The Retro Hour book

The Retro Hour Book Launches on Kickstarter!

Last Updated on June 1, 2024

Popular retro podcast The Retro Hour has announced an upcoming Retro Hour book, which has launched on Kickstarter.

If you’re like me, you probably check out at least one retro computing or gaming podcast every week. While I’m not listening to comedy shows or critically reviewing my own shows (The Really Useful Podcast and Kasterborous Doctor Who Podcast), The Retro Hour is where I take the time to kick back, take in some quirky news, and prepare to be fascinated by that week’s guest.

Running since 2015, with over 350 interviews with some of the gaming world’s most important programmers, the show has also spoken to artists, musicians and businessmen through the years.

The Retro Hour: The History of Video Gaming From Those Who Made It Happen features 10 of these interviews in a full-colour, premium hardback, 400+ page volume:

  • Nolan Bushnell – Founder of Atari, often referred to as “the father of video games”.
  • Dominik Diamond – Host of classic 90s UK gaming TV show GamesMaster.
  • David Perry – Founder of Shiny Entertainment, known for such classics as Earthworm Jim, Disney’s Aladdin and Cool Spot.
  • Jeff Minter – “The Yak” himself, founder of Llamasoft, one of Britain’s greatest and longest-running independent developers.
  • Trip Hawkins – Founder of Electronic Arts and The 3DO Company.
  • Al Nilsen – Sega marketing legend who helped to launch the Mega Drive, and he gives us the inside story on how they challenged Nintendo’s dominance .
  • Ken Williams – Founder of Sierra Online, who brought us classic adventure games like Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry.
  • Ed Smith – Unsung black video game pioneer and creator of The Imagination Machine, a largely overlooked 70s console/computer hybrid.
  • John Byrd – Sega’s former director of development technology, who helped design the Dreamcast.
  • “Wild” Bill Stealy – Former fighter pilot and MicroProse co-founder.

The book’s cover, meanwhile, includes a an exclusive dustjacket from David Rowe, an artist known for his work on games from Bullfrog, Psygnosis, Melbourne House, and Firebird.

The Retro Hour: The History of Video Gaming From Those Who Made It Happen also includes additional features by hosts Dan Wood, Ravi Abbott, and Joe Fox.

Why release a book of a podcast?

Tuning into the most recent edition of The Retro Hour, the team explain why they think that a “book of a podcast” might be something that interests listeners.

“…One thing about doing a podcast: we upload it onto a server somewhere it doesn’t really exist… it can vanish one day and a book – we hope – will live on in libraries for… generations to come, so people can pick this off the shelf and read the stories from people like Nolan Bushnell and Tripp Hawkins and Jeff Minter…”

Dan Wood, The Retro Hour

If you want my advice, I would say back it. I certainly am.

Back the Retro Hour book

If you’re interested in backing the book, head to its Kickstarter. This features six backing tiers, starting at £15 for the electronic copy all the way up to £75 for a bundle that includes an exclusive audio cassette release of the podcast and even an executive producer credit. You can also grab free entry to Retro Computer Museum, Leicester, and C64 game Cosmic Force, itself a successful Kickstarter.

At the time of writing, two days after the Kickstarter launched, the project is nearly halfway, with £9,533 pledged of the £25,000 goal. Head to the Retro Hour book Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

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