Posted on August 2nd, 2013 by Frank Cifaldi
The Lost Levels pirate crew and I launched our first features on this website exactly ten years ago today*, believe it or not (I hardly do).
We debuted at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, where we had a gigantic booth allowing people to play some of the unreleased games we’d acquired over the years — stuff like Sunman and California Raisins — before they were available online. I wore a cape for no reason, drank too much, and ended up meeting people I became close to over the next decade. One of them is my boss now!
It’s been a strange few years. Because of this website I found myself stumbling into the video game industry, first as a journalist, then as a publisher, then as a journalist again, and now as a bonafide video game developer. I know what goes into the sausage now, which gives me a weird new perspective on unreleased games. I’ve even had a game canceled on me! It was going to be great, too!
I’ve done a lot in the last decade, games-wise. I’ve written some articles I’m proud of, been given the keys to websites like Gamasutra and 1UP, met most of my game design heroes, worked with The Smithsonian AND The Library of Congress to further game preservation, and made a lot of lifelong friends along the way. But to be honest, this dormant, ugly, ignored child of mine that is Lost Levels is what I’m most proud of. When people refer to me (still!) as The Lost Levels Guy, I beam. This website may not have lived up to the potential I saw for it but, damn it, we started the conversation. We really got people thinking about how important it is to save these games while we still can, and maybe that was enough.
We’ve got a new article for you today, one that I couldn’t be happier to finally get around to publishing on our anniversary: the story behind Tengen’s Hard Drivin’ for the NES.
And yes, there’s a demo to download and play with. Have fun.
See you in another ten.
*And by today I suppose I mean yesterday, according to the timestamp. It’s still August 1 as I write this, though!