The RPS Biscuit Charity Drive: The Response

By Quintin Smith on October 4th, 2010 at 12:58 pm.

Only two children were harmed during the making of this news post.

Inspired by IGN offering free office space to indie devs a few weeks ago, RPS launched a funding program for any struggling indie developers who wanted a helping hand. In summary, we offered to send them a biscuit. We’re not made of money here at RPS (except John, who is literally a pile of coins), so we were only able to send off one pack of biscuits. But send them we did.

The responses of those biscuit recipients are collected here. To a man, they proved themselves worthy of their prize.

I can now reveal that the biscuits sent out WERE: Ginger nuts. Tough, yet yielding, complex but bearing no pretentions, the ginger nut was the only biscuit that could ever have represented the RPS readership.

First mention has to go to Matt Ratcliffe and Tim James of Masters of Pie, who were inspired enough by their biscuit to make a goddamn game they’re calling BiscuitCraft, because “games with Craft in the title seem to do well at the moment”:

You can download it here, and read about it here. I am assured that the actual biscuit I sent them has been “placed in a vault that can only be opened with a large red button and a passcode.” I suspect I’ll be posting a Wot I Think of BiscuitCraft later in the week.

Meanwhile, inspired solely by his biscuit, independent developer gentleman Alex McGivern is currently slaving away at game called The Golden Honey Biscuits of Anateki, and you can keep an eye on its development at ashortgameaboutbiscuits.tumblr.com. In TGHBoA you play gentleman badger Arthur Mellivorous on his quest to recover the priceless biscuit-based treasure of the Apide bee-people of Cryptonesia. Most recently he’s posted the game’s logo:

Which may or may not be the indie game equivalent of an untextured gun render. Not sure.

Mister Phil Carlisle of Mindflock.com writes to say “I tried making a game in honour of reciept of said biccies, but it was balls. So here’s the tribute vid:

“And here’s me actually unwrapping said biccies:

“Notice the fantastic use of the glow filter. I’m just learning to edit vids, so you almost got a “TV effect” version. As it is, just wanted to say thanks, your support is appreciated.”

Thank you, Phil!

The wonderful Rob Fearon (whose photo of his/a child I used as the header image up there) also got half-way through making a biscuit-related game before bailing, but ended up writing a heartfelt blog post about how receiving his biscuit actually, genuinely helped him out.

Other inspiring blog posts included that of the indietacular Rob Hale:

This was not all however. The Royal Mail; being the thoughtful and loving organisation they are; had recognised that this was a package destined for a games developer and had joined in by turning the biscuits themselves into a game. A Puzzle game.

Go read! It’s the touching story of an indie man receiving a biscuit and going on to make a brand-new enemy for his independent indie game.

But not all of our biscuit recipients had time for these sorts of big gestures. Some, like Steven Lavelle and David Prior, settled for grateful emails.

Steven:

Oh man, I just arrived in Cambridge to start my new life, I was so stupid – I slept in and missed my train, and had to shell out for another ticket :( – then followed by a rather lengthy train ride – I finally got in, having not eaten all day, and @bentosmile was all, like “Hey there’s some post for you already”, and I was all like “oh boring paperwork”, but one of the envelopes was more interesting, and I was rattling it about and all, like “it looks like there’s some variety of small object in here” and then I opened it and there was a ginger nut biscuit in there. It was very tasty, and will serve me until my celebratory Indian arrives – I really couldn’t imagine better circumstances in which to receive a biscuit.

David:

On behalf of the davecheesefish Games board of directors (myself, a goldfish in a funky hat, and Martin the empty Terry’s Chocolate Orange box) I would like to thank you for your generous indie developer support package as received last week. The ginger nut-powered orbital death-laser is nearing it’s completion and would not have been otherwise possible.

Don’t mention it, guys. Charity is its own reward.

Did I mention that we bucked the long-standing RPS tradition of only sending things to UK residents and sent some of our biscuits abroad? Because we did!

Look, here’s Neil Thapen, indie developer, enjoying his biscuit in Prague:

And here’s Marko Moskov of PHILADEPLHIA, USA, taking his biscuit on stage during his band’s final show.

“I feel good knowing I was able to share the stage with a real English biscuit,” says Marko.

And finally we have Andreas Jörgensen of Sweden, who also blogged his own personal biscuit experience with atmospheric blurry serial-killer photography.

EDIT: And double-finally there’s Martijn Zandvliet of the Netherlands lands, who as a result of this very post went rummaging through some recycling and discovered the biscuit we sent him. Well done, Martijn. Well done. Here’s a trailer for the guy’s upcoming game, Volo Airsport.

And that’s it! Congratulations to all our lucky biscuit-gifted indie developers, and consolations to IGN, who I doubt could manage anything this beautiful, let alone on this scale.

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78 Comments »

  1. dartt says:

    Oh, thank goodness. I was worried about this biscuits.

  2. Robert says:

    Wonderful iniative. I think Bono can learn things from you.

    PS: Is that picture Quinns himself?

  3. Tweakd says:

    “The ginger nut-powered orbital death-laser is nearing it’s completion and would not have been otherwise possible.”

    RPS has doomed us all!

  4. Premium User Badge Tinus says:

    What! Everybody had their biscuits but me? Heads will roll. Somewhere. >=(

  5. Alex Bakke says:

    “Not one step further, or the ginger nut gets it!”

  6. Rich says:

    That photo from Neil Thapan fills me with dread. That ginger nut is just too damn close to falling in his brew. It’s like seeing some kid fooling around near a busy road, while it’s parent chats to a friend, totally ignoring it.

    • Gnarl says:

      @Rich

      I thought exactly that when I saw that precarious biscuit! I also saw it falling in, being flailed for in a panic, the tea going all over the laptop, it dying, it starting to rain and then the photo taker being stabbed by a hungry person for their sodden biscuit. And lap top.

  7. cubed2D says:

    Thanks alot to RPS for our biscuit :)
    Just a quick heads up, BiscuitCraft is fully moddable ;)
    http://www.mastersofpie.com/?p=96

    Tim

  8. Songbearer says:

    That RPS business card is classy as hell.

  9. Brumisator says:

    Oh man, shows you how much good can be accomplished with a small joke and tiny bit of effort.
    +21 million billion points, Quinns!

    I for one, welcome our ginger nut-powered orbital death-laser wielding overlords.

  10. Mr Labbes says:

    The recipients are amazing. All of them.
    Does someone know what ginger nuts would be called in German, or if there’s a specific brand that maybe people beyond the English Channel will know?

    • Rich says:

      Shameless WIkipedia plagiarisation:

      “In the UK, Australia and New Zealand and most of the former British Empire, they are often called Ginger nuts. Ginger nuts are not to be confused with pepper nuts, which are a variety of gingerbread, somewhat smaller in diameter, but thicker, and contain pepper as a spice.

      Scandinavian ginger nuts, also called ginger thins or ‘brunkage’ in Danish (literally, brown biscuits) pepparkakor in Swedish and pepperkaker in Norwegian (literally, pepper cakes), are rolled quite thin (often under 3 mm (1/8-inch) thick), and cut into shapes; they have smooth tops, and are usually somewhat thinner and hence crisper (and in some cases, more strongly flavoured) than most global varieties.

      In the United States, the usual term is gingersnaps, and they are generally round drop cookies, usually between 3 mm (1/8-inch) and 6 mm (1/4-inch) thick, with prominent cracks in the top surface. One recipe for these cookies contains maple syrup, probably an American addition.”

    • Jhoosier says:

      Until this, I had absolutely no idea that was a gingersnap. They’re quite good.

    • Mr Labbes says:

      Wiki! How the hell did I not think of that?

      Also, I finally know why the movie title “Ginger Snaps” is supposedly funny.
      Now, off to finding me some of these cookies!

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      No its not to be confused with Gingersnaps in the UK, those are thin and crunchier

    • SomeGuy says:

      Best Gingernuts are the New Zealand ones, the can break your teeth if not had with a hot drink.

    • RedFred says:

      It’s all true. Hard as hell they are here. Just like our women.

      Hmm that doesn’t seem like such a good thing…

  11. Pani says:

    I knew there was a reason to keep reading RPS in Gillen’s absence.

  12. Matt Ratcliffe says:

    Yes, big thanks for the biscuit. It is safely tucked away in a vault deep underground. Just in-case those other guys with the big laser get it operational!

  13. Lewie Procter says:

    What lovely responses across the board.

  14. Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

    Boing boing boiAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  15. Rinox says:

    Wait I recognize that spot in Prague – Letná park beer garden, best view/cheap beer combo in town!

    Wish I was still living there instead of this hellhole.

  16. Web Cole says:

    BOING! BOING!

  17. RogB says:

    is this going to kickstart a new youtube fad of UNBOXING POSTED BISCUITS?

    i hope so, its a rather lovely thought. I might post a loved one a KitKat. or would do, If my local post office wasn’t a bunch of thieving layabouts.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Your local post office would open a package to steal a KitKat?

    • Dao Jones says:

      If he is in America, yes. Damn fatties. :(

      *eats his Kit Kat*

    • RogB says:

      they’d open the jiffybag to see if it was anything worth nicking, then on discovering that its was a kitkat either eat it or chuck it in the bin to avoid delivering a clearly opened package. yes, they are a wee bit suspect. (im just bitter as I didnt get half of my birthday loot this year, unless people have lied about what they’ve posted!)

      king of ‘great with a brew’ biscuits – chocolate and caramel hobnob. OMG.

    • Koozer says:

      Phoned your friendly local sorting office? Visited them in person? Lay in wait for your postman to arrive before kidnapping him and holding him for the ransom of your missing pressies?

    • jeremypeel says:

      You’re telling me THERE’S A CARAMEL HOBNOB OH-MERLIN’S-BEARD-I-NEED-TO-GO-OUT

    • Matt says:

      I don’t think even the fattest American would risk a felony offense for a measly KitKat.

      I could be wrong, though.

  18. sneetch says:

    Never has a more noble endeavour been chronicled. Nobel prizes all round!

  19. jeremypeel says:

    I’m so pleased to be a small part of RPS right now.

  20. zoombapup says:

    Just wanted to say thanks again for said ginger nut! Even if any rightminded person would obviously go for a jaffa cake instead, gingernuts definitely go down well with a nice hot cuppa!

    When we release, our press round is going to include a six pack of penguins if I can help it :)

    • Rich says:

      The brief clearly stated biscuit. A Jaffa cake would be out of the question.
      Also, the top would probably melt or get quashed.

      Ginger nuts are damn good, but the real king of biscuits is the chocolate Hobnob.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Sir, the Bourbon Cream is quite clearly the best biscuit.

    • cubed2d says:

      Guess he is right, although i do love a good jaffa cake. My favourite coding snack is milky way magic stars though….. yummy

    • Rich says:

      Bourbons are really good, as are their cousins the custard cream.
      I’m finding it really hard to resist popping to Tesco to grab some biccies. I have to go down there in a bit to get some more teabags, so I suspect it’s a fight I’m going to lose.

    • Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

      True story: when I was young i didn’t like Bourbons, instead preferring Custard Creams. But I would eat a Bourbon anyway, because I felt guilty about not liking them as I felt it might have meant I was racist.

    • Rich says:

      Affirmative action for biscuits is taking it a bit too far.
      Also, what about the other biscuits? If any of them need representation it’s the Garibaldi or Hovis biscuits that always end up left over in a selection box.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Aah this sub-thread made me laugh. AndrewC, thanks for sharing, man.

      I tended to avoid custard creams as I felt they were shit. Sitting here researching my dissertation on American hip hop, I wonder to what extent that reflects my pathetic, repeated attempts to be black.

      Also, the jaffa cakes discussion instantly made me think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2NP4WZJ-mI

    • RobF says:

      Of course Jaffa Cakes are biscuits – you can dunk them, sillies!

      No love for Malted Milk though? For shame!

      Also, I’ll echo what Phil says here. Brilliant stuff and *thank you*.

    • Rich says:

      I can dunk a sausage in my tea, but it doesn’t make it a biscuit. All I’ll get is greasy tea!

      Jaffa cakes are cakes cos if they go stale they go hard. Biscuits go soft when they go stale.
      Also the tax is different on cakes (or at least it was), which is why McVities made a huge one to show HM Revenue and Customs.

  21. Durns says:

    What is it with you guys and creepy devil children?

  22. Premium User Badge Hideous says:

    It was quite tasty. Thanks, Quinns.

  23. Crane says:

    …I wish you’d done this a few months ago.

    Phil Carlisle was one of my lecturers at University, and we could have ribbed him endlessly about this.

  24. K says:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/09/07/chime-on-steam-and-we-have-some-codes/

    What about the chime competition by the way? Did that get abandoned? I feel utterly cheated for my incredibly entry!

  25. Berzee says:

    I have always wondered but not enough to Google it:

    if that’s what you call biscuits,

    what do you call these? http://gyazo.com/874dcc9ea5b83053b92f23bbf67d41c0.png

    • sneetch says:

      That’s a scone. ‘Round these parts anyway.

    • zoombapup says:

      Berzee: Those are scones!!

    • Rich says:

      Don’t they serve them with savoury things in Americaland? Like gravy?
      Scones should be buttered, jam-ed (jelly) and, if you’re a real connoisseur, whip-creamed.
      Of course scones are typically sweet-ish here… except the cheese ones.

    • Rich says:

      Also, pretty much anything you’d call a cookie, we call a biscuit. The only thing we actually call cookies are… well cookies, with chocolate chips and things in them.

    • Chris D says:

      I believe the Brittish scone is sweeter and usually smaller than the American biscuit, which usually fulfil a role more akin to a dumpling. So it’s not quite a dirct comparison but it’s close enough that you get the idea.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Haha, Berzee, you may as well have posted a photo of a banana, or a rake, or northern lights. I don’t think I could have been more shocked about this.

  26. bildo says:

    Phil Carlisle needs to stop developing games and become a narrator. This voice is mesmerizing in a narratorish way.

  27. Shrewsbury says:

    This post needs a Staring Eyes tag.

  28. Nallen says:

    You know what’s great about this?

    EVERYTHING

  29. SpinalJack says:

    now I feel bad for not making a game about my biscuit :(

    • StormTec says:

      Bet you didn’t even say thanks, did you?

    • SpinalJack says:

      Did, it was in an e-mail, but I didn’t have any spare time between various other projects

  30. Karl Maddix says:

    Well done to my fellow pie men, that speedy effort really takes the biscuit.

  31. Butler` says:

    Haha, posts like this are why I love RPS.

  32. mrpier says:

    Brilliant :-D

  33. Rane2k says:

    … and here I find myself downloading a 77MB installer for a game about biscuits. RPS, you are speeding up my descent into madness by quite a bit. :-)

    Also, whenever I hear of brits and biscuits I remember the story about the packet of biscuits in the hitchhiker´s guide to the galaxy. :-)

  34. Bascule42 says:

    Er..Im not a dev, indie or otherwise, but, I don’t suppose, on the offchance, I know I’m being cheeky, there are any biccies left? I have my own tea. But the shop is well over 200 yards away from my house. I mean, I don’t mind waiting for second class mail, but one, (or, hey, since we’re being cheeky, more than), would go down a treat in, ohh, say 2 or 3 business days.

    Yours, anticipating being bit peckish in 2 to 3 days, B42.

  35. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I prefer scones.

    But biscuits for indies seems like a right and proper thing to do. Well done!

  36. thebigJ_A says:

    boing.

  37. Earl_of_Josh says:

    That looks like a cookie!

  38. RedFred says:

    I’m interested about customs procedures in Europe. I’m pretty sure if you posted non packaged food products here (NZ) they would get stopped at customs and probably destroyed!

  39. Darren says:

    I sent him a pack of Ste Currans.