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.
Multiplayer games have been undergoing a beautiful renaissance over the past couple years, and we’ll be bringing three of the best examples to Austin’s North Doornext Thursday, May 2nd, at 7:00PM, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents Monaco, Towerfall and a brand-new version of Nidhogg.
A long-standing staple of JUEGOS RANCHEROS events, we’ll be celebrating the debut of our first permanently-installed TEXATRON cabinet by bringing a brand-new version of Messhof’s brilliant lo-fi sword-fighter Nidhogg, complete with a visual overhaul, a fantastic new soundscape, and a stack of new moves that’ll make this round feel fresh, even if you’ve faced off against a local rival a thousand times before.
We’ll also be debuting Towerfall, the “retro archery platformer” by Canada’s own super prolific developer Matt Thorson, who you may recognize from his frequent contributions to Adult Swim, including Give Up Robot, Fat Wizard and, most recently, Planet Punch. Fans of Spelunky‘s deathmatch or Beau Blyth’s Samurai Gunn will feel right at home here.
And last, but certainly not least, we’ll be featuring Pocketwatch Games’ long-anticipated and just-released multiplayer heist game Monaco — winner of 2010′s IGF Grand Prize, and near-universally praised as a new gold standard in multiplayer games.
Everything will be kicking off Thursday, May 2nd, 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!
After well over a year of build-up and preparation, the day has finally come: JUEGOS RANCHEROS has officially given the first of its TEXATRON machines a permanent home at Guzu, Austin’s new best designer toy/art/comic shop & gallery.
What this means for you is that now you can go play Messhof’s still-unbelievably-highly-anticipated Nidhogg, for free, whenever you want, during Guzu’s operating hours — as well as a slew of other games on the Winnitron network, including special 2-player builds of Canabalt & Super Crate Box, and much more.
The installation is just the first of what we hope will be many more to come, as well as the prelude to many enhancements to the Winnitron’s front- and back-ends to make machines like the TEXATRON perfect cultural-outreach machines to bring interesting, beautiful videogames to a wider and cross-cultural audience.
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.
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!
LittleBigPlanet and the upcoming Tearaway are among the most creative & beautiful games to land on the PlayStation platform, and their creators, Media Molecule, will be right here in Austin Thursday, March 7th, at 7:00PM at the North Door.
Flying in all the way from Guildford, UK, the Media Molecule team will be presenting — for the first time ever — the results of its own first-ever internal game jam, with, says the company, “photos and videos of things we made — games yes, but a whole load of weirdness, too.”
The team will talk through the process of running a game jam and the weird stuff they did alongside it, and then “a bit about how we applied it to our real dev process.”
Before that, the night will open with the first look at the upcoming SoundSelf, a game that “combines your own voice with evolving fractal graphics and mind-altering auditory feedback” being created by local sound designer Robin Arnott, with live musical accompaniment by Austin electronic guitarist Michael Garfield.
Following the presentations, the night will conclude with more music by JUEGOS RANCHEROS’ own resident Cosmic DJ, and more! Everything will be kicking off Thursday, March 7th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public — come drink, dance, and meet the people changing the way you think about videogames!
In addition to the recently released and soul-achingly gorgeous Kentucky Route Zero, from Cardboard Computer, and Droqen’s beautifully abstract Starseed Pilgrim (previewed at bottom), JUEGOS RANCHEROS will also be presenting three more still-unreleased games heading to the Independent Games Festival ceremony in March.
… and Super Space _______, the co-op arcade shooter about “competition, cooperation, communication and the democracy of physics” from David Scamehorn and Alexander Baard.
Everything will be kicking off Thursday, February 7th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public — come drink, dance, and meet the people changing the way you think about videogames!
Want to meet the creators of 2012′s breakaway hit Dishonored, learn more about Sony’s first-person paint-em-up The Unfinished Swan and take the role of a Cosmic DJ in a late-night dance party? Then join us Thursday, January 3rd, at 7:00PM as JUEGOS RANCHEROS returns at its new night and ND Austin venue, where we’ll be featuring an unbelievably awesome triple-header bill.
We’ll kick off the night with directors’ commentary from Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith, co-creators of Arkane’s Dishonored, more or less unanimously praised as the 2012 Game of the Year. They’ll be in conversation with Tiger Style’s Randy Smith, and will be on hand to answer all of your questions about the mechanics, the conception and the lore behind the wildly imaginative & viscerally thrilling adventure through Dunwall.
Following that, we’ll be joined by special guest star Ben Esposito, lead level designer on Giant Sparrow’s PlayStation 3 exclusive The Unfinished Swan, who will guide us through its fantastically charming storybook world, as well as give us a taste of the other independent game creations coming from this rising indie star developer.
As if that weren’t enough, we’ll then kick off the night in full dance-party style with a live performance of Cosmic DJ, the upcoming iPad game from Austin’s own GL33K, self-described as “a drum machine that loves you”, which will allow you, the player, to help create the music in real-time, as you can see near the end of GL33K’s preview video above.
And finally, as part of the city’s “Free Week” series of free, live music performances, we’ll also be joined by Austin’s own Total Unicorn, who’ll finish out the night in their own inimitable electro-psychedelic style demonstrated above.
Everything will be kicking off Thursday, January 3rd, at 7:00PM at ND Austin, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702! The show is free and open to all the public — come drink, dance, and meet the people changing the way you think about videogames!
The RANCHEROS meet during the first Thursday of every month at The North Door to showcase & play the best in independent games both local & global. See above for the current schedule of upcoming shows.
Currently the RANCHEROS are also hard at work on the TEXATRON, an initiative to bring a Winnitron-based network of indie game arcade machines to several Austin locations.