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.
See more posts about: 50 Short Games, A Fistful of Indies, Asher Vollmer, Ben Esposito, Bo-En, Broken Age, Double Fine, Eliss, Eliss Infinity, Global Game Jam, Greg Wohlwend, How Do You Do It, Jazzpunk, Jimmy Hinson, JUEGOS RANCHEROS, little--eyes, Messhof, Necrophone Games, Nidhogg, Octodad, Pale Machine, Steph Thirion, Stoic, The Banner Saga, TheCatamites, Threes, Young Horses
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.
One more HORIZON post for posterity’s sake: if you missed the Twitch.tv livestream of Venus Patrol & MOCAtv’s alternative E3 conference last week — graciously provided and masterminded by the super excellent production team at AREA5 — we’ve uploaded the conference in its entirety to YouTube so you can view it again at your leisure and on your device of choice.
As a reminder, you can also find more information, video, and big, gorgeous screenshots of all the HORIZON games at the conference’s website, as well as all the additional games curated by LA’s Sarah Brin for its post-show party.
Thanks again to all who have supported our efforts to showcase a selection of beautiful games to E3 — we hope to have more news soon on what’s next for HORIZON!
It’s been almost a week since we ran HORIZON, the alternative E3 press conference co-presented by Venus Patrol & MOCAtv, and to be honest, I think we’re all still recovering. Reaction to the conference has been more or less universally positive, and we’re super grateful both to everyone who made it happen and for all the kind words that have been coming in over the past few days from outfits like Polygon & The Verge.
That also includes photographer Brian Erzen, who documented the entire conference as it was happening, which we’re presenting here in slideshow form for those that couldn’t make it the day of. Above is the group shot or HORIZON’s presenters & participating developers that immediately followed the conference, and below the fold, a slew of other great photos of nearly everyone that took part.
We’re just a couple more weeks away from HORIZON, the alternative press conference being presented by Venus Patrol and MOCAtv, the video channel of Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and so I thought I’d share a bit more about what you can expect.
To that end, we’re lifting the lid just a bit to announce some of the participating studios of the showcase lineup, including Psychonauts, Brutal Legend & The Cave developers Double Fine, LittleBigPlanet & Tearaway creators Media Molecule, as well as Capy, the Toronto indies behind Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Critter Crunch & Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes.
They, as well as a number of other studios both independent and otherwise, will be presenting a selection of their unreleased and unannounced games as part of the Thursday, June 13th event, which we are also making plans to livestream to the rest of the world.
The HORIZON event will also include an evening mixer, where a number of the participating developers can talk more with the invited press, and where attendees will find an additional selection of new games from the Los Angeles art/game community, curated by Sarah Brin.
Stay tuned for more specifics about the HORIZON event — we’re all really excited about how this is coming together and the lineup of games we’ll be showing off!
With just over a day left to contribute to Double Fine’s latest season of their two week, five-game prototyping session, Amnesia Fortnight and receive all the games and video updates (plus several earlier prototypes), it seemed like high time for a wrapup of the concept art & illustrations that’ve been produced so far, because, almost instantly, each one has become a game I’m immensely excited for.
At the top is one shot from the Ico-inspired adventure The White Birch, below is the zero-episode of the daily updates the team has been providing over the course of the past week, and after the fold, a selection of the rest of the new games taken from Double Fine’s recently launched Tumblr.
If you like what you see (and you will!) don’t lose your last chance to support the cause and get all the eventual games for yourself.
In an effort to brace their ongoing campaign to help fund and hone the latest round of two-week ‘Amnesia Fortnight’ prototyping, Double Fine has just announced that anyone that donates to the cause at a higher-than-average price will receive Brazen, 4-player co-op online action game created for an earlier Fortnight round.
Designer Brad Muir — best known as the lead on Double Fine’s recent online action/defense game Iron Brigade (nee Trenched) — calls the game not just a tribute to Capcom’s Monster Hunter, but even more an homage to Ray Harryhausen — the classic stop-motion movie monster animator behind films like Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and the original Clash of the Titans.
The prototype — awesomely called a “Fynamation production” (in tribute to Harryhausen’s ‘Dynamation’ process), and given a second round of polish past the original Amnesia build — will allow players “choose from three character classes: the stout defensive Stalwart, the agile and versatile Waracle, or the drunkenly unhinged Beerzerker” to “do battle against the Gorgoth, a mythical two headed creature with an insatiable appetite for mankind.”
Head over to the Amnesia Fortnight page to claim your own Brazen copy, and vote on the rest of the contenders for this round of prototyping — the four leads of which I’ll include below the fold.
Shortly after basically entirely redefining what “a success on Kickstarter” looks like, Double Fine have just announced a brand new campaign to publicly fund the next round of Amnesia Fortnight games, the long-running process where all Double Fine devs shuffle around into new teams and take two weeks to prototype new ideas.
It’s the process that would spawn Costume Quest, Stacking and the Sesame Street licensed Kinect game Once Upon A Monster, and, for the first time, they’re letting the public in to guide the process. By visiting the just launched Amnesia Fortnight page, you can watch over twenty short and extremely broad pitch videos, which, by donating any amount, you can then vote on, to whittle the selection down to just four.
When those four have been chosen, 2 Player Productions, the same video house that have been doing an amazing job of documenting the Double Fine Adventure process, will be filming daily updates of the progress of all the games, and Double Fine will deliver the final prototypes to all backers at the end of the campaign.
Everyone who donates also gets two prototypes from earlier Fortnights: the original Costume Quest demo, as well as Happy Song, the game that would become Once Upon A Monster. Visit the Amnesia Fortnight site to learn more and to help kick off the process.
Rocktober comes but once a year, giving me reason for a quick post to note that Double Fine, developer of Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Costume Quest & all your other favorites have just announced their Mega-Action Mega-Sale, dropping prices by as much as 50% on basically pretty much every game they’ve ever made across Steam, XBLA and the Mac App Store.
The full breakdown of all the sales can be found here, which has the extra bonus advantage of allowing me to remind people of this Boing Boing post I put together for Brütal Legend‘s launch, which showcases a number of amazing concept pieces by Scott C, Peter Chan, Nathan Stapley, Levi Ryken, Razmig Mavlian, and Mark Hamer, all of which will be housed in this upcoming art book that’s expected to drop just in time for Christmas.
[VP Rewind is a quick look back at the important events of the past week or two that should have been on Venus Patrol had it actually been alive.]
Publicly revealed for the first time ever at New York’s recent Babycastles Summit, this pitch video for what could have been Guitar Hero III, had legal-entanglements not stripped the franchise from Harmonix before landing it at Activision.
Created by Joe ‘@codeloss‘ Kowalski and Steven Kimura over the course of a weekend in the summer of 2006, Rockapocalypse was going to take all of the awkwardness of Guitar Hero‘s narrative (aka “why is a what essentially amounts to a half-decent cover band rising from nothing to go platinum?”) and give it amazing form.
In its post-apocalyptic future, where rock has been banned, a literal band-of-outsiders emerges to take the mostly-forgotten anthems-of-yore, passed down through generations like folktales, and give them back to the population at large.
So, in essence, kind of the coolest game ever, and — if you’re paying close attention — probably not the biggest leap to learn that Kowalski’s next post-Harmonix job was at Double Fine, where he spearheaded the fantastic “gatefold album” user interface for Brutal Legend, viewable for your remembering below the fold.