Vlambeer has been around for almost three years.
It’s sort of a weird realization for the two of us that the past three years of our lives — practically every moment after we decided to run a games company full time — has been dedicated to making the games people know us for. It’s been an amazing run that’s taken us from extreme highs to emotional lows, and introduced us to so many amazing people – whether they’re developers or industry or fans.
Vlambeer is something weird. You see, the two of us are polar opposites. Whereas JW is an artistic and creative force full of weird ideas, I tend to do business and programming. If you’ve ever put two people like that in a single room, you know they don’t tend to get along well. That was true for the two of us as well, and we created this third person that resulted from the collision between us. That third person is what Vlambeer truly is — it’s neither Jan Willem nor me. It’s a separate “person.”
The reason I’m explaining all this is because it is important to explain what the game we just announced for PS4 and PS Vita is.
Vlambeer started in September 2010. Since then, we made Super Crate Box, in which you can never predict what’s next due to the randomness, but you can learn how the system works to gain situational awareness. We’re still wrapping up LUFTRAUSERS, a game that focuses on customization and finding something that fits your own playing style. We made Ridiculous Fishing, a game in which we integrated a deep fiction into an otherwise simple game design.
These games are all explorations of things we find interesting or cool or weird. Things we ran across in a documentary, or while watching a movie, or reading a book, or browsing the internet.
When we originally made Wasteland Kings in 72 hours for Mojang’s charity game jam, the limited amount of time just meant we made something that felt natural to us. We’re good at arcade action gameplay, so we ended up making that. Jan Willem had been toying around with random generation a lot, so that went in. We’re both fans of bad science fiction, so the game is very much inspired by sci-fi movies of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
After the jam we were intrigued by Wasteland Kings, and it took us a moment to figure out why. Wasteland Kings is an action roguelike-like about never being able to predict what’s next due to randomness. It’s a top-down shooter in which focusing on customization and finding something that fits your own playing style. It’s a game in which we’re integrating a deep fiction into an otherwise simple game design. It’s everything we’ve made before, but it’s also something new.
Wasteland Kings is a tribute to Vlambeer. That doesn’t make it a tribute to ourselves, really – like we explained, Vlambeer isn’t either of us. The game – which you’ll be able to play on PS4 and PS Vita next year – is a tribute to this crazy thing that changed our lives so much in such a short time. And it’s a game, because that’s the only way we know to properly make a tribute to it.
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