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

Update #38

Evolution in Action

Once long ago, in that bygone era we now call 2012, we set out to create a simple game. It would involve turn-based combat in a dungeon-like setting with a simple plotline overlaid upon it. We would use cartoon-like graphics on a tile-based, flat world that would allow us to concentrate upon the story and game-play rather than upon the engine or graphics.

Then we held our Kickstarter and heard from you - our fans - what you actually want to see.

It was clear that what you really wanted was something more like the Quest for Glory series and less like yet another RPG.

As we read your comments, our vision evolved. We put more story and puzzles into the design. We went away from the cartoony look into a more realistic character style like the best Sierra On-Line characters of the 1990's.

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption evolved from an RPG/Adventure Game into a modern take on Quest for Glory with turn-based, puzzle-oriented combat. We decided to let the players out-think the monsters in the game rather than out-mouse-click them.

One change leads to another

The flat tile system for the backgrounds was too unrealistic and distorted to work well with our new character designs. We had to find a better way to present the art and create the game magic than what we started with. Our team artists far too talented to let the game look anything less than amazing.

We have a new team of programmers who are talented and passionate about our game. They are creating new ways to bring the visuals of the game to life.

We have spent the past few weeks testing new approaches and pushing the envelope of how 2D art will work with the Unity Engine.

So far, the strongest approach is to turn the 2D background artwork into 3D. We have come a long way from the flat little game we envisioned at the start. We are starting to create a huge, complex world full of fun and surprises.

Making Hero-U the Way a Game Should Be Made

Unlike those days when we worked for big companies where we had to make our deadline no matter what it takes, where creativity, bug-fixing, and polish are not important, and the game will ship whether it is ready or not, we control the vertical and the horizontal. We can strive to make the best possible game. We can push the boundaries of what has been done in the past to give you a game you love to play.

After all, now we are working for the best bosses in the world - You. We want to give you our absolute best, no matter what it takes.

By the way, we are still looking for one or two highly talented and experienced 2D animators. We do not pay as well as the big studios, but you get to work on your own schedule on a fun project. Interested artists need to be able to animate large, semi-realistic characters and create smooth "walk cycles". Contact jobs (at) hero-u (dot) net with a link to your portfolio and animation samples to apply.

Here is a very early look at the new Hero-U Composer design tool in action.  It will let us define complex conversations and other interactions that we can import directly into the game code.  More automation = Fewer errors and more player options.

In Other Worlds

There are some very interesting projects out there currently. We would like to mention four Kickstarter projects and three other web sites, so we will keep the descriptions brief.

A Small Favor (http://kck.st/ZlhUxj) ends in less than four days. It looks like a side-scroller, but it is actually a science fiction adventure game with a good story line and nice animation. It looks fun, but needs serious support!

Among the Sleep (http://kck.st/11D7N79) is a horror adventure in which you play a two-year-old child. It is well along in development and is very close to reaching its goal in the remaining five days.

The Realm Game (http://kck.st/XZlFdU) is being developed by a studio more known for animation. As a result, it is gorgeous and you should visit its project page. The Realm has about 30% of its funding goal with nine days left, so they will need a serious push to make it.

Bashar, a passionate backer of Hero-U, is writing Derelict: A Short Story (http://kck.st/10kmLMF). If you like short-form science fiction, give this one a try.

Spellirium (http://spellirium.com/) is a "Kickstarter-like" project looking for funding on its own web site. If you enjoy spelling (think Boggle or Bookworm) and adventure, you might find this fun.

Adventure Burger (http://www.adventureburger.com/) is a site that follows Kickstarter adventure games. This is a good place to find out about adventure games that fall between our project updates.

KickstartVentures (http://www.kickstartadventure.com/home/) is a blog by Shawn Mills. Like Adventure Burger, this site will keep you up to date on new Kickstarter adventure game projects. In addition, Shawn's articles talk about great adventure games of the past as well as current news affecting players. Also check out the Infamous Quests site at http://www.infamous-quests.com/home/.

We hope you all had an excellent Mother's Day (or your local equivalent), and are enjoying the turn of the seasons. Lori got a nice gift and an AIM conversation from Michael. I sent flowers to my Mom and broke any semblance of a low-carb diet by making blueberry ricotta pancakes.  And Lori and I romantically wrote this Kickstarter Update together. :-)

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Michael Crawford on June 6, 2013

      Since all the ex-Sierra folks started their new projects, and I became acquainted with Kickstarter, it's been interesting to watch everyone develop their tools to adapt adventure games to Unity. It would almost be worth having a summit at some point for everyone to share what they've learned and the tools that they've created.

    2. Imagesca61k67m.small

      Creator Valmy, Elephant Herder of the AGL 589 on May 19, 2013

      Wow I am so glad I backed this and gave you guys the opportunity to finally make a game on your own terms. It is sounding great I am so excited for it.

    3. Rcraig2.small

      Creator Rob Craig on May 19, 2013

      This is probably the best piece of news I've heard in a long time. I originally was a little disappointed with the way the project was going to go but backed it anyhow as you guys rock. Now that I see your sticking more to the Quest for Glory type game I'm well chuffed.

      Keep up the good work.

    4. Mi.small

      Creator Rinu on May 17, 2013

      Thanks for the update. Great news :).

      As for another Kickstarters, The Realm was too good to not back it. Sadly its future looks bleak. I'm not a horror fan but I'm glad that Among the Sleep will make it. It looks very good.

    5. Gravatar_herocorey.small

      Creator Corey Cole on May 15, 2013

      @Anna: The regular forums on hero-u.net are for everyone - backers and other interested parties. Tiers at $175 and up have been promised "insider access", and so far we haven't given out anything special for them. For the last few weeks, we've been taking notes on our (the developers) Google Hangout meetings. We plan to make a newsletter or web site with much of that information for the insiders when we have time.

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Anna on May 15, 2013

      I've just remembered - are the special forums we have access to from tier 2 onwards the regular forums on hero-u.net, to which everyone has access now, or are they somewhere else?

    7. 1171891454.small

      Creator WP - Member, Mutant League on May 15, 2013

      Thank you for making this game a bit closer to Quest for Glory, that series was just wonderfull to play.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Simon on May 15, 2013

      Have to say, of all the Kickstarter projects I've backed, this is probably one I'm proud of to support. Even when I wasn't sure about the early stuff, I still held faith that Lori and Corey will make a great game. And with their openness about the game, as well as the issues they are facing (like the small budget), I feel confident that a great game (no matter what form it takes) is coming. :D

    9. Missing_small

      Creator Ken Burwood on May 14, 2013

      Thanks for the update Lori and Corey! Looking forward to the game and seeing some demo's of the design change.

      Thanks also for pointing out those other Kickstarter projects. I've backed few of the projects that you've pointed out in the past, which I wouldn't have known about otherwise The Realm looks interesting and the artwork is simply beautiful. Hopefully they'll meet their goal! Wish I myself had some way of helping spread the word.

    10. Swkavatars-01-squidgee.small

      Creator twincast: Eternally Tormented Mangy WoOS on May 14, 2013

      So climbing is in after all? Woot! \(^o^)/

    11. Gravatar_herocorey.small

      Creator Corey Cole on May 14, 2013

      @twincast: Sorry to confuse. We're still using something much like tiles, but they're being mapped onto simple 3D shapes to give us much better options for climbing, hiding, etc. I hope to be able to show some video or a short playable demo in the next update. I didn't include it this time as we're still using some stand-in art and past experience has shown that some backers don't "get" that games are not developed using final art.

    12. Missing_small

      Creator Voelker_1999 on May 13, 2013

      You've probably heard that a thousand times now, but I want to say it once again: This all sounds really amazing and also very inspiring. To see your commitment to Hero-U, to feel how much you care and want to make it the best game possible, despite the fact that your budget is rather small. Please take all the time you need (and can afford) to make a game you like and can be proud of, it'll surely be worth the wait. And I'll check my account balance once a month to see if I can donate some more money to support Hero-U... :)

    13. Kickstarter.small

      Creator Justin on May 13, 2013

      Good summary...

      Tease us with some backgrounds!!!

    14. 1077663_10151432020781887_136672638_o.small

      Creator Michael Shaw on May 13, 2013

      I LOVE this news. I'll admit, when Hero-U was first announced, I pledged a bundle of money that I probably couldn't afford, strictly on the believe that any project that included Lori and Corey Cole would be sensational. And...then...I vacillated. I still believed in Lori and Corey, but I wasn't blown away by some of the early stuff I was seeing. Not that it wasn't good; but, I wanted something more true to Quest for Glory. I didn't want tiles, I wanted, well...I wanted Quest for Glory by another name. Similar humor, updated by similar game play and graphics, great storytelling. I lowered my pledge. And then I saw some more art, or read some interviews, or felt guilty about lowering my pledge. I raised my pledge again. I admit, I went back and forth on my pledge a number of times - usually I pick a pledge level and I stick with it. Not so with Hero-U. My loyalty and faith in Lori & Corey told me to pledge high; by concerns with certain aspects told me to pledge low. At the end, I settled on a pledge level that I was comfortable with (the same level I first pledged for the game, I think). My faith and loyalty outweighed my concerns. And, now, my concerns are gone. All of the news I've read since the KS ended has reaffirmed my faith in this project. Sure, the wait for release will likely kill me; but, I know it'll be worth it in the end!

    15. Swkavatars-01-squidgee.small

      Creator twincast: Eternally Tormented Mangy WoOS on May 13, 2013

      To be honest, this update confuses the hell out of me.

      Everything in it sounds as if you went past even isometric tiles and are going with classic adventure game (potentially scrolling) single side-view screens.

      Yeah, that'd look even prettier and is what most who backed this project wanted (more) to begin with (and what would have surely gotten you more money), but if that in fact is what you're doing, I really don't know how well that jives with the vision we actually did pledge to; I can't think of any way in which dungeon navigation/layouts and combat movement/tactics would not suffer immensely from it.

      Of course, I'm much more looking forward to the social interaction/school environment angle than the spare time dungeon crawling aspect to begin with, but still..

    16. 226897_10150178392293702_584193701_6910549_5253568_n.small

      Creator Joseph Austin on May 13, 2013

      I've been working on getting 2D alive in Unity myself and it could stand to be more straight forward, so kudos to you guys for figuring it out ;)

    17. Missing_small

      Creator Kay Are Ulvestad on May 13, 2013

      I fully approve of this change, as I love the classic Sierra art-style. :) The only downside is that I guess I will have to wait a bit longer. And that I now want pancakes (which I neither have, nor am supposed to eat on a weekday).

      Any chance of getting some teaser in-game graphics while we wait? ;)

    18. Enry1.small

      Creator David Melanson on May 13, 2013

      Blueberry ricotta pancakes? Good heavens, that sounds good...must try making those myself.

      Anyway, this is the news I've been hoping to hear since the project started. I would've liked a tile-based game with a great plot just fine, but to see it becoming more like QFG...well, that's just awesome!

    19. Gravatar_herocorey.small

      Creator Corey Cole on May 13, 2013

      @alcaray: "Most people don't" (know what puzzle-oriented combat is). First, combat is turn-based, so you have time to think. Second, you have several Rogue abilities that you can apply - more as the game goes along. You might sneak past an enemy, set a trap to snare or damage it, trick it into falling off a ledge, etc. You will use the environment, your skills, your inventory, and possibly even other creatures to help you defeat or avoid enemies.

    20. Arnoidrite.small

      Creator ☜☆RSF☆☞ on May 13, 2013

      Thanks for the update guys, things sound very promising!! Also much like Serena, I think it's great that you give so much attention to other projects. Also, it was nice to hear you managed to have a romantic time together. ;-) Now get back to work!! :D Seriously though, one thing that has really drawn me to support you both, is the approachability and the openness you always extend to your backers. So thank you and I'm sure you will bring us a game we're all proud of.
      @alcaray It means lots of (& not reflex dependant) fun. ;-)

    21. Tinydan.small

      Creator alcaray on May 13, 2013

      I don't know what puzzle-oriented combat is.

    22. L.small

      Creator Amanda ☆ on May 13, 2013

      Great update!!

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Claus Bo Christensen on May 13, 2013

      All I can say is "thumbs up and a big smile to you guys". Looking forward to the end result.

    24. Missing_small

      Creator Michael /AGL589 on May 13, 2013

      Wow, while i was not crazy about the tile-based overhead screenshots of Rogue to Redemption, and like those people you mentioned, wanted to have more of QfG-like experience, i knew that i will back the game anyway, because i just wanted to see you guys back in action. And see/ experience what you'll come up with.
      So now I am very excited to read that you've decided to make the game to look and feel more like QfG, super news! Looking forward to new updates! =)

    25. Serena_paladin_qfi.small

      Creator Serena Nelson - Hero of the AGRM on May 12, 2013

      Nice read and love all the shout-outs (all worthy of taking a look). A bit of clarification about KickstartVentures. It's pretty much all of the IQ guys (Steven Alexander, James Broom, Jenny Pattison, Shawn Mills) working on the blog...and I'm helping out, too.

      And do back the mentioned games. They're all worth getting funded.

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