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:
- Shantae 32 bit [Playstation 1, PC – Cancelled]
- Morphs: Flashback 2 [Sega Mega CD – Cancelled]
- Metal Slader Glory 2 [Nintendo 64DD – Cancelled]
- Project Cairo (Craveyard) [Nintendo 64DD – Cancelled]
- BioSwarm (BattleSport 2) [Playstation, Nintendo 64 – Cancelled]
- Legends (Pandemic Studios) [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]
- Commando (Namco) [Playstation – Cancelled]
- Alien Reign (SquareSoft) [Playstation? – Cancelled]
- Alone in the Dark 5 [PS2, Xbox – Cancelled]
- Brooklyn Stories [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]
- Serengeti [Xbox, PC – Cancelled]
- Maximo: the Dark Knight [PS2 – Cancelled Pitch]
- Farnation (Sega) [Dreamcast, Xbox – Cancelled]
- Incursion (Argonaut Games) [PC – Cancelled]
- Junction Point (Looking Glass RPG) [PC – Cancelled]
- Shatterman (Angel Studios) [Hasbro Toaster VR – Cancelled]
- Thieves World (Bits Studios) [N64 – Cancelled]
- Energy (Zeus Software) [PC – Cancelled]
- SuperBot’s “Rival Schools” [PS3 – Cancelled]
- WET 2: Double Feature [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360]
- Go Carts (DMA Design) [Nintendo 64 – Cancelled]
- Rare’s Cancelled “Casual Monster Hunter” [Xbox 360]
- Shining Legend (Princess & Knight) [DS – Cancelled]
- X-Fighters (Midway) [Dreamcast – Cancelled]
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.
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?)