Members Area

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

The Spaceteam Admiral's Club is a community of friends and fans of the game [Spaceteam]. Anyone can create an account but there are special rewards if you support my future projects by becoming a paying member!

Join the Admiral's Club- Henry (aka Captain Spaceteam)

Kickstarter Project Description

edited December 2013 in Kickstarter Campaign


I’m Henry Smith. I worked as a programmer in the game industry for 10 years, at BioWare and Irrational Games, before quitting my job last summer to make my own games. I specialize in UI 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.

The Spaceteam Admiral's Club

The Admiral’s Club is a community of fans and supporters, but also an experiment.

Traditional campaigns like this focus on funding a specific game, but this one is different. You'll be supporting me directly as a developer, making free games for a whole year. I'll be working on several cool projects, which is not something that a regular campaign would allow.

First of all, you'll be showing your support for Spaceteam. It has always been free and will stay free, with a few more upgrades to come.

I'll also be working on two brand new games: Blabyrinth and Shipshape. You'll hear more about them over the course of the campaign. I'm hoping to finish Blabyrinth and make some good progress on Shipshape before the year is up, and you can follow my progress as it happens.

But this project is also about giving me the freedom to make smart decisions about my work. Game development can be unpredictable and full of surprising opportunities. If something comes up during the year, like an interesting collaboration or special event, then I might spend a few weeks on that if I think it has value.

If I can be sustainable, then I think this model could work for others as well. There are many other indies with small, but important, games that I’d love to support in a similar way. I think the whole game industry needs to move forward and diversify, and for that to happen we need to give creators the freedom to create.

That's what the Spaceteam Admiral's Club means to me.

So what does it mean to you?

Well, you’ll be joining a special community with a discussion forum and developer diary where we can share stories and experiences and I can document my progress. Hopefully we'll have some interesting conversations along the way.

Like everyone else, you'll get new Spaceteam upgrades and the other brand new games that come out of this project.

There are also some special features just for supporters. Depending on how much you contribute, you can create your own Spaceteam word lists and share them with others. You can design your own Spaceteam character. You can even get a fully customized version of Spaceteam for your company with your own graphics and in-jokes.

There will also be a secret handshake.

Reward Details

Community 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 diary (probably 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.

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.

Spaceteam 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!

Clamp Aorta!
Foley to Gravity!
Synchronize Cardioversion!

Exclusive features in Blabyrinth and Shipshape
The exact form of these rewards is still quite nebulous, but they will take shape as the games develop further.

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)
- Characters
- 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 On Android it’s much simpler: I can just send you an APK to install directly.

Why make the games free?

In the event of a catastrophic campaign failure these games will probably still get made, but I’ll end up charging money for them instead.
I’d rather not do this. There are several important reasons I want to keep my games free:
- They'll be accessible to everyone
- I won't have to compromise the design in order to sell more copies
- I won't have to worry about piracy, copy-protection, clones, or second-hand sales. In fact it will make sense for me to share the games as widely as possible.

It's also impossible to pick a single price point that works for everyone, so I think this "pay-what-you-can" model is more respectful of what people can afford.

You see, the club is open to rich & poor alike. In fact, down here on the right you’ll find a handy table to indicate just how rich you are. If you're able to click on one of the higher numbers, please do so!

The money will go towards my living expenses while making these games, travel costs to bring them to festivals, and some of it will pay for art and music because I usually need help with those things :)

Thank You!

If you join the Spaceteam Admiral's Club you'll be doing more than just helping to bring a new game into existence. You’ll be supporting an indie developer. You’ll be casting a vote for alternative funding models. And you’ll be part of a community that believes that artists should be paid for their work.

This campaign feels much more honest and sustainable to me than other business models. I really hope it makes sense to you too and that together we can make it work…

…as a spaceteam!


  • Definitely need some more up front details about your two new games. When the link goes up on news sites you don't want to tell these thousands of people to check back later. It's a good idea to release updates later but I need to be teased now...mock ups, genre, platforms.
  • You for sure need more upfront details, though not many. I think you need more details about the space team club more so than the game projects though.
  • I was going to explain the games and show off the (early) prototypes a few days after launch to keep the buzz going, but yeah I can definitely add a brief description of the games here (and in the pitch video maybe).
  • The smartest move in my opinion is push out a cool update for spaceteam for press to talk about. Press dont care much for prototypes. (like at all normally unless they are followed by a crazy good trailer/video)
  • I'd rethink the ordering of your content entirely. Your first paragraph should be dedicated to your primary value proposition. So, with the current order, you're making that about charity toward a great developer who made (almost) no money on a free game that's already out. As far as I'm concerned, subsidizing Spaceteam updates should be a byproduct of supporting something new and not the primary focus. Also, conventional wisdom states that the charity angle never works. It also distorts the message of video game patronage from "Join us in revolutionizing the dev-player relationship and promoting artistic endeavours" to "We need money to not get jobs".

    So, you need to decide what your primary value proposition is: Is it being part of the community? Getting two new games over the next year? Supporting a movement?

    I don't think the idea of community perks has value on its own. People need something new to rally around. So, it's between patronage and new games.

    If you want to focus on patronage, you need to make a stronger case for why it needs to happen and how they stand to directly benefit from putting money into it. It's very easy for people to convince themselves that they'll get onboard once it's established, but it's that very way of thinking that prevents things from happening in the first place.

    If, however, you want to focus more on the new games, you need to open with at least some kind of tease of what they're going to be.

    I'd reorder things in the following way:
    - Clear concise description of primary value proposition
    - Elaborate on what they're getting and why it's good
    - List of everything that they're getting including the primary
    - Elaborate on those secondary elements
    - Bio

    If you want who you are to be front-and-center, I'd consider making that part of the narrative of your video.
  • I support Adam's feedback.

    Here are a few other thoughts as I read through the description:
    - I would list the games you have worked on for Bioware and Irrational. A lot of people know the name of the games but not the studios. In the industry, we tend to overlook that because we do the names.
    - I would add a link pointing at a spaceteam video in case people find the page and dont know about it.
    - I would re-focus on the 2 new games. This is the reason you need the money. It is ok to have Spaceteam related rewards, just not the focus of the pitch.
    - People have short attention span. You will get them to check your page once - it needs to have enough hooks early on (also, KS campaigns needs the lift very early on otherwise they more likely fizzle - people need social proof to back you and convincing a max of people early on is key). You need to describe more your games. I understand it is tempting to keep things in your sleeve to make announcement through the campaign, but it is more important to get the early momentum. During the campaign, you can always react to what people like best and what they are the more curious about. Having 2 games, they will already have a favourite.
    - Having a way to present the gameplay in video format is really really helpful. Less and less projects get backed just based on the description of the game.
    - I would use an analogy to become an artist patron somehow, somewhere.

    Do you have a rough idea of the "price point" for the rewards and the total objective you have?
    That has a huge influence on how it will be perceived. It needs to be well presented to avoid "tat guy just want me to pay his salary so he can slack for a year" - making strong commitments (not just the games but how often you will do diaries [as you mentioned]) helps.
  • Thing I agree with from the above from icotom:

    - I would list the games you have worked on for Bioware and Irrational.
    - I would add a link pointing at a spaceteam video
    I'd totally include video clips of people enjoying space team in the KS video, there are a ton.
    - Say how often you will do diaries
    -de-focus higher tier rewards from being directly space team related and more about being personal, physical, and interesting. Maybe a space team badge/medal in a tiny display case or things like a physical soundtrack/concept art book etc.

    Things that I found to not be exactly the case:
    -Social proof like facebook/twitter dont matter nearly as much for sub 100k projects. They are totally helpful and shouldnt be ignored, but I wouldn't go over the top about it and risk looking disingenuous/too corporate.
  • I agree that if you're planning on withholding the primary hooks of your pitch for updates, don't. You exponentially less bang for your buck in updates than early on. You want things that'll keep the conversation going and keep you relevant, but they should be offshoots of the primary pitch, like partnerships with reputable indies or participation in initiatives.

    I'd be careful about physical rewards unless you stick them in high enough tiers that the margins are very wide and you keep units down so you don't fill your apartment with T-shirts.

    I also agree that establishing credibility for people who don't know you won't happen through demonstrating social media clout. However, it might be worth looking into how other indie projects benefited from a series of quotes from other influential people. They can address you as a person or Spaceteam. I've seen some indie projects get into the right conversation circles on the shoulders of established indies this way.
  • @MichaelCox - you misread my social proof comment. I meant Social proof on the KS page itself, by having a good %tage of your objective met early on.

    This said, I wouldn't ignore other social channels. With less than 25% of projects succeeding, and a lot of them because they just launch without having access to good channels to talk to their fans, making sure you do that right is still important.

    Getting other indie projects to support you is very helpful too.
Sign In or Register to comment.