Word of the Web
We've had a fabulous first weekend, and again need to thank all our loyal supporters - Thank you! Over 1,600 supporters and $100,000 – a quarter of the way to our goal! Let's keep the energy going!
Word of the Web
Since we didn't want the project description to be 500 pages long – like the Quest for Glory 5 design document – we had to restrict the amount of information in it. We also want to reserve plenty of secrets for the game itself. Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption will have a strong mystery element in which you help Shawn discover the truth of how he was led to become a Thief, and something of the forces vying for power within and outside of the school grounds. There is a lot more going on at Hero-U than at first meets the eye.
Still, tongues have been known to slip occasionally, and ours are no exception. If you would like to learn more about the game and our ideas about making it, you can learn more from some of the interviews we've done in the last few weeks. Mind you, I won't *promise* there are any real secrets in these. Here are selected links to a few of our recent interviews:
And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor...
(Anyone remember when they used to say that, back when there was this thing called "TV"? We haven't had one of those for at least ten years. :-))
Here's a relevant post I made on an adventuregamers.com thread. It's about why we are making the particular style of game we've chosen for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption:
Would it make more sense to make a game “much like” Quest for Glory? Hard to say. In any case, between the original Hero’s Quest and Quest for Glory 5, development budgets ballooned from $250K up to over $2.5M. Even if it was “only” $1.5M, that’s too much to ask on Kickstarter.
You can’t step into the same stretch of river twice. The Quest for Glory games were a unique combination of Lori’s and my background with the tools we had available at Sierra. If we had been working for a company with different tools, we would have made an entirely different game.
In fact, when I designed Castle of Dr. Brain - using those same tools - I would argue that *it* was an entirely different look and feel from Quest for Glory. Based on reviews and comments, people seem to think it was just as fun. Did lightning just happen to strike twice in the same place, or did I actually know something about designing games? A little of each, I’d say.
We tend to look at games, films, etc. with the unique perspective of being able to see the finished product. Will Hero-U be as much fun to play as Quest for Glory (pick your favorite number)? That’s impossible to tell. Filmmakers all think they’re making great films, but only in hindsight can we find out which ones were right about which of their films. Peter Jackson did an amazing job with Lord of the Rings, but I found his King Kong disappointing. Am I looking forward to his take on The Hobbit - knowing that he’s changed a lot of things? You bet I am!
What Lori and I will promise is that we are putting the same work and dedication into Hero-U as we put into each of our other games. We still have the same “gamers sensibility” that we applied as a yardstick each time. Hopefully we’ll be funny. Hopefully the dialogue will work as well as it did in Quest for Glory. Is it possible we’ll get this one wrong? Sure it’s possible - but I don’t think it’s the way to bet.
Of course, you can always “wait and see”. But then the game might not happen at all. It’s pretty much up to you, the players, to determine the fate of Hero-U. If you want higher production values, support at a higher level and get more of your friends to support the project. For now, we’ve designed a minimalist style that can be implemented within a reasonable budget. It’s more important to make sure that we can complete the game than to promise a level of polish that we won’t be able to fund.
It’s all about the story… and the puzzles… and the characters… and the game mechanics… and the play balance. :-) Those are where we’ll be spending our time. In the meantime, the only promise we can make is that we will work hard to create the best experience we can. Really, that’s as much as anyone can promise.
And the part I left out...
Actually, it's "all about" the art and music and solid code too. We can have it all if we're smart about it... and we intend to be!
Testimonials from Our Supporters
We've also had a few testimonials from fans and supporters. Here's a nice post from Alan Luckachina: http://guysfromandromeda.com/andromedanpost/2012/10/20/how-i-learned-to-be-a-hero/.
And here are a few excerpts from a post "Spikey" made on adventuregamers.com:
Also, for me, the major strengths of both the QFG franchise and the Hero-U “battle plans” are that the emphases are on plot and story immersion, and the Coles’ mantra, FUN, not HD graphics or pretty shiny things or what have you. (Incidentally, if people are worried about art, Eriq Chang has things in pretty good order. Google or Facebook search him and you’ll be a lot less concerned.)
Top-down, isometric, CGA, EGA or Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-GA, I am excited:
- the Coles are making a game
- similar to QFG
- good team
- multi-part, play as all the styles of character with each chapter geting its’ own focus
I think we need to remember the story focus and not get distracted with art. Let’s face it, that’s not the purpose of the project, as Corey said yesterday, buy the multi-million games like CoD if you want film-budget artwork.
Anyway, semi-rant over. Keep the faith, I think not only will we not be disappointed, but this one could be a better project than all the ex-Sierra alum’s projects. Certainly in the plot department!
Thanks, Spikey! We couldn't have said it better ourselves, so we really appreciate that you said it for us.
And finally, if I manage to get the video features of this site to work, this should be followed by a short video from Brad Herbert, one of the people involved with the "Art of Sierra" project. Brad is not affiliated with our team in any way, and we are totally jealous of the professionalism of his videos. Brad asked us for the Hero-U banner, than used the magic of green screen photography to film himself "in front of" the virtual banner. We made him promise to give us videography lessons later.
If you don't see the video, ignore all that and we'll figure out a way to get them to you next time. There's another half to it, but I haven't figured out how to link two videos in one Update.
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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.Estimated delivery:
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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:
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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.Estimated delivery:
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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:
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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:
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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
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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:
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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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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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
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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.Estimated delivery:
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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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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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
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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.)Estimated delivery:Add $40 USD to ship outside the US
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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
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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.Estimated delivery:Add $80 USD to ship outside the US
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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!Estimated delivery:
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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!Estimated delivery:
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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.Estimated delivery:
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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.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)