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

Update #14

Why Your Pledge Matters - and New Rewards

5 comments

Great going today, everyone.  We added almost 100 new backers and are very close to 3,400 backers and $212,000 - 53% of our goal.  We're all getting the word out there about Hero-U!

New Interviews and Information

We have two new articles about Hero-U up today.  As usual, Lori and I revealed new details about the game in each interview.  Please check these out and support the sites they are on.  They are among the good guys!

Adventure Gamers:  Ingmar Böke conducted a massive interview.  If you like details, they are here.  They have also graciously allowed me to republish some of my words at the end of this Update.  Adventure Gamers has been keeping the flame of adventure gaming burning when most sites abandoned it - They deserve your support!

The interview is at http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/23214.

"Maus Merryjest" simultaneously published two articles on Gaming Furever. There's an interview, along with a nice custom drawing by Maus, and a retrospective of Lori's and my Quest for Glory series. If you haven't played those games, Maus's article will give you a good idea of why they were different from most other games, even from other adventure games of the 90's.

The interview is at http://www.gamingfurever.com/news/gf-editorials/179-10-with-maus/620-10-with-maus-lori-corey-cole-creators-of-quest-for-glory.

The retrospective is at http://www.gamingfurever.com/editorials/621-quest-for-glory-retrospective-heroic-legacy.  One thing that Maus points out, and that is very relevant to Hero-U, is that our games are all about Heroes and heroism.  We think there is a Hero in each and every one of us, and that choosing our games wisely is a path to bringing it out.

New Reward Tier and Add-On Changes

Several backers expressed concern with the policy expressed in Update #10 about shipping physical add-ons separately from the game, and therefore having high shipping charges.  We also learned that some of our add-ons may take several months to manufacture.  As a result, we have changed the shipping policy for physical add-ons.  They will now ship with the game for all backers who pledged at physical tiers.  The shipping charges are therefore lower.

In addition, we've made two changes to the physical add-ons:

  • The Hero-U baseball cap add-on price has been reduced to $30 (from $35).
  • FANFARE!  By popular request, we have added a MEEP TOY add-on at $35.

There is more information on the add-ons and the new shipping policy on the main project page.

Yes, join us on the Dark Side!  New high-end reward tier.  This is a special opportunity to participate in the creation of Hero-U by designing your own Monster Lair.  We will work with you on available assets and to help make sure your Lair is fun and balanced.  Here's the reward tier description:

Monster Lair ($2,500, limited to 10 backers): 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!  (That "sculpted image" is the statue that PhD's and higher get. In this reward, it's in your Lair instead of in the main part of the school.)

Why Your Pledge Matters

At the end of my interview for www.adventuregamers.com (full link above), I got a chance to get on a soapbox and talk about one of my favorite topics - The Kickstarter Revolution and why each of your pledges is critically important.  Jack Allin and Ingmar Böke have graciously consented to let me reprint that here.

(Once upon a time, long before even I was born, soap used to come in large wooden crates.  Speakers in places like Hyde Park would stand up on a soapbox so that people could see them when they gave their speeches.  Now the Web is everybody's soapbox, although it can still be hard to see the speaker among all the other stuff up here.)

Ingmar: Before we close, we invite you to leave some parting words for potential Hero-U backers on Kickstarter. The stage is yours...

Corey: We're not sure if you realize how much power you have. When we left Sierra, the game industry became mired in an endless succession of first-person shooters. Adventure games died overnight because publishers didn't want to spend millions of dollars on games that would only sell a couple hundred thousand copies.

Gaming as we knew it died, except for a few decent MMOs. But now there are signs of life, and you're in charge.

By backing projects you care about, games that have quality and good design, you can help make smaller games possible. Big publishers have so much overhead, they're only interested in mass-market games that don't require any brains to play. They've abandoned the adventure gamer, and are providing only a watered-down husk of role-playing games.

Nobody has picked up the mantle we discarded in 1999, the idea of making an adventure game stronger by adding role-playing elements. It's a unique sub-genre that a lot of people found fun in the 1990s, and that most of you will still enjoy now.

But it's up to you whether these games even get made, and whether they have enough budget to rise to the level of quality of top-tier games. You can't sit back and wait to see what will happen. If you do, here's what will happen – Nobody will make hybrid adventure/RPGs. Very few people will make adventure games of any type. The people who started paying attention when Double Fine Adventure and Project: Eternity got their huge budgets will say, "Ah, I thought so. Those were flukes. Nobody really cares about those kind of games. Next shooter! Next endless sports game clone! More action, more special effects, less thought!"

You can stand up for the kind of games you want to play, or you can watch the adventure game renaissance die its second death. It's all up to you. Please support our new game, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption on Kickstarter. And support other worthy games such as Shadowgate, ones with quality design that don't have $50 million advertising budgets. If you don't, the creative, thoughtful games will die out just as they did in 2000.

Let's not let that happen this time, ok?

Josh Mandel Testimonial

Josh Mandel is a great comedian and game designer. He worked with Al Lowe on Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, wrote text for our Shannara game, and has worked on a host of other games (http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,260/).  Here's what he posted about our project on Adventure Gamers (Thanks, Josh!):

I don’t often stop by (well, I stop by, but I rarely comment), but I just thought I’d come and put in a word for Corey and Lori Cole’s Hero-U Kickstarter.

Corey and Lori are pretty unique in the game world. They were the first, and still unmatched, at integrating adventure gaming and RPG gaming. I would also point out that their work has consistently improved over the years (and it started off superb to begin with), and so I think we can expect even greater things from this game than we’ve seen from them before.(No pressure or anything.)

Their Kickstarter’s got the usual mid-life lack of momentum right now, but they’re over 50% and I would dearly love to see them reach their goal without the tension and stress of the typical last-minute flurry. I’m a pledger, and I hope you will be, too.

Josh Mandel

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Mark L on November 10, 2012

      After reading "Why Your Pledge Matters" above, I decided I could afford to incread my pledge a little (about double). If only everyone would do that, or convince a friend or two to pledge, we could easily make this happen. I have my fingers crossed...

    2. Gravatar_herocorey.small

      Creator Corey Cole on November 10, 2012

      @Brian: Great comment! Mind if I reprint it in the school for heroes Quest Log along with similar commentary? I've really enjoyed some of the blockbuster films (Lord of the Rings, of course), been disappointed with some of the others. But it's really nice to have a variety, and so many excellent films are overshadowed by the blockbusters. It's the same in gaming. We're saturated with titles, and it's really hard to decide which ones are worth getting. The press focuses on the "safe" blockbuster titles.

      @twincast: Sorry about that. I have to admit I never even played Broken Sword. Lori and I did a small amount of design for two European companies, but both have been struggling to get funding, so the games have not yet made it to market. There are vibrant game development communities in many countries around the world. But once again, they often come and go so quickly in the trade press, most of us never hear about them.

    3. Swkavatars-01-squidgee.small

      Creator twincast: Eternally Tormented Mangy WoOS on November 10, 2012

      Not that I don't agree in principle, but could everybody please stop ignoring the heaps of adventure games released in recent years? Most of them by European studios. Most of them (especially the funny ones) very good (the dark ones seem to have more flukes), although AFAIK some English translations suffer considerably. Not to mention the handful of popular indie adventure games with retro graphics and Telltale's episodic outings.

    4. Serena_paladin_qfi.small

      Creator Serena Nelson - Hero of the AGRM on November 10, 2012

      Great update. Corey's speech about Kickstarting adventure gaming nearly brought me to tears. That's exactly how I felt ever since I started this journey in April with Leisure Suit Larry. I had all but given up hope on adventure gaming, seeing nothing but another rehashed shooter and stupid sports game being released with very few quality games. Of course, there still was the occasional good AG coming out from indy studios, but nothing that said "We're back, baby!" I wanted a new renaissance that brought back fond memories of the early days with Sierra On-Line and LucasArts. And Kickstarter has helped make this dream become a reality. I can't wait for the Adventure Game Revival Movement to prove the big publishers wrong...that there IS still a market for story and character driven games. Games that make you THINK instead of relying on twitch reflexes. We need more games like Hero-U to see the light of day.

    5. Robinton2tn.small

      Creator Tevaron Algidem on November 10, 2012

      I would just like to say that Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness was the first PC game I ever purchased. I had played NES and SNES games up until that point and was so struck by the level of imagination and interaction possible that this was when my courtship with PC adventure and CRPGs began, and I never really went back to console gaming again. Over the years the games that I love have becoming fewer and farther between, with a few shining jewels "Planescape: Torment" and more recently a very small indie game "To the Moon" (though really more of an interactive fiction than a game) to look back over the last twelve years and say that only two games really rose to the level of MEMORABLE to me, when previously it was fairly common for a game to break through and strike a cord beyond the aspect of simply playing a game is quite sad.
      Now I understand that as we grow and experience more and more things fewer are bound to resonate as strongly with us as previously did. The thing is, in this instance, I believe it is not because of saturation, but rather lack of creativity pushing through all the barriers present to bring truly unique and novel experiences to us.
      Like Hollywood before, computer games have fallen prey to the lure of the "Blockbuster" phenomena: find a formula that appeals toe the mindless masses looking for a way to numb their brains instead of expand their minds, change a few mechanics, ad a few more special effects and a bit better graphics each time and pump out clone upon clone of the same stale and ultimately BORING concept again and again.
      While I' will freely admit that I found the first DOOM and even Quake quite innovative and fun, when one sits back and looks at the HUNDREDS, who know perhaps thousands of games in the same vehicle that have been churned out since (each with little innovation and yet much fanfare) one must wonder where are the games for those of us who LIKE to think, who ENJOY being challenged and touched at an emotional level? Gone are the days of unique stories and deeply innovative concepts, the industry has beaten the creativity out of the developers.
      Kickstarter has given us such a great opportunity, to push through all of the mind numbing drivel and choose for ourselves the projects we find worthy of getting made. I love many different kinds of games, not just Adventure games and CRPGs, though I tend to lean in that direction, sadly if we don't make our voices heard then not only may we loose these wonderful genres but ultimately how many NEW and EXCITING as yet UNHEARD OF genres will fall by the wayside, simply because they were not "Certified Blockbusters?"
      Personally I like my games as I like my movies, innovative, stimulating and evocative. These days both are a very rare commodity so please don't just stand by while truly interesting and creative projects made by talented and dedicated people fall silently by the wayside, speak up the only way the industry understands: Pledge your support to these wonderful teams, and look for others deserving of our help!

      I really didn't start this comment out intending it to be a pseudo-sales pitch, but I guess passion went a bit further than intended :) Anyway Thanks Lori and Corey for the contributions you've made to gaming thus far, and here's looking forward to the contributions you continue to make!

6,093
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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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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    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.

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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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    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.

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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!

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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.

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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.)

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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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    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.

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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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Funding period

- (32 days)