SpaceVenture Project Update #92: Mar. 16th Update: Anti-Gravity Puzzle Spewing Action Teaser

Good day backer buddies! This update is going to be short and sweet since the last couple of weeks have been a continuation of a lot of the same focus points I mentioned in the previous update. We are still knee deep in a major scene that is actually three scenes and puzzles in one.

I did want to share a small and funny clip with you though. This is something that Mark Crowe put together after spending hours upon hours working on a scene in which Ace is dealing with an anti-gravity puzzle situation.

http://youtu.be/M_1oShIT77kNow please note that this isn’t polished and Ace isn’t gonna be spewing like that in the real game. This was just something funny put together because of some frustration Mark was having while working on this scene and we thought we’d share it. It will be part of the blooper reel for the game when it’s released :)

If you’re wondering when the game will be available, we don’t have an estimated date yet, but please see this update for more details on why that is.

EPISODE 10 OF THE BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN

Settle in with a nice glass of whatever’s-your-poison and relax to the soothing voice of professional radio announcer Joe Cassara reading excerpts from the Space Quest fan fiction novels written around 1997-1998 by Daniel Stacey (Mage’s Initiation, King’s Quest II and III VGA) and the Historian himself … oh, and Pete Toleman gives it a go, too. Prepare for horror. There’s also news from the Andromedan Bunker, straight from the lips of that sexy beast, the Space Pope. And we conclude with our last and final and ultimate part of the fireside chat between the gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen. Stay tuned for Part II and check out www.spacequesthistorian.com for links to the PDF’s of the novels.

LISTEN IN ITUNES or THE RSS FEED HERE

OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO OUR BUDDIES AT INFAMOUS QUESTS

Their Sierra Style “Quest for Infamy” game is looking epic! Check out the teaser trailer below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8HmIJpHudo#t=40You can get more info at their website: http://www.infamous-quests.com/

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope

Hero-U Project Update #50: Irish You Were Here At Hero-U

Next Monday is St. Patrick’s Day. People celebrate it in the U.S. by eating corned beef and cabbage, wearing something green, drinking green beer, and singing Irish songs. We celebrate by eating; Lori added Irish soda bread this year. We are also singing, but then we do that whenever we can. (We don’t actually drink beer, sorry.)

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption has a touch of the green as well. Shawn O’Conner has an Irish name, and that’s an important part of his back-story. We set both Quest for Glory and Hero-U in worlds based on Earth geography, sort of a parallel planet to our own. In the game, you can help Shawn learn more about his forgotten childhood and family heritage.

Irish You Were BeerIrish You Were Beer

 Corey and Lori on IGN’s Up at Noon with Greg Miller

Last month Lori and I visited the IGN offices in San Francisco to talk about Hero-U on the Up at Noon webcast. Check out the results at http://www.ign.com/videos/2014/02/17/persona-4-meets-dungeons-dragons-hero-u-on-up-at-noon. We had a lot of fun doing the show and meeting Greg, Kristine, and some of the IGN crew.

Also in February, we managed to mail out all of the collectibles reward packages to backers except for posters and paintings. If you backed at the $125 tier or higher (except the $175 all-digital tier), you should now have your toy meep. If you backed at $200 or higher, we also sent you a t-shirt or baseball cap. We plan to send out the posters and canvas art later this year, and the boxed games when they are ready (probably late 2014).

Web Site Update

Lori and I took some time away from game writing to improve the Hero-U web site (www.hero-u.net). The new site includes in-progress art and music, the long-awaited Backers Page, and two new store pages.

By the way, if you do *not* want to be listed on the Backers page, please say that in a note to support@hero-u.net. Everyone is there currently because you are all part of our community and inspiration for making the Hero-U games.

The Hero-U Pre-Order Page

At http://www.hero-u.net/hero_u_preorder.html, those who missed the Kickstarter can pre-order Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Currently we have three all-digital tiers:

  • $22 buys Basic Admission – The downloadable game when it is ready
  • $38 buys Audio-Visual Extras – The game, digital art book, and sound track
  • $60 buys Premium Course Materials – All of the above, plus access to Beta versions as they come out, and the digital Yearbook with additional game information, illustrations, and an introduction to many of the other students at Hero-U.

Limited Edition Collectibles Page

The new Limited Edition Hero-U Collectibles page (http://www.hero-u.net/hero_u_collect.html) is the place to capture some of the collectible items we have left from our Kickstarter campaign:

  • $35 for a blue Meep plush toy
  • $30/$35 for a t-shirt with the Scott Flanders “Rogue’s Last Stand” design
  • $30 for a red embroidered Hero-U baseball cap designed by Lori
  • $10 for a “Team Meep” key ring and tag designed by Lori with the Eriq Chang Hero-U logo

The first two items are limited to stock on hand (about 350 Meeps and 50 t-shirts, mostly size L and XL). I plan to order more key tags, and possibly caps, if we have demand for them.

Please tell your friends about the game and the new www.hero-u.net site. Every purchase and pre-order helps us finish Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

Marching On

We are making a lot of forward progress on Hero-U. Our artists have created most of the game scenes and props. They have painted customized images for everyone with a yearbook picture, in-game painting, or “school spirit”. The programmers have put together many of the scenes and are working on the combat interface and simulation. Lori and I still have a lot of writing to do as we gradually build up the game, in between directing the team and handling the many details (such as filing tax reports, answering email, and posting here and on www.hero-u.net) involved in running a small business.

Next up for our “insider backers” ($175 and up) will be a sneak peek at the combat system. Jonathan has been working on the interface and I am developing a simulator to help us balance stats, tactics, and special abilities.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we work to get every detail right in Hero-U. This game will have a different feel than anything else out there, and that is only possible thanks to your support.

The Magic Classroom (In-Game Screenshot)The Magic Classroom (In-Game Screenshot)

SpaceVenture Project Update #91: Mar. 1st Update: Sneak Peek Pipes Puzzle Madness

Hello ladies and gents! It’s time for another look at how things have been going in the last couple of weeks on SpaceVenture. The SpaceVenture team has been moving forward quite nicely as of late. We had quite a few bug fixes that got taken care of, and we also made a lot of progress on a major scene in the game. This particular scene has taken almost a month just to get all the artwork and animations in order. Starting Monday, we’ll be breaking ground on the puzzle part of it! You know, the part that makes it tricky and fun to figure out! :)

AN UPDATE ON THE PIPES PUZZLE

So I told you all in a previous update and a rewards diary entry (if you can’t view that diary entry and you are a $30 and up backer please email pcj@andromedanpost.com) that I had the pleasure of working on a puzzle we have dubbed, “The Pipes Puzzle”. (I personally want to add “OF DOOM” to the end of that, but that didn’t fly) It has been in the works for about a month now, and I’m happy to report that it’s almost complete. We’re gonna give you a sneak peak in a video below. But before watching the video, here’s some info on how it came about.

My part in the puzzle was to handle all the events that happened in the background in order to make the puzzle function correctly. After that was all working, Mark Crowe gave it a beautiful face lift that made it have a darker more Sci-Fi convincing feel. Ken Allen has been hard at work rigging up sounds effects. Although most of his recent sound effects aren’t in the video, and there isn’t any music at this time. But you will get to hear a few sounds in the video. Soon, Scott Murphy will be jumping in to add his hilarious dialog to all the objects in the scene.

Originally this scene had ladders that Ace would climb to go up and down, but during one of our weekly team meetings, Scott Murphy brought up the great idea to add a Jetsons style tube system. The next day Mark had the assets put in and we got it rigged up and working. Please note that the scene you’ll see in the below video is a work in progress and we have taken out a few things that are a bit too spoilery, but I think you guys will like what you’ll see.

As a side note, the player UI (the icons) are also not what you’ll be seeing in the actual game, so please hold off on any feedback on those. We’re planning something very intuitive for our UI system that I think you’ll all love. More input on that in a future update.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bKqU21oqyE&feature=youtu.beIf you’re wondering when the game will be available, we don’t have an estimated date yet, but please see this update for more details on why that is.

THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN PODCAST 

The Space Quest Historian took a couple of weeks off due to some unforeseen circumstance this time around, but below is the most recent episode if you haven’t already listened to it.

EPISODE 9 – Something happened last week that put this week’s planned podcast topic on hold. Well, that, and some unforeseen complications. So this podcast is all about the freeware game Serena and what a very special collaborative experience it was making for and by the adventure gaming community. We’ve also got some startling news from Pete Toleman, who was last seen fleeing from some rather unsavory types and who had a Kickstarter out to save his company; the amazing Chris Pope regales us with some more news about the SpaceVenture; and, to cap everything off, we’ve got the fine gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen, with part 2 of their New Year’s chat. It’s a very special episode, unlike all the other episodes which weren’t special at all.

NOW IN ITUNES or RSS FEED HERE

 OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY  

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole  

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope

SpaceVenture Project Update #90: Feb. 16th Update: Mmmmm Soylent Smoothee and epic explosions!

Hi out there to all of our wonderful backer folks. It’s time for our bi-monthly SpaceVenture update! First off, things are moving along really well right now. We have made a good deal of progress in getting certain scenes close to the finish line. Multiple game puzzle sequences have also been completed in the past two weeks, including the crazy pipes puzzle I mentioned in the last update.

As a side note, I posted some more information about that scene in a developer diary on the SpaceVenture Rewards website for you $30 and up backers. Don’t forget that all the developer diaries will be available to all backers once the game is shipped. You can check out that post HERE. WARNING: If you can’t log onto the rewards website, please contact pcj@andromedanpost.com

I have a couple of cool things to show you today, one of which you might be able to help us come up with some funny content for.

INTRODUCING THE WONDERFUL TASTINESS THAT IS A SOYLENT SMOOTHEE!

We’d love for you to help us come up with 101 uses for a frosty cup of Soylent Smoothee! Some of the best lines might just get mentioned in SpaceVenture itself ;)

Submit your comments HERE

Another thing I’d like to show you involves a certain ship that we’ve already introduced you to in the demo. Warning, this may be a little spoilery! It’s no secret that people are trying to escape the ship called Nostrodomus right in the intro of the game. See here:

Well we’ve been sitting on this epic explosion scene for quite some time now, but recently our Principal Composer and Sound Designer Ken Allen put some SFX on the scene to make it even more epic! See video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KACC_-B3608&feature=youtu.beIf you’re wondering when the game will be available, we don’t have an estimated date yet, but please see this update for more details on why that is.

EPISODE 9 OF THE BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN

Something happened last week that put this week’s planned podcast topic on hold. Well, that, and some unforeseen complications. So this podcast is all about the freeware game Serena and what a very special collaborative experience it was making for and by the adventure gaming community. We’ve also got some startling news from Pete Toleman, who was last seen fleeing from some rather unsavory types and who had a Kickstarter out to save his company; the amazing Chris Pope regales us with some more news about the SpaceVenture; and, to cap everything off, we’ve got the fine gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen, with part 2 of their New Year’s chat. It’s a very special episode, unlike all the other episodes which weren’t special at all.

 OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen  

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope

Hero-U Project Update #49: Further Fulfillment Fun

Well, it’s been an exciting couple of weeks here at Hero-U HQ.  With some serious help from Ken and Sue at Pugsly’s Trading Post, I managed to mail out about 3/4 of the “soft goods” packages. Then we ran out of one type of box, while having about 150 extra of another type.  Somehow I missed that lecture in applied post office mathematics.

We also ran into a slight snag with t-shirts, leading to a reorder.  So here’s the scoop:

  • If your tier rewards were exactly one meep toy and a Hero-U baseball cap, we probably haven’t mailed them yet. They should go out next week.
  • If you requested an XXL or XXXL t-shirt, your package is also likely to be delayed until next week. I think we were also short on about five other shirts.
Hero-U Key RingHero-U Key Ring

Missed Out?  Perhaps Not…

If you feel sad that you missed your chance to own an authentic piece of Hero-U history, Lori and I have decided  to make the Rogue to Redemption Softwear Collection available for a little longer.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with the 400 or so meep toys crowding our garage.  Still, they are really cute, and we’d hate to find out the bats ate them all.

Until we add our pre-order store to the Hero-U web site, you may use the Donate button at www.hero-u.net/KS-store to purchase meep toys or the whole soft goods set.  (Why a “Softwear Collection”?  When Lori and I married, I had her wedding dress sent to Olivetti, where I worked.  I told the dressmaker to send it to the “Software Dept.”, which she wrote as “Softwear”.  The company had a policy of inspecting all incoming packages, and I was much mocked for my apparent taste in women’s clothing.  Lest you think, “Oooh, fancy, custom wedding dress!”, well it was… from a stall at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.)

Rogue to Redemption Softwear CollectionRogue to Redemption Softwear Collection

Our price list:

  • Meep 8″ plush toy or T-Shirt or Cap – $30 + shipping, add $5 more to also get a key ring
  • The Softwear Collection:  Meep toy plus Hero-U t-shirt, baseball cap, and a key ring – $85 + shipping.  Add $5 for each additional key ring and $25 for each additional soft item. Make sure you specify your t-shirt size (S / M / L / XL / XXL / XXXL).
  • US/Canada/Mexico shipping – $5 First Class (Meep only) or $10 Priority Mail (either).  US customers also please add 8% Sales Tax on the product (not shipping) cost.
  • Worldwide shipping – For either item, $20 First Class or $40 Priority Mail.  You may also be subject to VAT when you receive the shipment.  (First Class is much more reasonably priced, but can take several weeks.  Priority Mail should arrive within one week.)
  • Make sure you send your order details, your full name, mailing address, and (if you’re getting the Collection) t-shirt size to support@hero-u.net when you order.  Phone number is also helpful for our international customers.

Our profits on these sales will all go into completing the development of Hero-U.  If you have any questions, send email to support@hero-u.net

Shawn’s New Moves

Last night we received the first set of animation for Shawn from Concept Art House.  We’re very excited about finally getting to see him move around in 3D in the game.

We have an art meeting every Tuesday, usually the first time Lori and I see some of the new creations.  It’s getting more amazing every week!  The artists have especially had fun with some of the crazier requests for in-game portraits.  Wizard about to be eaten by a bear, anyone? Or the… well, that would be telling!

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone – This is the year of the Horse. To honor that tradition, there will be a horse in Rogue to Redemption. Of course, it’s a horse of a different color – It has been dead for decades. We could say more, but that would be beating a dead horse.

SpaceVenture Project Update #89: Feb. 1st Update: Yay more puzzles, Ace’s ship, animations, and narrative

Feb. 1st Update: Hello out there to our generous kickstarter backers! It’s time for an update on the goings on of the past couple of weeks.

Mostly behind the scenes things to talk about today. No new artwork to show you, but I promise there will be some on the way! The development team has continued focus on working on multiple puzzle sequences for the game. This has required a few extra capabilities to be added to our existing event driven system for Unity.

Mark and his team have had some pretty important things going on. Ace’s ship has been given some love in terms of the way it looks on the inside. I’m hoping he’ll let me show you all some of that artwork in the near future ;) Another thing that the art team have put time in on is some more animations that were needed for Ace. Some of that literally just got completed and we’ll be plugging in those animations over the next couple of days.

Scott, along with his assistant Troels, have continued work on narrative writing for new portions of the game that have been added. There are still quite a few scenes that are almost ready to roll that will need narrative writing completed, so they still got some work cut out for them.

The team is all pushing hard to meet some deadlines we have laid out for ourselves. A major section of the game is almost completed and the deadline is nearing, but we still have a little ways to go!

If you’re wondering when the game will be available, we don’t have an estimated date yet, but please see this update for more details on why that is.

EPISODE 8 OF THE BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN

The Historian gets all academic on your asses and discusses the role and meaning of the ubiquitous narrator in Sierra games with the help of Guy From Andromeda Scott Murphy, Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe and Senscape founder and designer of “Scratches” Agustín Cordes. We also get an exclusive update on how the SpaceVenture is going from Chris Pope, learn more about the origins of “ace” reporter Chuck Clusterbluck, and there’s a whole heaping lot of music talk from those fine gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen. Oh, and stick around for a little update on Pete Toleman’s Kickstarter near the end – hint: it’s not going well. Get ready for a two hour extravaganza of space fun!

NOW IN ITUNES! or RSS FEED HERE

SERENA, YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT!

Some of our good friends created a really cool (not to mention FREE) adventure game you can check out right now! Josh Mandel voices the main character in the game, but you’ll also hear our very own Scott Murphy in there too if you play all the way through :)

Visit: http://store.steampowered.com/app/272060/

OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS  

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope

SpaceVenture Project Update #88: Jan. 16th Update: New Intern, Puzzles, and TatooRakus

Greetings backer type folks from planet earth! It’s that time of the month again.. oops, maybe that didn’t sound the way I meant it to. Well, It’s the 16th of the month, which means, time for another project update!

SPACEVENTURE PROGRESS REPORT

So we’re pretty excited about some of the things that have happened within the last couple of weeks. For one, we’ve added another intern to the team to help with some of the programming on the game. As we’ve mentioned in the past, the programming on the project has been the biggest time consuming thing, so having more man power there is a great boon to the project.

Two of the puzzles from the game are getting close to completion. As you can probably imagine when we get scene artwork done and lay it out into the game, get the “walkable” areas worked out along with “clickable” objects, that’s all well and good but some of the scenes have some pretty “animated” puzzles that you’ll have to solve if you plan to reach the bitter sweetness that is the end of the game. Some of these puzzles have been hanging over our heads for months now and to see them coming to fruition has been a huge weight lifted off. So I’m very happy to report that we’ve made good progress with that. I personally had the honor of getting one of them to the finish line myself :)

As always, more scene artwork has been given love from Mark (see below)

SPACEVENTURE REWARDS WEBSITE POST FROM OUR SENIOR DEVELOPER

For you developer types out there, be sure to check out a recent post from our senior developer, Tyler Drinkard. The post is entitled “Unity Coroutines”. Tyler goes through some of the pros and cons with our engine of choice Unity, and dealing with coroutines.

Check out the post here (WARNING: IF YOU CAN’T LOG ONTO THE WEBSITE AND ARE A BACKER, PLEASE EMAIL pcj@andromedanpost.com )

INTRODUCING FOR THE FIRST TIME PUBLICLY, PLANET “TATOORAKUS”

I am beyond excited to announce for the first time ever one of the locations you’ll be visiting in SpaceVenture, “TatooRakus”. A beautiful, sunny, death ridden planet full of sci-fi parodies that will make you laugh, and probably cry in frustration. Please note that this scene is still a work in progress, no seriously, see the Mark images below.

MARK CROWE HARD AT WORK ON SPACEVENTURE

Below is some really cool photos of Mark Crowe working in his office earlier today. Soak it up, as he’s got some pretty neat things laying around his office. And of course, what you see on his screen is a teaser for one of the main locations you’ll be experiencing in SpaceVenture. :)

Don’t worry folks, Mark didn’t injure his hand in a vicious game of xenonian battle chess. That glove is just a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. Or it might be to help keep his hand from touching the screen while drawing, one of the two ;)

EPISODE 7 OF THE NEW BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN

“Xenon Rebel Radio Militia”

It’s a new year, and the Space Quest Historian finds time to fiddle around with one of his more esoteric Christmas presents: an intergalactic subspace HAM radio. A mysterious transmission from ace reporter Chuck Clusterbluck is intercepted, but the mystery remains: who is this Chuck, and why is the Sequel Police after him? Rounding off the theme of glitches and game breaking hilarity of previous episodes, there are also some funny stories from the development of the upcoming SpaceVenture. And the gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen, present the final part of their SQ4 metal medley commentary – with a special extra treat from the musical talents of Frederik Olsen

NOW IN ITUNES!

or

RSS FEED HERE

OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY  

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope