It Takes a Thief - Adventure Game Play in Hero-U
The Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption project continues to pick up speed! By morning (in some time zone), we should hit 3,500 backers and $220,000 (55% of the goal). That's great progress – Thank you, everyone who is backing or sharing our project! We already have one backer looking forward to working with us on his or her personal Monster Lair.
Nine days and twelve hours to go – Let's make them all count!
(Here's a teaser of how the first scene of Hero-U might play out. This is by no means final – We will adapt the text to the art, and will no doubt come up with last-minute design ideas or humor. "Secure your valuables with the Surelock 221-B. Remember, the safest homes are Surelock homes!")
(This is the first part of the game, so it's designed to help the player along. Also, Shawn has no tools at this point of the game, so his options are limited. First, some scripted lead-in... There is no player interaction at first as we set the scene.)
You crawl in through the side window and find yourself in a study room illuminated by a single oil lamp on the fireplace mantle. The main wall has a display cabinet with the portrait of some gloomy old man over it. There is a large desk in the middle of the room.
"Ah, made it! Good thing this window was still open to let in the night breeze. Pretty silly of them not to shut it before they left for the evening…"
"I just hope they stay away for a while."
(The player looks at the cabinet. At the moment, it doesn't seem significant.)
"There are some bottles and things in the cabinet, but I don't see anything that looks like a medallion."
(Now the player interacts with some of the objects in the room. Eventually, he gets Shawn to inspect the desk.)
"Let me see… The Chief Thief said to find the medallion hidden someplace in this room. The desk is a good place to look."
Shawn walks over to the desk and examines it carefully.
"Hmmm… Nothing but junk and papers in these drawers. Wait, this last one is locked. Damn, if only I had some lockpicks, I'd have it open in a second… if I knew how to use them. Well, once I bring the medallion back to the Thieves' Guild, I'll learn all about picking locks."
(One case: Shawn looks at the desk again, and didn't look in the cabinet earlier.)
"The medallion has to be in that locked drawer. But where's the key?"
(Different case: Shawn looked in the cabinet earlier, and now looks at the desk for the 2nd time.)
"I've got to get that drawer open, but it's locked. I thought I saw something shiny in that cabinet. Maybe I should look in there again."
(Player asks for a hint or looks at the desk yet again.)
"You know, people don't carry desk keys around with them. I'll bet the key is around here someplace. It's not in the other drawers… It's not in the pen holder… I guess I have to look somewhere else for it."
(Player looks at the cabinet after having looked at the desk.)
"I wonder if the key is hiding in the cabinet. Hmm..."
(And lots of other options from there. Sorry, it's a little hard to turn an adventure game into a story unless we skip all the interactivity that makes it fun.)
Some Other Cool Projects
"The School for Adventurers" (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/781768800/school-for-adventurers-a-high-fantasy-high-school) is a novel. The writing is good, the illos are really cute, and it's almost like a parallel novel to the Hero-U game. Lori is backing it, and there are only three days left in their Kickstarter campaign.
The upcoming new Tex Murphy game, Project Fedora, had a successful Kickstarter drive back in June. They are another group that's bringing back a classic adventure game, and were kind enough to add a link to Hero-U to their home page. Tex Murphy was one of the few successful FMV (Full Motion Video) adventure games, and has a nice mix of film noir and humor. Check out the Big Finish site at http://www.bigfinishgames.com/games/project-fedora
Another amusing project is Spud's Quest (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/409406442/spuds-quest). It's a classic side-scroller arcade game, but looks to have some interesting Zelda-style puzzles and an adventure-game story. The screen image above reminds me of Spielburg in the first version of Quest for Glory 1.
Over on a pcgamer retrospective of Quest for Glory IV (http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/11/04/reinstall-quest-for-glory-iv/), Malchus87 posted:
Quest for Glory is such an under-appreciated series. I am slightly biased because it literally dominated my gaming-childhood, but this series ushered in so many mechanics we'd see later on in the industry such as stats that grew from usage, exclusive content for branching paths, multiple endings, excellent voice-acting, unlockable classes, morality choices, and importing characters. It was just a great action-adventure-RPG and basically the Fantasy grandfather to Mass Effect.
Also,everybody if you want more Quest for Glory in the future you need to support the Coles and their new project "Hero U." I know I sound like an ad, but I just really miss this universe, and want these guys back in the game industry.
There you are, Malthus – Now you are an ad, or at least your words are one. :-) Thanks for the appreciation. Lori and I will try to justify your faith with Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.