Patreon Rewards Update!

Hello, Patreon friends; right now, you’re probably wondering “Where’s my stuff?” A fair question, considering we promised quarterly goodies for all of you kind donors.

Well, the good news is we’ve finalized our designs for this first round of rewards and submitted them for production and distribution. You can check them out below. The bad news–well, it’s more unfortunate than bad–is that we’re going to need to rejigger our rewards schedule to make things financially feasible on our end. While we have plenty of great fans donating to our cause, we’re not pulling in enough to justify making these relatively small runs of physical goods four times a year. Sticking to our quarterly schedule might be possible if we went with a cheap print-on-demand service, but we’re big fans of the folks at Fangamer, and we definitely don’t want to compromise the quality of these rewards by going with a cheaper production house. So, from here on out, we’ll be switching to a twice-a-year schedule for sending out rewards, which will make the expense of this undertaking much more manageable on our end.

If this news causes you to withdraw your monthly pledge, we won’t be offended. But please keep in mind 99.8% of the money we pull in goes directly to our many, many expenses–I just filed taxes for 2014, so I can tell you running a podcast like ours is surprisingly expensive. Full disclosure: Jeremy and I haven’t taken a dime from our Patreon earnings to date, and the profit made by each of us on the Kickstarted season was tiny at best–well under minimum wage if you count all the time we pour into the show. Of course, we don’t believe any of you think we’re misappropriating your donations for any nefarious reason–like playing the risky Amiibo market–but we wanted to make it clear Retronauts is a passion project and not a means of income for either of us.

And one more note about the rewards: We’ve received plenty of messages from people concerned that a change of address might interfere with the delivery of their stuff. Well, don’t worry: The nice people at Fangamer will send out a survey for you to answer shortly before the rewards ship, meaning you’ll have a chance to give them your current whereabouts.

So there you have it. We apologize for disappointing you, and hope that you’ll stick with our little video game podcast as we do our best to keep you entertained. Without your support, Retronauts would be as much of a relic as the stuff we talk about every week, so we definitely appreciate how you’ve kept us afloat for these past few years. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below!

The T-shirt.

The T-shirt.

The sticker.

The sticker.

The poster.

The poster.

Episode 37: Giving love to Game Boy’s forgotten competitors

episode 37 cover

I spend a lot of time these days thinking about Nintendo Game Boy. It’s kind of a sickness, I guess, but that’s what I do. The side effect of this particular obsession is that I also spend a lot of time musing about other portable systems. I have to admit the Lynx is a little hard to love, with its cumbersome size and hellacious battery consumption, but the second-generation handhelds that popped up in the late ’90s, alongside Game Boy Color? Man, I love those things. In fact, I would go so far as to say Neo Geo Pocket Color was the system that made me truly love portable games. That and Metal Gear Solid for GBC, I guess.

Both NGP (before it meant “Next Generation Portable”) and WonderSwan were two great little handheld systems that did nearly everything right. They offered good power, solid libraries, and excellent physical design. About the only thing they got wrong was showing up too late to be properly competitive. Had NGPC and WonderSwan Color appeared in, say, 1996… they could have been monsters. Instead, they rolled out slowly against a color-enhanced Game Boy empowered by the might of Pokémon. They never stood a chance. But by god, we loved them anyway.

Description for this episode:

Old-timers Shane Bettenhausen and Christian Nutt join Jeremy and Bob to hash out the history and relative failures of the last great Game Boy challengers of the ’90s: Neo Geo Pocket and WonderSwan.

Listen or download here:

Libsyn (1:26:47 | MP3 Download) | SoundCloud | Subscribe on iTunes | RSS | Support the show on Patreon

Thanks, and we’ll be back next week with another ’90s vintage portable system! Kind of.

A Rare opportunity for education with Episode 35

episode 35 cover

Hi everyone, it’s Monday. And we all know Garfield hates Mondays because he hates awesome podcasts about video game history. But since you enjoy such things, you’ll be delighted to know that the latest episode of Retronauts is now live. Perhaps you’ll even be chuffed, given that today’s episode takes us to jolly old England to explore the history of one that land’s most legendary developers, Rare.

Ye olde description:

UK ex-pat Jaz Rignall joins Bob and Jeremy to discuss England’s crown jewel: Rare. From their early era as Ultimate Play the Game to their N64 glory days, we cover the full history of this enigmatic developer. By request of Kickstarter backer Michael Lee!

And the usual shenanigans:

Libsyn (1:49:23 | MP3 Download) | SoundCloud | Subscribe on iTunes | RSS | Support the show on Patreon

Incidentally, we’ve just about wrapped up all our Kickstarter episodes with this — just a handful more to go! Drop us a line if you were a backer at the episode or co-hosting level and still haven’t told us what you want, OK? And the backer-exclusive content hasn’t been forgotten about! Expect good news on that front soon…

This week in Retronauts, you shall be as gods

EPSON MFP image

Hi everyone! It’s a little something different this week for Retronauts Micro.

A few years ago, I revisited a game I deeply hated, Xenogears, with the intention of giving it a second chance. After pouring a heck of a lot of time into it, I came away not precisely changed, but with a deeper understanding of my issues with the game along with a deeper appreciation of what director Tetsuya Takahashi and his team were trying to accomplish with it. I wrote up my findings in a lengthy essay for my side project GameSpite Journal; rather than retread the same territory, I’ve adapted that old essay here into a condensed podcast script.

Music this episode, of course, comes from Xenogears, because what kind of idiot would create a podcast about Xenogears and not use Xenogears music?

Libsyn (9:30 | MP3 Download) | SoundCloud | Subscribe on iTunes | RSS feed

Jeremy explores his uncomfortable mixture of admiration for and frustration with Squaresoft’s almost-classic RPG for PlayStation, Xenogears. It’s a complicated episode for a complicated game.

Retronauts Vol. IV Episode 33: The tragedy of (ir)relevance

Hello, friends! It’s been a crazy few days for me, so here is a quick note to let you know that the latest episode of Retronauts is online now: Episode 33, aka “What’s the Deal With Relevance?” You can read all about it at USgamer, but of course you can listen to it right here.

Download links:

Libsyn (1:49:23 | MP3 Download) | SoundCloud

This episode was one of the first we recorded for the current season, but hopefully the delay on its release is made up for the return of an old-timer from the 1UP days: Jose Otero! He joins us to discuss the third part of our recent “games gone by” trilogy. We talked about games that jumped the shark, games we wish we could love, and now here are games that never really went wrong but faded from prominence. Feel free to chime in on the series we overlooked, and of course the ones that we wrongly named because we’re horrible people who hate good things.