Breaking In Is So Hard to Do
Last Chance to Pledge on the Hero-U.net Site
We are closing the KS store on June 30. This will be the last chance for you and your friends to contribute the project until we open a regular store shortly before we release Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. The "KS Store" is at http://www.hero-u.net/KS-store.php#storetop for just one more week.
You may also upgrade your Kickstarter pledge in the KS Store. Choose the "Donate" button, and donate the difference between the reward tier you want and the amount you have already contributed. Make sure you use the "Comments" field to give us your Kickstarter name and any other information we need to upgrade you to the new tier.
Staying around after the store closes will be the Hero-U web site - http://www.hero-u.net/ - recently redesigned by Lori. You can find new artwork and more information about the game there. Be sure to visit and participate in the discussion forums - http://www.hero-u.net/forum/ - while you're there.
Then there's Lori's news column - http://www.hero-u.net/leaders/ - in which she posts project news in between these updates. The latest column mentions our composer Ryan Grogan's latest award for his exceptional children's TV work Down Under.
Fine-Tuning the Demo
The team is well along on our first playable demo, the "Break-In House". This is a simplified version of an actual game scene, so creating it tests most of the code we've developed so far. Shawn can walk around in it and interact with everything. Don't worry – It's one of the first scenes of the game, so there aren't any spoilers.
We are trying to complete the demo in the next week or two with Shawn's real animation, sound effects, and most of the interactions and dialogue that will be in the game. We'll post a link to it when it's "ready for prime time."
Wagging Our Tales
We are delighted to welcome Mark Povey to our team as a senior animator. Mark's impressive background includes working on Don Bluth films including "All Dogs Go To Heaven" and "An American Tail". He has also animated games such as "Broken Sword", Disney's "Tarzan", and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". Mark is currently focusing on animating our characters smoothly.
We have also added Luke Utterback as a part-time AI (Artificial Intelligence) specialist. Luke has six years of experience as a game programmer including work on "Bourne Conspiracy" and "LEGO Universe". He also did the AI programming for the lamentably cancelled "Warrior's Lair" project (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfGeTVugKZM).
Then there's Richard Aronson, famous for the Dread Gazebo story (http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/98/Jul/gazebo.html). Richard helped create the characters of Erasmus and Fenrus that later made it into Quest for Glory. Then he started designing games professionally, including Hoyle's Bridge, The Ruins of Cawdor, Law and Order, ER, World Series of Poker, and some other excellent games. Richard had a bit of time to spare, and has been helping Lori and me fill out the design of economy, equipment and other treasure, and other game systems.
Interesting Kickstarter Projects Ending Soon
There are just over two days to go on Armikrog (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1949537745/armikrog), which has so far raised $700K of its $900K ask. This is a stop-motion-animated adventure game from the creators of Earthworm Jim. The lead artist (Doug Ten Napel) has raised some controversy unrelated to the project with comments against gay marriage. If this is an important concern to you, you will have to decide whether you want to back Armikrog. Personally, I am backing at a minimum level just to keep up with the game's progress. The art style and proposed game play look amazing.
Also ending soon is Double Fine's Massive Chalice Campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doublefine/double-fines-massive-chalice). This is a strategy game rather than an adventure or RPG, but I think it looks really fun. One feature is a campaign mode in which your heroes can retire to raise new generations of heroes – You have to balance your short-term chances against the long-term survival of your realm.
There are still two weeks to go on The St. Christopher's School Lockdown (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1645187100/the-st-christophers-school-lockdown). This is a unique adventure game that explores modern themes of suppression and revolt in the context of a British public school. It looks great, has a different and very interesting theme, and promises to have a character-centered story similar to our own plans with Hero-U.
Just started is LFG: The Fork of Truth (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1412277313/lfg-the-fork-of-truth). This is a 4-player co-op RPG based on the popular Looking for Group web comic (http://www.lfgcomic.com/). The comic started out as a World of Warcraft parody, and has progressed ("matured" would be too strong a word) into a very fun series. I follow it religiously.
Until We Meet Again
Hero-U development is starting to accelerate, and many exciting developments are happening behind the scenes. We look forward to sharing more art, music, news, and demos with you here and on the hero-u.net web site. Stay tuned!
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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)