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.



E-mail policy

Since I started receiving over a few hundred of them a day, I created a number of rules for handling e-mail. There is no perfect system, and while some of these self-imposed rules sound harsh, After experimenting a lot, I’ve found them to lead to my highest volume of e-mails answered in a qualitative way.

My main rule for handling e-mails: try to avoid writing e-mails longer than three sentences.

I have three rules for responding to e-mail:

  1. Don’t respond unless necessary. If it is important, people will follow up. No answer is better than a useless answer.
  2. If it takes more time to make a to-do entry out of an e-mail than to respond and complete the task, respond and complete the task. Otherwise, do not respond to e-mails until response is required or requested. Threads drag on too long with too much fluff.
  3. With the exception of urgent e-mails, prioritize ‘e-mails to which a response would really mean something to someone’ over ‘e-mails for work’.

I have three rules for writing e-mails:

  1. Don’t write an e-mail for something that isn’t absolutely necessarily an e-mail. E-mail is best for formalities, external communications that require archiving and communications that are not decidedly urgent. If you’re working with someone and things can be urgent, make sure you have another method of contact.
  2. Get to the point in the first line, and if pleasantries are expected, integrate them into the sentence with a comma or semi-column, regardless of the grammatical appropriateness. Nobody cares. (ie. Hope you’re doing well, I was writing to check in about [x])
  3. Set a reminder for a follow-up. Expect a response time of about a week, and follow-up after three to five days. If someone mentions a time-frame, set a follow-up reminder for 80% and 120% of that timeframe. People often need a reminder for communications through e-mail.

That leaves me curious: what are your rules for e-mail?