June in summary: Bringing TOTF back to life
Back in September of 2015 we embarked on a long and rigorous journey to turn a small music collaboration into so much more. We worked countless hours on all aspects of the project in preparation for the Kickstarter. And while we had a huge amount of support, we asked a lot of our fans. Too much, we see now. Alas, the Kickstarter failed to reach its generous goal, but we wanted to continue the project somehow. Obviously trying to produce physical books and CDs was a little out of reach for us, so we took some time to think about the next route we should take.
From mid-March to June, we were finishing up schooling and didn't have much time to work on TOTF content anyway, so this allowed us to really think about what delivery was best for the project in the future. This, unfortunately, resulted in us becoming rather silent over social media, with many people reaching out to us asking if the project was dead. While we knew people backed the project, seeing people actively reach out and ask if the project was alive showed us that we needed to stop sitting around and do something. So we did.
MY STATUS IS LIVING
June has been a big month for us. Not only did it revive the project and all the hype behind it, but it did this through the first installment of how our new content will be delivered. After thinking about how to best please fans, we finally decided on an "episodic" type of delivery. To keep content coming at regular intervals to keep fans on their toes, this format allows us to deliver a healthy amount of content that isn't overbearing for us to produce or for the fans to digest.
My Status is Living was the first test run of this format. And according to you guys, you totally dig it! During the end of May we worked our butts off to designate deadlines and release dates during the whole month of June to bring the hype train back into station.
The first episode explores the relationship of Iris, a machinery expert, and Rin, a young and naive robot companion built by Iris. Fearing for herself and Rin, whom she thinks of as her own child, Iris struggles with knowing she must leave the Grey Wastes, a mega-scrapyard she's been a part of for many years, and find others in an unknown world.
We decided to deliver the episodes in the form of a written chapter, written by Josh Beckelhimer, and an EP of music to go along to the writing, along with cover art for the episode as a whole. We had the privilege to work with Cincinnati pop artist Jane Decker for the fan-favorite track, Believe, which features actual lyrics in an epic song format, something we had always talked about doing and absolutely love the result of. So don't be shocked if you see something similar in the future. ;)
We also had the honor of partnering with the epic music YouTube channel HDSounDI to feature Believe on his channel to his over 200,000 subscribers.
We released MSIL on June 14 on Bandcamp and have been blown away by the amount of positive feedback and love that we have gotten. We've raised more money from your generosity than we thought we'd ever make. And you will be happy to know that ALL of the money raised is being invested into the next episode of TOTF to give an even better experience.
TELL YOUR TALES: FANFICTION FOR ALL!
With the release of MSIL being the main feature of our June revival, we also aimed to expand the project to more than just our expected content.
During the early days of TOTF, as we prepared for the Kickstarter, we were very reluctant to share too much information about the storylines. We aimed to make the story very thought-provoking and ominous, but we perhaps were a little too closed-door about the whole thing. As a result, many people who heard about our project and took an interest read the information we had made public and were still unsure of the exact details and intentions. And because of this, we saw numerous people guessing at what the story might include, thinking of their own characters and plots; things that we would have never thought of.
Despite some fan confusion, we loved seeing this type of creativity arise from our audience, and a sort of fanfiction display was something we had discussed doing since the Kickstarter days of TOTF. So we decided to do that, too!
We launched "Tell Your Tales" as a new facet of TOTF, to allow our project to become your project as well. Fans can submit literature, illustration, or music to us that is inspired by the TOTF universe. With their permission we will feature their content on the TYT portion of our site, giving them full credit for their work, and allowing other fans to check out their work and get inspired as well!
To contact us regarding TYT, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on our site! It's that easy! And thanks to Ryan Lin for giving us the first installment of the TYT writing series with his short story titled Schizophobia. And continue to look for some new entries soon! ;)
AND TO ADDRESS THAT CONFUSION...
We have been getting numerous questions concerning various parts of TOTF over the past month, so we decided to clear up any confusion that might be around with a live Q&A that we held on Facebook. The Q&A is available to watch on YouTube. Is TOTF going to be a video game? Yes? No? Maybe? Who knows. We dream big. Could happen. But could also not. You'll have to watch the video to find out.
We can't thank our audience enough for the wonderful month we've had. The amount of support we've gotten for MSIL and the project in general has been astounding. We are unsure of when the next episode will come out, but we assure you it will be as soon as possible. Seeing the amount of interest and dedication people have for our work is the biggest payoff we could ask for.
We hope you all stick around for what's to come in the future. It will be an interesting journey, but nevertheless a fun one. We have a few smaller updates coming in the near future, so you will be hearing from us again soon! Follow us on social media using the icons below!
Thank you again for everything you have given us; we couldn't have done it without you, TOTFans. YOU will never be forgotten.
See you soon,
Bill & Dylan