Can You Hear Me Now?

It was pretty quiet around Area 5 HQ today. Ryan, Cesar, Rob, and Jason were out all day shooting for this week's episode which left Matt and I alone to work quietly on various administrative and business tasks. Now that we've finished our retrospective on 2008 it's time to look at the growing list of great games coming out this year. I would also like to announce that we have finally attained a boom mic! As many of you know, sound was one of the more frustrating issues we had to deal with when we started making CO-OP but, thanks to you guys, there should be a noticeable improvement in the next episode. Our PayPal account finally got unlocked last week, meaning we can actually put your generous donations to good use! Highest up on the priority scale was audio gear. A shotgun mic, boom pole, wind-screen and wireless kit. These things totaled around $550 and arrived yesterday. Next up is the really expensive stuff: cameras, software and computers.

Here's a few photos from yesterday's shoot.

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[caption id="attachment_130" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="You\'ll hear us real good now."]You'll hear us real good now.[/caption][caption id="attachment_132" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Cesar performs a\'s very technical."]Cesar performs a's very technical.[/caption][caption id="attachment_134" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Two nice additions to Area 5 HQ."]Two nice additions to Area 5 HQ.[/caption][caption id="attachment_135" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Team sets up to talk about a videogame. Find out what on Friday!"]Team sets up to talk about a videogame. Find out what on Friday![/caption]


CO-OP 0001: Reflection Part 2

Part 2 of our 2008 retrospective comes to an end. A dozen former editors from EGM and 1UP conclude their discussion about the most meaningful games they played last year. Thank you, everyone, for your patience as we transition into this new company. Our PayPal account has finally been unlocked so now we can order some of the crucial pieces of equipment that will allow us to forge ahead and get back to a regular schedule.

We are the #2 most subscribed Youtube Channel this month! Thank you so much for the support. You can also download the show at Vimeo here.

The show can also be downloaded/watched through Vimeo


Introducing Area 5 "Snacks"

We're always bouncing ideas back and forth about possible segments, shows, or just ridiculous ideas for narrative bits. Sometimes these things come to fruition. We just came up with a name for them: Area 5 "Snacks." Often a Snack will be born out of everyday experiences. Yesterday Rob brought in a robot piggy bank loaded with change. Armed with a Zi6 and an hour to kill for lunch, Jason and Rob embarked on an adventure and documented it in a little piece called "Robo Bank."

We know you want to see more about what we do outside the show so we'll be trying to get more pieces like this--and more photo blogs--up on a regular basis to keep you updated. Ryan and Cesar are putting the finishing touches on part 2 of our 2008 retrospective so keep an eye out for our next update. Also, make sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel.


Start New Game

After a couple years of working together as a video team with little-to-no budget, we've become quite resourceful. Our production pipeline is riddled with contingency plans and detours; as the saying goes, the only thing we can plan for is that things won't go as planned. What makes working with this team special is that when the gauntlet's thrown, each element snaps to action to achieve one goal: to create the best damn show possible. Sometimes we have to work beyond our means.

Starting from scratch is tough. To make the first episode of CO-OP we needed cameras to shoot with, computers for editing and additional external capture equipment; recording a roundtable focusing on the best games of 2008 meant we needed direct-feed from over a dozen titles. It would have been nice to have a proper microphone or two as well, but you can't always have what you want. We succeeded not only due to the versatility of our team, but also a misplaced compulsion to work way too hard. Our gratitude goes out to the former 1UP editors who gave us their time for free. Even Cesar and Jason deserve extra credit for lugging equipment back and forth to our apartment while working on the show; Macs and cameras are especially heavy when you're commuting on a bicycle. And as Rob now knows full-well, it's not smart to park in front of a random neighbor's driveway. For every annoying issue, all the uncertainty, and the endless stream of unanswered questions we saw in front of us, the kindness and generosity of friends, relatives and even total strangers kept us working diligently with high spirits.

We will not only meet, but surpass the quality that's expected of us. Thanks to you, we will soon have new equipment that will make producing regular content much easier. When that gear finally arrives we'll be updating this page with pictures and details about what we got, and why we needed it. And again, that'll be all thanks to you. So thank you. Again.

As I write this, editors are putting together part 2 of our 2008 retrospective. Hopefully we'll have that all done for you by Wednesday evening. In the meantime, please enjoy this tiny gallery documenting our humble birth.

[caption id="attachment_59" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="We're having fun!"]We're having fun![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_57" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Rob sets up shop in the dining room."]Rob sets up shop in the dining room.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_56" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cesar makes do"]Cesar makes do[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_55" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="How we captured direct-feed footage"]How we captured direct-feed footage[/caption]

Without your support, none of this would be possible!


The Producers of The 1UP Show form Area 5: Launch new show "CO-OP"

The first episode of our new series: CO-OP.

Head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe! We're trying to get into the YouTube partner program and for that we need a critical mass of viewership. Click the Digg link! Tell your friends! Run naked through your neighborhood with painted on on your back!

All of our friends come by to talk about the games they loved from 2008. We don't pick a winner, we just let everyone chime in on what drew them in and what kept them coming back for more. Who, you may ask, were kind enough to lend us their big brains and their precious time? John Davison, Dan Hsu, Shane Bettenhausen, Greg Ford, Michael Donahoe, Giancarlo Varanini, Nick Suttner, Anthony Gallegos, Philip Kollar, Demian Linn, Andrew Fitch, Ryan Scott and then, of course, those Area 5 jerks. Cesar, Jason, and Rob did all of the shooting with the old cameras and JayFresh held a stick mic out there to capture sound. We live on a busy street so apologies for all the traffic sounds trying to drown us out.

And, yes, it is "Part 1." I know, I know, I hate "to be continued" as much as anyone (I'm looking at YOU, "Heroes") but we were faced with one of two possibilities--continue editing for another week on the only machine available to us, or get this out there. This is an epic show and even if it suffers a bit from poor sound gear and old cameras, the amount of people there gave us more than enough content to fill up two shows. Rather than fret over what to cut out and what to leave in, we're going for the two-parter approach as we feel we owe it to they who gave so graciously of their time and to you, our audience, who gave so graciously in general to get all the content out there. Also, I can't lie, we need a lot of time to talk to people about where this whole "business" thing of ours is headed and trying to shoot an entirely new show next week was seeming more and more impossible as time wore on, particularly due to our lack of gear. Thanks to your OVERWHELMING generosity and some lucky breaks, we think we can get the gear sorted in another week.

One big issue is the PayPal account. We received so many small donations in such a short time-span that PayPal apparently thinks we're doing something illegal and we can't spend any money from the account until it's been "reviewed"--which their polite customer service people told me could take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. Since we've already received our last paychecks and California is suffering a ginormous unemployment backlog this wasn't the good news.

So that's the yang. Here's the yin! We've actually received a donation in hardware that we think when combined with some old MacBooks that we're trying to get repaired/salvaged will give us just enough good stuff to get things really moving! We're once again floored by how much our work seemed to have affected people around the globe and this latest delightful happenstance has once again reaffirmed to us that we're on to something--even if we're not quite sure how we're going to make a living off it :)

We hope all of you that have been so patient with us will feel that the first episode of CO-OP is worth the wait.


So Apple and iTunes have this thing that if you're a podcast you can't charge money. If we start as a podcast in iTunes we're stuck there forever. We would very much like; to continue to distribute CO-OP for free, but there are a million factors that will go into that and we're going to try to get into the "TV" side of iTunes to see if we can charge a small subscription fee. Will that happen? Honestly, we don't know. Will people subscribe? We don't know that either. For now, CO-OP is free.


Area 5 is named after our favorite area of Rez. It's been impossible to measure the inspiration that game has had on us, personally, and on the industry as a whole. Also, we're stepping into the big, dark unknown by trying to make a go of it on our own and that is, quite frankly, scary. Time to take that inspiration even more personally.

UPDATE: Yes, there is a d/l link for the file. We're trying to get people to subscribe to the YouTube channel, but we know not everyone watches the show that way. There's a Vimeo version up now. You can download it from there if you have a login:



Mega64 is teh awesome. You need to go to their site. Buy their shit. Watch their videos. They are the best of the best and to say we are fans is an understatement. There needs to be a word like "Otaku" but specifically centered around Mega64. That's the only way we can describe our incessant drive to all things Mega and to all things which number in the 64s. Also, may I humbly suggest that you get the hell off our site and go to YouTube so you can watch this in HD?

Jonathan Mann is more talented than any human has a right to be. Therefore we submit that he is, in fact, Jesus. Jesus was Jew. So is GameJew. Go to his site (he's doing a song/video every day in January). Subscribe to his YouTube channel. He is 64 kinds of Mega-awesome and this literally brought tears to our eyes.

Other EGM/1UP Tributes which warmed us to the depths of our souls:
Goodbye 1up
1UP Acquired by UGO, twitter reactions
1UP Show Tribute
1UP Show iPhone Ocarina Tribute

I know there are others that are missing. Please feel free to post them in the comments (if you're a first time poster your comment will have to be approved). They don't have to be video, audio and articles are fine, too.

Thank you, so much, ALL OF YOU. We will continue to give our very best.


A Note About the Site

It's strange coming back to web design after having to do none of it for over a year. I thought I'd sworn it off for good, but that's probably the thing about a useful skill; you never really stop needing it, you just put it on hold for periods of time.

I did the site design and the logo. The typography in the logo definitely needs some tweaking, but I needed to get something out there just so I had it to put up. We've got loads of very talented designer friends that I'm going to ask to volunteer some time, so you'll forgive us if the branding suddenly changes overnight. For now I have to be the "business guy" in this venture and I'm going to have to put my creative energies to use in ways I never imagined. This Wordpress theme can apparently support random images in the header and I think it would be cool to allow all ya all to submit header images for us to put into rotation. I need to find out a way to give a little text link for credit, though, below the header before we can start taking submissions. I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA, and I always thought it was cool how surfing companies, like Rusty, would do thousands of stylized versions of their logo. I know there's somewhere between 1 and 2 million fantabulously talented artists and designers out there, so if you find yourself so inclined, maybe start thinking about a header image that could pop up on the top of this page :)

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