In 2008 my friends David Carlton and Dan Bruno teamed up with me to form the Vintage Game Club. We wanted to host a friendly place where gamers could collectively play and discuss games out of the just-released spotlight. We believed (and still do) that older games have much to teach us, and we savored the chance to revisit some old favorites in the company of like-minded folks.
Two years, ten games, five-hundred+ members, six-thousand+ posts, and over a million page views later, we've been thrilled by the success of the VGC, and we're grateful for the support it has received from members and visitors.
But we believe there's plenty of room for improvement, and we recently solicited feedback on ways we might improve the VGC to better serve the community. Having gathered that input, David and I met last month at GDC in San Francisco to draft some changes, and now we're rolling them out. Vintage Game Club 2.0, if you will.
The new stuff:
- The Champion - From now on, we will require someone to serve as a "champion" for each game we select. The champion can be any club member; moderators can serve as champions, but other club members are also strongly encouraged to serve in this role. If multiple people express interest, they can serve as co-champions for a game. The champion's role is to organize the playthrough and generally help members get as much as they can out of the game.
- Game Selection - We want to move away from a moderator-directed system and be more responsive to games people want to play, so we've opened a "game proposals" discussion thread in the "What game next?" forum. If someone suggests a game and wishes to serve as its champion, he or she may open a vote-gathering thread for that game. If five or more people are willing to join the champion, we'll open a dedicated forum for playthrough and discussion of that game.
Unlike in the past, we ask you vote for a game only if you will make time in your schedule to play it, even in the face of other known commitments and new game releases. Multiple game playthroughs can take place simultaneously, though we will space the beginnings of playthroughs at least two weeks apart.
- Communication - You may now follow the VGC on Twitter and on Facebook. We will post announcements of all voting threads and all selected games in both places. If you don't use either service, you can also subscribe to the Twitter account through an RSS reader.
We hope to continue improving the VGC and responding to our members' suggestions. If you'd like to join the club, we'd love to have you. All that's required is a valid email address. I will never share your address with anyone, and you will only receive email when I have important VGC news or announcements to share.
Finally, I'm happy to say that our first VGC 2.0 playthrough will be the classic and highly influential Another World (1991), championed by me, and set to begin soon. The 15th Anniversary edition of the game is available for download here. This edition also includes a manual, hi-res wallpapers, development diary, technical handbook, soundtrack, and making-of video. Fumito Ueda (Ico), Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear), and Goichi Suda (No More Heroes) have all cited Another World as an inspirational game that influenced their work. I hope you will join us.