GET LAMP is Real! …and the Vegas Batch

Posted: July 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Interactive Fiction, production | 42 Comments »

I got my hands on packages of the final, completed GET LAMP package, with the completed, mastered and duped DVDs. I’ve inspected the product, played through all the parts, the features, the hidden aspects, and the DVD-ROM section. It’s a go. It’s perfect, it’s what I wanted. So yes, GET LAMP is, by my standards, a real product.


I’ve gone ahead and switched the “pre-order” page and title to “order“. Orders made now will ship out next week. It’s a real thing. As I can I’ll add the other payment options and flesh out the website to include more information, but right now, it’s a product.

I’m currently in a hotel room in Las Vegas, the week of DEFCON and CG Expo, two big events that will have a large audience for this movie and DVD. As per plans and payments made weeks ago, I’m here with 260 copies of GET LAMP, shrinkwrapped and in boxes.  (This is how I know it’s a product.) At my home are another 1100 copies, representing the pre-orders. I paid a notable sum to ensure to have all the copies everywhere they needed to be.

The original plan had been to ship the pre-orders from the 1100 copies and then have sales here in Vegas. That’s not going to happen. The pre-orders have to start shipping on August 2nd, and from then on.

The biggest hitch I hit was that when it was announcing shipping would happen, people started contacting me in droves to get new shipping addresses for the products. If it had been a few, I could have had my friends who are ready to do fulfillment place those aside – but it ended up being dozens and dozens. They’re still coming in.  With thousands of dollars of postage required to do this shipping, it quickly outgrew the chance for me to drop this in the lap of my friends. I need to supervise this personally. (My friends said they’d come over to help to make sure it all happens fast.)

But this means that I will be selling items here at the event before pre-orders get shipped out.  While I hope I made clear this situation wasn’t intentional, I do know it says something different than I’ve said up to this point. I know some people will be annoyed.  But I hope people will understand what caused it to be this way. Obviously, the coins are numbered in order of people buying copies, so nobody here in Vegas is getting a sub-1100 number for their coins.

The weblog changes from this point – from speculation and explanation of ideas to news of fulfillments, reviews, and upcoming screenings, with and without me. This is the fun part – when people finally get a chance to see what I’ve spent the last four years working on.

42 Comments on “GET LAMP is Real! …and the Vegas Batch”

  1. 1 Mike S said at 4:59 pm on July 28th, 2010:


  2. 2 Lurking Grue said at 5:53 pm on July 28th, 2010:

    Anybody who is annoyed by Vegas sales in advance of the pre-orders shipping doesn’t deserve a sub-1100 coin in the first place :p.

    Congrats. I’ve been following this project ever since I discovered MC Frontalot through the It Is Pitch Dark video roughly 2 years ago.

    It’s quite an accomplishment and you should be proud. I can’t wait to get my pre-order.

  3. 3 Johan Herrenberg said at 10:22 pm on July 28th, 2010:

    What’s a few days? I waited patiently for 4 years and now the thing is finished! August will be sweet!

  4. 4 Mike said at 11:43 pm on July 28th, 2010:

    …I like ‘Take Lamp’ better. Is it too late to change the title….Sorry, sick joke ;-)

    Fantastic. I’m excited for myself to get hold of this soon, and stoked for you to see your labour of love out at last.
    It’ll be cool to see what number I got, how far down the list I was when preordering. I have no problem with someone possibly buying this before I get mine, the more people that get it the better. I’m going onto the ‘Retrogamer site’ to give heads up it’s now ‘orderable’
    Will be back adding ‘feedback’ in the comments once it arrives.

    Congratulations. You deserve the best of success with it.

  5. 5 Mata Hairy said at 2:17 am on July 29th, 2010:

    jk:”Um, sure. Yeah, just ship the pre-orders that don’t have address changes. That’ll work. Now, how do I figure out which ones have address changes?”

    This is a reply to JK:
    You don’t know how to change an order? Or is it inconvenient? There is a major difference. With that sort of wise ass sarcasm in your post,I think your word means little either . It’s not written in stone that these DVD’s have to be given away or sold at this convention or any other convention while no pre-orders are fulfilled. Pre-orders have been taken up to this point, and should continue to be at the convention until all backlogs are fulfilled. Sorry but someone’s word should mean something, whether they are a company or an individual.

  6. 6 anonpreorderer said at 2:17 am on July 29th, 2010:

    pretty dissapointed in the tactless decision to leave to preorder people hanging. So happy fair weather fans of the genre will be able to pick it up before the dedicated fans who have waited years will get it. :-/

    Glad the product is done though. I know I will enjoy it but I can’t help but have a slightly sour taste in my mouth over this decision.

  7. 7 Mike Hill said at 4:14 am on July 29th, 2010:

    Did you mail out a notification to all pre-orders? I haven’t seen anything in my inbox (or spam folder). I ordered on the 14th of July of this year.

    I got a paypal receipt at the time of purchase.

    Just curious if my lack of a notification email means there was a problem.


  8. 8 Get Lamp, A Documentary About Text Adventure Games said at 4:25 am on July 29th, 2010:

    […] Lamp”, the new documentary by Jason Scott about text adventure games has been officially released. Rising from side projects at universities and engineering companies, adventure games would […]

  9. 9 Sir Poop A Lot said at 5:26 am on July 29th, 2010:

    I can understand the people who changed their address after placing an order having to wait. But thats not what is happening. Making all the pre-orders who did not change their order address have to wait until you come back from some convention where you plan to sell a bunch of copies is not cool.

  10. 10 Michael said at 5:52 am on July 29th, 2010:


    No worries. I know my pre-order is secure and I will receive my copy soon. An extra week or so isn’t going to hurt.

    Thanks again for all of your efforts!

  11. 11 RossH said at 6:47 am on July 29th, 2010:

    I think we should be more upset with all those people who decided to tell you their mailing list had changed just before you were ready to ship the disks out than any sales at Vegas! ;-)

    Seriously though, I don’t think anyone here can seriously expect you to promote ‘Get Lamp’ in Vegas and not offer up any copies for sale. And if they do, just swap their coin with a higher numbered one!

  12. 12 jk said at 6:48 am on July 29th, 2010:

    Um, sure. Yeah, just ship the pre-orders that don’t have address changes. That’ll work. Now, how do I figure out which ones have address changes?

  13. 13 Jason Scott said at 7:18 am on July 29th, 2010:

    First of all, yes, I feel very bad about this situation. I have not stopped feeling bad about it since I figured out it was the case.

    If I was a company, I definitely agree that it would be really poor taste to have sales in one location while pre-sales languished elsewhere – because I should be assigning employees to both projects/situations as needed. But I don’t have any employees. I am a single person, someone who worked hard up to when I had to leave to be able to fulfill orders and leave it to friends to mail – and when the address changes started rolling in, I saw the process get bogged down very quickly.

    If it had been just a few people, I could also have eaten it, but it’s not. For whatever reasons, the number of people with changed/modified addresses has approached ten percent of all the orders. This came as a result of a mailing out of notification to pre-orders. It was just too much too quickly, and I made a judgement call, which I have to live with. Slings and arrows are understood and accepted as part of this – I do not consider myself immune to criticism about it. But I made the choice to ensure the boxes and coins would go to the right places.

  14. 14 Patrice Aubry said at 9:05 am on July 29th, 2010:

    Jason, don’t feel bad about it.

    If you were a company like Sony, you would have suppressed advertised features without feeling the slightest remorse about it.

    Selling “promo” copies ahead of preorders is not a breach of contract in my book. And we still get our precioussss coins… Yes, preciousss…

  15. 15 Sean Huxter said at 9:42 am on July 29th, 2010:

    So some people are going to get to see it before you. Bit whooop. By a few days. Even a couple of weeks. Wouldn’t matter much to me. I pre-ordered, quite some time ago, and I’m willing to wait for my copy regardless of how many get sold at a convention before then.

    I think the low-numbered coin will be my reward for patience.

    As for selling pre-orders at the con until the pre-orders are filled… uh… you obviously aren’t self-funding a four-year project with no employee support, and don’t quite understand the dynamics of how a labour of love such as this can take up your entire life until it’s done, and your dire need to recoup some of the costs however you can…

    Jason, don’t listen to the few naysayers. You’ve produced a great thing, and I’m willing to wait a bit longer to see it. And I’m not alone.


  16. 16 doberlec said at 10:17 am on July 29th, 2010:

    You made the right decision Scott. You had your own pace in the project over the years, making sure that everything is done the right way. Throwing that away in the last couple of weeks would have been a dire mistake. Priority should certainly be that your creation arrives at the doorstep of the people who supported you, no matter if it takes a few more days or not. Its good to see you keeping a cool head even when pressure increases :)

  17. 17 Eric said at 10:25 am on July 29th, 2010:

    To those complaining about him selling copies in Vegas: I get the hurt feelings, but chill, just a bit.

    Let me explain why.

    The only way people like Jason are going to be able to continue to make projects like this– projects so cool that you can’t STAND the idea of someone seeing it before you do– is if they break-even, financially. And that’s far from a foregone conclusion.

    In addition to many thousands of hours of blood, sweat, and tears effectively working two jobs, Jason had to pay for production equipment, plane tickets to fly all over the nation for interviews and promotion, mastering, duplication, cover art, coin design, and thousands of copies of the actual product itself.

    He’s not selling copies in Vegas because he’s greedy. If he’s very lucky and the documentary sells well, maybe it’ll pay back his costs plus minimum wage for the thousands of hours he put in. Which, undoubtedly, he’ll turn around and invest in the next awesome project he makes for us. If he’s unlucky, he could lose his shirt. Bad for him, bad for us as a community.

    If we want to preserve and celebrate our nerd history, we can’t expect Sony or Warner Brothers to do it. There’s not enough profit in it. It’s going to fall to a handful of talented people who care enough about our history and our community to put in thankless hours and gamble their own financial safety net to make it happen.

    So please: don’t be petty. Be thankful that we’ve got someone like Jason interviewing these people before they’re gone and a piece of our shared-history goes with them.

    Thanks, Jason.

  18. 18 John Kelly said at 2:08 pm on July 29th, 2010:

    Just to add my voice to the ‘I’ll get it when it comes’ camp, I really don’t care if I see it later than someone else. I only pre-ordered because I happened to have the money spare when I did. I have waited two years for this film, and another week or two makes no odds.

    Can’t wait, and thanks for making this unique contribution to the history of gaming.

  19. 19 Alex said at 2:14 pm on July 29th, 2010:

    Don’t sweat it Jason. It’s unfortunate timing, that’s all. You’ve done a great job.

    I’d like as many people as possible to buy and see this film. No point holding back copies when they’re begging to be seen.

    Besides, I’m in the UK and still won’t get mine for a couple of weeks. ;)

  20. 20 RossH said at 11:06 am on July 30th, 2010:

    ‘Get Lamp’ is ready and done… anything else is just white noise!

  21. 21 Daniel Pharos said at 11:50 am on July 30th, 2010:

    Totally fine with me. You need to spread the stuff as far as you can and shouldn’t let the events pass by just because of us preorderers.

  22. 22 Myles Barros said at 1:31 pm on July 30th, 2010:

    The more people that get to see GET LAMP, the merrier. No, the more people that are familiar with what my spiff numbered coin is, and why they should be so jealous of it, the happier I’ll be.

    I can’t say I much care about the delay, or the early sales in Vegas. As long as I’m getting to see the film at some point in the near future, I’m thrilled. Only pre-ordered in the first place so that you would have a bit more cash on hand to get the movie out the door. You do this without any guarantee of financial re-compensation, so you can do whatever the hell you want with the final product, as far as I’m concerned. Even after we’ve paid you, we’re still entirely in your debt for even making this documentary. You’re a cool guy, Jason Scott.

    So thanks, and enjoy Vegas.

  23. 23 Steve Lawson said at 1:31 pm on July 30th, 2010:

    I pre-ordered not so that I’d be assured of being one of the first people on the planet to get the DVD, but because I wanted to support the project and because I wanted to get my copy as soon as possible. Since I’m not going to be at this Vegas event, this is all still working for me as planned.

    I’m excited to see it. Congratulations, Jason, on making this real.

  24. 24 Shane said at 1:31 pm on July 30th, 2010:

    Just a note from the set of people who are ok with your decision. Thanks for getting it finished, and I look forward to getting to watch it!

  25. 25 Geoff McHugh said at 1:31 pm on July 30th, 2010:

    Even assuming Jason could dispatch all the pre-orders before going to the conventions in Vegas, they’d be at the mercy of the postal system so copies sold at DEFCON or CG Expo would still be in the hands of those purchasers before many of the pre-orders could be delivered.

    Like Alex, I’m in the UK and expect a further wait before I get my hands on the DVD, so what’s Jason supposed to do, wait for the delivery of all pre-orders to be confirmed before selling any other copies?

    Personally, I didn’t pre-order with any expectation that I’d have a copy before anyone else, I pre-ordered to show good faith, encouragement and some small bit of financial support in a product that was still in development and that I really want to own. My faith will soon be rewarded, and my ‘pre-order’ status will be confirmed by a coin with a pre-1100 number (a coin that wasn’t even mentioned when I placed my order, so I’m already getting more than I’d signed up for!)

    Jason, I hope you make a bundle out of ‘Get Lamp’, I don’t remember seeing anyone else with the dedication to take on a project like it. I would be genuinely thrilled for you if you were able to sell every last one of the remaining 2900 copies in Vegas this week, even before the first pre-order ships. My copy is reserved and will soon be on its way to me… that’s all I need to know :)

  26. 26 Robb Sherwin said at 4:06 am on July 31st, 2010:

    Everyone who pre-ordered got it for cheaper than its going now, at the two cons. And the whining by the small minority qqing on this is doing so about TWO DAYS. Two days.

    Most everyone here understands and that’s awesome, but if you don’t, Christ – he’s not HBO here. He’s just a guy. (Who made something awesome.)

  27. 27 John Inge Sivertsvik said at 10:41 am on July 31st, 2010:

    I quote Steve Lawson “I pre-ordered not so that I’d be assured of being one of the first people on the planet to get the DVD, but because I wanted to support the project and because I wanted to get my copy as soon as possible.” *bows* Wohoooooo! It’s soon here! :)

  28. 28 James Mudge said at 11:34 am on July 31st, 2010:

    But I don’t have any employees. I am a single person

    I think we all recognize this, Jason, so don’t let a small hiccup of which you had no control trouble you. Enjoy the moment: the hard work is done and now comes to share you work. Focus on that; enjoy that.

  29. 29 Rich said at 1:28 pm on July 31st, 2010:

    You sent a mailing about the pre-orders? I pre-ordered and didn’t get a notice. Should I be worried?

  30. 30 Loughlin said at 3:50 pm on July 31st, 2010:

    What’s a few more days? Good luck in Vegas, I couldn’t care less if I get it this month, next month or next year. I know I’ll be getting it delivered safe and sound and sometime soon. Ever since the BBS doco I’ve been waiting for your next piece of work so a few extra days ain’t so bad. Plus, you seem genuinely sorry about all of this which makes it seem all the more forgivable…

  31. 31 Thom said at 9:14 pm on July 31st, 2010:

    As has been said multiple times. Who cares if the pre-orders didn’t ship first? Quite frankly, it leaves me hoping I get to read a fantastic review before it hits my box.

    Jason, when I consider the number of times I’ve watched and loved BBS (I bought it twice, for cripes sake), I can only be thrilled to have tossed some coin in early. It just guaranteed that I didn’t somehow forget to order later.

    When it arrives, I’ll take a day off work, pour cocktails and be a happy geek.

    Thank you, good sir, is all I can say.

  32. 32 Mike said at 2:14 am on August 1st, 2010:

    Totally agree Thom, I’ll be searching for online reviews while waiting for the postie (to New Zealand…ugh). And there’ll be a day relaxing at home with munchies when it gets here…;-)

  33. 33 Robert Paloutzian said at 5:08 am on August 1st, 2010:

    As a member of the Adventurer’s Club, these are my thoughts: (1) Super excited that it’s done: words can’t express my level of anticipation; (2) I “pre-ordered” in December 2005(!), so waiting a few more days is a non-issue for me; (3) Absolutely it makes the most sense to sell DVDs at the convention: being as the DVDs and the people waiting with cash in hand are in the same place at the same time, not to do so would be irresponsible and foolish; (4) I’m guilty of a late-ish address change, but I was expecting Jason to ask for my shipping address when he was ready for it, so I waited, too long it turns out; (5) Jason, perhaps next time around it would be a good idea to put out a call for updated shipping addresses when the project is nearing completion; (6) Enough with the negativity! It’s time to party!

  34. 34 Danny said at 5:29 pm on August 1st, 2010:

    Rich: “You sent a mailing about the pre-orders? I pre-ordered and didn’t get a notice. Should I be worried?”

    Yeah, same here. I pre-ordered a few months ago but I didn’t get any mailing.

  35. 35 Dave Gilbert said at 6:26 am on August 2nd, 2010:

    Awesome that it’s being shipped! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this!

    Although… count me in as one of those guys who never received a pre-order email. Should I be worried too?


  36. 36 Jon Jacobs said at 6:35 am on August 2nd, 2010:

    I also didn’t receive notice though I preordered from Amazon when that was an option and am hoping that won’t be a problem?

  37. 37 Jason Scott said at 10:55 am on August 2nd, 2010:

    Another mailing is going out. I am back from vegas and ready to roar!

  38. 38 Rubes said at 11:34 am on August 2nd, 2010:

    Well this is awesome news. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Despite the pre-order complaints, it must feel incredibly great.

  39. 39 Michael Feir said at 1:08 pm on August 2nd, 2010:

    Congratulations are definitely in order. Those were two major events which I hope you achieved some good sales at. People should understand when such key opportunities come up that you’d be foolish not to take advantage of them if you could. This isn’t exactly a project targetted at the average Jo. As someone featured in the documentary, I’m apparently in for a free copy of it. Though I’m as keen to get it as anyone else, I have no problem with waiting as pre-orders are filled or sales at special events are made.

    I won’t be able to see the number of my coin but it will have a place of honour in my apartment. Visitors find very few decorative objects. Being totally blind, I find it helpful to keep clutter to a minimum. I have a rule about such items. If they’re out in the apartment, they have a story attached to them. Decorations should at least serve to initiate good conversation. Participating in that documentary was part of what kept me together while my married life fell to pieces around me. Thanks once again for giving me the opportunity to reach out and participate in something worthy, lasting and larger than my own concerns. I stand ready to help in any way I’m able to with your future efforts.

  40. 40 Brian said at 4:26 am on August 3rd, 2010:

    I too pre-ordered from Amazon around Christmas of this past year (I know, I’m a newbie!) and haven’t received any notification. Is that OK?

    Regardless, glad to hear you are back from Vegas (I hope everything went great there and you sold many copies) and excited to see the finished product at long last.

  41. 41 Adam Hall said at 4:44 am on August 4th, 2010:

    I pre-ordered , and do not mind waiting a few days. But I find it sort of disturbing that people don’t have a problem with the fact that copies were being sold and given away before pre-orders were shipped simply because it does not inconvenience them personally. Something is not morally right or wrong based on whether it inconveniences YOU or not.

  42. 42 Brad Jewell said at 4:30 pm on August 5th, 2010:

    Can’t wait to get it…

    I preordered December of last year and didn’t get an email… did anyone say whether or not we were supposed to get one?

    Thanks again for all the hard work, Jason.

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