JUEGOS RANCHEROS’ FISTFUL OF INDIES: FEBRUARY 2014


2.7.2014

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 curious onlookers from 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, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

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VENUS PATROL PRESENTS: THE FOUR GAMES PENDLETON WARD REALLY WANTS TO MAKE WITH DOUBLE FINE


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2.6.2014

Brandon Boyer

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What could be more exciting than Broken Age creators Double Fine announcing another round of its Amnesia Fortnight game jam? Here’s the easy answer: another round of Amnesia Fortnight where one team has already been chosen to create a new game led by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.

Like last time, the Fortnight — a two-week long jam that’s previously given birth to Double Fine games like Costume Quest, Stacking and Spacebase DF-9 — will be funded by the public via the studio’s just launched Humble Bundle page, and funders will ultimately decide which of the nearly 30 pitches Double Fine will focus on, all of which will be again fully video documented by studio stalwarts 2 Player Productions.

But this year’s twist is that Ward is also pitching four of his own game ideas for the studio to produce, which will also be voted on by the public. Outside his story & design input on the console and mobile Adventure Time games (and Cheque Please, his still forthcoming collaboration with QWOP creator Bennett Foddy), the resulting prototype will be the first original concept he’ll have released in actual game form, and all four pitches are as honestly super hilarious & creatively unbridled as you’d expect.

And so, below he’s given Venus Patrol the extra special horse’s-mouth skinny on (and new doodles for) all four of the concepts — from a stab-happy cupid, to an entire town’s least favorite human-pyramid topper, to the fantastically ambitious zombie thriller he’s wanted to create since high school, which we might as well call right now as totally the one everyone is going to vote for, aren’t they.

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HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, GET YOUR FIRST LOOK AT TIGER STYLE’S SPIDER: RITE OF THE SHROUDED MOON


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1.29.2014

Brandon Boyer

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12 tweets

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

The original was one of the first best games released on the App Store, and now we’re giving Austin the first look at its return: join us next Thursday, February 6th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents an evening with local indie studio Tiger Style, as they pull back the curtain on their forthcoming game Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon.

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

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor was noteworthy for bringing the iPhone a game that wasn’t simply a light time-killer. Peek just one layer beneath its friendly, approachable web-slinging mechanics, and it revealed an involved story of the former inhabitants of the manor, told entirely through the objects they left behind.

And Tiger Style carried that approach one step further with their iPhone & iPad follow-up Waking Mars, a game crafted to bring more mature, console-quality-type mechanics and storytelling to pocket-sized devices.

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Now they’re revisiting the world that put them on the map with Rite of the Shrouded Moon, a game that promises to bring back everything you loved about the original Spider, but with a massively expanded and richer world containing even more mysteries and magic.

Like their earlier JUEGOS RANCHEROS debut, Tiger Style will be taking you on a guided tour through the development of Shrouded Moon, and tell you more about what they’re trying to accomplish with its return, the research into secret societies & symbols that’s inspired it, and what you can expect when the game launches later this year.

As usual, the meetup will be immediately followed by our pals at Texas-area chiptune showcase TX Chip — visit their page for this month’s full lineup of 8-bit wunderkind!

Doors will be open Thursday, February 6th, 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!


THE GREAT BEAST EMERGES: A Q&A WITH NIDHOGG CREATOR MESSHOF


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1.13.2014

Brandon Boyer

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62 tweets

It’s been nearly four years since Mark Essen’s tug-of-war fencing game Nidhogg first emerged, seemingly fully grown as the perfect lo-fi brawler that none of us knew we needed until it was in our hands. Originally commissioned for the first No Quarter — NYU Game Center’s annual public-multiplayer-focused exhibition — and then known as Raging Hadron, the game was soon re-named after the Norse snake-dragon horror that ends each round and submitted to the 2011 IGF, where it took home the festival’s Nuovo award, on top of two nominations for both excellence in design & that year’s grand prize.

And then the beast slumbered… with only tiny (and, for some, maddeningly rare) further glimpses at public exhibitions put together by hyper-local indie groups Toronto’s Hand Eye Society and our own JUEGOS RANCHEROS, the game was soon cemented as one of videogames’ best spectator bloodsports for all who were lucky enough to be present, but largely avoided public gaze — until a mid-2013 appearance at fighting game mecca EVO signaled that it was finally nearly ready for public consumption.

Following quickly on the heels of & fitting beautifully in amongst Matt Thorton’s TowerFall & Teknopants’ Samurai Gunn as part of a multiplayer renaissance & still one of the most anticipated multiplayer games, Nidhogg has just been released for Windows on Steam, with Mac & possible console ports to follow in due time.

I talked with Essen about what the past four years of incubation have been like, and what people who’ve only played its earliest iterations can expect from the finished game — including two of its most major additions: online multiplayer and a robust single-player AI.

So, what’s been keeping you busy since your IGF win back in 2011?

Grad school, then part-time co-teaching Intermediate Game Design with [Waco Resurrection and The Cat and The Coup co-creator] Peter Brinson and my own class on experimental mobile games — both at USC Interactive Media & Games program — as well as contract work, side projects, and making & tweaking games for festivals and museum or gallery shows.

I have been working pretty consistently on Nidhogg all this time, it’s just that some weeks got one day a week, and others got eight days a week.

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS’ FISTFUL OF INDIES: JANUARY 2014


1.3.2014

Brandon Boyer

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9 tweets

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 curious onlookers from 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, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS’ FISTFUL OF INDIES: DECEMBER 2013


12.18.2013

Brandon Boyer

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4 tweets

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 curious onlookers from 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, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

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GAMETOILET#522: LATE IGF ENTRY


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11.27.2013

King Baggot

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7 tweets

[Wednesdays on Venus Patrol are GameToilet Days, where we feature new installments of the brilliant comic series from artist & game dev Jerry ‘King Baggot‘ Carpenter. You can find hundreds more entries in the series at the comic's new permanent home, gametoilet.venuspatrol.com!]

I’m already deciding which cheesecloth tuxedo to wear when I pick up my award for this TEN YEARS FROM NOW…

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HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, COME PLAY ADAMATOMIC’S PHYSICAL GAME BREAKDANCING SUPERSPY


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11.26.2013

Brandon Boyer

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9 tweets

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

You know him best as the designer behind games like Canabalt, Hundreds and his Keita Takahashi collaboration A͈L͈P͈H͈A͈B͈E͈T͈, but next Thursday, December 5th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door, JUEGOS RANCHEROS will present Breakdancing Superspy — a brand-new physical game being created by Austin’s own Adam Saltsman.

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

In the grand tradition of body-bending games previously featured at JUEGOS RANCHEROS & Fantastic Arcade like MEGA-GIRP & MEGA-A͈L͈P͈H͈A͈B͈E͈T͈, Saltsman describes the game as “a race to be the fastest to complete an awkward obstacle course that resembles single-player Twister, drunken hopscotch, and/or a clumsy Entrapment-era Catherine Zeta-Jones.” (see: below)

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“Players will live out their wildest spy fantasies and,” he adds, “tip over sometimes”, in this “large-scale physical game powered by a tarp and a pair of projectors.”

For those less limber or sure on their feet (particularly a few beers in) than Saltsman himself — seen above lithely prototyping the game in his backyard — we’ll also be toting along a few more traditional games to fill out your evening, or feel free to just gawk at the tangled bodies making their first foray across Superspy‘s playfield.

Also new this month: our JUEGOS RANCHEROS meetup will be immediately followed by the new, regular North Door appearance of Texas-area chiptune showcase TX Chip! Visit their own Facebook invite for this month’s full lineup of 8-bit wunderkind!

Doors will be open Thursday, December 5th, 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!


JUEGOS RANCHEROS’ FISTFUL OF INDIES: NOVEMBER 2013


11.26.2013

Brandon Boyer

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24 tweets

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 curious onlookers from 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, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

(more…)


HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, COME WATCH JEJUNE INSTITUTE DOCUMENTARY THE INSTITUTE


institute

10.31.2013

Brandon Boyer

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9 tweets

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

Never got your chance to be inducted into The Jejune Institute, the amazing real-world game that transformed the city of San Francisco into a magical & mysterious playground? Then it is crucial that you join us at Austin’s North Door next Thursday, November 7th, at 7:00PM, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents a free screening of The Institute, the newly released documentary that takes “invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.”

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

Any attempt to describe The Jejune Institute will always fall short of just how fantastic the experience was — from being first led into an intimidating Financial District skyscraper, to being given your first mission & re-emerging into the San Francisco streets to find that the clues had been around you all along, to hiking through the park with a transistor radio to pick up pirate radio broadcasts that you never knew existed & realizing that the plot was thickening by the minute.

But watching The Institute does an amazing job of carrying you along for the ride you might have missed, and introducing you to the game’s creators, participants & key figures, only to discover that behind the curtain — there are only more curtains.

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Following its recent screening at the Austin Film Society, JUEGOS RANCHEROS is very excited to be able to present The Institute free of charge and open to the public, so even more of you can fall down its peculiar & enlightening rabbit-hole, in our first ever movie-night.

The presentation will begin promptly at 7:30PM, so please arrive early & in plenty of time to grab a good seat & not interrupt the film!

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And don’t believe for a second that this is our least interactive meetup to date — head to The Institute’s website and download & print your own personal induction card to accompany your viewing of the film, which will help you unlock even more mysteries…

[PS: not in Austin or can't make it to the screening? You can play along at home by downloading the film on iTunes!]

Doors will be open Thursday, November 7th, 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!