Baby Meep Stretch Goal and "Why A Rogue?"
Just when we were getting nervous, 260 new backers joined the team today and kicked us up to almost $302,000. $98,000 to go in a little under four days. We have over 4,500 backers now. Let's go for 6,500 before we close!
Just in case that seems too hard, here's the chart for Shadowrun Online - http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1964352341/shadowrun-online/#chart-daily. They were almost exactly where we are at this stage of their project, except their goal was $500,000. They went from 4,100 to 6,000 backers in the last two days, raising almost $100,000 each of those days.
I won't promise that Hero-U will do as well as Shadowrun Online at the end. We all have a lot of work to do in these last few days to let people know that "It's now or never!" But based on past projects, our chances look Very Good.
That makes it time to announce our First Stretch Goal if Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption reaches $500,000 in funding. Drumroll, please...
(NOTE: Staff, sheep, and ribbon not included, subject to Artist Whim.)
The Meep That Came Out of the Woodwork
As we approach the Outer Limits of our goal, we begin to look around the hidden nooks and crannies of Hero University. There among the woodwork hide some of the rather odd furry creatures we know as "Meeps". (Think of Tribbles with legs, eyes, and very sharp teeth.) Most of them are shy, and avoid the students and school staff.
But what's this? One little baby Meep seems to have formed an attachment to Shawn. Or at least, it will form an attachment if we reach our first Stretch Goal at $500,000. The baby meep will be Shawn's unreliable companion – Sometimes following him, and sometimes running off on its own.
Meeps require a lot of care. You'll have to feed this one, pet it, and generally treat it with care. If you do, you will have a loyal (though strange) companion to help you explore the catacombs. Of course, it might alert monsters to your presence just when you thought you were sneaky. On the other hand, it might distract an enemy long enough for you to get by it, set a trap, or sneak up behind it.
Just remember the Roger Rabbit rule: "You mean you could have done that at any time?" "Not any time! Only when it's funny!"
In addition to the Companion Meep, if we reach the $500,000 stretch goal, we will be able to add more art and content to the game. Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption will become an even richer experience.
Can A Rogue Even Be A Hero?
Some of you may wonder why we chose the Rogue class for our first Hero-U game. Of all the fantasy game archetypes, the Rogue or Thief is usually considered the least heroic.
That's exactly why we decided to start with Shawn. He's an "unlikely Hero." Think of the game subtitle, "Rogue to Redemption". This game gives you – the player – a chance to experience Shawn's redemption, or to see what happens if you fail to redeem him. There is no greater Hero than one who starts out as a scoundrel.
I talked about Rogue Heroes in my "Hero on the Ropes" Quest Log article (the full article is at http://www.theschoolforheroes.com/questlog/450/the-rogue/). Here's a brief excerpt:
Some famous Rogue Heroes include James Bond, Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Robin Hood. Note that we only listed fictional ones. The real ones are too good at disguising their Roguishness. African and Native American mythology prominently feature "trickster gods" (Anansi the spider and Coyote) in devious roles. In the old Greek stories, Prometheus was a Rogue when he stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. So Rogues have been around for a long, long time.
Rogues know that when you do things "by the book," you get mediocre results. They strive for exceptional results by breaking the book, tearing out the pages, and using them for something more practical, like ransom notes or toilet paper. They tend to do things indirectly, because direct action is too easily countered. And boring. Rogues have a problem with boredom.
Heroic Rogues go a step farther. They may break the rules – or even laws they consider stupid – but they always have a Heroic goal in mind. Spiderman isn't concerned with reading criminals their Miranda Rights. He leaves that to the authorities… and stays away from those authorities himself.
So Shawn is an unlikely hero, but he comes from a long tradition of troublemaking heroes. And he will have just as hard a time of it as most of them did.
Backer Art and Testimonial
Jon Cassou sent us this nice illustration and letter:
I am a huge fan of the Quest for Glory games! I first played the games via the Quest for Glory Anthology back when I was 9, and I fell in love with the games ever since! I've always enjoyed the storytelling of the games, the more natural and intuitive speech system (Ask about... Greet, barter, etc.), the witty and random humour, the extremely customizable character creation system, and the fast-paced action combat system! And after finding out that both you and Lori were pitching the Kickstarter campaign (funny enough, near my birthday), I REALLY got hyped!
So far, Hero-U looks to be a fantastic series! I really can't wait for when Rogue to Redemption begins production! I believe you'll make it to the pledge goal soon!
Thanks, Jon, for the great drawing and for supporting Hero-U.
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)