Unseen64 Survived 2018, but for how long? What can we do in 2019?

Unseen64 Survived 2018, but for how long? What can we do in 2019?

2019 is coming soon and as every year we’d like to review what we did the last year and make some plans for the new one.

As most of you known we work on Unseen64 in our own free time, after a long day of our day-jobs. We take away this extra time from our sleep, friends and family just to search info on lost games, write articles, read Unseen64 related emails, reply to messages on social networks, resolve technical issues on the site, save media and contact developers.

Here are some of the lost games we archived on Unseen64 in 2018:

You only see a few articles published on the site every month, but to keep it alive we invest dozens of hours of work every week. 95% of the needed work is done by monokoma and in the last few years it became harder and harder to find more people who can help the site steadily. Most contributors just write one or two articles, before vanishing forever.

While we still love remembering obscure, forgotten lost games, in 2018 it became clear to us that our work for Unseen64 is getting harder and harder, while most people are not interested in a website of this kind. It’s hard to keep the interest high, especially to support our work on Patreon:

  • We still have hundreds of lost games for console and PC to write about, but most of them are obscure projects by small studios. There are no more popular projects like “Resident Evil 1.5” or “Sonic Xtreme” to uncover or it’s almost impossible to gather information about them.
  • Even for those obscure and little cancelled games, it became harder to receive more details and write good articles. Some years ago we could contact 5 developers who worked on a lost game and we would get at least 2 or 3 answers. Now we contact 10 or 20 developers and 99% of the time we never get any answer. Internet has became a fearsome place, where news could deform and spread uncontrollably on social networks. Developers seem scared to talk about their old jobs, because they don’t want to get in trouble.
  • Without being able to get in contact with developers, we cannot even save more screenshots or footage from many lost games we are researching. With no exclusive images or videos, we cannot even keep up with Patreon higher tier bonuses. This means people who donate to get bonuses are not happy (and we understand their disappointment).
  • Without details and without good footage, we cannot create interesting video articles. The fact that monokoma is Italian and cannot record voice-over himself in english makes it even harder. In 2018 we got in contact with 4 different people who accepted to record voice-over for our videos, but in the end they never did. It’s clear it’s not possible to keep making interesting video articles when we can’t get information or even record the audio.
  • From what we see, most people are not interested in supporting an old website in the age of Youtubers. With no interesting video content, people don’t support Unseen64 on Patreon and we are not shared on major websites anymore. Many years ago those same websites would write news for many of the lost games we wrote in our site in 2018. Today if you don’t make a good video about it, you are not picked up by those websites.

Is everything failing? Not yet.

Thanks to people like you who still read articles on our website and support us on Patreon we did not lose faith in our project yet.

We are still trying to keep Unseen64 alive by doing as much as we can, instead than closing it down.

  • We keep remembering those obscure lost games on Unseen64, even if most people don’t care about them.
  • We keep trying to get in contact with developers, and write as much as we can about a game when we don’t get any answer from who worked on it.
  • If support on Patreon decreases we will search other methods to raise funds (as publishing short books using the same content we publish on the site).
  • We will try to lower expenses for the site (for example by choosing a less powerful server), so that we could still keep it online even with less donations.

Patreon is essential for the survival of a niche project like Unseen64, a website 99% managed by a single italian guy in this age of Youtube and gaming videos in english.

shantae playstation 1 pc cancelled 32 bit game

By focusing on short text-articles about obscure lost games, do we have any chance of keeping up with the time and cost needed to keep Unseen64 online?

We are not sure.

So we have some questions for you:

  • What do you think about the current state of Unseen64?
  • Do you have any suggestions which could help us with our researches?
  • Are you interested in small, obscure lost games forgotten by everyone else?
  • If you currently support us on Patreon for higher tiers, would you still donate if we cannot secure exclusive screenshots or videos every month?
  • Should we just remove Patreon tiers and let people to donate only as much as they want, without any major bonus?
  • Is there something you’d like to see on Unseen64 in 2019?

In the meantime, we are really grateful for your kind words and your help: without our Patrons, Unseen64 would already be dead. You prompt us to keep up doing this, even during the hardest times.

Big gaming networks such as IGN or Kotaku have the resources to own powerful servers and to pay a team to work full-time on their websites, keeping them online and publishing daily updates.

We don’t have their resources, but we have you: a community of gamers interested in preserving the unseen history of video games.

We’d like to thank all of you (in alphabetical order) who are currently helping U64 on Patreon:

Alex Schaeffer, Alex Wawro, Alexandy1, allan paxton, Alpha 3, Anatoly, Anders “Captain N” Iversen, Andy S, Ben Salvidrim, Benjamin Swan, Brandon, Bransfield, Brice Onken, Cameron Banga, Christopher Cornwell, chubigans, Cody and David Studios, Coldi, Conrad A Fursa, Daniel, DidYouKnowGaming, Emiliano Rosales, Emily Bowman, Fabrizio Pedrazzini, Faisal AlKubaisi, Gabe Canada, Goffredo, Guilherme Killingsworth, Hannes, Henry Branch, Itay Brenner, Jake Baldino, James Jackson, James P Branam-Lefkove, James Steel, Jessi Williams, Joe Brookes, Joe Tangco, joef0x, Jonathan Pena, Josh Mann, Julian Lord, Kaleb Ratcliff, Lachlan Pini, Levente Tóth, Liam Robertson, Lou, Marcos Tadeu, Mark J. Lang, MARTAZIA A BROWN, Martin GP (KAISER77), Marty Thao, Matthew Gyure, Matthew Zarzyczny, Mauro Labate, Mcsahon, Nick Robinson, Niels Thomassen, Olivier Cahagne, Patrick Enriquez, Paul, Paul Stedman, Pedro, Peter Lewis, PtoPOnline, Rich Uncle Skeleton, Riptide, Robert Dyson, Rylan Taylor, Sebastian Haley, Shalyn Miyake, Shane Gill, swagDaddyMcPimp, Taylor H, That Black Guy, The Outpost Show, The Video Game History Foundation, TheFlameCrow, TheUnbeholden, Thibaut Renaux, Thomas Muste Jr, Thomas.nunn7, Tony, tydaze, Vitor Takayanagi de Oliveira and everyone else! (did we forget someone?)

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U64 Staff & Contributors

16 thoughts on “Unseen64 Survived 2018, but for how long? What can we do in 2019?

  1. Jack

    I’d like to see you guys (guy?) get the word out a bit about the site a bit more. I feel like Unseen64 is a total secret amongst people and it should have more eyes on it – there’s too many Youtube channels covering obscurities that get tons of views, yet it’s not translating here. I know Liam Robertson – God Bless him – does youtube vids for unseen64, but it would be nice if other like-minded Youtubers could highlight the site too. Maybe in 2019, getting in contact with channels that already are interested in highlighting obscurities (like MetalJesusRocks, PtoPOnline, Hard4Games, Slopes (Daniel Ibbertson), Kelsey Lewin, Larry Bundy Jr, GameBoyle, Jeremy Parish, Rerez, GameHut, etc.) and doing any kind of collaborations with any of them would be beneficial in terms of just getting more attention and interest focused back on the site? Giving them things to show off, for example? Seeing if they wanna highlight games that you’ve archived?

    That’s the only suggestion I have for you, honestly. I think the state of the site is really good considering your struggles, and I appreciate the hard work. I should donate on Patreon, but – and I apologize – I have lived on a fixed income for the past year and need to get a new job having run out of savings. I’ll be sure to pick up some of your books when I can start buying extra things though. I’ll try and start supporting (not just your site, but various things) on Patreon in 2019. And I’m definitely interested in seeing the obscurities you guys dig up, and I hope you can continue to do so for as long as possible, though I will understand it if/when difficulties arise. Just do your best. Good luck, unseen64!

    1. monokoma

      Thanks for the suggestions and your feedback Jack! It’s really appreciated :)

      I will try to get in contact with those Youtube channels you mentioned, maybe they could help directly or get us in contact with someone else with a good solution for our problems.

      From what we saw with the collaboration with Liam videos did not help the site or our Patreon unfortunately. It’s hard to relate the work of someone else in a video with the work made for the site. Those viewers could be interested in other similar videos but not in supporting a site with short text-articles.

      Still it’s worth to try asking for help to as many people as possible and see what we could find!

  2. Ross Sillifant

    Having had the pleasure of assisting not only this site and GTW, but many others for over 5 years, with lost games research, i think you need to ask yourself the same hard questions i have..

    How many times have you had to waste time dealing with nonsense claims?

    How many times have you had to seek out new sources as you know what a current industry source is telling you is simply them attempting to rewrite history in a more favourable light for them?

    How many times have you sent Q’s over never to get replies back?

    And even when you do get the full, credible account..how many people really appreciate the time you’ve put in?

    Magazine editors and readers admit accuracy isn’t important to them.

    Insecure individuals go our of their way to suggest accounts your giving are false..

    Is it really worth the time and effort going forward in 2019?

    For myself, it’s a clear Hell No ???? which is why I would like to say it’s been an honour working with you these past years and I DO hope the site finds new life and new supporters.

    But my time has past here and elsewhere.

    It’s simply too much of a time sink for an auidance that simply doesn’t exist anymore.

    YT Is the new realm it seems and that’s a domain i gladly leave to others. ????

    1. monokoma

      As always thanks for your help during all these years Ross! You know how hard it is to research about old, obscure games, and how sometimes it seems not worth the effort to put so many hours into something like this. (i hope to find some time to reply to your latest emails ASAP!)

  3. TLO / Sam Jones / Maik

    Did find myself. Anyway, I love this site and grab regularly backups. Keep up ur great work and even if Patreon didn’t work, PayPal will do it hopefully. Have a great start in 2019!

  4. Mark Smith

    I’ve been a reader of Unseen 64 for years and even submitted a few Saturn related stuff over the years to Unseen 64. If you guys are still looking for people to do voiceovers on videos I could help out at times. Running a YouTube channel with over 700 videos has given me quite a lot of experience with recording voiceovers. You could sample some on my channel “Retro Core”. If you don’t mind the British accent then let me know.

    All the best,

    Mark (Yakumo)

    1. monokoma

      Thank you Mark! I love your videos on those weird chinese consoles and the “battles of the ports”, as you know i’m a fan of Retrocore since the 00s! :D Your offer is really appreciated, I will send you an email when there’s a chance for a Unseen64 video :)

  5. endogeny

    Greetings! I have been reading this site for years, and enjoy it simply because it is NOT based around videos. Which is why I love having physical books to flip through. Obscure, forgotten and unreleased games are my passion and delight me to read about. Please keep up the great content!

    I also would like to offer to do voice overs for videos if a female voice is needed. I am a former radio DJ and have a mid-range voice.

    1. Mark Smith

      A female voice-over would be excellent. Most game related videos feature male voice-overs. A female voice over would add some nice variety.

  6. Ross Sillifant

    Mark. As you know, I have been a huge fan of your channel for sometime now and it’s been a pleasure filling in the gaps here and there with triva on the often awful home computer ports and versions we never got to see.

    You’d be my ideal male choice for future unseen 64 voice over work..

    And Endogeny sounds like the ideal choice for a female voice over.

    You could release alternative videos voiced between the 2 of you to keep things fresh.

    1. Mark Smith

      Thanks Ross. I don’t know who many videos I could do as I’m currently doing two a week or sometimes more on my own channel but I can make time to do a voice over every other week or so.

  7. Ross Sillifant

    @Luca:Many thanks for your kind words, i am not worthy..

    You know how i feel about several big name industry figures using interviews to decline interviews unless they can use them to promote their latest projects or rewrite history in their favour or simply don’t reply when you put them on the spot over claims they made,but you have ample evidence to prove simply are not correct.

    You also know how stale it got,finding out that the press used fake screens,quotes and assumptions to report games being worked on that never got past the possibility stage…

    You also know how much i loathe seeing all the backslapping within aspects of the YT community over such in depth research, when more time was spent putting in clips from popular TV shows to big up an point the presenter is attempting to make, rather than actually carrying out sufficient research to give a meaningful and unbiased account.

    Like i say, had a good run, but i am a yesterdays man type figure..it’s clear people are migrating in huge numbers to areas like YT and Twitter and every man,woman and child seem to be asking for funding whilst detailing issues of the day in their personal life’s..

    It’s become more a personality contest than closing the book on lost games.

    Sad..but these are the times we live in

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