iGR 2013 Person(s) Of The Year Awards: Man Of The Year

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The 2013 Person(s) of the Year award officially kicks off our end of the year award series. There are so many fantastic, talented people who can be found throughout our wonderful industry, but two of them in particular have made an indelible mark on 2013. In the coming years we may be recognizing a singular person for iGR’s Person of the year awards, but the formula needed to be tweaked a bit for 2013. We have two highly talented individuals that have managed to contribute to the games industry in a very genuine way, therefore we couldn’t go without recognizing one, or the other. Without further adieu.

Man of the Year: Rami Ismail

Rami Ismail is one of the key individuals at the Dutch indie game studio Vlambeer. The studio is responsible for producing titles like Wasteland Kings, Ridiculous Fishing, Super Crate Box, and the much anticipated title Nuclear Throne. But his personal contribution to the indie game development scene is far further reaching. One of the main aspects that indie devs have struggled with over the years has been marketing. Let’s face it, most small teams are typically comprised of individuals whom know how to create video games, not sell them. After identifying this specific need, Rami went out of his way to work on a streamlined method for indie devs to present their projects to media and investors; enter¬†presskit (). The simple, elegant design of presskit () is successfully used by independent developers worldwide to market their product. Furthermore, Rami’s candid commentary¬†on the topic of ID@Xbox was eye-opening and genuine. Ultimately, Rami Ismail’s impact on the indie gaming scene is one that can’t possibly be overlooked, and that’s why we’ve selected him for our inaugural Man of the Year award. Here’s what Rami had to say when we notified him of the honor:

“Wow, thank you so much for this commendment. We feel that what we do is just a tiny push in a whirlpool of people doing good things for the (independent) game development scene, sometimes with personal backlash and stakes. In the light of that, we feel that this award, whoever wins it, always belong to everybody that has tried to do good in the scene. Without the rest of the scene, our work would not have been possible. Indie games as a whole exist because of cooperation, because of people giving back more to the scene than they take out of it. We just try to be a force for good. It’s great to hear that iGR thinks we’re on the right path.”

His response alone is indicative of his selfless attitude. In all honesty, I don’t think Rami wants to take credit for his input, but that’s what we’re here for! Indie game development is about staying true to your ideals and creativity, and we feel that Rami embodies that sentiment fully.

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Rami, and Vlambeer, in the future. When we spoke last, it sounded like Ismail may be heading to GDC 2014 to participate on a discussion panel. Also, keep your eye out for Nuclear Throne. The game is currently in Early Access on Steam and will be coming to Mac, PS4, PS Vita, and Xbox One in the future.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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