And then, like a bolt from out of nowhere, Venus Patrol was launched.
If you’re just joining us, quite a while back, I launched a campaign for a new initiative that would attempt to chart a new course for videogame culture via crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter. Even in what was then a pre-Double Fine Adventure world (which pretty much single-handedly legitimized the idea of crowd-funded videogames), the campaign went over more amazingly than I ever could have imagined, reaching its goal within the first 24 hours and going on to more than double that amount over the following four weeks.
Fast forward past an incredibly arduous blur, and Phase One of all that good will & good intention is officially complete: the website before your eyes, designed by Cory Schmitz with background assets graciously provided by indie game developer Neil Thapen‘s not-coincidentally-titled 2009 game Venus Patrol (more on that relationship over here).
A few important notes on the site:
Missed the Kickstarter? You can now get Vlambeer’s Gun Godz, AdamAtomic’s Capsule & many more of the rewards by purchasing a membership to the website.
The wait is finally over, and the “slacker-backer” option has appeared: everyone who missed out on supporting the Kickstarter can now purchase a membership to the site to receive two of the exclusive games, as well as art & music bonuses by Katamari Damacy designer Keita Takahashi, TearAway designer Rex Crowle, PixelJunk Eden designer Baiyon, and Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward. All of the details on that are over here.
Venus Patrol includes all of the content originally posted on Boing Boing spinoff Offworld.
Just under four years ago, I teamed up with the crew at Boing Boing to launch Offworld, a site about independent videogame culture (and the direct ancestor of Venus Patrol itself) that, if absolutely nothing else, brought focus to my own life that working to bring the best of independent gaming to a wider audience was exactly what I needed to be doing.
While I don’t expect that you’ll want to go back and read each of the nearly 2000 Offworld posts contained on Venus Patrol one-by-one, they’re fantastic context to show the first stirrings of things instantly recognizable today: the first stirrings of Superbrothers before #sworcery was even so much as a twinkle in anyone’s twitter feed, the first output that made Olly Moss one of the most sought-after designers working today, even the very first screenshot of PopCap’s now-flagship franchise Plants Vs. Zombies, before anyone had an inkling of just what a success it would become.
There’s even more yet to come.
As I’ve alluded to all along (and as you can see hinted at to the right), the Venus Patrol website is only Phase One of a multi-faceted future, with more information on further related initiatives coming soon.
In the meantime, feel free to poke around, kick the tires a bit and settle in — there might still be a few last technical hitches here and there to iron out as I get back into the groove I had going in the latter days of Offworld, but this is only day-one of a what I genuinely hope will be a real beautiful future. I hope you’re excited to join us on this ride.
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