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

Update #23

A World Full of Heroes

Loyal Backers and Other Readers,

I am excerpting a second of my Quest Log article ("A World Full of Heroes - The Power of We") because, first, I think it's important. And second, it may help you understand why our games are more than just games.  After the excerpt, one of our top-level backers explains why she made the decision to commit a large amount to this campaign.

Why do Lori and I make games about Heroes? It's because we think the world needs more Heroes, and that playing games the focus on heroism is a small start. The characters in our games start out pretty ordinary, but as they work and learn and grow, they become better. When they commit themselves to heroic goals, they slowly discover that they can achieve those goals.

We can be Heroes too.

Where do soldiers, firemen, policemen, philanthropists, charity volunteers, and other real-life heroes come from? They all start out as ordinary people - some rich, some poor, most middle-class - and they commit to higher goals. They set their sights on noble goals, join a team, and work their tails off to gain the skills they need to succeed.

You and I and each of us can do the same. It takes commitment, follow-through, and the “power of we”.

A World of Heroes

Imagine a world full of heroes. It starts out as one or two individuals saying, “Things aren’t right. Someone should do something about that. I guess it’s up to me.”

Then they get together and realize that two people working together can accomplish more than two individuals alone. So they talk to others and share what they’ve learned. Pretty soon, someone else stands up and say, “You know, if they could do it, maybe so can I.” And then there are three.

And four. And a dozen. Slowly the word spreads, and more people join the cause. They aren’t all Heroes at first, but when they commit to doing good, they’ve taken the first step to becoming Heroes themselves.

And maybe you and I read, and listen, and say, “These people need help. How can they take on all the world’s troubles themselves?” And each of us has a choice - We can sit back, and keep complaining, and do nothing. Or we can take those first small steps ourselves. We can commit to joining the movement, doing Good whenever we can, and working towards becoming Heroes ourselves.

Because there is no Superman, or Batman, in our world. And there’s only one Chuck Norris. But there are a lot of ordinary people working to do good deeds, one small task at a time. Every time someone does Good - even it’s not a big, scary, Heroic action - it makes our world a little better.

The Power of We

Every time *you* do good, you make the world *and yourself* a little better. You become part of the hidden team, the people who care, the people who would rather be Heroes than lie back and ignore the evil around them.

That’s what “the power of We” is all about. A whole lot of people who take a stand and strive to do things that matter... That can be the difference from a world that suffocates under its own pollution, starves to death because it has exhausted its natural resources, or lives in fear under the iron hand of despotic rulers. We won’t stand for that world; we can’t allow it.

And that means we all - each one of us as individuals and many of us working together - must become Heroes. The world needs more Heroes, and if you and I do not heed the call, who will answer for us? It’s up to us and the Power of We.

Katherine Owen On Backing at the Highest Tier

Dear Fellow Backers of Rogue to Redemption,

I am one of the proud Philanthropist level backers (the one who bumped up from High Roller yesterday). I haven’t written anything about my particular pledge level to date but as Hero-U hits the final push to reach its funding target, I thought I would just share a few reasons why I have chosen to back it in such a serious way.

Quest for Glory was an important part of my childhood. The game I played for so many hours, days, weeks, months…the one that kept me coming back through my teens, my twenties and, eventually, the first part of my thirties. I wasn’t crazy, nor was it the case to say I didn’t play other games or indeed have other hobbies besides the computer. I was a very serious musician who later chose to become a professional violinist. This series was special. The kind of game that can change your outlook, make you think…the game that literally changed my life. I’ve read so many other similar stories across forums, I know it had a positive and lasting effect on many people.

Something that also changed my life, though with much less of a positive effect, was a car accident back in 2003. It has left me struggling with chronic pain and increasing disability, infecting every single corner of my life.

Still… In 2004 I decided to play Quest for Glory again to lift my spirits. An internet search led me to the How to be a Hero website and I was finally able to meet Lori and Corey Cole. That was a singularly awesome experience for a long-time fan. Through a difficult part of my life, struggling to come to terms with pain and the need to find new directions, this reconnection with the game of my youth somehow directed my energies into teaching and helping others.

Fast-forward another eight years. I still have the same physical problems, but I have spent years in a profession that I love, helping young people to grow and develop, gain confidence and see opportunities each and every one of us can take to make the world a better place. In so many small ways, you can be a Hero: Lori and Corey taught me that.

So, I have used a portion of the money I received as compensation for my accident to help fund this and a couple of other Kickstarter projects, some charities and local opportunities for young musicians; although something horrible happened to me, I now have the ability to support the causes that are close to my heart. I am tremendously honoured to have pledged to this game; I believe it will live up to all of our expectations, and I look forward to the next three days as we hopefully push Hero-U over the line.

My backer level is something I could NEVER have afforded previously. Some might choose to invest that portion of money in something that will return dividends to provide some security later in life. I'm doing that to an extent, also. But by investing in opportunities and projects that matter, ones I feel will genuinely make the world a better place, I see that as an investment in the future of humanist and the dividends will be beyond worth. (By the way, I am not religious, just a humanist. One who likes beagles...not sure what you'd call that). All of us believe in this project and invest what we can reasonably afford.

People often reach old age and regret opportunities missed. I am determined not to miss out on the opportunity of helping this game become a reality. It might sound far-fetched to say that Hero-U will change the world. But it could, simply by virtue of changing the lives of individual people in any number of small ways.

Also...there are uber-cool rewards at each tier. Why not consider bumping up your pledge today?

 - Katherine Owen

Thank you, Katherine! Stories like yours inspired us to create the How to Be a Hero and School for Heroes sites, and they are the reason we want to make Hero-U now. Our #1 rule is, "The player must have fun," but close behind that is, "Our games must give players meaning and value." As long as it's fun. :-)

 - Corey Cole

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Travis on November 18, 2012

      It is an honor to receive a reply from you Mr. Cole! If you feel my little story will be of help in the next update, please feel free to use it :) And while it might seem a little over the top to think a game is saving the world, rest assured that message you have sent through those games influenced many of us as children, inspiring us to be inquisitive about the world around us and pointing us to do the right thing in other aspects of our lives. (Although I did have fun with the thief now and then lol). I'm sure you will achieve that same spirit with Hero U!

      And Katherine, your story was even more inspiring to me, I never intended to type out anything about my experience with the Cole's games, I was just going to be a silent contributor. But your story, about how a game can help one recover from physical and emotional scars, inspired me to write that out. So thanks to you again!

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Remi D. Finjord on November 18, 2012

      Thank you for the wonderful and touching stories, I bumped my pledge up a level. :)

    3. Hero-u_avatars_sword.small

      Creator Katherine Owen - Evil Meep of the AGL589 on November 18, 2012

      @Lori - in case Brian doesn't make it back to this page, he was Arkayanon.

    4. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Joe Amon on November 18, 2012

      Thank you, Corey and Katherine, for sharing so deeply and honestly.

      Pledge upped. :)

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Thomas Murphy on November 18, 2012

      Pledge increased! Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero defined my childhood! I played the original release that my brother got and the game drove me to learn how to read and type...
      Now I hope to have my very own meep!
      Best of luck to you Corey and Lori!

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Michael /AGL589 on November 18, 2012

      Thank you for sharing this touching story Katherine. It i a wonderful feeling that my love for the game is shared by such awesome people as yourself!

      If to look back then there definitely were moments of returning back to the world of this game just to experience some of the uplifting experience it carries. Now that you mention it, it would be great to see some remakes of the older games from QFG series so that the new generation will be able to experience them too, not just those of us who knows the somewhat secret path back to that world through DOSbox. But that is too much to ask from Corey and Lori at the moment, and for now, i just want to see the magic happen again in the form of Hero U, to see a beautiful creation from the masters again.

      I had the pledge at 50, and upped it to 65 now. So that Katherine sees the new game! =)

    7. Missing_small

      Creator jh on November 18, 2012

      Pledge upped!

    8. Hero-u_avatars_sword.small

      Creator Katherine Owen - Evil Meep of the AGL589 on November 18, 2012

      Travis, that was so moving it brought tears to my eyes.

    9. Gravatar_herocorey.small

      Creator Corey Cole on November 18, 2012

      Thanks for the great story, Travis. Lori says I should put it in the next Update, since most of our backers won't make it back to this page.

      I get embarrassed writing about "heroism" and my games in the same breath - We aren't exactly saving the world by writing a game - but that spirit is in everything we design and write. We ask ourselves questions such as, "What is the message we're sending if we do things this way?" Then we change it if we don't like the answer. Unless we're talking about finding something for a Thief character to do. :-) The people you kill and rob in the forest are Bad Guys, and they'll get you if you don't get them first, so I think that part is defensible.

    10. Missing_small

      Creator Travis on November 18, 2012

      I upped my pledge by $55 yesterday before reading this, but it was an inspiring story none the less! I would pledge more if I could, but that's all I can afford!

      Quest for Glory (it was Hero Quest when I started playing!) was not the first video game I played in my life but it was my first PC game and the first game I truly loved. I was only 8 or so when my family bought QFG so I used to sit next to my dad, wrapped in a blanket on cold winter nights, and we'd play together. It was great for my early writing and typing practice with all the "ask about..." and "look at..." questions and statements. This was also right after he recovered from cancer, so it was a great time for us to be together again and share such a wonderful adventure after I spent the better part of a year worried he might not survive. When I'd go to work with him over school breaks I remember we'd talk and strategize all day about what we'd do next.

      I've remained a gamer (I'm 30 now) all these years and I've played hundreds of games, many of them I've long forgotten. Most are very similar with uninteresting stories and uninspiring game play. But QFG was so outstandingly constructed, I still remember it as if it was something that happened to me in real life. The amount of depth and care the Cole's put into the series remains unparalleled, all the little jokes and the amazing feeling of discovery like when you first stumble on the dryad, or discover a fairy circle in a scary forest at night (boy did I learn not to eat wild mushrooms from that zone lol). It makes the heart quicken, something rarely achieved in a game these days. Thus I can't wait to see what the Cole's have in store for us with Hero U!

      Thank you Cole's, for creating these beautiful little worlds and I hope this new game project gets funded so we can all experience more meaningful adventures.

    11. _0036_sheep.small

      Creator krist2 - Weresheepherder of Original Sin on November 18, 2012

      Great update, upped to 50 dollars, choose the 35 tier :-)

    12. Missing_small

      Creator FireLite on November 18, 2012

      Thank you for sharing this touching story Katherine, pledge increased!

    13. Missing_small

      Creator Jack The Shark on November 18, 2012

      I loved this update.
      I live in a country where every day I find out that what you wrote is true.
      I wish that heroism would come always out of decision.
      But sometimes it comes out because of circumstance.

      I love your games and what they represent. And I know I am not the only one here.

      Can't wait to play Hero-U!

    14. Gravatar_herolori.small

      Creator Lori Cole on November 18, 2012

      Hey, Brian... who were you at "How to be a Hero?"

    15. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Kelsey Gardner on November 18, 2012

      This really made me want to up my pledge. I added the $18 for another copy of the game in the hopes that I can share the experience with a friend. Here's hoping others do the same. :)

    16. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator David How on November 18, 2012

      Amazing story Katherine, Pledge Increased!

    17. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Brian Holder on November 18, 2012

      Darla, I'm glad to know that you're a part of this. Now I feel urged to let some of the other old students know about this if they don't already.

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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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    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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