Hero-U Funded Again – Thank You!
Lori, I, and our entire development team would like to thank everyone who contributed to and shared either of our Hero-U Kickstarter campaigns. Your pledges will give us a solid base for improving and finishing the game. Our total funding between the two Kickstarter campaigns, PayPal donations, and Humble Bundle pre-orders will be slightly under $500,000 (about $450,000 after subtracting fees).
If you pledged to the 2015 campaign, your credit card should have been billed for the amount of your pledge. If you received notice that there is a problem with your payment, please work with Kickstarter and your credit card company to resolve the issue quickly. We were very proud of the backers of our 2012 campaign in that almost everyone honored their pledges – honor and honesty are prized attributes for Heroes!
Chris Fong and I are working with BackerKit to make sure all of you will receive all the rewards we promised. We have a complicated campaign in that we’re combining pledges made in two Kickstarter campaigns, PayPal donations, and Humble Bundle pre-orders. The folks at BackerKit have been very responsive and assure us they will help us make everything correct.
A Stronger Team Thanks to You
Thanks to the successful Kickstarter, we’ve been able to upgrade Aaron Martin (3D environment artist) and Al Eufrasio (animator) to full-time status. We may add an additional animator later if needed.
We are also happy to announce that Judy Feng will be joining the development staff as a part-time contract programmer. Judy is a skilled and experienced programmer who will be helping us out while also working another full-time job. The extra development power will make sure we can do a good job with the custom sections of the game such as the Poobah card game.
Stretching Our Limits
You came through with outstanding support in the final week of the Kickstarter campaign that allowed us to meet several stretch goals. Most of these are areas we really wanted to include in the game, but that could be cut if necessary to keep the game within budget.
But let’s not stop there! Lori and I really would like to keep the Gog Temple in the Sea Caves; at the current pledge and donation level, we are really close to having the budget for it. It would also be great for all players and backers to add the Meep Companion, language localization, and voice acting. Those are all more expensive and time-consuming goals. If we meet them, we will add them to the game as free DLC after the first Hero-U release.
We will continue to apply BackerKit orders (upgrades, add-ons, and pre-orders), PayPal donations, and Humble Store pre-orders to stretch goal funding through September 2015. That cut-off date is necessary to prevent further delays in releasing the game. We have a “Stretch Goal Thermometer” and donation page at http://hero-u.com/hero-u-donations/ where you can find the current status of the Hero-U stretch goal funding.
Thanks to PayPal donations and Humble Store pre-orders during and after the Kickstarter campaign, our stretch goal fundraising currently stands at $131,245 (starting from the 2015 Kickstarter campaign). We are very close to adding the Gog Temple to the Sea Caves!
The stretch goals reached so far are:
- Tower Garden – Like Erana’s Peace in Quest for Glory, this will be a quiet area where Shawn can relax and perhaps spend time with a close friend.
- Improved Animation – Al is improving walking, running, sneaking, combat moves, “fidgets”, and other areas where our current animation hasn’t been good enough.
- Sea Cave Puzzles – We will be able to add some complexity and challenge to the Sea Caves area of the game. This adds some adventure gaming features to an RPG area.
- Additional music and sound effects – As the scope of the game has increased, we will need additional musical pieces and sound effects to enrich the game. Ryan Grogan, the Hero-U composer, will create new compositions for the game. We are also working with a sound designer to create custom effects and help us select additional “library” sound effects for the game.
- The Boss Wraith will have its special area in the Catacombs. This is something of a puzzle encounter in that Shawn will not be able to walk up to it, stab it a few times, and say “I win!” Magical weapons, spells, and special items will all play a part.
- News flash! We just received a large PayPal donation that has allowed us to reach the Sea Cave Boss (“Unspeakable Horror”) goal. This will be another combat-plus encounter with strong puzzle elements.
Ever wonder why someone bothered to build a medieval castle on Sardonia? The castle conceals many dark secrets within its walls. Unfortunately, not all the darkness has been contained. Things – vile things – are invading this world. The Unspeakable Horror is one of those things that man (or woman) was not meant to know.
Full disclosure compels me to reveal that the world may still be swallowed up in Darkness even with the completion of the Unspeakable Horror stretch goal. But at least there may be a chance to prevent that fate now that the Horror is known. Knowledge is power!
Our next goal (at $135,000) will be adding the Temple of Gog-Sosloth to the Sea Caves, completing the full Sea Cave environment. This will be an amazing and atmospheric area with opportunities for stealth and combat. Lori has written more about the Gog Temple at http://hero-u.com/another-stretch-goal-reached/.
Keeping in Touch
We will use these Kickstarter updates mostly for posts about fulfilling Kickstarter rewards. To keep up-to-date on game progress, please bookmark:
- www.hero-u.com – The game web site including our art and design blog, backer information, and other Hero-U content.
- ttps://www.facebook.com/TheSchoolForHeroes - The official Hero-U Facebook page. Be sure to Like the page so Facebook will notify you of new posts.
- http://hero-u.net/forum/ - Discussion forum. We might move this to hero-u.com later.
Other Adventure and RPG Campaigns
A Hero-U backer, Andrew Tallini, has completed his first game, Ethrea Dreams. You can purchase a copy for $1 at http://www.ethreadreams.com/.
The Eyes of Ara (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/100stonesinteractive/the-eyes-of-ara) is at $7,500 towards a very modest $11,500 goal with 11 days remaining. The project bills itself as “An immersive Puzzle-Adventure game inspired by classics like Myst and modern exploration-based storytelling like Tomb Raider”, and is recommended by Hero-U backers.
Quern (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1255217702/quern-undying-thoughts) is another Myst-inspired puzzle adventure game. Quern is almost halfway to its $30,400 goal with 4 weeks remaining of its 6-week campaign.
Siboot (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/544670315/siboot) by Chris Crawford is at $10K towards its $50K goal. This is a modern take on his revolutionary 1987 game. Chris is trying to redefine the way character relationships are handled in games. Chris says, “Fast reflexes and logical calculation won’t help you win this game. You’ll need social reasoning and emotional intuition.”
“In Siboot, you will work with and against your political rivals to become the leader of this fledgling society. Communicate with other species using a unique pictorial telepathic language.Read the faces of the characters to determine whether they’re telling the truth. You’ll need to gossip, lie, threaten, make deals, and betray in order to ultimately prevail—and so will they.”
The Bard's Tale IV campaign for a sequel to a classic 1980's RPG continues at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv.