Offworld successor Venus Patrol launched

Brandon Boyer, IGF Chairman and former editor of Offworld here at BB, is launching its successor: Venus Patrol. Within hours of establishing a Kickstarter project to make it possible, he’s already raised $47k, leaving the $50k target within easy reach — if you miss Offworld, go there right now and help put it over the edge.

I ran a blog about videogames called Offworld for Boing Boing from winter 2008 through autumn 2009, and doing so changed my life forever. It wasn’t the first time I’d written about videogames ‘professionally’, but it was the first time that doing so started to make me feel like part of a bigger and entirely amazing community. A community of artists, musicians, designers, coders, nearly all of whom had taken the terrifying risk of jumping out of the rat race and trying to live life on their own terms: by creating things they know only they can create and trying to find an appreciative audience who might support them.

The pledge swag is amazing: $1 gets you an exclusive wallpaper from Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi and Minecraft skins by Emmy award-winner Pendleton Ward; $25 gets you three indie games released exclusively for the project; $75 gets you Moon Grotto 7″, a vinyl EP featuring “hidden” music & remixes from SWORD & SWORCERY EP composed by Scientific American; $200 gets a set of prints of 8-bit era artwork by Double Fine’s Scott C.; and more.

Plans extend beyond writing, too: “Venus Patrol is just the first volley in a much longer game: the roots, foundation, and interstellar pirate radio station on top of which a number of other in-progress projects that branch out of the web will be built,” says Boyer.

Prospects are looking good for the new site, with early coverage at ShackNews, Joystiq and Kotaku.

Sonic Devouring Tails


Anyone know the source of this amazing pic based on Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Children?

Ridiculous Oblivion Mod compilation

Jason McCullough has compiled the ultimate Oblivion mod compilation to end all Oblivion mod compilations. It took him two years to complete. Brush it off, reinstall, and get cracking. [qt3]

Videogame Minimalism


By Infinite Continues.

One More Go: Why Halo makes me want to lay down and die

Thumbnail image for The_Silent_Cartographer_Dusk_by_Halo_Photographer.jpg

There are those who say that when any door closes another one opens. These people have clearly never queued for the ladies toilet in St Pancras Station. Conceptually, though, they have a point. Endings are often beginnings.

The biggest ending of all, however, has long had me beat. As a wet-humanist, I have no big expectations for life after death. A bit of rotting. General blankness. The absence of everything is a prospect I’ve always found more soothing than daunting. The concept of heaven has always troubled me far more. What would it be like? What would I want it to be like?


For a while I thought my answer to those questions was Phantasy Star Online. Perfect sunsets, nice greenery, good clothes, the company of friends. There was a timelessness on Ragol which would clearly have been compatible with eternity.

Today though, thanks to the slightly underwhelming reminders of ODST, I think I’d like to go to Silent Cartographer when I die. What could be better? It’s beautiful, for a start. The moon hanging fat in the sky, and the Halo stretching like spun silver around the horizon. Waves lap on the golden shore, shaded paths climb to airy peaks. Continue reading

Retro Remakes flipside: Demaking modern games


The other side to the Retro Remake phenomenon is, of course, the demake (a term, I’ve just found out via Wikipedia, was coined by Polytron’s Phil Fish): taking a modern game and simulating it as if through retro tech.

We’ve covered (or spawned) a number of these via Offworld in the past: the best examples of which are Kent ‘SnowBro’ Hansen and Andreas Pedersen’s NES Guitar Hero game D+Pad Hero, Bill Meltsner’s text adventure version of the same, Champion of Guitars, and CymonGames’ ASCIIPortal, a game just released for PC and Mac.

In late 2008, though, the TIGSource Indie Massiv held a Bootleg Demakes competition, the results of which are reams (or, more appropriately, a 200+ meg torrent) of fantastic work: visit their site for more demakes than you can handle, including Oracle’s NES-ish version of Aquaria at top.

Retro Remakes: The official repository


Because there’s just no way I could adequately cover all of the excellent remakes that have flowed out of the indie/freeware community over the past several years, here’s the resource from someone that has, which you should pay close attention to for all your retro remake needs.

The site is, appropriately enough, and continues to be the best and largest repository of Retro Remake information and downloads: see their massive and growing list of games here, and their list of handheld remakes, simulations of classic Game&Watch and Tiger LCD games.

Retro Remakes: What Offworld readers want


No one emerged a clear winner in our straw poll to see which games Offworld readers would like to see remade, though a common thread did appear to emerge. System Shock was actually the first game to garner more than one vote, which is hard to disagree with: Looking Glass’s brand of sci-fi horror has yet to be matched in the 15 years now since its original release.


The second game to come in with multiple votes is Apogee’s shareware classic platformer Commander Keen (re-released via Steam), alongside the original 2D Duke Nukem games, both minor ground-breakers for bringing console-style platforming to the PC.


And finally, the no-brainer of the bunch: there’s almost no one who wouldn’t like to see a Monkey Island revival of more classic LucasArts adventures, particularly Ron Gilbert’s Maniac Mansion.

Check the comments in the original thread for dozens more suggestions.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up, how it plays

25 Years of TMNT, the History Lesson


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