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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Are there any spooky legends or folklore from the area you live in currently or used to live in that are especially interesting?  Allison Campbell
Many Dutch hold the odd belief that reheating spinach is toxic.
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What do you think the next step is in competitive gaming? Currently we have a lot of ESports attention with games like CS:GO, DotA, SFIV, etc. But what do you think will allow competitive gaming to open up even more, allow a broader audience while still giving skilled players a chance to shine?
I think it's the opposite. eSports is here to stay, the audiences will just get broader as the target demographic grows in both age and size and as such, gains more disposable income. There'll surely be steps in how games communicate, but I don't think the games have to change for eSports to grow even further - the audiences will change.
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Which gamedev do you think would do the best in the Nuclear Throne world?
‎@sosowski. He'd manage to build a working bipedal nuclear-equipped battletank from the random scrap and resources around.
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gamedev and chill?
If that's halal, sure?
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Favourite boardgames or tabletop rpgs? Any cool experience with em?
Currently in love with Risk: Legacy and BattleCON: Devestation of Indines. Arctic Scavenger I want to like, but I'm not really feeling it.
Do you think we will get to live an era of people going to live on mars? Would you move to mars?
Maybe. Things move fast. It might not be for our generation, but we might as well make sure it is a reality for the next one.
Can you review the food on your current flight for us.
I had an orange juice that was lukewarm, but tasted OK. The second orange juice had a slight aftertaste that suggested HFCS. Obviously, that didn't go over well. I'm sticking to water for the next few hours. The snack service has been pretty sparse, I had two soft chocolate chip cookies that were both mediocre. I am looking forward to something substantial.
P.S. Yes, it's my infamous orange juice and chocolate chip cookies combo again.
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When you will come to Game Founders Malaysia?  Orlando Fonseca Jr.
If things I'm talking about right now pan out, hopefully really really soon!
Hello, Rogueliker here! When I met you at TwitchCon, and you went to lunch and I had to go find my friends, what did you have for lunch?  Chris Haner
I honest-to-god do not remember anything about TwitchCon. It was probably Mel's.
are you going to pax south?
In your opinion, what's the best way to approach a "famous" person? And by that I only mean someone you know by reputation alone. Take yourself for example... "Hey, you make cool stuff and I like it," doesn't seem like a great intro at a convention, and because of that I usually avoid the situation.
That'd be a lovely intro, actually. I think the biggest thing is make sure you have something to talk about beyond that intro - an interesting question, or thought, or work of your own! You'll find most people are rather open for conversation.
Just don't assume a response that isn't pure enthusiasm is a dismissal, people tend to be busy or stressed at events. Everybody really tries to be a normal human at those things, but sometimes things get a bit too much. Don't take it personally if a conversation is cut short.
Come say 'hi' at an event sometime and remind me that you asked me this question if you need something to talk about :)
I like it.
Were there any games from your childhood/youth that you remembered as being amaaaaziiiiiing, but were disappointed by after seeking them out later?  Dropsy
Not that many, actually. I had the opposite happen recently: a game that I only had a demo of as a kid, and I played the demo an obsessive amount of times. I recently found and bought a copy of it on E-Bay, and the full thing is exactly everything I dreamt it would be. It's called Urban Assault, a '98 TerraTools (later Radon Labs) game published by Microsoft.
You're on a leisurely Rami-an stroll when all of a sudden, out of nowhere-- A BEAR with a LARGE PARTY HAT emerges from the bushes!! He's holding (bearing, if you will) a KNIFE. What do you DO??  Ol' ScarePotatoDuffy
Carefully await it bringing out my slice of cake.
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If you had to live the rest of your life in the universe of a Vlambeer game, which would you choose and why?
They tend to share universe, and honestly, the Vlambeer universe is not a good place to live.
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how long have you had your beard for
Since I was 20-ish. It only started to grow out of hand when Vlambeer became a big thing.
I'm getting suggestions to work on a story mode for a game that I think should predominantly stay endless/arcadey. I don't think a story/level mode is right for the core mechanic but I want the game to feel substantial. Any thoughts?  Hussain Patel
You correctly identified that what people are saying isn't that you need to add a story, but that the game doesn't feel substantial.
That's good - it's the most common pitfall with taking feedback: taking suggestions from the solution part of the feedback. You listened to the part where people describe a problem, instead of the part where they're offering a solution.
Now the second part of the challenge remains: what substance do they feel is lacking? Is it a sense of depth, a sense of progress or mastery? Either way, the feedback is that the time players are spending doesn't yield the expected level of reward, progress, satisfaction or understanding for the game. I can't help you with that part, but I think you're on the right path.
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Think you'll be doing more Destiny content with twitter followers any time soon?
Who knows. Adriel and I just reached Light 280-290. Things are getting serious.
If you could sit down to dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and what would you eat?
My family, and we'd probably eat something simple but nice. Everybody else that is interesting to me I can probably get a dinner with somehow, someday, if I keep working at it. It is the people that we are closest to that we often forget about.
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What do you do to motivate yourself on those days when you don't feel like doing anything? Or, what do you do to relax and unwind when you *really* don't feel like doing anything?  Ol' ScarePotatoDuffy
I turn on my computer and do my work, not because I'm motivated but out of discipline. Usually, my work motivates me. It's why I make the games I want to make, rather than those I want to play. I'm motivated by my work - I just have to get going, and that's the hard part.
When I take a day off, I tend to spend time with friends or family, play games, watch movies, read books, take roadtrips or travel.
What's the best part of being friends with you? What's the worst/hardest part?
A dear friend of mine once told me that I try to make pockets of undivided time and attention for everybody I know when they really need it, but that in trying to do that, I can never be there for them when they don't really need me, because I'm probably doing that thing I do for somebody else.
I'm not sure if that makes me a good or a bad friend, but it is who I am. A lot of people deal with my shit, thankfully.
What do you wish the 'Vlambeer Mode' button that indies put in their games actually did (assuming the answer isn't screenshake). My vote would be 'make all sound effects squishy and weird'.
I don't even understand how that became a thing, but it's so cool. I can't even tell how absurd it feels to know we've established terminology. "Vlambeerian", "Vlambeer Mode", "Vlambeer feel". I'll take screenshake.
Maybe turn all enemies into JW so I can get rid of some professional frustration when I'm rewriting his code sometimes.
Hey Rami! I am trying to get involved in more games events/groups but am still crippled by social anxiety. People think I'm quite outgoing (I've given talks, I'm quite friendly, I've had some tiny success in the industry even!) but I'm so bad at just getting out there. Any tips for getting over this
Probably pick and commit to a few events, and do those. Try and find ways to get small groups together, maybe for lunch or dinner. If you know people, see if you can tag along with them.
There's no real reason to hide social anxiety in this industry, honestly - it's not shameful nor a Bad Thing. I know quite some people that deal very poorly with social circumstances openly, and it turns out there's a lot of people like that. It might give you something to bond over, too.
Keep a close eye on how you're feeling. When it becomes too much for you, find a quiet spot or head back to home or your hotel. There are infinite stories of me burning out on social interaction and just falling asleep in my booth for an hour or two.
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What's the weirdest/most interesting made-up childhood game you played with your siblings?  Lisa Brown
I was the equivalent of a DM for our space exploration meetups, where we'd sit in a crayon-drawn space ship teleporting to somewhere cool every school break. It'd always end up with us running around the playground in sheer terror as some monster was chasing us. We had made-up laserguns though.
Basically what I'm saying is that I wrote vanilla Destiny's story at age 7.
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if 12 year old Rami was to play your games what would he think of them, and which would be his favorite?
I would hate all of them. I was way into Deus Ex, Metal Gear Solid and Starcraft back in those days, slow, action-based, grandiose, enormous games with a socio-political 'realistic' narrative. Build your own empire. That kind of thing.
I still love those games. But now I just kind of love games, no matter what they are or how they look. I honestly have very few game genres or styles that I dismiss by default as 'not something I'd play' nowadays. I honestly have JW and the indie scene at large to thank for a lot of that - they taught me to look at games with an open mind, and accept that I was missing out on a lot of amazing experiences and games.
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