you torn about? What sort of donation gift are you thinking of? I’m open to suggestions. To be honest, though, I’m fairly confused about your post. I’d like to know what you’re thinking.

  3. Do we have to wait longer for more kits? I understand you wanting to move forward but this is very upsetting if thats the case. I’ve been waiting since the last closing of pre-orders for you to start again. I didn’t find your website until they had already closed.

    1. Hey Brent. Yes, we don’t plan to do another batch until Kickstarter. I know that it’s a long wait, but the fact is that we aren’t keeping up as it is. If we can get to the point of real production, then I think we can help more people and still work on new ideas.

      1. I understand just didn’t want to wait. The news is really great I hope everything goes well for you and your company. I know you have to do things so you can move forward. I will be waiting and I have subscribed as well!!

        Good Luck!

  4. Hey Ed,
    first of all I would like to thank you and your team for making this project possible and making it possible for everyone! I would have a question for you, if the project should be starting kickstarter, would it be possible to support you from Europe / Germany and get a kit?

    Best regards,
    A. Pirinc

    1. Well, I certainly hope/assume so. I’ve been learning the Kickstarter interface, and I have added international shipping (via USPS Priority flat rate) to the mockup reward. I think it will allow us to ship anywhere, but I don’t know if there’s any restrictions that would cause Kickstarter to not accept your pledge. Of course, I would really prefer this to be available to Europe (and everywhere).

  5. I’m really eagerly waiting for the campaign to start. This is exactly what I was looking for the past weeks: an kind of easy to build solution of a pie based handheld console with a nice and clean retro design.

    Some things I would love to see in such a campaign (and I hope there might be a chance as you have to deal with asian companies anyway as it seems) are:

    * some kind of pre-modified shell for your PCB – produced by one of the reproduction companies perhaps. A cadridge-like dust cover or hatch might be possible this way as well
    * display glass with custom print instead of the “gameboy advance” text
    * a way to use a second set of the start/home buttons rubber for use as x/y (in case there is really no way to place full-size x/y buttons on the PCB. This way the design would look even more consistent.
    * retro design for the shell and buttons. If you find some company to produced a modified shell for your PCB, then there might be a chance to let it be produced in the style of the original gameboy, the nes or snes like rose colored gaming did. Together with recolored buttons (also for start/select/x/y)
    * nice to have but not really necessary: add-on PCB or solution to reposition the sdcard slot to get access to it without opening the console

    Perhaps all this could also be accomplished together with the guys of retromodding.com or rose colored gaming if this is easier instead of dealing with another asian company.

    Sorry if these are stupid demands or way out of scope of your project – I just thought these might raise even more the interest in this.

    Keep up the great work and regards

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