Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dust Jacket -- The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M)

The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M) will be the first book of mine to have a dust jacket. Click on the image for a closer look, and you can pre-order the book with early bird bonuses HERE.



Here are some advance reviews of the book:

* "This book is not only a reference volume, but it keeps alive the spirit of Nintendo's legacy." - Walter Day, industry icon and founder of Twin Galaxies.
 
* "I read the whole thing and loved it! My favorite chapters were the more intimate ones, where the contributing writers talked about how the games affected them from a personal standpoint...I kept turning the pages looking to connect with the writers, and it happened a lot...The quotes and factoids are great...Grammatically, it's spotless...There's a plethora of balance, knowledge, and fun here...This is the best book Weiss has written so far." - Patrick Hickey, Jr., author of The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers
 
* "This book has a great collection of game-related stories that really take me back to the '90s, when I had so much fun playing the heck out of the Super Nintendo." - Steve Woita, game designer/programmer of Atari 2600 TazGarfieldAsterix and Quadrun.
 
* "Each one of Brett's books is painstakingly researched, very well-written and extremely polished. This Super Nintendo book is no exception and should definitely find a place in the library of every retro-gaming enthusiast."- Dr. Roberto Dillon, author of The Golden Age of Video Games and Ready: A Commodore 64 Retrospective.
 
* "Brett Weiss has captured an essential part of what made the SNES indelible and one of the classic video game systems. The personal stories and memories wrapped up in each game are a welcome time warp back to those halcyon days." - Tim Lapetino, author of Art of Atari.
 
* "Brett Weiss proves again that he is the master of game directories"- Leonard Herman, author of Phoenix IV:The History of the Videogame Industry.
 
* "Weiss puts a heartwarming and personal spin on all that is still great with the Super Nintendo."  - Michael Thomasson, author of Downright Bizarre Games: Video Games thatCrossed the Line!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SNES Omnibus Spotlight #16: Steve Woita


One of my priorities with the SNES Omnibus is to preserve stories from video game developers, including guys like Steve Woita, who has been programming games for about as long as I have been collecting them. Steve has been very cool to work with and is an enthusiastic supporter of the project. Steve has worked on games for a variety of consoles, as you can see by his bio below, and he’s a big fan of the Super Nintendo. It’s an honor and a privilege to have Steve on board as all I do is write about video games—he actually creates the magic.

Here’s Steve’s bio from my forthcoming book, The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and ItsGames, Vol. 1 (A-M):

Steve Woita’s first job after graduating from college in Electrical Engineering was at Apple Computer as one of their earliest employees. He worked on the Apple II, fixing thousands of motherboards for production, then on to R&D for Lisa, Apple III, Apple IIe, and the Apple 80 column card for the Apple II. He co-designed Sirius Software’s JoyPort and later co-designed the MouseStick for the original Macintosh. Steve moved to Atari in 1982 and created Quadrun (featuring his voice), TAZ, Asterix (the first 2600 game exclusively designed for Europe), and Garfield (unreleased). Steve, who is still designing games, has worked on numerous other titles, including: Super Sprint (NES);  Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Spinball and Kid Chameleon (Genesis); Army Men Sarge’s Heroes (PS1, 3DO); and Gubble 1 and Gubble 2 (PC, PS1, iOS). For more info, check stevewoita.wordpress.com.

Friday, March 23, 2018

SNES Omnibus Contributor Spotlight #15: Thor Thorvaldson


The immensely talented Thor Thorvaldson is a true asset to the SNES Omnibus project. Not only did he contribute some memorable nostalgic stories, he’s the illustrator on the centerfolds for both books. Thor takes characters like Mario, Donkey Kong, and Link and somehow makes them his own: familiar, yet fresh. He’s also good with design and layout, as you can see by this centerfold for The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games,Vol. 1 (A-M): (Click on the image for a closer look.)


I hope to do an autographing of the book with Thor at a video game convention in the near future. He’s been great to deal with online (and as a co-contributor to Old School Gamer Magazine), and I look forward to meeting him in person.

Here’s Thor’s SNES Omnibus bio:

Thor Thorvaldson is one of those weirdos who turned his childhood obsession into a paying job, converting his love for Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Dig Dug into a semi-career of creating art for Nintendo Force Magazine, RETRO magazine, Little Player magazine and Hardcore Gaming 101. Creating artwork for their endeavors, he has also worked with Bryan Belcher’s Mega Man-athon, David Craddock, and John Szczepaniak, along with numerous Nerdcore Hip-Hop musicians, including Random a.k.a. Mega Ran, Mikal kHill, DJ Cutman, Sulfur, and Tribe One. Thor loves the ’80s, Pok√©mon and pizza.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cloak & Dagger - A Podcast on the 1984 Feature Film


My son Ryan recently appeared on a podcast called Staff Picks celebrating the video game-related movie, Cloak & Dagger, which remains an entertaining film. I disagree with Ryan's opinion on the Atari 5200, which I'm a big fan of, but it's a fun listen that movie and video game fans will enjoy. You can listen HERE.



Here's footage from the obscure Cloak & Dagger arcade game, which didn't make it to home consoles, despite the Atari 5200 game depicted in the film:


The photos below are from a trip Ryan and I took to San Antonio a while back to check out Cloak & Dagger filming locations. You can see more pics from that trip HERE.




Sunday, March 11, 2018

SNES Omnibus Contributor Spotlight #14 - Bill Loguidice


As much as I like video games, I’m not really into the technical side of things, such as console specs and the like. Prolific writer and all-around good guy Bill Loguidice, on the other hand, is a technology expert, and it shows in the foreword he did for my forthcoming book, The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games,Vol. 1 (A-M), which will be out in late spring or sometime this summer. His techno-savvy foreword is an invaluable addition to the book, adding intellectual heft and context to an already massive and substantive tome. Bill has written some awesome stories for Vol. 2 of the project as well. Thanks, Bill, for a job well done. I hope to collaborate with you on future projects.

Here’s Bill’s bio that accompanies his crazy-good, totally geeky foreword:


Bill Loguidice is the author of eight technology books and was a writer and producer of Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution, a feature film documentary on the history of video games. He runs the popular website, Armchair Arcade, and continues to write for a variety of major publications. Bill owns and maintains well over 500 different video game and computer systems from the 1970s to the present day, which helps inform his writing.


Friday, March 9, 2018

SNES Omnibus Contributor Spotlight #13 - William Culver


William “Willie” Culver is a super nice guy, a friend, and an uber-podcaster and YouTuber, hosting a variety of entertaining shows. One of these was the late, lamented ColecoVisions Podcast, where I was lucky enough to co-host with Willie and my buddy John “Gamester81” Lester. The three of us had a blast talking about the greatest video game console of all time, and we will appear together at the Corgs retro gaming convention in Columbus, Ohio on June 2. Thanks to Willie for my time on the ColecoVisions podcast, and for writing some fun stories for my SNES Omnibus book project.

Below is Willie’s bio from The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1(A-M), which you can pre-order direct with early bird bonuses HERE.


William Culver began gaming at an early age; his first console was a Unisonic Tournament 2000 Pong clone. He’s been in the coin-op scene since he was five, back when arcades were filled with electromechanical games. His father was friends with the local arcade owner, so he spent a lot of time there learning how the games worked and how to repair them. He did this up through the mid-1980s. In addition to video games, William likes classic toys. To share his passion for both hobbies, he hosts a YouTube show called Arcade USA. He hosts a number of podcasts as well, including ColecoVisions Podcast, Atari 5200 Super Community Podcast, The Channel F Files, Vectrex Radio, and The Toy Tomb Podcast.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

SNES Omnibus Contributor Spotlight #12 - Matt Henzel


Matt Henzel is one of the most devoted video game fans I know. He’s the epitome of “hardcore gamer,” collecting, playing, and researching consoles from all eras, from the beginning of the industry to the PlayStation 4 and beyond. On various Facebook groups, Matt weighs in on a mind-boggling array of topics, sharing his encyclopedic expertise and knowledge with anyone who asks. He selflessly spends time preserving video game history in the form of high quality images he gladly shares with content creators. All you have to do is ask. Matt also contributed some excellent insider insights to my SNESOmnibus project. Thanks, Matt, you’re an asset to the industry.

Here’s Matt’s bio in my forthcoming book, The SNES Omnibus:The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M).

Matt Henzel, the founder of VideoGameObsession.com, began gaming with a Pong clone system, which his parents bought for the family in 1977. His collecting started with the ColecoVision in 1982, and he has bought and collected most every gaming system since. His collection also includes videogame books, promotional items, and complete sets of magazines. His website, started in 1996, contains thousands of high quality, personally scanned and photographed video game covers from his collection. Matt shares these with authors of video documentaries and books on gaming’s rich history. In the past, he’s helped supply images and knowledge to: Double Fine/2 Player Productions (various documentaries), Rusel DeMaria (High Score: The illustrated History of Electronic Games), PBS (The Video Game Revolution), On-Networks (Play Value), and RetrowareTV (The Video Game Years).

Monday, March 5, 2018

Where I'll Be in 2018 - Convention Appearances


It's gonna be a busy year on the convention front. Here's a list of shows where I'll be a guest, vendor, and/or panelist, autographing books, selling stuff, and in general having a great time. Click on the banners for a closer look, and on the links for more info about each convention. Hope to see many of you here, there, and everywhere!


At All-Con in Dallas, I'm going to host a writing panel on Friday, March 16 at 1:00. 


I'll be at the Texas Pinball Festival in Frisco, Texas March 16-18, sharing a booth with Old School Gamer Magazine. 


I've got a vendor table at Retrofest in Fort Worth, Texas. It takes place March 24.


I was going to be a vendor at Retropalooza San Antonio April 14-15, but unfortunately it has been cancelled due to lack of vendors.


I'll be a guest at Corgs in Columbus, Ohio, June 2. 


I'll be a guest panelist with Leonard Herman at Too Many Games in Philadelphia June 22-24.


I'll be a guest at Classic Game Fest in Austin July 28-29.


I'll be a guest panelist at Game On Expo in Phoenix Aug. 10-12.


I'll be a guest at Retropalooza in Arlington, Texas Sept. 29-30.


I'll be a guest panelist at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in Oregon Oct. 20-22. You can read about my experiences at the 2017 show HERE.



Sunday, March 4, 2018

SNES Omnibus Contributor Spotlight #11 - Kurt Kalata



Like me, Kurt Kalata has been writing about video games online for two decades, and he sets up at shows to promote his books (we also wear glasses, dig superheroes, and do other nerdy things). Not only has Kurt contributed some boffo stories for my SNES Ominibus project, his website, Hardcore Gaming 101, has been an invaluable resource for behind-the-scenes information on various Super Nintendo titles. Entries on the site compare different versions of games, which is awesome. A devoted family man and industry supporter, Kurt is one of the good guys, so if you see him at a retro gaming convention, stop by and say hello. And maybe pick up a signed book from him while you’re at it.

Here’s Kurt’s bio as it will appear in The SNES Omnibus: TheSuper Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M):

Kurt Kalata has been writing about video games, mostly old and weird ones, on the internet for 20 years. In addition to founding retro game website Hardcore Gaming 101 in 2003, he previously started fan sites The Castlevania Dungeon and The Contra HQ. He has also contributed to several other websites, including 1up, Gamasutra and Siliconera. He has edited and published over 10 books through the HG101 website, including The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures and The 200 Best Video Games of All Time. Kurt lives in New Jersey with his wife, daughter and three cats.

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends - Video-Man


One of coolest cartoons of the 1980s is Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which has Ice Man and an original (not to mention hot) character named Firestar teaming up with the Webbed Wonder. Two of the episodes feature Video-Man, an electronic villain from a fictional arcade game. His first appearance was in season 1 episode 7. You can watch that entire episode HERE. It’s a fun romp featuring Electro, one of my favorite Marvel villains. Enjoy!


Friday, March 2, 2018

SNES Omnibus Spotlight #10 - Chris Baker


Like me, Chris Baker wrote for the late, lamented All Game Guide, where we wrote descriptions and reviews for too many games to count for a variety of consoles back during the late 1990s and early 2000s, including the Super Nintendo. It’s awesome to be back working with Chris as he contributed some truly enjoyable and informative stories to my SNES Omnibus project. Not only that, he recruited other industry insiders to write for the books! Like Chris Cavanaugh, John Jackson Miller, Michael Thomasson, Earl Green, and a few others, he's gone on to further literary success after the All Game Guide folded, including writing books, such as Chris’s entertaining tome, WRONG! Retro Games,You Messed Up Our Comic Book Heroes!

Here’s Chris’s bio as it will appear in TheSNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M):

Chris Baker (Twitter and YouTube: @cbake76), with years-long stints at Marvel, LucasArts, and Gazillion, has worked on more than 40 games—some of which you’ve even heard of! To name a few: Marvel vs. Capcom 3, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, five “Spider-Man” games, Star Wars Battlefront II, LEGO Star Wars II…plus quite a few he’d rather not mention while trying to make himself sound awesome. He authored the well-received WRONG! Retro Games, You Messed Up Our Comic Book Heroes!, and his journalism credits include Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Glixel, and Allgame.com—where he worked with author BrettWeiss! Find Chris at c-bake.com.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Game Infomer Interview


I was recently interviewed by Game Informer's Robbie Key. We discussed gaming history and journalism, along with some of my projects, including The SNES Omnibus. I've had an article published in Game Informer before, and they've listed some of my books in their media section and holiday gift guide, but this was my first time to be featured/interviewed by GI. You can read it HERE.