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W Thu Tran at Fantastic Arcade

I produced the Fantastic Arcade international games festival from 2012-2018 (before that I was involved as an event host and jury member).

My duties included curating the game selections alongside the Juegos Rancheros board, hosting developer talks and other events, guest relations, scheduling, coordinating game-cabinet art printing, asset management, occasionally designing shirts and printed materials, party planning, coordinating game jams, vj’ing for visiting musicians, & I also built and maintain the Fantastic Arcade website. Fantastic Arcade was an important part of my life for nearly a decade and I am content in knowing it is in good hands with its current operators, The Museum of Human Achievement.



Fantastic Arcade 2014 in "Game Loading"
Fantastic Arcade 2014, Austin 360
Huge Dog
Thecatamites at Fantastic Arcade 2017
Thu Tran Ivan Safrin and Bobo Dai Do's Hellmouth at Fantastic Arcade
Fantastic Arcade 2018


Fantastic Arcade News

AUSTIN: This month’s East Austin Studio Tour will include a mega-restrospective of Fantastic Arcade commissioned arcade cabinets, with artist designed playrooms for each cabinet. Not to be missed

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Untitled Goose Game Is The Unexpected And Much Needed Hit Of 2019

You should play Untitled Goose Game.

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JUEGOS RANCHEROS and Fantastic Arcade Join Forces with The Museum of Human Achievement

In 2011 I helped found Juegos Rancheros, an indie games community meetup group in Austin. The monthly meetups were initially meant to build interest and support for Fantastic Arcade, (at that time) the indie games showcase at Fantastic Fest. Over the years Juegos took on its own life, spawning other events, an artist’s residency program, game jams, and itself becoming a full fledged arts nonprofit. Fantastic Arcade grew too, splitting off from Fantastic Fest to become it’s own festival.

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Link- Forest of Sleep- Procedural generation, AI, and Storytelling

Because I’ve been studying animation for the last couple of years as a foot-in-the-door path to art school or a media design/theory program at a University, it’s occasionally easy to forget the broader picture of why I decided to start school. A big chunk of my reasoning was a desire to get involved with projects like Forest of Sleep. I’m very interested in both how we create our own meanings from randomness and how intentional meaning is encoded into things. Ed spoke about this project at Fantastic Arcade a couple of years ago and I’m excited to see where it goes.

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Fantastic Arcade 2017


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Bring Fantastic Arcade home to you with six amazing and exclusive games, presented by Austin’s independent game collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS! […]

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Following our announcement of brand new games from the artists behind Panoramical, Beglitched, Fjords and Strawberry Cubes making their debut at Fantastic Arcade, we have just announced more than 20 additional games rounding out this year’s showcase lineup. […]

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First wave games announced!

The time has finally come! We’ve just started to announced our plans for this year’s Fantastic Arcade – our first year independently curating, organizing and operating the festival as JUEGOS RANCHEROS, hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse at their newest Mueller theater this November 17-19th (full […]

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Oikospiel The Oikospielen Opera is developing an epic global-gaming festival called THE GEOSPIEL, scheduled for the year 2100. […] Link

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Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks Search for hidden folks in hand-drawn, interactive, miniature landscapes. Unfurl tent flaps, cut through bushes, slam doors, and poke some crocodiles! Rooooaaaarrrr!!!!! February 15th on iOS, Steam, and Apple TV. […] Link

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Fantastic Arcade Bundle

Monday is the first day of Fantastic Arcade talks and tourneys, but you can play this year’s games already, either in the Highball, in our Arcade lounge or at home, with five new experimental games that were incubated by Juegos Rancheros, the Austin indie game collective. These games are running in custom cabinets at the festival but you can get them together as a bundle from

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Fantastic Arcade 2015 videos online

Arcane Kids Nearly 30 session videos from Fantastic Arcade 2015 have been posted on YouTube. Fantastic Arcade is one of several game related events that Juegos Rancheros programs for Film and Cultural Festivals each year.

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