Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 20, 2012.

Update #51

Projects Worth Supporting

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I haven't done many shout-outs in the last few Updates, so this one is mainly about sharing a few projects that I think our backers will enjoy.

But first... You may not be aware that we actually do regular project updates in two places. I (Corey) write most of the content here on Kickstarter, and Lori makes regular posts to the Hero-U Leaders Blog on our web site, most recently last week - http://www.hero-u.net/leaders/. Beware the Killer Pandas of Sardonia!

While you're there, visit and post on the Hero-U forum (http://www.hero-u.net/forum/) and check out the Hero-U Collectibles store at http://www.hero- u.net/hero_u_collect.html. We have also updated the rest of the http://www.hero-u.net/ site with new images and information about Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

Collect the Whole Protection From Pandas Set
Collect the Whole Protection From Pandas Set

And now for those project links

Table Titans Volume 1: First Encounters, by Toonhound Studios (aka Scott Kurtz) - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1212663429/table-titans-volume-1-first- encounters. I have been following Scott's PVP Online webcomic, and more recently his Table Titans series. This is great storytelling on both the fantasy game and "real life" sides of a tabletop gaming group. Scott is now publishing a paper version of Table Titans, and his work is worth supporting. The campaign ends in two days and has already met its goal.

Earthlock: Festival of Magic, by Snowcastle Games (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/171497873/earthlock-festival-of-magic), is a great looking turn-based RPG. We saw an early build of the game two years ago, and were impressed. The company and project are "for real" and deserve support. They are currently just under 80% of their goal with only three days left. Please check out the game and tell your friends; it would be a shame for them to get so close and not succeed with the funding campaign.

Several of our backers have asked me to mention Serpent in the Staglands, by Whalenought Studios (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1649838104/serpent-in-the-staglands). They have already made their goal, but could certainly use a lot more support to help them create their ambitious RPG project. It looks like a rich and nuanced game.

City State of the Invincible Overlord (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/judgesguild/city-state-of-the-invincible-overlord) by Judges Guild was the defining RPG "city guide" back in the 1970's. They are updating the book to use modern Pathfinder rules and with better art. Judges Guild published my first (and only paper) RPG module, and they're good people. If you do tabletop RP gaming, you will benefit by having their City State map and guidelines; cities are hard!

Happy Easter

Or the Springtime holiday of your choice. Personally, Lori and I love any opportunity to feast and see family and friends. And pick up some half-price chocolate a few days after the holiday. :-) Be well, friends, and may you all enjoy a beautiful Spring (or Fall for those on the other hemisphere).


Update #50

Irish You Were Here At Hero-U

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Next Monday is St. Patrick's Day. People celebrate it in the U.S. by eating corned beef and cabbage, wearing something green, drinking green beer, and singing Irish songs. We celebrate by eating; Lori added Irish soda bread this year. We are also singing, but then we do that whenever we can. (We don't actually drink beer, sorry.)

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption has a touch of the green as well. Shawn O'Conner has an Irish name, and that's an important part of his back-story. We set both Quest for Glory and Hero-U in worlds based on Earth geography, sort of a parallel planet to our own. In the game, you can help Shawn learn more about his forgotten childhood and family heritage.

Irish You Were Beer
Irish You Were Beer

 Corey and Lori on IGN's Up at Noon with Greg Miller

Last month Lori and I visited the IGN offices in San Francisco to talk about Hero-U on the Up at Noon webcast. Check out the results at http://www.ign.com/videos/2014/02/17/persona-4-meets-dungeons-dragons-hero-u-on-up-at-noon. We had a lot of fun doing the show and meeting Greg, Kristine, and some of the IGN crew.

Also in February, we managed to mail out all of the collectibles reward packages to backers except for posters and paintings. If you backed at the $125 tier or higher (except the $175 all-digital tier), you should now have your toy meep. If you backed at $200 or higher, we also sent you a t-shirt or baseball cap. We plan to send out the posters and canvas art later this year, and the boxed games when they are ready (probably late 2014).

Web Site Update

Lori and I took some time away from game writing to improve the Hero-U web site (www.hero-u.net). The new site includes in-progress art and music, the long-awaited Backers Page, and two new store pages.

By the way, if you do *not* want to be listed on the Backers page, please say that in a note to support@hero-u.net. Everyone is there currently because you are all part of our community and inspiration for making the Hero-U games.

The Hero-U Pre-Order Page

At http://www.hero-u.net/hero_u_preorder.html, those who missed the Kickstarter can pre-order Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Currently we have three all-digital tiers:

  • $22 buys Basic Admission – The downloadable game when it is ready
  • $38 buys Audio-Visual Extras – The game, digital art book, and sound track
  • $60 buys Premium Course Materials – All of the above, plus access to Beta versions as they come out, and the digital Yearbook with additional game information, illustrations, and an introduction to many of the other students at Hero-U.

Limited Edition Collectibles Page

The new Limited Edition Hero-U Collectibles page (http://www.hero-u.net/hero_u_collect.html) is the place to capture some of the collectible items we have left from our Kickstarter campaign:

  • $35 for a blue Meep plush toy
  • $30/$35 for a t-shirt with the Scott Flanders "Rogue's Last Stand" design
  • $30 for a red embroidered Hero-U baseball cap designed by Lori
  • $10 for a "Team Meep" key ring and tag designed by Lori with the Eriq Chang Hero-U logo

The first two items are limited to stock on hand (about 350 Meeps and 50 t-shirts, mostly size L and XL). I plan to order more key tags, and possibly caps, if we have demand for them.

Please tell your friends about the game and the new www.hero-u.net site. Every purchase and pre-order helps us finish Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

Marching On

We are making a lot of forward progress on Hero-U. Our artists have created most of the game scenes and props. They have painted customized images for everyone with a yearbook picture, in-game painting, or "school spirit". The programmers have put together many of the scenes and are working on the combat interface and simulation. Lori and I still have a lot of writing to do as we gradually build up the game, in between directing the team and handling the many details (such as filing tax reports, answering email, and posting here and on www.hero-u.net) involved in running a small business.

Next up for our "insider backers" ($175 and up) will be a sneak peek at the combat system. Jonathan has been working on the interface and I am developing a simulator to help us balance stats, tactics, and special abilities.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we work to get every detail right in Hero-U. This game will have a different feel than anything else out there, and that is only possible thanks to your support.

The Magic Classroom (In-Game Screenshot)
The Magic Classroom (In-Game Screenshot)

Update #49

Further Fulfillment Fun

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Well, it's been an exciting couple of weeks here at Hero-U HQ.  With some serious help from Ken and Sue at Pugsly's Trading Post, I managed to mail out about 3/4 of the "soft goods" packages. Then we ran out of one type of box, while having about 150 extra of another type.  Somehow I missed that lecture in applied post office mathematics.

We also ran into a slight snag with t-shirts, leading to a reorder.  So here's the scoop:

  • If your tier rewards were exactly one meep toy and a Hero-U baseball cap, we probably haven't mailed them yet. They should go out next week.
  • If you requested an XXL or XXXL t-shirt, your package is also likely to be delayed until next week. I think we were also short on about five other shirts.
Hero-U Key Ring
Hero-U Key Ring

Missed Out?  Perhaps Not...

If you feel sad that you missed your chance to own an authentic piece of Hero-U history, Lori and I have decided  to make the Rogue to Redemption Softwear Collection available for a little longer.  I'm sure it has nothing to do with the 400 or so meep toys crowding our garage.  Still, they are really cute, and we'd hate to find out the bats ate them all.

Until we add our pre-order store to the Hero-U web site, you may use the Donate button at www.hero-u.net/KS-store to purchase meep toys or the whole soft goods set.  (Why a "Softwear Collection"?  When Lori and I married, I had her wedding dress sent to Olivetti, where I worked.  I told the dressmaker to send it to the "Software Dept.", which she wrote as "Softwear".  The company had a policy of inspecting all incoming packages, and I was much mocked for my apparent taste in women's clothing.  Lest you think, "Oooh, fancy, custom wedding dress!", well it was... from a stall at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.)

Rogue to Redemption Softwear Collection
Rogue to Redemption Softwear Collection

Our price list:

  • Meep 8" plush toy or T-Shirt or Cap - $30 + shipping, add $5 more to also get a key ring
  • The Softwear Collection:  Meep toy plus Hero-U t-shirt, baseball cap, and a key ring - $85 + shipping.  Add $5 for each additional key ring and $25 for each additional soft item. Make sure you specify your t-shirt size (S / M / L / XL / XXL / XXXL).
  • US/Canada/Mexico shipping - $5 First Class (Meep only) or $10 Priority Mail (either).  US customers also please add 8% Sales Tax on the product (not shipping) cost.
  • Worldwide shipping - For either item, $20 First Class or $40 Priority Mail.  You may also be subject to VAT when you receive the shipment.  (First Class is much more reasonably priced, but can take several weeks.  Priority Mail should arrive within one week.)
  • Make sure you send your order details, your full name, mailing address, and (if you're getting the Collection) t-shirt size to support@hero-u.net when you order.  Phone number is also helpful for our international customers.

Our profits on these sales will all go into completing the development of Hero-U.  If you have any questions, send email to support@hero-u.net

Shawn's New Moves

Last night we received the first set of animation for Shawn from Concept Art House.  We're very excited about finally getting to see him move around in 3D in the game.

We have an art meeting every Tuesday, usually the first time Lori and I see some of the new creations.  It's getting more amazing every week!  The artists have especially had fun with some of the crazier requests for in-game portraits.  Wizard about to be eaten by a bear, anyone? Or the... well, that would be telling!

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone - This is the year of the Horse. To honor that tradition, there will be a horse in Rogue to Redemption. Of course, it’s a horse of a different color - It has been dead for decades. We could say more, but that would be beating a dead horse.


Update #48 - For backers only

Fulfillment Fun

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


Update #47

A Hero-U Holiday

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Lori and I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyous Solstice, Happy New Year, and any other seasonal holidays you may prefer to celebrate.

Lori and I sing carols with a local chorus every Winter, so we were inspired to write a little parody very loosely based on one of the Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption events.  Not willing to leave well enough alone, we recruited backer (and professional opera singer) Maus Merryjest to sing our silliness, then Lori put together a video with some of the preliminary game art and more than a few Kristmas Kwirks.  I did the narration.  Please share it with your friends.

Physical Goods Delay

I just heard back from the company that was going to distribute our physical goods. Apparently they've had some family issues and will be unable to fulfill the orders, so we need to scramble again to find a distributor.  As a result, the toy meeps, t-shirts, and baseball caps that were supposed to go out last month will take a few more weeks.  The designs and mailing list are done; we just need to find someone who can box up over 1,000 items and mail them for us.

Art Update

Concept Art House continues to amaze us with the speed and quality of their work. Our in-house team continues to work on the locations, furnishings, and other items.  Eric and Paul have done a great job on painting fantasy versions of our Yearbook backers.  We are adding Chris Willis as a 3D artist specializing in environments. Chris worked on King's Quest VI and VII, Space Quest, SWAT, and many other games, at Sierra.  Chris also contributed art to Fallout, Asheron's Call, and Dungeon Siege 3. He's a terrific artist and we are thrilled to have him on the team.


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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.)

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    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.)

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    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.

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    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!

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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