About this project
Thank you to everyone that backed our campaign, because of you we have the opportunity to make an adventure game we hope you and many others will enjoy. Please do vote for Her Majesty's SPIFFING on Steam Greenlight and bookmark our website, www.hm-spiffing.co.uk where we'll keep you up to date on the game's development. Also feel free to follow us on Twitter as well. Thank you again!
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, Aled, as they travel through the cosmos in search of new planets to claim for a galactic British Empire.
Thank you everyone who has pledged and help us meet our target!
Remember to visit our Greenlight page and vote for Her Majesty's SPIFFING!
If you've got a minute do read through our delightful pitch below. If you've got five you could always watch our video. If you have even more time to spare why not download our prototype:
Please be aware that this is a very early development build of the game and not representative of the final quality of the game, download links can be found here. However if you don't have time to download the demo you can see a gameplay video from it above...
Now, as you were...
The Queen (Bsc, Ssc, Defender of the Faith) has decided that she wants to expand the British Empire once again. However, given that the conventional methods of going about such as task are now considered somewhat inappropriate (methods such as sailing up the Mediterranean, blowing up a few boats and subduing the indigenous population that survive, for example) 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, (sort of a mix 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 (hovering majestically above) and her crew (distinguished veteran and gentleman Cpt Frank Lee English and his snarky South Walean colleague Sub-Lieutenant Aled Jones) YOU (yes, YOU) will venture into the cosmos, solve puzzles, engage 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.
Above you can see a few images of the HMSS Imperialise 2 and below an interactive 3D model:
Her Majesty’s SPIFFING will play in a similar manner to the 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/ fish for clues, as well as partaking in a few mini-games thrown in for good measure/ plot development.
You'll be able to get an early taste of what to expect from the game by playing our prototype (just follow the link at the top of this page).
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 that we are splitting into three episodes. We're on Kickstarter to looking for support to fund this initial episode, we're offering a 'season pass' as part of our higher tier rewards. Each episode will be very similar in length, for more information about episodes 2 and 3 (on the estimated time of completion and delivery) please check out our FAQ section.
You'll be able to play the game using a more traditional mouse and keyboard setup or control pad. Please note that our prototype is currently only setup to use a control pad, however we've temporally mapped keyboard commands to the control pad set up (so folks that don't own a gamepad can still play our prototype). This is explained in more detail in the prototype.
A synopsis of our first episode can be read below, feel free to skip to the next section if you wish to preserve your youthful innocence/ avoid spoilers:
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 rivalries flare as it proves impossible to beret past differences forcing our protagonists to channel their thoughts to triomphe against their arc rival.
We are BillyGoat Entertainment, an indie game studio based in sunny Belfast, Northern Ireland. Over the last three years we've predominantly been providing game development services for other companies (mind you we have managed to develop a few of our own games, mainly for smart phones and tablets).
We’re a team of five guys from a variety of backgrounds. Some of us come from a background working at 'proper' game studios while others hail from the world of TV animation.
What unites us is the fact we're all huge adventure game fans, 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 that 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.
No Kickstarter campaign worth its salt would be without a long, convoluted list of swag confusingly cluttered into a barely informative graphic... So here is our breakdown of our various reward tiers for backing our game:
While the majority of the rewards should be self explanatory here's just a little more detail on some of the higher tier rewards...
Metal HMS Medallion: An 8cm diameter metal impression of the HM SPIFFING insignia.
7 inch 3D Printed Model of Cpt English: A 19 cm posed 3D print of our main protagonist, inside a presentation cardboard box signed by the team.
7 inch 3D hand painted Model of Cpt English: The same as above except this version of the English statuette will be professionally hand painted.
New Reward Tiers!
We've added a few new reward tiers for your consideration, they are as follows:
DOUBLE LUNAR BASE MODEL (£20): Same as our Lunar Base Model tier but includes 2 copies of HM SPIFFING: The Empire Staggers Back.
DOUBLE MARATHON BAR (£50): Same as our Marathon Bar tier but includes 2 copies of HMS Chapter 1 and 2 Season Passes for Chapters 2 and 3.
STARGAZER (£100): All the digital rewards part of the Marathon Bar tier plus get your portrait (painted in the style of the characters from HMS by one of our artists) hung along the corridors of the HMSS Imperialise. You'll also receive a high resolution version of the portrait yourself to do with whatever you please.
GOING BUST (£150): All the digital rewards part of the Marathon Bar tier plus have your likeness carved into a digital 3D bust placed inside the HMSS Imperialise.
STARSAILOR (£300): All the digital rewards part of the Marathon Bar tier plus make a cameo appearance in chapter 2 as a full 3D alien NPC. We'll add your likeness to an in-game character and send you a model viewer so you can show view your character outside of the game on your computer, phone or tablet.
HERE LAIKA (£700): All the digital rewards part of the Marathon Bar tier plus make a cameo appearance at the end of chapter one, plus feature as a background character in chapter two as a full 3D NPC crew member. We'll add your likeness to an in-game character and send you a model viewer so you can show view your character outside of the game on your computer, phone or tablet.
We're on Kickstarter looking for £30,000 to make our game. £30,000 is a lot of money however, when you consider that we're planning on developing a full 3D adventure game with voice acting and alike, it hardly seems like enough. So how do we plan to make our game for so little when other folks seem to require so much more?
Simply, the total budget for our game is actually a bit more than 30,000 English Pounds. We've spent quite a bit of our own money developing the game to this point (to the tune of £40,000). This is pretty much all the money that we have which is why we're so dependant on this campaign's success.
Fortunately we are able to claim very generous UK tax relief. This means that HMRC will gave us a cash lump sum (essentially 20% of the total budget spent in the UK) which translates to an extra £14,000 in our case:
We didn't come to Kickstarter to get rich, we came here hoping you could support us to be able to make this adventure game. We won't be lording it up with your money, we'll use it efficiently to create a great game that all of us will hopefully be proud of! Of the £44,000 (our Kickstarter goal and tax relief) here is a rough breakdown of where the money will be spent:
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 make a game that will provide you with literally hours of jovial, space themed comedy entertainment, straddling the line between international satire and raging, early 20th Century Xenophobia.
Check back for updates and be sure to share our campaign on Facebook/ Twitter/ whatever the kids use these days!
Risks and challenges
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
You say the story is split into three parts but your campaign is only for part one. Am I backing nothing more than a short prologue and not a proper game?
Firstly, each chapter or ‘episode’ of our game will have roughly the same levels of content and each can be considered a complete game in their own right. We estimate each chapter will have around 4-5 hours worth of gameplay (for a typical playthrough) which is quite substantial for an indie adventure game, particularly one with the same production standards that we are aiming for (fully voiced, 3D etc).
Much like how ‘A New Hope’ leads into ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ which finally concludes with the ‘Return of the Jedi’ our story arc has been planned to have three distinctive mini-stories that together tell a larger tale.
This is very much a creative decision to tell the story that we want to tell, each additional chapter could probably be best described as a sequel as opposed to an additional episode.
We certainly hope once folks play through ‘The Empire Staggers Back’ that they will not feel that it was simply a prologue or an introduction to the ‘full game’. It will be a standalone game in its own right with a substantial amount of content for an indie adventure game and we very much hope that people enjoy it!
We are on Kickstarter to try and fund our initial part of our story, ‘The Empire Staggers Back’. The ‘season pass’ entitles backers to download chapters 2 and 3 for no additional cost once they are finished. As for the question of when they will be available this admittedly is not as straightforward to answer.
If we where to overachieve and receive more funding on Kickstarter than we set out for we would be able to develop the additional chapters significantly quicker (as we would have the resources to acquire more computer equipment, software licenses and employ extra sets of hands to speed the process up). However this isn’t something that we are reliant upon. More likely we will be reliant on sales of chapter one to fund development for two and then two for three.
Understandably this posses a greater risk for backers as it relies on an unknown factor. All we can say to that is that we hope that, from what you’ve seen of our campaign and game so far, that you trust us to know that we know what we’re doing both development and business wise and trust us that we will be able to proceed with development part 2 and 3 of our story once 1 is finished.
Simply, it’s unlikely it’ll ever get made. We’ve put a tremendous amount of effort and money of our own into development to get to this point and would be incredibly depressed to learn that it was all for nothing. In spite of our previous unsuccessful campaign we persevered on to get to the point we’re at now but, without your support to allow us to focus on this full time we’ll be forced to look for other work simply because we need to have some kind of income to support ourselves and families.
It a sobering thought, but if we can’t get funded HM SPIFFING simply will not happen.
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