Her Majesty the Queen of England kindly seeks one's assistance in this intergalactic point and click adventure game.
Unfortunately we didn't make it this time :( However be sure to bookmark www.hm-spiffing.co.uk (we'll be updating this with more info on the game's development in the new year) and follow @OfficialGoat on the Twitters for all the latest info too.
Fret not, we'll be back, begging for your money again soon!
Her Majesty's SPIFFING is a quaint point and click adventure game following the exploits of Captain Frank Lee English and his trusted regional accented colleague, Alad, as they travel through the cosmos in search of new planets to claim for the British Empire.
The Queen (Bsc, Ssc, Defender of the Faith) has decided that she wants to expand the British Empire once again. However (given that this is the near future) the conventional methods of going about such a task (sailing up the Mediterranean, blowing up a few boats and subduing the indigenous population that survive, for example) are now somewhat frowned upon. Thus, Her Majesty has instead... turned to the stars!
Having personally overseen the creation of the acronym championing Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies, an aromatic blend between the British Space Agency and Royal Air Force, Her Majesty has commissioned Britain’s first manned expedition to space.
Assuming command of the near futuristic space ship HMSS Imperialise and her crew (distinguished veteran and gentleman Captain Frank Lee English and Alad, his mild mannered South Walean colleague) YOU will venture into the cosmos, solving puzzles, engaging in witty banter, deal with crippling claustrophobia, gradually succumb to the sustained exposure of cosmic radiation and so on, all for Queen and Country. Heck, along the way, you may stumble into a few other folks venturing about the cosmos with their own intergalactic aspirations…
You will stumble into a few other folks venturing about the cosmos with their own intergalactic aspirations.
Her Majesty’s SPIFFING will play in a similar manner to the old school adventure games that we assume (certainly if you’ve continued to read through this much of our pitch) you know and love. You’ll have to manage an inventory, choose what items work best with one another to solve problems/ puzzles, engage in witty dialog to advance the game and fish for clues, as well as partaking in a few mini-games thrown in for good measure/ plot development.
The game will take place on-board your near futuristic space ship, the HMSS Imperialise, along with a variety of alien worlds. You’ll interact with other humans on missions of their own, some hostile, some friendly, some despairingly indifferent.
The story will be structured in three very distinct acts. We are designing and releasing each act as an episode, combining them all together to make up the complete story (in much the same method a great many purveyors of point and click adventure based video games have been championing of late).
A synopsis of each episode can be read below, feel free to skip over the next three paragraphs if you wish to preserve your youthful innocence/ avoid spoilers:
EPISODE 1: The Empire Staggers Back
In episode one, the player will be introduced to our protagonists enroute to a newly discovered planet exhibiting similar characteristics to earth. You’ll have to deal with a few technical mishaps on the way, however when the team eventually make it they soon discover that another crew (from another nation) have made it there first. Old rivalry’s flare as it proves impossible to beret past differences forcing our protagonists to channel their thoughts to triomphe against their arc rival.
EPISODE 2: Lady Liberty
At the end of episode one our protagonists are introduced to another nation. In episode two the crew figure it’d defo up the image of the boys back home if they tag along with these old relatives on their mission to “spread democracy throughout the solar system”. After a short journey the band of brothers from other mothers stumble upon a planet occupied by an indigenous species of primitive, bipedal aliens. Our protagonists are tasked with teaching the locals about modern Western culture and liberty, while their special friends set about assembling what appears to be some sort of futuristic digging equipment. No doubt to be used in laying the foundations of a free and democratic society.
EPISODE 3: The Bailout
After some minor disagreements with the indigenous residence our protagonist’s friends hasten an exit strategy. Our crew figure it’d probably be best they headed off themselves, although they quickly discover that they'd been somewhat wasteful with their fuel provisions, having guzzled it away with reckless abandon (naively thinking the good times would never end). Our protagonists must swallow their pride and reluctantly call on the help of a more frugal friend. However, if they wish to return to England they'll just have to grin and Berlin it.
We are BillyGoat Entertainment, an indie game studio based in sunny Belfast, Northern Ireland. Over the last two years we’ve developed quite a number of 3D games, mainly for smartphones and, more often than not, on a tremendously modest budget!
We’re all huge adventure game fans, one of the guys in the office, Alec, even has a life size cardboard cut-out of Ron Gilbert in his wardrobe… OK, that isn’t true, although he does really like Monkey Island.
Obviously the rest of us are fans of Guybrush’s adventures too, it’s fair to say that we intend to plagiarise/ borrow/ pay homage to the entire back catalogue of Tim Shafer, Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick, Dave Grossman and anybody else had a hand in Day of the Tentacle in Her Majesty’s SPIFFING…
We also intend to "pay homage" to the surreal humour of Monty Python in this, quintessentially British adventure.
But we digress, back to ourselves; we’re a team of five guys, a couple of us have even worked for ‘proper’ game developers before, namely Warwickshire’s own Codemasters and Ubisoft Reflections.
Observe, we have a myriad of rewards for backers of Her Majesty's SPIFFING. Pledge a mere dozen of your English Pounds and we'll deliver the game fresh to home computer upon it's completion. However, if you feel enamoured with our project and wish to contribute more to this noble cause, gaze upon the informative graphic below to learn of your reward:
While the majority of the rewards should be self explanatory here's just a little more detail on some of the higher tier rewards...
Access to Backer Forum: We'll be getting in touch with backers a little further into the campaign with their login details for our exclusive backer's forum. In here you'll be able to talk directly to the devs, participate in polls and discussions that will ultimately decide large elements of the game.
3D Printed Medallion: An 8cm diameter 3D printed impression of the HM SPIFFING insignia.
Life Sized Cardboard Cpt Frank Lee English: A roughly 6 foot, full colour, cardboard cutout of our main protagonist signed by the team. Some assembling will be required.
7.5 inch 3D Printed Model of Cpt Frank Lee English: A 19 cm posed 3D print of our main protagonist, inside a presentation cardboard box signed by the team.
And just to give you a sense of scale here is a quick comparison:
Development Tools (for Unity3D): We'll provide you with a digital download of all the tools that we have developed to create our point and click adventure game along with a sample scene. While these plugins will be unsupported, alongside the sample scene documentation will be provided. Additionally you will be free to use these plugins in your own personal or commercial projects.
Above is a video of how the camera system in Her Majesty's SPIFFING operates.
Fingers, toes, and all other available extremities crossed we hope enough fine ladies and gentlemen, such as YOU, back our project. The initial £30,000 will mean that we can deliver to you the first chapter of this rib tickling adventure, but, should we exceed this target, the mission will continue, providing the resources for both chapters two and three of our tale. Below you'll find yet another informative graphic, detailing what we would hope to achieve if we find ourselves in such a humbling disposition:
We'd love to be in a position to offer more stretch goals, we don't want to get too ahead of ourselves though. If it looks like there's enough support to reach our later targets we'll add more.
Obviously you are either incredibly keen about our project or you've simply skipped to the last section in the search of some pithy synopsis. In the case of the former, from all the team here in Belfast thank you for your consideration. We hope that we can count on your support and, in exchange, we will do our darndest to made a game that will provide you with literally hours of jovial entertainment, while straddling the line between international satire and raging, early 20th Century Xenophobia.
Check back for updates and be sure to spread the word! Good day.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We've made quite a few games to tight deadlines although, naturally, there is always the chance that the game may take slightly longer to develop than we initially anticipated. There have been a few high profile stories of Kickstarter projects being successfully funded and then taking longer to develop than initially anticipated, however, this is more often than not down to the campaign being a victim of it's own success, having been over funded to the point the developers decide they can deliver something EVEN better than they initially hoped. We have a pretty solid design plan, and while we're keen for backers to contribute ideas and opinions to the project regarding story/ puzzles etc, we don't plan to tweak the game's mechanics far beyond what we have planned for. This discipline should keep us on track, but this is an issue that we have to address and, in the unlikely circumstance that the game was delayed, it would be purely to ensure that our game is every bit as good as we promised our backers it would be.
Obviously developing any game takes time, so naturally a portion of the money raised will go toward allowing our core development team survive for the 10 months after the campaign finishes (the duration of the game's development). Additionally we will need to bring in an extra couple of developers briefly, as well as our voice actors, rent sound studios etc so our £30k target will be spread fairly thin. We've budgeted that this is the bare minimum we'd need to get by and produce the game in time for next November. Our quality of life won't be the greatest by comfortable Western standards, however we'd be more than happy to do this and be eternally grateful to all our backers to have the privilege to create a great game that we hope you'll love.
I've heard of other successful Kickstarters go over-budget, despite raising EVEN more than they originally set out to do... Also, these guys are game dev superstars! How do I know this isn't going to happen with you?
Obviously projects can run over budget for a variety of reasons, however, our background is in commercial animation and developing commercial games for marketing so we're more than used to working to a tight deadline (we've never missed one... yet!). We are also fortunate that we have a solid idea that we've worked on and developed, so time won't be spent actually coming up with the basis of what our game or story is actually going to be about. This creative process can take an incalculable amount of time so we where keen to get that out of the way before coming to Kickstarter.
Hopefully the information, videos and images that we've uploaded on our campaign page should instil you with confidence in our development abilities, up until now all our commercial games have been developed for iPhone and Android, however our main development tool has always been Unity3D. Unity3D (for those unaware) is a very powerful 3D engine that can be deployed to pretty much any platform (web, smart phone, PC, console etc). We'll be using exactly the same core tools that we've always used, in fact, a lot of the restrictions with working for smart phones won't be an issue any more allowing us to really improve the quality of our game beyond anything we've produced up until now.
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Pledge £12 or moreYou selected
------------------/ Lunar Base Model // x1 Digital DRM-Free (naturally) copy of Episode 1 of Her Majesty’s SPIFFING for Mac/ PC/ Linux plus access to download episodes 2 and 3 once they are available, along with a thank you acknowledgement in the Her Majesty’s SPIFFING credits.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £15 or moreYou selected
---------------------------/ Space Bar // Everything included with the “Lunar Base Model” level plus access to our backer exclusive forum.Estimated delivery:
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-----------------------------/ Mars Bar // Everything included with the “Space bar” level plus a digital copy of “Her Majesty’s WAITING”, the production/ art book detailing Her Majesty’s SPIFFING’s development.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £35 or moreYou selected
-------------------------/ Marathon Bar // Everything included with the “Mars Bar” level plus a digital copy of the “Her Majesty’s SPEAKING”, the script from Her Majesty’s SPIFFING.Estimated delivery:
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-------------/ The Beagle Has Landed // x1 DVD copy of Episode 1 of Her Majesty’s SPIFFING for Mac/ PC/ Linux plus access to download episode 2 and 3 upon their completion and access to our backer exclusive forum and a thank you in Her Majesty’s SPIFFING credits.Estimated delivery:Add £10 to ship outside the UK
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10 backers Limited (90 left of 100)
----/ Hounslow We Have a Problem // Everything included with the “The Beagle Has Landed” level plus a signed, physical copy of “Her Majesty’s WAITING”, the production/ art book detailing Her Majesty’s SPIFFING’s development.Estimated delivery:Add £15 to ship outside the UK
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3 backers Limited (47 left of 50)
------------/ James Tiberius Merch // Everything included with the “Hounslow We Have a Problem” level plus exclusive “One has ma'am's back” backer t-shirt plus 3D Printed HM SPIFFING medallion.Estimated delivery:Add £25 to ship outside the UK
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2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
---------/ SPECIAL / Carbonite Soda // Everything included with the “Marathon Bar” level plus 7.5 inch matt gray 3D printed model of Captain Frank Lee English.Estimated delivery:Add £35 to ship outside the UK
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0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)
------------------------/ First Contact // Everything included with the “James Tiberius Merch” level plus life-size cardboard cutout of Captain Frank Lee English.Estimated delivery:Add £35 to ship outside the UK
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1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
-----------------------/ Close Contact // Everything included with the “James Tiberius Merch” level plus 7.5 inch matt grey 3D printed model of Captain Frank Lee English.Estimated delivery:Add £35 to ship outside the UK
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------------------------/ Deep Impact // Everything included with the “Lunar Base Model” level plus digital download of all the Unity3D tools created by ourselves for Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, along with a sample Unity3D scene file and documentation. These tools are unsupported but are free to use in your commercial projects.Estimated delivery:
- (33 days)