Learning from the Spectrum Next on Kickstarter

append delete everslick

I'm currently following the Spectrum Next on Kickstarter (as a backer BTW) and think that it is handled extremely well (contrary to some former Spectrum related kickstarter projects). I would love to see the MEGA65 perform in a similar way, when the time has come.

What I find interesting is what is going on in the corresponding facebook group. The whole Next team is present and is communicating very well.

Community ideas are taken into account and responded to, even if not really applicable. From time to time videos get posted to what is going on behind the scenes. Community members are exchanging ideas and concerns. Even though I'm no big fan of facebook for that kind of collaboration, it makes the whole communication very 'accessible'.

Besides the product is very rich on features and well designed.

My point is, if the Spectrum can reach this level of interest, the MEGA65 should be able to even top that. At least if communication is done equally well.

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append delete #1. Thraka

I wish they would do something like this too. But doing that takes a ton of time and dedication to follow through. I hate being impatient but it seems like this is taking a long time. If they had some funding, maybe things would go faster? I would love to see this come out and be the ultimate C64/5 machine. I want to unbox it and play with it. I wish it was here now :(

append delete #2. pmprog

One of the ideas the Spectrum Next project has given me is making a PMOD connector for the Pi Zero.

I don't know if there's a protocol or anything for PMOD, or even how you'd access the PMOD boards (I'm assuming the MEGA65 guys have an idea for this considering they are adding the connectors to the official mainboard), but it could be pretty neat solution to adding WiFi (if you use a Zero W) as well as a co-processor and extra RAM etc.

I'm a bit sad really. My Nexys4 board is still pretty much in the box, and whilst I've had a bit of time to play recently, none of my monitors support the resolution of the MEGA65 :-(
I hope the "downgrade" to 1080p happens

append delete #3. gardners

@pmprog: We already have a 1280x1024 @ 57Hz (just don't ask why it is 57Hz at the moment!) intermediate bitstream as we move to 1080p.

Regarding sophisticated community engagement on facebook with videos etc, our problem is indeed simply lack of time. If we were to do all that, we wouldn't get much actual work done. Of course, we do try to provide updates as we can on my blog (

There is also nothing stopping, you, the community, from making cool videos showing off the latest progress on the MEGA65!


append delete #4. everslick

The Next project was not that well advertised prior to the kickstarter campagne as well. So this is no rant about missing communication from MEGA65. :-) I just wanted to record my observations, about what I think makes the Next so successful during this fund raising phase. After all the projects are similar.

Additionally what I said above i see that:

* stretch goals are added over time not only about the hardware, but also delivering games that showcase the Next features.
* pledges are expanded over time (they ran out of pi-zero pledges pretty soon and added new zero pledges later)
* many online media outlets reported about the campagne.

Of course should the MEGA65 go a different route then a crowdfunding phase this is mostly irrelevant.

append delete #5. pmprog

@gardners cool, hopefully get some time soon, so I'll dust off the box and get it all wired up

append delete #6. w4jbm

They blew out their stretch goals at the end. We'll see how it goes, but a couple of other observations.

My impression is they were able to use the Sinclair name in part because part of what was raised goes to charity.

The stretch goals also incented people to evangelize for them. At one point, they hit a goal and everyone gets more memory on their machine. That last stretch goal was a second joystick port on every machine. If you convinced a friend or two, you (and everyone else) reaped the benefits.

They also focused on nostalgic details. A premium box. A wire bound printed manual. Things that brought back memories for some.

But they were something of a public relations juggernaut. They definitely put a lot of effort into that side of the project. A small development team can't necessarily do that.

The 6502 is my chip. I've worked with a lot of other processors and systems over the years, but it's the one I really enjoy. I appreciate all the efforts on the Mega65 and hope to have one so the Spectrum I signed up for sets unopened in its box for some time to come... :-)


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