Archives: James Kochalka


VENUS PATROL PRESENTS: A GLORKIAN WARRIOR BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION


venuspatrol glork launch v1

3.13.2014

Brandon Boyer

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I just double-checked my inbox and confirmed: it’s been over seven years since I first started talking to indie comics legend James ‘American Elf‘ Kochalka about making a videogame, and took until exactly today for that dream to actually come true.

The funny thing is: even back then, before his involvement with Dino Run creators Pixeljam & their Kickstarter to create the game released today, before there was even an iPhone to launch a game on, Kochalka’s pitch was remarkably similar. Though the game we’d been talking about in those early days was drastically different (and something that I still hold out some hope for actually being created today), there was one key through-line: it’s all about the Glorkians.

Now, years after he’s been a supporter of all my endeavors (with comics for Offworld & a set of collectable Miis for Venus Patrol’s Kickstarter) I can finally return the favor & give that recommendation back to Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork, just launched for iPhone & iPad, a game itself three years in the making.

It’s exactly what you’d want a James Kochalka game to be: exuberant, na├»ve, completely un-cynical, and — the bit I appreciate the most — a game that even as it dips so heavily into Galaga-ian inspiration still finds room to feel like something new, totally blurring the clean breaks between cut-scenes & levels & play sessions into one self-aware experience that’s a perfect introduction to both the character and Kochalka himself, for the totally uninitiated.

And so, in celebration of the Glorkian birthday, in addition to the painting at the top of this post, Venus Patrol is also proud to present the first several pages of Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, a companion comic also coming in just a few weeks time from First Second Books (which you can pre-order at Amazon here).

You can find that preview below the fold, and grab Trials of Glork on the App Store here — after that, following along with more Glorkian celebrating happening here at Kochalka’s tumblr.

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VIDEO: THE LATEST LOOK AT PIXELJAM & JAMES KOCHALKA’S GLORKBOT’S MINI-ADVENTURE


10.30.2012

Brandon Boyer

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Years in the making and still no less hotly anticipated, Dino Run developers Pixeljam have just showed off the video above of Glorkbot’s Mini Adventure, the smaller sister spin-off of the full Glorkian Warrior game they’re creating with local-favorite comic artist James ‘American Elf‘ Kochalka.

The low-bit Glorkbot was originally meant to merely be a power-up found in the fully hand-drawn & -animated Glorkian Warrior — a pocket-sized sidekick that’d go on pixelated side-quests in the main game (as in the original concept art above) — but, as the scale of the latter game grew, the team decided to give that side-quest setup its own full bonus game, to work toward a more easily grasped goal as they made enhancements to the 2D engine that’ll eventually power both.

Pixeljam are promising a full release of the spin-off game — which they describe as “the platforming of Sonic, the exploration and adventure of Metroid and the shooting action of Galaga rolled into a single enormous level” — for PC/Mac/Linux before the end of the year, with a potential iPad counterpart possibly coming shortly thereafter, tiding us over until the full magnum opus finds its way to the finish line.


DIGITAL DIGITAL ELF: JAMES KOCHALKA’S GBA/NANOLOOP ALBUM ARRIVES ON ITUNES


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9.18.2009

Brandon Boyer

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For all those waiting for James Kochalka’s Game Boy Advance/Nanoloop album Digital Elf to go digital download before you bought (and I know there’s at least one of you), James has just written in with word that the album has freshly arrived on iTunes for your preview and purchase.

Offworld’s also got a full streaming cut of the album’s Robot Shark waiting for you back over here.

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ONLY ON OFFWORLD: PREVIEW JAMES KOCHALKA’S GAME BOY ADVANCE ALBUM ‘DIGITAL ELF’


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8.5.2009

Brandon Boyer

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As you may have spotted via his American Elf site, Offworld’s Monster Mii and Superf*ckers Review creator James Kochalka has just released his latest Superstar album, Digital Elf, this time with a twist: all 15 songs were composed and performed on his Game Boy Advance in Nanoloop.

This isn’t quite your usual chiptune affair, though: if you recall his Offworld-original sexy holiday song for Monster Mii Zex, or his Superf*ckers theme song, you’ll know exactly what to expect.

The Digital Elf album’s just gone up for sale exclusively at Burlington, VT’s Pure Pop, and Kochalka’s sent over one track — the brilliantly self-mythologizing Robot Shark — for your preview perusal below.

Follow all of Kochalka’s exploits and find links to his comics and anthologies at AmericanElf.com, hear more 8-bit Kochalka with this sloopygoop remix, The Golden Booger (!), and see more live music performances from Giant Robot’s recent exhibition.

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JAMES KOCHALKA’S FEVER DREAMS: YOU FELL ASLEEP PLAYING NOBY NOBY BOY


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5.23.2009

Brandon Boyer

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Offworld’s Monster Mii and Superf*ckers Review creator James Kochalka has a youfellasleepwatchingadvd moment with his PlayStation 3 in this recent entry of his fantastic American Elf diary strips (one of my top two web-comic subscription recommendations).


THE INSOMNIAC ELF: SIRLONDON’S JAMES KOCHALKA-INSPIRED GAME


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4.4.2009

Brandon Boyer

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It started with a dream: comic artist (and Offworld’s Monster Mii / Superf*ckers Review creator) James Kochalka recently devoted one of his daily diary strips to a game idea he’d fixated upon during a feverish nap, only to find a week later that a fan called SirLondon had created a playable PC version called The Insomniac Elf in his spare time.

Mostly, anyway: while SirLondon’s version doesn’t seem to obey the letter of the node-path law (leaving a node in any direction is allowed, and other nodes don’t necessarily illuminate in the way Kochalka described), and he has added reams of new ideas to Kochalka’s framework, most admittedly quite clever, and some which still need tweaking.

Though still a work in progress (and much improved since the original v0.3 I’d originally played), the greatest thing holding it back is its masochistic difficulty and utterly opaque rules.

You’ll eventually discover, for example, that walking through nodes is necessary to advance to the next level, but 90 percent of the time offers nothing but punishment (more, faster snakes), and the default melee attack is so short-ranged and weak that it establishes a negative-double-whammy: new players are instead encouraged to wander aimlessly, avoiding everything until they accidentally stumble across the boss attack, which, at the first level, will typically kill you almost instantly.

Stick with it long enough to dig up powered up swords (the first of which should maybe be the default), new items (bombs, glasses), other members of Kochalka’s family, and various clever “bad luck” modes — the game truly is just a few difficulty-softening tweaks away from being the first best American Elf game.

The Insomniac Elf [SirLondon, original American Elf comic]

Previously:
Offworld: Monster Mii Archives
Offworld: Superf*ckers Review Archives

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LISTEN: JAMES KOCHALKA’S SUPERF*CKERS THEME VIDEO


3.18.2009

Brandon Boyer

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While we all wait for James Kochalka’s teenage superhero team the Superf*ckers to deliver another game review after their Killzone 2 debut, you can get acquainted with their underachieving superpowered exploits via this theme song video that’s just made its way to YouTube.

Once you’ve done that, it’s highly, highly recommended that you follow up with Top Shelf’s series of comix: it’s the epitome of Kochalka Quality.

SuperF*ckers TV show Theme [americanelf]

Previously:
Only on Offworld: James Kochalka's Superf*ckers review Killzone 2 …
Offworld: Monster Mii Archives


ONLY ON OFFWORLD: JAMES KOCHALKA’S SUPERF*CKERS REVIEW KILLZONE 2


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3.5.2009

Brandon Boyer

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If you’ve never been introduced to the Superf*ckers, from Monster Mii creator James Kochalka, here’s the lowdown: they’re “the baddest teenage superhero team around, and everybody wants to join. They live in a big clubhouse, play video games on their state-of-the-art supercomputer, smoke their teammate Grotus’ slime drippings, and fight amongst themselves like cats and dogs.”

Like Kochalka himself, lately their superhero hands have been all over Guerrilla’s PS3 shooter, Killzone 2, and so, in the first of what we’re all hoping is a long running series, Offworld presents Superf*ckers team members Jack Krak and Orange Lightning’s dual review.

A note to the younger and more sensitive readers: as their team name might suggest, the Superf*ckers are as M rated as the games they probably aren’t old enough to play. Consider this your first time warning: no one censors Jack Krak.

Previously:
Offworld: Monster Mii Archives

[James Kochalka's daily diary strips, which run at AmericanElf.com, have entered their tenth year and been collected in three print volumes. He is also the author of more comics than you can count on both hands (some for children, others not so much), and plays rock and roll and Game Boy punk as James Kochalka Superstar.]

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JAMES KOCHALKA’S MONSTER MII: FROZOG & TRAZZLE’S MISUNDERSTANDING EDITION


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2.19.2009

Brandon Boyer

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[James Kochalka's Monster Mii is a regular Offworld feature, with a new Mii monster (or two!) each time for you to download to your Wii. Once there, they'll give you creepy stares from the sidelines of your Wii Sports, lap you rudely during your Wii Fit jogs, and in general liven up your Plaza and gaming day.]

Our latest edition of Monster Mii brings double the monster, double the Mii, with Mario Kart-loving Frozog and [his? her?] hard of hearing companion Trazzle coming in full, live color from their Frogger-esque bayou home.

To bring them home to your Wii, enter the Check Mii Out Channel’s Posting Plaza, click ‘Popular,’ then the ‘Search’ button at bottom. After that, hit the arrows at top right and enter in the following codes:

Frozog: 0370-5897-5394
Trazzle: 5121-3443-7371

Previously:
James Kochalka's Monster Mii: Dorgie's Little Ol' Accident Edition …
James Kochalka's Monster Mii: Zex's Sexy X-mas edition
James Kochalka's Monster Mii – Kzorx

[James Kochalka's daily diary strips, which run at AmericanElf.com, have just entered their tenth year and been collected in three print volumes. He is also the author of more books and comics than you can count on both hands, including some that are excellent for children, and others not so much. All are excellent. James also plays rock and roll and Game Boy rock as James Kochalka Superstar, and recently exhibited artwork at Giant Robot's GR2 gallery.]