Super Crate Box is probably our best-known game. It’s a fast-paced and filled with action – a small, simple, freeware game about collecting crates. Available for both PC and Mac, the game won several ‘Best game 2010′ prizes and was nominated for an ‘Excellence in Design’ award at the 2011 Independent Games Festival.
This post was written in a bit of a rush, somewhere around 1AM, because we honestly don’t have time to write it at any other moment. We did want to update you all with some great news, because while the spelling and grammar possibly aren’t quite up to par with our usual, June was a ridiculously busy month filled with a ton of good news.
Not only did we finally give a talk together again, we also released Super Crate Box on OUYA for free, we submitted the Ridiculous Fishing update to Apple, got the Super Crate Box iOS update ready for submission somewhere next week, started working on fixing the Windows 8 bugs for all our Windows titles, worked full days to wrap up LUFTRAUSERS and spent a lot of hours getting our next project ready for the livestreams soon. Jan Willem co-organized Local Multiplay Picnic Plus and announced the next 7DFPS game jam while Rami is working on helping out with the Indie MEGABOOTH.
That is not even mentioning that Rami started this month in Karlshamn, Sweden, where he was a judge for the Game Concept Challenge and ranted about authorial intent in games. Nor that he continued to fly straight to Los Angeles for E3, where he manned three booths at once while Ridiculous Fishing collaborator Zach Gage picked up the Apple Design Award we won for Ridiculous Fishing in San Francisco. We also got listed 69th in a list of most influential people in gaming, which is still a bit of a strange sensation to us.
Holy shit, Ridiculous Fishing just won a Apple Design Award. #wwdc holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit
What a crazy month. Let’s go through some of these things a bit slower, we guess.
E3 was amazing. It is amazing to see how much of an impact indie has on the gaming industry – from being an underground movement to being both that, but also the largest booth at the Penny Arcade Expo and being a major presence on the E3 showfloor and during Sony’s keynote. Seeing that Sony had nine screens on stage and the only moment more than six were used was during the Indie Eight segment was a small revolution in itself.
A day later, somebody stole all of Rami’s gear. Luckily, we backup regularly and our hardware was easily replaced. It was a massive pain, but we guess our backup policies worked out well for us there.
Besides spending a lot of times with the crazy geniuses at Devolver Digital, we spent a lot of time talking to all of our friends at Sony. We also spent some good time talking about interesting developments at Nintendo. We’re impressed by their efforts to having not just the latest AAA titles, but also the widest variety of indie games. Oh, we also talked to Microsoft for a bit but nothing really newsworthy happened there, although the people we talked to were really nice and obviously cared.
OUYA was the other new factor at this E3. Obviously, the idea of an open console with an actual store was something we had to get behind, so we decided to release Super Crate Box for free on OUYA. After all, the OUYA is a home device and we promised to make Super Crate Box free on home devices. If you like Super Crate Box on OUYA, we’d encourage you to pick up some of the fun games on OUYA if you have one: Towerfall, The Little Crane That Could, Awesome Frog and No Brakes Valet come to mind.
In terms of making games, this month has been a rollercoaster. Unlike last month, we actually have something to show for it.
LUFTRAUSERS on Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita is progressing really well. The fans that played the game at Rezzed seemed to agree the current version of the game is a huge improvement over what we showcased at Rezzed last year. The PC and Linux builds are ready, the PS3, Vita and Mac versions are almost there. We’re extremely aware we slightly missed the original Fall 2012 release date, so we don’t want to make new promises that we might miss, so all we’re going to say for now is that we’ll try to release simultaneously on all platforms.
We submitted the first Ridiculous Fishing update to iOS and we’re preparing for the release somewhere in the next month. You can read about the update and what it’ll be about on Digital Spy or TouchArcade.
For those of you on iPhone 5, we finally fixed the aspect ratio of Super Crate Box iOS and the update is ready for submission. The golden crate counter has been broken since a hack earlier last year and it’s just not been working the way it should, so we’re dropping that and releasing the update as soon as it passes approval.
If you don’t mind, we’re headed back to work. The new project is shaping up so well – some friends of ours have been playtesting an early build – we couldn’t be more excited to get all of you involved in development soon.
It’s been two years to the day that we released Super Crate Box for PC. We had been working on the game tirelessly for half a year with the help of some people we really, really ought to thank today (& forever): artists Paul Veer, Roy Nathan de Groot and musician Eirik Suhrke.
On top, we’re excited to announce that Super Crate Box has yet another platform it will launch on in early December courtesy of the amazing Paul Koller (of C64anabalt fame). We’re also happy to announce a physical version that’ll be available early next year through RGCD.
Rami has finally returned from his two-month journey around the world, visiting Gamescom, PAX Prime, Fantastic Arcade and the Eurogamer Expo to show off LUFTRAUSERS and depending on how nicely you asked, Super Crate Box Vita and Ridiculous Fishing too. we’d love to discuss the whole trip & all the events more than this, but there’s important news we need to get out of the way first. Since Super Crate Box launched in October 2010, we’re declaring October 2012 Super Crate Box month.
Before we start, please click play on the player below for proper atmosphere.
Good. You feelin’ those Super Crate Box vibes? Let’s go.
If you’re playing the music at the beginning of this blog post, you already know Eirik ‘Phlogiston’ Surhke went back into the studio and released a completely new, updated and arranged version of the Super Crate Box soundtrack. He calls it ‘what the soundtrack sounded like in his head all along’ and if that’s what things in his head sounds like, you can consider us jealous. Luckily, he has the ability to put those things into downloadable form, so grab the album through his Bandcamp. As a bonus, the album contains the game with the new music in there. It’s kind of an amazing thing.
Halfbot and Vlambeer are also updating Super Crate Box iOS with a minor patch. Some issues have been resolved, a few (amongst which the elusive laser gun) bug have not been fixed yet. The update is merely in preparation for a larger update hitting later, but it will also do some cool things for people that have both an iPhone and an iPad.
Finally, we’d like to officially announce a new version of Super Crate Box, tentatively titled Super Bread Box.
Not too many people will be able to play it, but as to the how and why (if you haven’t figured it out yet), we’ll have more information on this project later this month.
Rami returning home means that by next week, hopefully the Mac version of Super Crate Box Steam and the Steam icon for both versions will go online, too. We’ll have more news about those limited edition Super Crate Box crates at PAX, how to get Vlambeer T-shirts, how to get your hands on one of those Vlambeer OST CD’s and updates on LUFTRAUSERS and Ridiculous Fishing, too.
After a long day and recovering from some jetlag, I have just settled into his hotel room in Seattle for the Penny Arcade Expo and the Indie MEGABOOTH. JW is staying behind in the Netherlands, recovering from GDC Europe and working hard on LUFTRAUSERS, but he’ll be over for our favorite little event, Fantastic Arcade in Austin, later this month.
A lot of stuff we’ve been working on for a long time is about to collide, or has sort of collided in the past few days, resulting in what is most the most obnoxious blog post title ever as well as the blog post title that most resembles what actually being half of Vlambeer feels like.
Here’s the wrap up:
We’ve announced we’re cooperating with Devolver Digital again for LUFTRAUSERS, after our work with them on Serious Sam: The Random Encounter was so much fun. Devolver Digital is also helping Cactus’ and Dennis’ Dennaton Games out on Hotline Miami. We’re also working with Kert Gartner again for this and the Indie MEGABOOTH, just because he’s Kert Gartner and makes the best trailers. We’ll be showing a public version of the game at our booth in the Indie MEGABOOTH (booth #672) at PAX, so if you’re around, come play.
We’ve teamed up with the amazing people at Level Up Studios to produce some really cool goodies. Us working with Level Up also means we’re finally going to come around and deliver the prizes three people won back when Vlambeer just started out. Three Super Crate Box Super Limited Crates will be delivered to the winners of the three Super Crate Box contests almost two years ago. We feel pretty shitty about that taking so long, so we’ll be sending them a free copy of a thing we’re working on in a few months.
However, that’s not all we’re doing with Level Up Studios! At PAX, we’ll have 250 equally amazing Limited Edition Crates available for sale at our booth. The Limited Edition Crate is a cardboard 6″ crate, containing the first 250 CD’s of the Vlambeer OST run, one of four Vlambeer t-shirts, an exclusive GUN GODZ 6″ print, a bunch of cool pins and a Vlambeer USB stick with most of our games (including GUN GODZ) on there. There are only 250 Limited Edition Crates available for sale at PAX, but we’ll try to spread them over all three PAX days.
After it turned out we had a spare computer, we decided that GUN GODZ will be playable at PAX, so if you don’t have access to it through Venus Patrol, so here’s your chance! The Vlambeer OST CD with -amongst others- the GUN GODZ soundtrack will be available for sale at the booth, featuring music by Phlogiston, KOZILEK, Brother Android and Alec Mauer. We also produced that one shirt we asked you about as one of the four t-shirt designs available.
After the Penny Arcade Expo, I’ll be heading out to do a roadtrip across the United States to New York City. I’ll be joined by Zach Gage and Mike’nGreg (of the amazing Gasketball), after which we’ll spend a week jamming to wrap up Ridiculous Fishing. It’s been a while, but the game that nearly killed Vlambeer might be releasing in a while. Ridiculous Fishing will also be available for you to play at our booth at PAX. After the jam, I’ll fly out to Fantastic Arcade and meet up with JW again. He’ll be keeping you updated on LUFTRAUSERS progress while I build this booth here.
Two-hundred million crates have been collected worldwide. If you add up the crate counters in Super Crate Box & its iOS version you get a sum total of 202 341 012. Almost 20 golden crates have been collected as well, so there’s just 80 golden crates left before the next update hits. We just let loose our stats on those numbers & our calculations put that at just over 1.5 million disc-gun deaths.
Just last week during the Utrecht Indie Meetup Jan Willem and I discussed that something felt slightly off about how things were going recently. Basically, Vlambeer has been focusing on earning money for a really big project that we want to do. We’ve been doing talks, events and a lot of other, great things. But we feel that we should put the focus back it where should be: making games.
Vlambeer allowed us to reach all of you, create games we wouldn’t be able to make seperately and hopefully, in doing so, offering you something interesting, novel and creative to play. We’re extremely thankful for all of you that support us – every tweet, retweet, like, share, discuss and sale allows us to make the things we work on so hard. In the end, that’s what it’s about, isn’t it? It’s about the games. We think we might’ve lost track of that a bit in all the madness.
So, we’re making a small course correction. That whole money-thing for that big project? We’ll work that out later. Actually, we’ll just work that big project out later. The two of us have been doing seperate things for the last few months – ever since the Ridiculous Fishing debacle hit – and we really want to make a really good game together. So that’s what’s up next.
That thing above is the first mockup of a prototype we think has potential – so we’ve started treating that as a completely new project. We’re not quite sure it’ll make the cut, but it’s definitely something we’ve been toying around with a while ago in the shape of Space Murder. Even though Space Murder failed back then, we think it is time to venture back into space sim territory. Actually, since we never released Space Murder – we’ve uploaded the last build we made of it just after the video.
We owe the amazing graphics and music that are in place in Space Murder to Adam ‘ATOMIC‘ Saltsman, Francis Coulombe, Derek Bones and Daniel ‘C418‘ Rosenfeld. They worked on this one with us before we axed it last year. So, fair warning – this is nowhere near done, it will never be done and it’s full of bugs, incomplete art, missing audio, lack of impact and all that – it’s just a prototype, it might take a long while to load. If you don’t care about all that and just want to see what a unreleased project at Vlambeer looks like, give Space Murder a go here!
We’re still releasing what we have on schedule (& we’ve got some nice things coming up). We’re still showing up at A MAZE this week and Indiedevelopment and GDC Europe (where, hopefully, we can do an improved version of our Indie Roundtable last week) and all that – we’re just going to be a bit more efficient with doing things that aren’t related to making games.
We’re still working on Ridiculous Fishing & we think we’ll have something new to show soon. Zach Gage – the programmer on Ridiculous Fishing – has been a little pre-occupied with the amazing Spelltower sale. In the meanwhile, the feedback from the IGF judges included amazingly positive notes, such as ”Ridiculous Fishing is an instant iOS classic” & “It’s up there with the best of them as a great use to the device with brilliant art and an addicting hook. No pun intended.” We’ll keep you up to date about what’s happening with Ridiculous Fishing.