Our new add-ons are proving very popular. We had an excellent day on Tuesday with about $8,000 in pledges and upgrades.
It's either that or that "a watched pot never boils." Lori and I spent the day digitally "filming" dialogue for a new version of the project video. After we complete Rogue to Redemption, and before we start another Kickstarter project, I think we both need acting lessons. :-) A mere 5 hours of rehearsals and filming for about 2-1/2 minutes of dialogue.
The video will also feature new concept art that is much closer to how Hero-U will look. They look great, by the way! Lori is working on putting it all together, and we will post it tomorrow afternoon.
We did an interview for Pixels for Breakfast last week, and they have a nice article up at http://www.pixelsforbreakfast.net/features/hero-u-corey-and-loris-quest/. We have several other articles and interviews coming up later this week.
We have had a lot of requests for a Linux version, but the team had concerns that spending time on making Linux builds, testing them, and getting them out to the Linux Beta testers might affect the development schedule. A few nights ago, I came up with a solution.
I have decided to personally commit to bringing Hero-U to Linux. Originally we planned this as part of our first stretch goal, but I came up with a new plan. After Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is complete and on the way to our Windows and Mac users, I will personally port the game to Linux and - with the help of some of our passionate Linux friends - make sure the game is rock solid.
See, there's a little part of my history that 5 or 6 of you might not have heard yet. Before I was a game designer, I was a system programmer. My first job at Sierra was to translate the SCI game engine to the Atari ST and port the first four SCI games to the ST. I'll just put on my software engineer hat for this task.
Why am I doing it this way? It is so that none of the Kickstarter proceeds will be used for the port. I will be doing it on my own time after the game is complete, so that we can guarantee that the Windows/Mac versions of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption are absolutely the best we can make them.
Welcome, Linux friends!
Art Lovers Redux
The Art of Sierra sent us a scan of one of the pieces available at the $2,000 Art Lovers tier. This is the Borgov Crypt from Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness. As the tier description explains, this is the original painting scanned to create that scene. It's about 6"x9" on art board:
From Here to Eternity
Several backers noted that one of our add-ons offers a digital game key to our planned second game in the Hero-U series. They asked, "What about the in-game rewards such as paintings and headstones in the crypts? Will these be in all the games of the series?"
The answer is a most resounding, "Yes!" The game play will change dramatically in the second game because you will play a Wizard character with a completely different background from Shawn's. And you will get to see parts of the school that Shawn could not reach. However, it's still the same University, and even the same school year, so all of the paintings, statues, crypts, and the three wings of the school will still be the same.
If you pick a tier or add-on with an in-game feature, it will be part of the game for the entire Hero-U series. It's your own personal connection to our game world.
Some Other Worthwhile Projects
I'm currently supporting two other game projects on Kickstarter, and wanted to give a shout-out to them so that our supporters can check them out.
Shadowgate is a new version of a classic RPG. I have not played the original, but this project looks really good and has a reasonable goal. I'm also supporting it because the company - Zojoi - brought Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective to computers. The original paper game is one of my favorites, and I would like to see them succeed.
Divine Space describes itself as a "Sci-Fi Action/RPG". The project is being made by a Russian company, and it looks very interesting. They want to make their game free-to-play and on tablets, a very hard sell on Kickstarter. I like it because it looks like a fun game, but also has strong educational qualities. They are having a hard time getting noticed because their team is well known in Russia, but mostly unknown in the West.
Check out their project and consider pledging at least $1. I consider that worthwhile just to read their Update #12. It talks about how we as gamers on Kickstarter can really make a difference in the future of gaming and of the world. I'll try to get permission to repost their update on my Quest Log blog, because it's a message I consider very important.
Psirenne on gog.com: The more they say about this game, the more I think that this game simply *must be made*. My favorite revelation when playing QFG was that the puzzles had different solutions for each character class. At a certain point, I realized that I was playing through the magic user as if he were a fighter, and just casting the "flame dart" spell on every enemy that I had slung a sword at in my previous play-through.
When I realized that you could solve the Kobold puzzle in game 1 without ever even awakening him - much less killing him - I saw that flame dart was probably the lamest spell in the mage's arsenal. So began an entirely new type of experience, trying to figure out creative ways of using spells to get around the puzzles that the fighter had to fight his way through.
Now, they're talking about having not just 3 solutions, but possibly many more. Maybe they're overcommitting - I'm not sure. But they seem to be aiming at a bullseye that no other game designers out there right now are even aware of. As I said, and as so many others are saying, this game just needs to get made.
And here's a video testimonial from Steven Alexander, one of the founders of the Quest for Infamy project:
seconds to go
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Friend: Thank you for your support! Your name will be added to the Hero list on www.hero-u.net/leadersroll.php, a small first step towards immortality.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
Freshman: You will receive a DRM-free digital game download, access to discussion forums to help us improve the game, and your name will appear on the Hero list.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Sophomore: Digital Reward 2: Receive everything from the Freshman level, the downloadable Hero-U Soundtrack, and the gorgeous Hero-U Art Book in PDF form. The art book contains production sketches, final art, and insider commentary on the making of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Junior: Get a head start on your education by playing one of the development team's previous award-winning games. You will receive all of the Sophomore class benefits plus a digital key to your choice of MacGuffin's Curse, Jolly Rover, or the complete Quest for Glory collection.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $65 or moreYou selected
Beta Tau Initiate: All-Digital reward. Everything in the Junior package, including your choice of one game key. PLUS you get early access to the Hero-U Beta and Combat-Balancing tests. Help us shape and tune the game the way YOU want it!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Senior: Get physical with a high-quality boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption containing the game on DVD and a printed game manual. You will also receive all of the Sophomore benefits (including an additional digital copy of the game). While you wait for your box, enjoy a preview with early access to our Beta and Combat Balancing Tests. All Seniors may add any of the Junior-level previous games at $15 each.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Big Man On Campus: (Super Digital Rewards) You're special, and everyone should know it. Your name (or your favorite character's name) will appear in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK along with a brief statement of your/their accomplishments. We will also email you the Secret Thieves' Guild Password. (Other players will need to discover this in the game.) You will also receive everything from the Sophomore level as well as early access to our Beta and Combat Balance tests. (NOTE: This tier does not include any physical rewards. It's highly International-Supporter-friendly.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
Frat Rat: Halloween Special – You love Meeps, and that's why you will get your very own Toy Meep along with your boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. That's on top of all of the Senior-level physical and digital rewards and eligibility for add-ons. You will also receive your own entry in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK. International Customers please add $15 for shipping costs.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
Graduate Edition: Unique Kickstarter-Graduate-only Collector’s Edition Box containing the game DVD, manual, a Music Soundtrack CD, your own Varsity Letter, Hero-U button, and everything in the Big Man On Campus digital reward tier including your very own entry in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $175 or moreYou selected
Exchange Student: The *ultimate* all-digital package, perfect for international backers. You will start with everything in the Big Man on Campus edition. Then you will have the chance to follow the development of Hero-U with insider access to developer discussions and Alpha tests. To give you more insight into our games, you will receive digital keys to ALL EIGHT of our currently available previous games (Quest for Glory 1: So You Want to Be a Hero EGA and VGA versions, Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire, Quest for Glory 3: Wages of War, Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness, Quest for Glory 5: Dragon Fire, MacGuffin's Curse, AND Jolly Rover). NOTE: The previous game keys are part of this tier only; we are not adding them to the higher physical tiers.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
Research Assistant: You're practically a team member, so you will receive a very-limited-edition Team Meep Hat plus insider access to developer discussions and Alpha tests. You will also receive everything in the Graduate Edition, and your chosen picture (subject to team approval) will appear in the in-game digital yearbook.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
126 backers Limited (674 left of 800)
Alumnus: As a proud Hero-U Alumnus, your chosen name, preferred photo (or other image of your choice, subject to team approval) will appear in the Very Limited Edition physical Hero-U Yearbook. Of course, alumni like to collect signatures from their University friends, so Lori and Corey Cole will autograph your yearbook and Graduate Edition premium game box. You will also receive Research Assistant privileges and a Team Meep hat.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
33 backers Limited (167 left of 200)
Master Rogue: The rewards of your advanced education include a limited-edition art print of the school on Canvas, everything in the Alumnus package including the autographed premium game box and autographed yearbook. You will also receive a Limited Edition Kickstarter Superfan T-Shirt, and digital keys to ALL THREE previous games – the Quest for Glory Collection, MacGuffin's Curse, and Jolly Rover.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
6 backers All gone!
PhD: You will be immortalized. Not only will you receive all of the benefits of a Master Rogue, your chosen name, hero biography, and picture will appear prominently in-game as well as in the yearbook. Your canvas art print will be supersized, and you will be one of the proud few to complete a graduate school education at Hero-U. We'll also provide you with the secret location and key to the Faculty Lounge. (Other players will be able to break in later in the game.)Estimated delivery:Add $40 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,050 or moreYou selected
19 backers Limited (6 left of 25)
DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts): You will be featured on an in-game painting. When players click on it, they will see your chosen name, image (this could be you, a favorite character, pet, or other approved image, converted by our artists to look like other in-game portraits), and humorous description. You also receive all of the benefits of a Master Rogue, You will have a listing including your chosen image in the yearbook, and of course will receive an autographed copy of the physical edition. We will send you a canvas art print of your in-game "portrait" in addition to the school art print, and you will be one of the proud few to complete a graduate school education at Hero-U. We'll also provide you with the secret location and key to the Faculty Lounge. (Other players will be able to break in later in the game.)Estimated delivery:Add $40 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
5 backers All gone!
Art Collector: In this extremely-limited reward tier, we will send you an original, one-of-a-kind production painting that was used to create a Quest for Glory game. We only have a few of these paintings available. You will also receive all DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts) benefits, including having your picture and biography immortalized in-game. The Quest for Glory artwork will be shipped separately in January or February.Estimated delivery:Add $80 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
3 backers All gone!
Benefactor: As one of the top alumni contributors to Hero-U, we will name one wing of the University after you or a loved one. The name you choose (with team approval) will be prominently displayed when any student enters your wing. We will send you a customized architectural drawing of your wing. If you send us a suitable video clip, it will appear in the launch video for your wing. You will also receive all benefits of the PhD reward tier. Free shipping worldwide!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)
Monster Lair: You are so diabolical, you are the master of a dungeon den. We will collaborate with you on designing your own custom monster lair, likely including a sculpted image of yourself or a friend. Your lair, complete with the monsters and traps you select, will be placed somewhere in the catacombs. You will also receive all benefits of the PhD reward tier. Free shipping worldwide!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
High-Roller: You're a serious role-player, or just really want to support our game at a high level. In addition to all of the PhD-level rewards, Corey and/or Lori will run a D&D game for you and friends at a convention anywhere in North America. Or add $1,000 for our additional travel expenses, and we'll join you anywhere in the world. Does not include the Benefactor reward – The school doesn’t have enough wings. Instead, you’ll have a large statue in the main wing celebrating your or your hero's accomplishments.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $7,500 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)
Philanthropist: You really care! And we care about you too! Spend a day visiting Yosemite Park and touring Sierra landmarks in Oakhurst with Lori and Corey Cole. We'll share a nice meal or two and discuss game design or anything else you want. You'll also receive all the rewards of the PhD level and we'll find a prominent place in-game to thank you for your awesome support. We will cover a one-night hotel stay, but you are responsible for transportation to and from Oakhurst, California.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)