We've been off the grid for a while. It's been a crazy ride, the last few weeks, and we needed to focus our efforts and resources into handling a lot of negotiating & hyper-important making games. Don't worry, it's only going to take a little while before we can get back to giving some more in-depth looks at what we've been up to lately, for now, we're going to skim every subject and that's going to end up being a massive post anyway.

The elephant in the room is the cloning issue, of course - so let us get that out of the way first: Ninja Fishing and Muffin Knight. We're superglad to see so many people standing up for original gameplay and experimenting with simple, minimalist and new mechanics.

Muffin Knight isn't a 1:1 clone of Super Crate Box. We'd argue that the strength of Super Crate Box is in its minimalism and Muffin Knight turned away from that and added things like upgrades. Sure, we'd have loved to see some more original weapons, but besides that it's pretty obvious that they put effort into their design: there's a lot of things built around the gameplay & they differentiated the theme a lot - not because they wanted to hide that they 'cloned' the gameplay, but because they believed that was the best thing to do for their game. We think Super Crate Box iOS & Muffin Knight can easily co-exist without biting eachother & for us, that places it a long way ahead of Ninja Fishing.

We also found out that if you're interviewed and say something like "imitation is the sincerest form of buttrape", that means that's going to show up in the article. No exceptions.

We might revisit the entire subject later, when we've got some more time, as we feel its a pretty important discussion - even though it has been deadlocked forever now. For now we hope we can work for a while without our other designs being 'tributed'.

So, back to what we've been doing besides these fucking politics, negotiations and interviews.

For those of you that kind of lost track of what we're working on due to the early announcement of Ridiculous Fishing and the announcement of Super Crate Box iOS, we're currently working on three projects - actually four, but we'll get to that later. These projects are Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, Ridiculous Fishing & Super Crate Box iOS.

Our cooperation with Zach Gage & Greg Wohlwend for Ridiculous Fishing is going great and we think we'll have something to show there in a while. For now, the above image'll have to still your apetite for fishing like gramps told you about it.

Wondering whether the Super Crate Box iOS controls work? Check out the above video and decide for yourself. Halfbot and us have been working and we'll be tweaking the controls even beyond the amount of control you have now. Someone playtesting said that "it's almost as if the game was made for iOS" and for a platformer, we think that's pretty encouraging.

Finally, we want to ask your attention for something important. Venus Patrol is a new website by Offworld editor, IGF-chairman and Vlambeer-friend Brandon Boyer. Offworld was a site where it seemed like videogames were actually a beautiful thing, it shunned the traditional review and delivered context, backgrounds and exploration of the medium - it brought together culture and videogames in a way that makes us miss it sincerely since it went down in 2009. Venus Patrol is the spiritual successor to Offworld & Brandon is running a Kickstarter to get his site funded for the first year.

Venus Patrol is already funded, but this Kickstarter is still worth your money if you believe that games can be more than simple products that need to be reviewed objectively in terms of 'worth your money/not worth your money'. On top of that, Brandon has arranged some amazing gifts for backers & if you pledge more than $25, you'll get games by Superbrothers, ADAM ATOMIC, JOUST by Copenhagen Game Collective and a secret Vlambeer project we've yet to announce. Besides that, there are amazing other incentives like a wallpaper by Keita Takahashi (who JW famously taught the black ball can't go in the pocket in pool), music by Jim Guthrie and a lot more.

Main incentive remains that this industry can use a new Offworld. Venus Patrol is just that.

September 1st, we celebrated our first anniversary as Vlambeer. Had an amazing party - thanks to C418 for the music, everyone attending and everyone who checked in through the livestream.

We'll be talking a lot more about our turnbased RPG Serious Sam: The Random Encounter in a short while, as we're getting it prepared for its final testing rounds. We're aiming for a late September or early October release at somewhere around $5, so bear with us while we get this done. We'll have some gameplay footage for you soon.

Sorry for the somewhat messy blog post, its been busy. Expect some more of these messy blog posts soon and after that, we might just try and get the Vlambeer website updated to the level of the new Super Crate Box website.