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Alamo Drafthouse's Fantastic Fest annual tshowcase independent games

More than 20 independent video games will be on display at this year's Fantastic Arcade, the second annual showcase of independent games from the organizers of Alamo Drafthouse's Fantastic Fest, the world's largest genre film festival. Taking place on September 22-25, 2011, Fantastic Arcade is presented by PlayStation®Network. As the Presenting Sponsor of the Arcade and the exclusive console partner of the event, PlayStation®Network will present special sessions and activities throughout the Arcade event.

Video game industry luminaries Brandon Boyer, Mike Plante and Eddo Stern curated the 2011 Fantastic Arcade. Panel discussions, developer talks and game tournaments will be held each day of the festival. All games and game related events in Fantastic Arcade will be free and open to the general public at Austin, TX's Highball Lounge on South Lamar Blvd. Each day will have a happy hour at the Highball and a tournament on a different independent game, including Bit Pilot, Faraway, Super Crate Box and Vikings on Trampolines.

"Fantastic Arcade is a direct bridge between the worlds of independent gaming and genre filmmaking," said Mike Plante, Arcade Artistic Director. "Gaming and film both use genre and artistic style to tell stories and create memorable experiences that excite audiences around the world. These two mediums embody what the Fantastic Fest and Arcade are all about."

Special events include:

  • Developer Commentary - Hear direct from the creators as they play their games live on the screen at the Highball. Games include Bit Pilot, Dyad, Faraway, Fez, Jesus Vs. Dinosaurs, Lost Mars, Octodad, Owlboy, Skulls of the Shogun, They Bleed Pixels and Vikings on Trampolines.
  • PlayStation®Network Opening Day Happy Hour – Join us from 5-7pm on Thursday, September 22nd for a Happy Hour presented by PlayStation Network. Get a taste of upcoming PlayStation Network releases, as well as Starhawk (from Austin's Lightbox Interactive), which will be playable in a tournament, with prizes provided by PlayStation.
  • PlayStation®Network Developer Panel – Game creators speak about working in and out of the gaming industry. Panelists include Queasy Games (Sound Shapes), thatgamecompany (Journey, Flower, flOw, Cloud), and Q-Games (Pixel Junk), to name a few.
  • Storytelling and Development in Videogames & Film – Feature film writers and writers of the game Starhawk will discuss storytelling and development in videogames and crossing over with film.
  • Yearbook Nerd Photo Contest – Local contestants share their old high school awkward photos – nerds are winners in our eyes.

The following eight games will be showcased during Fantastic Arcade as part of the Arcade's main competition:

  • Capsized (Alientrap) - As an intrepid space traveler, your ship has crash-landed on a mysterious alien planet. You must navigate through the perilous environment and fight off blood-thirsty creatures to save your crewmates and escape with your lives!
  • Faraway (Little--Eyes) - One button travels and constellation creations in infinite procedural outer space.
  • Fez (Polytron) - Gomez is a 2D man on a voyage of discovery into the mysterious 3rd dimension. Change your perspective and look at the world in a different way.
  • FRACT (Phosfiend Systems) - An atmospheric adventure game set in an abstract forgotten world of analog sounds, samples and glitches.
  • Jesus VS. Dinosaurs (Martin Jonasson, Petri Purho) - God travels back in time to kill all dinosaurs, they're not in the bible and people keep digging them up to make him look bad. Darwin gets wind of this and travels back in time to stop God. They both build cars and have the ultimate chicken race in prehistory.
  • Octodad (Team Octodad) - Loving husband. Caring father. Secret octopus.
  • Radical Fishing (Vlambeer) - An accurate simulation of traditional fishing as gramps always described it.
  • Skulls of the Shogun (Haunted Temple Studios) - Washing up on the shores of the afterlife, players meet and join forces with vibrant ghost-samurai warriors, magical animal-monks, and mustachioed samurai generals in an invigorating cocktail of 1960′s flavored sorcery and strategy.

In addition to the aforementioned games, Fantastic Arcade will also feature the following games throughout the four days of the festival:

  • Banker's Dozen (David Mershon) - Based on the forgotten occult writings of a Nobel prize winning economist, Banker's Dozen is a game about time traveling financiers.
  • Bit Pilot (Zach Gage) - A fast paced asteroid dodging game with an innovative control scheme.
  • Deep Sea (Robin Arnott) - A creepy audio-only game where players don a sense-depriving gas mask to face off against hidden sea monsters.
  • Dyad (][ Games) - Rather than having the traditional mechanics of break and accelerate, you must navigate an infinite tube by interacting with enemies for speed.
  • Hohokum (Honeyslug, Richard Hogg) - Nokia Snake meets Schindler's List.
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Shadow Planet Productions) - Rescue your sun and homeworld from the malevolent shadow virus in this eye-popping animated side-scroller adventure.
  • Lost Mars (Tiger Style) - An action-gardening adventure where you cultivate an alien ecosystem and research mysterious lifeforms.
  • Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog (thecatamites) - Help a horrendous dog evade proper retribution for his deeds.
  • Owlboy (D-Pad Studio) - You play Otus, a young owl who sets out on an adventure when his village is attacked by sky pirates.
  • Salome (increpare) - Get to the exit to finish a level.
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Superbrothers Inc. + Jim Guthrie + Capy) - Traverse a mythic little realm, use a sword to do battle, evoke sorcery to solve mystical musical mysteries and help a wandering warrior monk complete her woeful errand.
  • They Bleed Pixels (Spooky Squid Games Inc.) - A fast-paced, gothic lo-fi, platforming beat 'em up that drips, gushes and flows.
  • Ute (Lea Schonfelder, Stefan Lind) - Ute has to have sex as much as she can before getting married.

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