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Give yourself over to absolute pleasure... keep up to date with our progress and news!

Another week in paradise

Despite the sweltering weather here in the UK work at Castle Transylvania doesn’t cease.  You faithful handifolks have been hard at work preparing the next development stage for the game and making sure that everything fits into place.

Last week we were at the highlight of the UK games industry calendar, Develop Conference, in Brighton. This was a great chance to catch up in person with so many of the great teams making amazing in the UK right now. And for many of the team to meet up in person too. In particular it gave me time to spend with Nat, our UX genius. We have had a lot of feedback about the way the user interface works and although its kinda ok when you know what you are doing – its takes too much explanation. So we have decided to take a really hard look at how it works and change things for the better. We don’t know what this will look like yet, but we know we want to focus more on the character and less on the lines around them. Nat is looking into all kinds of options and we will share them with those people who backed us on Kickstarter at the right tier soon. We need you guys to help us make sure we make the right choices.

The main topic of this week has been to look into animations. We want to create a real sense of emergent dance from the way you swipe on the screen and I’ve been talking to Nick, our incredible Animator and Simon, our Tech Director to find ways to blend between different animations so that we get a much more fluid experience that feels created by you.  This includes ideas to change to the way the automatic dancing between moves works which we think we allow you to play about with the ‘energy’ of the dancer making the whole thing much more interesting to watch as well as try to replicate.

Next week we will try to finalise all the budgets for the next build and allow us to see more of the concept art come to life. We are also going to start looking at how we can get you backers involved and suggest some dates where we can start getting your input on our design choices.

Thanks to all for sticking with us – we know we have that spark to make this game great!

Oscar

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Oscar ClarkAnother week in paradise
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Supporting St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Today I wanted to talk to you about how we are supporting the amazing work of St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the incredible charity that help children with cancer.

It all began when Matty from Rocky Horror South Bay came up with a cunning plan to help support St Baldrick’s Foundation with their charitable work. He knew we were keen to add people from the Rocky Horror community into the game too, so asked if we would be interested in offering this as a reward. It was a no brainer, we instantly said yes.

Here Oscar explains what we are doing to help, how the process will work and how you can get involved with this wonderful charity and even become a character in the game.

By supporting this cause you could also become a character in the game too. Find out even more and get involved on the St Baldrick’s page here: https://www.stbaldricks.org/events/rockyhorror

Don’t dream it, be it.

Aaron x

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AaronSupporting St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Fulfilling your backer rewards!

Since the end of the Kickstarter campaign, the team here have been working to start fulfilling your rewards. As I’m managing this process, I wanted to explain the process we’re going through, and the timelines were working with, so that all you wonderful backers know what’s going on!

The first thing we have to go is gather information from each and every one of you about your rewards. Things like t-shirt sizes, which character figurine or concept art you would like, and for those who bought add ons, confirmation what item you would like.

It took us a while to build a very large spreadsheet with all of the information in it, and we are now completing it as we get responses back.

We do need all responses back before we can start placing orders, so please reply to our email BY 15TH JULY if you haven’t already! If we don’t get all responses by then, unfortunately there will be serious delays to the delivery of rewards.

We’ve got several dates for delivery of different rewards:

May/June 2016: Social media shout out & Wall of Backers

Everyone who backed us at $2 or more has had a social media shout out and is listed on our Wall of Backers!

July 2016: Digital wallpaper 

Anyone who backed us at $5 or over will be getting this! Our wonderful illustrator Jay Roerade is designing this as we speak, using assets from the game (I can’t tell you what or it will ruin the surprise!). The wallpaper will be available in various sizes to fit most desktop or laptop screens. You will be sent an email with a link to download the wallpaper from our website very very soon!

August-September 2016: Majority of physical rewards

This is the big one! We need to send you out the following rewards:

  • Custom t-shirts (with quote of your choice)
  • Rocky’s gold pants
  • CDs
  • Backer t-shirts
  • Figurines
  • Concept art framed prints
  • Scrapbook posters
  • Mick Rock framed prints
  • Vinyl with demo tracks

This is a big list of things to get sorted and it’s going to keep us very busy! We need to get all the backer info from your lovely selves…

Then we need to finalise the designs of each item, mainly with the help of Jay Roerade (our illustrator), Nick Galaxy (our character artist) and a wonderful seamstress who is making the gold pants for us!

Once we’ve got the final designs and the info from yourselves, we can finalise the number of each item that we need, contact our suppliers, get final quotes and place the orders. We believe in supporting local business, so where possible our suppliers will all be local to me (Ella), in Plymouth UK.

Then our suppliers need to make the items and deliver them to us, which some some items (e.g. t-shirts) is a simple and quick process, but for others (e.g. figurines) this can take a bit longer and be a bit more complicated!

Once we have them, a very kind friend of mine has volunteered her spare room for us to store the items whilst we get ready to package them up. Then we will get all the packaging materials and with the help of a couple of willing volunteers, we will be packaging up all the rewards for each of you ourselves – in the same friends house!

We will then post them out. Anyone in the US and Canada, your items will be posted in bulk to our partners at Five Leaf Clover Inc in California, who will then post them to you from there. Anyone in UK, EU or anywhere else around the world, you will be sent your rewards by us directly.

We will try our absolute best to keep to our target of August, but the delay in getting responses to our email from all backers has caused some delays already and we are looking at possibly extending into September. We need ALL responses by July 15th or there may be further, more significant, delays.

Between August 2016 – March 2017: Getting involved in the game and it’s development

This is for anyone who backed the following:

  • Community Pioneer
  • Alpha Tester
  • Beta Tester
  • Launch Party Tickets

For anyone who backed us at a tier that gets you involved with the game development itself, we will be confirming anticipated dates for this shortly. Alongside working to get you all your rewards, we have been starting pre-production for the next stage of the development, which amongst other things, means that we are working out when we expect to have the alpha and beta builds ready!

We will also be setting up the secret facebook group, the forum and the processes in which we keep you updated on game progress and get your input for community pioneers/alpha testers.

For those coming to the launch party, dates will be confirmed and invites sent out!

Expect an email from us in August with all of this information.

April 2017: Digital & physical ‘making of’ book

This ‘making of’ book (in either digital or physical form) can’t be made until we have finished the game! Therefore anyone who backed us for this, will receive it once the game is finished, which we anticipate will be around April 2017.  We will keep you updated on this nearer the time.

Thanks for all your support so far!

Ella x

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EllaFulfilling your backer rewards!

It’s not easy having a good time

It’s been great to have had a little time to relax after the intensity of the Kickstarter campaign. To be honest with my other work I only managed to really start relaxing again this last weekend – that’s how crazy the experience has been.

But now my thoughts return to questions of game design. There is always a delicate balance between simplicity and depth – partly because we need to keep the cost of development to a reasonable level but also because we want the game to be as accessible as possible. The final arbiter has to be ‘fun’. However, even this isn’t always black and white.

What is fun?  How do you know if you have found it?

For us this is two part. First (and most important) is how do people react? Yes it’s as simple as that. Well not quite. People will tell you they enjoy something as they don’t want to make you feel bad – but it’s how they instinctively react which speaks volumes. The second part is experience. As designers we play thousands of games (I think I’ve played tens of thousands in my life) all of which influence your understanding of what can work – or not.

We knew we had something when we saw how people reacted when playing the demo of the game. They laughed. Just look at this video from GDC where I was showing off the game to friends in the industry…

But, occasionally people have asked us if the six main moves are ‘all there is’. This is quite a natural reaction given the way many games work and the fact that we have yet to implement our ‘Props’ and their quick-time dance moves. But it does raise an important question – how can we increase the range of player choice without limiting the playability on a phone screen?

We talked about how props would work during the Kickstarter campaign – they allow you to activate a special move when you create a dance, something like drawing a spiral on the screen. We also talked about why we would make these limited in number so that we create a sense of tension. However, I’ve increasingly been thinking about how to extend the dance moves to allow yet more variation.

At the moment the player swipes on the screen in a direction this will trigger an animation which makes the character, like Riff Raff dance. The specific dance move that we see will be based on the in the direction that the player starts to swipe. These animations are a sequence of moves which blend together to look like a person dancing but we only play them to a halfway stage until the player’s finger is released from the screen.  At that point we triggering the other half of the steps and complete the dance move. That works well but it means that we can only have a limited range of movements (6 directions) for the core dance animations and still be able to play on a phone sized screen.

I’ve been thinking it might be interesting to introduce ‘Half-Move’ steps. That means allowing players to start their swipe moving in one direction; but then switching direction when they complete their move. We would have to create two animations for this… a movement to a half-way position, then a second animation from that point to complete which variation they chose next before releasing their finger. This could have the benefit of increasing the range of dance steps and the how entertaining it is to watch back the recordings; without significantly increasing the complexity of playing.

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But this comes at a cost. We would have to look at the best way to add those ‘Half-Move’ animation steps and how to adjust the user interface to accommodate this change of swipe direction. We would also have to integrate scoring systems and capture additional dance steps using motion capture, etc. – all of which takes time and requires more of our budget.

My job as a designer is to work out if the benefits would out-weigh the costs of the extra development work. Would it make dances significantly more interesting to watch; to copy and to create? To be blunt will it deliver enough extra enjoyment that leads to an increase the number of plays and how long people will play? and more than it will increase the costs of adding it as a feature? That’s the real question.

It’s also the reason why we are so glad to have all of you involved in this journey with us. We are going to ask the backer community their opinions and see what reaction we get before we start developing extra feature elements like this. And there is still time to get involved if you haven’t already – go look at the Store section of this site and buy something to help us keep raising money to do ever more with the game.

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Oscar ClarkIt’s not easy having a good time

Win Touch Me Badges!

Today we received our official Touch Me badges in the post!

We are giving a few of you the chance to get your hands on them before the rest of the world does, because who doesn’t love free stuff?

The first edition badge features the original game logo design, and we have more designs in the works, including one exclusive to our backers who are receiving a physical reward!

We also have some other sexy bits of merchandise that we want to make a reality too. While I’m sworn to secrecy, trust me, they’re going to be AMAZING to wear… If these prove as popular as our tees did, you can be sure we’ll be producing even more Rocky goodies for you to get your hands on.

? COMPETITION ?
To be in with a chance of winning some Rocky Horror Touch Me badges, simply Like & Retweet THIS TWEET before Monday 27th June.

That’s all there is too it! On Monday 27th June ten winners will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter.

Good luck! Don’t dream it, BE IT. ?

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AaronWin Touch Me Badges!
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Backer Rewards Roll Out

So the game is officially going into production! Together we managed to reach over $40,000 so that we could squeeze in Frank N Furter himself for launch. If that wasn’t exciting enough, he is also going to be FREE to backers of $15 or above as part of their beta access rewards – How amazing is that? ?

You’ve done your bit, now we have to do ours by making a great game and giving you your rewards. We’re committed to being as transparent as possible, keeping you updated, and giving our backers the VIP treatment they deserve. Trust us, we will be giving our backers a LOT of special treatment!

Read on to see how we plan to roll out the backer rewards, and what this involves…

We owe you everything for trusting us with the brand and giving your generous support. Myself, Oscar and Ella have loved meeting new Frankie fans and getting them involved with what we are up to. Now the rest of the team are all itching to start working on the game with your involvement too! The next development phase is being planned – Backers at $15 or more will automatically get a deeper involvement (including their special rewards), and can be as involved as much or as little as they’d like.

Backers will receive rewards as soon as they are produced. ?? Some goodies will start shipping as soon as this month and some will get sent a little later. Here’s a quick snapshot of how we plan to roll out some of our backer rewards!


?June 2016?
Exclusive Digital Wallpaper

?July 2016?
Details on how to get involved with the game development process will be sent to backers at $15 or more, that involvement will be ongoing from this point.

?August 2016?
Physical rewards and add ons that are not reliant on the game development process will be shipped (figurines, oven gloves, gold pants, t shirts etc.).

?Late 2016?
Alpha early access rolled out to backers at $100 or more.

?Early 2017?
Beta access rolled out to backers at $15 or more.

?April 2017?
Physical and digital items that are reliant on the game development process will be shipped (the ‘making of’ book etc.).


We’ve said it before, and we’ll (probably) say it again hundreds of times again… this game is for you! Your voice has never been more important, and we urge our backers to be as vocal as possible. If something doesn’t look right, we need to know. If something isn’t fun, we need to know.

You can still lend your support, and get some of the rewards or add ons by backing us on The Official Rocky Horror Show Game Store. For those receiving physical rewards, we’ll also throw in a physical badge and pack of candy lips too – just as a little something to show how much we love you guys.

Until next time earthlings! ?

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AaronBacker Rewards Roll Out

After the storm

Working on the Kickstarter process for The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me has been an incredible ride. Probably the most stress I’ve experienced in my career; but because it mattered more personally than anything else I’ve done. We were very prepared for the process to be difficult and Ella was brilliant in insisting we created a huge amount of content so we could update the page at least once per day with something interesting.

We were also delighted to have brilliant support from the David, Stephanie, Larry and Jim who between them run the largest collection of Rocky Horror fan sites in the world. That support was incredibly important, not just because it meant we could communicate out to the real fans of the show, but also because we had their expert eye to make sure the game we are making would appeal to the audience. On top of that to have the cast of the current tour including Kristian Lavercombe, Dominic Andersen and Richard Meek merrily engaging with us – showing off the Tshirts and stickers we sent off to them during the Kickstarter process definitely helped raise our profile and the awareness amongst the fan community.

Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff

We even had huge support from our peers in the game industry, with some brilliant people and teams sharing our tweets, posts and updates as well as putting their own money in to back us. We were also delighted to have the support of Luke and Anya on the Kickstarter team who added us to their ‘Projects we love’ and giving us a feature in their Game section.

However, converting this incredible awareness of the game into actual money going into Kickstarter pledges was proving very difficult. Indeed there was a point about 2 weeks in where we were convinced we would never make the goal and seriously considered cancelling the process entirely. That goodness that our investors told us to stick with it!

We tried to understand what the problem may be. Was it that the game concept wasn’t exciting enough?  Well no. The feedback we have had from everything we have shown off in person or online has been so much more positive than any project we have worked on. Was it that there isn’t enough interest in Rocky Horror? Well clearly given the awareness of the new film, the UK tour and the amazing levels of engagement we were seeing in Social Media that wasn’t the case. Was it Kickstarter? Well perhaps. Kickstarter can be amazing. The Dark Souls Board game which raised over $3.7m in the same time frame as us; but Blackroom, the new shooter game from games industry legends John Carmack and John Romero, was pulled.

As we were coming into the last week we had used almost all of our tricks to tantalise Gamers and Rocky fans alike into giving us their money; but there was one new item we still had to offer. We had been in discussion with Mick Rock, the iconic music photographer who famously captured the definitive images of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and of course the cast of the 1975 production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Being able to release a limited edition print of an image of Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff was fantastic (I’ve ordered one myself!) However, more importantly the pledges for that level helped push us over the edge.

The Original Riff Raff

We managed to pass the $35k goal and I thought that would be the end of it. We had pushed every friend, contact and fan we could, personally asking them for money. We were exhausted by the process. But then the money kept on coming. So much so we even managed to raise enough to allow us to give something back to our backers – an extra character in the launch package that everyone who backed us for $15 or more. We even let them decide which one and over 60% of the vote when for our sweet transvestite and alien scientist. Frank’N’Furter (of course!).

franknfurter

But its taken us more than a week to recover from the sheer exhaustion of the process. Personally, I’ve only just stopped checking Twitter at 5am! But now we have to get back to the job at hand. Kicking development back into full swing.

There are a lot of things to get ready – first we have to make sure we get peoples rewards out to them. We’ll talk about that process in more detail in another post here on the blog. After that we need to get on with making the game and that means updating our production plans, fulfil our promise to get you (our backers) involved in the design process, work out how to streamline the creation of characters and stage-sets, work to make sure the rest of the Live tracks are mapped to dance timing, etc. As the designer I have a lot of other details I also want to revisit starting deciding if we should keep the current look or adjust it based on the feedback we have; I also want to add a ‘half-move’ to increase the range of expression you can put into your dances and… well the list goes on! But of course we also have to decide if those adjustments are affordable and important enough to make them a priority.

We are going to have a lot to talk to you all about in the coming months!

Oscar

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Oscar ClarkAfter the storm
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New Launch Character Announced

LONDON; June 8, 2016 – Independent game studio, Rocket Lolly Games LTD, today announce that, after including funds raised both through the Kickstarter and sales from their website, the upcoming free-to- play rhythm action game The Rocky Horror Show:

Touch Me surpassed its initial goal and raised more than $40,000 – enough to release an extra launch character for all of its backers.

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AaronNew Launch Character Announced

Press Release: Come Up to The Lab & See What’s on The Tab

Rocket Lolly Games release early gameplay video; announce plans to take ‘The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me’ To Kickstarter

LONDON; MARCH 24, 2016 – Independent game studio, Rocket Lolly Games LTD, today release their first footage of their upcoming free-to-play game The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me, slated for release in 2017.

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EllaPress Release: Come Up to The Lab & See What’s on The Tab