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Post by ratsoalbion » May 16th, 2017, 5:58 pm

Hello everybody, Leon here. Welcome to a special Cane and Rinse announcement.


Looking back: Cane and Rinse 2011-2017

First of all, I want to tell you that making Cane and Rinse has easily been the most satisfying, rewarding and - dare I say it - successful thing I’ve done with my life so far.

With an extraordinary amount of (entirely essential) support from my friends, the incredible Cane and Rinse team, we have produced something in the region of 700 hours of, I think, mostly high quality podcasting over the past five and a half years or so.

In short, the whole endeavour is something of which I am extremely proud.

In fact, after 268 episodes of Cane and Rinse and 93 of Sound of Play (at the time of writing) and counting, far from feeling like we’ve exhausted the formats - or our passion for them - we only want to keep going and make more.


The challenge

One of our - and your - main frustrations is that at 50 shows per year, it’s going to take us forever, or many decades at least, to get around to covering some of the myriad deserving games that you (and we) really want us to dissect and discuss.

The barrier we have to making more shows than we currently do is that for each two hour episode of the show that you hear, we put in something like around 30 person/woman/man hours - and that is of course without including the playing and completing of the game (or sometimes games) in question.

These are largely happy hours for us of course, but real life hours nonetheless.


Patreon so far

Since early 2016 our amazing patrons have been kindly donating around $300 (or <> £235) per month.

This generosity has meant that all of our costs for web hosting, domain registration, audio software (Adobe suite) and hardware (decent desktop microphones for regular contributors) have been covered, as well as various other sundries.

This has been a fantastic help, and we cannot thank our 'early adopter' patrons enough.
Especially as - up to now - we have offered nothing ‘extra’ in return.*

*Unless you count the now weekly, previously fortnightly Sound of Play!


Our proposition and target

What we want to propose is that if we can hit and maintain a target ahead of preparing next year’s run of shows, we will be able to commit to making 100 issues of the Cane and Rinse podcast from 2018 (Volume 7).

Currently less than one percent of the Cane and Rinse listenership donates to the Patreon.

Our ambition is that by November 2017 we can increase that around tenfold and hit a target of $3000 per month.

What we ask of you is to support us with whatever you can spare and feel is appropriate for what you get in return, with the minimum being just $1 (equivalent to 78 pence / 0.90 of a € or thereabouts based on current exchange rates).

That’s over 20 hours of entertainment a month for something like the cost of a single Mars bar.

One third the price of a cup of high street coffee per month, in return for five hours of Cane and Rinse and Sound of Play every week.

That works out at 3.85 pence per hour of podcast, or 6.41p per podcast - and that’s not even including any extra interviews or bonus shows.

Alternatively, if you happen to be an eccentric millionaire superfan, feel free to bankroll the entire project … (!)


Clarity and transparency

It is important to understand that the extra money raised will - in the form of a very modest salary for each of us - support me (as main podcast presenter/host, researcher and identifier/recruiter of qualified panellists), along with Jay who will be responsible for the lion’s share of audio editing as well as continuing to run and maintain the website, and producing all those individual episode-specific pieces of art you see for every new edition of both Cane and Rinse and Sound of Play - in allowing us to commit fully to Cane and Rinse.

If we were independently wealthy, we would absolutely carry on doing it all for nowt but the love, but our partners seem to think we should make some actual contribution towards the household bills and that.


The infamous CaR long-list

We currently have almost one and a half thousand titles on our ‘long-list’ of suggested and requested games - your donations would allow us to undertake that exciting but Herculean task at twice the pace.

For example, just some of the wonderful game series’ that we have yet to even approach for the show but would love to have the opportunity to cover include...

Resident Evil, Metroid, The Elder Scrolls, Advance Wars, Onimusha, Dragon Quest, Command & Conquer, Dead Rising, EDF, F-Zero, Far-Cry, Forza, Gran Turismo, Gradius, Kingdom Hearts, Lego, Mario & Luigi RPG, Paper Mario, Metal Slug, Monster Hunter, Panzer Dragoon, PilotWings, Pokemon, Project Zero, STALKER, Civilization, Sonic the Hedgehog, SoulCalibur, Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Wario Land, WipEout, Worms, Xenoblade and Yakuza - and even that’s betting without the many and varied individual titles from all genres, platforms and eras which make for some of our most interesting, personal and popular shows.

So many amazing games!


Extras

We will also continue to make extra interview podcasts with developers and other persons of interest as and when the opportunity presents itself, and hopefully the extra freedom a more focused commitment to Cane and Rinse from myself and Jay, would afford more flexibility to pursue these.


Ambition

I am aware that seeking to increase contributions to the Cane and Rinse cause by a factor of ten sounds ambitious, but we have six months - until November 2017 - and we know how much you enjoy and appreciate what we do from the brilliant feedback that you give us.

To offer some perspective, Cane and Rinse is now one of very few amateur, independent shows that is pretty much a fixture in the upper echelons of the iTunes videogame podcast charts.

In footballing terms we’re attempting to compete in the Premier League while operating on a part-time League Two budget.

So far we have consciously resisted other forms of income, such as sponsorship and advertising on the podcasts and the website - and with your help we would much prefer to keep it that way and remain funded by you - our listeners and the community.


Appeal

Remember, if enough of you respond to this appeal, you need only to commit as little as a buck per month (although - it goes without saying - more than that will be very gratefully received and make it far more likely that we achieve our goal) for five hours of Cane and Rinse and Sound of Play goodness every week!

Become a Cane and Rinse patron here: https://www.patreon.com/caneandrinse

On behalf of myself and the Cane and Rinse team, thank you for reading and for your support.

https://caneandrinse.com/help-double-podcasts/

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by Stanshall » May 16th, 2017, 6:07 pm

Great proposal, very reasonable, and I hope very doable. It's become one of my favourite ever podcasts and I actually think you guys could be much less unassuming about the financial aspect of it. Easy for me to say as a bare minimum contributor but I've been thinking about this for a while, anyway, and this target gives a very good concrete reason to put my hand in my pocket.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 16th, 2017, 6:12 pm

Thank you Stanshall, that's very kind of you.

As regards to being bashful about asking for money. You're right, we are.

TCGS are (of course) already taking the piss out of us on Twitter, but actually the pledges are starting to roll in.
We believe our listeners understand what we do doesn't come without a lot of work, which equals a lot of focus and time.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by Suits » May 16th, 2017, 6:52 pm

Nothing much I can say to this really other than it will have my continued support for what is a wonderfully entertaining, influential, well researched, cultured group of people that enjoy to discuss computer games.

Then put it on iTunes.

The way that the content is rolled out is constant, steady and reliable. It has become part of my weekly ritual now for almost three years, without it, it would leave a gap. A big gap.

I'd buy you all a Mars bar any time. I'd even buy you pint. I don't subscribe to any Premium Service packages or anything like that but I genuinely feel like I'm helping being part of this and somehow feel part of it all.

I'd encourage anyone to buy more Mars bars for people that give you hours and hours of free entertainment.

And if there's potentially more of it, well, I'll buy you all a Topic as well.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 16th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Thank you Suits - much appreciated (although soon we'll all be fat and spotty).

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by Scrustle » May 16th, 2017, 7:56 pm

If I donate does that mean you'll finally do an episode on Darksiders 2?

On a more serious note, I've always wanted to support the Patreon of some of my favourite creators, but always felt like I couldn't really justify it. Even if I only gave a small amount to the people I wanted to support, there would be so many that it would quickly add up to a lot of money. More than I would be comfortable with. But at the same time, I would feel a bit bad about only picking a few favourites who "deserve" my money out the many people whose work I do enjoy. But I did recently finally create a Patreon account to donate to one creator in particular (David Firth, if you're interested) so I guess I can throw a few quid to one other of my favourite projects without feeling bad about it. C&R has been almost like a centrepiece in the podcasts I listen to. It's the one I've been subscribed to the longest, and many of my other favourite podcasts have been discovered through C&R as well. So I'm happy to give a little something back. Although I did buy a t-shirt once. It's actually a really good shirt and I wear it regularly.

I can't help but wonder though, if you guys do reach your goal and start doing double the number of episodes, where exactly will you get the time to manage that? I find it kind of hard already to keep up with just listening to both C&R, SoP, including all the specials. And you're aiming for four hours of C&R a week? That's quite a lot! Then again I am subscribed to far too many podcasts already. Might have to drop something to keep up.

Anyway, all the best. Hope it works out.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 16th, 2017, 8:06 pm

Thank you Scrustle - much appreciated.

As for DSII, well, any particular show becomes twice as likely - at least statistically speaking - if we reach our goal.
;)

Basically, the extra time will be there because Jay and I will no longer either be pursuing other work (or at least not nearly as much).
Cane and Rinse will be our main focus and income. This will open up many, many more hours per week.
Factor in some extra panellists and creating twice as meany shows will be entirely doable.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by seansthomas » May 16th, 2017, 10:45 pm

Good work guys. Perfectly fair suggestion I think. I donate already but hope this appeal gets more people doing so.

Better start playing Xenoblade now Leon if that's one of the ones on your list too...

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 16th, 2017, 11:32 pm

Thanks Sean.

Far too early to say if we will hit our goal but fingers crossed!

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 17th, 2017, 6:23 am

Most kind, thank you!

The average donation has rocketed since yesterday. We might 'only' need 3-6% of listeners to donate as most patrons are being considerably more generous than the $1 minimum.

Even if we fall short of the target, the extra donations will help massively in supporting what we do and the time and work that goes into Cane and Rinse.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by Craig » May 21st, 2017, 5:41 am

Got off my arse and signed up to Patreon for this. Cheers guys!

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 21st, 2017, 11:13 am

Thank you Craig, much appreciated!

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by Alex79uk » May 21st, 2017, 5:05 pm

Good luck, out of interest how many listeners do you find you're averaging out at per episode? Even if half of them could stump up a dollar a month it sounds like you'd make your target with ease! Really hope you manage it!

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 21st, 2017, 5:16 pm

Thanks!

Podcasts don't generally give their listenership figures out for various reasons, but suffice to say that if we got $1 per download, we would smash our target a number of times over.

As it stands however, around 1% are currently donating so we have a lot of convincing to do!

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by JaySevenZero » May 22nd, 2017, 5:15 pm

ThirdMan wrote:
May 17th, 2017, 12:18 am
There's a reason less than 1% of people support your show directly. The vast majority of people just don't want to pay for content, no matter how good it is. Just look at people's attitude to print media in 2017. I hope I'm wrong, but I just cannot see a videogame podcast getting the best part of 10% of its listeners to pay. Can any podcast lay claim to those kinda numbers?

I hope you reach your goal. More importantly, I hope you can maintain it., because that's the real challenge. Anyway, count me in. I'm afraid I'm not much of a millionaire but I'm gonna stop spending money on half-read magazines and Steam bargains that I'll never get around to. You can expect a lot more money from me from now on.

Keep up the good work.
I totally understand your point and it's one of the things we wish to drive home over the coming months is precisely how little we're asking for from any individual listener who wishes to contribute - effectively, a minimum of just 77p a month. However, we are discussing things such as whether some form of incentive would make a difference too? But we'd ideally prefer to keep things the way they are.

As for maintaining it, I'm absolutely confident that we can, we simply wouldn't have committed to it otherwise. Our approach from the beginning has been to implement stuff only when we know when we could manage it. Which is why the forum came about after 1 year, Sound of Play (an idea that had actually been around since the initial conversations Leon, Tony and I had about starting our own podcast) came about three years after we began Cane and Rinse and that itself only became a weekly show when we knew we could do it.

I know that we've got our work cut out to convince as many people as we can to support us but with the much-appreciated contributions from those like yourself who have already done so, we can hopefully make it happen at some point over the six months.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by DrewMerson » May 23rd, 2017, 12:01 pm

Let me start by saying good luck to you on this venture; hopefully a little bit from a lot of people will help you reach your target. I genuinely wish you all the best in the pursuance of your dream.

But...

I think doubling your content is a bad idea. I'm sure that a small but dedicated core of your audience have the time in their lives to listen to everything you produce and engage with it in a meaningful way. However, I can't help but feel that the majority of your audience already struggle to keep up with your output, let alone more. You're in a massive market competing for people's spare time. I for one am about three or four months behind the main podcast, and that's having had to give up on Sound of Play. I'm pretty sure I've got more free time than most (single, live alone, no kids).

I know people don't have to listen to it all, and can be selective, but housekeeping what we do and don't want to listen to makes it more of an effort to listen to, and people switch off. Last time I was at the verge of unsubscribing you made the sensible decision to keep shows under two hours. I think five hours of content a week could push people away.

Before I say what I'm about to say, please remember that I'm a fan of the show, and have listened to every episode of the main podcast up to January this year, and fully intend getting up to date.

Basically, if two of you go full time, I for one would rather see an increase in the quality of the podcasts rather than the quantity. New mics and standardised audio editing is great, but I for one feel that we're no longer getting as thorough a review as we used to get; it's rare to feel like a game has genuinely been caned and rinsed these days, more speed-ran to the credits. There's often speculation of points which could be confirmed one way or the other with more/better research before recording. Indeed, you've said yourselves in the past that if going full time was a possibility, that's what you'd look to do.

I think that's what would make the podcast a more professional product that warranted payment. I think people would be happier parting with cash for a professional product, rather than double the amount of an amateur one.

And, because I realise this post is a bit critical of your proposal, I'll finish by reiterating that I do really enjoy what you produce.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 23rd, 2017, 12:25 pm

Thanks Drew.

I think you make some fair points here overall, although I will contest that we do less work in putting show together than we used to.

I feel our reviews are at least as thorough as they have ever been, although it will by nature vary from game to game and panellist to panellist.

I have never previously been able to put as much time into preparing shows as I do currently (as I have reduced my hours in my 'real life' paying job primarily to do so), and I hope that this time and effort shows in the Perfect Dark and upcoming Tetris and Double Dragon shows.

As regards to keeping up, I do understand the 'podcast backlog' situation as I have one myself!

Spending all of a working week (and more) on Cane and Rinse would afford me the time to play, research and prepare twice the shows - and Jay the amount of time to edit and launch them.

Part of the thinking is that we know that a lot of people do want more (because they have told us) - and also there are a large percentage of the audience who don't listen to every show that we put out, because they are not interested in every game that we cover. By doubling the number of games we cover we are increasing the chance that at least one show will be of interest to an individual that week.

We honestly never expected so many people to listen religiously to every podcast that we put out.

I suspect that we may fall short of the $3000 per month target anyway, and if that is the case we will review both what we want to offer and how we might go about funding it.

Thanks once again for your thoughtful and constructive feedback.

We know from the overall reception to the campaign that certainly not everyone feels as you do, but it is something that we take on board.

Even if we don't end up doubling the shows, I can assure you that the extra revenue will allow me to focus increasingly fully on the podcast, which I absolutely want to make as good as it can be.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by Craig » May 23rd, 2017, 12:57 pm

To throw in my two cents as a listener - I would welcome a doubling of podcasts. I sometimes end up with a backlog of podcasts, but if I've got a few weeks where I'm travelling a lot, I end up running out. But the nature of cane and rinse means that the episodes don't have nearly as much of a shelf life as a typical video games news podcast. When I first started listening I had no trouble dipping into previous episodes of games I liked.

I have also ran into the issue sometimes of being unlucky for a few weeks and the games are either something I'd never play and don't have much interest in, or something I haven't got round to playing but don't want to hear spoilers. The latter can head into my purgatory backlog, though.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by ratsoalbion » May 23rd, 2017, 1:07 pm

Thanks Craig.

You make another good point - while due to the nature of what we cover our shows aren't quite 'evergreen', they can last for many years.

We know a lot of folks keep 'back issues' in reserve for rainy days/weeks off or when they get around to playing the game in question.

Most weeks the total downloads for older shows surpass the new download figure for the latest podcast.

I am curious though, do any more of you feel that our thoroughness/diligence has slipped?

Despite the name, we have only ever focused on doing what it takes to 'beat' a game. Anything beyond that has traditionally been gravy.

However, we are and have been trying to identify expert/hardcore fans of particular games to join us as panellists to give us that perspective. Of course the flipside of that is that these folks are very likely to be the most sycophantic regarding the title in question!

Again, more money = more time for me to identify and pursue such expertise.

To reassure Drew - and anyone else who is concerned - no-one would be attempting to beat more games in less time if we increased our output; I would have more time, we would be adding more contributors to the rolling panel as well as using our extensive contacts network more liberally.

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Re: Help us DOUBLE the amount of Cane and Rinse podcasts!

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 23rd, 2017, 2:28 pm

DrewMerson wrote:
May 23rd, 2017, 12:01 pm
it's rare to feel like a game has genuinely been caned and rinsed these days, more speed-ran to the credits. There's often speculation of points which could be confirmed one way or the other with more/better research before recording.
To be honest, I do feel like there is some truth to what DrewMerson is saying. Although part of it is just me being hyper-critical of things I care about. But even though I have my issues with the MGS episodes for example, I don't think you would produce anything of that caliber at this point in time under the self-imposed 2-hour limit.

On the one hand, I think that the notion of what exactly it takes to "beat" a game should be questioned more often. Simply seeing the credits roll is not always enough, and yet sometimes even superfluous! To apply the same rule to all types of games seems somewhat short-sighted to me. Resogun, The Secret of Monkey Island, Minecraft, Vanquish, 999, Destiny & Skyrim all have "closing" credits. But is it fair to approach them in the same way? I'd actually argue that someone who has only played Resogun "once" until the credits roll has less of a genuine understanding of the game than someone who has spent 100 hours playing Skyrim but just hasn't finished the last quest. Should someone who has recreated the Colossus of Rhodes in Minecraft but has never touched the story mode be excluded from the conversation? And what about multiplayer-oriented titles?
On the other hand, I understand that time and motivation are important factors, but I have to admit that in regards to the recent Ninja Gaiden issue for example, I did find myself thinking "You guys can find the time to play through The Witcher 3 plus DLC, but playing through this 2 or 3 times in a fraction of the same timespan is too much to ask?"

I guess what I'm criticizing here is less your lack of thoroughness, and more the widespread cultural notion of adopting the established consumption norms of other, more rigid, non-interactive forms of media like literature and cinema. These are in my eyes more often than not arbitrary and misleading when it comes to video games. And that in turn pushes developers away from dense, short, highly replayable concepts and towards massive open-world, shallow, filler collectathon design.
ratsoalbion wrote:
May 23rd, 2017, 1:07 pm
due to the nature of what we cover our shows aren't quite 'evergreen'
I'm not sure I quite understand this, however. What is it about the nature of the show that gives the episodes an expiration date? Why should, say, the Killer7 episode be any less enjoyable to listen to 10 years from now as opposed to today? This makes no sense to me.


PS: I very much understand DrewMerson's apprehension towards the idea of doubling the amount of shows, because more often than not in cases like this, the quality tends to suffer as a result. If the quality can stay consistently high however, I don't see any issue with it.

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