Last summer, we announced that Fantastic Arcade and Juegos Rancheros would be joining forces with the Museum of Human Achievement. At that moment, we also announced taking a break from the monthly Juegos Rancheros events, in order to gather input from the community to build a more inclusive and supportive indie game community in Austin.
Over the last few months, we’ve been listening to our community and working to build an intentional future path for Fantastic Arcade and Juegos Rancheros. In the summer, we ran a community input survey that garnered over 50 responses, and last fall we hosted 5 roundtable feedback sessions with over 40 participants. Through the survey and sessions, we landed on these takeaways:
While many details could change, a regular gathering and a yearly festival are important to the indie game and digital arts community, and should continue in some form.
Providing a safe and welcoming place for individuals to gather and share is a top priority.
Austin’s indie game community values experimentation, games-as-art, and cross-pollination across artistic media, and it is important to continually revisit how we can best support and expand our community.
The power dynamic and gatekeeping in all creative industries and in particular games was a common issue brought up during sessions; increasing transparency and more equitably distributing power are top priorities.
Since then, we have established two boards that will collaborate with the Museum of Human Achievement and Austin’s indie game community to usher in the next iteration of Fantastic Arcade and Juegos Rancheros. The administrative/directorial board, currently consisting of Rachel Stuckey, Deeksha Srinath, and Desi Gonzalez, will provide broad oversight on organizational structures and help identify tasks and a timeline for accomplishing our goals. Harris Foster and Carrie Witt are kickstarting the community board, which will work closely to incorporate the perspectives of the indie game community and ensure we develop safe and welcoming spaces for all. Additionally an advisory board is currently made up of Lauren Gardner and Heather Kelley. As we look to build the future, we want to thank past board members and volunteers who have helped cultivate the local indie game community through their hard work and passion.
In November, we hosted the Fantastic Arcade Retrospective during the East Austin Studio Tours. Over four days of programming, we invited Austinites to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and look towards the future of the organization. At the event, we showcased 21 custom arcade cabinets by 32 developers that Fantastic Arcade has commissioned throughout the years. We paired artists to create a new environment, visual compliment, or conceptual home to the cabinets, resulting in 17 art installations created by a total of 21 artists. Additionally, visitors accessed more than 200 games by over 250 game developers on our multiplayer game launchers. The event was a resounding success: we served over 6,000 audience members, young and old, bringing the joy of indie games ranging from devoted Fantastic Arcade fans to newcomers who’ve never played video games before.
In the coming months, we will be undertaking a number of tasks, such as reestablishing our mission, vision, and values; exploring the audiences we serve; revisiting public-facing policies such as the code of conduct; opening avenues for how people can get involved; and rebranding and relaunching the monthly meetup to better reflect our stated values. As we work to imagine the future of a yearly celebration of games and a monthly community gathering, we want to hear from you. We think there is an exciting and positive future in digital arts and indie games, supported by new ideas, voices, and leadership.
Want to help shape our future? Be on the lookout for future FA/JR events using the links below.
Points of Contact!
Fantastic Arcade returns as the yearly celebration of indie and cult video games. For our first show under the Museum of Human Achievement, Fantastic Arcade will be hosting a retrospective as part of the East Austin Studio Tour, looking back on the last 10 years of commissioned and showcased games. To do this we’ve asked 22 artists to create a new environment, visual compliment or conceptual home to each custom arcade cabinet. For more information on Fantastic Arcade - Games Archive, MoHA/FA Join Forces, Previous FA Winners
What: A celebration of 10 years of Fantastic Arcade & a look into the future of the organization.
When: Nov 16, 17, 23 and 24th, Noon-6PM
Where: Museum of Human Achievement (3600 Lyons Rd., Austin TX)
LOOKING TO HELP?? We’re looking for greeters, tech support, MC’s and more. More info & signup: Click HERE
ART BY: Ben Cartright, Charlie Alvarado, Courtney Boyle, Emily Cayton, Gabrielle Hoggett, HIVE Arts Collective, Jay Roff-Garcia, Megan McAtee, Mike Melinoe, Motherbrainart, Rae Kim, Rebecca Marino, Rory Blank, Stephanie Page, Susan Scafati, TJ Lemanski, Y2K & P1nkstar and more TBA.
ARCADE CABINETS: Alea, Alphabet, Banana Chalice, Breaker, Crap! No One Loves Me, F2oggy, Forget me not, Grass Stains, Hellmouth, Hoky, Inspector Woof & the Vegetable Highschool, Lassos, Nium, Panic Variants, Paper Planet Pop, Pipsqueak, Risky Bison, Rotor, The Stakes are too High, Wheels of Aurelia, Wifi Robots
GAMES BY: Arcane Kids, Brandon Williamson, Conor McCann, Daniel Linssen, Fernando Ramallo, Jenny Jiao Hsia, Justin Smith, Keita Takahashi and Adam Saltsman, Kitty Calis & JW Nijman, Klondike, Kyle Reimergartin, Loren Schmidt, Moppin and Nemk, Nathalie Lawhead, Nina Freeman & Co, Paloma Dawkins, Cale Bradbury & Calia Thompson-Hannant, Santa Ragione, Sokpop, Thu Tran, Ivan Safrin, Bobo Dai Do, Tyriq Plummer, V Buckenham and more TBA.
DAILY PARTY GAME ZONE HOSTED BY: Nathan Black, Harris Foster and more TBA.
With Support from: Devolver Digital, 22nd Century Toys, Owlchemy Labs, Farcade, Juegos Rancheros, Finji, Capital Factory, Photo Fantastico and Balcones Distilling
AUSTIN, Texas — June 17, 2019 —
Today we are announcing that JUEGOS RANCHEROS and Fantastic Arcade will become a part of The Museum of Human Achievement starting July 4th, 2019.
In 2015, JUEGOS RANCHEROS began an independent arcade space and residency program with The Museum of Human Achievement (MoHA). This program, The Arcade of Anything, has hosted numerous resident artists, games, parties and openings across the last four years. Through this ongoing partnership, JUEGOS RANCHEROS and MoHA have built a relationship of mutual trust and excitement that has pushed both organizations in new directions.
JUEGOS RANCHEROS has decided to enter a period of active work to develop the future of our community. In doing so, JUEGOS RANCHEROS will be taking a break from monthly events after July while we take time to restructure and seek community input. JUEGOS RANCHEROS are still looking forward to seeing everyone at our annual party this fall, featuring original work from commissioned artists, and hosted by MoHA for the second year as part of their new digital arts programming initiative.
Wiley Wiggins, Fantastic Arcade creative director and Juegos Rancheros co-founder, gave the following statement: “Juegos Rancheros has been an active part of the vibrant Austin games scene and has helped connect our community to the larger sphere of international interactive art. We know and trust our collaborators at The Museum of Human Achievement and are excited to see where our community and Fantastic Arcade goes next.”
It is important to us to get your input as to what our best possible future is and that we shape it together. We’re very excited about taking this moment to gather feedback, reshape how to best serve our community and continue to support both art and games while also taking advantage of the space, community, guidance, and dedicated staff support that MoHA can provide.
It would mean the world to us if you went to the following link and took some time to fill out the attached survey. Thank you all for being a part of this and we look forward to seeing what we can do together.
Community Input Survey: https://www.tfaforms.com/4744497
About JUEGOS RANCHEROS
JUEGOS RANCHEROS was founded in 2011 from an Austin based community of independent game developers and fans. Over the last 8 years the organization has commissioned 23 new games, thrown 89 monthly events, produced 100+ talks as well as numerous game jams, and developed an active community of artists, developers and fans. JUEGOS RANCHEROS produces Fantastic Arcade, a celebration of indie and cult video games held annually at the Alamo Drafthouse. Some notable games that premiered at or were commissioned by Fantastic Arcade include Samurai Gunn, Banana Chalice, Gang Beasts, Donut County, Edith Finch, Wheels of Aurelia, Oikospiel Book One, Minit, Super Russian Roulette, Grass Stains and Grace Bruxner Presents: The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game. JUEGOS RANCHEROS and Fantastic Arcade have always sought to change the way people think about art and games.
About The Museum of Human Achievement
The Museum of Human Achievement (MoHA) is a multi-disciplinary art space and organization that cultivates new work, community, and vibe by providing radically affordable arts space to support artists and audiences in the creation of new ideas. Since opening in 2012, the museum has partnered with over 900 organizations to present work by 4,000+ artists for over 130k visitors. MoHA hosts 100+ free or affordable arts events annually and serves as a hub for the creation of innovative and groundbreaking new work. The museum’s family tree includes an international residency program (Unlisted Projects), emergent technology hub (IRL), outdoor site specific art installation series (Cage Match), and mobile boutique store for local makers to sell small, editioned releases (The Mall). In addition, MoHA studios house 35 artists and organizational collectives and offers administrative support and fiscal sponsorship to artists throughout the Austin community. MoHA fosters unconventional interactions between artists and audiences with a focus on community building, the open exchange of ideas, and creative work that goes beyond traditional notions of failure or success.
We brought together six of the most talented indie developers from around the world to create new games, all of which made their debut at the ninth-annual Fantastic Arcade, which took place in Austin, TX, October 25th through 28th, 2018.
All proceeds from the sale of this bundle benefit our non-profit organization. Help us showcase more amazing games both here in Austin and a city near you, and commission more fantastic developers to create new games like these!
Included in this bundle are all six games you see here:
Grass Stains, by Nina Freeman / Star Maid Games
(2 Controllers recommended to play)
Grass Stains is a local multiplayer game about two little kids, their dog, and a soccer ball on a summer day. Kick the ball too hard at your friend and you might just knock them over. Will you play fair and help them up, or tease them while you score point after point? It’s up to you!
Contributors to Grass Stains include Nina Freeman, Aaron Freedman, Diego Garcia, and Amos Roddy. Nina was the designer for Lost Memories Dot Net, Cibele, how do you Do it? and Kimmy, as well as part of the Fullbright team (Tacoma).
Paper Planet Pop, by Tyriq Plummer
Brave robot Pop is in trouble! Stranded on a strange planet and hunted by the Hand of Hate, he must fend off wave after wave of threats: Coinsteroids, pinvaders, cosmic jellysquid, and space pirates galore! Though Pop is no pushover, the presentiment persists: How long can our plucky protagonist persevere in this petite planetary predicament? Find out in: PAPER PLANET POP!
Tyriq Plummer is a developer and game artist best known for their work on the roguelike platformer Catacomb Kids. Tyriq also has a reputation as a inventive game jam participant, with numerous Ludum Dare titles to their name.
WiFi Robots, by George Buckenham
Did you know: your phone is secretly also a robot? And everyone else in the venue’s is, too! Connect them together and hack them all.
George Buckenham is a prolific programmer for games (Beasts of Balance) and procedurally generated text (Cheap Bots, Done Quick!), as well as one of the minds behind rogue party-game revelers The Wild Rumpus.
Breaker, by Daniel Linssen
Daniel Linssen is an Australian developer and artist best known for the games Roguelight, Windowframe and numerous Ludum Dare jam games. Daniel’s games have consistently inventive play mechanics and lovely, muted color palettes.
Kaiju Super Datetech, by Powerhoof
A Giant Monster has appeared in Kyoto II! The city’s only hope is for you and your company to construct a Colossal Robot, maneuver your creation to the target creature, and… ask it out to dinner? Or a film? Or something?
Cooperate in building a perfect match for the kaiju, and compete against rival companies to romance the lonely monster in KAIJU SUPER DATETECH!
Powerhoof are Australian indie developers who delighted attendees with their surprise Fantastic Arcade tournament of Regular Human Basketball. With their multiplayer dungeon crawler Crawl, they’ve become known for a keen artistic style and multiplayer action.
ComPETition, by Catt Small
(Controller required to play)
ComPETition is a competitive cat petting game for two players. Who will win the cat’s affection before it gets bored? Who will be scratched into shame? Grab a friend and find out in this fuzzball extravaganza!
Catt Small is an interactive designer and developer who works in user experience and games, as well as organizing and advocating for marginalized groups in tech. Catt previously created the multiplayer game Breakup Squad, as a part of NYU’s 2016 No Quarter Exhibition.
Following our announcement of brand new games from the artists behind Breakup Squad, Catacomb Kids, Beasts of Balance and Cibele making their debut at Fantastic Arcade, we have just announced more than 20 additional games rounding out this year’s showcase lineup.
The games join the 10 previously-announced Spotlight games coming to Austin, TX’s Alamo Drafthouse Mueller this October 25th-28th, and were chosen by JUEGOS RANCHEROS from the hundreds of games submitted from developers around the world.
The following games will be included as part of our official Fantastic Arcade selection:
Wrong Box Dev. Molly Soda, Aquma
What’s on that old ~2003 computer at your parents house?? Does it even work? Wrong Box is a love letter to a time when PCs and the Internet were a little less awful.
Semblance Dev. Nyamakop
Semblance is a puzzle platformer where your character and the world it inhabits is made of playdough. Squish, squash and deform your character and the world to solve puzzles in Semblance’s soft, bouncy world.
Russian Subway Dogs Dev. Spooky Squid Games
A fast-paced systemic arcade game inspired by the real-life stray dogs of the Moscow metro. Can you steal enough food to survive? Juggle vodka, cook wildlife, bark fire and more in this surprisingly deep arcade game!
Joggernauts Dev. Space Mace
Joggernauts is a cooperative switching game about trying NOT to kill your friends while jogging through an ugly-cute alien universe.
Holedown Dev. grapefrukt
Balance your plan between ball bouncing patterns and unpredictable, surprising bounces in this mesmerizing and curious game oozing with charm. Immerse yourself in a world of extravagant minimalistic art while jamming out to an original space acid soundtrack as you keep digging further underground.
Fortune 499 Dev. AP Thomson
Fortune-499 is a game about money and magic. You play a fortune teller working in the magical resources department of a large corporation. You engage in day-to-day office activities such as forwarding emails, attending meetings, fighting back hordes of monsters, and dealing with printer jams. With some tricky magic up your sleeve and your job on the line, it’s up to you to build a future out of the hand you’ve been dealt.
dino game Dev. Sokpop Collective
dino game is about ladders, systems, and tall things. You fell from your UFO. Learn the rules of a foreign place, and find a way to get back to your space-ship!
Deity Driving Dev. Graceless Games
DEITY DRIVING is an adventure car game where you chase raspberries, deal with dim gods, bowl in cyberspace, all with the goal to become less and less intelligent – go shrink that IQ!
Consume Me Dev. Jenny Jiao Hsia, AP Thomson
Consume Me is about the cut-throat competitiveness of dieting where the opposing team is yourself.
Bill Hates Videogames Dev. Saam Pahlavan, M.James Short
Bill Hates Videogames is a game about an asshole named Bill that gets sucked into a videogame and is trying to find his way out.
As we do each year, we’ll be bringing the worlds most unusual tournament games to the big screen each evening of Fantastic Arcade. In addition to previously announced games and secret titles from Catt Small and Powerhoof, expect this year’s tournament lineup to include:
Jar Wars The four-player VR hit of 2017 is back, with a custom Fantastic Arcade arena and new surprises! “Jar Wars is like a 2v2 VR nerf-fight where all the fighters had to chug half a bottle of bourbon before they were allowed into the arena” - Adam Saltsman
Red Hot Ricochet Dev. Wyatt Yeong
It’s high noon in this barren wasteland, and only one of you is making it out alive. Sure, you could try and shoot them right between the eyes - but where’s the fun in that? Red Hot Ricochet is an intense game of ricochet duels, and you’ll need wise shooting, lucky bounces, and a bit of triggernometry to win.
Sausage Sports Club Dev. Luckshot Games, Chris Wade
Sausage Sports Club is a physics game about floppy animals playing sports!
Sloppy Forgeries Dev. Jonah Warren
Sloppy Forgeries is a fast-paced, two-player local multiplayer painting game. Each player is given a mouse, a blank canvas, and a few simple paint tools. Each round, a famous painting from art history is revealed. Players race to copy the painting as quickly and accurately as possible.
Sticky Cats Dev. Team Sticky Cats
Sticky Cats is a fumblecore party game in which each player controls a sticky cat with a craving for fish. Players must traverse a house, steal a fish, and make a dash for the exit while sticking to everything and causing mayhem along the way.
Friday night we’ll be journeying to Real World: WI†CH H⏀US∃ - courtesy of our pals at The Museum of Human Achievement!
“This is the true story of seven witches picked to live in a house (game together) and have their lives on display to find out what happens when witches stop being polite and start getting real.”
You’ll be treated to a tour of each witches room complete with specially selected Fantastic Arcade games plus a performance by Void Egg and 98 Dads Creative Suite 2018.
Here’s some of the cursed games that will be available for play:
Cyberpet Graveyard Dev. Nathalie Lawhead
At some undocumented point in the early 00’s there was a critical malfunction in the cyberpet factory. This meltdown led to the miss-creation of several unlikeable and unwanted cyberpets. Nobody knew what to do with them. They never made it past quality assurance, and therefore never made it to CD-ROM.
Due to the unsettling nature of these virtual companions, they were eventually banned to the cyberpet graveyard. The cleanup crew hired to capture and ban everything did a groundbreaking job, because these cypberpets would never to be loved or loved by again. It is only until now that digital archeologists have uncovered the remaining files of these strange unwanted creatures. Thanks to their efforts you can download this forgotten relic.
Warning: Rejected cyberpets. Download at your own risk. Disclaimer: We accept no liabilities if you download these little punks.
Data Mutations Dev.
“a renunciation of the hyper-individualization data mutation is open source art/the open source artist we embrace the genepool we mutate each other until we find a better solution”
Diana the Huntress Dev. Stefanie Franciotti, Morgan Cira
Mystics, Murder and Missing Heads! Diana the Huntress is a true crime RPG, inspired by a cold case worked by one of the co-creator’s grandfather.
In the small town of San Marcos, Diana Martinez must use her wit and strength to solve the mysterious murders of her roommates before becoming the next victim. Can you take Diana from the hunted to the Huntress? It’s a wild ride as Diana navigates small town jerks and the town’s own psychic cult. But revenge is on her mind, and nothing will stop her.
Diana the Huntress is a lo-fi thriller, featuring the art and music of Austin’s Stefanie Franciotti. Morgan Cira is the brains behind the story, picking up where her grandfather left off.
Ghost Dentist VR Dev. Jerry Belich
a humorous body-horror experience where you, a ghost with a dental practice, possess your incoming patients in order to to their dental work. Of course, since you have possessed them, you are actually performing the dental work on yourself. Your patient is still aware, reacting with their eyes, tongue, and expressing pain. Too much and you’ll get kicked out of their body!
Jazz Mickle’s Pro Cap Wearer Dev. Jazz Mickle
Jazz Mickle’s Pro Cap Wearer is a vignette dress-up game, built to evoke the very particular feel and aesthetic of early-2000’s skateboarding games, and similar games of that era. In Jazz Mickle’s Pro Cap Wearer, the player designs a baseball cap for their avatar (a skull)
Levedad Dev. solimporta
levedad is a game about capturing time through the contemplative gaze of long exposure photography. It is finding beauty in an ever-changing space where time passes with you and through you.
Tender Mystic Hotline Dev. Rachel Weil
An unusual dial tone, a television psychic, electric dreams. Tender Mystic Hotline is an interactive installation piece by Rachel Simone Weil, whose work in obsolete electronics, love, nostalgia, and the divine come together to form a familiar-yet-alien interactive experience.
The Static Dev. Pol Clarissou
The static has come for our enclave, and as our sight is enshrouded, we too start to forget.
Tuned Out Dev. Shallow Games
A collection of 15 arcade games for 2-4 players that can be switched between instantly like the channels of a TV, challenging players to juggle all games at the same time to achieve the highest possible score.
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