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JUEGOS RANCHEROS is now a member of the Austin Creative Alliance

December 9th, 2013 by Adam · News

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Since May of 2011, JUEGOS RANCHEROS has been putting on some pretty ok events here in Austin: games inside planetariums at the ND, intense JS Joust battles at The Highball (when The Highball still existed), the Nation of Indies workshop, curation and volunteering for Fantastic Arcade, school presentations, bringing TEXATRONS both to SXSW & a permanent home at Guzu Gallery, and more.

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It’s been challenging, sure, but it’s also been our complete pleasure to help bring the most amazing and inspiring new independent games to the public every month for absolutely free. And it almost goes without saying that we couldn’t do it without our volunteers or our awesome venue partners, like the Alamo Drafthouse, the North Door, and SXSW Gaming.

Over the course of the last couple years though, some rough patterns have emerged. The main thing we’ve noticed is that our preparation process and display equipment leave a lot to be desired. We are really happy with how our events have all come together, but that’s only been possible through a lot of last-minute panic and mountains of emails every month as we collect whatever laptops and desktops and monitors we can get our hands on the week before. It’s gotten to the point where having some dedicated equipment, especially some laptops and game controllers, would actually make a huge difference, in the quality of our monthly events especially.

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However, buying a handful of laptops out of pocket is a bit rough. Becoming a full nonprofit organization would allow us to accept donations more easily, but there’s a ton of overhead involved. This is why we are so happy to announce that JUEGOS RANCHEROS is now an Austin Creative Alliance sponsored organization. In a nutshell, this means that we can now accept both cash and in-kind donations, via ACA, with negligible extra overhead for us as a group.

By accepting donations of equipment we can streamline the preparation and execution of our monthly events, which in turn gives us the flexibility to put on even more and better free events throughout the year. Even cash donations can be a huge help: we can purchase new equipment ourselves, or put the funds toward covering venue rental fees for our longer workshops. Our ACA sponsorship will make it easier to work with local school and art venues without losing or overcomplicating that special JUEGOS RANCHEROS sauce.

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We’ll be updating again soon with more specifics about how you or your organization can help us with technology needs, but in the meantime, you can make a tax-deductible cash donation via the Austin Creative Alliance site (be sure to select JUEGOS RANCHEROS in the “to which organization” dropdown!), and you can email us at [email protected] to talk more about other donations!

So, with this news, what does JR look like going forward? Basically the same, only better, and more of it, with a bit less stress for us organizers. More workshops, more fostering of Austin’s independent and artful games culture, more TEXATRONs, and more FREE monthly events. With your help, and the support of the Austin Creative Alliance, JR’s third year is looking like the best ever.

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: AdamAtomic’s BREAKDANCING SUPERSPY

November 26th, 2013 by brandonnn · Events

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You know him best as the designer behind games like Canabalt, Hundreds and his Keita Takahashi collaboration A͈L͈P͈H͈A͈B͈E͈T͈, but next Thursday, December 5th, at 7:00PM at Austin’s North Door, JUEGOS RANCHEROS will present Breakdancing Superspy — a brand-new physical game being created by Austin’s own Adam Saltsman.

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

In the grand tradition of body-bending games previously featured at JUEGOS RANCHEROS & Fantastic Arcade like MEGA-GIRP & MEGA-A͈L͈P͈H͈A͈B͈E͈T͈, Saltsman describes the game as “a race to be the fastest to complete an awkward obstacle course that resembles single-player Twister, drunken hopscotch, and/or a clumsy Entrapment-era Catherine Zeta-Jones.” (see: below)

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“Players will live out their wildest spy fantasies and,” he adds, “tip over sometimes”, in this “large-scale physical game powered by a tarp and a pair of projectors.”

For those less limber or sure on their feet (particularly a few beers in) than Saltsman himself — seen above lithely prototyping the game in his backyard — we’ll also be toting along a few more traditional games to fill out your evening, or feel free to just gawk at the tangled bodies making their first foray across Superspy‘s playfield.

Also new this month: our JUEGOS RANCHEROS meetup will be immediately followed by the new, regular North Door appearance of Texas-area chiptune showcase TX Chip! Visit their own Facebook invite for this month’s full lineup of 8-bit wunderkind!

Doors will be open Thursday, December 5th, 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!

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A Fistful of Indies: November 2013

November 26th, 2013 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 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 for your reference, each fully annotated & linked up for your pleasure.

[Read more →]

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Free Event This Thursday! Play games by Austin indies, Keita Takahashi & More!

November 18th, 2013 by brandonnn · Events

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Hey folks! If you don’t already have your Thursday evening cleared off, make sure it’s cleared off now and come join us for Austin Chronicle’s GAME ON showcase — a free three-hour party that will highlight some of the best games coming out of Austin’s indie game scene.

The event is open to everyone and will include nearly 20 games from Austin developers, including The Stanley Parable, SoundSelf, Cosmic DJ, Fantastic Arcade game jam winner Starphonix (below), and the special dance-mat-enhanced version of A͈L͈P͈H͈A͈B͈E͈T͈ (pictured at top), from Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman and Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi. (… as well as other Keita-related surprises???)

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GAME ON will take place at The Empire Control Room — located at 606 E. 7th St. — on Thursday, November 21st, from 6-9pm. Read more about all the games coming to the event at the Austin Chronicle. Also, there will be free pizza. We hope to see you there!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: Jejune Institute Documentary Film THE INSTITUTE

October 31st, 2013 by brandonnn · Events

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Never got your chance to be inducted into The Jejune Institute, the amazing real-world game that transformed the city of San Francisco into a magical & mysterious playground? Then it is crucial that you join us at Austin’s North Door next Thursday, November 7th, at 7:00PM, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents a free screening of The Institute, the newly released documentary that takes “invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.”

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

Any attempt to describe The Jejune Institute will always fall short of just how fantastic the experience was — from being first led into an intimidating Financial District skyscraper, to being given your first mission & re-emerging into the San Francisco streets to find that the clues had been around you all along, to hiking through the park with a transistor radio to pick up pirate radio broadcasts that you never knew existed & realizing that the plot was thickening by the minute.

But watching The Institute does an amazing job of carrying you along for the ride you might have missed, and introducing you to the game’s creators, participants & key figures, only to discover that behind the curtain — there are only more curtains.

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Following its recent screening at the Austin Film Society, JUEGOS RANCHEROS is very excited to be able to present The Institute free of charge and open to the public, so even more of you can fall down its peculiar & enlightening rabbit-hole, in our first ever movie-night.

The presentation will begin promptly at 7:30PM, so please arrive early & in plenty of time to grab a good seat & not interrupt the film!

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And don’t believe for a second that this is our least interactive meetup to date — head to The Institute’s website and download & print your own personal induction card to accompany your viewing of the film, which will help you unlock even more mysteries…

[PS: not in Austin or can't make it to the screening? You can play along at home by downloading the film on iTunes!]

Doors will be open Thursday, November 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, play, and meet the people changing the way you think about videogames!

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JUEGOS Notes: There will be no October meetup, see you November 7th!

October 1st, 2013 by Adam · News

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Hey everyone! JUEGOS co-founder Adam Saltsman here. It is with a potent mixture of relief and regret that we post this reminder that we are SKIPPING the regularly scheduled JUEGOS RANCHEROS meetup ND during October.

We are all taking a much-needed break after this year’s uber-successful Fantastic Arcade event (seen above), and will be returning with a great JR meetup at the usual time and place at the ND, Thursday, November 7th. We’ll post more details about that in a few weeks!

In the meantime, we are also working on a bunch of administrative and organizational tasks within JR itself that will enable us to do more and better events going forward, and we’ll be posting a bunch of information about that very soon too.

That’s all for now! Have a great October. We’ll have some cool good news and new plans to share very soon!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents FANTASTIC ARCADE 2013 Preview

August 25th, 2013 by wileywiggins · Events

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Come take a sneak peek at this year’s upcoming Fantastic Arcade, at The North Door. We’ll be checking out four special games from the selection: a pitched local multiplayer game, a hometown favorite, a fresh take on a classic genre, and a gorgeously-crafted cosmic headtrip.

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

We’ll be showing off-

The Yawhg

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The Yawhg is a one- to four-player choose-your-own-adventure game that randomizes a unique story every time you play. The evil Yawhg is returning. How will the town’s locals lead their lives in the meanwhile, and what will they do when the dreaded Yawhg finally arrives? The fate of a community hinges on the characters’ actions, and the decisions of their players.

Starwhal (Breakfall)

STARWHAL: Just the Tip is a multiplayer game of floppy mayhem. Use all your space narwhal skills to pierce other players’ hearts while keeping yours safe! A quick review session of this game turned into one of the most heated and fun local multiplayer sessions we have had in a while, and we know that Juegos regulars will love playing this game.

The Banner Saga: Chapter One (Stoic Studio)
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The epic single-player campaign mode that fans have been waiting for since last year’s peek at the multiplayer beta, Banner Saga: Chapter One is Role-playing meets turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings. Created by an Austin studio, Banner Saga is filled with some of the most achingly beautiful art and animation to ever be in a game.

MirrorMoon EP: (Santa Ragione)
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This trippy, radically expanded return to Santa Ragione’s short-play game MirrorMoon is as beautiful as it is head-scratchingly compelling in the way its intricate puzzles unfold. We’re hoping that you guys can help us figure out all of its mysteries!

Those games and much more will be kicking off Thursday, Sept 5st, 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!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: Christoffer Hedborg’s abstract space-explorer ELEVEN with live music by Datahowler

July 17th, 2013 by brandonnn · Events

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What better way to play the most beautiful upcoming game about space than in a planetarium? There is no better way, as you’ll find out Thursday, August 1st, at 7:00PM, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents Christoffer Hedborg’s Eleven, inside an actual inflatable planetarium at Austin’s North Door, with soundtrack artist Datahowler performing live.

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

Eleven creator Hedborg has made a strong name for himself as an amazing low-poly/high-beauty artist since his IGF 2011 Student Showcase debut Toys, as well as a founding member of the #weirdkids art collective, and a developer on commercial works like Pid & the upcoming Shelter for Swedish studio Might & Delight.

But it’s Eleven that remains his most exciting upcoming work, an exploration game that presents the sort of outer-space we all secretly dream it could be: an infinite field of gorgeous, abstract, unknowable geometry that’s all ours to explore.

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To help us present the game in the best way, we’re partnering with Austin’s upcoming Science Museum & Planetarium to set up their inflatable planetarium inside the venue itself — so players can lie down, stretch out, and let the game unfold all around them — as well as a short presentation by Science Museum & Planetarium executive director Torvald Hessel to talk about bringing the mystery & magic of space to our city.

Even better, we’ll have Dallas electro wizard Datahowler — the musician behind Eleven‘s laid back & chilled out soundtrack — live at the North Door as a super special guest star, to perform selections from the game and more.

That and much more will be kicking off Thursday, August 1st, 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!

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents: South by No Quarter 2013

May 29th, 2013 by brandonnn · Events

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Ready for another round of multiplayer games from some of the best independent developers in the world? Four new games will be making their Texas debut at Austin’s North Door next Thursday, June 6th, at 7:00PM, as JUEGOS RANCHEROS presents the second installment of South by No Quarter with Split Tree, Killer Queen, There Shall Be Lancing & Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess.

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

The No Quarter exhibition is a yearly event created and curated by NYU’s Game Center which commissions new multiplayer games from top indie talent, and responsible for bringing games like Messhof’s Nidhogg and Ramiro Corbetta’s Hokra — now part of Die Gute Fabrik’s Sportsfriends — into the world.

In 2012 we ran the first installment of South by No Quarter here in Austin, bringing Noah Sasso’s BaraBariBall — now also part of the Sportsfriends lineup — Zach Gage’s Guts of Glory (which went on to successfully fund its commercial release through Kickstarter), Margaret Robertson’s Drunk Dungeon, and TENNNES, from Vlambeer’s Jan Willem Nijman.

This year’s lineup will include Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess, the 16-player high-speed deathmatch chess game from the creator of QWOP, GIRP, CLOP & Poleriders

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… as well as Killer Queen, another massively multiplayer action game from Nikita Mikros & Joshua DeBonis, behind games like Propaganda Lander & Meriwether.

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The latest from UK developer Sophie Houlden — the creator of games including Swift*Stitch & The Linear RPG — will also be making an appearance with aerial jouster There Shall Be Lancing

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… and finally, we’ll have the two-player/one-controller “simple, mellow social puzzle game” Split Tree, from Matt LoPresti, designer of iPhone puzzle game hit Async Corp.

Everything will be kicking off Thursday, June 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!

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A Fistful of Indies: April 2013

May 2nd, 2013 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 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 for your reference, each fully annotated & linked up for your pleasure.

[Read more →]

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