Archives: Fantastic Arcade


GET NEW GAMES FROM BEGLITCHED, PANORAMICAL DEVS & MORE IN THE 2017 FANTASTIC ARCADE BUNDLE


11.29.2017

Brandon Boyer

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Missed this year’s Fantastic Arcade? Bring the festival home to you with six amazing and exclusive games, presented by Austin’s independent game collective & Venus Patrol sister organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS!

The collective has brought together six of the most talented indie developers from around the world to create new games, all of which made their debut at the eighth-annual indie game festival, Fantastic Arcade, which took place in Austin, TX, November 17th through 19th, 2017.

[ CLICK HERE OR USE THE WIDGET BELOW TO BUY THE 2017 FANTASTIC ARCADE BUNDLE AND SUPPORT JUEGOS RANCHEROS! ]

Thanks to distribution partner itch.io, all proceeds from the sale of this bundle benefit the non-profit organization. Help JUEGOS RANCHEROS showcase more amazing games both here in Austin and a city near you, and commission more fantastic developers to create new games like these!

Included in this bundle are all six games you see here! Here is what you’ll get:


PIPSQUEAK, by Jenny Jiao Hsia

Pipsqueak has only one purpose in life: to eat all the eggs he can find. Help Pipsqueak traverse through unseasoned terrain and vanquish any and all who get in his way.  (Windows, Mac)

Jenny Jiao Hsia is the artist behind games like Beglitched and Stellar Smooch, and is currently creating Consume Me. You can play more of her work here on itch.io.


PANIC VARIANTS, by Loren Schmidt

A collection of three projects, including one solo piece and two collaborations.

Panic Variants, by Loren Schmidt, begins as a short, branching arcade game, but opens up into something else as it is replayed and explored.

Pluinola, created with Tammy Duplantis, is an audiovisual instrument which uses cellular automata to drive sound generation.

Fossil Plant Slideshow, by KR Pipkin and Loren Schmidt (collectively, Withering Systems) is a diorama piece involving an interior design boutique. (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Loren Schmidt is the creator of Strawberry CubesRealistic Kissing Simulator and the IGF-nominated Star Guard. You can find more of their work here on itch.io.


ROTOR, by Connor Mccann

The base is breached! Navigate malfunctioning drones through the defense grid to discover the secrets of an invading anomaly. ROTOR is an abstract arcade game featuring an original soundtrack by Asthmatic Kitty recording artist Chris Schlarb. (Windows, Mac)

Conor Mccann is a Texas-based artist best known for his Mystic Western Game Jam game Black Gold, and many more games and experiments found right here on itch.io.

In addition to his extensive discography, Chris Schlarb’s work has also featured in videogames including Dropsy and NightSky, available on PC and Nintendo 3DS.


THE STAKES ARE TOO HIGH, by Fernando Ramallo

An endless stream of experiments from the GAME THAT NEVER WAS! Witness a shocking peek into the Artist’s mind as they delve deep into the AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM! (Windows, Mac)

Fernando Ramallo is the creator of the incredible interactive music/landscape app Panoramical.


BANANA CHALICE, by Kyle Reimergarten

CAT DREAM WORLD OF BANANAS
FJORDS 2  (Windows)

Kyle Reimergartin is the developer behind our long-time favorite game Fjords, as well as a number of other tiny games and experiments available here on itch.io.

[NOTE: Though we refer to it simply as Banana Chalice, this bundle-exclusive version's actual title is: Near My Sins // Awaken Thy Blood [newline] or, Never Feel Pain X274 Captured Beast Banana Chalice (_FROGDIRECTION360 rancheros dream SHAREWARE VISION) Everlastic Legacy of Jazz. -ed.]


FORGET-ME-NOT, by Brandon Williamson

Mazes and monsters and mushrooms and flowers and witches and potions and eyeballs and tombstones and turners and dashers and grinders and slimers, and bombs, and bombs, and bombs. Plagued with the curse of autofire, you roam the corridors of Forget-Me-Not forever, in search of a cure for your beloved… (Windows, Linux) (Mac version is forthcoming & will be available to all who purchased the bundle when it is available!)

Brandon Williamson is known best for the original Forget-Me-Not, and has a number of other game and music projects available for download at nyarlu.net.


GET NEW GAMES FROM DOWNWELL, KATAMARI DAMACY DEVS & MORE IN THE 2016 FANTASTIC ARCADE BUNDLE


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9.23.2016

Brandon Boyer

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Want to bring this year’s Fantastic Arcade home to you? We’ve got the perfect way! Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS has just launched a bundle of five amazing and exclusive games making their debut at the seventh-annual indie game festival, Fantastic Arcade.

[ CLICK HERE OR USE THE WIDGET BELOW TO BUY THE 2016 FANTASTIC ARCADE BUNDLE AND SUPPORT JUEGOS RANCHEROS! ]

Thanks to distribution partner itch.io, all proceeds from the sale of this bundle benefit JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our non-profit organization. Help us showcase more amazing games both here in Austin and a city near you, and commission more fantastic developers to create new games like these!

Included in this bundle are all five games you see here, along with extras & bonus materials! Here is what you’ll get:


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NIUM, by Moppin & Nemk

DOWNWELL creator Moppin has partnered with Nemk (one of our favorite artists working in games) to present NIUM: a post-apocalyptic action game where players will crawl through a ruined, abandoned, STALKER-esque exclusion zone inhabited only by a variety of mutated wildlife. (Windows, Mac)


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ALPHABET, by Keita Takahashi & Adam Saltsman

Originally available only to select Kickstarter backers, ALPHABET is a slapstick marathon footrace for 1- to 26-players from Keita Takahashi (renowned creator of KATAMARI DAMACY & NOBY NOBY BOY) and Adam Saltsman (designer behind CANABALT & OVERLAND). Run, jump, eat, sing, poop, and sleep through silly obstacle courses!
(Windows, Mac, Linux)


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INSPECTOR WOOF, by Klondike

From Klondike — France’s upstart super-collective of indie game stars — INSPECTOR WOOF & THE VEGETABLE HIGH SCHOOL is a procedurally generated mystery adventure game where every student is hiding terrible secrets. Armed only with your freshly-printed hints sheet, dig deep into their guilty consciences and expose the truth! (Windows, Mac, Linux)


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F2OGGY, by Nathalie Lawhead

F2OGGY (Only one survives!) is a Brute-Force Frog-Combat Simulator, by the IGF-winning creator Nathalie Lawhead, made for a growing audience of competitive frogfans. Each player is divided into a faction (a Frog-Faction), and must defeat their opponent using High-Velocity Amphibian Impact Lunges. (Windows, Mac)


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LASSOS, by SOKPOP

From SOKPOP — the the Dutch collective behind indie cult classics like the low-fi sci-fi exploration game BERNBAND — comes LASSOS, a game fit for its Texas debut: throw lassos, get money! (Windows, Mac)


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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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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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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SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR FANTASTIC ARCADE 2014


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3.26.2014

Brandon Boyer

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In hopes of giving everyone a little more lead time this year, organizers of Fantastic Arcade — the indie game offshoot of Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest — have just opened submissions 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, like at top!), but give talks in whatever manner they choose.

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In the past that’s led to music performances for FJORDS & Lioness (above), one-on-one developer chats between Gone Home‘s Steve Gaynor & Tiger Style’s Randy Smith, or more traditional presentations by Sword & Sworcery co-creator Craig Adams, many of which you can find in full right here on Venus Patrol.

Even if I wasn’t part of the curatorial team, I’d still call Fantastic Arcade one of my favorite festivals of the year: it’s super open & free-form and basically exists to bring some of the best developers together for a week to eat, drink & celebrate awesome games, and the FA team have a bunch of other really cool things to announce as the date draws near.

If you want to be part of that, submit your game to the festival via this form here, or check Fantastic Arcade’s website for more information about festivals past. Hope to see you there!

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SAMURAI GUNN, PANORAMICAL, GOBLET GROTTO ARCADE CABINETS COMING TO FANTASTIC ARCADE


8.15.2013

Brandon Boyer

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After a long weekend spent with a couple hundred games, the first selection of games coming to this year’s Fantastic Arcade — the indie game spinoff of the Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest film festival — have just been announced, as curated by the founding members of Austin indie collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS (aka Wiley Wiggins, Adam Saltsman & I).

The full list of spotlight games, each of which will be given the full arcade-cabinet overhaul and put on public display for all Fantastic Fest & Arcade-goers from September 19th to 22nd, follows below — with some new, unseen video of some of this year’s entries, as well as games that will be part of Arcade’s daily tournaments.

At top, Beau Blyth’s super highly anticipated Samurai Gunn, which first blipped on radars when we debuted it for tournament play at least year’s Fantastic Arcade, will be returning for open play during the entire week.

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SUBMISSIONS OPEN THROUGH JULY 31ST FOR FANTASTIC ARCADE 2013


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7.10.2013

Brandon Boyer

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A reminder to developers everywhere that submissions are now open for the 2013 edition of Fantastic Arcade — the Austin-local indie-game offshoot of Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest film festival — with a deadline of July 31st to have your game considered to be one of the Spotlight or Showcase games.

Even if you don’t have a game to submit, you’re hopefully already planning your yearly visit to the Arcade, the event, you’ll recall, that last year ran the Adventure Time Game Jam and hosted a number of developer favorites like Vlambeer, Dennaton, Molleindustria & many more, and publicly debuted games like Beau Blyth’s Samurai Gunn.

This year the festival will be taking place at the Drafthouse’s new Lakelike theater from September 19-22 — find more information about the festival at its official website, submit your game here, and browse through video archives of the 2012 Arcade here or at the Arcade’s YouTube channel.

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FANTASTIC VIDEO: ROB LACH EXPERIMENTS WITH THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLAY


4.11.2013

Brandon Boyer

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[Fantastic Video is a regular Venus Patrol feature where we recap the goings-on of the 2012 installment of Austin's Fantastic Arcade, the indie-game spinoff of Alamo Drafthouse's genre film festival Fantastic Fest. You can find all the Fantastic Videos by clicking here, and find out more about Fantastic Arcade here!]

In this latest installment of Fantastic Video, we’re joined by a slightly inebriated Rob Lach (in the true spirit of Fantastic Arcade), for a forty minute look behind the scenes of POP – Methodology Experiment One (the trailer for which is below).

In it, Lach explains how the game is both an attempt to both “extend the definition of what a game is” (POP standing for the “philosophy of play”), and to flip the script of the standard methodology of creating a game — working from concept to asset creation to music to technology to final product — by here beginning with the music and working forward from there.

In the interim, Lach also lays his books wide open, showing the results of his “pay what you want” sales, and comparing the breakdown between those that came in from game sites versus those that discovered the game from art & design blogs (hint: the favor’s not in the game-fan’s court)… and gives you more information than you ever knew you wanted about firearms.