Category Archives: Kickstarter

By request, we explore the Chrongaming mini-craze

So, I feel that it’s really important to preface this post with the disclaimer that this episode is a Kickstarter backer request (one of the last in the slushpile). I mention this because otherwise this episode will seem almost offensive self-indulgent and navel-gazing. While many Kickstarter backers requested we tackle one of a variety of episode topics, Sean Clements had but one demands: Talk about chrongaming.

Chrongaming, of course, would be the practice of exploring a console’s entire library in chronological order; the best-known venture out there is Dr. Sparkle‘s Chrontendo, which catalogs the history of Nintendo’s NES/Famicom in exhaustive detail. So of course we asked the good doctor to join us again, following on from his appearance in our very first Kickstarted episode. (Although as we learn here, Dr. Sparkle calls it “chronogaming,” not “chrongaming.” Live and learn, Sean!) Less famous, but rather closer to home, is my very own Game Boy World project, which aims to do the same thing as Chrontendo, except for the Game Boy platform, which is much less popular as a retrogaming topic than the NES. Even Dr. Sparkle wanted nothing to do with it!

So, needless to say, it’s the two of us and Bob jabbering about our own work for 80 minutes. Or airing out our sick personal obsessions, if you prefer. My apologies to all, but the people demanded it. Or at least one person. The tyranny of crowdfunding, eh?

Can a podcast be self-indulgent if the topic was provided by someone else? The famous Dr. Sparkle joins us to fulfill Sean Clements’ Kickstarter topic request: Chrongaming. Join us as we psychoanalyze our own obsessive-compulsive behavior!

Listen or download here:

Libsyn (1:52:00 | MP3 Download) | SoundCloud | Subscribe on iTunes | RSS | Support the show on Patreon

Music in the episode comes from NES “brototype” game Shatterhand, which I’ve never really played… but damn does that soundtrack rock.


Filed under Kickstarter, Retronauts

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…


Filed under Kickstarter, Retronauts

Retronauts on USgamer: The tale of Capcom

Hey, everyone. I’d like to chime in and thank everyone who has signed up for our podcast Patreon campaign already — a mere two days in and we’re already to the second tier of funding (biweekly episodes, mini episodes on the off weeks, and streams aplenty) and about a third of the way to the next! That’s really fantastic, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support.

While that ticks along, Bob and I have already started to plan Retronauts content for USgamer… and by “plan” I mean “publish.” Today I’ve posted a Kickstarter backer-requested article on USG. The original plan was to put it here on the blog, but it makes more sense to put it on a site where it’ll get more eyeballs, right?


This particular piece comes to us at the behest of Greg Spenser, who wanted us to write about Capcom’s 8- and 16-bit eras. And that’s exactly what has happened — so please, enjoy this brief look back at the evolution of Capcom during the NES and 16-bit days. And, of course, please continue reading USG and our Twitter feed for more Retronauts-related content to fill your brain with old things as we build up toward the new season of podcasts that kicks off December 1!


Filed under Kickstarter, Retronauts

Daaaarliiiing, it’s Retronauts Episode 22

Actually, despite the art and blog post title, this episode really has nothing to do with Lum or Urusei Yatsura. It’s just that we got sidetracked by a tangent about anime of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and lacking any particular cohesive theme for this episode I decided to use that brief distraction as an excuse to draw Lum. I believe this makes for a “deal with it” kind of situation. So sorry.

retronauts 22 cover

This episode’s theme ended up being… well, let’s just say we played fast and loose. Kickstarter backer Jonathan Anderson wanted us to talk about misplaced nostalgia or nostalgia for things we never experienced, and we did our best to fulfill this mandate. I’m not promising we succeeded, but by god we gave it a shot.

Also of note: Long-time Retronauts contributor Chris Kohler finally makes his Vol. III debut. Huzzah!

This episode’s soundtrack selections come from Final Fantasy V, which we discussed somewhat at length near the beginning of the show. And my apologies if the sound quality isn’t perfect this week; I edited and assembled this podcast on a cross-country plane flight, so I can’t tell if the incessant whining sound was the plane engines or something in the podcast itself.

Anyway, please enjoy. Especially you, Jonathan Anderson.

Listen and download, fleshy mortals:

Direct download (MP3) | SoundCloud | RSS 

Finally, please consider leaving us a nice review on iTunes Store, because it’s an easier (and less creepy) way to express your enthusiasm for Retronauts than hunting us down and hugging us.


Filed under Kickstarter, Retronauts

Timelines on the occasion of our Kickstarter anniversary

Oh, why hello there. Did you know that we kicked off the Revive Retronauts Kickstarter campaign a year ago today, based on what Bob tells me? It certainly doesn’t seem that long ago. But that’s because I’m old, and for old people, life is an ever-accelerating freight train hurtling toward death.

Though Vol. III of Retronauts didn’t begin in earnest until July 1, we wanted to pause a moment today to take stock of where this whole mad campaign has been. On the whole, I feel pretty good about how things have gone – the most important element of all this, the podcast itself, hasn’t missed a beat. Episode 18 Pocket goes up tomorrow, which is the… 39th episode overall, I think? Despite all the upheavals and changes we’ve had to deal with over the past year (including Ray finding a cool job and my being exiled to the East Coast), we’ve still managed to deliver a show every week since July 1. And we even produced a bonus episode for the holidays. The “third season” of Retronauts is on track to wrap up July 14, but we’ve actually decided to extend it slightly and produce a 27th episode and 27th Pocket episode so you get an even mix of the three different hosts filling your earholes. That means Vol. III now comes to an end on July 28th.

And then what? Well, we’ve decided we would in fact like to keep things going beyond that. Alas, that means we’ll need to drum up additional funding; between equipment needs, travel, studio rentals, and of course taxes, the coffers will be running low by the time we wrap the show. We haven’t pocketed the cash for ourselves; to be totally transparent, we agreed to set aside a very small amount for ourselves per episode, but I’m the only one who’s actually taken his stipend from the bank… and I used that money to pay for an extended Tokyo stay after TGS so I could record Dan Feit’s backer-requested episode. There’s been no looting, profiteering, or diving in the money bin like it’s a swimming pool. Basically, every cent we earned has been used for Retronauts. Thankfully, the original Kickstarter paid for all the equipment we need, so going forward any funds we source will essentially cover intangible expenses (rentals, event travel, web hosting, software licensing, etc.).

But! Before we consider how to extend the life of the show (which won’t necessarily happen with another Kickstarter campaign – we have a few possibilities on the table), we still have some other things we need to sort out first. The podcast has remained on track, and we’ve sent out T-shirts and stickers and such. However, there are still some unfulfilled matters to take care of, and we would like to present you with our hard deadlines for completion. These are promises to you.

  • DVDs and books: These will be completed and ready for production by July 1
  • Art rewards: These will be completed and ready for shipment by June 1
  • Charity livestreams: We’re a little vague on these still as we need to sort out the logistics, but sometime in early May and early July are our targets
  • Article rewards: These will be written and publishers by May 1
  • Two extra episodes: These will go up July 21 and July 28
  • Video commitments: These will be fulfilled by August 1
  • Final live panel: We’ve committed to an event, but Ray will announce that in due time. It’s 100% set, though!
  • Next wave of funding: Whatever form it takes, we’ll announce it no later than June 30
I hope that helps clear up any concerns! We’re 100% committed to living up to our word. Unforeseen real-life complications have slowed us down, it’s true, but at the end of this campaign, we will have done everything we said we would. Just… maybe a bit later than we had planned in some cases. And we understand those delays are frustrating, and that it’s easy to assume the worst about Kickstarter projects. We’re not sure yet how we’re going to fund future episodes, but if we decide to go the crowd-funded route, we won’t be holding out our hats until we’ve lived up to our existing commitments.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments. And thanks for your support! Speaking for myself, it’s been an interesting and often difficult year, and your feedback has helped me keep going when things get rough. So thanks again.


Filed under Kickstarter

I guess Retronauts Pocket Episode 16 is a success! This is the way!

Sorry this episode is a little late. The Rood Inverse is a real pain in the butt to recreate in Illustrator, as it turns out.

Retronauts Pocket cover

Direct download | SoundCloud | RSS
If you leave us positive reviews on iTunes, you will become irresistibly sexy.

Yes, this week we have the counterpart to last week’s Yasumi Matsuno episode, a less game-oriented and more story/mythology-focused discussion of Matusno’s Ivalice games (Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII) and the Ivalice games that came after (Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, and some others not worth mentioning here). We even talk about Fortress, the Final Fantasy XII sequel that never was. This week’s topic comes to us courtesy of Jeff Tibayan.

Exciting times, friends. Hopefully you’re not sick of this topic yet… but if you are, well, take comfort in knowing that next week’s conversation will be on a very different subject.

Anyway, now all I want to do is just replay these games over and over again. The simple act of splicing in the Giza Plains theme from Final Fantasy XII made me twitch. I don’t know what it is about Matsuno’s creations, but they have a way of getting under my skin like few other games. I don’t know if that enthusiasm actually translates into the show thanks to my apparent inability to emote, though. Oh well!


Filed under Kickstarter, Retronauts, Retronauts Pocket

Status report: Physical rewards

Almost since we started publishing the podcast, lots of people have been asking us what’s up with the physical rewards; if we’ve asked for shipping info, and so on. Though we’ve been responding to many of those people directly, we probably should’ve been saying something more public. And that’s what this is!

Basically, we haven’t forgotten that we’re on the hook, and in just the past week or two, we’ve made a renewed effort to get it all done. At the risk of slinging excuses, the launch of the podcast and the almost-immediate trip to the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo threw us off-balance for a little while. So right now, we’re pushing forward on producing the relatively easier-to-produce merch (shirts, etc.; thanks again to our friends at Fangamer for giving us a hand there), and doing pre-planning on the more custom stuff (namely the DVD and book projects), which will naturally follow a bit later.

Crowdfunding projects often deal with people moving and changing addresses before the project is fulfilled, so we’re trying to minimize that as much as possible by making sure we’re ready before we ask you to be ready. All that while re-settling ourselves in the groove of making the podcast — which, of course, is the product that matters most, but we’re not about to leave anyone hanging.

Long story short: We have not asked for anyone’s address yet, but we will when we’re ready. You will get an email, and we will post updates all over the place. Nevertheless, thanks for all your kind words so far, and for sticking with us. See you next episode!

Bob, Jeremy, Ray


Filed under Kickstarter

Come see us live this weekend

We’ll be at the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo Sunday afternoon at 1, talking about… a mystery topic. But there’ll be audience participation! Yes, our presentation will be recorded and posted as a bonus podcast, but really, don’t you want to step up to the mic and share your darkest gaming secrets with the world? Of course you do. Come see us. It’ll be good times.

We’ll also be putting in live appearances at a couple of other events over the next 11 months or so, but we’re not sure which ones yet! (We’re still waiting on confirmation.) So, Seattle is your sure bet.

Sunday. 1 p.m. Be there.


Filed under Kickstarter

Whoa, hey, wow

1229 backers, 56,728 dollars. That’s kind of amazing. You are all kind of amazing.

When Bob and Ray and I first started discussing the details of this Kickstarter venture a couple of months ago, we speculated how much we could reasonably expect to raise. We generally agreed we might be able to drum up something like $40-45K in an ideal universe where everything is perfect. Yet here we are in our deeply imperfect universe having totally blown past that goal. Sure, we didn’t quite make it to the book or expanded website or multi-year commitment goals, but no matter: Some of those things we’re likely to do anyway. And we have plenty of things to keep us busy in the meantime….

Now that the excitement has happened and we have to deal with the fallout of this success, we need to take stock of how much of a commitment we’re in for and come up with a timeline. We need to:

  • Record 26 podcasts and 26 mini-episodes;
  • Send out backer emails to figure out who’s going to be on our show and what topics we’re committed to;
  • Sort out which two events we’ll be appearing at (we’ve already committed to the Seattle Retro Expo in July);
  • Record and produce 26 videos;
  • Assemble mini-books, shirts, buttons, artwork, create DVDs, bake some cookies, and mail it all;
  • Sort out the logistics of two charity livestreams;
  • And probably some other stuff, too.

I can think of worse reasons to have a long to-do list than “people like us and want to support our work.”

Finally, we also need to round up recording equipment and finish incorporating as a proper business. Actually, I’ll let you in on something we’ve been keeping under wraps: If things work out as we hope, we’ll be establishing Retronauts as a non-profit organization (one focused on promoting the arts), not a standard commercial venture. One of my dearest dreams has been to properly enshrine the history of video games somehow. I’ve been pushing for years to make that happen under the auspices of my various employers, but I could never make a compelling enough business case to convince anyone. And they’re probably right: $56K isn’t enough to sustain a corporate venture. But it is more than enough for a handful of people to develop a passion project, and in the coming year we hope to be turning Retronauts into far more than a podcast.

All of this is still in the “nebulous cloud of ideas floating around in our heads” phase of things, because it’s all kind of new — an idea made possible as a side effect of this Kickstarter campaign. And there’s no guarantee the government will grant us NPO status at all. All of this could fall through horribly. But I hope not. We have an opportunity here to take the Charlie Brown of gaming podcasts and spin it into the Guggenheim of video games, and that’s surely a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

So… wish us luck. And, of course, even if none of these grand dreams come to pass, we’ll still be doing the podcast and fulfilling other Kickstarter commitments. It’s nice to look beyond the basics, though, don’t you think?


Filed under Kickstarter

An audio update

We sat down on Sunday to record a little podcast on the state of our Kickstarter. If anything, this episode should prove why professional-grade equipment is important.


Filed under Kickstarter, Retronauts