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Kickstart Boyer's 'Venus Patrol,' get new games from Superbrothers, Vlambeer, Adam Atomic, and more


IGF chair and former Offworld editor Brandon Boyer wants to start a new website called Venus Patrol. To raise capital for this effort, he's instituted a Kickstarter campaign -- one with bonuses that rival the Humble Indie Bundle. Even if you never read another website in your life, you'll probably want to throw some money over.

Everyone who donates gets an exclusive wallpaper by Katamari Damacy/Noby Noby Boy creator Keita Takahashi and a set of Minecraft character skins by Pen Ward of Adventure Time. Pay more than $25 and you get exclusive new games from Adam Atomic (famous for Canabalt), Vlambeer (known for Super Crate Box), and Superbrothers (as in Sword & Sworcery EP). You also get the first release of Johann Sebastian Joust, a PlayStation Move-enabled PC game in which players annoy each other in slow motion, in an attempt to goad each other into moving their controllers.

$75 gets you that stuff, plus a record of Sworcery remixes and hidden tracks by Scientific American, a copy of Mathew Kumar's exp. -3, a deck of "Monster Mii" trading cards designed by comic artist James Kochalka, and a patch of a Venus Patrol emblem. $200 throws a set of five "Great Showdowns" prints by Double Fine's Scott C. onto the pile ($300 gets you ten, plus everything else above).

After the break, Boyer explains the concept of the website.

"On a very basic level," Boyer told Joystiq in an email interview, "Venus Patrol will be a direct successor to the kinds of things I did with Offworld, that is: definitely a number of daily news items, but -- ideally -- an alternative to the kind of daily news you get from other major game sites, more tightly honed and heavily curated to filter out a lot of the snark and dross." (Ed. note -- hey!) "Every post should ideally feel like something beautiful and amazing set gently in your lap that you're now excited to have as a part of your world."

The site is intended to deal with "videogames' place in the wider cultural body, and how they influence other aspects of creative culture -- design, animation, music, film -- and how those other media influence (or should influence!) games in return." To support claims of the importance (and pure intrigue) of this kind of cross-pollination, Boyer named artists who came in from outside of games, like Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy), Masaya Matsuura and Rodney Greenblat (Parappa the Rapper), musical artist/engineer Toshio Iwai (Electroplankton), and Superbrothers.

But Boyer has plans beyond the sort of artistic embassy he's described. "Also: Venus Patrol is really just step one -- the roots, foundation, and/or interstellar pirate radio station -- of a much larger framework and longer game," he said. "It'll be the home base for a number of initiatives over the coming year that will expand all these same ideas outside the web and directly into the hands of people, and hopefully at the same time expand the potential audience of curious minds ready to get something new & unexpected & delightful out of games." That's a tall order, but then look at the stuff he scraped together for the Kickstarter.

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