Rami Ismail is the co-founder of the Dutch indie game developer, Vlambeer. They are famous for developing Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, Ridiculous Fishing, Super Crate Box and more recently, Nuclear Throne.
Rami is famous for speaking out against game cloning, and his insights on succeeding as an indie game developer. It was to the great delight of everyone attending Level Up KL 2016 that he was one of the guest speakers.
How To Survive Developing Your First Game
You may have seen the talk Rami Ismail is most famous for – You Don’t Stand A Chance. Well, this is an updated version of that talk, with more focus on how to actually survive developing your first game as an indie game developer.
If you are a budding game developer, or someone who is planning to develop games for a living, you must absolutely watch the entire presentation. Learn from the mistakes Rami Ismail and his partner, Jan Willem Nijman made, and find out how Vlambeer succeeded when so many others failed.
1. The large majority of indie game studios do not survive their first game.
2. That does not mean you should not try. It just means you should understand that you’re probably going to fail.
3. Tens of thousands of people are making games today. Only a few can make a living.
4. You only hear about the success stories because of survivorship bias. Many successful developers actually fail countless times.
5. So prepare for failure, create for success and try building a space around your own work.
6. Possible failure points include
- Your budget is too small, or you don’t plan for one at all!
- Your team is too big.
- Your game is too big.
- Your game’s pitch sucks.
- Your game’s design sucks.
- Your business case sucks.
- Your game’s art sucks.
- Your game’s audio sucks.
- Your marketing sucks.
- Your self-care sucks.
- Your communication sucks.
- You don’t think enough.
- You don’t follow news.
- You don’t appreciate your competition.
7. Your first try probably won’t work, and that’s fine. Take small steps. Build your failures into a success.