[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!
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.
Part of the main attraction of LA Game Space’s recently-launched Kickstarter campaign is that enticing entry level donation which nets you some thirty new experimental games from a massive lineup of excellent indie names, but to date, they’ve been just that: a list of names.
To start remedying that, then, we present the first look at one of the games included in the bunch, Steve Swink‘s Inputting. Long-time readers around these parts might recognize Swink’s name from his earlier work as part of indie-group Flashbang, where he helmed games like Time Donkey, as well as later revelations like the unfortunately still-iced Shadow Physics.
You may have heard it said in design discussions that the best controls in games are those you don’t notice at all, that, ideally, designers strive to eliminate the conscious thought of manipulating an input device to create fluid in-game output, but, with Inputting, Swink’s flipped that on its head.
Somewhere in between the finger-twisting of Foddy’s GIRP blended with the primitive shape ambience of Cactus’s Tuning, Inputting is, put simply, a game about your keyboard — a collection of challenges that make you play directly with the device so ubiquitous that it’s basically entirely faded from your frontal lobes.
Even in its current early-alpha state, it’s a mix of wildly creative ideas, from basic wood-block labyrinths, to third person scrollers, to first person platforming that gives you pause about why you’ve been so comfortable with ‘WASD’ this entire time.
If all of the games from the LA Game Space campaign maintain this level of curiosity & intrigue (& we’ll hopefully be able to bring you longer looks at more of its lineup, as it continues), it might prove to have been one of art/game’s best bundles of the past several years — head over to the Kickstarter to make a contribution and ensure that you’re in on the ground floor.
In development for over three years, AttractMode‘s Adam Robezzoli and Re:Game Lab‘s Daniel Rehn have just launched the Kickstarter for LA Game Space, a massive undertaking that will overhaul a warehouse space in Los Angeles’s arts district to become a research lab for advancing experimental games, with an indie-focused residency program and space for regular exhibitions, installations, guest speakers, and workshops to help enlist a crop of fresh, more diverse faces from other disciplines into the world of games.
The duo have enlisted a stellar lineup of game makers & artists for the campaign: the entry-level $15 gets you a pack of some thirty experimental games from a slew of recognizable names like Cactus, Samurai Gunn creator Beau Blyth, Santa Ragione, BaraBariBall‘s Noah Sasso, Party Time! Hexcellent, and (most excitingly) QWOP creator Bennett Foddy working with Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.
There are also a number of other art/print/wearable rewards from familiar faces like Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley & a chance to make an appearance in Gaijin’s upcoming Runner 2 — visit the Kickstarter page for the full rundown on what to expect from the space should it meet its $250,000 goal, and to pitch in to see this thing that we’d all love to see happen actually happen.