Hardcore Gaming 101is creating a website and books based on retro video gaming
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● Insider updates on HG101’s upcoming books, articles, expos
● a VIP role on our Discord and access to an exclusive channel
● Digital copies of our 5 latest books (Wrestling with Pixels, Digest Vol. 6: Namco Arcade Classics, Digest Vol. 5: Treasure, Epopee: Tales from French Game Developers, and Digest Vol. 4: Star Fox and F-Zero)
● Digital copies of all HG101 published books as they come out (2 to 3 books a year)
● Your name featured as in our credits in our upcoming books
On top of this, you also get all the earlier perks!
● Collector postcards with originally commission artwork, mailed to your address (3 to 4 times a year)
● Digital copies of all HG101 published books (currently worth $74!)
● Exclusive previews of upcoming HG101 published books (3 to 4 a year)
● Listen in on our podcast LIVE, as we record episodes!
On top of this, you also get all the earlier perks!
Articles for HG101 often require an extraordinary amount of effort - not only is the writer expected to have thorough knowledge of the genre they're writing about, but they need to take screenshots, research sources (often in other languages) and connect it all into one digestible, but thorough, package.
Around 2010 or so, we started to stick more advertisements onto the site and ask for donations through Paypal. Most of the funds go towards compensating the authors for their hard work, since people shouldn't have to work for free. The goal was to hire more contributors and expand the site, both in quality and breadth of content. And it worked, to an extent! We received many more contributions, even though the payment rate is lower than larger publications.
The problem is, that while the site has increased in traffic and popularity, the ad revenue has not. Anyone can tell you that constant news posts, goofy pictures and listicles are how the big sites bring in revenue, but HG101 specializes instead on longer form pieces that concentrate on history.
We began this Patreon back in the middle of 2014. Back then, we published a few articles every couple of weeks. Thanks to the expanded budget provided by generous donors, we've drastically expanded this so we now published 2-3 articles every week, along with a weekly podcast. Additionally, back in 2014 we had only published two books. As of now, early 2019, we have sixteen, with several more on the way.
We use our Patreon budget in two ways. The first is to pay for writers for their contributions. As mentioned above, these take a lot of time to assemble, and quality effort deserves some monetary rewards.
The second goal is to fund the production of more books. Although some of the content featured in these books is already available on the site, it still takes a substantial amount of time to expand, revise and update them. Since the site has been around for a decade, we have improved our standards in both content and tone, so everything that goes into a book needs to be heavily revised, and sometimes completely rewritten. Additionally, other people need to be hired to help the production, including paying the cover artists.
Although the books sell relatively well for what are niche products, the profits are not high enough to justify full time production. This is especially the case for books that focus on companies like Data East, which don't exactly have mass appeal. The money from the Patreon helps supplement this, so I could work on them full time, and allow for a much quicker publication schedule.
Some upcoming book projects, which are in various stages of planning:
-Other Konami volumes. We've already done three of these (Castlevania, Konami Shooters, and Contra/Other Classics), so we're roughly planning a fourth focusing on some of the slightly more modern series, like Silent Hill and Metal Gear.
-A Guide to Beat-em-Ups, including all of Capcom's (Final Fight) and Konami's (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), as well as Technos (Double Dragon) and others.
-Sega Master System and Genesis Vol. 1. As a follow up to the Arcade Classics series, this line would begin to focus on Sega's home consoles. The first volume would include the 8 and 16-bit outings in series like Phantasy Star, Shining Force, Sonic the Hedgehog, and many, many others.
-Ys and Falcom. We're always updating our Ys article, so we would like to build a book around this expansive series, and also include coverage of all of Falcom's other game series, like Popful Mail, Sorcerian, Brandish, Trails in the Sky, Dragon Slayer, Xanadu, Zwei!!, and numerous others. In many cases, our current articles are the only English sources for these games, and we aim to improve them even more.
-Shin Megami Tensei. The SMT article was one of our first ones, but it's extremely outdated since Atlus puts them out pretty regularly. A book would include a complete revamp of the article including the whole series and all of its spinoffs (Persona, Devil Survivor, Devil Summoner, etc.), totaling something like at least 35 games, and growing all of the time.
Additionally, I'd like to experiment with smaller digests that feature a wide variety of content, with a concentration on features. We've published five of these so far: the first featuring Bionic Commando and Strider, the second featuring assorted Taito Arcade Classics, the third focusing on retro horror games, the fourth on Star Fox, F- Zero and other early 3D games, and the fifth on fan favorite developer Treasure and some related games. Plans for future volumes include some of the lesser known Namco arcade classics, and focus on Nintendo games and Japanese RPGs, like games from Tri-Ace.
All of this, in addition to our usual reviews of arcade, PC, and console titles, from every genre, ranging from RPGs to shooters to platformers to adventure games.
If worked on full time, the goal would be to publish four books a year, maybe more in the smaller digest format. Even without reaching this goal, the money can help us diversify our line-up and allow the commission of a wider variety of products.
Thank you very much for reading this, and thank you for your support!