Unseen Interviews

Unseen Interview: Frank Gasking from Games That Weren’t

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Continuing our trip through the  various websites and communities related to beta & cancelled games, this time we had the chance to make some questions to Frank Gasking, main webmaster of Games That Weren’t. As always, in this new Unseen Interview we’ll try to better understand who are these lovely geeks that work under the site, to talk about the  story of GTW, the unseen gaming world, digital preservation and to discover some of their personal tastes.

U64: Thanks for your time Frank! Would you like to introduce yourself and your site to our readers?

Frank: Hi there – I’m Frank Gasking – 27yrs old and from England. During the day i’m a web developer, and outside of work i’m a retro gaming enthusiast with a particular interest in the Vic 20 and C64 platforms, as well as games that never saw the light of day.

Our site “Games That Weren’t” is a project dedicated to documenting and finding lost/unreleased games which have been subject to mystery for many years across many platforms. Our main site covers news across all platforms, then breaks down into sister projects that focus primarily on a particular system (My own personal focus being the Commodore 64 platform). The current sister sites we have specifically cover the C64, Amiga, PC and 3DO platforms. This year the project is 10 years old, and started out originally as a C64 specific article for Commodore Zone fanzine.


U64: The GTW site organization is in sub-categories, each one with its own webmaster, it’s probably a great way to have more and better content for every section, as each editor can concentrate to work on his specific platform: how did this kind of organization start? 

Unseen Interviews: NGD & Happy Camper

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On October 2008, a playable prototype of Happy Camper, an unreleased NES game that was in development at Color Dreams, was discovered between various  remains of the studio. NGD was the lucky collector that got his hands on this legendary game and he decided to share his find with all the other NES fans: infos and screens from HC were soon released, so that documents of its existence can now be preserved. But that’s not all. The next week (February 2009), Happy Camper will be finally released to the public, complete with a phisical cart, a paper manual and much more! We had a little interview with NGD, to talk about his discovery, the release of the game and the thoughs of a collector on the wonderful world of unseen games.

Warning: sorry for the spelling  errors, we’ll fix them asap ;)

U64: Thanks for your time NGD! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

NGD: My name is Jason aka NationalGameDepot or NGD for short. I have been collecting NES for around 10 years or so now. I had a fully CIB NES set minus a Stadium Event box until this month, when I sold my CIB Myraid 6 in 1. So I am missing the SE box, and a Myriad now for a full set. I also have a few hundred PAL games, around 100 multi-carts, the test carts, Sachen stuff, and pile of other random crap. I am also the guy that has the giant 8ft Nintendo and 7ft Gameboy :) Check out my site @ www.nationalgamedepot.zoomshare.com for some old pics.


U64: Can you tell us about Happy Camper and how did you find it? 

Unseen Interviews: Yakumo from Segagagadomain

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If you are used to the beta & cancelled games communities, you probably know already Yakumo and his Segagaga Domain website. SD is another great place to find informations about obscure games, especially japanese and SEGA ones: in there you can even see a collection of videos from unseen Saturn and Dreamcast games. In this new Unseen Interview we have questioned Yakumo, to know better the mind under Segagaga Domain, learn about the japanese gamer’s life and his toughts about the unseen gaming world.

U64: Thanks for your time Yakumo, would you like to introduce yourself and your site to our readers?

Yakumo: Sure, my real life name is Mark. I’m a British guy with a passion for gaming that has lived in Japan since 1998. My site, Segagaga Domain originally started out as a private online reference guide to what software I had at the time. A few friends had access to this reference guide and mentioned how great it would be to have some sort of online catalogue that actually gave decent size cover scans as well as comments on the games. I always thought there were plenty of sites on the net like this but as it turned out most of them just gave catalogue numbers etc without any really information on the game it’s self. So Segagaga Domain was born to fill in that massive void. I’m always looking to expand the site. Within the last year we saw the start of the Movie Vault. This will be the first place on the net (unless someone beats me to it) to feature video footage of ALL Japanese Sega Saturn games as well as unreleased game footage and Dreamcast games.

U64: Your Retrocore Show is a very nice initiative, especially the “What ever happened to…” sections, do you plan to talk about more “Unseen Games” in the next episodes? We do something like that with our U64 Italian Podcast, but well.. it’s in italian, so noone listen to it ;) 

Unseen Interviews: Scarred Sun from Sonic Retro

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Sonic fans probably already know Sonic Retro, one of the best websites for informations about Sonic protos, hacks and various unseen stuff from our favourite blue hedgehog games. In these last years, the SR community was able to realize a wonderfull series of projects and researches, that help us to know more about the development of the Sonic saga. Sonic Retro is now a perfect example on how to organize a group of  expert gamers, “hackers” and lovely geeks, that collaborate togheter to preserve informations on lost games. What’s the secret of their success? We have contacted Scarred Sun, webmistress of SR, and she was nice enough to take some of her time to answer our boring questions about their site, the  Sonic Retro sceners and the beta-gaming world.

U64: Thanks for your time Scarred Sun, would you like to introduce yourself and your site to our readers?

Scarred Sun: I’m Scarred Sun, the owner of Sonic Retro, a site dedicated to all things old-school Sonic, but with a focus on prototypes, hacking and technical aspects of the Sonic the Hedgehog series of video games. I originally joined the Sonic scene in 2001 while learning about a pirated Sonic 1 cart that I had and ran a couple of sites that eventually evolved into what we now know as Retro.

Unlike most other webmasters in this genre of sites, I do not actually do much hacking or research myself; instead, I basically aggregate the discoveries and news of others and make it more accessible for a wider audience. I started this through a site called Sonic the Hedgehog Information Treasury (aka SHIT) and it eventually evolved into its own community. On a day-to-day level I’m responsible for the glue that holds the site together by resolving personal conflicts, helping and hanging out with the community, coordinating projects, design and direction for the site, and obviously editing the wiki and front page.

U64: On Sonic Retro there’s a big collection of hacks and informations about beta and canceled Sonic games: how did the site started to archive this kind of unseen stuff? 

Unseen Interviews: DRX from Hidden-Palace

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[Interview by Xavio]

Xavio hasn’t updated a lot the last time, but no worries folks, the one and only Xavio is back – WITH AN INTERVIEW!! How great isn’t that? I was trying to contact Borman from Past To Present / Superior Version, but he was far to little on his computer (so we’ll have his interview for another time) and I decided to contact DRX from Hidden-Palace.org instead. God Bless that guy, now I’ll get an A+ in English. Anyway, let’s go down to business.

[spoiler /Click here for the censored version/ /Hide the censored version/]I went down the streets, looking for the man. The city walls were gray, and I smoked on my cigarrete as I heard the noise of the wind coming through me. Then I saw him. He stood in the city corner, the guy who took care of Hidden-Palace.org. He watched at me as I came towards him, with my cigarrete and my pimped out nose. We stood and chatted for a while, and then I began interviewing him.[/spoiler]


<Xavio> Hi DrX! Thanks a lot for this interview, we know that you probably have better things to do than reply to our questions, but we’ll try to be as fast as possible. :) Would you like to introduce yourself and your site to our readers?

[spoiler /Click here for the censored version/ /Hide the censored version/]<Xavio> Hi DrX! Thanks a lot for this interview, we know that you probably have better things to do than reply to our questions (like spitting in cans), but we’ll try to be as slow as possible. :) Would you like to introduce yourself and your site to our readers?[/spoiler]

<drx> It’d be a good idea, I don’t think that many people know me. I run a website called Hidden Palace, devoted to preserving lost video games and video game development history, among other things. Oh and don’t worry, I have enough time and cans to spit in them.

<Xavio> When did you get the idea to open a site for unreleased stuff? Why did you start the site?