Crowdsourcing Mornings Stuff

Crowdsourcing Mornings: Insert Coin: Inside Midway’s ’90s Revolution


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This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

Joshua Tsui started his video game development career at Midway in the early 90’s and it really set the tone for the next 20+ years of his professional life. This was an amazing time to be in video games and Midway was making history one game at a time.  Imagine walking into your first job and working with the creators of Robotron, Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. All produced in a run down space in the back of a pinball factory. They were on the cusp of becoming legends, brainstorming some of the biggest hits in the history of video games.  Midway in the 90’s was an insane asylum run by the inmates! They were on the cusp of becoming legends, brainstorming some of the biggest hits in the history of video games and making it up as they went along.

A nightmare for the higher ups, but a boon to gamers, Midway offered an unrestricted environment — no management, no producers, no rules. Each team would take the nugget of an idea and just run with it, sometimes not realizing that they were making massive hits. Even though the team was part of a large corporation, its personality was small, agile, and independent.  Insert Coin talks to the developers of each game and lays out how all the games were made and how they connected with each other. Every game had its own unique story about victories, setbacks, and general mayhem. Only someone from the inside can understand the context of events and ask the right questions.

On top of the games everyone knows and loves, there are a lot of projects that have never seen the light of day. Insert Coin discusses with the devs who worked on them to find out what these games were and what happened to them.  Insert Coin really digs into the culture of Midway Games and arcades in the 90’s and how it affected how games were developed. It’s also a story about how large of an impact Chicago has in the video game industry both then and now. Many members of this team went on to become captains of industry, running whole studios, creating massive new IPs, etc. This is where they all started.

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As of July 21st, this project has raised around $22,000 of their $75,000 goal. This project only has 27 days left to raise the $75,000 or it will not be funded!  For a pledge of $15, you will get a digital download of Insert Coin.  For a pledge of $50, you will get both the digital download and Blu Ray of Insert Coin.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joshuatsui/insert-coin-inside-midways

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