At Gamelab 2016 we got the chance to talk to Vlambeer's Rami Ismail about the studio's latest project Nuclear Throne and as well as his Vlambeer's future projects.
"The biggest thing is we've been releasing Nuclear Throne which is our latest game. We were working on it last year, but it released in December. It went really well, it was very well received, it sold well, people loved the game and yeah the community has been phenomenal. We even have people making mods for the game. There's somebody who made a multiplayer mod for the game!" Along with all this "it's been an amazing year, lots of travel, lots of seeing the world but also lots of just making games and seeing how people play the games, so its been a really good year for us".
We at Gamereactor did find Nuclear Throne a bit difficult at times, though, and we couldn't resist mentioning this to Ismail. "It is a very difficult game, yeah. I think at the core of Vlambeer games very often is a sense of mastery you know. Like we want games that you're bad at when you start so that you can get better at them as you go. And I think that feeling of developing a skill at something is something that both of us really really enjoy, so Nuclear Throne is definitely built around that".
When asked about the future of the game and potential other versions, Ismail said "there's definitely updates coming. They're not major updates like they used to be, they're usually bug fixes and balancing fixes, but we think Nuclear Throne is in a very good spot as it is. We're pushing out a PlayStation and PlayStation Vita pack soon and we're still looking to release on PlayStation 3. Xbox... we are in negotiations with Microsoft but I have to admit they haven't really moved all that much in the last few months. So we've been trying it's just kind of been stuck in 'bureaucracy' would be the right word". He said that the longer the deal takes it may be a case of it being too late at a certain point.
In terms of the future, Ismail said that he and his co-founder, after Nuclear Throne was released, "decided to not talk for a bit, get some rest, get some distance" to take some time off. Both kept working during their time off, though, resulting in around twenty different prototypes to look at. "There's a lot of ideas, we were arguing about a lot of them. Some of them are not good, some of them are really cool" and Ismail said the creative energy is definitely there despite no solid project. Both he and his co-founder are travelling and working with other indie studios to support them in the future as well.
We asked what games Ismail would recommend from what he had seen at Gamelab and he said that Guns 'N' Boxes was one particular game he liked. "It's really fun, it feels really really good" he said, also recommending a game called Solo as well, saying it reminded him of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Agatha Knife was another one that caught his eye, although he did describe it as "disturbing" despite his curiosity.
With VR prominent at Gamelab we also asked Ismail how indie studios can take advantage of this new space. "I mean this is what indie does best, right, and a new space appears and this is where indies can really shine. It is a place where nothing has been established, the risks are too high for AAA to really go all in". When asked on whether he personally would take up VR, Ismail responded "the first thing I did when I got my VR dev kits was see if I could make people throw up, and yeah I can. So I don't think I should".
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