Hero-U Home Stretch!

Home Stretch! So close! PLEASE support it! Pass the link around! HELP OUT!!!

Hero-U is a turn-based PC RPG with adventure game puzzles and immersive story, by the award-winning designers of Quest for Glory.

  • Launched: Oct 19, 2012
  • Funding ends: Nov 20, 2012

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a classic 2D role-playing adventure for Windows PC, Macintosh, and Linux by award-winning game designers Corey and Lori Cole (Quest for Glory, Castle of Dr. Brain, etc.).

Detailed information about the project is available at http://www.hero-u.net/

Hero-U combines the rich character relationships, story and puzzles of a classic adventure game with the exploration and excitement of a role-playing game.  Bringing all these features together makes Hero-U a completely unique game experience.

  • Classic adventure game characters, story, and puzzles
  • All the exploration, skill development, and choices of a classic RPG
  • A rich story that changes based on the way you play
  • Tactical turn-based combat
  • Characters with unique personalities and their own agendas
  • Fun, Funny, and Punny

There is danger and intrigue within the hallowed halls of Hero-U. Danger? Ha! Rogues laugh in the face… well, actually, they sneak up behind danger and bop it in the head, then run really, really fast.

You can be that Rogue!

Keeping You Up To Date With Updates

Hero-U Web Site with More Information and Art: http://www.hero-u.net/

Add-Ons Available At Any Reward Tier

To select any of these add-ons, add the cost of the add-on to your pledge at any tier. When the project closes, we will send you a questionnaire you can use to tell us which additional rewards you have purchased. We will also ask you for additional information, such as a picture, headstone epitaph, biography for the Yearbook, your operating system, and so on.

Important Note on digital keys to our previous games: We are actually buying these keys from the respective sites. Since Kickstarter and Amazon payments take a percentage of our proceeds, and the purpose of selling these add-ons is to raise money for Hero-U development, all of these keys are more expensive than if you buy them directly. If this concerns you , please buy the previous-game keys directly from Steam, gog.com, or another site. We are offering them here solely as a convenience.

Virtual Add-Ons, No Shipping Charge

  • $10: NEW – Downloadable game music soundtrack
  • $10: NEW – Art book PDF
  • $15: Steam game key to Jolly Rover (PC or Mac)
  • $15: Steam game key to MacGuffin’s Curse (PC or Mac)
  • $20: gog.com game key to Quest for Glory 1-5 package (PC only)
  • $18: An additional Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption game key for a friend
  • $18: Pre-order the second planned Hero-U game featuring a female Wizard main character
  • $20: NEW – Set of 4 high-resolution game art images in PDF
  • $100: In-game Head(stone) of the Class. See below for details
  • $200: In-game School Spirit. See below for details
T-Shirt add-on ($30)
T-Shirt add-on ($30)

Physical Add-Ons Requiring Shipping

Note: There are two changes here since Update #10. Baseball cap price lowered to $30 and Meep added at $35! See below for shipping charges.

  • $10: NEW – Meep keychain
  • $20: NEW – “Erana’s Tribute” poster 11″x17″ (art without poem)
  • $30: Hero-U logo t-shirt
  • $30: Embroidered Hero-U baseball cap
  • $35: Your very own Toy Meep!
  • $50: Extra standard boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption
  • $50: (Extra) copy of the physical yearbook.
  • $50: NEW – Set of four 11″x17″ poster prints of Hero-U game art
  • $100: (Extra) copy of the Kickstarter-only premium boxed game plus Graduate-level inserts (game DVD, manual, music CD, varsity letter, and Hero-U backer’s button)
T-shirt detail
T-shirt detail

Physical Add-On Shipping Charges

In Update #10, we stated that these items would be shipped separately from the game. Since this greatly drives up the shipping costs, we are changing that decision. If you have not chosen a physical goods tier, you will need to provide your shipping address on the post-Kickstarter questionnaire and add the following to your pledge for custom shipping: $10 U.S., $15 Canada/Mexico, $20 other countries.

Next, whether or not you are paying that extra shipping charge, count the number of add-ons you have selected, and add the following to your pledge:

  • 1 item, US/Canada/Mexico $5, Other countries $10
  • 2-4 items, US/Canda/Mexico $10, Other countries $15
  • Each 5 items, US/Canada/Mexico $15, Other countries $20
  • Example: You are pledging a physical tier, and want 8 add-ons. If you live in North or Central America, add $15 + $10 + cost of items. If you live elsewhere in the world, add $20 + $15 + cost of items. We apologize for these charges, but international shipping from the U.S. is very expensive.

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.

  • Classic adventure game characters, story, and puzzles

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption combines role-playing, puzzles, an immersive story, and rich character interactions. As in our acclaimed Quest for Glory series, every element works together to create a unique game experience that you will love.

In Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, you take on the role of Shawn O’Conner, a would-be Thief who has had a rough life. As Shawn, you will attend Hero-U, a school that tries to teach young adventurers to be heroes. Shawn can continue his quest to join the Thieves’ Guild, or he can strive to become a Rogue Hero. He has a lot to learn to succeed at either path.

  • All the exploration, skill development, and choices of a classic RPG

Hero-U plays like a classic RPG, with turn-based tactical combat and exploration of the environment on top-down, 2D maps. There are traps, obstacles, and enemies for you to overcome as you explore the school and the ancient catacombs beneath it. Key scenes feature beautiful painted backdrops to let you see from Shawn’s perspective.

Shawn has skills and attributes that improve through game play. He will also acquire possessions that give you additional options.  Your choices determine which skills Shawn learns.  He can improve them through study and practice.  Explore the school and catacombs as Shawn fights monsters, avoids trap, finds hidden items, and solves mysteries.

  • A rich story that changes based on the way you play

Your life has not been an easy one. Caught red-handed during your thief guild initiation, you have a choice – Go to reform school or rot away in prison. The teachers and students are intent on making your life a living hell, while trouble lurks in the catacombs below. It would help if you didn’t need to worry about being killed and passing midterms.

In your hands, Shawn has real choices. If he does someone a favor, it is because he figures they will be useful to him later. If he wants to unleash nameless horrors of destruction upon the world, well, hey, that’s his business… and yours.

Along the south coast of Marete to the east of Silmaria, there stands a great sprawling castle built in ancient times when demonic creatures sought to dominate Gloriana. Long abandoned, the castle was greatly feared by the people of Silmaria. There were rumors of hauntings, curses, and a great Evil buried within its rocky walls.

Over the years, a few desperate and foolhardy souls dared to explore dark towers and musty hallways in search of forgotten treasures. Even fewer returned; they whispered of eldritch horrors best left buried beneath the ancient stones. The castle’s grim silhouette upon the cliffs warns us that there are dangers in this world that mere mortals are not prepared to face.  

So what better place than this to build a University for Heroes?

Besides, the rent was cheap.

Catacombs Concept Art - Built with Tiles!
Catacombs Concept Art – Built with Tiles!
  • Tactical turn-based combat

One doesn’t just wander around an ancient, possibly haunted, castle and expect to have an easy time of it. Your hero must learn the cunning, deception, and just plain Rogue skills, then use them to survive. “Hack and Slash” won’t cut it for a Rogue. Shawn must outwit and outmaneuver the creatures that lurk within the ancient catacombs beneath Hero-U.

Our turn-based combat system features an action point system that will make you choose between slow, powerful attacks, tactical movement, or a mixture of defense and quick attacks. Shawn will supplement his Roguish skills with clever use of traps and other items. Between battles, you will explore the catacombs, setting and avoiding traps and other challenges.

  • Characters with unique personalities and their own agendas

Many of the characters you encounter have their own reason for being there.  They aren’t there to serve you, only themselves.  Shawn will meet with these characters as you choose what he says to them, and how he relates.  Conversation is an important part of Hero-U.  It is a way for Shawn to gain information, make friends, and try to stay out of trouble.

  • Challenging puzzles that are an integral part of the story

We believe that puzzles are an important part of a good adventure game or RPG.  Hero-U is filled with challenges that will make you think and that enrich the story.  The problems Shawn faces are all closely linked to the story and characters at Hero-U.

  • Elective system that lets you customize Shawn’s abilities

All rogue candidates study basic techniques such as stealth, picking locks, and setting traps.  But Hero-U also offers elective courses that will allow Shawn to customize his to assist his extra-curricular activities.  These electives will give you choices on how you like to play.

Lori and Corey Cole have been making and playing games for… let’s just say, “forever”. At Sierra On-Line, we created one of the first hybrid graphic adventure/role-playing games. Our award-winning Quest for Glory was one of Sierra’s most successful game series.  Corey’s Castle of Dr. Brain puzzle adventure game was another top-selling, critically-acclaimed game that spawned a successful series.

  • Game Designers: Lori and Corey Cole, creators of Quest for Glory, Castle of Dr. Brain, Shannara, Mixed-Up Fairy Tales, and Tower of Indomitable Circumstance.
  • Programming: Andrew Goulding and the Brawsome team, developers of Jolly Rover, MacGuffin’s Curse, and many other games.
  • Art and Animation: Eriq Chang and Eric Varnes (Fable Foundry Creative Studio), Paul Bowers, and John Paul Selwood.
  • Music and Sound Design: Ryan Grogan, composer of music for film, animation, and games including MacGuffin’s Curse.
  • Marketing Maven and assistant combat designer: Michael Cole
  • YOU! Your support makes this game possible, and your feedback on the Hero-U forums will help us shape and perfect the game.

The Kickstarter revolution has changed all that.  Now you, the players, help decide which games get made and which go back to the drawing board.  We are very excited about our plans for Hero-U and think you should be too.  This game will be the spiritual successor to our Quest for Glory series.

We have a file drawer full of great game proposals that we couldn’t convince traditional publishers to support.  In one case, the publisher decided instead to design their own game.  Millions of dollars later, they created a dismal failure that sold under 1,000 copies.  Alas, we didn’t get a chance to tell them, “We told you so!”  They were out of business after that.

We think you’re a lot smarter than most of those publishers.  You know the kind of game experiences you want to have – Ones in which substance rules over form.  You want well-designed game play that rewards thinking, with an immersive story, meaningful character development, and intelligent puzzles.  Killing monsters is fun too, but it all needs to be part of the story.

You can help make Hero-U become a reality.  If enough people support our Kickstarter project, we will be able to bring a new type of game to market.  But if too many people choose to wait and see what our game looks like, we may never have the opportunity to make it at all.  Your support here is important!

We know that you are taking a leap of faith by supporting our new game, and we want to assure you that we will use the money wisely.  Our goal is the minimum budget with which we can make a high-quality game.  Here’s our breakdown based on reaching our minimum goal:

  • 65% – Art, programming, music, and design of the game
  • 10% – Kickstarter and Amazon Payments fees
  • 10% – Reward Premiums and Shipping Costs
  • 5% – Repayment of pre-Kickstarter loans and expenses
  • 10% – Marketing and Project Overhead

If your generosity helps this project exceed its minimum goal, it is likely that a higher percentage (possibly as much as 20%) of the funding will go into reward premiums, but most of your support will go directly into the game.  We will add features such as voice acting, and we will add more content including additional art, music, locations, story, and dialogue.

Kicking It Forward

We support the “Kick It Forward” program. Brian Fargo of InXile, developers of the Kickstarter-funded Wasteland 2 project, started this initiative to ensure the future of gaming on Kickstarter. We wholeheartedly support this initiative, and believe it is the responsibility of successfully-funded games to Kick It Forward.

Your contributions to our campaign will not be used to fund other games.  When we complete and ship the game, we will regularly take 5% of the net revenues from game sales and commit them to other Kickstarter projects. Lori and I intend to pick projects that we believe promote heroism and value characters and story over violence and twitch action.

You can learn more about Kicking It Forward and other participating projects at http://kickingitforward.org/.

Friend ($5): Thank you for your support! Your name will be added to the Hero list on www.hero-u.net/leadersroll.php, a small first step towards immortality. Access to project updates.

Freshman ($20): You will receive a DRM-free digital game download, access to discussion forums to help us improve the game, and your name will appear on the Hero list.

Sophomore ($35): Digital Reward 2: Receive everything from the Freshman level, the downloadable Hero-U Soundtrack, and the gorgeous Hero-U Art Book in PDF form. The art book contains production sketches, final art, and insider commentary on the making of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

Junior ($50): Get a head start on your education by playing one of the development team’s previous award-winning games. You will receive all of the Sophomore class benefits plus a digital key to your choice of MacGuffin’s Curse, Jolly Rover, or the complete five-game Quest for Glory collection.

Beta Tau Initiate ($65): All-Digital reward. Everything in the Junior package, including your choice of one game key. PLUS you get early access to the Hero-U Beta and Combat-Balancing tests. Help us shape and tune the game the way YOU want it!

Senior ($75): Get physical with a high-quality boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption containing the game on DVD and a printed game manual. You will also receive all of the Sophomore benefits (including an additional digital copy of the game). While you wait for your box, enjoy a preview with early access to our Beta and Combat Balancing Tests. All Seniors may add any of the Junior-level previous games at $15 each.

Big Man On Campus ($100): (Super Digital Rewards) You’re special, and everyone should know it. Your name (or your favorite character’s name) will appear in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK along with a brief statement of your/their accomplishments. We will also email you the Secret Thieves’ Guild Password. (Other players will need to discover this in the game.) You will also receive everything from the Sophomore level as well as early access to our Beta and Combat Balance tests. (NOTE: This tier does not include any physical rewards. It’s highly International-Supporter-friendly.)

Frat Rat ($125): New Halloween Special Reward!  You love Meeps, and that’s why you will get your very own Toy Meep along with your boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.  That’s on top of all of the Senior-level physical and digital rewards and eligibility for add-ons.  You will also receive your own entry in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK.

Graduate Edition ($150): Unique Kickstarter-Graduate-only Collector’s Edition Box containing the game DVD, manual, a Music Soundtrack CD, your own Varsity Letter, Hero-U button, and everything in the Big Man On Campus digital reward tier including your very own entry in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK.

Exchange Student($175):  NEW!  The ultimate all-digital package, perfect for international backers.  You will start with everything in the Big Man on Campus edition.  Then you will have the chance to follow the development of Hero-U with insider access to developer discussions and Alpha tests.  To give you more insight into our games, you will receive digital keys to ALL EIGHT of our currently available previous games (Quest for Glory 1: So You Want to Be a Hero EGA and VGA versions, Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire, Quest for Glory 3: Wages of War, Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness, Quest for Glory 5: Dragon Fire, MacGuffin’s Curse, AND Jolly Rover).  NOTE: The previous game keys are part of this tier only; we are not adding them to the higher physical tiers.

Research Assistant ($200): You’re practically a team member, so you will receive a very-limited-edition Team Meep Hat plus insider access to developer discussions and Alpha tests. You will also receive everything in the Graduate Edition, and your chosen picture (subject to team approval) will appear in the in-game digital yearbook.

Alumnus ($250): As a proud Hero-U Alumnus, your chosen name, preferred photo (or other image of your choice, subject to team approval) will appear in the Very Limited Edition physical Hero-U Yearbook. Of course, alumni like to collect signatures from their University friends, so Lori and Corey Cole will autograph your yearbook and Graduate Edition premium game box. You will also receive Research Assistant privileges and a Team Meep hat.

Master Rogue ($500): The rewards of your advanced education include a limited-edition art print of the school on Canvas, everything in the Alumnus package including the autographed premium game box and autographed yearbook. You will also receive a Limited Edition Kickstarter Superfan T-Shirt, and digital keys to ALL SEVEN previous games – the five-game Quest for Glory Collection, MacGuffin’s Curse, and Jolly Rover.

DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts)

DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts) ($1,050): You will be featured on an in-game painting. When players click on it, they will see your chosen name, image (this could be you, a favorite character, pet, or other approved image, converted by our artists to look like other in-game portraits), and humorous description. You also receive all of the benefits of a Master Rogue, You will have a listing including your chosen image in the yearbook, and of course will receive an autographed copy of the physical edition. We will send you a canvas art print of your in-game “portrait” in addition to the school art print, and you will be one of the proud few to complete a graduate school education at Hero-U. We’ll also provide you with the secret location and key to the Faculty Lounge. (Other players will be able to break in later in the game.)

Monster Lair ($2,500, limited to 10 backers): You are so diabolical, you are the master of a dungeon den. We will collaborate with you on designing your own custom monster lair, likely including a sculpted image of yourself or a friend. Your lair, complete with the monsters and traps you select, will be placed somewhere in the catacombs. You will also receive all benefits of the PhD reward tier. Free shipping worldwide!

High-Roller ($5,000): You’re a serious role-player, or just really want to support our game at a high level. In addition to all of the PhD-level rewards, Corey and/or Lori will run a D&D game for you and friends at a convention anywhere in North America. Or add $1,000 for our additional travel expenses, and we’ll join you anywhere in the world. Does not include the Benefactor reward – The school doesn’t have enough wings. Instead, you’ll have a large statue in the main wing celebrating your or your hero’s accomplishments.

Philanthropist (reduced to $7,500!): You really care! And we care about you too! Spend a day visiting Yosemite Park and touring famous Sierra landmarks such as the Talking Bear in Oakhurst with Lori and Corey Cole.  We’ll share a nice meal (or two) and discuss game design or anything else you want. You’ll also receive all the rewards of the PhD level and we’ll find a prominent place in-game to thank you for your awesome support. We will cover a one-night hotel stay, but you are responsible for transportation to and from Oakhurst, California.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

“We choose to go…not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to measure and organize the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” – John F. Kennedy establishing the Apollo space program

Creating a new computer game is hard. Making one up to our standards is harder. Hero-U will require an intensive development schedule that includes game design, writing, programming, creating art, creating music and sound effects, and constant quality assurance. But it’s not rocket science.

Fortunately, our team is up to the task. We have created multiple best-selling, award-winning games with budgets ranging from $250,000 to over $4,000,000. In particular, our team members led the development of six acclaimed projects – all comparable in budget to this Kickstarter project – that shipped on time and under budget. We know exactly what we can and can’t accomplish at various budget levels and schedules.

I have budgeted out the entire game development with contingencies depending on the amount we raise. As long as we reach our Kickstarter goal, we have a specific plan for making the game – a budget for art, for programming, etc. Most of use are working at “cost-of-living” rates so that we will be sure to finish the game.

We don’t just believe we can make this game, and make it great. We know we can! With your support and feedback during development, we will show the world that there is a place for well-written, well-crafted role-playing adventure games. More importantly, we will deliver to you a quality role-playing game that measures up to our standards and yours.


  • I see several different art styles in the video and project page. What will this game actually look like?
  • What are your target platforms? Will you support Linux?
  • The $1,000 tier sold out in hours. Will there be a new tier at $1,000 or $1,500
  • Is this a game “episode” or a full game?
  • I’m still confused – Is this an RPG or an Adventure Game?
  • Will Hero-U be a floor wax or a dessert topping?
  • Can I play Hero-U as a female Rogue?
  • Which tiers include previous games? Will they run on Macintosh? How are they being fulfilled?
  • Is Hero-U a puzzle game like MacGuffin’s Curse, since you are “using the MacGuffin’s Curse engine”?
  • How large are the canvas art prints of the school from the $500 (normal) and $1,000 (supersized) tiers?