Hello once again!
It’s been a while since our last update, hopefully by now everybody has had the chance to play through Her Majesty’s SPIFFING and feel that it was worth backing. I just wanted to take a few moments to share how the game has been preforming and discuss our plans are to continue Captain English’s adventure. We've much to cover so lets get cracking!..
I think it’s fair to say that we made things more difficult than they needed to be launching our game on the run-up to Christmas! That being said I was personally very keen to see the game out before the end of 2016, we simply couldn’t afford to have it sitting around any longer! This wasn’t ideal as we struggled to get coverage in more high profile game news outlets (given most were in the process of winding down for the holidays). Coupled with some issues with the PS4 launch (in Europe the game did not appear in the prominent “New Releases” section) which impacted sales on that particular platform, things could have gone smoother!
Regardless, this was all an education for ourselves and I'm still very pleased with our small team for being able to launch HMS on consoles and PC simultaneously (which was no easy task!).
Regrettably, things didn’t go smoothly with the distribution of download keys to backers either, which I feel the need to apologise for again. It transpired a small (but not insignificant number) of folks didn't receive the email containing their download key and, unfortunately, GoG ultimately decided that they didn’t want our game on their platform.
I know a number of backers were very keen to see HMS on GoG as that was their preferred distribution platform, I’m afraid that will not happen. Regardless, HMS was featured on the front page of Steam at launch and was promoted our good friends at ID@Xbox quite heavily, which helped tremendously in getting the game in front of more people.
Continuing the saga
Of course, the reason why we were hoping for a successful launch was, as those who’ve followed our two campaigns will know, we would very much like to continue Captain English’s story! The fate of our plan very much depends on how the game preforms commercially. At the moment things are still uncertain, the game has preformed well on Xbox but, if we're being honest, not as well as we would have liked on PS4 or Steam. However, we are working on plans to help HMS reach a larger audience that will, hopefully, give us the numbers we need to work on part 2 of our story. More on that shortly.
Overwhelmingly the game’s reception has been positive, with people broadly warming to the game’s humour and characters. One minor irritation is seeing aggregate websites failing to pick up some of our most positive reviews (from very reputable websites/ newspapers such as the UK’s Guardian, for example) which would certainly have pushed the averages significantly higher! However criticism is broadly the same, with people stating the length of the game as an issue.
That being said, the majority of people have said that they found the game very funny (we didn’t expect it to be everyone’s cup of tea, but the vast majority do get the game, even if they complain about the length). As they say, best to leave an audience wanting more, ey? I feel we could have been more efficient with the game’s content, if we had our time again we could have squeezed a few more puzzles in by sacrificing things that few people uncover, creating a better experience for more people.
Again though I feel that what we produced given our modest budget (even if we were able to stretch the Kickstarter funding a bit further with the UK game tax breaks and help from our friends at Northern Ireland Screen) was impressive and, I hope, people that play the game (and specifically you folks that backed it) don't feel short changed by the experience.
As I mentioned we haven't quite achieved the numbers we need to put us in a position to fund the next stage of Captain English's story, however, we are currently working on few different avenues to bring HMS to a larger audience, the first of which I can share with you below:
The above trailer was cut together using footage from HMS running on an iPhone 7 and I'm happy to say that the game will be available on iOS and Android May 4th 2017.
Again, I'm really happy with the work the guys have done to get the game running on mobile and looking so close to its console/ PC counterpart. The only catch is that the game will require a relativity recent device. On iOS an iPhone 5S/ iPad Air are the minimum iOS devices (however an iPhone 6/ iPad Air 2 or above is recommended) and the game will require Lollipop and OpenGL 3.0 on Android. Typically this covers most devices from 2013 and the respective stores will not allow you to download the game on a device that isn't compatible.
This is all in a bid to try and help our game reach as large an audience as we can, we have big plans for Captain English but, unfortunately, we need decent numbers to convince folks there's a market for these games. However we're remaining confident and feel that mobile (particularly tablets) is a great platform for an adventure game.
As ever any support from you folk would be greatly appreciated! On launch if you could share the news with your friends or online it would be a big help. Also, on iOS certainly, if anybody fancies having a play of a pre-release version of the game do send me DM!
Physical rewards on the way!
A few people have been in touch asking about the physical rewards (specifically the 'Special Collectors DRM-Free DVD Edition'). These have all been ordered and we're currently waiting to receive them from the factory. We had an issue with our original supplier so regrettably had to order everything from a different source, which is partly why there has been a bit of a delay. The other reason is, well, honestly we properly threw everything at this game and, at release, were at the bottom of a sizeable overdraft and simply didn't have the cash to order everything there and then. Now that we've started to receive royalties back from sales we've been able to order everything up. It was far from ideal but thank you for your patience!
Expect another update very soon
It's fair to say a bit of time passed between this update and our last one, rest assured that you won't have to wait as long for the next one. We'll have another update at the start of next month when (fingers crossed) we'll have some pictures of our collectors DVDs to show you (hopefully being posted shortly thereafter) and a polite reminder to tell everyone about the iOS/ Android version of HMS. Again, if anybody who backed hasn't received a digital copy of HMS (or the extra digital reward we promised for backing our original, ahem, failed campaign back in December 2013) send me a DM through Kickstarter and I'll try and get you sorted out ASAP.
Thanks again for all your support. Speak soon!