Rami Ismail (ramiismail.com)                             

Event Schedule


Rami Ismail is the Business & Development Guy at Vlambeer, a Dutch independent game studio known best for Nuclear Throne, Ridiculous Fishing, Super Crate Box, LUFTRAUSERS, GUN GODZ, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter & Radical Fishing.

Through his work at Vlambeer, Rami has come to realize that the marketing & business facets of many independent game developers could use some help. As such, he created the free presskit-creation tool presskit() and is working on side projects such as distribute() and gamedev.world.

Believing sharing knowledge openly is the cornerstone of independent development, Rami has spoken on a variety of subjects at dozens of game events around the world, ranging from the Game Developers Conference to Fantastic Arcade & from University seminars to incubator mentorship.

He is a avid opponent of game cloning after Vlambeer's Radical Fishing got cloned. He is also a proponent of searching for new, beautiful things in places no-one is looking for them and thus organized Fuck This Jam, a gamejam focused around making a game in a genre you hate. Rami also worked closely with the Indie MEGABOOTH team to enable indie studios to showcase at the larger game conventions, runs the #1reasontobe panel at GDC, and helps as an advisor on events such as Devcom, Train Jam, PocketGamer, and NASSCOM GDC.

Rami has received several awards and recognitions for his work promoting game development around the world, including the IndieCade Game Changer award for the decennial jubileum of the festival.




OUYA is supposedly going to revolutionize the console market, with beautiful words as ‘disrupt’ and 101 Call To Action lines as ‘you’re the signal to the world’. To be fair, a Kickstarter that garners 4 million dollars in a few days has an air of being something really important. I think OUYA could be really important and as such, I think it’s worth supporting. There are some problems, though.

Someone pointed out to me that at this point, about 38,000 OUYA’s have been sold. Some quick searching learns that the Xbox, Playstation & Wii are each at 50 million consoles sold or more. Of course, those have been around for more than a decade, but 50,000 consoles sold isn’t even going to make a dent.

At this point, developing for AirPlay through Apple TV is a better idea for developers in terms of certainty, with Apple TV selling 1.5 million units last year. Their SDK is mature(-ish, ahem), the store architecture is pretty solid and has consistently produced sales for a lot of projects. Apple TV’s hardware is powerful enough to show graphics that are crisp on a HD television.

OUYA, on the other hand, has not even 10% of that. Not in terms of userbase, not in terms of SDK, architecture or hardware. Not to mention that Android is clumsy, even though Unitys involvement might offset that. OUYA’s lower requirements in terms of gatekeeping are great, although that always brings the potential for XBLIG/Android-esque mess. What OUYA promises instead is a console in a world in which consoles have been ‘degraded’ to NetFlix-enabled home appliances. They promise a controller that is an actual controller, instead of a combination of jumping around, making awkard gestures while shouting voice control.

Despite all the uncertainty, I think OUYA is worth supporting, so I did reach out to them for a quick introduction. I am fully aware that OUYA might be a tiny platform with an extremely low revenue potential, but I do not think that is why anyone’d release a game on OUYA. If I were to release something, it’d be because I think the platform is – together with Steam Greenlight and before it, the App Store and Steam itself – part of a trend that opens up increasing amount of platforms to independent development .

At this point, there’s little sensible to say about the OUYA. Even the creators seem to acknowledge that, as the Kickstarter page is filled with ‘will be’, while developer quotes all mention ‘the potential’.

I’m skeptical, but nevertheless, I’ll grab the popcorn for when the promised delivery date rolls around.