Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
*IGN and Gamespot
It's been over a decade since I've seen IGN use common sense. I wouldn't put any money on that one!
Really amazing game! exceeded my expectations by far.
I Don't understand why IGN or Gamespot won't mention this game. didn't see any publication about it. just tons of articles about fortnite :-( I hope that in the near future they'll come to their senses...
Gregory, we had some problems with the yearbook and have to redo it from scratch. We'll release it as digital content to the backers that ordered it when it's ready. We're also working on the art book, soundtrack, hint book, and bestiary. A game patch to fix the Bossa Nova achievement and other problems. Along with ports to consoles, foreign language localization, and two more games. We'll announce some of the details about all that work over time. Suffice it to say that we're not relaxing in the Bahamas since launching the game.
where in the game is the digital yearbook?
as a long time fan of your previous work, I would like to say after 20 years you have amazingly added a new game to the Quest for Glory universe !
Hero-U shows the perils and opportunities and possible friends and certain enemies you have to face in Sardonia. After Spielburg, Shapeir, Tarna, Mordavia and Silmaria ,
adventure calls forth a Hero again.
Thank you Lori Ann Cole and Corey Cole, and everybody who have spend their love and time.
ps: I wish you much commercial success and will look forward to Hero-U 2: Wizard's Way.
hey, years ago I was one of your harshest critics for a while, but I want to say just how impressed at how great this game turned out. a lot could have done differently that you couldn't have predicted in your crystal ball, but I think the end result really really shaped up and turned into something truly unique that stands out in the world of video games.
Ryan, near the top of your backerkit page is a bright yellow line with a link to "Switch to another survey." Click on that to get to your other pledge.
joel - You had an old email on BackerKit. I updated it and sent you private Kickstarter messages with your keys.
Ryan, then shouldn't you have TWO backerkit surveys? One for each project?
Corey, I'm a little concerned because my Backerkit survey shows me as having pledged at the $20 level, when I pledged at the $150 level (I added a bit more when you reopened the project for additional funds). Can you please confirm that you have my correct pledge level and that I will be receiving the rest of the rewards for that tier?
Much obliged! I've been a fan of your work since the 1980s!
Hi and congrats to the release of the game i'm happy to see that it is so well received :)
I filled out the survey for a GOG.com key and got a confirmation as well but unfortunately, no key has been sent to me yet. When can i expect it? Thank you!
I just wanted to say congratulations on finally publishing Hero-U. Just downloaded it yesterday and will fire it up for the first time (well, first time since the technical Beta) tomorrow. Can't wait to start!
Most things I'm hearing so far from other people are good, so I'm expecting to have a good time with it!
On a side note, you're cropping up now on other Kickstarters as an example of a project that ran super late but delivered a quality product. You're the "It Can Happen" example nowadays. I'd take that as a good place to be.
Again congrats on the successful launch. Hope its a big hit!
Adventure gamers site gave a solid strong 4 / 5 star review :)
Congrats Coles! You did it :)
The game now has 20 tags on Steam, so that worked. :-) I have also noticed that the positive user reviews keeps trickling in. Steam only shows the reviews from users who purchased the game on Steam in the summary at the top. There, the rating is currently "Positive", with 88% positive reviews. A few more positive reviews (4 or 5, depending on how they do the math), and it will move to "Very Positive". Of course, counting the reviews from people who didn't buy the game directly from Steam, the rating is already "Very Positive", with 93% positive reviews. :-)
On GOG, the rating remains at 4.5/5, while on Metacritic, the user rating has risen to 8.6 out of 10.
Overall, it looks like most players are enjoying the game very much, although I wish there would be some professional reviews as well at this point. Hero-U is a great game, and it deserves more attention.
This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.
also also I don't think I need to tell you this but if you do a Kickstarter for a sequen please over-estimate your needed funds, have a prototype, be sparing on your physical rewards, and maybe hire an outside Kickstarter consultant. I'd def be in for Hero-U 2 if you can start recouping from the insane development cycle of Hero-U
also good job with your GOG score bc they can be absolutely brutal over there
Hey, I am actually kinda impressed with what I've seen so far. I really like your take on "Harry Potter meets Persona" I think that is a unique angle. However, I want to echo the sentiment that the walk speed is hard to wrap my mind around. I get that it's part of time/resource management, but in general it does not feel fun, since part of the narrative of conflict is strict choice and consequence time limits. Rooms and hallways are big. It could definitely use some fine tuning! I've seen talk of people using Cheat Engine to increase the walk speed from anywhere from 1.5x to 5x. Cheat Engine is going nowhere near my hard drive bc I couldn't live with myself if I got a VAC Ban, lmao. Anyways, that's my feedback. Please keep chipping away at promoting this game, bc I really want it to be a success. I feel there is a really good, sincere "core" to the game, just the finer details need adjusting.
Ah... I finally got it, by using the Beta Key from the BackerKit. It was still labeled as Beta, so I did not really read/find it. Thanks anyway!
Hallo, I am still waiting for my key. There was no message from BackerKit other than the survey several days ago :(
What Kay said - If you're playing Rogue to Redemption, please add tags. The most popular user-chosen tags are shown. There are quite a few tags that apply - Kickstarter, Visual Novel, Turn-Based Combat or Turn-Based Tactics, etc. - I saw about 20 on that "popular tag" list that apply.
Brian, all fulfillment is on BackerKit; they will have emailed you. I'll send you a private message via Kickstarter with your key.
Hey Hero-U team, I backed both your Kickstarters but haven't yet received my key. Can you please assist? Thank you!
I don't know how to reach more players, but one idea might be to make better use of the tag system on Steam. When I look at the tags for various games, it seems quite normal to have around 20 tags describing the game. I would guess this makes the game more likely to show up in recommendations and searches. Hero-U only has 5 tags. Perhaps it would help if everyone went ahead and added some popular (and appropriate) tags. A list of the most popular tags can be found here:
Many of these certainly fit Hero-U, such as "indie", "single player", "atmospheric" and so on. Any user can add tags, its a simple matter of pressing the plus symbol next to the tags listed on the Steam store page, and then entering tags in the popup dialogue.
Let's help make this game easier to find. :-)
"despite knowing that I made (and am making) many mistakes and got many parts wrong"
It's funny you say that because any time someone (like myself) points out an instance you fight it tooth and nail until you realize you were wrong, then apologize, only to repeat it again later on. It's getting old.
Brandon: Uh oh, we'll never see you again. We're sorry. :-) WoW is a black hole.
ThomasN: Thanks! Reaching non-QfG players has proven very challenging so far. It's easier to sell a game as "like Call of Duty, but with magic," or "a next generation MMO." It's harder to describe a game like Hero-U to someone who has never played Quest for Glory. My general line is, "It's a hybrid adventure / RPG," which unfortunately doesn't really tell the story.
Anyone have some better tag lines to describe the Hero-U gameplay, and to whom it will appeal?
Justin: Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about. It doesn't really matter. You don't approve of the way I ran the Kickstarter campaigns and/or created Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. I'm proud of it, despite knowing that I made (and am making) many mistakes and got many parts wrong. Pretty hard to find a middle ground between those viewpoints.
Joseph: I changed your BackerKit email to your current one. If anyone else is having trouble with an out-of-date email, please use Kickstarter's "Messages" system to send me a message, and tell me your old email. Using Kickstarter guarantees I have your correct current email.
I do not begrudge the long development cycle of this game. However, I have since long given up backing video games on kickstarter as I do not find the video game industry desperately needs the breath of fresh air that only kickstarter can provide.
While any single video game can be very novel, it is unlikely that a similiar game will *never* happen.
Perhaps the one exception to the rule being crowdfunded MMOs - which I have better things to do than all but flush my money into the toilet, nor do I love any MMO niche market enough to back one.
I frankly, stopped reading the updates ... quite some time ago, but am pleased to hear it finished.
I look forward to playing the game when my current WoW obsession is over.
Best of luck in the future.
I am enjoying the game very much so far! Congratulations on getting in released.
Justin, what do you believe Corey's intent was?
"You completely misunderstood my intent on the $25 comment."
I didn't misunderstand anything. Your "intent" is in black and white. You used the word "important" for a reason, don't BS it now. You're as bad at backpeddling as you are at talking to people in the first place.
Started playing for a couple hours. Never played the QFG series but KS this because at that time I wanted to help making more DRM free games and liked adventure games and thought so many people couldn't be wrong. You've made a good game which rivals each one out there currently! It's a quite unique gameplay - I hope you get marketing in gear because most people don't even know they want this game in their life I'm sure.
First, congrats on finishing the game! I'd say I can't wait to play it, but I did play some of it when it was in Beta. And then got distracted by other games so there is that~ It only took 5.5 years to get here but hey. It's... at least finally delivered. It's more I could say than some of the other Kickstarter projects I've supported and, for all intent and purpose, soured my enthusiasm to platform where I barely support anything here.
That being said, I'll still support whatever future projects Lori and Corey Cole come out with. And supported it with the original Kickstarter, and I supported it with the second one to finally get this game to completion. Now I'm not going to say mistakes weren't made. Or that they should be free of criticism. Still, especially since they didn't just disappear or give the runaround on why things were so delayed, they still have my full support.
Which again, more I than I can say about other crowdfunded games (I'm looking at you Star Citizen! Okay to be fair I didn't support it. But I was hoping that, once the game is complete, see how awesome it is, I would jump on board then... the fact I'm still waiting is kind of telling).
Speaking of which, since I did back both campaigns, I was given two surveys. I hope this doesn't screw things up since I don't need two keys of the game.
I backed this project with an email account that has since expired. I am unable to retrieve my key through backerkit. Is there any other way to send it?
Shawn, Kay, Mark, etc. - Thanks for the votes of confidence! We appreciate them as well as constructive criticism.
jorlinn - There is much more to the game that at first meets the eye. I hope you stick with Hero-U and find some of it. The time restriction is deliberate for a few reasons. We don't want players spending all of their time grinding. We don't want them to push so much skill development and exploration into the first five game days that they get bored later in the game. And time is an economic system - Scarcity creates value. In Hero-U, time is more valuable than money, as it is in real life.
Michelle - Yes, I get what you're saying and agree with most of it. As for campaigns to make a free game or other product, I know of a few. They generally are not successful. People seem to have trouble justifying giving $20 for development of a product that will be given away for free.
Maybe if it's very carefully and well phrased, it could work. "We believe strongly that Science Superstar will help many students who aren't getting adequate science education. If this campaign is successful, we will make it available for free to anyone who wants to learn. You can be part of this great mission by contributing." That might or might not work.
We could have tried to make a smaller, less ambitious project with a smaller dollar ask. The reason we didn't is that we were advised we had one shot at taking advantage of our reputations to launch a Kickstarter campaign. Any subsequent one would be likely to raise much less. We had several possible projects we could have kickstarted; we chose the most ambitious of them. We'll need to see over the next few months if that was the right decision monetarily; I definitely think it was the right creative decision.
You, Lori and the rest of the team did an amazing job on the game and I am glad I could take part in helping you guys realize your vision. I would happily give more to see a new QFG type game from you guys and Josh's puns.
Please dont let any negative or argumentative comments stop you guys from producing more games. I hope you have enough assets from Hero U to build other games like a Mage or Fighter/Paladin type character :) I really like what you guys did and I think other fans of the QFG series would echo my statements on this. I've been playing your games since the 80s on the original Hero's Quest: So you want to be a Hero and you guys continue to make amazing experiences that are fun and immersive.
I think you are making a mistake in thinking that most backers here consider kickstarer a preorder. It's a false myth. It's true that many authors use it that way but it is not usually how it is perceived. But not being a preorder doesn't mean there should be any less expectation of the reward being delivered. That reward it's the reason the author got the money and that is what they are expected to deliver.
Even removing the game from the reward won't accomplish much: an author has to fulfill the rewards AND the main goal of the campaign. Even a 1$ backer could bound the author to its word during the campaign even if the backer itself doesn't get that as a reward. The money are gathered to make the game done anyway, a project that don't reach its unsuccessful regardless of the rewards.
I personally would like to see a campaign for developing a game that will be released for free to everybody, backers and not, but it would have obviously to take into account the money needed to sustain the author for the right amount of time as he cannot expect to make money over it. It would be a nice experiment.
I agree however, the estimation date on ks has always been unreliable, an with creative project time is the first thing that could change unexpectedly. It also make less sense with rewards that has multiple item in it: you delivered some physical items early on, while the main product was delivered years later, what was the estimated date for? But we also cannot remove it entirely. A project creator has to make plan at the best of their ability and provide the best estimation date they can. While issue can arise, there is a difference between a 1 year eta that become five years to complete against a 3 year eta take take 4 instead.
I also agree on another thing. A while ago I started thinking that it is not fair to make expectation over a certain amount on an author because of its past accomplishment. There are people in this business that are still more known for something they did in their twenties and with small experience, than what they accomplished after that. Success in life is a rare thing, you are already lucky if you experience it one time. What made that success has many sources that gathered together in the right way the at right time, it's not something so easily replicable even if you do your best (especially on creative projects). People also change, they are not the same the whole life, and will have new interest and new goal and probably a different set of ability and well, different amount of energy. So expecting a great success every time is like expecting a person to never change and taking away their rights to make reasonable mistakes and experience failure like every other person that attempt something new.
It's true that authors are usually the first to take advantage of that, but even we (backers) should start to take that into account to filter what we perceive from other people words.
Don't know if that make much sense.
Michele, I have no idea how you interpreted my words as saying that it would be ok not to deliver a project promised on Kickstarter. That's ridiculous. What I did say is that we project creators should not phrase a campaign tier in a way that makes it look like a purchase. That misleads backers into thinking that delivery is guaranteed in a reasonable time frame.
In our case, the delivery was guaranteed (short of our death, incapacity, or bankruptcy), but we could not accurately predict the schedule. I do want to make it clear that I made every good faith attempt to make an accurate prediction, but I had too many incorrect premises to get it right:
1. Would Lori and I have the same energy at 60 that we had at 35?
2. Would developers be willing to work at 1990 pay (which the budget assumed)?
3. Would Unity provide all the power that SCI gave us at Sierra?
4. Could we find good developers with the specific skills we needed?
I pored over budgets from all of our previous games, as well as our development partner's two indie games, to come up with a schedule and budget that would work. Only after we funded did the partner realize that he had put in massive unpaid work into those two games, and that he wasn't willing to do that for a game he hadn't designed.
So the plan seemed reasonable, but quickly "failed to survive contact with the enemy."
That's unfortunate, but I have to tell you it's 100% normal in the game development industry. Projects fail constantly. Those that do not fail virtually always run over time and budget. If I hadn't made the reasonable, but incorrect, assumptions above, perhaps I would have realized that this project was impossible without additional funding. In that case, there would be no game today.
If Ken Williams had made the reasoned decision that Hero's Quest was an impossible project with Sierra's tools, deadlines, and budgets, he would have cancelled that game before it shipped.
Most project creators have great intentions, but things *always* go wrong. At least ours was only four years or so and a million dollars off of the original plan. Compared to Star Citizen and their "off by $150 million" guess and 2014 shipment guess, we're pretty close to dead on target. :-)
There are games that have done much better, but you know if you throw enough darts, sooner or later a few will land near the center. That's game development for you.
I make no excuses - I have delivered part of what I promised, and will have the rest out this year. The key word on pledges is "Delivery estimate." My estimate was bad, very bad, but I am delivering.
@Kay Are Ulvestad
Fair assessment you made and a good question. I could have probably be more soft with my words and I don't know if I wrote them in the correct way to convey what I think, it would probably be different if said in person.
What I believe is not actually important, but I hope reality is not the way I said it. I really do. But what happened in those years and that was said in the comments makes my statement more plausible than any other option.
The comment you quoted was about the badly planned survey that was bound to be too late to begin with. In the years I understood the development issues, but it's hard to believe that something like this survey could have not been planned. This alone isn't so grave, but take into account those six years of questionable management, and you'll see that regardless the excuses, the end result is the same.
It was Corey's words, not mine, that said that they could actually not deliver and be fine by it.
Believe me, I took the time to comment only after some of his comments in these past days and years ago when he went over its way to attack backers that had every right to be concerned and after more than one thing said in the updates didn't add up. This is something that was rarely seen on other campaigns.
I don't think there were ill intention at all, they would have fled with the money by now instead of putting their house on the line, but I also don't think they were always transparent and considerate toward the backers.
The developers have always been responsible to deliver what they have promised. I don't think anyone disagrees with that, and certainly not in this case, where the developers have gone to exceptional lengths to deliver.
But on the subject of taking responsibility, how about admitting that not everything you have posted here recently was fair criticism? You did make the claim, only two days ago that, and I quote:
"...probably the origin of all the issue in those years was the fact that you don't feel you have to do that or that you own something to the backers as they always come second even in the little things"
Do you still actually believe this?
It's true that kickstarter policy changed but their core is still the same. Actually they made more clear what are the authors responsibility but even before they were never doubts that something were to be produced. Those rules are there to avoid people burning money without consequences. It's not like you cannot fail, you can, but at least you have to take it seriously enough, that's the spirit. If we remove the fact that you have to produce something we would be in a really bad place.
What changed is that with time authors started to better understand how that works, I give you that.
Unfortunately the boom that DFA created was both a good and a bad thing, as many creators throw themselves to a platform without understanding it and without taking risks too much into account. But that also pushed people to try and create something. Games were financed on kickstarter even before, but not at that level.
I have to correct you however, in the DFA campaign, both a game and a documentary were promises, but I agree, not much detail were given about the game, just an idea of what kind of game that would have been. But they still had to deliver, they didn't sold the idea alone and even without a detailed pitch the idea of a classic adventure was well understood by the backers. And they had their issue too as that idea was changed greatly to what people were told when they pledged. I cannot say I don't like the result, I do like it a lot, but still it's not the same as saying they were true to what they pitched.
Anyway as I said before, videogames are an exception to the prototype requirement as it would be unlikely to have the game in a prototype state so early into development. It helps and it would be advised, but it's not mandatory. But still there should be a plan for how to go from the idea to the final product and that must be made clear in the campaign. And the proper amount of money must be allocated, otherwise the risk of falling short of that is really high and you'll still have to deliver what you promised.
Every early works on the game before the campaign are usually started with the author savings, at least from what I saw. There are a lot of games that started years before as a side hobby and then, when they thought that the project was viable, it was transformed in a ks campaign. But it's not always like that and it's not mandatory at all. If you start from scratch, ks is already the place for that, but you have to be clear, possibly detailed, and also ask for the right amount of money to bring you there. I believe you asked way less of what you needed, and you confirmed that years ago. It's an avoidable risk. There are other crowdfunding site like IndieGoGo that allow campaigns that don't need you to reach the goal to get the pledged money, but that is a double-edged sword because you are still required to complete the project while taking way less money to do so. It's better to find another way to finance it that doesn't involve having to actually produce something at that point.
I don't want you to feel guilty. Responsible maybe, because sometimes it seems like you are saying "that's the way it is, it happens, nothing can do about that", while there are levels between that and being fully accountable. Not asking for perfection. I rarely commented here, but I did when you went and comment against the backers only because you were criticized. Just because they didn't have suffered economically the same way, doesn't mean they don't have a word in the saying.
About being proud of having produced something, I wouldn't even dream of taking that away from you. That is completely separated thing from how you did it and how you interacted with your backers. What you produced is something to be cherished and as every created thing is something that will survive all of us. I want to absolutely clear about that.
Despite the developer accountability, both moral and legal, I do still think of my Kickstarter pledges as donations more than anything else. There is a significant risk of not getting what was promised, and however legally bound someone may be, I am not going to get a refund from a bankrupt indie developer who has no financial means to issue one. There is also the fact that in terms of how early and how much I am paying, it makes no sense for me to think of it as a normal purchase.
I am happy to say that my faith in the Coles was not misplaced, though. Hero-U is probably the Kickstarter campaign I am the most happy about having supported, and I have supported some really good ones.
Michele - You are absolutely correct about Kickstarter *today*. Their policies changed around 2015, and many more projects started showing prototypes before launching the Kickstarter campaign. That's exactly what we did with our 2015 "reboot" after having to throw away most of the code we developed in 2013 and early 2014. The game just didn't look good enough when we tried to use the tiled graphic approach we originally announced. Our 2015 campaign was exactly what you stated - a working prototype and a plan to finish the game. It still took us three years to get here.
Back in 2012, Kickstarter was still the Wild West. There had been very few big-money campaigns, and those were mostly for hardware such as digital watches. Look at the original Double Fine Adventure campaign, the first big computer adventure game campaign on Kickstarter. It basically said, "Tim Schafer will try to create a new adventure game, and 2Player Productions will document the process." It didn't promise an actually playable game, only the videos.
Later on, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded, SpaceVenture, and Moebius ran similar campaigns.
Those were the best prototypes I had for launching a campaign in 2012, and I based mine on them. I agree that that was not the best approach for kickstarting a game, but still... look at that word "kickstart" - it means to give something an initial boost. If a game is already well under development, where did the funds come from for that development?
There are examples of the latter - Star Citizen comes to mind. Chris Roberts spent over a million dollars of his own and investors' money before starting crowdfunding. He has raised over $150 million since then. (No game delivered yet, but they have released parts of it.)
Awesome, but is that the model you want for most Kickstarter games? Don't you think there is a place for people who have no way of getting venture capital to present game ideas to the public and get support for building them?
I have made many missteps along the way on this project, and am likely still making them with the launch, but I don't see any reason I should feel guilty about them. Lori and I, with the help of Kickstarter, our talented developers, loans, and investment have actually managed to launch a game we're proud of. That puts us in pretty elite territory, and we feel good about the effort. We'd have liked to do it faster, but not by running five miles and calling it a marathon. Every game project has to take exactly what it takes.
I believe you misunderstood how kickstarter works. When you make a campaign, you are supposed to produce something.
You cannot say "I have an idea, give me money", it takes more than that. Early concepts is not even the bare minimum you need to start a campaign, even less the end product of it. Kickstarter in its rules and advice states clearly that you need to have a plan of what to do and how to do things, not essentially in details, and communicate that to the potential backers. They even discourage or even ban projects that doesn't have a prototype and don't accept the ones that have only rendering of the final product because they are just ideas without study behind, just early concepts. The game category is an exception as you cannot expect to have a prototype of a game so early, but you still need to have a plan, a scope, and the intention to complete the project. Otherwise what is the campaign about? That's why they ask for accountability.
Maybe, if you intend to use a sort of community sourced income, you should try other platforms like Patreon. If people want to support you there, it could be a solution as you would actually work when you have enough people interested in what you are doing. Or do partial campaign with milestones that allow you to work when you reach a certain amount.
But using kickstarter and taking money in advance while saying so easily that it is not important to deliver, that wouldn't be fair. And probably won't get money anyway.
Hopes next time, in the risk and challenge section, you'll take into account this experience.
Anyway, whatever you choose, try to avoid something that would make you in a dire situation like this one, it wouldn't be good for anybody. Something less risky and more contained would probably be better.
I'm very happy to see this completed, and I recognize the heroic efforts you've put into making this happen, it's a level of following through on your commitments a number of projects haven't shown. While I wasn't a second round backer myself, I'm glad to see their faith in you was justified.
I hope the critiques myself and others have offered along the way have been helpful, and I hope you're able to follow up with further successes. Directly interfacing with fans is hard, and the wait has clearly been tougher for you than the fans.
And for what it's worth, I think the delays around handing out keys are an understandable consequence of trying to manage a release like this on multiple platforms. This isn't the equivalent of selling a product in stores to raise cash months or years before fulfilling on promises to your backers like some projects have done, and the response of giving out extra Steam keys feels like an appropriate way to apologize for the inconvenience in timing. It's a small speed bump at the end of a long road.
Hmm, I am impressed by the graphic style, but not by the game play itself.
The social game between the students feels forced upon you. Playing this game feels like doing chores.
There is far too little freedom in the university to choose your own path and I hate tight time constraints. I do hope that a world opens up *after* the university.
What I have seen so far is extremely limited, but maybe I'm missing a lot of secrets.
Ha ha! I love it! I love all the references to Sierra and other games :) You guys did a great job on this! This game brings back memories of the other QFG games. I'm loving this!