I'm away next week for a much needed break, which means no updates on this site until the week after. There may be a new video on Sunday night, but probably not one the following Wednesday or Sunday. I'd hoped to have more stockpiled, but I've been flat-out, clearing the decks enough to get to a point where I can go away without disasters happening.
I've had an incredibly full-on year. Aside from editing and filming gawd-knows-how-many Digi Minis for YouTube, organising, writing, and appearing in a full-on live spectacular, and writing regular posts on here, I've also been lead writer on two CBBC shows.
I've written 13 half hour episodes since January, and on one of those shows I'm very much a lead writer in a sort of showrunner sense, which has meant reading everything, and giving notes to other writers at every stage. Plus, I only got fully paid for a lot of that work this week, which has proved rather, ahem, stressful.
All in all, it has been... a lot. So, you'll hopefully forgive me for being knackered, and needing to go away to recharge.
Once I'm back, you'd better brace yourselves.
The plan for September is to fulfil all the Digitiser The Show backer rewards, which means putting together the DVDs, t-shirts, posters and whatnot. I'm not going to entertain the idea of doing another crowd-funding campaign until the previous one is all done and dusted, which I'm hoping it will be by early October.
We're planning to get the entire Digi team together at some point in September - and possibly some special guests - for some slightly bigger-scale eps than we have been doing. We're also planning some modest location filming. We thought it'd be fun to get out from behind the desk.
We've got a bunch of ideas for future videos, and now that we've firmly established our chemistry and tone, it's going to be fun applying that to some slightly more curated content, Mini-wise.
You've no doubt noticed that the channel has moved away a bit from retrogaming. Candidly, I was getting sort of bored finding new things to say about old games, and though any Digitiser The Show Series 2 will keep the retro gaming theme (as will this site), when it comes to the weekly eps anything goes, to be honest.
While Digi has never, in its almost-27-years, been just about gaming, games will always nonetheless remain at the core of what we do; it's more I just like the idea of a YouTube channel that's trying to be like other YouTube channels, but constantly undermined by its own ineptitude!
Because, frankly, I've earned it, I've got another holiday/very belated honeymoon booked for late October (I hope to film some Digi stuff while I'm away, and have invested in some new kit in order to make it possible). After that, the plan is to then start slowly grinding the wheels of hype towards a new Kickstarter campaign.
I'm a bit scared of doing it too close to Christmas, but I would like to see it happen this year, so we can think about going into production relatively early in 2020. We'll need to know soon what sort of budget we have to play with.
Here's what we're thinking.
The plans are still semi-embryonic, but the core idea for Digitiser Series 2 has been rattling around in my head since we finished the first series.
Given that the Minis kind of fill the desk-based content vacuum, I don't think we're going to be able to entice enough backers if we simply offer more of that, but with higher production values. It needs to be something that we can't do in regular episodes, and it has to be big, and noisy, and intriguing, and different to what we did last time.
And so, at present, the thinking is that we do a series that is almost entirely location-based, with links and certain segments shot in front of a live audience (audience tickets will be one of the Kickstarter tiers).
There may be a competitive road-trip structure to it that runs across the series, with us competing in a series of gaming-themed challenges (yes, like the mooted Destruction Derby, Super Monkey Ball and whatnot For Real... but we've also had ideas for things like Resident Evil For Real, Pilotwings For Real, Tempest For Real, Luigi's Mansion For Real - and more).
If that sounds a bit like Top Gear or The Grand Tour, but for video games... well... yeah. Funny that.
The lack of outside-the-studio stuff is one of my big regrets from series 1, but we simply didn't have the money to do it on the scale I wanted. By focusing almost entirely on the location filming - with the studio segments shot in just a day or two - it suddenly becomes possible.
Or, at least, potentially possible.
We also want to do more episodes - perhaps twice as many - but make them shorter and more focused than the first series. And the plan is to be a little bolder with any guests we involve, and cast our net somewhat wider. Jim Sterling, for one, is somebody who's keen to be a part of whatever we do.
I'm well aware that it's a ridiculously ambitious idea, that will take a lot of planning and a ton of money, but what I'm envisioning brings together everything I've learned from doing Found Footage, The Trojan Arse Protocol, Digitiser The Show and Digitiser Live.
I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone, and learn from what I'm doing. Simply repeating myself isn't going to keep me interested, so to stay focused I need something ambitious and challenging and new.
HOLD ME NOW
Now, the important thing here is... don't hold me to this.
It might yet change. This isn't definitely what we're doing, and if we can't raise the money to do it, then it absolutely won't happen. Also, don't hold me to a timeframe either. As said, I've worked harder this year than I ever had, to the point that - as you've probably seen - I've actually struggled to produce written stuff for this site of late. I need to top-up my energy and creativity levels before I can embark on another massive project (especially so soon after the brilliant, but debilitating, live show).
The Minis are chugging along nicely, and I have to sort out rewards for backers of the first series. There's no immediate rush.
Also, I just want to say that I know I couldn't even consider doing any of this if it wasn't for you lot. If I don't say it enough, I really, really appreciate the support you give me.
Digitiser - be it this site or the YouTube channel - doesn't have the largest audience, but you're so committed, passionate, and loyal. It blows me away. Because of all that, our relatively tiny fanbase is worth as much as one ten times the size.
Of course, I hope we can continue to grow, but I also hope that never happens at the expense of losing the feel of what we have; that sense of community, which you saw at Digi Live, or in the comments. It's really something very, very special.