As of April 16, 2018, Retro Game SuperHyper has now been going for a year and a half. Woohoo! So I’d like to take this time to thank you all for being a part of this project, and talk a little bit about how it’s going!
As you may know, RGSH is a multi-pronged attack, with the blog being the main outlet, but also a strong presence on Instagram, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, and a Twitter account.
Instagram is by far the most-engaged facet of RGSH, actually outpacing the blog itself in terms of followers and views. I post lots of gaming stuff there that is not directly related to what’s happening on the blog, and there’s a really great retro gaming community there, so I really love what I have going on there on Insta and I highly recommend you follow @retrogamesuperhyper if you’re not already (for my IG friends who are reading this, hello and thank you!!)
The other three outlets are far less popular: only 54 “likes” for the RGSH Facebook page, maybe a dozen Twitter followers, and only a couple YouTube subscribers.
I’m not too worried about YouTube, as I mostly only use it to host videos that I create and integrate into the blog posts. Still, with the platform’s popularity, it might be worth it for me to do more with video.
Although joining Twitter hasn’t exactly been a game-changer for RGSH, I felt it was important to have a presence there to connect with people. I have actually gotten in touch with some really great folks in the blogging/publishing realm through Twitter, so it’s definitely been worth it. On the RGSH Twitter (@RGSuperHyper), you’ll mostly find links to the latest blog posts, but I’ll also throw the occasional “now playing” screenshot or snarky comment up there, just for yuks.
Then there’s my Facebook page. C’mon, isn’t FB the most popular social media platform ever there was? I would love to see more people use my FB as a gateway to the blog, which is what I want it to be. New blog posts are always linked there, and I also post links to some news and interesting developments in the retro gaming community. Go check it out and click me a like, won’t you? Thank you!
Okay, enough about likes and follows. The blog itself is where it’s at (and, not coincidentally, where you’re at). It gets about a dozen visitors a day, which is not huge, but it’s definitely up from when I started. First and foremost, I’m still having fun! And I’m still trying to get content out a couple times a week. Life has been absolutely insane this year, I’m under a ton of stress for a dozen different reasons, so unfortunately, despite my aim to do 2-3 blog posts per week, this past March was especially slow with only a handful of posts all month. I’ll try to do better — as illustrated here, I’ve always got ideas in the pipe that I’m working on!
At some point in the last few months, I changed the header on the blog to display a random image every time a page is loaded, with the RGSH logo acting as a “home” link. I’m always putting up new images, so I hope you notice some fun new ones from time to time.
So, some interesting stats about the blog and its content:
The most popular article of all time is by far I Have This Thing: Atari Flashback Portable 2016. I’m not sure how this took off, but I think people are searching for info on the AFP and coming across my blog entry, which in turn links to a post on the AtariAge forums that is itself an immense help in getting your AFP set up. My post was mostly a review, but I think people appreciate its thoroughness.
I’ve also gotten quite a few hits on Is Your Slime Slimy? thanks to a link from Reddit. I’m really glad that readers are finding that article useful in cleaning up their PS2 DQ8 Blue Slime controllers by Hori.
Can We All Just Agree That Vectrex is the Coolest System Ever? was interesting, as I wandered into a Vectrex fan page on Facebook and just dropped the link, and watched the article blow up, and eventually get a link from Reddit as well. It reminded me that I need to promote the blog to some specialized, niche gaming communities sometimes to spark readership.
I also got a lot of love for Me and the Metroid Database, where I talked about the very popular Metroid Database website and how I started it back in 1996. I was happy to see some of my old friends from over there visiting my new project.
By the way, at some point, I do intend to upgrade to a better WordPress plan to get rid of ads and improve my options!
Probably my favorite part of the past year, however, was putting out the Retro Game SuperHyper: Year 1 Fanzine — an actual full-color printed magazine, coming full-circle back to my olden days as a ‘zine publisher. I felt like a magazine was an appropriate item for those of us who still love physical media like cartridges and instruction manuals! If you missed that, it came out six months ago, on the blog’s first anniversary, October 16, 2017. I had a ton of fun putting that together, and even though I’ve worked in publishing and seen my work in print a million times, receiving several copies of the high-quality finished product was still extraordinarily satisfying. It’s a print-on-demand product, so it’s still available (and probably always will be) if you want one!
Spoiler alert, if you’ve managed to read this far: RGSH Year 2 will be released on October 16 of this year!
One hiccup that didn’t go anywhere near as planned: I had meant to have a presence at Midwest Gaming Classic this year. I thought about getting a table, selling some gaming stuff, some ‘zines, and pushing the blog, but I decided against it because I’d rather walk the show and enjoy it than be stuck at a booth all day. Then I thought I might sponsor a couple of the areas and get my logo slapped on some signage, but my finances this year said otherwise. As it turns out, it is currently MGC weekend and I am writing this when I should actually be at MGC right this very minute, but I’m NOT — here in Wisconsin, about 90 miles north of Milwaukee where MGC is happening, we are having a freak April blizzard, with about 16 inches of snow piling down on us outside my window right now. (In comparison, it was a gorgeous 70°F during last year’s MGC weekend!) So I’m actually missing MGC for the first time in 14 years, and I’m none too happy about it, BUT — at least I didn’t pay for a booth that I couldn’t use. Hopefully next year things will go smoother and I will at least be able to sponsor and attend the show!
What else is next? Well, I made some t-shirts and hoodies available, and I think I’m the only one who bought any, but that’s okay. Years ago, I had a Cafepress shop with some pretty cool gamer t-shirt designs I had made that actually sold fairly well, and I would kind of like to bring some of them back under the RGSH banner, so I might dig up some of those old files and introduce some new stuff.
And I still have some ambitions beyond the blog: Books? Maybe making some games? Publishing some limited edition homebrews? Video livestreams? Podcasting? Events? I suppose anything could happen. I’d consider all of those things if anybody wants to contact me and partner up!
One final idea: I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a Patreon page for RGSH. If you don’t know, Patreon is a site for artists, musicians, and other creators that allows “patrons” to sign up and donate a small amount (as little as a dollar) per month or per project, and in return they get exclusive content, gifts, etc. from the creator, and the creator uses the donations to further fund their projects (or in some very successful cases, actually make a living off their work). If I did a Patreon for RGSH, patrons would get access to bonus content, like early drafts or working photos, or exclusive photos, or whatever I think is worth offering. In turn, I would put the donations back into the blog, by upgrading the WordPress plan, sponsoring events like Midwest Gaming Classic and others, or putting out some of those other projects mentioned above. I haven’t decided if I want to take that route yet, but here’s a secret: I’ve already got the Patreon page created, I just have to pull the trigger and launch it.
Anyway, in the end, RGSH is still a blog about my many years’ worth of videogame stories. I still have more, so there’s no end in sight!
So I have one job for you: please leave some comments! What do you like about the blog and what can I do better? What topics would you like to see? What projects would you like me to get involved in? Do you have ideas for the RGSH brand? Would you support a Patreon page if I launched it? Or if nothing else, just post a link to your own gaming blog so I can check out your work!
Thank you so much for reading and supporting Retro Game SuperHyper.