For reasons not necessarily worth bringing up here, I’ve spent much of the past few post-HORIZON weeks laid up & shut-in, which would have been driven me much crazier than it has were it not for the fortuitous timing of the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Like basically everyone else I know, the past few weeks I’ve been living dual lives in both the real world and in The Village, and, as time has worn on, those two realities have started to happily merge, as a bunch of friendly artists & game fans have brought our favorite bits of the former into the latter.
Above, via Media Center blogger Michael Pang, you’ll find the keys to unlock your very own in-game version of Keita Takahashi’s Videogame Romantics shirt, and below the fold, you can find a number of other amazing submissions from indie game & comic culture to make your Village life feel a little bit more like home.
A week or so on, I wanted to give a quick update from both Keita & me, to say many thanks for everyone that’s supported the Videogame Romantics project so far, and to announce this little site I had a wild hare to put together over the weekend: WeAreVideogameRomantics.com, a mega-site of everyone who’s joined our league to express their “naïve, pure, wonderful, and silly Love“.
If you’ve already received your order — or were one of the many who bought one of the T-shirts at our GDC party this year — we’d love to have you submit a photo of yourself wearing the shirt, as a couple of you already have! You can do so here (it even works directly from your iPhone library through some manner of tumblr magic) — and hopefully soon enough we can crowd out the random package shots I added with some real actual human faces. We look forward to seeing you there!
It’s time for that little link at the top to shine a little brighter: I’m very pleased to announce that the Venus Patrol Shop is now, finally, open for business, which also brings even better news — the official, worldwide release of Keita Takahashi’s Videogame Romantics T-shirts.
In addition to the remaining “Sunset” stock we originally made available at our Wild Rumpus / Venus Patrol GDC Party, we’re also introducing two new colorways: “Octopus”, with pink on heather-purple, and “Treasure”, with sparkly gold on black (which, to Keita’s dismay, is not made of actual gold).
The Venus Patrol Shop is also currently stocked with a small selection of other items from friends of the site, including T-shirts, prints and zines from artists & writers like Maré Odomo, Cory Schmitz, Zac Gorman and Mathew Kumar. You’ll even find a few super-premium items in stock, like these hand-woven scarves featuring art from Faraway creator Steph Thirion’s debut game Eliss.
Be sure to let Keita & I know how you like the shirts! Photos for our scrapbook/future Tumblr posts can be submitted care of that Submit link at top. And overall, I genuinely hope you like what you see at the store, and thanks much to our superpals at Fangamer for all the hard work they put into making it a real thing — stay tuned for news on many more things I’m working on bringing to it in the coming months!
[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective.]
It’s been years since we’ve last seen a new game from Keita Takahashi — most famous for his Namco cult classic Katamari Damacy and the even cultier PS3/iPhone game Noby Noby Boy — but this Thursday, April 4th, at 7:00PM, JUEGOS RANCHEROS will be showing not one but two brand new works from the esteemed designer at the North Door.
The first will be Tenya Wanya Teens — the co-production of Takahashi’s indie studio Uvula, UK-based multiplayer event group Wild Rumpus, and Venus Patrol — which just made its world debut to great acclaim at last week’s Game Developers Conference.
Tenya Wanya Teens, which we describe as “a coming-of-age tale about love, hygiene, monsters and finding discarded erotic magazines in the woods”, is also maybe also best described as “a very silly party game for two players armed with sixteen buttons each.” This will be its first showing outside the conference as it starts to make its way around the globe playing in various multiplayer arenas.
But Austin will also be the first place anywhere in the world that gets to see another new game from Takahashi, this one titled A͈L͈P͈H͈A͈B͈E͈T͈ (those little marks are important) — a co-production of Takahashi and JUEGOS’ own Adam Saltsman, creator of iPhone superhit Canabalt — being put together for the recently-Kickstarted LA Game Space.
Everything will be kicking off Thursday, April 4th, 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!
I should probably slow down a bit with the Big Announcements, but there’s just too much to get through before everything explodes next week, so here’s One More Big One: in addition to the debut of Tenya Wanya Teens, our March 27th GDC party will also see the release of a new T-shirt designed by Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi.
The ‘Videogame Romantics’ shirt, inspired by Takahashi’s speech featured on Venus Patrol a few months back, will be released at the party in the ‘Sunset’ colorway pictured above, in a very limited edition that will be exclusive to that one night.
Following the party, the shirt will be the first item available worldwide on the Venus Patrol Shop — long teased in that top bar, but now actually coming soon in partnership with our superpals at Fangamer — in two new colorways, and probably even more colorways after those sell through, and then, hopefully, branching out into many more new designs after this.
Until then, if you want to fly your fellow Videogame Romantic freak flag in those colors above, I would suggest literally like bee-lining to the Fangamer booth at our party on March 27th as soon as possible, because I honestly don’t think they’re going to last long.
You’ve no doubt spotted our various teasers for the game across the web, but with just a week until its debut at our upcoming GDC party, it’s time to pull back the curtain just a bit more: introducing Tenya Wanya Teens, a co-production of Venus Patrol, Wild Rumpus, and Uvula, the husband & wife indie team of Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi & former Namco composer Asuka Sakai.
What is Tenya Wanya Teens? It’s “a coming-of-age tale about love, hygiene, monsters and finding discarded erotic magazines in the woods”. It’s a game about trying desperately to not say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time — that universal struggle to maintain the façade of normality during the awkward transition from child- to adulthood.
But, more than anything, really, it’s a silly party game for two players armed with sixteen buttons each, as demonstrated on prototype box-file controllers by Wild Rumpus’s Marie Foulston & Dick Hogg above, as we put the final touches on the real deluxe custom joysticks that will make their debut alongside the game.
In addition to its appearance at the party, Tenya Wanya Teens will also be part of the lineup at GDC’s Experimental Gameplay Sessions on Friday, so stop by there if you aren’t able to see it earlier in the week.
After that? Stay tuned for news about release to the wider world: we’re already thinking about how we can bring the game to your home, even granted its poly-button insanity — we’ll have more about that in the future both here and at the official Tenya Wanya Teens website & twitter account.
With just two weeks to go until the full Game Developers Conference madness officially kicks in, Wild Rumpus & Venus Patrol have just released the first wave of lineup announcements for our 2013 party, with both some familiar faces and some brand new additions.
Sound Shapes co-creator & star I Am Robot And Proud will be performing a live set including his own brand-new reactive visuals (get a little sneak peek of that here), and Super Hexagon‘s own Chipzel (above) will be part of a lineup that also includes Dyad/Proteus musician David Kanaga, and Gun Godz & Luftrausers‘ Kozilek.
Also returning will be Anticon superstar Dose One, now with his Themselves, 13&God & Subtle bandmate Jel (see why he’s the “MPC emperor” in the video above). After the performances, Fez‘s Phil Fish & former Uncharted designer Rich Lemarchand will be playing out the night with their usual fantastic dance set as Phillipe Lemarchand.
On the games side, not only will we be debuting the previously mentioned new game from Keita Takahashi (which we are now also teasing as a game about “love, hygiene, monsters, and finding discarded erotic magazines in the woods”), but showcasing Super Space ____, the ever-amazing Samurai Gunn, and a new mashed-up version of Panoramical & SoundSelf (above), the latter just announced from Capsule & Antichamber sound artist Robin Arnott.
If you’ll be around the Bay Area on March 27th & haven’t yet purchased tickets, we’ve just opened up another round which can be purchased by clicking right over here. We’ll have more info coming soon as the date draws even more dangerously near!
See more posts about: AOPATAD, Chipzel, David Kanaga, Dose One, I Am Robot And Proud, Jel, Keita Takahashi, Kozilek, Luftrausers, Panoramical, Phil Fish, Proteus, Richard Lemarchand, Samurai Gunn, Sound Shapes, SoundSelf, Super Hexagon, Super Space ____, Venus Patrol, Wild Rumpus
If you’re going to be in or around the Bay Area during this year’s Game Developers Conference and haven’t already picked up tickets for the Wednesday night Venus Patrol / Wild Rumpus party, you’re probably definitely going to want to now: we’re very excited to announce that the night will see the debut of a new multiplayer game created in collaboration with Katamari Damacy & Noby Noby Boy creator Keita Takahashi.
We’re keeping details pretty scarce for the moment, but will be showing more little teasers as the date draws near (expect another teaser from Keita directly in the next couple days) — the above two images (the latter also available in Vine form) are your first look at what the game holds in store.
Wild Rumpus & I will also soon be revealing more about the rest of the games & music lineup for the night, which is nearly complete and is looking very, very exciting.
You can find more information about the party — which is sponsored by our friends at Tumblr and will be held at San Francisco’s Public Works on Wednesday, March 27th — and pick up your tickets at the official website.
Fantastic news for current backers and also the yet-unconvinced: not only has Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward thrown his weight behind the frequently-featured Kickstarter for LA Game Space — the would-be local/online cultural center and residency space for pushing the medium of games — with the amazingly earnest animated appeal above, you guys, but…
Noby Noby Boy and Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi has also just announced that his first game since leaving Namco — a PC/Mac/Linux downloadable he’s currently calling simply My Silly Game — will initially be available exclusively through the Kickstarter campaign.
In turn, the LA Game Space folk have opened up a new entry-level $5 tier if you only want Takahashi’s contribution, and have also added it to all upper levels, including the now (including Silly) 31-game pack for $15, alongside games like the previously featured Inputting.
It seems like probably now you should just go ahead and kick in to the campaign.
Katamari Damacy & Noby Noby Boy creator Keita Takahashi was recently invited to Australia’s Games For Change conference to deliver a speech he called “The Power Of Play: Reasons Why I Like Video Games“.
He used the opportunity to reprise a fantastic speech he gave back in 2006 for GDC’s Game Design Challenge — the theme that year was designing a game that could win the Nobel Peace Prize (which went on to be won by Dishonored designer Harvey Smith, as I covered in this interview with Smith, back in a former life) — but then moved on to cover a wide variety of topics, all revolving around the central idea of spreading peace & love through videogames.
Below the fold you’ll find the entirety of Takahashi’s talk, including musings on the aesthetics of the controller & re-framing the environment around us with play (and with Kokoromi co-founder & designer Heather Kelley‘s glasses), presented here on Venus Patrol with high hopes that it’ll inspire a little more peace and love from designers and players alike.