Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Patreon Tiers

We've been running the Patreon here at HG101 for a little over two years and it's worked out great! The expanded budget has allowed us to commission a larger number of articles, and we now generally update about three times a week. So, we've decided to update our Patreon tiers in order to give some more bonuses to our readers and tie it in more closely with our recently re-launched podcast, The Top 47,858 Games of All Time.

$2 - You'll receive regular site updates and early access to each episode of our podcast. Plus, you get your name featured in the back of all upcoming books!

$5 - You'll receive PDFs/Kindle MOBIs of the three latest HG101 book (as of this writing, The 200 Best Video Games of All Time, Digest Vol. 2: Taito Arcade Classics, and Data East Arcade Classics), along with exclusive Patreon-only bonus books, plus as long as you continue to donate, you'll receive PDFs/MOBIs of all upcoming books when they're released, along with the perks of the previous tier.

$10 - You'll get full access to PDFs of all HG101 books, and discount coupons for paperbacks plus all previous rewards. You can also receive special thanks and pick a topic to be discussed on the Top Games podcast. Plus the perks of both previous tiers.

$15 - You'll be given the opportunity to supply a short write-up to be featured in our upcoming books, discussing some kind of personal experience with the topic. What you want to write is pretty much up to you, as long as it applies to the theme of the book (these will be for the Sega Arcade Vol. 2 book and Shoot-em-up book). It will be at least 150 words. You can have a picture featured (or avatar), within reason, of course. Plus all of perks of the prior tiers. Here's a mock-up of one written by myself:

$20 - You'll be shipped color paperbacks when they're available, plus all previous rewards (US addresses only)

$25 - You'll be shipped color paperbacks when they're available, plus all previous rewards (for non-US addresses)

The main changes are that you'll get your name in the back of the book if you're donated $2, whereas previously it was $10. We depend on your contributions in order to put together books on relatively obscure topics like Taito and Data East so this will be a way to see your cash rewarded in print!

Also, you used to be able to get all of the HG101 book PDFs for $5. This made sense back when we first launched the Patreon and only had two books. Now we have eight, with at least a few more on the way, so that began to seem a little too generous! So, that tier has been increased to $10, which is still a fantastic deal considering the PDFs and Kindle files are sold anywhere from $5-$10 each separately. $5 will still get you access to three of our most recent books, if you haven't donated before, which is still an almost $20 value.

The changes to way that Patreon charges customers also allows us to slightly change the tiers for physical books. Since US shipping is not too expensive, we can keep that tier at $20, but if you're anywhere outside the US, the tier remains at $25.

Previously we offered a stretch goal to allow for the monthly production of videos. Unfortunately we never quite achieved that goal, which is just as well, because most of the staff hasn't been able to devote the time to produce these. But we still will be featuring more videos produced by the podcasting team, which will include footage of the game being discussed.

We've got plenty of books coming the pipeline, including:

I swear I mentioned this every time I make an update about books, but this time it's finally almost near completion! Here are early sketches by the cover artist, Thor Thorvaldson, who you'll also remember did the cover for The 200 Best Video Games of All Time book.


We previously produced a book on Konami's library of shoot-em-ups, but we're branching out for another series to cover as much of the genre as possible! The first volume will primarily focus on Hudson (Star Soldier), Compile (Zanac, Power Strike, MUSHA), Technosoft (Thunder Force, Hyper Duel), Irem (R-Type, X-Multiply, Image Fight), and a handful of other PC Engine and Mega Drive games. Here is an early draft of the cover by artist Michael Brennan, which is based loosely on the artwork for Guardic Gaiden, the Famicom version of The Guardian Legend.

A collaboration between Hardcore Gaming 101 and SegaBits, produced for the Sega Fan Jam convention in Savannah, Georgia. This is a short (about 60 pages) book that features selections from the articles for Streets of Rage, Virtua Fighter, Nights, Puyo Puyo, and others, designed to look like a Sega Master System box. Since this was intended primarily for the convention, the articles published here are just samples from the full articles, covering only one or two games in each series. We will eventually be publishing more Sega books in the future, probably starting with the Master System and Genesis, and featuring more complete versions of these articles. But after working on Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 2 for so long, we'd like a bit of a break!


Wrestling with Pixels
Technically we're publishing this book by Audun Sorlie, who previously ran a Kickstarter for it, but if you a Patreon donor you'll get it too! This is different from the usual HG101 book, as rather than featuring reviews, it includes the entire history of wrestling video games, including several interviews. Here are early inked covers by Rusty Shackles, one of our regular cover artists:


Konami Classics: Contra, Mystical Ninja, and More
We still need a good title for this one. After covering Castlevania and the shooters of Gradius, Parodius, and TwinBee, this book will cast a wider net over Konami's 8- and 16-bit output. The main features will be, of course, Contra and Ganbare Goemon (Mystical Ninja), but also covered will be Rocket Knight Adventures/Sparkster, Sunset Riders, and many other Konami titles for the MSX, NES, Famicom, and arcade platforms.

The Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System
The Famicom Disk System has a large number of titles that are almost completely undocumented in English, including many RPGs and adventure games, and we're going to document all of them! These reviews will be originally written for this book, and are different from the ones currently featured on the site.

Guide to Obscure NES Classics
NES fans are pretty familiar with the works of Nintendo, Capcom, and Konami, so this book will feature games by some of the lesser known developers, from both North American and Japanese territories. This will include games by Sunsoft (Batman, Journey to Silius, Blaster Master), KID (Low-G-Man, GI Joe), Natsume (Shatterhand, Power Blade), and many other titles like Vice Project Doom, Kabuki Quantim Fighter, WURM, Xexyz, Moon Crystal, Holy Diver, Metal Storm, and many others.

We've got several more planned, but this encompasses everything that we hope to have published through the year 2017, so we'd prefer not to get too far ahead of ourselves! But just as a teaser, we'd like to do a book or two on beat-em-ups, modern retro indie games, Namco, and more classic PC stuff.

There are two other large projects that we've mentioned before: a book covering the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series, and another covering the entirety of Falcom's work (Ys, Xanadu, Legend of Heroes). These are still being planned, but due to the exhaustive nature of research required, we will definitely be looking for freelancers to contribute to these projects. So if you're an expert in these subjects, please keep your eyes open because we'll start looking once we've finished up with a few of our 2016 projects.

Please check out our Patreon if this sounds interesting, and thanks for checking this out!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

HG101 at A Video Game Con - September 10-11 in Parsippany, NJ

I'll be at A Video Game Con in Parsippany, NJ this weekend. Last year was its first year and it only ran for one day, but this time it's running on both Saturday and Sunday. Make sure to check the web page so the parking situation makes sense - it will definitely overcrowd and if you park in the wrong spot you'll get a ticketed/towed.

Here's what my table looked like last year. Expect similar stuff, though I haven't quite determined what games to bring...probably some more boxed NES stuff. Take note that we have several more books available since last year, including The 200 Best Video Games of All Time, Taito Arcade Classics, Data East Arcade Classics, and The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Vol. 2. They're being sold a bit cheaper than Amazon since I don't have to deal with their monstrous cut in the profit, so stop by and talk video game stuff (and buy my book(s))!

Also, take note that there's an excellent Cluck-U Chicken right down the road from the Parsippany PAL Building. If you want to drive about 15 minutes to Morristown, you can also get a fat sandwich for a taste of some traditional New Jersey cuisine. And that's just a 5 minute walk from the Morristown Game Vault arcade.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

HG101 at Too Many Games in Oaks, PA, from June 24-26th

Well, it seems like nowadays this blog is mostly used for convention announcements. And here's another one! I'll be at Too Many Games in Oaks, PA on the weekend of June 24-26th, 2016, selling books and assorted other video game stuff. I'll be at table 23 (marked below on the map).

I'll be selling copies of all seven of our books, plus both volumes of the Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, for prices lower than what you can get them on Amazon. (No exorbitant markup, you see.) I've also got a sample copy of a book that has all of the projects we're working on the next year, if you want to see previews of the upcoming Data East or shoot-em-up books. I'll also have an assortment of NES, SNES, Genesis and N64 games, a handful of video game soundtrack CDs, maybe some manga and strategy guides, some PS2 and DS titles (good ones, too!), and basically whatever else I can fit on a single table. Or just stop on by and chat video games!

Here's my table at Too Many Games 2015 too, just look for this nerd:

Cosmic Cavern 3671 on Steam Greenlight

The realm of early Japanese computer gaming is not widely documented, especially on the English internet, but it's something that we at HG101 take huge interest in. So that's why it's worth checking out Cosmic Cavern 3671 (宇宙最大の地底最), which was recently posted on Steam Greenlight.

Cosmic Cavern 3671 is a remake of a 1980 computer game called Chitei Saidai no Sakusen (地底最大の作戦). Programmed in BASIC for the MZ-80, it was first printed in July 1980, and was written by Takaya Arita, currently a professor at Nagoya University. It's a digging game, that actually looks like Namco's Dig Dug, despite predating it by two years.

This remade version includes ports of the original BASIC versions (using monochrome ASCII-type graphics, of course, with different colors based on different monitor types), as well as a redone version with updated sprites and some changes that are said to make the game less frustrating. The redone visuals were created by Hiroshi Ono, the famous pixel artist who worked on numerous early Namco arcade titles, including Galaga, Mappy, Dig Dug, Pac Man, and many, many, many others. The new soundtrack was also provided by Yuzo Koshiro, famous for thirty years of fantastic video game music.

It's definitely an obscure title - the original game doesn't appear to be emulated anywhere - but it's great to see such a bit of history resurrected for the modern era. Go give it a vote, and check it out when it's released!