Sweat, make-up, the smell of burnt rubber, Roller Derby is a unique mix of athleticism and colour. We want to bring all the awesomeness of Roller Derby to the gaming world in the form of a fun, addictive and highly customisable video game called Power Jam: Roller Derby.
Roller Derby is the fastest growing female sport in the world, and for good reason. It's hard-hitting, athletic, highly competitive, plus there is also a unique spirit among the sport’s wider community. Being fans ourselves we know full well that, more than any other organised sport, derby belongs to the players and fans.
With Power Jam: Roller Derby, you'll have the opportunity to experience all aspects of the Roller Derby world in one game. The training, the travails and the triumphs.
Power Jam: Roller Derby’s career mode puts you in control of your own derby league, or, if you just want to blow off some steam, you'll always have the option of jumping into the rink to compete in our Quick-Bout mode.
Power Jam: Roller Derby is part management, part real time strategy game based on the sport.
Our career mode will reflect all the aspects of running your own Roller Derby league, from the training, to the bouts and everything in between.
You’ll be able to hand pick your own team from our roster of pre-made skaters or alternatively customise your own team using our in-depth character editor.
The game will be developed initially for PC (Windows), Mac, Linux, Ouya and mobile platforms and localised for English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish languages. With your help, we also intend to develop the game for home consoles (see stretch goals)
The game will be distributed as a DRM-free digital download or alternatively limited boxed copies will be available.
The game will essentially be split into two halves, managing your own Roller Derby league and directly controlling your team during competitive bouts.
In the management mode you’ll be tasked with creating and organising your own league. You’ll have to recruit new skaters by hosting fresh meat events, manage and upgrade your training facilities, encourage spectators to attend bouts, hire physios to help injured skaters recover quicker and so on.
The bouts will work like a real time strategy game, putting you in control of your entire team. You will be able to issue commands to groups or individual skaters during a jam, all presented in realistic 3D graphics.
Just like in a real bout the idea will be to create strategic openings that your Jammer can exploit to pass the opposition and score points. The action will be viewed from a high angle of the rink so players will have a clear view of what's going on, but will cut to a more cinematic view amongst the action at key moments in a jam, such as showcasing a big hit or showing the Lead Jammer calling off the jam.
On top of that there will be a huge range of customisation options where players can customise their team members' appearances, gear and clothing.
We are in early development of the game, currently we’ve been mainly working on art assets and the visual style of the game. Our next task will be to develop a working prototype or Alpha version over the next couple of months.
Naturally we’re very keen to get your feedback throughout development to produce a game that is both true to the sport and fun in its own right.
We want the input from other derby fans, players and from people who want to play a sports game like no other. Throughout our development thus far we’ve worked with our local Roller Derby leagues and fans to make sure we were creating a game that was a true representation of the sport. Kickstarter allows us to open those discussions to a much wider base.
Also, as is the way of the world, high quality games cost a bit of money. Typically large videogame publishers are reluctant to risk putting large sums of money into projects with new concepts or themes for fear of not making a return. Fortunately, Kickstarter allows projects like ours to happen if folks like you say that there is an audience that wants games like this, based on Roller Derby. If we are successful there is a strong chance that, down the line, this could lead to people producing more Roller Derby games, which can only be a good thing for fans of the sport, ourselves included. This is another reason why we hope we can count on your support.
We’re trying to deliver the most authentic derby experience committed to the medium of interactive digital entertainment, and as such are going to great lengths to ensure that our game looks and feels authentic. We’re working with experienced referees and players to ensure that the current WFTDA rules are implemented along with simulating real life tactics within the gameplay.
To ensure that the game looks genuine, we’ll be using motion capture to create all the in-game animation, recording the motion of experienced skaters.
We've planned a host of digital and physical rewards for backers, below you'll find a table that breaks down the rewards for each pledge tier.
Here is the breakdown of each reward:
Copy of the Game: As the name suggests, you’ll receive a digital copy of the game for PC, Mac or Linux once the project is complete.
Copy of the Game: You’ll get a physical, boxed copy of the game in a high quality, durable DVD case for PC, Mac and Linux.
In-game Bonus: Once the game is released you’ll be emailed a unique code to unlock additional in-game items.
Art Book: You’ll have a download code for the digital, PDF version of our “Making of” Art Book.
Art Book: We’ll send you a limited edition physical version of our “Making of” Art Book.
Inclusion: Have your Derby name included within the game’s database and applied to a character in-game (note that, while we’re quite liberal when it comes to more adventurous Derby names, we cannot include names considered grossly offensive).
Inclusion: Have your derby team’s kit and team name included in the game, (we’ll be in touch to discuss any issues involving this, please ensure to run this past senior representative of your league prior to pledging!)
T-Shirt: We’ll send you a stylish Power Jam: Roller Derby T-shirt, available in a variety of sizes.
Badges: You’ll receive a pack of Power Jam pin-badges.
Arena: Have one of the pre-made areas in the game named after you. For continuity we can only use your first (given) and family name as opposed to a nickname or derby name.
Fame Inclusion: You’ll have your name and derby name embossed on a 3D plaque viewable in our special “Hall of Fame” section of the game, along with a 140 character (non-profane!) message to share with the Power Jam world.
Beta Access: As the name suggests, you'll have early access to a digital beta version of the game prior to its release.
Character Likeness: Have your likeness appear as a character in-game, created by one of our artists. Our top tier reward is available to both girls and guys. Male backers can have their likeness applied to an in-game referee, female backers can choose either to have their likeness applied to an in-game skater or referee. We’ll be in touch to organise photo references, a passport style photo would be adequate, however an additional profile (side view) photograph would be helpful also.
We recommend you check xe.com for the most current conversion rates.
We also have a range of rewards for manufactures and stores that want to see their branding in-game. Brands can have their logos and sponsor boards positioned within areans within the game. Companies will see their branding prominently onscreen, and, rather than annoy players, this should help add an extra level of authenticity as these boards will be seen at real life competitive bouts. Additionally, players will have the option to visit your website with links in-game, should they wish to look at the real life version of stock featured in the game. Again, this isn't intended to intrude upon the player's game experience, but instead be a helpful option should they want to re-create their custom derby uniform for real.
We've got a host of great stretch goals planned, including developing Power Jam: Roller Derby for home consoles. We'll have more information in an update soon!
Power Jam: Roller Derby is the combined effort of two independent companies, based in Northern Ireland, called Iglu Media and BillyGoat Entertainment. Roller Derby is a common interest and when talking about the sport we often questioned why there aren’t more games based on it? As a result we decided the only way to rectify this conundrum was to come together and create a game ourselves.
Iglu Media began life little over a year ago, developing projects for TV and film as well as games. BillyGoat Entertainment is an independent videogame developer who, over the last two years, have developed a variety of fun mobile titles, including the successful CRC Pro-Cycling racing game for iOS and Android.
Thank you for your time and support. We want you to feel a part of the development of this game. Together we’ll create the game that the sport deserves.
If you are unable to pledge, please still share this page with family, friends and anyone who you think will enjoy Power Jam: Roller Derby. If you have any questions or just want to share your thoughts on our game please leave us a comment here and we'll respond ASAP.
Risks and challenges
We want the game to reach as many players as possible. We expect localisation to be a challenge. Based on feedback and the demographic of our backers, we will decide how many languages the game should be translated to.
We will be developing Power Jam: Roller Derby using the Unity3D game engine, this should significantly lower the technical risk, allowing us to easily develop the game for a variety of platforms.
A challenge specific to this game is ensuring that the gameplay reflects the true nature of the sport and that the latest rules and regulations are implemented. Again, working with the local derby team helps us to ensure that challenge is one we can overcome.
Throughout the development we will be releasing regular development diaries so we can be as transparent and open about how the game is progressing. We will also answer questions you may have throughout the development during these updates.
We've planned to develop Power Jam: Roller Derby over the next 9 months (after the Kickstarter campaign comes to a close) and while we're a relatively small team (BillyGoat has 6 developers in total) the cost to keep even a modestly paid staff fed and watered for that length of time is quite substantial. All that is before taking into consideration the cost of software/ engine licenses, contract workers, along with all the other regular business overheads such as office rent, utility bills, legal fees, accountancy fees etc.
The short answer is, you're right, the 'vanilla' version of our game will cost slightly more than £75,000. If it sounds any more grand, currently £75,000 is the equivalent to around $115,000 US dollars, so it's perhaps not as little as people might initially think.
If we where to reach our £75k target we'd be in a position to self fund the rest of the game's development (a successful Kickstarter we believe proves there is an audience for this type of game and that any losses our company makes we're confident will be recouped in sales).
However, we are doing a little scrimping to keep the total budget down. We're in a fortunate position to have close ties to Queens University Belfast who have a very modern motion capture suite that we have been making use of at somewhat discounted rates. Furthermore, like many indie developers, we're using Unity3D to develop the game. We don't need to go out and buy a load of new licenses for it given that we also do quite a bit of commercial work and as such already have them, along with all our 3D software such as Maya and Motion Builder.
Unity can out of the box (so-to-speak) deploy to quite a few platforms so a lot of the hassle of developing cross platform can be avoided.
Finally, there aren't a terribly large number of people developing video games in Northern Ireland, staff costs in any business will be the biggest overhead and we are all on quite modist wages. For us, we want to be able to keep doing what we love and not have to leave the Emerald Isle, so having to wait a while longer for the Lamborghini is a sacrifice we all agreed was worth taking!
Something though that the £75k will not stretch to are console versions of the game, which will cost substantially more. We'll detail these targets in our stretch goals soon.
While BillyGoat Entertainment hasn't been developing games for quite so long the majority of our team have all worked for a variety of established UK game developers such as Codemasters, Bossa Studios and Lionhead (having worked on titles such as the F1 and Fable series of games). The rest of the team are mostly from television/ special effects backgrounds (having worked at places such as MPC in Soho as well as a variety of Irish production companies).
BillyGoat Entertainment itself started life as a commercial animation studio, producing a variety of adverts for Irish television. These projects where always on on a tight deadline and budget so we're well used to the pressure! Our focus shifted to games when we started taking on "interactive" projects such as our Chain Reaction Cycles Pro-Cycling iPhone game and now we're working as a game developer full time. We're also a registered Nintendo developer, so naturally we're very keen to develop Power Jam: Roller Derby for the Wii U, we think the Wii U controller would really suit Power Jam: Roller Derby's gameplay. Although we're getting off topic, this would be a good segue into our stretch goals...
We do have quite a few stretch goals planned, however we are reluctant to go into detail about them until the Kickstarter campaign is in full swing. Note though that our larger stretch goals involve bringing Power Jam: Roller Derby to consoles. As mentioned we are a registered Nintendo developer and think that the controller on the Wii U in particular would lend itself very well to our gameplay. Although we obviously would love to see the game on Xbox 360 and PS3 as well. We'll have more information about this in an update soon.
In the next couple of weeks we should have some prototype footage that we'll be able to show you. Due to other commercial commitments at the time of starting our Kickstarter campaign, beyond developing our design doc, our programmers are only now (March 19) getting properly stuck into developing our prototype. Our artists have had a bit of a head start, who've been working on the project from the end of January. They're talented boys, you should have total faith in them! ;)
Yes, in fact we very much encourage it. We would suggest leagues decide which reward level they would like to contribute at and then one person backs the project.
For example, perhaps there is founding member who the league would like to see featured in the game through our Leader of the Pack reward. This would be a great opportunity for the league members to come together, ensuring that that special person is given their rightful place in the Roller Derby gaming history!
Power Jam: Roller Derby is not affiliated with the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, the international governing body of the sport. However, the latest version of the official WFTDA rules for Roller Derby will be implemented in our game.
DERBY EVANGELIST: While in return for your pledge you will receive no physical reward, your selfless gesture of support will aid derby reach a new audience, helping the sport gain the notoriety that it deserves. Thank you!
GET YOUR SKATES ON! PACK - Exclusive Kickstarter- only Skates – These skates will allow you have an increased speed for a period of time in every bout – PLUS £20 worth of in-game currency, digital download of the artbook and a digital copy of the game
INDIVIDUAL PACK 4: Early access to the Beta test of the game, include your Roller Derby name in the game, digital art book featuring the artwork from the game, in-game bonus and digital download of the game.
ALPHA PACK - Exclusive early access to the Alpha test of the game, include your Roller Derby name in the game, digital art book featuring the artwork from the game, in-game bonus and digital download of the game.
SIGNATURE PACK: Name one of the arenas featured in the game, exclusive Hall of Fame inclusion (a special thank you area in the game, open to only our top supporters), early access to the Beta test of the game, derby name included in the game, digital art book, in-game bonus and a digital copy of the game.
BOXED PACK 4: Exclusive limited edition framed art work, limited edition physical copy of the art book, early access to the Beta test of the game, T-shirt & badge pack, name included in the game plus a box copy of the game.
EARLY BIRD EASTER SPECIAL! LEAGUE PACK : Include your league in the game plus x5 digital copies of the game, x5 early Beta access, x5 digital copies of the art book and x5 derby names included in the game.
EARLY BIRD EASTER SPECIAL! LEADER OF THE PACK PACK - Have your likeness recreated in the game. Our artists will work from photographs provided to model your character in-game. Plus, Hall of Fame induction, early Beta access to the game, derby name in the game, digital art book, in-game bonus and a digital copy of the game.
LEADER OF THE PACK PACK: Have your likeness recreated in the game. Our artists will work from photographs provided to model your character in-game. Plus, Hall of Fame induction, early Alpha access to the game, derby name in the game, digital art book, in-game bonus and a digital copy of the game.
EARLY BIRD SUPER STORE PACK: Have your branding used in-game. Your company logo will be prominently visible during gameplay within one of the game's arenas, along with in-game clickable links to your company website. You'll also receive a digital download version of the game. Limited, discounted version of "Super Store Pack".
SUPER STORE PACK: Have your branding used in-game. Your company logo will be prominently visible during gameplay within one of the game's arenas, along with in-game clickable links to your company website. You'll also receive a digital download version of the game.