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Ridiculous Fishing is almost done!

submitted by on februari 25, 2013 |

#radicalfishing  #ridiculousfishing  #wasteland-kings  

Wasteland Kings

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably followed the development of Wasteland Kings during our participation in the annual Mojam. We’re extremely proud of the $450.000 raised for charity during the whole event and just as grateful for all your support, the nice comments in the chat and your enthusiasm for the game.

However, Wasteland Kings was not all we were working on: while Jan Willem and Paul were jamming away on Wasteland Kings, Rami, Zach and Greg wrapped up something else over in New York: we submitted Ridiculous Fishing to Apple.

This was a long time coming.

On December 7th, 2010, we started on the iOS version of our debut game Radical Fishing. Things started when Brandon Boyer introduced New York City-based conceptual artist and developer Zach Gage to our little Flash game. Brandon put us in touch and with us being big fans of Zach’s lose/lose and Zach being a big fan of Radical Fishing, we decided to work together on iRadical Fishing.

Within the next two months, the three of us got in touch with Greg Wohlwend, back then best known as the artist for Solipskier. He was instantly sold on the project and quickly added to the roster. We finally reached out to Super Crate Box musician Eirik Suhrke to work with us on the project as well. We had an amazing team and our output was far above expectations. This was a project we couldn’t stop being excited about.

First Sketch

Greg immediately sent us the above image: he had come up with an amazing art style based on 45 degree angles. Eirik sent us some amazingly fitting audio mockups. Zach was coding, Jan Willem was spending time on the Serious Sam: The Random Encounter project while designing Ridiculous Fishing and I was working on Serious Sam: The Random Encounter and the usual Vlambeer stuff. Within weeks, the game was fully playable and we were halfway before we knew it.

Obviously, things were perfect like that until six months into the project. The same Brandon Boyer that put us in touch with Zach Gage notified us of a clone of Radical Fishing, and it was going to launch on iOS before we would be ready to launch. We argued, we discussed and we negotiated – but ultimately it turned out the cloners never intended to yield: they admitted to ‘being inspired’ by our game and launched their game to great success. With that, our motivation and progress suffered a blow we didn’t recover from for far longer that we are comfortable admitting.

Progress on the game was slow for months, all of us being demotivated from working on it. We would’ve killed the project right then and there if it wasn’t for the enormous outpouring of support from fans and press alike. Still, opening the project files would just remind us of the critical and financial reception of the clone – and reminded us that when we’d launch, people would just see Ridiculous Fishing as a clone of the clone. We worked on different projects; Zach launched the absurdly succesful Spelltower, Greg worked on Gasketball and Hundreds, Eirik launched Spelunky and we worked on whatever wasn’t Ridiculous Fishing.

There was a small boost in morale when the game was unexpectedly nominated for the Independent Games Festival in early 2012, but even that couldn’t persuade us to work on the game. We had all gained a lot of new responsibilities with our new releases and painfully struggling through the accursed development of a game that’d be received as a clone wasn’t something we had time for.

We almost killed the project, but we couldn’t give up on it either. So it lingered and lingered in the back of our head. We spoke about the dangers of cloning at conferences, we gave interviews to newspapers and television. Ridiculous Fishing wasn’t moving forward, but it was always there. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Ridiculous Fishing nearly ended Vlambeer.

Mexican Coke?
The ball started rolling again after PAX Prime 2012. Zach, Greg, Greg’s MikenGreg partner Mike and I spent a week in a car driving from Seattle to New York to try and revive the game at Zach’s apartment in New York. Over the course of the week we stayed in Manhattan, the three of us managed to push the game forward just a tiny bit.

That turned out to be enough to slowly snowball into serious progress. A few weeks after our stay in Manhattan – or almost five weeks ago – Greg traveled from his place in Chicago to move in with Zach for as long as we needed to finish the game. Jan Willem and I set aside our work on LUFTRAUSERS to make sure no momentum was lost on the project again. Eirik set aside all of his work to make sure the game sounds perfect. Suddenly everything fell into place.

Two weeks ago, Zach and Greg declared the work on their end was done. Jan Willem slaved away for two full time weeks checking up on final progress tweaks, Eirik worked on additional sound effects. Then, during my recent stay in New York City, Zach and I found ourselves staring at the App Store submission screen: a screen we thought we might never see.

So, this is it. No more talking about clones: Ridiculous Fishing is something we’re too proud of to be discussing its value in terms of another game. It’s time to focus on what we made: Ridiculous Fishing has been submitted. We’ll be back with more news as soon as Apple approves the game.

Vague announcements!

submitted by on januari 31, 2013 |

#luftrausers  #ridiculousfishing  #events  

We’re well into the new year and we’ve been working like crazy on getting two games done. Obviously, we had originally planned to release LUFTRAUSERS at the tail of last year and then start this year with Ridiculous Fishing somewhere in the first few months of the year. We’re going to vaguely announce that the plans have shifted a bit after a certain large company (that we have worked with before) has been talking to us to maybe try and bring LUFTRAUSERS to at least one handheld and one console device if that means anything to you all.

Vaguely because first of all, we’re still negotiating with them so we don’t know whether it’s going to happen. Second of all, because if it will happen, we still need to develop it for those platforms. Either way, we think it’s great that we’re talking as we love those people, plus it gives us even more time to polish the game.

screen3

Obviously, though, we’re sorry to say that that means that it is likely that LUFTRAUSERS is shifting back a month or two. Not only do we need to support these new platforms in the code, we also need to make sure they pass the certification processes. LUFTRAUSERS would be best launched on all platforms at once, as far as we’re concerned, so that means we have to push back the release just a bit. We’re now thinking it shouldn’t take too long – so hopefully something like early spring, but as always – it’s done when we’re happy with it. Next time we’ll announce something regarding dates, it’ll hopefully be set in stone and ready to go.

As for Ridiculous Fishing, progress on that has been amazing the last two weeks. It’s been a painful ride, but after a year of being depressed about it, we finally found motivation to finish the project – things have just been coming together at the a breakneck pace. Greg Wohlwend – the artist on the project – has basically moved in with Zach Gage, the programmer, while they finish up development. The two of us here have been fixing up the final design and release issues. It’s amazing how much momentum the project has regained – and how much fun we’re having making the game again. We’ll be honest, there were times at which we felt dropping the game might be a better solution than pushing ourselves to work on it any further, but we’re glad we didn’t do that. We’re extremely happy with how the game has turned out and can’t wait to show you a bit more. Not just yet, but soon.

Damn proud

Basically, what we’re trying to say is that we think Ridiculous Fishing is going to move in front of LUFTRAUSERS in terms of release, but both of them should be out before three more months.

Also important, the games will be playable at several events around the world. We’re going definitely going to be at PAX East, although you’ll be able to catch one or both of us at a bunch of events including Subotron Vienna, PAX East and IndieCade East. We should consider having some sort of calendar for events we’re visiting, so you know where you can tap our shoulder to play some in-progress games.

In the meanwhile, check out our brand-new store and maybe grab the digital or physical Vlambeer OST to get some exclusive sneak peeks at the LUFTRAUSERS and Ridiculous Fishing soundtracks, or catch one of the few remaining Super Crate Box Limited Edition crates.

#2013yearofspace, Vlambeer Store launches and LUFTRAUSERS Closed Beta

submitted by on januari 7, 2013 |

#luftrausers  #technoking  #merch  #ost  

It is now 2013, and we hope you’ve all saved NEO TOKYO from the forces of destruction by hostile forces. As #2013yearofspace has now officially started, we need to get some things done before we can focus on the wonders of space ourselves.

You might have noticed we’ve started with offering merchandise a while ago – and we did that for two reasons. One of the reasons for that is that we just really like having physical things that we can touch. The other reason is that we often get the question whether people can donate to us, but we really prefer giving something in return for money. So, today we’re launching the Vlambeer Store – which isn’t really a store but more like a collection of direct links to things that allow you to throw money our way if you like our games. Of course, if you don’t like our games but just really want that die-cut CD with KOZILEK and Phlogiston-tunes, that’s completely OK too. Just hit the giant button in the header of the site to head over to the store.

First shot of SFMT

Late last year we started the LUFTRAUSERS closed beta, asking fellow developers, designers and some friends in the press to let us know what they think of the game. We’re happy to say that we’re extremely excited about the response we’ve been getting and we’re reaching the point where we feel the game is almost done and ready for aspiring LUFTRAUSER pilots around the world.

So, that’s where we’re at after a full week in 2013. We fully intend to start the year strong with two games you might’ve been waiting for, and we hope you’ll be along for the ride this year, too.

Techno King

submitted by on december 31, 2012 |

#technoking  

Technoking

Grab Techno King here for Windows PC (the Mac version is somewhat rushedly ported, but we made sure there’s a Mac build too!)

Happy new year from the two of us at Vlambeer!

xoxo

Rami & JW

List of lists

submitted by on december 24, 2012 |

Hereby, we present Vlambeer’s list of best things of 2012, optionally set to some of our most played music of 2012 by clicking the play button below.

Vlambeer’s Favorite Game of 2012: Hotline Miami.
Hotline MiamiBesides having the soundtrack of the year, Hotline Miami is brutal, vicious and deviously clever. Rami dedicated an entire blogpost to the significance of the game and then argued over it for a week on Twitter. Jan Willem only managed to mumble ‘Fucking hell, mask on, kill things’.

Jan Willem’s Favorite Game of 2012: Fez.
FEZFEZ
was the first game I’ve ever played together with my super cool girlfriend and we enjoyed it from start to end.  It presents a beautiful, charming world with sweet 3d twisting mechanics and later on a huge “holy shit I didn’t know that earlier” sense of exploration & discovery. FEZ really delivers on every aspect, but also manages to create some completely new experiences. Amazing soundtrack, proper scribbling on bits of paper, insanely solid reasoning behind everything & most of all a great time in the only non-conflict oriented game I’ve ever enjoyed that much.

Rami’s Favorite Game of 2012: Journey.JourneyJourney completely refocused games as a medium for ‘fun’ to a medium that can in fact, do anything. Amongst other favorites of ours, like Johann Sebastian Joust, Proteus and Dys4ia – games are slowly starting to achieve a wider range of emotions, goals and purposes – something that might echo onwards to the mainstream audience.

Vlambeer’s Favorite Mobile Game of 2012: Super Hexagon.Super HexagonThe thing Super Hexagon does best is evolve your brain to be capable of doing things that you never knew you could. The sense of improvement that the game offers is unequalled – in so far that levels that you’ve mastered become so painfully slow that you wonder how you could’ve had any trouble with them in the first place.

Vlambeer’s Best pre-2013 Year of Space space game: FTL.FTL
I spent a lot of time in Faster Than Light watching dead crew surrounded by alien corpses and a brave crewmember whose name I don’t quite remember. What I used to call my ship had detoriated to a (somehow) burning vacuum. When I pressed the space bar all that was left was watch him run to repair the oxygen-generator before suffocating in the hallways. I almost cried but it was really cool.

Rami’s Game That Made Me Care About Rectangles: Thomas Was Alone.
Thomas Was Alone
I’m still not quite sure how or what Thomas Was Alone was lifted from accessible, simple gimmicky platformer to something quite special. It’s probably the way it made me care about rectangles running around levels. Maybe it was the amazing writing, narration or music. Maybe it was the subtle use of the camera. All I know is that Thomas Was Alone kept me playing relentlessly until I knew the fate of every little shape.

Vlambeer’s Best Local Multiplayer Game: Samurai Gunn
Samurai GunnBeau Blyth is the coolest kid around. Not only that, but he also made the game we had the most fun with this year. That convinced us to put it on this list, even though it has only been playable at events around the world in 2012. Samurai Gunn is an extremely stylish game about deflecting scarce bullets into your friends.

Jan Willem’s Best Game Ruined By The Ending: XCOM Enemy UnknownXCOMXCOM was really good, like super intense, deep good. When I had all the tech and my best sniper killed the final boss in one turn, it ruined my memory of the game. You should probably play it on the hardest mode so you’ll never have to fight the boss.

Rami’s Best Game Ruined By The Ending: Mass Effect 3Mass Effect 3 Although XCOM’s ending definitely ruined my memory of the game, it was not the only game that did just that. For me, 2012 in AAA is the year of trilogies that handle their last five minutes so terribly that the entire series is somewhat tainted by it: Mass Effect and Assassins Creed both did terrible, but Mass Effect had always been a favorite of mine and thus takes the dubious honor of being an amazing game with a terrible ending.

Jan Willem’s Only Game That Has Ever Had A Shortcut On Jan Willem’s Desktop For Longer Than Three Days: Vesper.5Vesper.5 Click here and start playing Vesper.5, it’s worth it. Players get to move one tile every day, which for me is usually right when the clock hits midnight.

Rami’s Best Use Of Games As A Medium To Do Something Important: Dys4ia.Dys4ia Dys4ia is the simplest little Flash game, but it did something really strange to me: it made me feel as if on an internal level, instead of a theoretical level, I somewhat understand the struggles of people that are completely different from myself. Games can do this – the connection between the medium and the player that is inherent to the interaction of games makes it the platform of choice for things like these – Dys4ia just did it in a way that had me trying to re-find my footing for days.

Vlambeer’s Best Game That Probably Was Created By Accident: McPixel.McPixel
If you had 1000 monkeys type away on 1000 typewriters the first page they’d produce would somehow not be a page but Sos Sosowski. We have no clue how that happens and somehow it feels like Sos just types code and weird, beautiful & super funny games jump out. McPixel is the only thing about kicking crotches we’ve ever laughed about.

Jan Willem’s Best Game Design: Spelunky.
Spelunky
We gave up on getting the key from Area  1 to the tunnel man in Area 3 but damn, Spelunky is a fine example of game design. I remember the day I stole a golden idol and a boulder came chasing me, smashing an altar for Kali, spawning loads of spiders that killed the shopkeeper, allowing me to access all his goodies. His brother killed me thirty seconds later. That type of memories combined with unique presentation & a great soundtrack leads to one of the best platformers ever created.

Rami’s Best Arguably Not A Game Game: Proteus.ProteusProteus is about walking around an island. It is also poignant, beautiful and relaxing. I still play Proteus every now and then to just climb the mountains and stare over the distant seas as the rainclouds roll in and the music changes accordingly.

Vlambeer’s Sexiest Game: Fingle.
FingleThis photo of half of Game Oven Studios’ Adriaan de Jongh is the best explanation of Fingle you’ll ever find, anywhere.

Rami’s Favorite Cast Of Characters In Terrible Situations: The Walking Dead.
The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead is amazing. I’ve yet to see a game pull off the ‘everyday people in terrible situations’ as amazingly well as Walking Dead does – but I can’t help but hope this is the first of many games without the stereotypical characters we’ve all agreed to try and avoid in the future.

Other games that were really cool this year, with apologies to those we forgot: 
Lone Survivor, Endless Space, Pixel Fireplace, Punch Quest (iOS), Clairvoyance, Sound Shapes (Vita), Gravity Rush (Vita), Zaga-33 (iOS), Dust: An Elysian Tail (360), ZiGGURAT (iOS), Dear Esther, Halo 4 (360), Dishonored, LittleBigPlanet Vita (Vita) and Spaceteam (iOS).

Jan Willem’s Best Movie of 2012: Wrong Cops.
Wrong Cops
I don’t watch a lot of new movies but I did watch Wrong Cops one and it shows Mr. Oizo’s strategy for creative work works & is worth pursuing.

Rami’s Best Movie of 2012: Indie Game: The Movie.IGTM
A movie that explains to people some of the nuances and struggles of my daily life, but most of all allowed people a tiny sneak peek into the vibrant indie game scene. What’s not to love about Indie Game: The Movie?

Vlambeer’s Worst waste of time: Prometheus.
The day JW watched Prometheus, he sent Rami an e-mail: “Prometheus was one of the most terrible/disappointing things I’ve ever encountered in every aspect”. It was one of the few times we completely agreed without argument.

Music we played a lot at the office:
Phlogiston – Construction Yard ( KOZILEK Remix ), Youth Lagoon – Afternoon, Grimes – Oblivion, James Blake – A milli refix, Twin Sister – Kimmi in a ricefield, Juicy J – Who Da Neighbours, Hot Chip – Flutes, Lockah – This Is True Muscle Suicide, Sweet Valley – One
Baauer – Harlem Shake, Kuedo – Visioning Shared Tomorrows, Young Magic – You With Air.

Happy holidays!