Remembering Those Who Came Before - Our First Add-Ons
Our First Hero-U "Add-Ons"
By popular request, and in the spirit of the Day of the Dead, we are pleased to provide our first two "add-ons" for the Hero-U Kickstarter. To select one of these add-ons, add the appropriate amount to your pledge at any tier. We will let you specify your choice and provide details (such as your chosen epitaph) in the Kickstarter-closing questionnaire.
These add-ons give you an in-game presence that can be seen by all players. They are perfect as gifts for a friend – You don't need to use your own name.
We will list new physical add-ons, including booster t-shirts and caps to show off your Hero University pride, next week.
Head(stone) of the Class (Add-on $100 to any reward tier): In the catacombs deep beneath the hallowed halls of Hero-U lie the monuments to those who gave their all in the service of heroism. Are you one of those who quested for Good and Glory? Then you too should be honored by all those who come after. Add $100 to your pledge at any reward tier, and our skilled artisans will engrave your name and epitaph on a headstone hidden deep within the catacombs. Those who seek, shall find you. They may regret it.
School Spirit (Add-on $200 to any reward tier): The catacombs are filled with the restless spirits of those who came before. They haunt the passages and guard their secrets. Is your fate yet unfulfilled? Do you belong among the ghosts? Then add $200 to your pledge at any reward tier. Not only will your epitaph grace a headstone in the catacombs, but your restless spirit, ghoul, or revenant will haunt the area to terrify lesser adventurers and guard your hidden treasure.
Whispers Among the Gravestones
Burf90 asked about the "save game" features:
Lori answered: There will be an autosave feature that will record every time you step into the dungeon and every morning you get up. That being said, you can save your game anywhere and any time for yourself. So yes, the old Adventure Game motto will apply - save early and often! And for those of us who are out of the save the game habit, there will be autosaves to fall back upon.
Torchinomotorino asked about equipment and cross-class skills:
Corey responded: We will have many more equipment options in Hero-U than in Quest for Glory. As Sierra adventures, those games were severely limited in inventory space and options. Rogues at Hero-U rely heavily on their tools and possessions. We'll also get Shawn some stylish changes of armor and clothing.
Lori added: The Rogue can set magical traps and snares, learn to make healing salves and blinding powders, and even itching powders to add to his repertoire of thief skills. He's never going to be a great fighter, but he'll find ways of defeating his foes that no warrior would dream of using!
Twincast2005 and ubyuby asked about romance, relationships, and companions.
Lori responded: Reactions to Shawn's deeds depend upon the other character. Something dastardly might win you the respect of one classmate and the disdain of another one. If Shawn makes friends, then he'll have to work to keep them. They won't stay his friend long if he doesn't act like a friend.
Reputation will be a critical part of the game for people who really like the "Role-playing" in a game. It will take an effort to raise your status with other characters because you start out as a poor Thief. What you do for and to other characters will raise or lower the opinions of those around you.
Right now, I'm planning on the issue of romance to be determined by the player. There are classmates and staff who could be romanced. Everyone has their own goals and agendas, so helping them achieve their goals will give you serious karma cookies.
Then, maybe... they'll think enough of Shawn to fall in love with him.
But Romance is only a side quest in this game. The player may or may not want to put in the effort to impress other people. Shawn may have more important goals in his life than making friends.
Shadowfax11 and DeviantBoi asked why we are using a different graphics approach than in the Quest for Glory games, pointing out that SpaceVenture has promised a Sierra-like engine on a $500K budget.
Lori responded: At our $400K goal, we will have $260K after expenses and backer rewards with which to make the game. Quest for Glory IV cost almost $1 million to make back in 1993 when most of the developers earned $15/hour. Costs are higher now.
We've done the math. We know exactly what it took to make Shannara, MacGuffin's Curse, and Jolly Rover, which was a traditional adventure game. Our budget is not enough to make an Adventure RPG as complex as Hero-U will be using the Sierra approach to art and animation. It is enough to make a great game with tiled graphics.
There is another reason we are goingwith the MacGuffin's Curse approach. We know that we can create a game with the same emotional involvement, character development, and story-telling as any Quest for Glory with this engine. In addition, we can create a combat system that is more "Puzzle-solving" than "click, click, click."
You want to sneak past a monster? No problem - if your sneak skill is high enough. But maybe you'd like to set a trap for the monster and then lure it into the trap. Or perhaps you'd like to push a few barrels so that you can keep the monster from getting to you while you investigate it's lair. We couldn't really pull this sort of game style off with the Adventure Engine.
So our decision to go with the MacGuffin's Curse style is as much because we want to add a different sort of game play to the story as it is financial.
Corey added: What we're doing with Hero-U is boiling the game down to its essence - story, characters, and puzzles - then putting in as much art and music as we can to support those. By using the top-down view, we don't need as much animation or backgrounds, and the programming is simpler. That's allowing us to put a million dollars of gameplay in a $260K game.