Unseen News

Unseen64 Survived 2019: How is This Possible?

2020 is coming soon and as every year we’d like to review what we did last year and make some plans for the new one.

As most of you know 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 2019:

You see a few articles published on the site every week, but to keep Unseen64 alive we invest dozens of hours of work every week. 95% of 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.

As we wrote in 2018 working for Unseen64 is getting harder and harder every year. In 2019 we had the same issues: people are not much interested in a website of this kind, especially when popular lost games are already unveiled and well known. It’s hard to keep the interest high and find new support 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 become 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. In 2019 we just dropped our plans to create new videos, because we can’t get new information from developers. With the few details, screens and videos available is best if we focus on preserving some memories from these lost games in our website.
  • Most people are not interested in supporting an old website in the age of Youtubers. With no interesting video content, not many people 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 2019. Today if you don’t make a good video about it, you are not picked up by those websites.

Is Unseen64 doomed? Not yet.

Thanks to people like you who read articles on our website and support us on Patreon we survived 2019

We still work every week to keep Unseen64 alive, instead of closing it down:

  • We keep remembering those obscure lost games on Unseen64, even if most people don’t care about them.
  • We keep sending emails to developers, even if 99% of the time we never get a reply.
  • We write as much as we can about a lost game, by doing deep-research online, in old magazines, closed websites, developers’ resumes and online portfolios.
  • Unseen64 support on Patreon remained stable in 2019 (it did not grow, but it did not decrease much compared to 2018).
  • We keep working on other methods to raise funds (as with StoryBundle ebooks and publishing short physical books using the same content we publish on the site).
  • We were able to lower fixed expenses for the site (asking for a discount and cheaper support to our server provider), saving money with no major issues for the site. This means that in 2020 we’ll spend less for the U64 server!

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

In 2019 we were able to stay alive by focusing on text-articles about obscure lost games.

This is already a huge victory for Unseen64 :)

Will 2020 follow this trend? We’ll have to wait and see.

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

Big gaming networks such as IGN, Polygon 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 who are currently helping U64 on Patreon:

Joshua, gamemast15r, Sez, Malkavio, Thomas, chubigans, Patrick, Becki, Alex S., Marco, Patryk, Nick, Jordan, Reoko, Davidlee, Marty, Cody, Lachlan, Jake, James, Matthew, Rylan, Jessi, Riptide, Renee, Mcsahon, Itay, Faisal, Julian, Shane, Kaleb, Emily, Vitor, Joe, Peter, Robert O., Nathan, Alexandy1, Kirk, Robert D., Pedro, Ehren, Bransfield, Thibaut, joef0x, Conrad, Nick, Daniel, TheUnbeholden, MARTAZIA, Knight, Ben, The Video Game History Foundation, The Outpost Network, allan, tydaze, Gabe, Tim, Thomas, Mauro, Olivier, Alex M., Anders, Joe, James, Paul S., Brice, Guilherme, Alpha, Paul, Josh, Dan, Niels, Lou, Matthew, PtoPOnline, Jesus, Brandon, Martin, James, Tony, Christopher, Liam, DidYouKnowGaming, Cameron, Goffredo and everyone else! (did we forget someone?)

 

Video Games eBooks Bundle: Fall Ball Game @ StoryBundle!

We are happy to announce 1 eBook taken from our “Video Games You Will Never Play” physical book is featured in the latest eBook bundle by Story Bundle! Our “Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 Video Games You Will Never Play” can be found in this bundle in their exclusive ePub and Mobi versions (our full book is available in physical form on Amazon and in PDF on Patreon), so you can easily read it with your eBook reader.

video-game-ebooks-bundle-fall-2019

In the same bundle you can also find many interesting eBooks about less known video games and their history.

Funds raised with this eBook bundle will support Unseen64, the other books authors and you can also choose to donate 10% to the Video Game History Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to cataloging, digitizing, and preserving the history of video games.

Here’s the full description, for more details check https://storybundle.com/games

As the weather turns chilly and the scents of falling leaves and woodsmoke perfume the air, StoryBundle’s Fall Ball Game Bundle invites you to fill your dance card with nine DRM-free books about game development and culture. Hit the dance floor while you can: the Fall Ball Game Bundle is available for a limited time on StoryBundle.

Shacknews and David L. Craddock present Beneath a Starless Sky: Pillars of Eternity and the Infinity Engine Era of RPGs, a deep dive of over 600 pages detailing the making of classics like Baldur’s Gate 1 and II, Icewind Dale, and Obsidian Entertainment’s critically acclaimed Pillars of Eternity series.

Boss Fight Books and author Reyan Ali drive to the basket with NBA Jam, the compelling behind-the-scenes story of the greatest b-ball arcade game of all time. Includes interviews with series creator Mark Turmell and Tim Kitzrow, voice of NBA Jam’s iconic announcer. In The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides, bestselling author Doug Walsh shares stories of his career writing tips, tricks, and walkthroughs for guide publishers such as BradyGames.

Alongside those DRM-free eBooks, John Harris is back with a meaty tome of advice and tips on building your own adventures in RPG Maker, Hardcore Gaming 101 haunts readers with stories of retro horror games, and much more. – David L. Craddock

StoryBundle is a pay-what-you-want platform for independent authors to share their works with readers (and gamers) like you. Paying at least $5 will get you three books from the Fall Ball Game Bundle, while paying $15 or more unlocks six bonus books.

  • HG101 Presents: Star Fox and F-Zero by Kurt Kalata
  • Pleasant Dreams: The Welcoming Play of Kirby’s Dream Land by Joel Couture
  • Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 Video Games You Will Never Play by Unseen64

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all three of the regular books, plus SIX more books!

  • HG101 Presents: The Guide to Retro Horror by Kurt Kalata
  • Level Up! A JRPG Creator’s Handbook by John Harris
  • The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides by Doug Walsh
  • GameDev Stories: Volume 4 by David L. Craddock
  • Beneath a Starless Sky by David L. Craddock
  • Boss Fight Books: NBA Jam by Reyan Ali

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi and some .pdf) for all books!

As always thanks for your support

Without Warning 2 [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

The original Without Warning was a third-person shooter developed by Circle Studio and published by Capcom in 2005 for Playstation 2 and Xbox. As we can read on WikipediaGameplay varies depending on which character is being played. In the case of the Special Forces members and the security guard, is generally fast-paced, as is often the case with arcade-style shooters. The remaining two characters rely far more on stealth over action.

Without-Warning2-cancelled-1

When the first game was released Circle Studio was already working on an early prototype for a sequel, possibly to publish it on the new generation of consoles: xbox 360 and PS3. Unfortunately Without Warning was received with low review scores and sold poorly, making the studio rethink their market strategy.

They switched their resources making DVD games rather than video games, so Without Warning 2 was cancelled. In the end the company was still closed in 2007. Only a few screenshots from an early Without Warning 2 tech demo are preserved below, to remember its existence.

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Video Games eBooks Bundle: Endless Summer @ StoryBundle!

We are happy to announce 1 eBook taken from our “Video Games You Will Never Play” physical book is featured in the latest eBook bundle by Story Bundle! Our “Handheld Video Games You Will Never Play” can be found in this bundle in their exclusive ePub and Mobi versions (our full book is available in physical form on Amazon and in PDF on Patreon), so you can easily read it with your eBook reader.

videogames-ebook-bundle

In the same bundle you can also find many interesting eBooks about less known video games and their history.

Funds raised with this eBook bundle will support Unseen64, the other books authors and you can also choose to donate 10% to Pixelles, a non-profit initiative committed to helping more women make and change games.

Here’s the full description, for more details check https://storybundle.com/games

Praise the sun while you can: the festivals and hazy warmth of summer is all too fleeting. Luckily, you can capture the spirit of these carefree days forever with the Endless Summer Game Bundle, available for a limited time on StoryBundle.

David L. Craddock’s Arcade Perfect: How Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Other Coin-Op Classics explores the lengths to which developers went to squeeze classic arcade games onto home consoles, handhelds, and personal computers. Craddock’s GameDev Stories: Volume 3 digs deeper
into arcades and home conversions with a selection of interviews from legendary designers such as Asteroids co-programmer Ed Logg and Mortal Kombat “ko-kreator” John Tobias.

John Harris steps up to represents great – or at least serviceably good – NES games that get a bad rap today in 8-bit Obituaries. Boss Fight Books author Alex Kane visits one of the most beloved space ports in that famous galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a fantastic oral history of the making of BioWare’s blockbuster RPG.

Alongside those DRM-free eBooks, Hardcore Gaming 101’s Kurt Kalata takes an epic journey through cult classics on the NES, Select Start Press looks at the games your teachers have been playing, and much more.

StoryBundle is a pay-what-you-want platform for independent authors to share their works with readers (and gamers) like you!

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format – WORLDWIDE.

8-Bit Obituaries by John Harris
HG101 Presents: The Guide to Shoot-em-ups Vol. 1 by Kurt Kalata
What Your Teachers Are Playing by Christian Cardenas and Dylan Altman
Handheld Video Games You Will Never Play by Unseen64

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus SIX more!

GameDev Stories – Volume 3 by David L. Craddock
Arcade Perfect by David L. Craddock
Boss Fight Books: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic by Alex Kane
HG101 Presents: Unofficial Guide to Konami Shooters by Kurt Kalata
History of Digital Games: Developments in Art, Design and Interaction by Andrew Williams
HG101 Presents: NES Cult Classics by Kurt Kalata

This bundle is available only for a limited time via storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

As always thanks for your support! 

FGB [Game Boy Color – Cancelled]

FGB is a cancelled action RPG / hack ‘n slash in development between 1999 and 2001 by Plasma Works, planned to be published on the Game Boy Color. You could imagine it as a mix between Gauntlet, Robotron and Zelda, featuring coop multiplayer (using GB’s link cable), 128 Levels and 50 different Monsters to kill during your adventure.

In 2000 IGN wrote a preview of the game with their impressions:

“To add to the gameplay, you will be able to play through the game with different characters, each with their own abilities and attributes. Playing the game as one character will key different conversations than another character, so half the fun is discovering how each character handles the same situation.

The look of FGB is very old-school, but very appropriate. Instead of focusing on detail of characters, the artists instead made basic shapes to represent enemies and heroes. What’s more, the programmers have made an engine that can push an amazing number of sprites without flicker the Game Boy Color has a 10-sprite-per-line limitation, but through a bit of programming trickery Plasma Works was able to get around it. According to the company, up to 256 enemies, bullets and explosions can be on-screen at once in FGB. Not too shabby.

Plasma Works is currently looking for a publisher for the game”

In the end Plasma Works did not find a publisher interested in funding FGB’s development and the project was cancelled. A few years later, the team released their own prototype online, to be preserved by the community.

As we can read in the description file shared among the ROM:

“Hi there! You hold in your hard drive a great Game Boy Color game called FGB (the name doesn’t stand for anything). It is a weird and wonderful game that combines elements of an adventure/RPG like “Zelda” with those of an action/shooter like “Gauntlet“.

FGB was developed by Plasma Works over a period beginning December 17, 1999, and ending May 16, 2001. That’s about a year and a half, if you’re counting. Being a small, independent developer, we approached quite a few publishers over that time but were unable to come to an agreement. Game Boy Advance was just around the corner at this point and everyone was slobbering over it, so sadly we decided to terminate FGB and move on to other stuff.

So it was that the adventures of Captain Flour and his merry crew went unheard of and unplayed… until now. To ring in the New Year, we are releasing the final build of FGB to be freely distributed. The game is 100% complete in terms of programming and locations, and 50% complete in terms of quests, conversations, and upgrades – don’t worry, there’s still lots to do, and the game plays through to a definite ending that’s just shy of reaching the grand finale that was originally planned.”

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