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Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a Win/Mac/Linux adventure role-playing game by Lori and Corey Cole, Quest for Glory series creators.
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a Win/Mac/Linux adventure role-playing game by Lori and Corey Cole, Quest for Glory series creators.
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a Win/Mac/Linux adventure role-playing game by Lori and Corey Cole, Quest for Glory series creators.
1,869 backers pledged $116,888 to help bring this project to life.

Happy Hero-U Holidays

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Lori and I, and the entire Hero-U development team, wish all our loyal backers and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. (You can check out last year’s holiday card and poem at http://hero-u.com/happy-holidays-2015/.)
Have a Very Meepy Christmas
Have a Very Meepy Christmas

 

I recently shipped all of the “soft goods” – Hero-Unicorn baseball caps, All the Heroes t-shirts, and Blue Meeps – to backers who chose them as rewards in the 2015 Kickstarter campaign or BackerKit. Much thanks and appreciation to Eric Varnes, who designed the images on both the new hats and t-shirts.

Check your pledge at https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com/backer/welcome. If your pledge included a t-shirt, cap, or meep toy, you should have received it by now or at least received an email saying it’s in the mail. If you think you are missing a toy, meep, or t-shirt, contact support (at) hero-u (dot) net.

While you’re at it, please make sure your email and mailing address are up to date on BackerKit. We’ll need them to hook you up with digital and physical game rewards, including the game itself.

I still need to print, package, and mail poster prints to backers who ordered them, and canvas prints to high-end backers from both campaigns. Lori and I decided to wait on shipping prints until we release the game, as it makes much more sense to have a Hero-U poster or painting once you also have the game.

Oh, That Door Looks Perfectly Safe
Oh, That Door Looks Perfectly Safe

The Year in Review

2016 has been a roller-coaster ride for us. There have been some great and exciting moments, and some sad and terrifying ones. If I needed to describe it all in one word, it would be “unpredictable”. Sadly, I could use the same word to describe most of the development of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

The hardest part of running a small indie business has been turnover. To date, we’ve had about 30 people work on Hero-U, but currently we’re down to four regular developers, three occasional contributors, and Lori and me. Health, family, and computer issues have cost almost every team member at least a month during the year, and much more for some. I’m not going to go into details, but many events unrelated to the project have created huge stress for us and the team this year. These challenges have continually impacted the schedule, but we’ll keep pushing until the game is done.

On the positive side, we’ve made tremendous progress with the game. I’m personally funding it at this point, and that’s appropriate. “With great risk comes great reward.” – Dungeonmaster or maybe the D&D Player Handbook. Fortunately, Lori and I turned 60 while working on Hero-U, which opens access to our retirement accounts. We’ll try not to exhaust them, but the game comes first! We’re much too young to actually retire.

I hope that sword is just for scaling the marlin
I hope that sword is just for scaling the marlin

A lot of that progress is filling out the fine details of the game text and dialogue. Lori is down to the last few conversations. Josh Mandel has done a wonderful job of filling out the characters and game world by making every object in the game interactable. Our “Explorer” players – and everyone has some Explorer in them – are going to love the fine detail and humor that Josh has infused throughout the game.

Joshua Smyth continues to fill out the game with improved rooms and regions, better lighting, and of course the role-playing game combat. Each monster type has its own “personality” and behavior, although most share the common trait of enjoying the taste of rogue (or any other careless student). We lost Joshua to a “day job” for several months this year, and I can’t emphasize how critical he has been to the project since returning.

Al Eufrasio has had a tremendous impact on the look of the project as our animator. Al wrote a great post about the decisions involved in animating characters that I will share in the next update.

Unity Programmer Help Needed

I’ve had a balancing act throughout the Hero-U project. We need the right developers to complete and polish the game. But we also had to reach “critical mass” on the design, writing, and asset creation so they could get their work done. We also have a limited budget by game development standards, so we’ve had to run with a very lean team. That’s fine except when there’s turnover. In 2016, we lost most of Cidney’s time to recovery from an auto accident, Carolyn left for a full-time job, and most of Adam’s time to a triple-whammy of a dead computer and illness in the family. And now he’s moving on to a full-time day job, which will limit his time in 2017.

Lost in the Sea Caves
Lost in the Sea Caves

To finish Hero-U, we need one or two programmers to work with me on polishing individual scenes. The work will be a three-month contract with possible extension. If you have the right qualifications and want to join our small team, please contact me at jobs (at) hero-u (dot) com. (Note that this is a .com address, not .net as in the support email.) You must meet all of these requirements:

  • Experience developing games with Unity and C# (at least six months).
  • Available to work at least 20 hours a week, up to 40.
  • Able to work independently with a minimum of supervision.
  • Ability to communicate well with other team members.
  • Since this is a short-term contract, we prefer that you have your own Unity Pro license valid for Unity 4 (this is included in Unity 5 licenses).

RPG Investment Opportunity

Artcraft Entertainment – developer of the upcoming Crowfall RPG – is selling shares on Indiegogo and Microventures. This is an opportunity to invest in the long-term success of the game, although it is of course also a high-risk investment. Visit https://app.microventures.com/crowdfunding/artcraft-entertainment to learn more. For more about the Crowfall game, visit http://crowfall.com/.

Artcraft is headed by Gordon Walton and J. Todd Coleman. Gordon was an executive in charge of Ultima Online, The Sims Online, Star Wars: Galaxies, and Star Wars: the Old Republic. Todd was creative director on Shadowbane, Wizard 101, and Pirate101. I know Gordon through conferences, and I rate him One of the Good Guys.

Crowfall RPG Concept Illo
Crowfall RPG Concept Illo

 Merry Christmas! We’ll see you all in 2017. We’re all wishing for a much better year and a Hero-U release that will bring joy to you and us. Have a happy New Year!

Lucid Dreamers, Dean Thrasher, and 18 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. PegasusOrgans-AGL 589 on

      Ignore those who whine, and keep your eyes on the goal! We all love you to bits(and bites?)! Quest For Glory 2 (along with Bard's Tale 3, another Kickstarted game series!) was the very first PC game(s) I owned, ever (apart from built in DOS treasures lol)!!!! To think, that we will finally have a proper return to that world again(one sprung from the minds of great souls), is a blessing. Once the game is actually done and able to be used as evidence of the massive fun the point n click rpg genre can produce! Just being the spiritual successor to Quest for Glory should wake all the troglodytes from their musky caves. Hoping for a sequel and/or on going series!!!

    2. Jeremie Lariviere
      Superbacker
      on

      Merry Christmas (a few days late) to all of you too, thanks for the update

    3. Corey Cole 2-time creator on

      Thank you so much! Your support is much appreciated.
      We really do see light at the end of the tunnel for mid-2017 release (probably May or June), but it's hard to predict because making games is all about people, and we do need another programmer or two. Who we get, and what happens next with the team, will determine how quickly and how well we are able to wrap this up.

    4. Missing avatar

      Mark on

      I love getting updates in my inbox. Thanks for all your hard work.

      My only wish for the new year is that you can easily ignore the people who are complaining about how long it's taking. I'm not sure where the weirdos come from but I guess this is a CRPG community afterall. They're backers, so they should be ignored in a respectful manner at worst. But I suppose my message is if you think it's taking too long- why not volunteer to work for free on the game. Or if you don't have the requisite requirements to do that time or skillwise, donate more money.
      Those are really the only ways to "push it along". Complaining won't help, and I for one find it really disrespectful. Lori and Corey are like gods to me. They've already paid their dues with HQ/QFG. Nothing more to prove. They're making this game because creating things is great and presumably pays a few bucks if successful.
      No room for anything other than positivity or handing over more money. Everything else is noise.

      Happy Holidays to the Coles! Take care of yourselves and make time to love each other. After all, love is the most powerful thing in this world.

    5. Bashar on

      Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah folks! Congratulations to Lori and Corey for earning enough XP to reach level 60! And congratulations to backer Kay for the new Hero in your family!

      Happy to hear that some of the physical items have been shipped out. Really gives a tangible sense that the project is nearing its conclusion, even if there are still some programming hurdles to overcome. 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year.

    6. Missing avatar

      Sleet
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the update, Lori and Corey! The hurdles suck, but I appreciate hearing about them and hope 2017 is a bit kinder to you and the rest of the team!

    7. Missing avatar

      Adam on

      You guys rock. I always appreciate the thoughtful and honest updates. I produce in the indie theater scene in NYC and I know that a curve ball from life is the one thing you can expect during important steps of a project! I'm sorry to hear that you've had more than your fair share on the team and it makes me sad to hear how much stress those issues have caused.

      Remember, we've got your backs. We're excited for the game, but I'm sure many of us are happy to wait if it means you can deliver something you're truly proud of. Your games have brought so much joy and curiosity into my life. Keep moving forward and taking care of yourselves as well!

    8. Missing avatar

      Kay Are Ulvestad on

      It looks like 2016 was a rough year for many people. For myself, I had much to be grateful for for. We finally got to move into our new house, but most importantly, our beautiful, amazing son was born this year. :)

      I would like to thank you for you hard work on the game, I am still very much looking forward to it, and I don't mind waiting. Remember to take care of your family, health and personal finances.

      Also, as stated before, if you ever find yourselves on the western coast of Norway, please get in touch. :)

      I wish you and my fellow backers a merry Christmas, and a very happy new year!

    9. Missing avatar

      James Paten on

      It is tragic that a game I have anticipated this much has run into this many unfortunate hardships. While I am extremely excited for the moment when I can immerse myself again in this world, it is sad to hear of the myriad of tiny tragedies that lead to its creation.

      Still, I am VERY proud to be a backer and can only hope that when the game is released, it's reception is worth the investment, not only of time and money, but effort and sacrifice. Good luck and happy holidays!