UPDATE (17/08/2012) - ALL DONE!
I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who contributed and who helped spread the word. We're currently doing our maths and figuring out orders for all the lovely swag we're going to send.
It takes a LOT of admin to get through (especially when I've been away from the desk for a week) but we promise everyone who gave us their hard earned cash will get the rewards we promised.
Thank you all so much, and keep an eye out for updates!
UPDATE (25/07/2012) - 10 days left!
I've started an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Reddit - if you're a backer we'd love you to head over, ask a question and upvote it - the more people hear about the game and this campaign, the more likely we are to succeed!
The Short Version:
Spilt Milk Studios is a tiny (1 fulltime staff member!) indie developer making mobile games. We’re in the process of creating Smash the Block - a kick ass modern update of games like Breakout - for iOS. With your help, raising a little cash will make a huge difference to the guys working on it.
You'll get the game for free at launch anyway, so why not, right? :D
We've got some amazing talent on this game, and waiting for revenue shares just isn't what we want to be doing - you can help us pay our hardworking contributors without worrying about sale figures!
Lots of teams work this way, and while it does the job it's far from ideal. Our dream is to be professional. Respecting our team is a huge part of that - and the single biggest thing you can help us to achieve.
What You're Helping Us Do.
We’re aiming to raise USD$15,000 (~GBP£10,000).
It may seem like a lot, but in the increasingly competitive world of mobile games, indies have to compete on a level of quality equal to the big boys. To do that requires using the best talent we can. Code, art, animation, audio, design, marketing, PR – it all costs time and money.
The majority of the money raised (after the IndieGoGo fees, and the costs of making all the kick-ass rewards - you're going to love them!) will be going to pay the dev team.
That's the simple part.
These guys rock, they're all brilliant at what they do, and they deserve all the love and hugs we can give them. But they also deserve a bit of cash for the weeks and months of work they've done so far! Hugs don't pay the rent!
As with a lot of indies, we’re usually unable to pay people fully upfront, instead relying on trust and revenue shares to compensate the talented folks who make the game. That’s all fine and dandy, but it relies on good sales, and takes a while to come through even when those sales happen.
With that in mind we’d love to get some cash before release, to reward everyone for their hard work. They’ve all – code, art, audio, the lot – gone above and beyond the call, creating some wonderful stuff. It only seems fair (and extra nice!) to pay them early if we can – that’s where you come in!
We’re aiming to launch Smash The Block this summer (for free) and you’ll be supporting us in more ways than just financially. Obviously the money will make all the long hours a lot easier to stomach (and maybe we’ll even be able to buy some decent food), but supporting this campaign will show us (and the world) how much you’re looking forward to playing it.
- If we don’t reach our ultimate goal, then any money raised will be split fairly between the development team. That’s our chief aim – anything else is gravy.
- If we beat our goal, then wow. It will enable us to push more content out post-launch and support the game in more interesting and exciting ways than we’re expecting. In order of least-to-most expensive, here's what we'll aim to achieve if you guys overdeliver on the funds raised:
- iPad version (dedicated, with iPad3 Retina graphics)
- Android port
- Windows Phone 7 (maybe 8?!) port
- Blackberry port
- PC/Browser version
- Mac version
What Do You Get?
Spilt Milk Studios has a history of being open and honest with the fans, and that’s one of the main reasons we wanted to try crowdfunding. We believe it encourages and reinforces that sense of community and family that is so important to us all. As players you want to feel like you really own the games you play, and as struggling developers (I’m writing this in a shed!) the importance of the support we get from you guys is impossible to exaggerate.
Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets us through the day!
But I Have No Money. Can I Still Help?
Hell yes you can! And you'll still get the game, because it'll launch for free. It's like Indie Game Dev Magic!
We’d love it if you helped us out, even if you don’t send us any money. It’s so important for us to involve and thank as many of our fans as possible, that we’re offering to credit you in the game for free – but there is a catch!
If you post a link to this page on your Facebook page, on Twitter (using the hashtag #SmashTheBlock ), Google+, in your favourite forums, blogs or on Reddit – and then email us proof (a screengrab maybe, but a link is even better so we can share it too) – then you’ll be helping us out SO much that we’ll put your name in the game’s credits.
We want to reward everyone who helps us in even the smallest ways.
The more people see this, the more likely we are to succeed, and Smash The Block will be a better game for you to play at launch. Everybody wins. Don’t forget, IndieGoGo has a lot of useful tools for sharing too, so get out there and let everyone know!
Sign up to our Newsletter here - we promise not to spam you!
Follow us on Twitter for updates, news and banter on the project.
Like our Facebook page too, it all helps!
Who is Spilt Milk Studios?
We’re a two year old independent games company specialising in mobile games. Founded by Andrew J Smith (the guy writing this bit from an awkwardly third person perspective) after 7 years in the traditional games industry.
Smash the Block is the 3rd iOS game from Spilt Milk Studios. Crunch: The Game is a maths-based puzzler, and Hard Lines is the hit snake-like game we co-created with Nicoll Hunt and launched last summer. Both have done us proud, but Hard Lines in particular did very well – over 312,000 downloads and counting.
As well as this, he’s helped out various projects via consultation - notably Andrew consulted with Skillset on the accreditation of university games design courses in the UK, as well as on the Livingstone-Hope Skills Report. Andrew’s previous best known work was as the Game Designer on Flock! on XBLA & PSN (which won a Scottish BAFTA) and Final Fight: Double Impact also on XBLA & PSN.
What is Smash the Block?
It was the success of our previous games that really gave us the confidence to move forward with Smash the Block – our modern take on Breakout. You must protect the bumbling Chumps from being squashed by the ball (using the bat, natch!) all the while trying to defeat the dastardly blocks hanging above their heads. Smash them all to bits, and reclaim their home! We know this game is going to be a hit, with great graphics, plenty of features like leaderboards and achievements that modern gamers enjoy, as well as few sneaky and charming twists of our own.
The game's more than likely going to be launched for free, and will be out on iOS this summer. We’re hoping for an August launch. We don’t want to rush it for no reason. If we think it needs the extra time, it’ll get it. That’s what’s great about being indie!
Until then, check out the Gallery tab for more images from the game, plus behind-the-scenes videos that take you through some of the features. You'll even spot some footage of the game from before it had a decent artist (ie: not me) creating the assets!