HEY AUSTIN: THIS THURSDAY, PLAY THE LOCAL PREMIERE OF DOG PARK & SLAM CITY ORACLES


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9.29.2014

Brandon Boyer

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[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective.]

Want to spend your Thursday night wrestling a pitbull to the ground & high-fiving a pizza as you lose yourself in a ‘giddy apocalypse’? Then come join us this Thursday, October 2nd, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door as we present the local double-feature premiere of Kevin Cancienne’s local multiplayer dog-em-up Dog Park & Jane Friedhoff’s Slam City Oracles.

[ RSVP FOR THIS EVENT AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE! ]

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Developer Cancienne — also known for his design work on area/code’s early classic iPhone puzzle game Drop7 — has described Dog Park as “a fighting game without the fighting”, a four-’person’ brawler where players choose their dog & score points for chasing, wrestling, cavorting & gamboling in perfectly-pitched canine fashion.

Various JUEGOS RANCHEROS organizers have also described it as “omg the best game ever”.

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In addition to Dog Park, we’ll also be showing Slam City Oracles, a two-player body-slammer by Jane Friedhoff, with art by Jenny Jiao Hsia & music by Prophets & Kings.

Already drawing a number of favorable comparisons to Katamari Damacy from sites like Kotaku for its cheerfully chaotic cartoony slapstick physicality, Oracles is a vertically-oriented game where two girls have four minutes to joyfully & wantonly break the entire world around them.

Both games were commissioned for the NYU Game Center’s No Quarter exhibition — the yearly local-multiplayer focused show which has spawned games like Nidhogg, Bara Bari Ball & Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess — and were first debuted there September 19th, alongside Naomi Clark‘s consensual card game Consentacle and Corporate Vandals, a physical game from Shawn Allen, creator of Treachery in Beatdown City.

Both games will be making their local debut Thursday, October 2nd, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!


HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, PREVIEW FANTASTIC ARCADE WITH GANG BEASTS & MORE


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8.28.2014

Brandon Boyer

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[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective.]

Can’t make it to this year’s Fantastic Arcade or want to get a leg up on the competition? Come join us next Thursday, September 4th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door as we present a special preview of some of this year’s best tournament games, including Gang Beasts, Push Me Pull You and Astro Duel.

[ RSVP FOR THIS EVENT AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE! ]

Headlining the event will be Boneloaf’s upcoming slapstick party-game Gang Beasts, already a verified indie cult hit, where players “grab, push, pull, punch, and throw their friends from wrestling rings, speeding trucks, and suspended platforms” with “doughy ragdoll physics and horrific environmental hazards.” We’ve previewed this one a bit before, and it became an instant favorite.

We’ll also be running Push Me Pull You, House House’s “2v2 sports game about friendship and wrestling” where connected snake-y worm-y contestants “love each other, work together, communicate and coordinate” as they use their shared body to “wrap, writhe, and wrestle the ball into your half of the court.”

And finally, we’ll be showing Astro Duel, the competitive multiplayer tabletop game from Austin’s own Rusty Moyher, where 2 to 4 players “blast each other using asteroid-style ships”, in fast-paced rounds “inspired by endless nights of Super Bomberman.

All three games will be run in tournament play during this year’s Fantastic Arcade, so come join us as we drink, play and get ready to better face your competition, Thursday, September 4th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public!


FANTASTIC ARCADE ANNOUNCES THE BARFCADE MICRO-GAME GAME JAM


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8.25.2014

Brandon Boyer

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If you thought the Adventure Time Game Jam was going to be hard to top, we might just have done it: organizers of Fantastic Arcade have just announced the Barfcade Game Jam, a two-week jam open to developers world wide to create a ton of two-player head-to-head games based on food, cooking, eating and (obviously) barfing.

Why barf and why now? Fantastic Arcade’s special guest this year will be Thu Tran, frequent Babycastles collaborator and creator of the super amazing cooking/puppet show Food Party (above) and its MTV2 followup Late Night Munchies.

Thu will be providing the special secret ingredient required in all the jam games, which will be announced just before the jam begins on Saturday, August 30th, and will be co-hosting the Barfcade proper, a live game-show event held on September 21st that will be streamed for the rest of the world to see on Venus Patrol’s Twitch channel.

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Games for the jam are meant to be fast, competitive, and no longer than 30 seconds each — the best of these will be strung together for the Barfcade event, giving the live competition a sort of head-to-head WarioWare vibe. Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman has created a brand new example game (pictured above), which you can play at the Barfcade website to get a sense of where to head!

The jam will run Saturday, August 30th through Sunday, September 14th — more details are available at the Barfcade site, which will be where you can also find the secret ingredient at launch. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS’ FISTFUL OF INDIES: AUGUST 2014


8.13.2014

Brandon Boyer

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Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of the Austin, TX independent game community JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month for the audience, to give people — especially those outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed. The featured games are both local and global, and both indie and, on occasion, a bit-bigger-budget — what binds them together is simply that they’re all amazing.

In keeping with the tongue-in-tobacco-packed-cheek tone, we call these run-downs A Fistful of Indies, which are presented here on Venus Patrol for your reference, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

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A HOLE NEW WORLD: BEN ESPOSITO’S KACHINA BECOMES DONUT COUNTY


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8.11.2014

Brandon Boyer

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75 tweets

Originally pitched as a physics-based toy that let you “play with the creatures and artifacts of North American mythology”, Ben Esposito’s Kachina quickly became one of my most anticipated games back in 2012, with its vaguely Katamari-in-reverse mechanics that allowed you to swallow up successively larger objects with a player-controlled hole that grew wider every time something fell in.

After its showing at various festivals throughout 2013, including last year’s HORIZON conference, news about the game went somewhat dark, as Esposito simultaneously continued development on Perfect Stride — the first-person skateboarder he’s creating with LA game collective Arcane Kids — as well as that collective’s numerous side projects like the cult hit Bubsy 3D.

But now, Esposito has just revealed that he is re-imagining Kachina as something new: Donut County, which is set to make its debut at this year’s Fantastic Arcade in Austin, Texas on September 18th.

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GANG BEASTS, MOUNTAIN, DONUT COUNTY ARCADE CABINETS COMING TO FANTASTIC ARCADE


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8.11.2014

Brandon Boyer

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After another couple long weekends spent with a few hundred excellent games, the first eight selections of this year’s Fantastic Arcade have just been announced, each of which will be given the full arcade-cabinet overhaul (as above, from last year) and put on public display for all Fantastic Fest & Arcade-goers in Austin, TX from September 18th to 21st.

Once again, the games have been selected by the operators of Austin indie collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS (aka Adam Saltsman, Jo Lammert, Rachel Weil, Wiley Wiggins & yours truly), with some of those games also serving as public tournaments throughout the festival’s five days — full information on each follows below.

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Banana Chalice

Developer: Kyle Reimergarten

The next major game from Kyle Reimergarten — creator of Fantastic Arcade 2013 selection (and one of my overall top 2013 games), FjordsBanana Chalice is a tunnel shooter about cats, bananas and monsters, with all of the off-kilter and lo-fi home-spun charm that by now has become his signature. Reimergarten promises as much mystery and magic out of Chalice as he brought to Fjords, which is to say, a lot.

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HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, COME CELEBRATE THE PREMIERE OF HONEYSLUG & RICHARD HOGG’S HOHOKUM


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7.29.2014

Brandon Boyer

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[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective.]

It’s been on our most-wanted lists for ages, and the time is finally here: come join us next Thursday, August 7th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door as we host the local premiere of the super gorgeous exploration game Hohokum.

[ RSVP FOR THIS EVENT AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE! ]

Created by Honeyslug & Richard Hogg and due for simultaneous release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 & Vita on August 12th (also available for pre-order right now!), we’ll be taking the game’s kite-like “long mover” protagonist for a spin on the North Door’s massive screen, and introducing attendees to the game’s fantastic soundtrack, produced in conjunction with indie electronic record label Ghostly International.

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Honeyslug themselves best describe the game as “a place to wander about and get lost in”, so come join us as we drink, play and explore the world of Hohokum, Thursday, August 7th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public!

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FANTASTIC REMINDER: SUBMISSIONS FOR FANTASTIC ARCADE CLOSE JULY 13TH


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7.1.2014

Brandon Boyer

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Organizers of Fantastic Arcade — the indie game offshoot of Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest — are sending out a reminder that there is just under two weeks left to submit your game for this year’s festival, which will take place here in Austin, TX on September 18th-21st.

Once again, the festival will be curated by Austin’s game collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS, and will give the developers the opportunity not just to showcase their game (including some in custom-built arcade cabinets), but give talks in whatever manner they choose: music performances, one-on-one developer chats like this one between Gone Home‘s Steve Gaynor & Tiger Style’s Randy Smith, or more traditional presentations by Sword & Sworcery co-creator Craig Adams.

You can see full video of many of the past years’ talks and performances here on Venus Patrol.

Click here to submit your game to this year’s festival, or check Fantastic Arcade’s website for more information about festivals past.

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VENUS PATROL PRESENTS: FULL VIDEO OF HORIZON, THE E3-ALTERNATIVE PRESS CONFERENCE


7.1.2014

Brandon Boyer

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Missed the livestream of our recent E3-alternative press conference? Look no further than the video above, which will let you watch the 2014 edition of HORIZON in its entirety. Held just a few weeks back at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the latest edition of HORIZON featured debuts and new looks at games by the creators of Windosill, Thirty Flights of Loving, Dear Esther and more.

The breakout hit of the show, certainly, was Mountain, the first true videogame project by animator David OReilly (perhaps best known as the creator of the virtual reality game in Spike Jonze’s latest film, Her, who also recently debuted his Oculus Rift demo here on Venus Patrol).

Just released for iPhone/iPad as well as Windows, Mac & Linux today, you can see OReilly himself introduce the project in the HORIZON highlight video above, before getting the game yourself.

Below the fold I’ll also include the other notable highlight: Brendon Chung of Blendo Games revealing, for the first time, single-player time-manipulating co-op mechanics of his upcoming 20th-century-cyberpunk game Quadrilateral Cowboy.

Visit the official HORIZON site for screenshots, video and more information on all of the games included in this year’s conference!

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HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, COME TAKE THE SPACETEAM ADMIRAL’S CHALLENGE


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5.30.2014

Brandon Boyer

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[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective.]

Spaceteam isn’t just one of our favorite mobile games, it’s one of the most enduringly engrossing, and next Thursday, June 5th, at 7:00PM, Austin’s North Door will be host to the first of a set of worldwide tournaments as we present the Spaceteam Admiral’s Challenge.

[ RSVP FOR THIS EVENT AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE! ]

First released in late 2012 and best described by its creators as a “cooperative shouting game”, Spaceteam has been a local party and any-other-downtime mainstay since. And so when word came that creator Henry Smith would be relaunching his campaign to fund new games through the Spaceteam Admiral’s Club (after coming just shy of his original Kickstarter goal), we knew we wanted to officially take part.

And so, next Thursday we’ll be hosting the first of a series of Spaceteam tournaments that will be happening from June 4th to July 5th, across dozens of worldwide locations that’ll also include New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Melbourne, and Montreal.

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App Store-approval willing, participants will be able to download an updated tournament-ready version of Spaceteam that’ll include new special achievements & in-game rewards for competitors, and physical prizes for the best Spaceteam captains of the night.

We’ll have more information on how this is all going to work the night of, so come as a team or be prepared to form a crew the night of, but either way we hope to see you out on Thursday, June 5th, promptly at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public — come drink, play, and meet the people changing the way you think about videogames!

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