Archives: Fantastic Arcade


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.


FANTASTIC VIDEO: THE MAKING OF HOTLINE MIAMI & A BONUS CATLINE MEOWMI MEGAMIX


3.21.2013

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 Dennis Wedin & Cactus — the duo now better known as Dennaton, for a thirty minute look behind the scenes of the creation of their 2012 ultra-violent & ultra-sytlish Hotline Miami — a game that now sports its own bonus level based on Fantastic Arcade itself.

Not only do you get a look at the prototyping process that spans back to versions Cactus had created nearly a decade ago, but also the real-world cultural touchstones that inspired the game’s neon-lit and blood-drenched scenery.

As a bonus, below you’ll find the post-mortem aftershow in its entirety: the Catline Meowmi Megamix, about which there is little more to say than ‘just watch’.


FANTASTIC VIDEO: MOLLEINDUSTRIA & JIM MUNROE TAKE ON MODERN WARFARE


2.21.2013

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 Paolo ‘Molleindustria‘ Pedercini — the peerless leader of using games as socio-political commentary — and Jim Munroe, artist, novelist, filmmaker, indie game creator (who you may recall from his latest interactive fiction work, Guilded Youth) and co-founder of Toronto indie-collective Hand Eye Society.

unmanned

The two discuss their latest game, Unmanned, an accessibly-light-hearted but ultimately sobering and prescient investigation of the life of drone pilots, which was in part an attempt to answer the question “how do you make a videogame about war, when war already has become so videogame-like?”

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The hour long video also includes an in-depth discussion on Phone Story, Pedercini’s commentary on the practices and social repercussions of manufacturing the technology we use every day — specifically, our ubiquitous iPhones, which itself was presented as an iPhone minigame collection that was ultimately banned from the App Store, later resurfacing on the Android marketplace.

As a bonus, below the fold you’ll also find Pedercini’s “reverse propaganda” machinima film “Welcome to the desert of the real”, referenced in the video above and discussed at much greater length here by researcher Simon Ferrari.

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FANTASTIC VIDEO: VLAMBEER ON BUILDING A BETTER LUFTRAUSER


2.14.2013

Brandon Boyer

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It only took us like six or so months to get everything online, but the day’s finally come: Venus Patrol’s proud to present the first installment of Fantastic Video, a new, regular series showing off all the talks from last year’s Fantastic Arcade.

In this first video, Rami Ismail & JW Nijman of Vlambeer give an hour-long look into the genesis & evolution of their upcoming Supermarionation-inspired dog-fighting game Luftrausers, a game that can be traced all the way back to 2007′s Airhound, a 3-hour game-jam game that since seems to unfortunately have disappeared from the internet, but which you can see a bit more of here.

Enjoy the video above & the rare chance to peek into JW’s consistently amazing pitch-docs & sketchbooks, and stay tuned for the next Fantastic Video installment!


VENUS PATROL PRESENTS: 10 MINUTES MORE OF TEKNOPANTS’ SAMURAI GUNN


10.4.2012

Brandon Boyer

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My original writeup on Teknopants’ brilliant upcoming brawler Samurai Gunn managed to drum up quite a bit of the attention it so richly deserves, with a number of people commenting that they very much wanted more video. And so, presented here is ten-ish more minutes of the other matches held at the game’s first ever official tournament at this year’s Fantastic Arcade.

Above you can see how the action expands as the number of players increases to three, with some more 2-4 player matches included below the fold. As before, click the ‘gear’ at the bottom of the player to up the resolution to 720 or 1080p for the best pixel clarity, and enjoy the ongoing commentary by Karakasa Games‘ Wiley Wiggins & Vlambeer‘s Rami Ismail.

For more information on the game itself, browse through the original post about the game.

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FANTASTIC ARCADE: HOTLINE MIAMI, SUPER HEXAGON, ADVENTURE MINUTE TAKE HOME TOP PRIZES


9.25.2012

Brandon Boyer

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Bringing the 2012 Fantastic Arcade to a close, Dennaton’s superbly hyper-violent Hotline Miami was awarded the ‘Most Fantastic’ prize Sunday night, earning it one of the custom trophies above — a real world version of Cory Schmitz’s Fantastic Arcade cabinet, created by Austin’s own Ink It Labs with help from local art-toy studio Shinbone Creative. Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon also earned the festival’s Audience Award, after a weekend of open voting by Fantastic Arcade attendees.

Elsewhere, in an extra-special guest-appearance, Ultima creator, Portalarium founder and real-actual spaceman Richard Garriott handed out the top honor to Fantastic Arcade’s jury-voted top Adventure Time Game Making Frenzy game: Adventure Minute, created by Vlambeer’s JW Nijman and Kitty Calis. Garriott’s prize? A hand-crafted crossbow made by New World Arbalest‘s David Watson, the Austin-based bowyer who served as the inspiration for Ultima series character Iolo.

The full list of Fantastic Arcade 2012 awards for all spotlight games is below the fold, along with the top three winning entries of the Adventure Time Game Making Frenzy.

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FANTASTIC ARCADE 2012 BEGINS: A SLIDESHOW


9.20.2012

Brandon Boyer

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Today marks the first day of Fantastic Arcade proper — the yearly indie-game celebration run alongside the Alamo Drafthouse’s genre film festival Fantastic Fest — which means updates to Venus Patrol will become slightly spottier through to the end of the week until I can emerge with a handful of stories to tell of how the event went down.

In the meantime, a brief slideshow from the past several hours, including, above, some of the first screenshots of Hotline Highball, a custom version of Dennaton’s fantastically brutal Hotline Miami that takes place inside the actual locale of Fantastic Arcade itself, featuring the greeting you can see by festival co-organizer Wiley Wiggins, inside its own custom arcade cabinet.

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