So hey, I had high hopes for this project and I feel really let down by what's become of it.
From the 2011 Kickstarter pitch:
I intended for [Offworld] to be a constant, living document of all the things that were happening, all the things these people were creating, all of the communities that were forming all around the world, and not just create yet another consumer site about videogames that treated them like products on a shelf that you either needed to buy or needed to not buy.
I wanted to talk about videogames the same way we talk about other parts of creative culture: how they affect us, how some parts of them endure for decades, how they are made and why we should care, who actually made them and for what reason, and what they had to go through to do so.
And that totally worked! Well, for a while, and then circumstances that no one involved was at all happy about meant that everything shut down just as it seemed like it was starting to gain a real foothold, and so all went dark.
This resonates! Offworld did operate more-or-less as described there. Unfortunately, Venus Patrol does not.
Again from the pitch:
I'd like to start doing that again, independently
Here's what Venus Patrol actually does, by order of apparent frequency:
- Promotes events organized by Brandon
- Promotes Brandon's own sales products
- Recaps events organized by Brandon
- Points to existing journalism by unaffiliated third parties
- Promotes the work of a very small, select group of his own friends
Venus Patrol is demonstrably not "something that itself charts a new course for future games".
I can appreciate that Brandon has other ventures that limit the amount of time he has available to work on this project, but the results are still extremely disappointing, given the original pitch. Even though Offworld disproportionately covered a select few developers, at least there was a token effort exhibited there in building and expanding the culture. Venus Patrol is a tiny, localised echo-chamber by comparison.
Even niche consumerist/enthusiast sites like Tiny Cartridge have done a significantly better job of promoting new and original art in the medium than Venus Patrol. The site has been a huge let down, in my opinion. Oh well!