Roberta Williams’ Book Is Out

Roberta just released her book! She has been working on it for almost a decade and is excited to finally have others read it.

http://www.robertasbook.com

About the book …
This is an account of the ordeals of the Irish people during the Great Famine of mid-19th century, although she added a twist: Though it’s written as an historical novel, she decided to portray her actual ancestors as the primary protagonists in this emotionally-charged story. Thus, the principal characters were actual people, the historical facts are true, and the story of their lives during this terrible time was as real as possible by means of research, fact and document gathering, personal interviews, and intensive travel to Ireland. Where that knowledge wasn’t possible she inserted her forebears into the historical situations surrounding them so that her readers could learn and understand what they — along with so many others — experienced through that tumultuous time. And why so many Irish chose to leave their lovely emerald isle.

Ken and Roberta appear on this podcast to talk about her book.
https://www.cggpodcast.com/e/ken-and-roberta-williams/

Hero-U Update #135: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

Live Stream This Saturday

Streaming in the Lambent Light of Your Monitor

Our next livestream is this Saturday at 2 pm to 4 pm PDT. That’s 2100 UTC if I have my time arithmetic correct. You’ll find the stream at https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames. The theme this time is “Out Like A Lamb,” referring to the saying that, “March comes in like a lion, but goes out like a lamb,” and to the Hero Ewe school mascot. Afterwards, we’ll take it on the lam.

Why is a sheep the mascot for Hero-U? It started with one of us making a joke about the Hero Ewe, and Eriq Chang drawing a number of whimsical sheep images for the first Rogue to Redemption Kickstarter in 2012. Since that game is entirely indoors, or in underground caves, there is no sheep in game. With Summer Daze at Hero-U, we decided it was time to bring the Hero Ewe into the game plot.

That’s pretty much how our game designs go. People keep telling us that games should be carefully planned out from the beginning. That’s probably a good approach for meeting schedules and budgets, but we think it detracts from creativity. We prefer a chaotic process that has room for whimsy and team contributions.

Fully Fulfilled

I’ve started to hear from international Yearbook backers that their Yearbooks have arrived. Yay! Thanks to JP Selwood and Eric Varnes for the images and original layout, Chris Fong for wrangling backer photos and text, Steve Coupe for finalizing the layout, many backers for proofreading and corrections, and Simply Yearbooks for the printing and distribution.

With that, both Kickstarters (2012 and 2015) are fulfilled. That eight year journey is finally complete; I naively thought we could do it in two years, back when we started.

The Hero-U journey continues. We’ve just posted the first Alpha test version of Summer Daze at Hero-U: Tilly’s Tale. Lori and I are working with developer Philip to bring full voice acting to the game, and with JP and Al on the backer credits movies. We also have an accompanying “flippy book,” cloth map, and more.

JP and Al have completed the principal art for the second Summer Daze story, Ifeyo’s Adventure, but the game still has a long way to go in writing, music, and other audio.

Our other projects are currently on hold until we make more progress with Summer Daze. These could include some selection of Puzzleworthy, Hero-U: Wizards Way, Consulting Magicians, and other cool ideas in various stages of imagination and design. Alas, we haven’t found a magic box that will take a game directly from ideas to production.

Hero-U Project Update #134: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

Help! We Need Somebody…

Not just anybody.

But before I get into that… our next Livestream is this Saturday at 2 pm PST. That will be on https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames as usual. The theme is “Winter Daze at Hero-U,” which might have something to do with the fact that we’re finalizing Summer Daze at Hero-U: Tilly’s Tale in the middle of Winter. Given the warm weather we’ve been having in San Diego, that actually makes a kind of sense. 🙂

Here’s a Bird of Paradise – no, I’m afraid you can’t tap it for one mana of any color – from an upcoming patron-only post (https://www.patreon.com/coreyloricole) of Lori’s best photos from 2020. Springtime is coming!

Bird of Paradise near San Diego – from Lori’s favorite 2020 photos

Hiring a Developer

We’ve been working with one part-time programmer and “full stack developer” for most of the Summer Daze project.  It’s been a hard day’s night (for the last seven years), and they have moved on, so we are looking for a replacement. Responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining the Hero-U code base –
  • Rogue to Redemption patches and support for our Nintendo Switch developer
  • Fixing issues with Summer Daze at Hero-U, adding audio
  • Preparing for testing and later release
  • Helping us create future projects such as Puzzleworthy and new Hero-U games
  • Contributing to features and design of upcoming games
  • Maintaining our website, including integrating with a shopping cart for direct ordering
  • Helping us run Alpha and Beta tests, triaging and merging reports, fixing issues

Qualifications

You’ll need some or all of these knowledge sets and experience:

  • Working with Unity, Mecanim, and the Unity editor – essential!
  • Knowledge of C#, JSON, and Inkle (can learn the latter on the job)
  • Understanding tropes of adventure games and RPG’s
  • Ability to work well with other team members – design, art, audio

This is a paid position, but we can’t compete with large corporate salaries. It could last anywhere from six months to multiple years.

Time requirement will likely be 20-40 hours a week (not quite Eight Days A Week). We have some flexibility on this.

If you’re interested, please contact me at support (at) hero-u (dot) net. (Trying to avoid some bot attacks.) If you know someone else who is qualified and interested, please have them contact us directly.

Art Imitates Life?

Craig Hendricks on Facebook posted this. Is it purely coincidental?

The photo of Claudia Schiffer is from: The new Bardot: Claudia Schiffer in Italy, 1989. Photograph: Ellen von Unwerth.

And Leisure Suit Larry 1 VGA was in 1991 – so it would have been two years later. Is it coincidence after all? Or was she the inspiration for Fawn in the remake?

SpaceVenture Project Update #124: Two Guys from Andromeda

Hey everyone! We hope you are all doing well during the COVID world we are living in right now. We wanted to give you a very quick update on the game and it’s release. As always, the holidays slowed us down a little more than we would have liked, but we are pushing now to get the game out the door very soon.

We got a tremendous amount of helpful feedback from our beta testers. The game breaking bugs that were being experienced are fixed now and the game is feeling much better on the polish front as well. There is one thing that we have had to go back to the drawing board on. The Save/Load system. This feature, admittedly, has bedeviled us throughout development. With the rest of the game now complete, getting Save/Load working reliably is now our biggest focus.

The issue is with handling each scene’s setup at particular points in the scene. Some scenes have many different ‘states’. The challenge has been to get all the variables saved just right or the restored game get’s screwy. 

So this is it everyone. The save load system is really the final big fix that needs to happen. The other items are small changes that we are knocking out each day. Once this is done, we are releasing the game.

The game will be released first on Windows and the other platforms should happen not too far there after. Once the game is released digitally, we will begin working on physical backer rewards. Please do not send us anything involving your address updates or anything along those lines at this time. When the time comes, we will send out a survey to gather all that information.

Hero-U Project Update #133: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

It’s What’s For Launch! Nintendo Switch launch and reddit AMA

Ask Us Anything – Reddit AMA starting soon

We’ve just launched the Nintendo Switch version of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption! You can find it at https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/hero-u-rogue-to-redemption-switch/.

The list price is $20, but we’re celebrating the launch with a 20% off sale. If you’re thinking about getting the Switch version, now is the right time!

We’re doing an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on reddit just after I post this – 11 am PST on Feb. 9, 2021. Join in the Q&A at https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwitch/.

Please let your Switch-owning friends and family know about the game that you helped us create. Here’s a quick summary of Hero-U for those unfamiliar with our games:

“Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a genre-defying story game – It’s dramatic, but also funny, an adventure and a role-playing game. You’ll play as a young man who is caught between becoming a thief or being a hero. On his journey, he’ll make friends, solve mysteries, and fight dangerous creatures.”

Hero-U Project Update #132: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by Corey and Lori Ann Cole

Coming Feb. 9 for the Nintendo Switch. Presale starts Feb. 2, 2021

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is coming to the Nintendo Switch! Silesia Games has done a fantastic job converting the game to work with the Switch interface – both joypads and the touch screen. You could say they needed to switch up the interface a bit. Or that it’s what we alway Nintendo’d to do. 😉

This is the Nintendo eShop page for Hero-U – https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/hero-u-rogue-to-redemption-switch/

We’ll have a pre-release sale starting on Feb. 2, one week before the Feb. 9 release date. Please help your Switch-wielding friends take advantage of the sale by letting them know about the great game you helped create!

If you’re in the gaming press, or know a game reporter, please help get the word out. We’re treating this as a new grand launch of Hero-U, a chance to share the game with many more RPG and Adventure players. I’ve updated our press page at https://www.hero-u.com/press/sheet.php?p=rogue_to_redemption for the Switch release.

Tilly’s cover for the Summer Daze flippy book

Summer Daze Progress

We’ve (well, Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye has) finished the first round of voice recording, and we’re working with Cheeseness and Sawa to get the voiceovers into Summer Daze: Tilly’s Tale. We’re also setting up logistics for the Alpha test and handling test reports. Yes, it’s the all-engrossing spreadsheet phase of game development! Or one of the several spreadsheet phases.

We haven’t yet set a release date for Summer Daze: Tilly’s Tale. That will depend on feedback from alpha and beta testers, as well as the logistics of getting all the voices, music, and sound effects into the game. We’re trying for a May or June release, but we might delay that to ensure simultaneous launch on all platforms.

After all, with our New Hope on Twitch for Hero-U success on the Switch, we don’t want to switch horses in mid-Twitch-stream.