Join Nelly Cootalot in this retro Adventure Game, and rescue birds hypnotised by the villainous Baron Widebeard. Read more
This project was successfully funded on June 29, 2013.
About this project
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"Beckett-King proved he’s a strong writer in the first freeware game, and doubly proves a great sense for comic timing in the video above – two really important elements for getting this genre right." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"If the quality of the original is anything to go by I'm pretty sure this will indeed be an amazing game" - IndieGames Weblog
"Nelly Cootalot does look fantastic. Go support them NOW!" - @RagnarTornquist (Dreamfall, The Longest Journey)
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet is a point-and-click adventure in the style of classic video games from days of yore. It's a 2D indie game with the emphasis on story, character and nautical jokes.
- Explore a charming hand-drawn cartoon world.
- Interact with a host of unique characters.
- Solve puzzles and uncover mysteries.
Development is already under way, with over 45 characters and 35 locations complete and ready to be brought to life in-game.
But there's still a lot of work to be done to finish the game. This kickstarter campaign would make it possible to add interactivity to all those locations, to animate and give voices to those characters, and to create a rich and atmospheric musical score.
Our goal for completion is June 2014. The game will be sold on www.nellycootalot.com, and we'll soon be launching a Steam Greenlight campaign.
Baron Widebeard has kidnapped a fleet of birds and hypnotised them to do his bidding. What is he planning? Can he be stopped? In what way is a frozen volcano involved?
To answer these questions comes Nelly Cootalot: pirate heroine and defender of endangered and adorable creatures.
In pursuit of the Baron, Nelly's journey will take her from Port Rubicund in the South Seas to the lonely isle of Gloomholm in the icy north. She'll meet outlandish characters and face perplexing challenges in her quest for the Treasure of the Seventh Sea.
In this game Nelly will heroically:
- Race aristocrats for fun and profit.
- Be immortalised in folk song.
- Join the Merchant Navy (shudder).
- Pilot an airship.
- Uncover William Bloodbeard’s Lost Treasure.
- Take advantage of a short-sighted old man.
- Lie to strangers with no consequences.
The Fowl Fleet will have a large cast of characters, across three islands. Some will help and others will hinder Nelly in her attempts to rescue the hypnotised birds.
Key Cast Members include:
- Harbour Master Van Zandt- the pirate-hating Master of Groat Harbour.
- Rackham the Birdman - the best inventor on (and only human inhabitant of) Vogel island.
- Barman Friday & Captain Rehab - old friends of Nelly with a taste for rotgut and saying, "Avast!".
- Baron Widebeard & The Baroness - The most formidable husband and wife team in the bird-kidnapping industry.
- William Bloodbeard - Nelly's dead mentor and erstwhile buccaneer.
- Professor Morgan - Expert in nautical lore and lecturer in Piratical Studies at the University of West Ham.
Nelly Cootalot first appeared in the freeware adventure game Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! If you want to know what The Fowl Fleet will be like, play Spoonbeaks Ahoy! then imagine something much better (and much bigger). It's free:
The Fowl Fleet will be a standalone game, so newcomers will have no trouble following the story. But it will also tie up certain threads and revisit characters from the first game.
Praise for Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy!
- “Nelly Cootalot is a Hoot… a delightful little adventure game” – Luke Plunkett, Kotaku
- “creative puzzle design and charming characters” – Luke Jensen, Adventure Gamers
- “The visuals and dialogue are so much fun, even adventuregameaphobiacs will have a great time.” **** – Jayisgames
- “[Nelly Cootalot] has its own distinct and adorable style” – Xander, TIGsource
- Over 35 hand-drawn locations at 800x600 (see FAQ below for more on resolution).
- Over 45 expressive, cel-shaded characters.
- Classic point-and-click adventure gameplay.
- Voice acting.
- Atmospheric, orchestral soundtrack.
- Windows OS, with wrappers available for Mac & Linux.
Alasdair was born in 1984 (the year, not the book). It's his job to draw the funny pictures, write the pirate puns and cobble together the puzzles.
Alasdair is a filmmaker and animator. He won a Royal Television Society Student Award in 2006, and was recently shortlisted for a Student Oscar. He has written comedy for BBC Radio, and is a finalist in the 2013 Laughing Horse New Act of the Year Competition for stand-up comedy. He really ought to decide what he's doing with his life.
Nikolas Sideris - Music
Nikolas Sideris was born in Athens, Greece in 1977. He has been studying music since the age of 5, and holds a PhD in Composition from Royal Holloway, University of London. Nikolas will compose the soundtrack and establish the atmosphere of the game.
His works have been performed in the UK, USA, Germany and Greece and range from small works for solo instruments, to large works for string orchestras. He has also composed a number of soundtracks for indie video games including:
- Resonance: Modern classic by XII & Wadjet Eye Games
- Privates: BAFTA-winner by Size Five Games.
- A Tale of Two Kingdoms: Freeware fantasy epic by Crystal Shard.
Sarah Burrough - Campaign Management & Finance
Descendent of genuine Cumbrian Pirates, Sarah is responsible for promoting the campaign and making sure we get enough pieces of eight to finish the game. She has made sure that the rewards are affordable as well as fun, and she's also developed our world domination strategy. Sorry, fundraising strategy.
Exchange Rates (Approx.)
- USD Exchange Rate: $1.51 = £1
- Euro Exchange Rate: €1.16 = £1
£15,000 may sound like a lot of money. (In fact, if it doesn't sound like a lot of money to you, you're just the kind of wealthy plutocrat we should be courting.)
We've done our sums and £15,000 is the minimum we need to complete the game. It's actually a very modest sum compared to the budget of a major video game.
Of course, a big chunk of that will go on reward fulfilment, to make sure our backers get all the fabulous things they've been promised. A smaller but important chunklet is earmarked for kickstarter fees and tax. After that, we will be left with just enough to finish the game, add voice acting and compose the soundtrack.
Of course, there are lots of extras we'd love to add on top of that, and those extras make up our Stretch Goals.
The reward tiers can be found on the right-hand column. You can see a full Tier Breakdown Chart here. For a more colourful approach, see below:
Disclaimers: Final images and designs might vary. Being immortalised in folk song will not result in genuine immortality.
Thanks to all the people who helped make the first Nelly game, and all the people who have downloaded and played it over the years. Particular thanks to Screen 7's Mark Lovegrove, founder of AdventureX, who composed the Nelly Cootalot theme and the original soundtrack to Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy!.
Additional thanks go to the folks who've asked for news about The Fowl Fleet, everyone who helped put together this campaign and the real-life Nelly Cootalot!
Risks and challenges
A key challenge facing us during production will be working with a small team. Alasdair will be working as a one-man-band: writing, animating and scripting. And, of course, clashing cymbals between his knees. Similarly, Nikolas will be both composing and recording the soundtrack alone. And, presumably, clashing cymbals between his knees.
Fortunately, our backgrounds as freelancers have given us experience of delivering creative projects: handling narrow timeframes and small budgets. We know how to keep the energy and enthusiasm for a project alive during the periods of abject misery that are inevitable in these endeavours.
Reward fulfilment is something we've thought carefully about. Sarah's steam-powered calculator has been clanking away, making sure that we can afford to pay for quite hefty rewards and still have enough left to produce the game. The real-life Nelly Cootalot is also going to pitch in to make sure everyone gets their due.
Bringing voice actors on board will also present a challenge, since there are so many speaking parts in the game. The advantage of being based in London, natural habitat of the out-of-work actor, will come in to play here. Moreover, Alasdair's background in film will make working with the actors, recording and editing the audio a more manageable task.
We also believe we can count on the support and encouragement of underground adventure game community. We will rely on their feedback, and the beta-testing backers, to iron out bugs and provide quality assurance.
In conclusion, we will face obstacles in the way Nelly Cootalot would face obstacles:
2. Steal everything that isn't nailed down.
3. Short nap.
Translating the game into other languages (primarily European) will definitely be a stretch goal. And whether we meet that goal or not, when the game is complete we'd be happy to work with fans of the game to provide translations, in the same way as Nelly Cootalot's first game.
Although it's much bigger than the resolution of LucasArts and Sierra classics, 800x600 is not huge these days. But because the game is based on traditional hand-drawn backdrops, we can't be as flexible with resolution as a 3D game could be. However, we'd very much like to give players more options about how they play the game - whether windowed or scaled up to fill their screens at higher resolutions. It's definitely something we'll be working on during development.
The reason the resolution is 800x600 is simply that it's an achievable resolution for a small team. If we were working in HD, we'd simply never finish a game of this scale. Looking back at Lucas Arts classics, or even contemporary indies like Wadjet Eye Games which all use 320x resolution reminds me that style and storytelling are more important than pixels. (Pixels are nice, though. Don't get me wrong!)
At this stage the DVD extras we're planning include:
- An HD version of the pitch video.
- A Blooper Reel with out-takes from the voice recordings and the pitch video.
- An archive of the Captain's Log.
And depending upon stretch goals we'd like to include:
- A Special Edition of the first Nelly Game.
- A post-mortem video in the style of the pitch, looking back at development.
- An in-game designer's commentary.
We're not at the casting stage yet (we're at the begging strangers for money stage). Casting and recording voice acting will be one of the later steps in developing the game. But if you want to send us your reel, we'll keep it on file and look at it then.
Pledge £1 or more
Landlubber (Approx. $1.50): Buy a lady a drink and receive a nice drawing of Nelly and a polite thank-you via email.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £4 or more
100 backers All gone!
Stowaway (Approx. $6): Sneak in early and grab a DRM-Free Digital Download of Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet for a small number of gold pieces.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £8 or more
Cabin Boy (Approx. $12): Ahoy! A DRM-Free Digital Download of the game, a DRM-Free Soundtrack and YOUR name will appear in the Rogue's Gallery in-game!Estimated delivery:
Pledge £10 or more
Sea Dog (Approx. $15): Avast! As a Sea Dog you get all of the Cabin Boy's loot, plus a hi-res Digital Poster, 4 shiny Desktop Wallpapers and access to the insight and wisdom of Captain Nelly's Development Log.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £15 or more
Swashbuckler (Approx. $23): The lucky Swashbuckler will get his coarse, salty hands on an actual, real-world, physical DVD of Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet. Plus all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £18 or more
Cyber Monkey (Approx. £27.50): A new Digital tier by popular demand. No shipping involved! The Cyber Monkey gets a DRM free download of the game, as well as a Digital Treasure Map. They can also stay involved in development with access to the Beta Release (Windows) and Forums. Plus all previous digital tiers!Estimated delivery:
Pledge £20 or more
Buccaneer (Approx. $30.50): A treasure trove awaits the Buccaneer - a 'genuine' Treasure Map (treasure not included), a 'fashionable' 25mm Spoonbeak Pin-Badge, and a signed postcard from Nelly Cootalot. Plus all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £30 or more
Virtual Pirate (Approx. $45.50): This tier offers *Purely Digital* rewards for people who hate reality and/or the postal service. Delight strangers on public transport with your Nelly Cootalot ringtone! Be the first to play the game with access to the Beta Testing Release (Windows) and membership of the Beta Forum. See a Pirate Portrait of YOU appear in the Rogue's Gallery in-game. You'll also receive PDF versions of Nelly's Postcard and Treasure Map. Plus all previous digital rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £40 or more
Pirate Captain (Approx. $61): A Pirate Doubloon made of 100% GENUINE metal awaits the Pirate Captain! Marvel at a Pirate Portrait of YOU in the in-game Rogue's Gallery. You'll also receive a pack of never-before-seen Nelly Cootalot stickers to decorate the wall by your hammock. Plus all previous rewards (except Virtual Pirate).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £50 or more
Corsair (Approx. $76): Adorn your cabin with a glossy 29.7cm x 42cm (11.7” x 16.5”) poster of Nelly Cootalot and the Fowl Fleet. You'll also be the envy of your rivals with a Nelly Cootalot Pin-Badge. Plus all previous rewards (ex. VP).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £50 or more
Digital Rogue (Approx. $76): Stacking upon the Virtual Pirate tier (like pirates on a dead man's chest) this is a premium *Purely Digital* reward. Download Digital versions of ALL of the print rewards, including a Game Art and Design Book, packed with concept art and design notes. You'll also find a Gold-Framed Pirate Portrait of YOU in the in-game Rogue's Gallery and a delicious Producer Credit waiting for you. Plus all previous digital rewards!Estimated delivery:
Pledge £65 or more
10 backers All gone!
Prince of Pirates (Approx. $99): Sail home with an exclusive limited-edition Dreadnought Coaster featured in an in-game puzzle. Lord it over your enemies! Place it under your cups! You'll also have YOUR name immortalised in an in-game song, by folk-hero Solomon Spry and see a Gold-Framed Pirate Portrait of YOU in the in-game Rogue's Gallery. Includes all previous rewards (except Digital Swashbuckler).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £75 or more
Commodore (Approx. $114.50): Receive an Insta-Coot pack comprising 4 pieces of Character Art in the form of photo-quality Polaroid-style prints: Nelly Cootalot, The Villains of the Piece, The Fowl Fleet and Bloodbeard with his long-lost sweetheart. Plus all previous rewards (exc. DS and Limited Edition).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £100 or more
Pirate King (Approx. $153): As Pirate Portraits go, this is El Supremo: Alasdair will draw a unique 10x15cm (4”x6”) Pirate Portrait of YOU, and frame it so that all who witness your mantelpiece will bow before your glory! Pirate Kings will also receive a Producer Credit. Plus all previous rewards (exc. DS and LE).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £150 or more
Admiral o'the Fleet (Approx. $229): As the only clothing befitting an Admiral, you will receive a Nelly Cootalot T-shirt to wear around your torso and, to a lesser extent, arms. Shame others with your superior fashion-sense! You'll also receive a unique piece of hand-drawn Original Game Art. You'll receive a Producer Credit, ALL the digital rewards, plus all previous rewards (exc. LE).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £175 or more
2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
Digital Drunkard (Approx. $275): A fabulous all-digital tier offering the chance to appear in-game as a drunk pirate! A character inspired by YOU will be discovered in a state ranging from snooze to comatose. What heroism! Also includes all previous digital rewards!Estimated delivery:
Pledge £250 or more
6 backers All gone!
Davy Jones (Approx. $381): At this very special tier, you'll have a starring role as an in-game character. Alasdair will craft a character inspired by you, and you'll even have the chance to record a line or two of dialogue. Now's your chance to quaff rum with the denizens of the Walking Dead Bar or visit the windswept isle of Gloomholm. You'll receive your Original Game Art in a frame and have access to the Beta Release (Windows) and the Beta Forums. Plus all previous rewards (exc. LE).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £500 or more
Neptune (Approx. $762): The top tier offers a hardback Game Art and Design Book, packed with concept art and design notes from the game's development. You'll also receive a felt Coot (hand-made by the real-life Nelly), for you to love and/or cherish. You'll also find a juicy Executive Producer Credit waiting for you in the game credits. Plus all previous tiers (exc. LE). That's a lot of stuff!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (35 days)