Vlambeer is going to live-stream development of its next game. This wouldn't be notable for many other indie developers, but Vlambeer's history makes this strategy appear, for lack of a stronger term, absolutely illogical.
"At this point, all of our big games have been cloned," Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail tells me at E3.
He goes down the list: Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing, Luftrausers and Infinite SWAT all have clones. The only acceptable one is the Infinite SWAT "homage," Broforce, from South African team Free Lives, Rami said – it's an example of developers taking inspiration from a game and creating their own world with it. The other ones, though. Those are straight-up clones.
These clones caused major problems for Ismail and Vlambeer's other half, Jan Willem Nijman. The Ridiculous Fishing clone affected the team so strongly that they almost stopped developing their own game completely. Ridiculous Fishing almost didn't exist. Because of a clone.
Hence, Vlambeer live-streaming development of its next game sounds like a pretty terrible idea. Until Ismail explains his reasoning:
"If you look at Ridiculous Fishing, one of the reasons the clone was such a nightmare was because nobody knew that we were working on Ridiculous Fishing. We had to rapidly announce Ridiculous Fishing while the clone story was going down, so people knew that it was our idea first and they stole it from us. With Luftrausers, when SkyFar hit, it was much better, because everybody already knew that Luftrausers was a Vlambeer thing and that SkyFar was a clone."
That makes sense, actually.
"No, it doesn't," Rami says. But Vlambeer is doing it anyway.