[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.
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”.
Already drawing a number of favorable comparisons to Katamari Damacyfrom 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Developer: Kyle Reimergarten
The next major game from Kyle Reimergarten — creator of Fantastic Arcade 2013 selection (and one of my overall top 2013 games), Fjords — Banana 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.
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.
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.
Ready to give the world of Ed Key & David Kanaga’s Proteus a second visit in an entirely new way?
Venus Patrol is proud to present Purgateus, a Proteus remix by Devine Lu Linvega (aka Aliceffekt) — a strange dream-within-a-dream-world that plays just like Proteus but “feels” entirely new.
Inspired by a tweet by The Floor is Jelly creator Ian Snyder, Devine (best known most recently for Oquonie, the abstract iOS adventure game created in collaboration with illustrator Rekka Bellum) has given Proteus a total aesthetic overhaul with new graphics, sound and an entirely new soundtrack (available for streaming below the fold and for purchase on bandcamp).
To enter the world of Purgateus yourself, visit the new dedicated site for the game here on Venus Patrol and enter your name and email to receive the mod. You’ll need to already own a copy of Proteus (which you can purchase on the Purgateus site), but once you do, installation of the mod is as easy as replacing a folder inside the Proteus directory with Devine’s new files.
[It's no secret that I count Kentucky Route Zero as one of my favorite videogames of all time, and one of my highest recommendations particularly for people who haven't dipped their toes in the videogame waters in a while, and so seeing artist Tamas Kemenczy was a top priority at this year's Game Developers Conference.
His talk (linked below) was a fantastic account of how theater and film staging influenced the game's visuals & transitions, made doubly valuable by loops of those pieces playing independently as Kemenczy talked. I was particularly entranced by Burton's face in Equus, as below, which I didn't recognize, and snapped a quick photo to have him identify it later.
Having then subsequently watched & been blown away by Equus, I asked Kemenczy to ID all the films in his repertoire of influences, which he's written up in full after the jump, and to which I've added streaming/DVD/Blu-ray links, where available. I hope you find it as valuable a resource as I already have!]
I gave a talk this year at GDC about the scenography of Kentucky Route Zero, the theatrical and cinematic influences on the game, and how we go about designing for performance. Some folks asked about the films shown during the talk, so here’s a list of them, but I thought I’d include some that were on the shortlist but didn’t make it onto slides, and some of these were shown in the KRZ talk the year before as well.
(Not included in this list is David Lynch, who we admire and most people are already familiar with.)
I really like the long take of Dysart’s (Richard Burton’s) face, totally stressed out about the chaotic moment that brought about Alan’s personal horse-god. There is a literary connection in KRZ to this play, but also the film by Sidney Lumet has dramatic flourishes that we took to heart.
Doing anything particularly romantic between May 24th and June 8th? No? Good, because I’m super happy to announce that Venus Patrol is organizing the first in what I hope becomes a regular series of game jams, this time dedicated to the lonesome future west-world theme: the space cowboy.
The game jam, hosted with the help of itch.io, is open to developers worldwide, and will run for two weeks, after which it will be judged by players for the week following on a variety of to be determined criteria like romance and psychedelia.
The idea for the jam came, as you probably have already guessed, after I finally got it together to watch all of Cowboy Bebop in one crazy week-long marathon (which I suggest you do or re-do in advance) and realized no game had quite struck that tone the series did — an ineffable feeling I also get from Cory Mcabee’s film The American Astronaut and Lisa Hanawalt’s web-comic Coyote Doggirl.
And hopefully you’ll find that feeling just as evocative and inspiring, because just as exciting as the jam itself is news that our Austin indie collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS will be showcasing the best of the games from July 2nd through the 6th in the real-life mystical West Texas high desert town of Marfa, as part of the Marfa Film Festival.
A few of us just got back from Marfa late last night, where we met with Film Festival organizers & location-scouted the area we’ll be carving out and dedicating to your Space Cowboy games, and there’s a whole lot of expectation from all parties involved that This Is Going To Be Really Cool for the thousands of people that attend the Fest.
We’ll be putting out more detailed information at the official Space Cowboy Game Jam site and open up for your submissions on the 24th of this month, but in the meantime start clearing off your calendar, dreaming up big ideas under an endless starry sky & discussing collaborations on twitter via the hashtag #spacecowboygamejam — we’re all crazy excited to see what you come up with!