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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: Theresa Duncan’s ZERO ZERO

February 25th, 2015 by Rachel Weil · Events

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Want to get the first look at a long-lost but newly preserved videogame classic? Join us Thursday, March 5th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door as JUEGOS RANCHEROS looks back fondly on the wistful wonder of being a kid again with Zero Zero (1997) by the late Theresa Duncan, alongside two games by Nina Freeman that serve perfectly as contemporary counterparts.

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

In the 1990s, filmmaker and game designer Theresa Duncan did something pretty revolutionary: she helped create some of the first deeply smart and engaging CD-ROM games for girls. Her point-and-click adventure games were funny and surreal, recalling influences such as Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, while simultaneously incorporating bits of poetry, philosophy, and history. While Duncan’s games were widely acclaimed and innovative for the time, they slowly fell into relative obscurity.

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In December 2014, the NYC-based digital art nonprofit Rhizome successfully raised funds through Kickstarter to preserve Duncan’s three games—Chop Suey (1995), Smarty (1996), and Zero Zero (1997)—with the goal of making them playable online for free later this year. JUEGOS RANCHEROS is pleased to present Zero Zero to the public in advance of Rhizome’s exhibition of the games in New York City.

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Zero Zero is set in Paris on the last night of 1899. Pinkée, the game’s young protagonist, delivers firewood to neighborhood shops while asking the eccentric grown-ups she encounters what they think the future will be like. Their responses are strange and surreal, offering a poignant commentary on 20th-century history and technology. Join us and be among the few to have played Zero Zero in the 21st century!

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In addition to Duncan’s work, we’ll also be showing two games from Nina FreemanSpace Dad — originally created for and presented at our Space Cowboy Arcade — and 2015 IGF finalist how do you Do it? Like Duncan, Freeman and her collaborators create games that touch on funny and poignant moments of being a young girl.

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All the games will be playable Thursday, March 5th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: A Preview of the 2015 Independent Games Festival

February 2nd, 2015 by JUEGOS RANCHEROS · Events

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Want to get the first look at some of the best independent games of 2015? Then join us Thursday, February 5th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents a selection of games recently nominated for top awards at this year’s Independent Games Festival.

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

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With the festival headed to the expo floor of the Game Developers Conference in March, JUEGOS RANCHEROS will be showcasing a number of this year’s finalists — jury selected from a pool of over 1000 entries — from the Main competition as well as the Student Showcase, ahead of the IGF’s official ceremony on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015.

All the games — including some not yet available to the public! — will be playable beginning this Thursday, February 5th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: A Holiday Hangover Movie Night

December 29th, 2014 by brandonnn · Events

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In some horrible twist of Gregorian fate, the first Thursday of the new year lands directly on the first actual day of the new year, so come nurse your holiday hangover in a dark room this Thursday, January 1st, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door, where we’ll be screening two episodes of our local favorite TV show: GameCenter CX.

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

If you’re unfamiliar with the legacy of GameCenter CX (now in its 18th season in Japan, and sometimes known stateside as Retro Game Master), the premise is simple: comedian Shinya Arino is confined to a room and made to marathon-complete retro games from the NES forward in a single sitting.

This can, on rare occasion, simply take until sundown — more often, the brutal difficulty can push game sessions well past midnight, where Arino’s exhaustion ratchets up the challenge.

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While the prospect of watching a middle-aged man play an 8-bit game to completion may not sound like the most thrilling way to ring in the new year, we can promise that skilled editing — and the universal sense of triumph that comes from seeing someone overcome adversity that many of us painfully recall from our own youth — makes this honestly one of the best TV shows about videogames ever created.

We’ll be screening two episodes: the first starting quite promptly after 7pm, followed by a short intermission, and the second up until the venue’s next act. It’s OK if you show up feeling as bad as you look — probably all of us will be.

Come spend the evening with us this Thursday, January 1st, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The screening is free and open to the public. We’ll be back to our usual, brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed programming in February!

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A Fistful of Indies: December 2014

December 17th, 2014 by brandonnn · A Fistful of Indies

Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of 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 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 for your reference.

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: METAMORPHABET

December 1st, 2014 by brandonnn · Events

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In our estimation he’s one of the best and most undersung interactive artists working in videogames today, and this Thursday, December 4th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door, we’ll take a look back at the work of New York based artist Vectorpark, including the debut of his upcoming iOS game, Metamorphabet.

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

Probably best known for his 2009 adventure game Windosill on iOS and Steam (pictured below), Vectorpark was a pioneer of interactive web art, and is a reigning champion at creating both dreamlike environments and creatures which inhabit them that all feel unbelievably tactile and alive.

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We’ll have a number of these early and more recent works on display at the ND, and will also be giving Austin the first chance to play his latest game, Metamorphabet, an “interactive, animated alphabet” which, says Vectorpark, “presents the 26 letters of the alphabet as a series of luminous and unexpected transformations, inviting playful participation from kids and adults alike.”

All the games will be playable beginning this Thursday, December 4th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!

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A Fistful of Indies: November 2014

November 7th, 2014 by brandonnn · A Fistful of Indies

Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of 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 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 for your reference.

[Read more →]

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: MULTIPLAYER ARCADE

November 2nd, 2014 by Wiley Wiggins · Events

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For the November edition of JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we’re bringing back some of our favorite crowd-pleasing multiplayer games that aren’t widely available elsewhere. Join us this Thursday, November 6th, at 7:00 PM at Austin’s North Door for a special encore showing of Tenya Wanya Teens and Musclecat Showdown.

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

Tenya Wanya Teens is a cute, crazy, thirty-two button multiplayer party game from Keita Takahashi, perhaps best known for his Namco cult classic Katamari Damacy and the even cultier PS3/iPhone game Noby Noby Boy. Tenya Wanya Teens, co-produced by Takahashi’s studio Uvula as well as Wild Rumpus and Venus Patrol, returns to Austin after making several other choice appearances, including its most recent showing at XOXO, Portland’s indie art and technology festival.

Musclecat Showdown is a game from Major Bueno & Bee and Puppycat creator Natasha Allegri that we first premiered at Juegos Rancheros in March. It’s received such wide acclaim and wide grins from players alike that we had to bring it back to the North Door for a second showing. The goal of Musclecat Showdown? To settle a schoolyard rivalry by battling your handsome, beefed-up cats in a stylish pose-off, of course!

Both games will be set up and ready to play on Thursday, November 6, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: DOG PARK & SLAM CITY ORACLES

September 29th, 2014 by brandonnn · Events

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Want to spend your Thursday night wrestling a pitbull to the ground & high-fiving a pizza as you lose yourself in a ‘giddy apocalypse’? Then come join us this Thursday, October 2nd, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door as we present the local double-feature premiere of Kevin Cancienne’s local multiplayer dog-em-up Dog Park & Jane Friedhoff’s Slam City Oracles.

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

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Developer Cancienne — also known for his design work on area/code’s early classic iPhone puzzle game Drop7 — has described Dog Park as “a fighting game without the fighting”, a four-‘person’ brawler where players choose their dog & score points for chasing, wrestling, cavorting & gamboling in perfectly-pitched canine fashion.

Various JUEGOS RANCHEROS organizers have also described it as “omg the best game ever”.

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In addition to Dog Park, we’ll also be showing Slam City Oracles, a two-player body-slammer by Jane Friedhoff, with art by Jenny Jiao Hsia & music by Prophets & Kings.

Already drawing a number of favorable comparisons to Katamari Damacy from sites like Kotaku for its cheerfully chaotic cartoony slapstick physicality, Oracles is a vertically-oriented game where two girls have four minutes to joyfully & wantonly break the entire world around them.

Both games were commissioned for the NYU Game Center’s No Quarter exhibition — the yearly local-multiplayer focused show which has spawned games like Nidhogg, Bara Bari Ball & Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess — and were first debuted there September 19th, alongside Naomi Clark‘s consensual card game Consentacle and Corporate Vandals, a physical game from Shawn Allen, creator of Treachery in Beatdown City.

Both games will be making their local debut Thursday, October 2nd, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: FANTASTIC ARCADE 2014 Preview

August 28th, 2014 by brandonnn · Events

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Can’t make it to this year’s Fantastic Arcade or want to get a leg up on the competition? Come join us next Thursday, September 4th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door as we present a special preview of some of this year’s best tournament games, including Gang Beasts, Push Me Pull You and Astro Duel.

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

Headlining the event will be Boneloaf’s upcoming slapstick party-game Gang Beasts, already a verified indie cult hit, where players “grab, push, pull, punch, and throw their friends from wrestling rings, speeding trucks, and suspended platforms” with “doughy ragdoll physics and horrific environmental hazards.” We’ve previewed this one a bit before, and it became an instant favorite.

We’ll also be running Push Me Pull You, House House’s “2v2 sports game about friendship and wrestling” where connected snake-y worm-y contestants “love each other, work together, communicate and coordinate” as they use their shared body to “wrap, writhe, and wrestle the ball into your half of the court.”

And finally, we’ll be showing Astro Duel, the competitive multiplayer tabletop game from Austin’s own Rusty Moyher, where 2 to 4 players “blast each other using asteroid-style ships”, in fast-paced rounds “inspired by endless nights of Super Bomberman.

All three games will be run in tournament play during this year’s Fantastic Arcade, so come join us as we drink, play and get ready to better face your competition, Thursday, September 4th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public!

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Fantastic Arcade Announces the Barfcade Micro-Game Game Jam

August 25th, 2014 by brandonnn · Jams

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If you thought the Adventure Time Game Jam was going to be hard to top, we might just have done it: organizers of Fantastic Arcade have just announced the Barfcade Game Jam, a two-week jam open to developers world wide to create a ton of two-player head-to-head games based on food, cooking, eating and (obviously) barfing.

Why barf and why now? Fantastic Arcade’s special guest this year will be Thu Tran, frequent Babycastles collaborator and creator of the super amazing cooking/puppet show Food Party (above) and its MTV2 followup Late Night Munchies.

Thu will be providing the special secret ingredient required in all the jam games, which will be announced just before the jam begins on Saturday, August 30th, and will be co-hosting the Barfcade proper, a live game-show event held on September 21st that will be streamed for the rest of the world to see on Venus Patrol’s Twitch channel.

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Games for the jam are meant to be fast, competitive, and no longer than 30 seconds each — the best of these will be strung together for the Barfcade event, giving the live competition a sort of head-to-head WarioWare vibe. Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman has created a brand new example game (pictured above), which you can play at the Barfcade website to get a sense of where to head!

The jam will run Saturday, August 30th through Sunday, September 14th — more details are available at the Barfcade site, which will be where you can also find the secret ingredient at launch. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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