For the second year, my old stomping grounds Boing Boing has published my Venus Patrol 20 list — the twenty games that sang to me the most throughout 2016, which you can get a load of right over here. (You can also find 2014′s edition over here.)
As usual, the list doesn’t include a number of multi-million-dollar marketed games that are no less deserving of recognition, but which probably didn’t sneak past your radar this year, as well as four games that for one reason or another I just couldn’t get to this year that I’ll be visiting with soon, all of which you can see above.
The list was also part of a live reading at Austin’s Nerd Nite in mid-December, video of which will be online soon — thanks both to Nerd Nite & Boing Boing for supporting the list. Hope you enjoy it, and please look forward to more actual Venus Patrol happenings in 2017!
Missed the livestream of our recent E3-alternative press conference? Look no further than the video above, which will let you watch the 2014 edition of HORIZON in its entirety. Held just a few weeks back at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the latest edition of HORIZON featured debuts and new looks at games by the creators of Windosill, Thirty Flights of Loving, Dear Esther and more.
The breakout hit of the show, certainly, was Mountain, the first true videogame project by animator David OReilly (perhaps best known as the creator of the virtual reality game in Spike Jonze’s latest film, Her, who also recently debuted his Oculus Rift demo here on Venus Patrol).
Below the fold I’ll also include the other notable highlight: Brendon Chung of Blendo Games revealing, for the first time, single-player time-manipulating co-op mechanics of his upcoming 20th-century-cyberpunk game Quadrilateral Cowboy.
Visit the official HORIZON site for screenshots, video and more information on all of the games included in this year’s conference!
Doing anything particularly romantic between May 24th and June 8th? No? Good, because I’m super happy to announce that Venus Patrol is organizing the first in what I hope becomes a regular series of game jams, this time dedicated to the lonesome future west-world theme: the space cowboy.
The game jam, hosted with the help of itch.io, is open to developers worldwide, and will run for two weeks, after which it will be judged by players for the week following on a variety of to be determined criteria like romance and psychedelia.
The idea for the jam came, as you probably have already guessed, after I finally got it together to watch all of Cowboy Bebop in one crazy week-long marathon (which I suggest you do or re-do in advance) and realized no game had quite struck that tone the series did — an ineffable feeling I also get from Cory Mcabee’s film The American Astronaut and Lisa Hanawalt’s web-comic Coyote Doggirl.
And hopefully you’ll find that feeling just as evocative and inspiring, because just as exciting as the jam itself is news that our Austin indie collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS will be showcasing the best of the games from July 2nd through the 6th in the real-life mystical West Texas high desert town of Marfa, as part of the Marfa Film Festival.
A few of us just got back from Marfa late last night, where we met with Film Festival organizers & location-scouted the area we’ll be carving out and dedicating to your Space Cowboy games, and there’s a whole lot of expectation from all parties involved that This Is Going To Be Really Cool for the thousands of people that attend the Fest.
We’ll be putting out more detailed information at the official Space Cowboy Game Jam site and open up for your submissions on the 24th of this month, but in the meantime start clearing off your calendar, dreaming up big ideas under an endless starry sky & discussing collaborations on twitter via the hashtag #spacecowboygamejam — we’re all crazy excited to see what you come up with!
Following what I think we all can pretty much agree was an amazing lineup last year, I’m super happy to announce that Venus Patrol will once again be partnering with LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art to present the next installment of HORIZON: an alternative press conference that showcases beautiful, original games from studios both small and large.
The conference will be held at 10AM PST on Thursday, June 12th, 2014 — the same week as this year’s E3 expo — and hopes to give you a second dose of games as exciting as the ones we brought you last year, like Below, Sportsfriends, Hohokum, Kachina and, well, you remember last year’s big surprise still, don’t you.
If you’d like your game to be considered for the showcase, we’ve set up this survey for you to fill out over the next week. While we won’t be able to show everything submitted, we hope to once again highlight a selection that provides an alternative to the genre of games typically announced that week.
If you’re a member of the press, invites to the event will be headed your way shortly — so save the date now — email email@example.com if you’re especially excited about attending and we’ll do what we can to make sure you’re there!
Thanks again to MOCAtv, Sarah Brin and our sponsors — who this year include Humble Bundle — for making this year’s conference possible, and see above to rewatch last year’s conference in its entirety if this is the first you’ve heard of this whole affair!
We hope to have much more to say about HORIZON in the coming weeks — and hope you’re as excited about the conference as we are!
And here’s one more surprise that will be making its debut at next Wednesday’s Venus Patrol & Wild Rumpus party: a brand new T-shirt in Keita Takahashi & Venus Patrol’s ‘Videogame Romantics’ line.
The new ‘Legend of Romantics’ T-shirt will be available in two colorways to start. MIDNIGHT (above) will feature glow in the dark ink that’ll let the stars & ‘legendary objects’ shine through the evening.
The other colorway we’ve dubbed ATHLETICS, and will be printed navy on heather-grey, perfect for jogging or whichever calisthenic endeavor you personally prefer.
Once again, the T-shirts will be available through the Venus Patrol Shop, powered by Fangamer, a few weeks after they make their debut at the party’s Fangamer booth (which’ll again be stocked with a whole bunch of rad stuff!).
At the same time (finally!), we’ll also be refreshing the online shop with some reprints of the original Videogame Romantics T-shirt, which have long been sold out in pretty much every women’s size since last year’s party.
I hope you dig the shirt’s quiet romance as much as I do, and look forward to more KT x VP merch coming in 2014!
With just days to go before the shindig itself, the team at Wild Rumpus & I have just announced the final lineup of our third-annual party taking place alongside this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and we’re all quite excited to note that this year we’ll be debuting a new game created with Natasha Allegri, creator of the upcoming cartoon series Bee & Puppycat.
The game — which we’re referring to as Musclecat Showdown for now — is co-created by Major Bueno, the indies behind Party Bueno and a whole host of other games created each month throughout 2013, and should be just about the best drunken fun you can have with surly, muscular cats.
Elsewhere, we’re extremely excited to have romantic beat magician and Nidhogg composer Daedelus joining a musical lineup that will include returning favorite Baiyon, Bubsy3d.com & Perfect Stride creators Arcane Kids, a new mix from Christoffer Hedborg, creator of Eleven, under his new moniker TRU LUV, and, of course, the unique stylings of DJ Phillipe Lemarchand.
The games lineup will also include a new 2-player version of Kyle Reimergartin’s FJORDS, the multiplayer dance mat version of Keita Takahashi & Adam Saltsman’s A͈L͈P͈H͈A͈B͈E͈T͈, and the stateside debut of Push Me Pull You (above), a new sports-game that exists somewhere in between Hokra and Noby Noby Boy — aka directly in my ever loving heart — and a lot, lot, lot more.
You can peruse the full lineup of all the games and music over at the That Venus Patrol And Wild Rumpus Party website, and we hope to see you out next Wednesday night!
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Did you think we forgot about you? We definitely did not: Venus Patrol & UK roughhousers Wild Rumpus have just announced that we will be returning to San Francisco for the third annual Venus Patrol/Wild Rumpus party on Wednesday, March 19th — just after the IGF & Game Developers Choice Awards ceremonies at this year’s Game Developers Conference.
While we aren’t quite ready to give you the full low-down on the lineup, I can say that the music acts, developers & games we’ve got confirmed are already super exciting, and the emails that keep popping in from around the world for things we’re still working up are making me very, very happy.
If you’re going to be in town for the Game Developers Conference or otherwise in the Bay Area the week of March 19th, head over to That Party’s Eventbrite page to grab one of the limited number of discounted early bird tickets (or just a regular one if those are already sold out) & join us from 7pm to very late for “indie games, DJs, drinking, dancing, etcetera”, and stay tuned both here and That Party’s official website for lots more exciting announcements in the weeks to come.
One more HORIZON post for posterity’s sake: if you missed the Twitch.tv livestream of Venus Patrol & MOCAtv’s alternative E3 conference last week — graciously provided and masterminded by the super excellent production team at AREA5 — we’ve uploaded the conference in its entirety to YouTube so you can view it again at your leisure and on your device of choice.
As a reminder, you can also find more information, video, and big, gorgeous screenshots of all the HORIZON games at the conference’s website, as well as all the additional games curated by LA’s Sarah Brin for its post-show party.
Thanks again to all who have supported our efforts to showcase a selection of beautiful games to E3 — we hope to have more news soon on what’s next for HORIZON!
It’s been almost a week since we ran HORIZON, the alternative E3 press conference co-presented by Venus Patrol & MOCAtv, and to be honest, I think we’re all still recovering. Reaction to the conference has been more or less universally positive, and we’re super grateful both to everyone who made it happen and for all the kind words that have been coming in over the past few days from outfits like Polygon & The Verge.
That also includes photographer Brian Erzen, who documented the entire conference as it was happening, which we’re presenting here in slideshow form for those that couldn’t make it the day of. Above is the group shot or HORIZON’s presenters & participating developers that immediately followed the conference, and below the fold, a slew of other great photos of nearly everyone that took part.
We’re just a couple more weeks away from HORIZON, the alternative press conference being presented by Venus Patrol and MOCAtv, the video channel of Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and so I thought I’d share a bit more about what you can expect.
To that end, we’re lifting the lid just a bit to announce some of the participating studios of the showcase lineup, including Psychonauts, Brutal Legend & The Cave developers Double Fine, LittleBigPlanet & Tearaway creators Media Molecule, as well as Capy, the Toronto indies behind Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Critter Crunch & Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes.
They, as well as a number of other studios both independent and otherwise, will be presenting a selection of their unreleased and unannounced games as part of the Thursday, June 13th event, which we are also making plans to livestream to the rest of the world.
The HORIZON event will also include an evening mixer, where a number of the participating developers can talk more with the invited press, and where attendees will find an additional selection of new games from the Los Angeles art/game community, curated by Sarah Brin.
Stay tuned for more specifics about the HORIZON event — we’re all really excited about how this is coming together and the lineup of games we’ll be showing off!