September 14, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson
Two Venus Patrol-exclusive games, Vlambeer's Gun Godz and Adam Saltsman's Capsule, are the star bonuses for new users who subscribe for a year for $25 to the brand-new website. Since the site wishes to remain ad and spam free, it is encouraging new followers who did not contribute to its Kickstarter campaign to pay to access its comment system. The site in turn showers those financial contributors with exclusive gifts.
Specifically, new Windows and Mac subscribers get two exclusive games from the Canabalt and Super Crate Box developers. Adam Saltsman's Capsule is described as "an ultra-atmospheric space survival game" and features sound design by Deep Sea creator Robin Arnott. Vlambeer's Gun Godz is a "lo-fi hip-hop first-person-shooter" and features underground hip-hop legend Dose One.
These are just two of four games once available only to those who donated $25 to the website's Kickstarter campaign. Venus Patrol creator Brandon Boyer shed some light on the other two. Superbrothers is apparently still working on its entry, and Die Gute Fabrik has plans for Joust that'll be revealed "pretty soonish."
I spoke briefly with Vlambeer and Adam Saltsman, who've built massive fans from freely distributed games, about releasing these newer projects for such a limited audience.
While sites like IGN give free games for their subscribers, these games can be purchased elsewhere. However, Venus Patrol offers your games, which no one can get anywhere else now. What is the value in this exposure as a developer?
Adam Saltsman: For me personally there is the value in committing a work to supporting a form of appreciation and meditation on my art form of choice. There is also I think a large or strong overlap between people who will really connect with Capsule and people who will really connect with Venus Patrol, so doing it this way I think has a kind of symbiotic value. Probably there is some amount of prestige there too - it is really cool to be sitting in the same sort of pile as inspiring creators like Baiyon or Pen Ward orhashi] or Scott C or or or. There's definitely a bit of prestige to that.
But also, while Capsule isn't for sale independently at the moment, it has been available at various live events in different countries, and I think that will continue to be the case for a while. And I don't think it will be a [Venus Patrol] exclusive for actually infinity forever. But it's a really valuable thing for both of us right now I think!
Rami Ismail of Vlambeer: When Brandon reached out to us, we set out to make a game for Brandon as we respect his work and effort in the indie scene tremendously. As such, we don't think you should see Gun Godz and Venus Patrol as seperate entities. The game originally started out as a way smaller project, but the two of us at Vlambeer got lost in the world and game and kept on working on it. The values that the game has now were never intended as Brandon had requested a minigame. We just went overboard.
Either way, Gun Godz is part of what Venus Patrol stands for & as such, it only makes sense to us to sell Gun Godz bundled with a Venus Patrol subscription. In a way, we feel Capsule and Gun Godz combined could be worth $15 easily, so in a way the subscription fee is really a steal for what you get in return.
What do you say to your fans or those interested in trying your games but don't want to pay the website fee?
Adam: TOO BAD hahahah. No, but seriously, I guess I just urge them to first check out Venus Patrol, because probably they will be totally into it. If they're not into it, that's cool, I guess then just be patient! Capsule will be around for a long time, it'll be in various live venues, and heck almost every other game I made is free and online :P
Rami: Our motives with Gun Godz are and have always been purely idealistic - we think something like Venus Patrol should exist. We made Gun Godz because we think it should exist, and we hope it will convince people to partake in the amazing thing that Venus Patrol can become. That is not to say it will never be available outside of Venus Patrol - it has been available occasionally through Vlambeer crates or other bundles - it just means that we think Gun Godz should be considered as part of Venus Patrol regardless.