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Hero-U is a turn-based PC RPG with adventure game puzzles and immersive story, by the award-winning designers of Quest for Glory.
Created by

Corey Cole

6,093 backers pledged $409,150 to help bring this project to life.

Great Day!

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.

Linux Support

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.

Testimonials

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:

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Comments

    1. Creator Josef on November 19, 2012

      Great with the Linuxplans! Rockin!

    2. Creator Nelson R - AGL589 on November 11, 2012

      Hi Corey, the idea of the sequels being the same year is great! What about the second game giving you the option of playing as a rogue as well or as a wizard, so that you can play the first game again but now with interactions with the wizard or with magic elements... Just an idea... It might be hard to implement.

    3. Creator Corey Cole on November 9, 2012

      Ref sequel: All of the funds from this Kickstarter project are going into the first game. The subsequent games will be funded from sales of the first game, possibly some venture capital, and possibly a new Kickstarter.

      Ref interactions with your other characters - Definitely. That's why we want to keep "decision files" around. These will let our artificial intelligence (ok, fancy scripting) make Shawn act the way you played him when he appears in the later games.

      All of the games will be self-sufficient, but they will be more fun when played in sequence. As a player, you will learn more about the school and the world around it, and actions in one game will have effects on the others.

    4. Creator mrfatso ~ Defender of The Goat on November 8, 2012

      hi corey, i was wondering about the sequel. Will it be using the funds from this kickstarter or will there be a seperate KS for it?

      Also, about the rouge and wizard, since u mentioned that its the same school year and same university, will we be seeing some cases, where they might cross path with each other and just give each other a helping hand?

      Perhaps, the wizard, she might encounter a door that's anti-magic and she needs to open it, and here shawns just walk in, running away from a bunch of monster that he accidentally alerted. She would then blast those monster to pieces and shawn could help her out by opening the door.

      And in another instance, shawn might require something out of reach but it's needed to get past this puzzle, and the wizard might walk in and help him get the item. In exchange, shawn might have some information that she needs?

      Something like that, could that happen in game to serve as an introduction to both characters, and to keep new players interested? In the event that they might have purchase the 1st and the not the 2nd game and vice versa, this could peak their interest?

    5. Creator S.D. on November 7, 2012

      Ahh... Corey! I feel your pain, brother! We still do exactly that kind of stuff in the embedded space, working within "limited resources". In my last job I ended up having to port some PPC assembler to ARM in LE mode for a network driver, and for also an OS kernel (QNX neutrino, actually). Turns out that machine translation is garbage, so we still end up sketching sections by hand. Though, we tended to use green engineering graph-paper tablets (which made lining up your asm easier on the hand-writing-ly challenged... like me), and I've never needed to hand assemble more than two pages contiguously (NOTE: for non-geeks... S.D. is a major geek, and can also confirm... Corey Cole is seriously HARDCORE).
      You know what? That's the kind of odd geek memorabilia I'm most interested in, weirdly enough. While completely mad and impossible, I'd add another two hundred bucks to my pledge if I could have a set of four sheets of *original* SCI engine assembler (esp. if there were bits of the SQIII port), in Corey Cole's *handwriting* on yellow legal paper, to frame and put up in my office. More if it was signed, and possibly more if it was a really awesome section of the code...

      (Technical stuff for geeks like Corey and myself... The port I did was especially painful because the PPC routines, being already BE, had the most elegant netcode, since network byte-order *is* BE. It made me sad to take what another engineer had put time and effort into making clean and readable, and having to sprinkle endian swap routine calls all over creation! Now, I'm doing driver work, all in x86-64, the assembler for which defines a whole new level of ugly... I'm really glad to have powerful CPUs with really good C compilers, so I rarely have to mess with asm except for debugging. Above, I put "limited resources" in scare quotes... the final PPC project I worked on ran a 400MHz FreeScale PPC system-on-chip... by the time we were finished with that box, we had essentially built from scratch a '99-'00 era PowerBook, minus graphics :-P Compared to the 8-16MHz CPUs of the SCI era, I feel a bit odd even calling that project "embedded".).

    6. Creator Christopher Blackmon on November 7, 2012

      Wonderful news for Linux! Can I sign up as a tester?

    7. Creator JuanitaD-ArmikrogArmyGoat @ AGL589+$4.96 on November 7, 2012

      Seriously cool support post, Bt. And yeah, Corey is looking more and more awesome by the second.

    8. Creator Serena Nelson - Hero of the AGRM on November 7, 2012

      @Corey: Dayum. You're hardcore.

    9. Creator Steven "Blackthorne" Alexander on November 7, 2012

      You wrote the code out, by hand, on legal pads before you keyed it in?

      Corey Cole is HARDCORE, people.

    10. Creator Corey Cole on November 7, 2012

      Oh, and of course there were sound drivers, mouse driver, differences in the way graphics was handled, and making 16-color games work on monochrome screens via dithering to simulate colors. So it wasn't just the bits and bytes. :-)

    11. Creator Corey Cole on November 7, 2012

      @Serena: My first set of Atari ST ports included King's Quest IV, Space Quest 3, Leisure Suit Larry 2, and Police Quest 2. The SCI engine at that point was about 2/3 C and 1/3 8086 assembler. I converted all the assembly code by hand to 68000, then added macros to the C code so that we could conditionally compile for any platform. The compiled game code was identical on all the systems. My Atari ST code was then ported to the Amiga and Macintosh, since they use the same 68000 processor as the Atari.

      TLDR version: I wrote all that code by hand on yellow legal pads - I think I filled 10-15 pads with the code before keying it in and debugging it. My tools were too primitive to do the initial translation on the computer.

      (More technical for the system programming geeks - Intel architecture stores numbers least-significant byte first, Motorola is the reverse, so my C macros swapped the bytes wherever we read from or wrote to the game source. More challenging was that the PC games used a single 64K "segment" for all the game code and data, while the other systems use a "flat memory space", so I had to find all the 16-bit offsets and turn them into real pointers, then reverse that for storage. More than most of you ever wanted to know!)

    12. Creator Steven "Blackthorne" Alexander on November 7, 2012

      Heh. Shucks - I would have made a longer video, gushing like a little girl - but I wanted to keep it short so I didn't suck up all the time and bandwidth.

      But seriously - without Lori and Corey Cole's Quest For Glory/Hero's Quest coming into my life, I wouldn't have the joy and privilege to make the games I do as part of Infamous Quests. What I do now really feels a hole in my soul, and being able to make fine games for such excellent people like all of you.... it's honestly more than a man could ask for.

      It's their honesty, creativity and sense of FUN that makes me really excited for Hero U. QFG wasn't just a regular old adventure - it had a wink, wink and a nudge, nudge to it that just made me smile from ear to ear, from spirit to soul. And I know that kind of magic only comes from special people, and I know that magic will permeate Hero U.

      Corey, your dedication and support of Linux is amazing and admirable. I myself am not a user of Linux, but through our campaign and development of QFI, I've come to know several users - and I've not met a more loyal fanbase. Linux users are often over-looked, but they'll back you 10 times over, and repay your loyalty to them in so many ways. This kind of dedication you are showing shows your personal interest and dedication to the project. It's not just a dedication to Linux users - but to all OS users and ALL backers - it shows a sense of dedication unparalleled by larger corporate game companies, and it's this experience that makes us independent developers so special.

      Seriously - it was my total and complete honor to record this video for you, and I'm sorry my eyes look like they're trying to escape my skull every few seconds. I get excited about stuff, and it's my eyeballs that seem to jump ahead first!

    13. Creator speedster -Armikrog Army Annelid- $4.96 on November 7, 2012

      Also, fellow linux backers (actually any backers) could help vote up a few relevant reddits to spread the word further:
      http://www.reddit.com/search…

      (reddits pointing to this update should appear near the top)

    14. Creator speedster -Armikrog Army Annelid- $4.96 on November 7, 2012

      jumpnett, my dual boot is always between different Linux distros; totally happy about native Linux being official now! Tell all your Linux-using friends!

    15. Creator jumpnett on November 7, 2012

      So happy there will be a Linux version! Wasn't looking forward to playing in Wine, or seting up a windows dual boot. This just made my day.

    16. Creator Serena Nelson - Hero of the AGRM on November 7, 2012

      It's great to see that there will be Linux support after all. While I am a Windows user myself, I've gotten to know quite a few passionate Linux users and have found myself helping to champion their cause even if it's something that I'll never use.

      I'm also surprised that Corey did the Atari ST ports of some of the Sierra games. Which ones? I've owned and played so many on that system that it's crazy. I still have some of the original disks for that system.

    17. Creator JuanitaD-ArmikrogArmyGoat @ AGL589+$4.96 on November 7, 2012

      Well, Corey & Lori - You are achieving what so many project creators fear they won't manage very well. so don't even try: frequent, informative and interesting updates! Great job on that and truly awesome that you will be supporting Linux. I don't use it, but my son and his friends do. From them and the people I've met on these KS forums, I know they are a passionate group about bringing great content to their favorite OS and you've made them very happy with your generous offer. Don't be surprised if they practically do the work for you. They're a dedicated bunch. :)

    18. Creator Shane Rogers on November 7, 2012

      I think you will find the community willing to lend assistance in porting the game, if you are interested in the help.

    19. Creator The Lurker formally known as Mrs. S.D. on November 7, 2012

      Yay! So many things to be excited about! LINUX!!!
      @Corey: Great job on embedding the video!

      For anyone who missed Infamous Quests' Kickstarter project, Steven "Blackthorne" Alexander - aka Bt - is an incredibly nice and super dedicated guy. Their Quest for Infamy game is going to be amazing. What?! There was a Quest for Glory-inspired project that you missed? Never fear, you can still back, via PayPal, at http://www.infamous-quests.com/home/index.php…

    20. Creator James Davis on November 7, 2012

      I've pledged as much as I can afford and have spread the word to all of my friends. Best of luck and keep the updates coming!

    21. Creator Casey Nordell on November 7, 2012

      These are the best updates on any Kickstarter I've ever seen. I really really enjoy reading them.

      I am excited about this game getting made but also about hearing all this game-making theory and philosophy.

      Incidentally, I had already pledged to both the Shadowgate and Divine Space campaigns and I'm glad to see them mentioned here.

      Keep up the great work on both the game design and discussing the design philosophy with us. It is all very fascinating. Thanks!

    22. Creator Oscar Tong on November 7, 2012

      It's really nice of you to port "Hero-U" to Linux personally. Thanks!