In our latest Antstream Arcade Twitch Superstar feature, we chat to another of the wonderful people spreading the retro gaming glory of Antstream Arcade via streaming platforms. This week, we proudly present RetrogradeTom, answering questions on his gaming history, favourite games, Antstream Arcade and more.
Antstream Arcade: Hello Tom! What are your earliest memories of gaming?
Tom: Hello! I remember playing many Big Blue Disks, a monthly DOS disk magazine and Commodore 64 games. I also had a Colecovision and a lot of games like Ladybug, Mousetrap and Donkey Kong. I also remember playing The Bilestoad, a bloody Apple II game, but I forgot the name for decades.
AA: Oh why don’t you like it now?
Tom: Ha, I think that got lost in translation. By bloody I mean actually bloody – it was an Apple II game where you cut off the other fighter’s arms and head. Completely insane!
AA: Sounds it! What game first really captured your imagination?
Tom: I always liked games growing up but the ones that really moved me were King’s Quest 5 and Myst. King’s Quest was just such a fun and graphically rich adventure and I never minded the deaths or constant dead ends. Myst was a very unique experience, an early CD game which had no manual. You just wandered around the game and figured it all out for yourself, which was amazing. Along with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6, it’s probably my favourite game of all time. All three games provided an experience beyond what their genres provided before.
AA: How so?
Tom: Well, you’ve got the exploration and discovery in Myst, the incredible journey through time in Chrono Trigger and the expansive environments, characters and battles in Final Fantasy 6.
AA: Talking of classic adventures, we’ve just added the first two Monkey Island games to Antstream Arcade. Are you a fan?
Tom: I’m a huge fan of Monkey Island. For anyone new to point and click adventures, I always say the game to play is The Secret Of Monkey Island. I like the rest of the games, too, even Escape From Monkey Island – the fourth game – which not many people seem to enjoy. I particularly enjoy seeing the Amiga versions of Monkey Island on Antstream because I have not played those before.
AA: When and why did you begin streaming?
Tom: I started in the November of 2015 with Tony Hawks’ Pro Skater, no cam and no microphone. Nobody watched until I got a camera and microphone and played King’s Field. Why was because I had an internal dialogue whenever I played games, even alone. So I figured I would be able to talk the whole time and that turned out to be correct. I also thought it would be fun to share retro games with people and see what sort of response it got. There weren’t many retro streamers at the time, so it was more novel then as well.
AA: How do you choose which games to stream?
Tom: I mostly like streaming older PC games. They’re pretty uncommon on Twitch and are the most interesting to me, because they’re typically so unlike anything else out there since they don’t have to confirm to a controller. I try to switch around genres and just find something fun and interesting.
AA: What do you think of Antstream Arcade?
Tom: I love how easy it is to explore all the different systems like Amiga and Commodore 64 as I never had an Amiga or Spectrum. I also enjoy checking out arcade games with unlimited quarters or trying to legitimately get on the high score lists.
AA: Do you get a good response streaming Antstream Arcade?
Tom: Yes, I do. It’s very easy to jump between dozens of games in a stream or focus on an obscure or popular classic and try to finish it. It’s easy to make a variety of different styles of enjoyable streams with Antstream Arcade.
AA: Do you have any tips for new streamers?
Tom: The key is persistence, never take long absences, consistency, having a regular schedule and mental toughness due to all the strange people you can encounter and the ups and downs of viewership numbers. But really the key is to just enjoy it, if you’re having fun you’re always succeeding no matter what, and you’ll always find like-minded people who enjoy the same things as you do.
AA: Finally, RetrogradeTom, on a scale of 1 to 10, how geeky are you?
Tom: I’m not exactly sure what makes someone geeky or not, but I currently play obscure old videogames for a living, so it’s likely to be far beyond 10!