Join Lori and Corey Cole, award-winning game designers of the Quest for Glory game series, Castle of Dr. Brain, Shannara, Mixed-Up Fairy Tales, and Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption in a new Hero-U story adventure.
If you missed the Kickstarter campaign, don't worry! Head over to https://summerdazegame.com/. We'll try to keep it up to date with the latest news about the game, and how to be a "slacker backer" on BackerKit.
Or go straight to BackerKit (after Dec. 1, 2019) at https://summerdaze.backerkit.com/. You'll be able to make a new pledge, keep your mailing address and other information up to date. And you will be able to add on additional rewards whether or not you backed the game on Kickstarter!
A few days ago, we were worried about whether Summer Daze at Hero-U would meet its funding goal. But here we are, less than one day from the close, and the "final days Kickstarter magic" is, well, kicking in! That makes it time to reveal our plans for stretch goals based on the final pledge total.
To be clear, all of the stretch goals are things that Lori and I really want to be part of the game, but are a little beyond our budget. Adding them should not appreciably affect our milestones and completion date for Summer Daze.
MINI-GAMES STRETCH GOAL MET!
First up are mini-games within the main game. We left some room in our budget by asking for a modest $99,999 instead of the far more difficult to reach $100,000. Oh, but what a difference a dollar makes!
If we exceed the project goal by $1 and manage that glorious six figure pledge total, Lori and I will spend it (and a few thousand dollars of our own) on adding at least one super-fun mini-game to Summer Daze!
The first mini-game is a card game we call Boomba. Tilly will play it against her nemesis Rodrego for fun and dominance. Think of it as War meets Bridge - War for the fast play, and Bridge for the challenging strategy and tactics.
We have some other mini-games we'd like to add to Summer Daze. If we have the time and budget later in development, we'll get those into the game too. No promises at this point, but we've been talking about things such as a Hero's Quest style combat screen. We can't do that for a dollar, but maybe we can STRETCH our own budget to include it.
ADDITIONAL ANIMATION STRETCH GOAL MET!
We’ve been developing Summer Daze at Hero-U on a very tight budget up to now. It has all the story and background art, but there isn’t much animation so far. With your help, we’d like to change that!
If funding makes it past $105,000, we’ll be able to have Al Eufrasio add more animated sequences to the game. That might range from subtle transitions in dialogue when a character changes mood to active backgrounds to combat animation. We’ll be able to show more of the things we would otherwise have to put in words.
This is the big one! Voice acting will add a new dimension to Summer Daze. It’s also pretty expensive to do it right. If funding passes $110,000, we will add voice recording into the budget.
We made a vow when we developed Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption - We would only add voices to that game if we could do it right. We didn’t have the time nor budget to pull it off for that game, but we can do it for Summer Daze at Hero-U.
An excellent voice director, who is also a well-known adventure game designer, has volunteered to do our voice recording at an affordable price. If our backers commit to the game by helping us reach this stretch goal, we’ll make our own commitment to get high-quality voice acting into Summer Daze at Hero-U.
New Rewards Added to Summer Daze at Hero-U
Thanks to passing the 1,250 backer mark, everyone who chooses a tier with physical rewards will also get a free Lucky Coin. That includes everyone who pledges at the $150 (“Beachcomber”) and higher tiers, as well as anyone who orders any of the physical add-ons. There is no additional shipping charge for the lucky coin - We’ll include it in your game box or package.
We have a limited number of these coins, so only one coin per order, and we aren’t selling them separately.
Backers have also unlocked live readings by Lori Cole of chapters of her young adult fantasy novel, "How To Be A Hero Part One: By the Book," written with author Mishell Baker. Lori is reading it every Saturday between 4 and 6 pm on our Twitch livestream - https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames. For each 50 additional backers beyond 1000, Lori is adding another chapter to the live readings.
Summer Daze at Hero-U is a light-hearted interactive tale of friendship, fun, and folly suitable for all ages. It's up to you to save the upcoming Harvest Festival at Hero University from imminent disaster... or make it even worse! Will you forge life-long friendships? It all depends on how you play the game.
You play each game as either Tilly Appleberry, a mischievous female half-Elf Rogue, or as Ifeyo Kinah, a serious and studious male Wizard from a Yoruba-like culture. Both need to deal with the Harvest Festival, but everything else about their experiences reflects their differences in personality and how others perceive them.
In the hands of Tilly, you'll pun your way through two weeks of the intensive Summer Session. You'll need to balance your love of games and practical jokes with the desire to make friends, talk others into helping with the festival, and maybe even learning some new rogue skills. Tilly's story is lighthearted and uplifting, but also exciting and challenging.
Summer Daze at Hero-U becomes a serious and challenging adventure as you take on the role of Ifeyo Kinah. Ifeyo is a Wizard student who must use his magic to save the school while coming to terms with his own role in society. Ifeyo was raised to be a warrior, but magic is in his soul. Nothing comes easily for Ifeyo.
Ifeyo grew up in the land of Yoruba in Western Fricana. Yoruba is steeped in traditions that include strong gender roles. Women are traditionally the “makers” - they are expected to run the household, cook, raise children, and craft. A few of them have a talent for magic and use it in their crafting and artistry. Men are not Wizards; that's a woman's role.
Ifeyo is one of the exceptions. Ifeyo has always been drawn to magic, and he has a talent for it. His Aunt Ifetaya, who works at Hero-U as the head chef and culinary instructor, has helped Ifeyo get a scholarship to the University. Here he hopes to become a true Wizard. It won't be easy - He also needs to pull off a stunning and magical Harvest Festival... and keep Hero-U from being overrun by interdimensional monsters.
For fans of our previous game, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, Summer Daze at Hero-U is a prequel to that game. It takes place during the Summer before Shawn O'Conner becomes a somewhat-unwilling student at Hero-U. As a Disbarred Bard (Rogue) student, Tilly will meet Master Gerhard von Urwald and Mr. Terk, and knows about the Headmaster.
With a diverse cast, and narrative-driven gameplay, Summer Daze is part visual novel, part adventure game, and a dash of “light RPG” for everyone who enjoys great storytelling. New players will enjoy the simple point-and-click interactions and lighthearted humor. More experienced players will dig into the nuanced puzzles and masterful game design by two of the most acclaimed game designers.
“Summer Daze at Hero-U is a new direction for us. We’ve crystallized the story and characters into a fast-paced illustrated adventure that can be played anywhere.” – Corey Cole
In addition to the rewards we promise at each tier, you may help the project even more - and get wonderful digital and physical rewards. Just increase your pledge to include enough for one or more of these add-ons. We'll work with you on the details - and allow additions and changes - when we move to BackerKit after the Kickstarter campaign closes.
Downloadable (digital) rewards include:
- $5 The coloring book
- $5 Screen wallpaper set (8 or more)
- $10 The Art of Summer Daze ebook
- $10 Official digital soundtrack by Brandon Blume
- $10 Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption digital soundtrack by Ryan Grogan.
- $20 Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption game key (Steam, GOG, or itch.io)
- $300 Custom toon, name, and optional short quote in the end credits
Physical Add-Ons Include:
- $20 Two autographs - on a postcard and on a sticker suitable for a game box.
- $20 Enameled "coin on a keychain" celebrating 30 years of Glory.
- $30 Special edition "30 Years of Glory" t-shirt, choice of size.
- $40 Plush Blue Meep toy (limited to 2 per backer, and we have only 100).
- $60 Boxed Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption game + manual + music CD
Note: Physical add-on prices do not include shipping! See details below.
The coloring book is already included in all reward tiers $35 and up. The cover is part-color as shown. Fun for all ages! Add $5 to your pledge for a (or an extra) copy.
The screen wallpaper set is already included in all tiers $60 and higher (whether or not the listings mention it!) Add $5 to your pledge for a set with a lower pledge. We'll include several versions for different screen resolutions.
The amazing "Art of Summer Daze at Hero-U" art book is already included in all reward tiers $35 and up. Add $10 to your pledge for a (or an extra) copy. This book will include characters, monsters, backgrounds, animation models, and concept art from the game. It will make a wonderful gift for your favorite artist friend or art lover.
All the incredible music from Summer Daze at Hero-U. Tunes composed by Brandon Blume with bonus tracks by our other musicians. Add $10 to your pledge for the soundtrack, but it's already included with all tiers $35 and up.
The awe-inspiring soundtrack from Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption - created by award-winning Australian composer Ryan Grogan - was previously available only to $35 and higher backers of the previous Kickstarter campaigns. We're now making it available for the first time to Summer Daze at Hero-U backers for just $10. This soundtrack is not included in any Summer Daze reward tiers. You can only get it as an add-on.
In case you have not played the original Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption game, here's your chance to get it at a special $20 price. Hero-U is rated "Very positive" on both Steam and GOG. You will get a key for your choice of providers - Steam, GOG.com, or itch.io. Supports Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Play as Shawn O'Conner, a young man with a mysterious past trying to make it as a Disbarred Bard at Hero-U. An epic adventure role-playing simulation game with hundreds of hours of replayability.
This is the most special of all the digital add-ons. As a Summer Daze at Hero-U game sponsor, our artists will turn your picture into a Really Cute Cartoon that will appear in the end credits along with your name and (if you want) your tagline. Add $300 to your pledge so we can pay the artist, or choose the "Summer Selfie Sponsor Edition" tier, which already includes the credit cartoon reward.
- In addition to the add-on cost, please add enough for shipping.
- U.S. shipping is $10 for the first item and $5 for each additional item.
- International shipping is $30 for the first item and $10 for each additional item.
Summer Daze lead artist John Paul Selwood turned Lori’s photograph of our home - also known as the Transolar Games head office - into an enchanting scene for this postcard. He made us magical too! Lori and Corey will autograph your postcard as well as a sticker suitable for adorning one of your boxed games or manuals. Add $20 plus shipping cost (see above) to your order to get this 2-piece autographed set.
In October 1989, Sierra On-Line released our first PC game - Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero, later renamed to Quest for Glory 1. We're celebrating the 30th anniversary with this beautiful enameled keychain, designed by JP Selwood and Lori Cole. To get the "30 Years of Glory" keychain, add $20 plus shipping cost (see above) to your pledge.
Also commemorating the 30th anniversary of the game that became Quest for Glory, we're making this impressive t-shirt with art from JP Selwood. For "insiders," you'll let people know that you, too, are an alumnus of the Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School. The uninitiated will see an awesome Dragon and the powerful person wearing it! To get the t-shirt, add $30 plus shipping cost (see above) to your pledge. We'll get your sizes in the BackerKit survey.
We have just 100 of these cute and cuddly Meep/Kwirk plush toys left. They're about 9" tall, and we've heard many tales from delighted fans about their Meep friends. Lori and I love ours; even my Mom loves hers! We don't plan on making more of these when the last one is sold. If we run out, we'll provide refunds or let you choose a different add-on. The Blue Meep is $40 plus shipping (see above) added to your pledge.
Twenty years after Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, the Coles returned to game design with a new fantasy role-playing adventure game. Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is our most ambitious game to date - full 3D, huge areas to explore, "time as a currency" to add even more challenge, and more. Summer Daze at Hero-U is a prequel to Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption; they're best together, but each game stands on its own and does not require the other game.
We printed a small number of boxed copies for the original Kickstarter backers, but we will do a new print run if needed. Add $60 plus shipping to your order to get the boxed Rogue to Redemption game. Also consider adding the autographed postcard and sticker set so you can add our autographs to your game box or printed manual.
The best way to learn about Summer Daze at Hero-U is to try our playable demo. You can download it now from itch.io at https://transolar-games.itch.io/summer-daze. You’ll be able to play the full first day of Tilly’s game.
NOTE: Anything in this demo is subject to change in the full game. That may include editing, adding more player choices, and additional art, animation, music, etc.
Here's a short video of the beginning of Tilly's story:
- Interactive adventure story with role-playing elements
- Light-hearted game filled with humor and charm
- Choice of two playable characters - and two very different stories
- Set at Hero University - the school from Rogue to Redemption
- Meaningful and memorable interactions with 23 unique characters
- 25 beautifully-rendered locations
- Playable on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Switch
Summer Daze is an interactive story game that changes through your choices. You play as the studious Wizard Ifeyo or the mischievous Rogue Tilly. Your choices will help you make friends, have exciting adventures, and help the Harvest Festival succeed (or fail gloriously).
This is a dialogue-driven point-and-click game with choice menus and an interactive game map. The focus is on the story and characters. There is no "hunt the pixel," juggling dozens of inventory items, or getting lost in a maze. It's a purer, more focused form of adventure game play.
Try out the free gameplay demo. Players of all ages have praised the intuitive game controls and gentle sense of humor in Summer Daze at Hero-U.
Corey and Lori Cole, the husband and wife team behind Transolar Games, have designed many great games including the Quest for Glory series, Castle of Dr. Brain, and Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. With the support of their talented development teams and devoted fans, they continue to create role-playing, adventure, and story-telling games full of lore, mystery, wonder, and beauty.
Lead developer Cidney Hamilton wrote e-commerce and enterprise software before joining the development team for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. She does gameplay scripting, web infrastructure, playtest coordination, UI design, and systems programming. Cidney is also a major contributor to Archive of Our Own, which won this year's prestigious Hugo Award for Best Related Work to science fiction & fantasy.
Our lead artist is the extraordinarily-talented John Paul Selwood. “JP” was a key artist on Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. He has also created backgrounds and character art for Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements, and other games from Himalaya Studios, Tierra Entertainment, and Crystal Shard.
Character designer and animator Al Eufrasio created animation art for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. He is also known for his contributions to Sierra games such as Torin’s Passage, Space Quest 6, The Realm, Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail, and many others.
New to the team is composer and musician Brandon Blume. Brandon composed the soundtrack for Mage’s Initiation. His previous work includes soundtracks for AGD Interactive on several Sierra game remakes.
YouTube and Twitch
Check out all of our YouTube videos at Youtube.com/c/herou-game.
Our live streams are on https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames. You can also watch videos of our previous streams for up to two weeks after the stream.
Here's a project expense breakdown assuming we make just above our minimum goal at $100,000:
We've been working on Summer Daze at Hero-U for over a year. Kickstarter funds will mainly be devoted to current and future operations, in addition to repaying some of our expenses to date.
The percentages will shift to some extent if this campaign earns enough for us to reach stretch goals. I'll adjust this breakdown as the campaign progresses.
Some potential stretch goal upgrades might include:
- One or more foreign translations ("localized versions")
- Professional voice-acting
- Additional choices, animation, and sound effects
- Pre-production on Hero-U: Wizards Way
- Plush Meerbat Toy add-on option
Risks and challenges
We could miss the delivery estimate. Our policy is to keep working on a game until it's ready. We had to add years to the schedules of two of our previous projects to get them right. However, we've developed seven other games within a few months of the original estimate. Every game project is unpredictable, but we have never failed to deliver a game we promised; some just took longer than others.
Another potential challenge is that we rely heavily on every member of our team. If illness or accident affects our writers, programmers, or artists, that could add a substantial amount of time to the schedule.
We've sought to prevent some of these challenges by putting a full year of development into the game prior to bringing it to Kickstarter. In contrast, our previous project was still in an early concept stage when we sought crowdfunding for it. We believe we've scheduled Summer Daze conservatively.
If this campaign is wildly successful, fulfilling stretch goals and managing the player community may add additional delays to the schedule. We want to keep our players and backers happy, and sometimes that can take time away from game development.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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