Game Development Progress
We’ve completed the first Alpha test stages, and I will soon be inviting every backer entitled to the Alpha and Beta Test perk. We’re currently polishing the Catacombs area of Hero-U and adding the Dungeon. At the beginning of March, we plan to add the Endgame and open up testing to everyone with the Beta Testing perk. The game will be complete at that point, but will undoubtedly have balance issues and bugs that we missed in earlier testing.
As we get closer to Code Complete, I can start making better estimates of how long it will take us to complete everything else. Lori has finished writing the game dialogue, and Josh Mandel is finishing up the last few object interactions. I still have some writing work to do on the endgame, game manual, Bestiary, and art book, and polish work to do on the Yearbook.
Depending on further testing results, we are likely looking at a mid-April 2018 release. To do that, we will need much more than the finished game and manual. We need to integrate it with every release platform, get keys to backers, and much more.
“Racing to the Finish Line” on Hero-U.com
Lori posted a new blog entry on www.hero-u.com - http://hero-u.com/racing-to-the-finish-line/ - last month. Check it out. She writes most of the posts there, while I write most of the Kickstarter updates.
Alpha Testing - Watch for your Steam invitation
Earth’s listing in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy read simply, “Mostly harmless.” Now that our small cadre of pre-Alpha testers have helped us eliminate the most devastating bugs from Hero-U, I will soon be inviting all registered Alpha testers to experience the game-in-progress. It’s mostly playable now, with just the dungeon and endgame to be added over the next few weeks.
If your page on https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com/ shows that you have the “Alpha and Beta Testing” perk, keep watch on your email for an Alpha test invitation within the next two weeks.
The team is looking forward to more testers with a mixture of anticipation, excitement, and concern (“terror” is much too strong a term). They’ve quashed over 1100 bugs so far, and with your help we’ll do our best to make the game squeaky-clean by release.
What Do Our Testers Think About Hero-U?
So far the tester feedback has been very positive. Despite having to fight bugs, our testers have been very involved in the game and have good things to say about it.
I asked one tester, Raf M, to write up his impressions. Here are his concluding paragraphs. His full “impressions” report is at http://hero-u.com/hero-u-playtesting-feedback/.
"Based on what is currently playable in the alpha (and that is already quite a lot), I think that the gamers who liked Quest for Glory, will like Hero-U. I think it is clear that Hero-U is also a Lori and Corey Cole game."
"In my opinion, the game succeeds in making you feel that Shawn is at a school, but it’s essentially still a story driven RPG/adventure game hybrid, not a “school simulator”."
"I have spent quite a lot of time playing the alpha. I immediately liked the core of the game. If I didn’t, I would not have invested so much time playing an unfinished game with inevitable bugs. I am always looking forwards to new builds, so I can make more progress in the game."
"There is still more work to be done, but there is already a lot of content in the game. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is getting bigger and bigger. In my opinion, the alpha is strongly indicating that the long wait for the final game is almost over and it will be worth it."
Unsolicited, tester Richard Baxter wrote:
"I am finding the game really enjoyable (at day 30). The character interactions, visual emotions, music, atmosphere, lighting, environmental depth, story, comedy, portraits, statues, textures, and 3D animations are all incredible. I also find it (like Quest for Glory) a great learning programme in the finer points of heroism and ethical philosophy - which is one of the underlying themes (school)."
"I think Lori should become a director for a film, and do writing for similar games. Her characters are so much more interesting."
It’s difficult - maybe impossible - for us to judge our own work. It’s always a big relief when we release a game and find out that players like it. We’ve been very fortunate with that so far in that players say they like almost all of our games. We hope that Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption will continue that lucky legacy. (Game Success = 90% Luck, 90% Inspiration, and 90% Hard Work. It’s possible I should have taken that Statistics class I missed in college.)