The Spaceteam Admiral's Club
I’m Henry and I want to start a revolution in the way video games are funded.
Last year I made the game Spaceteam and released it for free.
I want to see more games that are freely accessible to everyone, that explore new ideas, and that don’t compromise their design in order to appeal to the mass market. But those games can be hard to sell.
One way to promote this kind of creative freedom is through patronage. So I’m asking for your help with an experiment.
The Spaceteam Admiral’s Club is not about one specific game. It’s a community of friends and fans, supporting me directly as a developer, working on free games for a whole year.
You’ll be giving me the freedom to make smart decisions about what I work on because game development can be unpredictable, and, full of surprising opportunities. By joining the club you'll be allowing me to pursue these opportunities and see where they lead.
That’s what the Spaceteam Admiral’s Club means to me.
So what’s in it for you?
First of all, you'll be supporting Spaceteam itself. I have a few more upgrades planned, including: the Spaceteam Lexicogulator, which lets you put your own words in the game and share them with others; accessibility features allowing younger kids to play; and the ability to play the game in different languages.
Second, you'll be helping me bring two brand new games into existence: Blabyrinth and Shipshape, which you can learn more about below. I'm hoping to finish Blabyrinth and make good progress on Shipshape before the year is up, and you can follow all my work as it happens in my Developer Diary.
Finally, you’ll be joining a special community with a Discussion Forum where we can share stories and experiences. You can even get membership perks like embroidered patches, 3d membership cards, and a secret handshake.
So, I’m inviting you to join the Spaceteam Admiral's Club. To cast a vote for alternative funding models. To directly support an indie developer. And to be part of a community that believes that artists should be paid for their work.
If you help the Admiral’s Club succeed then I think this model could work sustainably for other indies as well. I think it could bring more innovation and diversity to the industry, and create meaningful relationships between people who play games and people who make them.
I really hope it makes sense to you too and that together we can make it work…
…as a spaceteam!
The New Games
These new games are still in the prototype phase and I’ll be showing videos of the prototypes over the course of the campaign.Blabyrinth
is a cooperative local multiplayer game for phones and tablets about working together to follow clues and find secret treasure in a mysterious labyrinth. It’s inspired in part by the board game Escape: The Curse of the Temple
is a single-player game for phones and tablets about exploring a quirky galaxy in a spaceship that you build yourself. It’s designed to be really easy to play with simple gestures. It’s inspired by the board game Galaxy Trucker
and the video games Escape Velocity
and Star Control 2
will be getting some upgrades, namely:
- Translations into French, German, Italian, Spanish, and more
- Accessibility features allowing you to adjust the game difficulty
- The special member-only features listed below!
It’s hard to predict what other opportunities might arise, but the things I’m imagining are along the lines of the list in the Spaceteam Retrospective.
Random other tiny game ideas that I’ve been interested in at one time or other:
- A cooperative dance game where you move your phones (and by extension your bodies) into different shapes together
- A digital version of Cat’s Cradle
- A rap battle game
Everyone (even non-backers) will have access to the Discussion Forums, Developer Diary, and the games produced by this project: Spaceteam, Blabyrinth, and Shipshape.Discussion Forums
Connect with other Spaceteams across the galaxy. This will be the best way to keep up with Spaceteam and my other projects. You can share stories, ask questions, and make new spacefriends! You’ll get a special badge indicating your support level.Developer Diary
I’ll be keeping a developer blog (probably at least once a week) and sharing inside information on my development process. I’ll post about game design, programming, as many business details as I can share, and anything else I might learn along the way.Club Goodies[I need more info here - Henry]
- Welcome letter and Certificate
- 3D Membership Card
- Embroidered PatchSpaceteam Lexicogulator
Put your own word lists in the game and share them with other people! You’ll have access to an editor that lets you change the words and phrases in the game. Business buzzwords, medical jargon, inside jokes, whatever you want!
Synergize TPS Reports!
Incentivize Core Competency!
Onboard Subscriber-focused Webinar!
Foley to Gravity!
Synchronize Cardioversion!Custom Spaceteam Character
Design your own character and use it in the game! No more annoying your teammates by repeatedly leaving the waiting room and reloading until you get a speckled felinoid wearing a lab coat.Fully customized Spaceteam mod for your company/team/family
A stand-alone, private version of Spaceteam with your own words and graphics, to share with your group. You can customize any or all of the following things:
- Word lists
- Other text such as the introduction blurb, anomaly names, medals, etc.
- Control panel images
- The ship and the “threat” (supernova)
- Waiting room
- Logo and app name
- Even the sounds and music (if you want)
You will be responsible for creating the new images/text (I’ll provide templates, instructions and support) and then I’ll package it up into a custom version of the game for you.IMPORTANT NOTE:
On iOS your app will be delivered through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for Business. Make sure you are eligible by visiting http://enroll.vpp.itunes.apple.com/
. On Android it’s much simpler: I can just send you an APK to install directly.
I’m Henry Smith. I worked as a programmer in the game industry for 10 years, at BioWare and Irrational Games, on games like Dragon Age: Origins, Dead Space 2, and Mass Effect 3, before quitting my job last summer to make my own games. I specialize in UI (user interface) but I love playing with all aspects of game design.
Spaceteam is my first project as an independent developer (“indie”). It’s a cooperative party game for phones and tablets in which you shout technobabble at your friends until your spaceship explodes. You can get it right now, for free, on iOS and Android.
It has won several awards, and is currently featured in the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. It has been used by children and grandparents, teachers, therapists, businesses, and medical schools.