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A developer's year: Vlambeer's Rami Ismail

The Ridiculous Fishing developer shares the highs and lows of last year

2013 felt like a big year to be a gamer, with new consoles, new business models settling in and old school studios getting lost along the way. But what was it like from the inside? We spoke to a few high profile developers to find out what the stand out moments were for them.

First up, Rami Ismail from Vlambeer. He and his partner Jan Willem Nijman made a name for themselves with Ridiculous Fishing, Super Crate Box, and Serious Sam: The Random Encounter. This year it spoke openly about struggling with seeing its game cloned, and played a starring role in the Sony Gamescom presentation, signing up to publish Nuclear Throne on PlayStation.

"My definite high point this year has been a bit of a personal one, but finally defeating the monster in the back of my head when it came to Ridiculous Fishing releasing basically is all this year has been about. From a larger perspective, it was seeing Antichamber, Papers, Please and The Stanley Parable all succeed in unexpected measure.

All the developers are friends of mine and I am extremely happy to see that increasingly exceptional and mundane games can both achieve enormous success. Gone Home offered a highly polished experience that was very different, and I am grateful for something like That Dragon, Cancer being in development.

"I am extremely happy to see that increasingly exceptional and mundane games can both achieve enormous success"

As for a low, I don't think I've had any particular 'lows'. A lot has happened this year that shows that the 'independent game development scene' is having problems dealing with its rapid growth, and a lot of the structures and systems in place are increasingly inadequate.

Discoverability, the lack diversity of sales platforms and the many little collisions happening in the scene are all a result of that enormous growth, and it'll be interesting to see how the problems are resolved. On the upside, that does mean that the scene is diversifying and the interest from console platforms has definitely increased our visibility - it's an exciting time to be indie."

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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