This entertaining and nostalgic documentary will take a game-by-game deep dive into the history and evolution of a genre that has grown from the simple wireframe graphics of Maze War and Spasim to become a staple of popular culture that is enjoyed by millions of gamers worldwide.
First Person Shooter will explore the creation and legacy of the most popular and significant FPS titles from the last 48 years, including favorites such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, GoldenEye, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, Deus Ex, Halo… and many more.
The completed film will feature insights, stories, and anecdotes from the producers, designers, programmers, artists, and composers who worked on the most significant and popular FPS titles in history. Not only will they tell their own stories, but they will also discuss the games that inspired and influenced them.
As we relive these iconic gaming moments through the stories of their creators, we will explore:
- The groundbreaking technological milestones - such as raycasting, online multiplayer deathmatch, and discrete 3D graphics cards - that drove huge advances in design and graphics.
- The evolution of gameplay design and mechanics, including innovations such as free aiming, regenerating health, interactive cutscenes, dual-wielding, kill streaks, and more.
- The incredible worldbuilding and level design that led to the creation of immersive worlds such as Rapture, Dunwall, City 17, and many more.
- The classic FPS revival and the return of the 90s-style shooter in games such as Dusk, Ion Fury, and Prodeus, and the revisiting of early genre stars such as Doom & Wolfenstein.
- The emergence of LAN parties and their growth from college dorms and internet cafes to the earliest days of QuakeCon, laying the foundations for the growing eSports scene.
- The huge contribution of modding and total conversions to the genre, from Final Doom, Aliens TC and Action Quake 2 to Team Fortress, Counter-Strike and Garry’s Mod.
- The world of speedrunning and its growth from the earliest of Doom speedruns to its highly competitive scene today.
Sharing these stories will be our our incredible cast, featuring many of the developers and designers who made your favorite FPS games, including id Software legends John Carmack & John Romero (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Doom II, Quake), Marcus Lehto (Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo Reach), Warren Spector (System Shock, Thief, Deus Ex), Cliff Bleszinski (Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Gears of War), Robin Walker (Team Fortress, Half-Life 1, Half-Life 2, HL: Alyx), Karl Hilton (Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark, Timesplitters, Crysis 2), Dave Oshry (Dusk, Amid Evil), and many more.
Joining these creatives are some of the best-known players of these titles, including Amy “Valkyrie” / “Athena” Brady (Frag Dolls and PMS Co-Founder), Dennis “Thresh” Fong (Gaming’s First Pro Player), and Randy “N0M4D” Fitzgerald (World’s First Quadriplegic Pro Gamer, Accessibility Advocate).
These fantastic contributors have put their faith in our vision by attaching their name to our project - we hope you will do the same. Your support will go towards the cost of production, filming interviews, and post-production, as well as getting more big names on board. This Kickstarter is an essential stage to realizing our vision and we can’t do it without you - and we wouldn’t want to!
Keep reading to see our full cast of 40+ legends below. We’re still casting, so expect to see more big names added to this list soon!
With First Person Shooter, we'll combine our documentary-making experience and passion for the FPS genre with a world-leading cast. Our previous films include the critically acclaimed In Search of Darkness and In Search of Darkness: Part II (‘80s Horror), and the upcoming In Search of Tomorrow (‘80s Sci-Fi), which is the highest grossing crowdfunded documentary of all time.
As a team, we’ve successfully crowdfunded, developed, filmed, and fulfilled multiple films for thousands of backers, and we can’t wait to bring this one to life. We are confident that with the help of FPS fans, we can achieve a fantastic result that rewards backers and delivers an excellent documentary.
Made by fans, for fans - this will be the ultimate love letter to the genre. But, we can only make it with the support of the FPS Community. Back now to help us celebrate these fantastic games and the people who made them.
As an independent production company, we are in a unique position to engage with fans and enable them to join us on this journey. Every backer who purchases the documentary (digitally or physically) is invited to join us on our Discord server.
You will get the opportunity to engage with the production team and fellow fans on our private Discord, as well as tell us what games you want to see, suggest potential interviewees, and even provide feedback on early sequences and chapters of the documentary. We'll also be holding special events including production Q&As, expert Q&As, and more.
In addition to the documentary itself (Digital, Factory-Pressed DVD, or Factory-Pressed Blu-Ray) we have a wide range of physical rewards to thank our backers for their support. Please check the below section ‘Pledge Tiers’ to see which rewards are available at which level.
We are a remote team based across the U.S., Europe, and Australia who have come together around a shared love of creating great content and a deep appreciation for the FPS games we grew up with:
- Chris Stratton, Director: Chris is a passionate and experienced filmmaker. His experience includes producing films for big brands (such as Superdry, Dyson & Nike) and music videos for BMG. He has worked on two critically-acclaimed documentaries as cinematographer and editor and is currently in post-production on another two. This documentary is to be his exciting directorial debut.
- Robin Block, Executive Producer: Robin is the founder of CREATORVC and FANDAMENTAL. His credits as Executive Producer/Creator include In Search of the Last Action Heroes, In Search of Darkness 1 & 2, and In Search of Tomorrow. He really loves Halo.
- Richard Moss, Producer & Writer: Besides writing an 8,000-word history of the FPS genre for Ars Technica, Richard has contributed hundreds of articles across a variety of gaming publications, including Gamasutra, Polygon, EGM, and many others. He's also the author of The Secret History of Mac Gaming and the upcoming book Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet, and he creates the games history podcast The Life & Times of Video Games.
- David L. Craddock, Producer: David is the bestselling author of over 20 nonfiction books about how games are made and the people who make them. His most well-known works include Rocket Jump: Quake and the Golden Age of First-Person Shooters at Shacknews, and the Stay Awhile and Listen trilogy recounting the making of the Diablo, WarCraft, and StarCraft franchises.
- James Evans, Producer: Commercial Advisor
- Dominic Wallis, Associate Producer: Social Media
- Samuel Way, Associate Producer: Creative Consultant
- Clayton Benge, Creative Director: Art for Marketing & Product Design
- Lori Mezoff, PR
- Susan Lusty, PR
Why should you get involved now?
- Get It First - Our backers will be the first to receive their documentary and rewards, ahead of other customers.
- Help Make Documentary a Success - Your early support will help ensure the documentary is a success. By backing us now, we can use the funds you pledge to make a documentary that does justice to the games we love and the people that made them.
- Join The Journey - Follow the process of creating the documentary from beginning to end. You’ll be the first to hear casting news, get to share your thoughts on your favorite FPS games, and will also get access to early previews of completed sections as we build the documentary.
Ready to join? Choose your pledge level now!
Our physical rewards are manufactured and shipped from the United States by a company that we have worked with on several previous projects and who have achieved excellent results. Backers will receive a tracking number and our items are sent in very study packaging (posters rolled, not folded) to ensure everything arrives with you safely.
Because shipping costs vary substantially depending on whether you are in the US or elsewhere, we have decided not to include shipping costs in the pledge tiers. Instead, shipping costs are as follows:
- USA, all physical tiers - FREE (excludes minor outlying islands)
- Global, all physical tiers - £10 (about $14)
Because we want as many people to enjoy this documentary as possible, and because shipping costs are currently very high, we've quoted global shipping fees lower than the actual rates we pay (and absorbed some of these costs) and reduced the US shipping fee to zero.
We are using a pledge management tool called CrowdOx. Using CrowdOx, you will be able to manage many aspects of your pledge, including:
- Choose the name you would like in the credits
- Choose from Blu-ray and DVD (physical tiers only)
- Choose T-shirt design (if you ordered a tier which includes a t-shirt)
- Upgrade to a different tier from the one you backed with on Kickstarter
- Add additional single items to your order
- Change your shipping address in the event you move house before production begins
These options will remain available to you until just before we start manufacturing, so you can upgrade in a few months if you later change your mind.
We began work on First Person Shooter in early 2021, and since then have amassed an impressive cast (with more to come!). Following the (hopefully successful) Kickstarter campaign, production will begin in August, with an expected release date of December 2022.
We’ve partnered with our friends at New Retro Wave again to curate our official soundtrack. NewRetroWave is one of the leading voices in the emerging Retrowave scene, providing exposure to Retrowave artists who perfectly match the retro gaming aesthetic we’re celebrating.
We have accurately portrayed our project as it stands at this point in time, however, creative projects are subject to change and ours is no exception. By making a pledge you acknowledge that elements of the project, including but not limited to the artwork, cast, and content, is subject to change, and that the final project may differ from what is presented while the Kickstarter campaign is active. For example, occasionally a person who has said they will feature on the documentary may later be unable to do so due to illness or other reason. This is uncommon, but not unheard of.
Please note the free shipping to the US excludes minor outlying islands - sorry!
All backers are welcome to join our community, but to do so they must conform to the community rules which govern appropriate behavior. Repeated failure to act appropriately in the community will result in a ban.
If you have backed at The Quake Guy (Gameplay) tier, please note that we may need to request specific clips that support the documentary (sorry, but that ace 360-noscope probably won't be needed!). We will work with you to align your interests and games with the clips we need so you can include something you are passionate about. Clips will be used both in the documentary and the credits, and you will need to be able to provide high-quality gameplay footage at 1080p or 4k at a minimum of 30fps. Clips shown will be 10 seconds maximum and will be cut at the editor's discretion to ensure it suits the documentary. In the unlikely event you are unable to provide a suitable clip we will move you down a tier and refund you the difference.
The use of popular video game characters in our pledge tiers names is intended as a fun tribute to some of our favorite franchises and has no bearing on the physical products backers receive. No copyright infringement is intended.
Risks and Challenges
As with any documentary, there are risks and challenges that may arise over the course of the production of this film. Our past experience funding, producing, and distributing documentaries, plus work we’ve already put in, means we are very confident of meeting our backer’s expectations - however, unforeseen delays are possible. We are working with a manufacturer who has delivered high-quality results for our last couple of projects, which also reduces the risk of problems.
In the past year, another of our projects experienced a delay in filming due to COVID-19. The vaccine program in the USA (where most of our interviewees are based) makes this less likely to be a risk than before, and our December 2020 release date does leave some flexibility in our schedule should this (or another problem) occur.
Backers of our previous projects will know our In Search of Tomorrow project is due for completion in December 2021. This project has different team members filming interviews and directing and editing the film, so there is no risk that production of one documentary will cause delays in another. Additionally, In Search of Tomorrow is fully funded and we want to be clear that no proceeds from the FPS documentary Kickstarter will be used in any other projects.
As always, we will keep backers fully updated regarding the situation and they will know well in advance if there is likely to be a delay.