Hardcore Gaming 101 is creating a website and books based on retro video gaming
339

patrons

$1,877
per month
Hardcore Gaming 101 was founded in 2004 in order to present readers with comprehensive overviews of long running games series, as well as to highlight lesser known cult classics or obscure games. Over the past decade, the site has hosted over 900 articles covering the entire history of video and computer gaming.

Articles for HG101 often require an extraordinary amount of effort - not only is the writer expected to have thorough knowledge of the genre they're writing about, but they need to take screenshots, research sources (often in other languages) and connect it all into one digestible, but thorough, package.

Around 2010 or so, we started to stick more advertisements onto the site and ask for donations through Paypal. We receive free hosting thanks to the awesome people at Kontek, so instead the funds go towards compensating the authors for their hard work, since people shouldn't have to work for free. The goal was to hire more contributors and expand the site, both in quality and breadth of content. And it worked, to an extent! We received many more contributions, even though the payment rate is lower than larger publications.

The problem is, that while the site has increased in traffic and popularity, the ad revenue has not. Anyone can tell you that constant news posts, goofy pictures and listicles are how the big sites bring in revenue, but HG101 specializes instead on longer form pieces that concentrate on history. 

We began this Patreon back in the middle of 2014. Back then, we published a few articles every couple of weeks. Thanks to the expanded budget provided by generous donors, we've drastically expanded this so we now published 2-3 articles every week, along with a weekly podcast. Additionally, back in 2014 we had only published two books. As of now, late 2016, we have eight, with several more on the way. 

We use our Patreon budget in two ways. The first is to pay for writers for their contributions. As mentioned above, these take a lot of time to assemble, and quality effort deserves some monetary rewards.

The second goal is to fund the production of more books. Although some of the content featured in these books is already available on the site, it still takes a substantial amount of time to expand, revise and update them. Since the site has been around for a decade, we have improved our standards in both content and tone, so everything that goes into a book needs to be heavily revised, and sometimes completely rewritten. Additionally, other people need to be hired to help the production, including paying the cover artists.

Although the books sell relatively well for what are niche products, the profits are not high enough to justify full time production. This is especially the case for books that focus on companies like Data East, which don't exactly have mass appeal. The money from the Patreon would help supplement this, so I could work on them full time, and allow for a much quicker publication schedule.

Some upcoming book projects, which are in various stages of planning:

-Other Konami volumes. These would include articles for larger classic series like Contra and Mystical Ninja/Goemon, as well as their expansive library of NES, Famicom, MSX, SNES, Genesis and arcade titles not covered in any other volume. This would include their run-and-guns, and a huge slew of cool Famicom Disk System games. Another third volume focusing on some of the slightly more modern series, like Silent Hill and Metal Gear, is also a possibility.

-A Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System. Reviews of every game on the Famicom Disk System, many of which are not currently documented in English.

-A Guide to Beat-em-Ups, including all of Capcom's (Final Fight) and Konami's (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), as well as Technos (Double Dragon) and others.

-A Guide to NES/Famicom Cult Classics. NES fans are pretty familiar with the works of Nintendo, Capcom, and Konami, so this book will feature games by some of the lesser known developers, from both North American and Japanese territories. This will include games by Sunsoft (Batman, Journey to Silius, Blaster Master), KID (Low-G-Man, GI Joe), Natsume (Shatterhand, Power Blade), and many other titles like Vice Project Doom, Kabuki Quantim Fighter, WURM, Xexyz, Moon Crystal, Holy Diver, Metal Storm, and many others.

-Sega Master System and Genesis Vol. 1. As a follow up to the Arcade Classics series, this line would begin to focus on Sega's home consoles. The first volume would include the 8 and 16-bit outings in series like Phantasy Star, Shining Force, Sonic the Hedgehog, and many, many others.

-Ys and Falcom. We're always updating our Ys article, so we would like to build a book around this expansive series, and also include coverage of all of Falcom's other game series, like Popful Mail, Sorcerian, Brandish, Trails in the Sky, Dragon Slayer, Xanadu, Zwei!!, and numerous others. In many cases, our current articles are the only English sources for these games, and we aim to improve them even more.

-Shin Megami Tensei. The SMT article was one of our first ones, but it's extremely outdated since Atlus puts them out pretty regularly. A book would include a complete revamp of the article including the whole series and all of its spinoffs (Persona, Devil Survivor, Devil Summoner, etc.), totaling something like at least 35 games, and growing all of the time.

-Capsule reviews of import titles. Our goal, each issue, is to feature 80 import games on a given platform, with a cover, screenshot, and 75 word review. There are tons and tons of weird and obscure games on the Famicom, Super Famicom, and (especially) PS1, so we want to be able to fit as much information as possible for some of these overlooked games. This project has been started and has been featured in our digest volumes, with more on the way.

Additionally, I'd like to experiment with smaller digests that feature a wide variety of content, with a concentration on features. We've published two of these so far: the first featuring Bionic Commando and Strider, and the second featuring assorted Taito Arcade Classics. Plans for future volumes include some of the lesser known Namco arcade classics, and focus on Nintendo games and Japanese RPGs, like games from Tri-Ace.

All of this, in addition to our usual reviews of arcade, PC, and console titles, from every genre, ranging from RPGs to shooters to platformers to adventure games. 

If worked on full time, the goal would be to publish four books a year, maybe more in the smaller digest format. Even without reaching this goal, the money can help us diversify our line-up and allow the commission of a wider variety of products.

Thank you very much for reading this, and thank you for your support!
Rewards
$2+
$2 or more per month 81 patrons
You'll receive regular site updates and early access to each episode of our podcast. Plus, you get your name featured in the back of all upcoming books!
Includes Discord rewards
$5+
$5 or more per month 157 patrons
You'll receive a PDF of the four latest HG101 books (Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System, Contra and Other Konami Classics, Retro Game Super Translation Selection, Digest 2: Taito Arcade Classics), as well as The 200 Best Games of All Time, plus as long as you continue to donate, you'll receive PDFs of all upcoming books when they're released, plus the perks of the previous tier.
Includes Discord rewards
$10+
$10 or more per month 60 patrons
You'll get full access to PDFs and Kindle MOBIs of all HG101 books plus exclusive Patreon-only bonus books, plus all previous rewards. You can also receive special thanks and pick a topic to be discussed on the Top Games podcast. Plus the perks of both previous tiers.
Includes Discord rewards
$20
$20 or more per month 22 patrons
You'll be shipped color paperbacks when they're available, plus all previous rewards (US addresses only)
Includes Discord rewards
$25
$25 or more per month 5 patrons
You'll be shipped color paperbacks when they're available, plus all previous rewards (for non-US addresses)
Includes Discord rewards
Goals
$750 – reached! per month
This will allow us to update the site three times a week, at minimum.
2 of 2
Hardcore Gaming 101 was founded in 2004 in order to present readers with comprehensive overviews of long running games series, as well as to highlight lesser known cult classics or obscure games. Over the past decade, the site has hosted over 900 articles covering the entire history of video and computer gaming.

Articles for HG101 often require an extraordinary amount of effort - not only is the writer expected to have thorough knowledge of the genre they're writing about, but they need to take screenshots, research sources (often in other languages) and connect it all into one digestible, but thorough, package.

Around 2010 or so, we started to stick more advertisements onto the site and ask for donations through Paypal. We receive free hosting thanks to the awesome people at Kontek, so instead the funds go towards compensating the authors for their hard work, since people shouldn't have to work for free. The goal was to hire more contributors and expand the site, both in quality and breadth of content. And it worked, to an extent! We received many more contributions, even though the payment rate is lower than larger publications.

The problem is, that while the site has increased in traffic and popularity, the ad revenue has not. Anyone can tell you that constant news posts, goofy pictures and listicles are how the big sites bring in revenue, but HG101 specializes instead on longer form pieces that concentrate on history. 

We began this Patreon back in the middle of 2014. Back then, we published a few articles every couple of weeks. Thanks to the expanded budget provided by generous donors, we've drastically expanded this so we now published 2-3 articles every week, along with a weekly podcast. Additionally, back in 2014 we had only published two books. As of now, late 2016, we have eight, with several more on the way. 

We use our Patreon budget in two ways. The first is to pay for writers for their contributions. As mentioned above, these take a lot of time to assemble, and quality effort deserves some monetary rewards.

The second goal is to fund the production of more books. Although some of the content featured in these books is already available on the site, it still takes a substantial amount of time to expand, revise and update them. Since the site has been around for a decade, we have improved our standards in both content and tone, so everything that goes into a book needs to be heavily revised, and sometimes completely rewritten. Additionally, other people need to be hired to help the production, including paying the cover artists.

Although the books sell relatively well for what are niche products, the profits are not high enough to justify full time production. This is especially the case for books that focus on companies like Data East, which don't exactly have mass appeal. The money from the Patreon would help supplement this, so I could work on them full time, and allow for a much quicker publication schedule.

Some upcoming book projects, which are in various stages of planning:

-Other Konami volumes. These would include articles for larger classic series like Contra and Mystical Ninja/Goemon, as well as their expansive library of NES, Famicom, MSX, SNES, Genesis and arcade titles not covered in any other volume. This would include their run-and-guns, and a huge slew of cool Famicom Disk System games. Another third volume focusing on some of the slightly more modern series, like Silent Hill and Metal Gear, is also a possibility.

-A Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System. Reviews of every game on the Famicom Disk System, many of which are not currently documented in English.

-A Guide to Beat-em-Ups, including all of Capcom's (Final Fight) and Konami's (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), as well as Technos (Double Dragon) and others.

-A Guide to NES/Famicom Cult Classics. NES fans are pretty familiar with the works of Nintendo, Capcom, and Konami, so this book will feature games by some of the lesser known developers, from both North American and Japanese territories. This will include games by Sunsoft (Batman, Journey to Silius, Blaster Master), KID (Low-G-Man, GI Joe), Natsume (Shatterhand, Power Blade), and many other titles like Vice Project Doom, Kabuki Quantim Fighter, WURM, Xexyz, Moon Crystal, Holy Diver, Metal Storm, and many others.

-Sega Master System and Genesis Vol. 1. As a follow up to the Arcade Classics series, this line would begin to focus on Sega's home consoles. The first volume would include the 8 and 16-bit outings in series like Phantasy Star, Shining Force, Sonic the Hedgehog, and many, many others.

-Ys and Falcom. We're always updating our Ys article, so we would like to build a book around this expansive series, and also include coverage of all of Falcom's other game series, like Popful Mail, Sorcerian, Brandish, Trails in the Sky, Dragon Slayer, Xanadu, Zwei!!, and numerous others. In many cases, our current articles are the only English sources for these games, and we aim to improve them even more.

-Shin Megami Tensei. The SMT article was one of our first ones, but it's extremely outdated since Atlus puts them out pretty regularly. A book would include a complete revamp of the article including the whole series and all of its spinoffs (Persona, Devil Survivor, Devil Summoner, etc.), totaling something like at least 35 games, and growing all of the time.

-Capsule reviews of import titles. Our goal, each issue, is to feature 80 import games on a given platform, with a cover, screenshot, and 75 word review. There are tons and tons of weird and obscure games on the Famicom, Super Famicom, and (especially) PS1, so we want to be able to fit as much information as possible for some of these overlooked games. This project has been started and has been featured in our digest volumes, with more on the way.

Additionally, I'd like to experiment with smaller digests that feature a wide variety of content, with a concentration on features. We've published two of these so far: the first featuring Bionic Commando and Strider, and the second featuring assorted Taito Arcade Classics. Plans for future volumes include some of the lesser known Namco arcade classics, and focus on Nintendo games and Japanese RPGs, like games from Tri-Ace.

All of this, in addition to our usual reviews of arcade, PC, and console titles, from every genre, ranging from RPGs to shooters to platformers to adventure games. 

If worked on full time, the goal would be to publish four books a year, maybe more in the smaller digest format. Even without reaching this goal, the money can help us diversify our line-up and allow the commission of a wider variety of products.

Thank you very much for reading this, and thank you for your support!

Recent posts by Hardcore Gaming 101

Rewards
$2+
$2 or more per month 81 patrons
You'll receive regular site updates and early access to each episode of our podcast. Plus, you get your name featured in the back of all upcoming books!
Includes Discord rewards
$5+
$5 or more per month 157 patrons
You'll receive a PDF of the four latest HG101 books (Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System, Contra and Other Konami Classics, Retro Game Super Translation Selection, Digest 2: Taito Arcade Classics), as well as The 200 Best Games of All Time, plus as long as you continue to donate, you'll receive PDFs of all upcoming books when they're released, plus the perks of the previous tier.
Includes Discord rewards
$10+
$10 or more per month 60 patrons
You'll get full access to PDFs and Kindle MOBIs of all HG101 books plus exclusive Patreon-only bonus books, plus all previous rewards. You can also receive special thanks and pick a topic to be discussed on the Top Games podcast. Plus the perks of both previous tiers.
Includes Discord rewards
$20
$20 or more per month 22 patrons
You'll be shipped color paperbacks when they're available, plus all previous rewards (US addresses only)
Includes Discord rewards
$25
$25 or more per month 5 patrons
You'll be shipped color paperbacks when they're available, plus all previous rewards (for non-US addresses)
Includes Discord rewards