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Touching down

The last few months of my life have decidedly been some of the craziest of my life. It’s telling when a website I originally created to track how often I got random checked inadvertently becomes an absurd testament to the amount of work and travel I’ve been pushing recently. Currently, there is not a single time I spent a week in the Netherlands since I started the site on January 19th. I’ve been constantly traveling, to events, conventions, conferences, universities, emerging development scenes, weddings and friends.

Every event, you make new friends, form new bonds and get to talk to people you’ve formerly only spoke to for a short moment. Besides being able to promote my games, inspiring young developers,  helping remote indie scenes or discussing our industry at events, every place I go to is a place where I learn new things and gain new perspectives from eager students and personal heroes. I am extremely lucky to be able to do what I do.

The amount of stupid stuff I’ve done over the past months is overwhelming: we launched LUFTRAUSERS from the GDC showfloor, which led to me running around cursing myself to never launch anything big during an event again, after which I immediately went and we announced & launched Nuclear Throne’s cooperative multiplayer live at PAX. I designed a new, more permanent Vlambeer booth for events in the week and a half leading up to PAX, rather than creating one from scratch every single event – and I’m really proud of how it turned out.

The amount of ups and downs where overwhelming. I spent a few days being sad and worried that we had hurt people with LUFTRAUSERS, and mulled over words for days trying to communicate our stance regarding the controversy properly and with the proper respect a topic like that deserves. A few days later, we managed to pull of a potentially huge thing we’d been working on for a while by making Nuclear Throne the first game ever to be purchasable through Twitch integration. I had to deal with my name showing up on Reddit and imgur in a controversy concerning affirmative action, while LUFTRAUSERS recouped its full investment within 72 hours. I was really sad that for the first time ever, I missed an A MAZE event. A few weeks earlier, I couldn’t be prouder to hold my speaker microphone close to Jukio Kallio, the musician on Nuclear Throne, as he performed the game’s theme song live on the GDC stage amidst lots of attention for the game. George Lazenby, the only James Bond to only play in a single movie, gave me a backrub before sneaking out of a Hollywood award ceremony, as we watched Ridiculous Fishing be nominated for more awards than we could ever imagine. I worriedly watched from the sidelines as the most expensive game jam ever collapsed with my partner in the centre of the storm.

So many things happened around myself and around Vlambeer, but that didn’t stop us from making games.

The entire team has been working as hard as we can to make Nuclear Throne work on GameMaker: Studio. We worked closely with YoYoGames to get Nuclear Throne working on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. I’m talking to Microsoft about launch parity and we’re hopeful they’re listening, so that Nuclear Throne can launch on their platform too. Vlambeer started using Slack to communicate with each other and our collaborators, AppViz is amazing in making sure we pay the people we work with on Ridiculous Fishing and Super Crate Box iOS and I started using Trello to keep track of my tasks.

That being said, the next month is going to be relatively slow in terms of travel, and as I’m sitting on a couch in my home country of the Netherlands, an all-too familiar feeling creeps up on me: it’s post-GDC gloom, a month late or so, but recognisable as always. It’s a sinking feeling that you get when sitting alone, after having spent a really focused time with inspiring and amazing people, seeing beautiful things and becoming increasingly hopeful about the future of our medium.

The time that I have the next two weeks that isn’t spent on Vlambeer and Nuclear Throne will be spent on continuing distribute(), hopefully finishing a web-based side-project I’ve called Repository, and setting up a proper postmortem event in the Netherlands.

I guess I’ll answer some questions and go to bed.