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 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.