Rami Ismail @tha_rami
Rami Ismail @tha_rami
Hilversum, Netherlands
Chief Executive Business & Development Guy at indie game studio Vlambeer. Creator of presskit(). Drinks only real cane sugar coke.
Feel free to ask me any question!
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You've just suggested to someone to tag along with others for lunch. But aren't people already in cliques (non-negative connotation) of friends? Wouldn't that be butting in? I'd love to get to know others, especially since I'm often alone at these events (young industry in home country) and have no
Butting in is fine -please do that- it's just that sometimes the current conversations aren't 'public' or are about things you need background for (ie. personal/family/friends/unannounced projects/NDA stuff). There's a difference between introducing yourself to people you're inspired by or want to hang out with, and intruding on a conversation.
I know of no clique in the industry that objects to new members, and as I've grown through the industry from knowing nobody to knowing people in all layers of the industry, I've yet to come across a group that wasn't welcoming of someone that took the effort to say 'hi'. This goes for indie devs, AAA workers, AAA CEO's, politics, veterans, newcomers, press, YouTubers, Twitch broadcasters - people are people, and even though we're all very different, knowing that there's a sliver of shared culture helps a lot.
Same thing goes for you, if you're ever feeling alone or unsure at an event and I'm around, come find me. My contact information is on my website.
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Hey Rami, You're one of my biggest inspirations! I was looking for a bit of advice, if you don't mind :) Often times I feel super unwelcome from the industry. I'm nervous to even go to an event because people don't even reply to my tweets online. I see a bunch of cool devs online, but they seem pret
I think there's two parts to the answer to this, and the good news is that it is extremely unlikely that you're super unwelcome in the industry.
The first part is that the reason any developer is in the industry is because they're passionate about the medium. I am going to go ahead and assume it is the same for you. In a way, that creates a lot of shared culture and history. We know what a Zelda game is (although opinions on how good it is may vary), we know what Grand Theft Auto V is (although opinions on whether its success is a good thing may vary) and we know who Hideo Kojima is (alth-nah, I guess pretty much everybody is kind of confused by Konami right now). A great way of getting to know people is just tagging along with some developers going for lunch at an event. When I first went to GDC San Fran back in 2011, I knew nobody, but tagged along to a lunch with a bunch of industry folks. Some of them were the then-Winnipeg indie crew, two of whom now make our trailers, and another time one of them was Adam Saltsman, who was a giant inspiration to me. They were all lovely folks.
The second thing is that - and this sounds weird - but events are both the best and worst place to get in touch with developers. A lot of developers know each other, and don't get to see each other very often - so they'll often prioritize seeing their old friends a bit. It's a bit silly, but it's kind of the way it is. The same goes for Twitter, that people don't respond to your tweets doesn't mean anything beyond that someone didn't respond to your tweets. It doesn't mean they don't like you, or aren't interested - it just means your tweets are one amongst hundreds if not thousands a day, or they don't respond to strangers online.
Usually, you'll have to meet people a few times before you 'know each other' anyway. A lot of more visible devs meet hundreds of people at events. Try and spend proper time with a few people at an event, instead of trying to meet dozens. Every dev is a unique person, so just stay in touch, keep trying, be considerate.
And come find me at some event in the future. Maybe we can grab lunch?
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As the person who wrote the quoted "why u marketing" question, thanks other anonymous ask for ridiculing me. Instead of actually asking questions and engaging in normal conversation with people who see things differently and maybe learning something, we should all just hole up instead. Cheers.
I'm glad to have answered your question, and hope it was useful. Feel free to ask more questions anytime, and sorry for answering both in such a short timespan.
I consider you an inspiration, somebody that I don't want to copy - but be as talented as. How does that make you feel?
I appreciate that a lot, and I hope we'll meet some time in the future. I'd love to know what you're working on.
Does Vlambeer pay you an JW a montly salary, or do you just take what you need?
Technically the latter, but it's structured as a monthly salary.
I'm the person who asked you some Voight-Kampff-test questions, thanks for playing along! (You're probably not a replicant, BTW) Anyway, here's the question: What's your favorite cyberpunk movie/book/game/world?
Anytime. God, there's so many. You'll have to be a bit more specific. Are we talking like 'good favorite' or 'silly favorite' or what exactly do you mean?
What is your favorite type of noodle soup? Or just soup if you don't care for noodles in your broth. Do you even like broth?
I don't really like noodle soups. I am a big fan of chicken soup and the Dutch 'erwtensoup', which I guess is almost more of a stew.
Do you prefer to cut your pizza into 6 slices or 8?
4 or 6.
What is your favorite song/band?
If I can change this on a weekly basis, it'd be a useful answer. Not in Love by Crystal Castles, still.
You're watching television. Suddenly you realize there's a wasp crawling on your arm. What do you do?
Do nothing. Not out of bravery, but out of calculated fear.
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You wake up, take the gun and use it to cook a couple of boiled eggs which you got in a cupboard that appeared in the room somehow. You eat breakfast and then the taxi that will take you to the unknown airport is here. The driver doesn't speak any language you've heard before.>
Point at the little airplane symbol on my suitcase baggage label, as I always do when this situation occurs. Then nod when the driver says something that resembles the name of the airport I should be at.
Wonder whether I didn't accidentally swallow a bullet with my eggs.
Hello, Rami, is there a possibility you could provide a link to download the soundpack for Nuclear Throne? I gotta make the notifications on my phone as niche as possible.
Ask Joonas Turner for the sounds, while we technically own the rights I'm more comfortable with him -as the creator- deciding to hand them out or not.
You look around the room. You see a window to the outside, a table with a gun on it, and the bed you're lying on right now. You don't recognize the room. >
Wake up, make breakfast, go to the event I'm probably attending in this unknown place.
Do you have lucid dreams? Does your traveling affect your dreams?
Hah, no. When I hit whatever I'm sleeping on, I'm generally exhausted enough to immediately pass out. My sleeping is strange anyway, when traveling I tend to sleep several short 20-30 minute bursts a day, and then a few hours a night.
I very rarely remember my dreams, and when I do they're inexplicably strange. While I know it's an important process mentally, Unlike a lot of creatives I know, I find little creative value in them in general - life has enough interesting stuff to pull from without having to 'hallucinate vividly' to make it stranger.
You wake up in a room. There is a door leading north and a gun on a table on your left. >
Do I know the room?
Does vlambeer employ any women?
Vlambeer only has two employees - Jan Willem Nijman and myself, so no.
We've worked with several female freelancers for our games and we continue to do so in many our non-Vlambeer side-projects. Definitely something we want to keep improving on for the future, though.
You look down and you see a tortoise, Rami, it's crawling towards you, you reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back, Rami. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping.
Can I stand in the sun to offer it shade and call someone else to turn itself over?
is it stressful to be relatively nomadic for long stretches at a time?
Yesno? Like having a place, not having a place has it's advantages and disadvantages. I love the freedom of not being tied to any place or culture, being able to hop between them as things play out. My schedule is completely unpredictable, I have no idea where I'll be next week, and I'll book a ho(s)tel if I can't find a place to stay after I arrive at a place. I do things when I get them, I respond to things when I can. I wake up to alarms set 4 hours before flights, informing me that today I'll fly across the Atlantic. I live life right the fuck now and I love it.
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What's the best breed of dogs? Do you like dogs?
No idea. I like dogs, but I would never have one. I guess I wouldn't have a pet. My lifestyle doesn't work with that, for one, and while I love animals, I'm way too fascinated by humans to seriously be able to actually take care of another creature.
In your travels, have you found any organizations similar to Dutch Game Garden? Do you think government funding is necessary to create organizations like that?
Not exactly like it, and you'll need some sort of external funding for it - whether it's government or not.
What's the latest non-technical book you read?
Re-read "Alas, Babylon" last week.
Rami guess what number I'm thinking of!
OK!
AM I FROG fractions 2?
Are you Steve Gaynor?
Choose two celebrities (dead or alive) to be your parents
My parents are the biggest celebrities on the planet to me. No, seriously, that's my answer. I can't even begin to fathom a reality in which they didn't raise me, and my brain refuses to entertain the thought even as a fleeting thought experiment. Raising me as an oldest son can't have been easy, but they really gave it their best.
how did you like Croatia? :P  somewhat paranoid
I had a great time, thought it was a beautiful country and would love to come back. My cabbie had no interest in talking about politics or the like there, so I'm not sure how life over there is, but all in all it sounded like a pretty good place to be.
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