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
seconds to go
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $65 or moreYou selected
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!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
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.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $175 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
126 backers Limited (674 left of 800)
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.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
33 backers Limited (167 left of 200)
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.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
6 backers All gone!
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.)Estimated delivery:Add $40 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,050 or moreYou selected
19 backers Limited (6 left of 25)
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.)Estimated delivery:Add $40 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
5 backers All gone!
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.Estimated delivery:Add $80 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
3 backers All gone!
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!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)
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!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
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.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $7,500 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)
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.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)