5 Tips for Finding Success as an Indie Game Developer

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. While being an indie designer remains a gamble, experts prove the right tools and mindset can make a difference. The car-soccer game Rocket League’s beta version launched in April 2015 with low expectations. Rocket League was a seemingly ill-fated sequel to a title that developer Psyonix released seven years earlier  —  the unruly titled, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars (2008), which had limited success. To prepare for Rocket League, Psyonix had its servers ready to handle up to 10,000 online players simultaneously. But when 180,000 joined the game, their servers…


Vlambeer has written a book about six years of making videogames

We haven’t heard much from Dutch videogame studio Vlambeer for a while. Since the release of Nuclear Throne last December, they’ve been rolling out updates to that and some of their other games: Super Crate Box (2010), Serious Sam: The Random Encounter (2011), and LUFTRAUSERS (2014) are all getting updates. Besides that, Jan Willem Nijman’s been working on solo projects like DISC ROOM, which was a Humble Monthly exclusive, while Rami Ismail made Breach and Clean, a game about every hotel cleaning lady who’s ever hated you. But Vlambeer as a whole has still been kinda quiet. open pages sneak us…

Disc Room

Disc Room distills 1970s dystopias down to a bloody demise

If there’s one thing that Disc Room shares with Vlambeer’s games—the studio for which creator Jan Willem Nijman works under when he’s not toiling away on other projects—it’s the ability to get all the action packed into a single GIF. That and screenshake. Of course it has screenshake. Disc Room is a game of avoidance—what Nijman calls a “dodge-’em up.” You need to survive 30 seconds in a cramped arena in order to grow old in this spin-off of 70s-inspired dystopian science fiction, including Logan’s Run (1976) and THX 1138 (1971). Your only weapons against the evil discs trying to smear you across the walls are…

Kill Screen Festival

Two5six is now The Kill Screen Festival

Join us June 4th, 2016 for our fourth annual festival. The Kill Screen Festival, formerly Two5six, is a weekend dedicated to celebrating creative collaboration between games and other great art. We bring together two speakers, one from within games and one from without, to discuss a topic pertinent to both of their work. The conversations that result are often unexpected but always interesting and inspiring. This festival has a lot to offer everyone from those who play games religiously to those who don’t know Link from Zelda. Our lineup this year features some of the most promising creators in independent gaming…


Nuclear Throne is hotter than a smoking gun

For a game that has zero puzzle elements Nuclear Throne sure feels like a seeing-eye puzzle. If I keep at it long enough I will eventually see the fire truck or star or whatever image it is hiding. There’s a sense that if I stay with it one more turn I’ll land on a magic run that sends me to the eponymous Nuclear Throne where I’ll be a king of the wasteland, like Immortan Joe, or anyone more flattering. The Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) comparison goes more than skin deep. The world of Nuclear Throne is overrun with bandits and…


Luftrausers accused of being Nazi chic. Vlambeer responds

Vlambeer’s manic new shooter Luftrausers is taking some heat not for its relentless gunning but for its provocative art direction. A blogger has claimed that the game’s edgy imagery bears resemblance to the Nazi aesthetic, a view he shares with one Game Informer reviewer who called it an “edgy, stylized faux-Nazi aesthetic,” he points out.  He goes on to blame Vlambeer for purposely amping up the controversial imagery for cool points, a trend we’ve seen before in the 70s in punk rock. It should be noted that no direct use of Nazi insignia appears in the game, and the blogger’s…


Luftrausers chaotically redefines the shmup March 18

The shoot ‘em up has been using the same playbook for ages: fly forward, program the enemy patterns into your muscle memory, and blast away. But with Luftrausers, coming to PlayStation 3, Vita, and computers on the 18th, Vlambeer read that page and threw it away. Full of aerobatic maneuvers and enemies that will chase you down like a kicked up swarm of bees, it looks to be complete disorder and confusion in a bottle, more akin to the missile-porn lush airways of Bangai-O than Capcom’s 1942, which shares a similar WW2 theme. Besides, the game’s desaturated tone is gorgeous, and,…