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Hero-U is a turn-based PC RPG with adventure game puzzles and immersive story, by the award-winning designers of Quest for Glory.
Hero-U is a turn-based PC RPG with adventure game puzzles and immersive story, by the award-winning designers of Quest for Glory.
Hero-U is a turn-based PC RPG with adventure game puzzles and immersive story, by the award-winning designers of Quest for Glory.
6,093 backers pledged $409,150 to help bring this project to life.

Kickstarter Results and New Team Members

Some of you may have managed to relax a little since our "photo finish."  I managed to sneak away for a few days to play bridge in San Francisco ("Relax? Hah!").  Besides handling requests from our backers, Lori and I have spent most of the last two weeks planning the project and adding to the game and story design.

And we're still staying up until 2 a.m. most mornings.  Sleep is for the weak!

Final Kickstarter Results

The Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption project is now underway, and the Kickstarter funding period is closed.  There were only 21 failed payments out of almost 6,100 backers, which is amazing - Thank you, everyone, for staying committed to this project.

The funds have not yet been released to us, but we now have solid numbers.  Some of our expenses - notably backer rewards - are coming in higher than anticipated, but we still have a very solid starting budget for the project.  There are three ways we can add to the budget in order to increase art and other resources:

We are not currently offering add-ons on the PayPal page.  When we start producing items such as the t-shirt and toy meep, we will add a store page to purchase them.  Those items will ship immediately, rather than being added to the game shipment.

Cascade Falls Bridge, acrylic painting by Terry Robinson

Team and Design Changes

We are delighted to announce that Terry Robinson has joined the Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption team as Lead Artist.  Terry is an incredibly-talented artist who led the art team on Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, created box and promotional art for several of our games, and has created art for many other game projects including King's Quest 7 and The Realm.  Eriq Chang remains on the team as a Senior Artist.

Terry's first "modest" change was to scrap the square tile interface in favor of an isometric art style.  The game will still be 2D, but this will give it more of a 3D look.  In particular, characters and objects on the screen will look more natural.  The change will require a significant engine change, but will greatly enhance the visual appeal.

Lori and I, and the whole development team, are committed to making Hero-U a great game.  We have a tiny budget by current big game standards, but we know how to use it efficiently.  If it comes up short, we will increase the budget with additional investment rather than cut game features.  We've promised you a game as good as - or better than - any Quest for Glory, and we won't back down on that.

Also joining the team is Chris Fong as Assistant Producer.  Chris recently received a Masters degree in game production from Full Sail University, where he was also Valedictorian.  Chris will assist me with planning, tracking contractors and project tasks, and making sure that all Kickstarter rewards are correctly fulfilled.

Other Game Projects

I mentioned Antharion in a previous update.  It's an "old-school, turn-based, party-based RPG set in an open fantasy world."  Unfortunately, they came up slightly short of their modest $15,000 goal, but now they've relaunched with an even lower $10,000 goal and several more hyphens in the description.  This time they'll make it for sure, but they will be able to make a better game with more funding.  Check out their Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/YwRiKl.

The Last Door project has promised to Kick It Forward.  They are making a free-to-play episodic horror adventure "combining orchestral music with pixel art".  If that sounds intriguing to you, check it out at http://kck.st/UJZqQN.

I'm sure there are a lot of other worthwhile projects of interest to Hero-U backers.  If you see one that we should share, please send me a Private Message (click on the "Contact Me" link next to my picture on this project's home page) and let me know why we should support it.  As we will be doing much less frequent updates (approx. every 2 weeks), I would prefer to learn about projects that still have a few weeks to run.

A Decent Proposal

Everyone was in for a surprise at our AnyMeeting talk a few days after the Kickstarter closed.  One of our backers asked if he could make a speech.  As it turned out, Charles used his time to propose to Christiana, also known as Elsa von Spielburg.  Elsa founded the Quest for More Glory web site that helped convince Sierra to let us develop Quest for Glory V.  She has kept the spirit of our games alive ever since, and we were thrilled to learn of her engagement.

Elsa lives on Cyprus (not too far from the location of Hero-U), and Charles lives in the Northeast United States.  This is definitely a made-on-the-Internet match.  Lori and I are very happy to have played our small role in their online meeting through our games.

Bashar Speaks Out

At the previous Google+ hangout (shortly after we closed funding), another backer gave a presentation that we would like to pass on to all of you.  Bashar kindly provided this transcript:

Here in the United States we will soon be celebrating our day of national thanksgiving. But in this instance we have cause to be thankful that breaches all borders. Not just for the Coles, who have returned from obscurity to the industry where they so deservedly belong, nor for Brawsome Studios who have given them the capacity to do so. Not just for the deeply rooted community that has coalesced around this project and put so much effort into promoting it, nor to the more than six thousand individuals who made a difference in funding it. What these things, in combination, have brought us is more than a game. It is the confidence that tomorrow, the sun will shine a little bit brighter.

We live now in the digital age. Where we were once influenced by books, and then cinema and television, games will play an ever larger role in shaping who we are as individuals and as a society. Hero-U is a reminder that transformational change is made up of many small instances of heroism, sacrifice, and faith in a greater good. It is also a message to the next generation that life is string of choices, choices that define our character and have a real impact on the world around us. Today we have made our choice. We have chosen the Coles over corporations, we have chosen compassion over compromise, resolve over reflex. We have done so for more than our own well being, but to bring substance to those struggling under the weight of social ennui.

Whatever impact Hero-U may have on the industry, what I believe in is the impact it will have on those who play it. Lives that have been empty shall be filled. Eyes cast to the ground will be raised. The hopeless shall receive purpose. If Hero-U benefits one person in the same way that the Coles work has elevated my life, I shall hold my head high in knowing that I was there, I was part of it; that mine was one of the many instances of heroism that helped make transformational change in the lives of people I will never meet, in ways that I will never know. For that privilege, it is my privilege to give thanks to you all.

Thank you, Bashar!  We hope we will be able to add one more tiny addition to the spirit of Heroism around the world.  While we're working on it, we encourage each of you to think about some small act of heroism you can do to make your part of the world just a little better... then do it!

Comments

    1. Creator Maus Merryjest AGL589 on December 8, 2012

      I loved the idea of the game before when it was overhead tile based, and I am just queeing with joy at isometric. Love, love it :)

    2. Creator sVnsilver Sand, Dream Traveller on December 5, 2012

      A lot of great news here. Congrats to Charles and Christiana; wish I could have made the meeting :). Bashar's speech was mind-blowing and heartfelt and I can safely say that is pretty much encompasses how a lot of us feel about the Coles and Quest for Glory.

      I'm very happy to hear about the change to isometric view. When thinking about the art direction previously the tile-based system seemed like it would end up being limiting and challenging to accomplish vs. easier and efficient. Especially considering the artistic talents of the team, I think there would possibly be too much charm and atmosphere lost in the translation to tile based system.

      Of course this change will have it's own challenges, but it should give a consistent perspective as well as give a consistent quality across the games art direction. It will probably be a more comfortable for the artists to work with.

      Tiles, in a sense, can be used in an isometric view, but with a larger scale. Think rooms and dungeons, with minor asset changes. Diablo 3 has such a feature where landscape/environment can be randomized, but I imagine something like that could be a huge undertaking.. while at the same time adding huge scope. My mind is kind of wandering; overall I hope the artists are looking very much forward to the new direction. I'm really looking forward to this game, whatever shape it maybe :).

    3. Creator twincast: ♥Hero-U♥ ♥The Bard's Tale IV♥ on December 5, 2012

      Suppenküche? That sure sounds classy. LOL

    4. Creator Corey Cole on December 5, 2012

      @Marc: I only made it to three days of the NABC (North American Bridge Championships for you non-bridge-players, probably most of you :-) ), since that was all the time I was willing to take away from the project. I played with all pick-up partners, but all of them were quite good. I made my usual few dumb mistakes (ok, more than a few in the first round of the Fast Open Pairs), but we generally managed above-average games. It was fun, and my son took me out to a birthday dinner at the Suppenkuche, a German restaurant. SF is one of my favorite cities.

    5. Creator Gonchi on December 5, 2012

      That's quite a modest change. I like isometric though, so bring it on.

      I'm going to pester you about pledge upgrades and add-on's later. I need to let my wallet recover for a bit.

      And hey, congrats to Elsa and Charles.

    6. Creator Justin on December 5, 2012

      Wow! Antharion is already blown out of the water. Looks like they'll hit their goal on day 1!

      Trending - 573% of goal LOL!

    7. Creator Richard S. Hetley on December 5, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    8. Creator Kahuna Kevin on December 5, 2012

      *Cole's project, thank you Steve Jobs auto-correct.

    9. Creator Kahuna Kevin on December 5, 2012

      Glad for the change! And I backed Antharion, thank you for mentioning this project! Antharion is a much smaller team than the Vole's project but the teams heart and vision is just as high. Please consider tossing a few money coins at Antharion, an RPG very influenced by Ultima and Wizardry.

    10. Creator Marc L. Allen on December 5, 2012

      As tasty as this update was, I was most interested to learn you play Bridge! I assume you went to the Fall NABC. How'd you do?

    11. Creator nin on December 5, 2012

      "Terry's first "modest" change was to scrap the square tile interface in favor of an isometric art style. The game will still be 2D, but this will give it more of a 3D look. In particular, characters and objects on the screen will look more natural. The change will require a significant engine change, but will greatly enhance the visual appeal."

      Thank you, Terry! Excited to hear that! I know it shouldn't make that much of a difference to me, but I just wasn't wild about the straight top down design from earlier.

    12. Creator Paul Tate on December 5, 2012

      I would like to see patches and polo shirts in the store. I think a nice a hero u polo would look nice on me as I wear it to work.

    13. Creator GhanBuriGhan - WOOS Wose on December 5, 2012

      I thought the tiled graphics looked remarkably good, but I certainly don't mind going isometric either. Good to hear you are off to a quick start. And I appreciate the heads-up for Antharion, they can certainly use a little boost!

    14. Creator Chaz the Paladin on December 5, 2012

      @David: I don't know if things have changed, but I remember Corey mentioning earlier that the PayPal add-ons instead of counting toward project funding, would count toward game sales. So the money would go toward funding the sequel, kicking it forward, and such.

      I haven't played MacGuffin's curse, so I can't really comment on the switch to isometric. It seemed like the art team was doing great things with the tiles. Hopefully the switch the isometric will give the game broader appeal and bring back anyone who may have dismissed it early on. I'm certainly looking forward to some screenshots. I guess the only thing that worries me, is the effect this switch is going to have on the budget/cost of the project, but I'm sure everything is under control.

    15. Creator Mihir-Pirate King of the Obsidian Order on December 5, 2012

      Extremely happy to hear about the switch to Isometric :D Especially after seeing some of the initial artwork which was seemingly Isometric, I was a bit confused at first, when I found that you guys would use a square tile based view; but now, after reading this, I'm really excited and happy that this is what you guys finally decided upon.

      It will definitely make the game look a lot better :D So happy I backed this now ^_^

    16. Creator David Melanson on December 5, 2012

      Nice update! Good to hear about the shift to isometric - I would've been perfectly happy with the tile-based game, frankly, but the isometric perspective should make it look better.

      Corey, quick question: regarding the eventual PayPal add-ons page, once that eventually becomes available, will getting add-ons there still add on to the funding total like buying the KS-equivalent rewards on the current PayPal page does? I only ask because I wanted to tack on a few additional add-ons during the end of the KS campaign but couldn't because (as I've mentioned before...and neither KS nor Amazon Payments ever gave me a satisfactory explanation as to why) I had problems trying to get the additional payments to authorize.

    17. Creator twincast: ♥Hero-U♥ ♥The Bard's Tale IV♥ on December 5, 2012

      I gotta admit I don't know how to feel about the change to isometric... I love it in principle, but it kind of completely changes my inner eye view of the school and everything... have to do some mental adjusting.

    18. Creator Amadeu Pumar on December 5, 2012

      Wow, I loved the design changes to isometric style!

    19. Creator J. "Tech" Priest on December 5, 2012

      Thanks goodness. I was hoping they would reconsider and go with a more isometric style. I'm glad I backed this project :).

    20. Creator Guran - St Christopher's Alumni on December 5, 2012

      @Rob They ARE using the Unity Engine. See update 20:
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1878147873/hero-u-rogue-to-redemption/posts/350176

      Since they will be able to reuse less tools from MacGuffins Curse I guess it will be quite a bit more expensive to develop! Lets hope those investor's got deep posckets :)

    21. Creator ☜☆RSF☆☞ QFG Hero-U AGL589 bard trainee on December 5, 2012

      So, who's excited? hehehe I know I am!!

    22. Creator Rob Craig on December 5, 2012

      Yes!!! Thank god for loosing the tile based design!! That would not of been the best approach. This was a real deciding point for me to back this project or not.

      Please take a look at what Project Eternity is doing and use the UNITY engine!! Its the best around and not too expensive. Plus you won't need to port to other OS's. Graphics and perspective are so important!!

    23. Creator Bryy Miller on December 5, 2012

      21 out of 61k is not that shabby.

    24. Creator Simon on December 5, 2012

      This news sounds all good... except for the expenses being higher than expected. I know it can be hard to pin down cost until everything is set. And even with the setback, I'm confident the game will still be made, and it will still be great. But damn. Another dollar spent on rewards, is another dollar not spent on the game.

      Still, over all this news is very good IMO. New artist, and the move to a more isometric view. Not going to lie. While I thought the McGuffin's Curse style was certainly playable, would have preferred an isometric look. And now we will have it. I can't wait to see how this game turns out!

    25. Creator Skyleaf on December 5, 2012

      I prefer a gameplay view closer to Jolly Rover than MacGuffin's curse.

    26. Creator Skyleaf on December 5, 2012

      Thank GOD for the isometric art style :D I'm sure I would have loved the game whatever the graphic shape for the storytelling and everything but admittedly I wasn't too crazy about it being a square tile interface.

    27. Creator Benjamin Yunker on December 5, 2012

      So excited for HeroU! Especially on the news of the new artist hire! That's some amazing talent!!!