Rami Ismail

I haven't made my first game yet, and the problem is whenever I have an idea for it over time it becomes to Big for how I feel a first game should be. Should I do it anyway?

Make, in the following order, Space Invaders, Pong, Pac Man. If that works out and you're happy with the results, come back and ask again. If you're not happy with the results, improve them until you think they're 'close enough'. If you get stuck, don't fret asking for help.
Best of luck :)
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Latest answers from Rami Ismail

Have you ever came to egypt ? , if yes where in egypt ?

Absolutely. My family has an apartment in Mokattam, Cairo - and I used to visit Madinat Nasr very frequently. My dad is originally from El Sahel in Cairo, so I spent a lot of time as a kid there with my grandmother.
I've spent some time in Alexandria, Hurghada and Sharm, but to me my experience of Egypt is very much Cairo.

Is there anything you would do change about the design of LUFTRAUSERS if you could go back and talk to your past self about it? What is your favorite part/design feature of LUFTRAUSERS?

I would remove the combo system. LUFTRAUSERS is an amazing game that I'm still extremely proud of, but I can tell we were angry instead of comfortable when we were making it. I do not regret the combo system - I'm just very curious about what game it would've been if that very early design decision had been made differently.

How do you balance eating healthily while traveling? The last time I did a month or so of continuous travel I feel I cam back significantly rounder.

I actually still don't know how to balance that properly. The problem is that diagram artists use to prove why they should get paid properly - if your options are cheap, good or fast, you can only pick two. I've found trying to vary the type of food I eat is good, but beyond that I still think despite higher expenses on healthier food, I still gained 6 or 7 kilos over the past year or two.

Do you ever feel like some indie devs are making a mistake when they try to establish their own little franchise by making a direct sequel, instead of moving on to a new idea? Statistically speaking the sales numbers tend to be weaker, as most people seem to have gotten their fill from the first one

Of course I do. Choices that seem sensible on the surface often aren't as solid as you think when you take a closer look. In the case of sequels, the question whether the game 'needs' a sequel is one half, whether it is economically viable is the other half.
Finally, there's the question of expectation. It's extremely hard to make an indie game that stands out enough to warrant a sequel, and unless you are rather certain you can exceed those expectations (with the 'nostalgia goggles bonus' that effectively says a sequel twice as good as the original will be seen as a small improvement), a sequel is an extremely daunting task. You're not just risking a game, you're risking an IP, and fond memories of one game with another.
That being said, sometimes a sequel *is* the right thing. I personally prefer to make games on a company brand, a studio fingerprint, more than in an IP. I always feel Supergiant and Capybara are great examples of that, and I always strive for and hope that Vlambeer evokes a similar ieeling with people.

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Do you see Enter the Gungeon as a NT Clone? If so, why?

No, I do not. I have to add that the folks over at Dodge Roll showed me a very, very early build when they were just starting on the project, and they asked me what I thought. I gave them my full blessing, as the game already looked phenomenal back then.
Enter the Gungeon is far more contained, far less chaotic and has a very different tempo and flavour. I'm super impressed by their smooth bossfights (they've always been a bit rough in our games), their movement and cover mechanics (although it slows the tempo and rhythm down more than I'd ever choose in this type of game) and some of their more ridiculous weapons are gorgeous to watch. On the other hand, I feel the roughness is part of the texture that makes Throne so nice.
They got Doseone to do the music, and after his work on GUN GODZ and Nuclear Throne it should be no secret that I love the music. I love pretty much every single thing that guy makes, and while matching with Jukio seems to produce fireworks every single time, the Gungeon soundtrack proves Dose can stand on his own in a games soundtrack just fine.
I think that, while there is definitely inspiration from Throne, the 'Thronelikes' that have been popping up everywhere are an enormous honor. We're building on the shoulders of games like Hotline Miami, Spelunky and Action Fist, and they're building on hours. They're not cynical attempts at taking our idea and making money - they're genuine explorations and variations of what we made.

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What do you do after you write your ideas down?, iirc you said that you write stuff down to avoid forgetting, but once you do that what do you with your notes?

If it's a small idea, I try and make it immediately. If it's a big idea, I try to summarize it into a few post-it notes. They're all over my wall and screen, and it's kind of a mess. Usually it's a little doodle and some words. If I can't remember what a post-it was about, it probably wasn't important, and I dispose of it.

Hi Rami, what’s the best thing I can do to prepare for #myfirstgamejam? I'm not ready for it but forcing myself to do it so I can learn and break the ice. Background: I’m a beginner programmer, know Unity fairly well and will be flying solo.

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Honestly, just show up and try to have fun above anything else. Game jams are made exactly for this reason: to experiment, learn and hopefully have fun while doing it. Sometimes, things don't work out and at worst, you've learned something about yourself, your team or your craft.
Also, props to you for doing something that is self-admittedly outside of your comfort zone. It's a good way to learn fast, if you can do that kind of thing. With that attitude, I think you're more than ready.

Best tips for learning languages? Been using Duolingo for some time now and was wondering what resources you'd recommend to get a better grasp of grammar and immersion into the language. Thanks!

Duolingo seems pretty adequate at teaching you basic vocabulary, and enough to get a basic grasp of a language. Go to a place where people speak the language, and don't use English there whenever you can. Find or make friends with native speakers and ask if they're interested in helping you out a bit. Read books you already know in your own language in the new language. Record & watch TV (with subtitles if possible). Listen to music. Use their media.

What do you think it is about Nuclear Throne that set it apart from any other roguelike? Do you think game feel can really change that much about it's reception that places it over any other game?

We're seeing a lot of interesting mixes between roguelike and other genres right now, and roguelike and fast-paced top-down-shooter didn't exist. As far as I'm aware, there's nothing that does what Nuclear Throne does as good as Nuclear Throne does it.
And yes, game feel is *enormously* important. My fellow Vlambeer J.W. gave a great talk about that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJdEqssNZ-Utha_rami’s Video 134564644093 AJdEqssNZ-Utha_rami’s Video 134564644093 AJdEqssNZ-U
This talk very specifically focuses on action games, but it applies to each and every genre of games - because what J.W. is doing there is mostly improving feedback to player actions, rewards and failure. This is something that should be near or at the top of your priority list - in an RTS, your clicks should feel good. In a puzzle game, failure and success should be clearly distinguished. In a racing game, speed needs to feel great. Think about what *meaningful* interaction your player is executing most of the time, and what the supposed feeling for that is.
Usually the things you'll focus on are the obvious ones (muzzle flashes, anyone?), but the honest truth is that those are just a result of people not 100% understanding what game feel is. In a shooter, it's not just shooting - it's also in movement (and stopping to move). In puzzles, it's not just scoring the points, it's also moving the pieces. In racing it's not just the drift, but also the acceleration and brakes.
And then finally, there are things that (almost) all games use: camera and audio. Make sure that, whatever you do, you consider these things very, very carefully. They are such a huge part of your game feel - and they can very easily make or break a game.

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tha_rami’s Video 134564644093 AJdEqssNZ-Utha_rami’s Video 134564644093 AJdEqssNZ-U

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