TIGSOURCE DEVLOG: THE VISUAL SHOWCASE OF AWESOME NEW GAMES, ISSUE #17


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3.14.2014

Brandon Boyer

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[Fridays on Venus Patrol are developer Andrea ‘Bandreus‘ Portale’s day to present TIGSource DevLog Magazine, a visual guide to the newest & most interesting in-development games making the rounds on the invaluable TIGSource forums. Looking for inspiration, or just the very first look at the amazing games we’ll be talking about in the future? Click any image to learn more, and come back on Fridays for the latest picks!]

In this issue you might notice an abundance of pixel art, but we’ll also be featuring a few notable outliers.

Halfway and Heavy Shell are both turn-based strategy games. The former puts an emphasis on tactical squads positioning, while the latter features voxel mechs and lies somewhere between X-Com and Front Mission. Elsewhere, Elysis and NDE — both in development for almost a year now — take on the action RPG genre instead.

Tako’s Japanese is an interesting educational game set to help you learn how to read and write in Japanese, while also being entertaining. And Elarooh promises to amuse you with beautiful watercolor & hand-drawn backgrounds and characters.

I also included a few games have had devlogs on TIGSource for multiple years, as development continues tirelessly on moonman, Even the Ocean and The Curious Expedition. As usual, be sure to check all of the devlogs in today’s issue — each of these projects is well worth your attention in their own right!


KEITA TAKAHASHI, VENUS PATROL DEBUT LEGEND OF ROMANTICS T-SHIRT


romantics2014_finished_navy

3.14.2014

Brandon Boyer

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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.

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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!


WILD RUMPUS & VENUS PATROL PARTY TO DEBUT NEW GAME FROM BEE & PUPPYCAT CREATOR


gfcbjaba

3.14.2014

Brandon Boyer

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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.

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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.

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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!


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, naïve, 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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HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, GET THE LATEST LOOK AT PANORAMICAL’S MUSICAL LANDSCAPES


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2.28.2014

Brandon Boyer

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[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective.]

It was one of the first best surprises and then a central fixture of the past two Fantastic Arcades, and now we’re bringing it back to debut a night of never-before-seen new scenes & music: join us next Thursday, March 6th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents Fernando Ramallo and David Kanaga’s interactive musical landscape generator Panoramical.

[ RSVP FOR THIS EVENT AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE! ]

As Ramallo & Kanaga (the latter also known for his musical contributions to Proteus & Dyad) ready the game for commercial release on PC, Mac & tablet devices — which will also feature a number of audio & visual collaborations with a host of exciting artists — we’ll be giving Austin a chance to experience just-added scenes from the game on the ND’s massive screen, all under the control of the bespoke knob & slider controller made by Mickey ‘Delptronics‘ Delp first debuted in last year’s Fantastic Arcade cabinet.

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Doors will be open Thursday, March 6th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public — including guests of the Bang Pop! Music & Interactive Festival happening at the ND that day — come drink, play, and meet the people changing the way you think about videogames!


FULLY ENTER THE EXTERNAL WORLD WITH DAVID OREILLY’S OCULUS RIFT EXPERIENCE, CHARACTER MIRROR


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2.11.2014

Brandon Boyer

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It’s been five long years waiting for the first real interactive experience from animator David OReilly — ever since successfully fooling the world (myself shamefully included) with his iHologram concept video — but the time has finally arrived.

In advance of its public debut at the upcoming Pictoplasma character design festival, he’s just released Character Mirror, an Oculus Rift experience that lets you embody all the characters from his multi-award winning short, The External World.

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Created with some technical assistance from Kokoromi member Damien Di Fede, and in keeping with Pictoplasma’s 10th anniversary ‘Portraits’ theme (which also has birthed this amazing Tumblr of character-selfies) — the Rift experience places you in a virtual gallery space with only one exhibit: a mirror that reflects ‘you’ as a rotating array of cast members.

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For as stripped-down an experience as it is, it’s a weirdly haunting & compelling one — each character never dropping “eye-contact” even as you do your best to look away — particularly when inhabiting some of OReilly’s let’s just call them like less-adorable creations (all the character rigs of which he’s Creative Commons released over here for your own Unity/Rift experiments).

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You can grab a Windows & Mac version of the Character Mirror now via OReilly’s website, or find it on display at Pictoplasma when the festival opens in Berlin this May, and join me in hoping that this is only the first of a long line of interactive OReilly-ness.

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If this is the first time you’ve run across OReilly’s work, I’ll also embed The External World in full below, which it sort of goes without saying that you should dim the lights & watch in its entirety straight away, before moving on to his earlier Please Say Something.

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VENUS PATROL, WILD RUMPUS ANNOUNCE THAT VENUS PATROL AND WILD RUMPUS PARTY


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2.10.2014

Brandon Boyer

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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.

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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.


JUEGOS RANCHEROS’ FISTFUL OF INDIES: FEBRUARY 2014


2.7.2014

Brandon Boyer

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Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of the Austin, TX independent game community JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed. The featured games are both local and global, and both indie and, on occasion, a bit-bigger-budget — what binds them together is simply that they’re all amazing.

In keeping with the tongue-in-tobacco-packed-cheek tone, we call these run-downs A Fistful of Indies, which are presented here on Venus Patrol for your reference, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

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VENUS PATROL PRESENTS: THE FOUR GAMES PENDLETON WARD REALLY WANTS TO MAKE WITH DOUBLE FINE


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2.6.2014

Brandon Boyer

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What could be more exciting than Broken Age creators Double Fine announcing another round of its Amnesia Fortnight game jam? Here’s the easy answer: another round of Amnesia Fortnight where one team has already been chosen to create a new game led by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.

Like last time, the Fortnight — a two-week long jam that’s previously given birth to Double Fine games like Costume Quest, Stacking and Spacebase DF-9 — will be funded by the public via the studio’s just launched Humble Bundle page, and funders will ultimately decide which of the nearly 30 pitches Double Fine will focus on, all of which will be again fully video documented by studio stalwarts 2 Player Productions.

But this year’s twist is that Ward is also pitching four of his own game ideas for the studio to produce, which will also be voted on by the public. Outside his story & design input on the console and mobile Adventure Time games (and Cheque Please, his still forthcoming collaboration with QWOP creator Bennett Foddy), the resulting prototype will be the first original concept he’ll have released in actual game form, and all four pitches are as honestly super hilarious & creatively unbridled as you’d expect.

And so, below he’s given Venus Patrol the extra special horse’s-mouth skinny on (and new doodles for) all four of the concepts — from a stab-happy cupid, to an entire town’s least favorite human-pyramid topper, to the fantastically ambitious zombie thriller he’s wanted to create since high school, which we might as well call right now as totally the one everyone is going to vote for, aren’t they.

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HEY AUSTIN: NEXT THURSDAY, GET YOUR FIRST LOOK AT TIGER STYLE’S SPIDER: RITE OF THE SHROUDED MOON


spidershroud01

1.29.2014

Brandon Boyer

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[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective.]

The original was one of the first best games released on the App Store, and now we’re giving Austin the first look at its return: join us next Thursday, February 6th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents an evening with local indie studio Tiger Style, as they pull back the curtain on their forthcoming game Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon.

[ RSVP FOR THIS EVENT AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE! ]

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor was noteworthy for bringing the iPhone a game that wasn’t simply a light time-killer. Peek just one layer beneath its friendly, approachable web-slinging mechanics, and it revealed an involved story of the former inhabitants of the manor, told entirely through the objects they left behind.

And Tiger Style carried that approach one step further with their iPhone & iPad follow-up Waking Mars, a game crafted to bring more mature, console-quality-type mechanics and storytelling to pocket-sized devices.

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Now they’re revisiting the world that put them on the map with Rite of the Shrouded Moon, a game that promises to bring back everything you loved about the original Spider, but with a massively expanded and richer world containing even more mysteries and magic.

Like their earlier JUEGOS RANCHEROS debut, Tiger Style will be taking you on a guided tour through the development of Shrouded Moon, and tell you more about what they’re trying to accomplish with its return, the research into secret societies & symbols that’s inspired it, and what you can expect when the game launches later this year.

As usual, the meetup will be immediately followed by our pals at Texas-area chiptune showcase TX Chip — visit their page for this month’s full lineup of 8-bit wunderkind!

Doors will be open Thursday, February 6th, 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!