Hero-U Update #90: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

There are mysterious forces behind Hero-U. It is not obvious who is actually financing the school, or why. As for the greater society of Sardonia, we don’t spell it out in the game, but obviously Thief and Rogue are not the only professions. However…

Even though Shawn is a poor young man with an overworked single mother and apparently no connections, someone is looking out for him. Maybe more than one “someone”. That results in an invitation to audition for the Thieves’ Guild, and then a mandatory “invitation” to Hero-U.

Nothing happens by coincidence. The existence of the school, and the fact that it’s built on a “haunted” old castle, is also not a coincidence.

Players will learn something about these mysteries in Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Other stories will be developed in future games of the series, and some of it will stay locked in our “Game Bible” as background for all of the games and game events.

Exploring the Sea Caves
Exploring the Sea Caves

Equally Mysterious Hero-U Game Development

It would be wonderful if making a game was like turning on a light switch, or even like taking a collection of Legos and turning them into a stunning model.

Actually, it *is* a lot like that, only there are about 600 models to put together… or maybe 6000. The mystery is that we can even put so many distinct pieces together to create one coherent game.

Every week, Hero-U creeps a little closer to being a complete, fun game. Along the way, JP and Al continue to draw, paint, model, and animate the game. Joshua, Cidney, and our secret programmers move between bringing the game to life and squashing bugs.

For a little more about the importance of each team member to every game we’ve made, and to Hero-U in particular, I posted an article to the Hero-U blog, http://hero-u.com/it-takes-a-team/.

Ryan Grogan has recently returned to the team to help us finish the music and soundscape to make Rogue to Redemption sound as amazing as it looks.

Josh Mandel and Lori alternate between tickling your funny bones and writing moments of suspense, drama, and tenderness. Yes, they’re both still writing game content as we get feedback on parts of the game that need more direction or energy.

The story of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a difficult balancing act as we strive to make Shawn O’Conner a hero even though he’ll always be a rogue. Developing the game is like juggling hundreds of spinning plates at a time. Only when every one of them is in balance will the game be complete. After almost five years of development, it’s all coming together.

Now it’s time to begin outside testing and find out how much more still needs to be done.

The Tower Garden at Night
The Tower Garden at Night

Alpha Test Time

There are a lot of steps involved in getting a game to outside testers. We’ve developed our own built-in bug reporter that catches both software errors and player reports. Once they appear in our testing database, we do “triage” on them and assign them to specific team members to fix.

Another step is contacting and working with backers. I’m starting out with a small subset of our Alpha Test level backers to be our first guinea pigs, er, brave testers. Once we have the reporting tool adequately tested, I’ll expand that by stages to all 350 Alpha Test backers. We are asking each tester to sign a Beta Test agreement similar to the ones used by Electronic Arts and other major game developers. We don’t want anyone revealing the mysteries too soon!

Once our first testers have looked at the game in sections, we’ll put everything together for a full Beta test accessible to all 2000 backers who chose a Beta Test level. This will be a full, feature-complete game, but it will probably still have some rough edges. Waves of Beta tests will continue until we are satisfied that Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is ready for release.

The initial test build includes the first few weeks at Hero-U. We’ve disabled the second half of the game and all combat areas. Over the next couple of months, we’ll gradually open up additional areas of the game for testing. We’ll move from Alpha to Beta testing once we’ve revealed the entire game.

As always, keep your information current at https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com and watch your email for your alpha or beta test invitation.

Discovering Dark Places
Discovering Dark Places

From Mystery to Discovery

This has been an epic game development process, and even when the game is tested and released, there will be much more to come. We will keep posting updates and stay in touch with the Hero-U community. Then it will be time to begin work on Hero-U: Wizard’s Way and the rest of the series.

Like the Starship Enterprise, once we complete our five year mission, there will be new ports, new destinations, and new crew to take us all where no one has gone before.

Space Venture Update #114: Two Guys SpaceVenture – by the creators of Space Quest by Two Guys From Andromeda

QUICK RUN DOWN OF THINGS STILL IN PROGRESS:

  • Last scenes in the game are still being worked on.
  • Along with polishing scenes, we are debugging certain areas in the game that haven’t seen a lot of TLC since the early days of the project.
  • Cutscenes that needed to be added are currently still in the works but we’ve completed more since the last update.
  • We are still looking to set an exact date on VO recording and will announce that as soon as possible. We will also announce more info on the voice actors signed on to the project when that time comes.
  • We know you all are ready for a release date. We’ll have that out as soon as we can. As you can probably imagine, we are hesitate to throw out another release date.
We are working as hard as fast as we can and promise this game will get done. We do realize that a lot of you are angry and we are doing our best to keep our noses to the grindstone and finish this game outright. In that regard, we aren’t gonna keep saying the same things over and over again. Please read the last update if you need a review on our thoughts on it all. As always, thanks for your continued patience.

AN UPDATE ON SPACEVENTURE’S NAVIGATION SYSTEM 

As mentioned in a previous update, we’ve worked really hard to make the SpaceVenture universe have that ‘BIG’ exploratory feeling that you probably got in some of the Space Quest games. In fact, we have a game developer that is dedicated just to our navigation system, that’s how important we feel it is. You as the player should be able to revisit favorite areas of the game just like in the later Space Quest games.

In the video below, one thing you’re gonna notice here is some different ships. In fact, when playing SpaceVenture, you’ll be seeing different combinations of ships every time you return to Hyperspace. Another thing that has changed recently is the ships have much better AI. When we originally showed you all the navigation system, the ships were all just canned animations with no scripting. Now the ships actually have some AI and can respond and interact with Ace’s ship as he cruises along the Hyperspace beltway.

A couple of things to note in the video. The frame rate is a bit low in the recording, sorry about that. The music you’ll hear is placeholder but represents something similar that is planned for those areas of the game.

https://youtu.be/Y_YSIlQ5jnQACE GETS PULLED OVER BY OFFICER QUICKSILVER

One of the remaining cutscenes that is currently under way features Ace getting pulled over by officer Quicksilver. As you can see, the cutscene still needs a lot of work, but we thought it would be fun to show you guys one of the few remaining cutscenes that is currently being worked on right now.

https://youtu.be/GaZaghUauPE MEET CENTARI CORPORATION’S EXECUTIVE STAFF

In one of the game’s key cutscenes, Milo Forbin, the CEO of Centari Corp is having a executive staff meeting with his top lackeys; who appear before him as projected holograms. They are a “rogues gallery” of bad eggs from across the universe whos resemblance to any popular Sci-Fi villains from films, TV or comics is purely coincidental.

WE’VE GOT BOX CONCEPT ART

For quite awhile now when needing a break from some of his other art related tasks, Mark has been working on what the SpaceVenture box is gonna look like. It’s my pleasure to show you the concept art for the game box right now. A couple of things you should know about the box.. The name, SpaceVenture: Ace Quest is just a name we’ve been chewing on for quite a while. We have not officially decided on it yet. We would love your feedback on that. Secondly, the text on the back of the box is not meant to be readable. It’s just placeholder to get a feel for the looks of the box.

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH KEN ALLEN

As all of you know by now, Ken Allen worked at Sierra On-Line along with Mark and Scott. He also created music for multiple Sierra games, Space Quest 4 being among one of the most notable. Ken has put together a little behind the scenes footage for all of you regarding how he does sound design for certain pieces of the game. This footage demonstrates Ken doing sound for part of the Taco Nova sequence of the game.

https://youtu.be/ySNuKPvmOMkMEET MARK CROWE AND CHRIS POPE AT SOME UPCOMING CONVENTIONS 

 

JULY 21ST – 23rd

Chris Pope the Space Pope will be a guest at this years AVCon in Adelaide AU July 21st – 23. Come by and meet him in person. Be sure to haggle him about why the game is not done yet! Chris will be armed with some collectible keycards.

AUGUST 11TH – 13TH

Mark Crowe and Chris Pope will both be guests at Game On Expo in Phoenix Arizona. Come by and meet them both and join them for some fun discussions/panels. NOTE: these convention appearances are paid for by the conventions. No money from the project is being used for these appearances.

Please note that these appearances are paid for by the conventions. No project funds are used for convention appearance. We do these to promote the project and give people a chance to meet us.

Hero-U Project Update #89: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

We’re going through the “final” push towards outside alpha testing of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. I put “final” in quotes because this will be the first of several sprints towards releasing the game we’ve been working on for almost five years.

It’s hard to convey the thousands of things that go into a game. Small details make the game feel alive. Here are some of the non-game things we need to get in before we can start outside testing:

  • “Branding” the game as pre-release so people know it isn’t the final version
  • Choosing “first test” players out of our 750 qualified alpha testers
  • Adding bug & feature request reporting to the game
  • Setting up a QA/test database for tracking reports
  • “Triage” on reports to eliminate duplicates, already-fixed, and low priority items
  • Regression testing system to avoid breaking features while fixing bugs
  • Internal testing to make sure we don’t ship a broken alpha test
Just Enough Paperwork to Make a Game
Just Enough Paperwork to Make a Game

Once we have all of those elements in place (soon!), I will send a survey to backers who chose a reward that includes Alpha Testing. We will accept a small number to do the first outside tests and help us shake down the reporting system. The second alpha will go out to a larger number, and the full alpha version will be made available to everyone at that level. (Don’t worry – if you want to wait for the complete, polished game, just don’t download any Alpha or Beta version.)

The first tests will be solely in the Hero-U castle. Once we have some feedback and improvements to the castle, we will expand the test to include combat areas – the wine cellar, sea caves, catacombs, and finally the dungeon. These areas combine elements of adventure and role-playing gaming as in our Quest for Glory games.

With Hero-U coming down to the wire. Here’s what we’ve all been working on:

  • Al – new animation for Shawn and certain monsters
  • Charles – improving room behavior, fixing scripting issues
  • Cidney – Helping us with UI issues and testing
  • Corey – administration, achievements, and Shawn’s “task list”
  • Graham – cleaning up some rooms
  • Ian – improving the character sheet, journal and inventory screens
  • John Paul – showing Shawn’s status visually
  • Josh M. – text for examining and using things Shawn finds
  • Joshua S. – throwing items in combat, general problem-solving
  • Judy – Composer improvements, helping find errors
  • Lori – final dialogue, such as dealing with the Dire Rat Queen

A Torturous Process

Recently heard in a Hero-U team meeting, “I’m currently working in the torture chamber and having fun with it.” And Josh wasn’t even joshing. Yes, there is a “dungeon”, complete with torture chamber, left over from some former residents of the castle. This plays an important part in the “meta story”, the background behind game events, that makes it possible for us to plan a multi-game Hero-U series.

Having Fun in the Torture Chamber
Having Fun in the Torture Chamber

I’ve been in touch with Geekify about creating physical goods for backers. These will ship after the downloadable game release so that boxes can include a solid version of the game that incorporates early player feedback.

There is good news for “Game in a DVD case” backers. Once upon a time, we had three levels of physical boxed game packaging – DVD case, small retail box, large “big box” for collectors. Because of the way quantity discounts work, and to simplify fulfillment, I’ve decided to upgrade everyone to the “big box”. It’s going to be really nice and unique to our patient backers – no torture involved.

Look for another update by the end of June with detailed Alpha Test news and instructions. Thank you so much for being patient as we continue to solve the thousands of issues that come up in the development of every significant game. I remember one supposedly-finished game at Sierra that had a 4-foot tall stack of bug reports waiting to be addressed, many trivial, but some real show-stoppers. That’s why we have to take the time to get this game right before sending it out to you. We think you’ll find the result an experience worth the wait.

Please keep your information (particularly email and physical address) up to date on BackerKit: https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com.

Torture Chamber 3D Layout
Torture Chamber 3D Layout

Castaway – not the Tom Hanks one!

He’s back – again! Some of you may have known and remembered the struggles of the beloved Johnny Castaway – a beloved screen saver by the folks of Sierra – in which, our stranded hero – Johnny Castaway is marooned on an island – and has an assortment of adventures, trying to get off them – and encounters a wild assortment of wild life and people while stranded… The screen saver was even “time sensitive” that it recognized (based on your computer’s date/time) what holidays might be approaching, and made use of it! Well, a 32bit version for Windows XP was eventually made by fans (remember Windows XP?) – well, someone, through DosBox has figured out how to make it work on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 – whether it’s 32 or 64bit! As a matter of fact, because it uses DOSBOX, it should ideally work on any Windows operating system going forward! I want to thank the folks at Screen Saver Planet for sharing this! I have included all the steps (and files) on the site here as well – so go check out the Johnny Castaway page!

 

Hero-U Update #88: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

What’s New at Hero-U?

The University is preparing to open its doors for the Fall Semester! But first we need to have the Campus Visit (Alpha Testing), Entry Examinations (Targeted Beta Testing), and Orientation (Final Testing). It takes serious preparation to get the most value from a Hero-U education.

We added a couple of steps to the project over the last two months to dramatically improve the game’s visuals and reliability. First, with the guidance of two programmers with serious Unity credits, we upgraded the development system from Unity 4.7 to version 5.5.

We knew that would cause some disruption and extra work, but the change lets us take advantage of the latest Unity features and support. The biggest upgrade has been in our ability to effectively light scenes.

Catacombs entrance before lighting upgrades
Catacombs entrance before lighting upgrades

In the above image (just after porting to Unity 5.5), the contrast is low except on Shawn, who appears to have a spotlight on him. Everything looks a little muddy and indistinct. It’s fully playable, but not as good as it should be.

Same Catacombs entrance with improved lighting
Same Catacombs entrance with improved lighting

The improved lighting highlights some of the detail and sets the mood. Shawn looks more natural.

Let there be Light!

When we started building a castle to house Hero-U, it felt a little empty. Sure, there were classrooms and corridors, the dining hall and the great hall, the vestibule and the recreation center, the garden and the courtyard. But you know how it is with a castle – all that stonework can get pretty cold in the Winter.

That’s when we brought in portraits and tapestries for insulation and warmth. They also help us tell the story and the history of the University and some of our notable alumni. Tapestries are also pretty good at concealing secret doors and hiding places. You didn’t read that here.

At that point, we naively thought we were done decorating the castle. Then our artists stepped in and turned on the lights. And the lights shone throughout the castle, and it is good. Man is it good! Maybe a few “before and after” pictures will help you see how important lighting is to establishing the drama and mood in each scene.

Meanwhile, we continue adding new vignettes, closeups, and custom animation to bring more of the game to life.

Courtyard Before Re-Lighting
Courtyard Before Re-Lighting

This nighttime Courtyard view got the “dark” right, but feels “2D” and loses much of the beauty of the scene. Unity 5.5 let us keep the feel of the scene while bringing it to life with better lighting.

The Courtyard with Strategically-Placed Lights
The Courtyard with Strategically-Placed Lights

Here’s the same courtyard re-lit. It’s still obviously nighttime, but now the lights work and some details come to life. Shawn has also been toned down. (By default, Unity 5.5 lighting is about twice as bright as in Unity 4.7.)

We’ve had to make these changes to every scene in the game – over 60 of them – so our artists had a busy February and March. But the difference is “night and day” in bringing out the details and quality of the artwork.

Getting Ready to Graduate

After over four years of work and more than twice the original Kickstarter budget, we can finally see the graduation stage not too far in the distance. The extra lights probably helped. Here’s our current schedule for the initial testing phase:

  • 1 May 2017 – Feature complete – all “adventure” dialogue and interactions
  • 1 June – Castle Alpha Test – All team members and Insider Backers
  • 1 July – Castle Targeted Beta – Test specific areas in the Castle
  • 1 July – Wine Cellar opens to Insider Backers for Combat Alpha Testing
  • Etc. Specific dates will depend on early testing progress.

For this targeted Beta, we will need a few dedicated volunteers to test the game. There’s nothing like game testing to spoil all the fun of playing the game. If you are sort of person who likes to continually throw rocks to build up your throwing skills to the max (not that we’d ever want to make you do that sort of thing in a game) or who pulls back curtains to look for the man running things behind them, or who uses a magnifying glass to reveal every last detail, we could use your detection skills to make Hero-U better.

I will set up a web page and database for alpha and beta testers, then issue invitations to volunteer backers next month. We’ll be trying something new – assigning each beta tester to a particular area or game day so that we can make sure every event is tested throughout the game.

Beta testing is much more than playing the game – you’ll need to keep a critical eye on everything you see, and play through the same sequence multiple times with small variations to identify bugs that only show up after a certain sequence of actions.

If you’ve ever wondered why commercial games could possibly ship with “glaring errors”, it’s because many of those errors only show up after a specific set of moves or in a particular case of random numbers. This will be a real challenge for everyone who volunteers. That’s why we don’t have a fixed shipment schedule – we’ll ship when the game is done – and fun!

Resource Reminders

Please keep your email and address current at https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com 

Participate in the Hero-U forum at http://www.hero-u.net/forum/

Our FaceBook page is https://www.facebook.com/TheSchoolForHeroes/.

Shawn Enters the Catacombs
Shawn Enters the Catacombs

SpaceVenture Update #113: Two Guys SpaceVenture – by the creators of Space Quest by Two Guys From Andromeda

Greetings and salutations SpaceVenture backers. We have another update here for you. First off, as always, we want to make sure everyone knows we are still pushing hard to get SpaceVenture out. A lot of you have made it clear you’re chomping at the bit ready for the game to be done. We hear you and are working extremely hard to get the game done as fast as possible. In the past we have let you guys know some of the things that have slowed us down. If you aren’t familiar with those things, please take a look back at some of the previous updates.

Lately, we have been silent in the comments section of our Kickstarter page. That being said, there are some things that we would like to quickly address here so you know our thoughts. You all have every right to speak negatively or critically on some of the causes of the delay to the game. We hope you all realize that none of the team ever expected things to go on as long as they have. A lot of folks probably check in on the project on occasions and get upset when they notice the game is still not complete. Those same people can push the game from their mind and not worry about it again until they decide to check back in. The team lives with this day in and day out. Everyone on the team cannot wait for the day that the weight of the game is lifted from our shoulders. That is not to say we haven’t enjoyed working on SpaceVenture, and that we don’t appreciate the fact that you backers gave us this opportunity. None of us regret working on the game. This has been an experience that we will never forget. We just hope you understand that there is real stress in getting it out, and hope you will continue to be patience with us. We are all real people with real life stuff going on, and we are taking the responsibility of getting the game completed very seriously.

In saying all that, we aren’t asking you not to criticize or say negative things. You have every right to. We only hope you will understand that we are not purposely trying to make the process any slower. We want the game complete probably more then anyone. One of the main reasons it has been a slow process is because of the high quality we are aiming for.

We are very much aware that we keep missing deadlines. We are pushing as hard as we possibly can to not keep up this pattern, but hope you all will understand that we are not going to give another deadline out until we finish a lot of the items that are listed below.

Rest assured, we will complete SpaceVenture. It has been slow going, but this will not be one of those Kickstarters that get abandoned. Again, thank you so much for the patience.

So what is the status of the game?

  • The last few scenes in the game that have puzzle related material are still in the works. There is some artwork that still needs to be finalized and some puzzle mechanics to work out.
  • We have a few cutscenes that are still slated to be completed, including the game ending
  • There are a few death sequences that are still in the works for Ace. Some of which will be voted on by backers hopefully very soon.
  • Most scenes have gone through the polish process artwork wise, but still have to pass through testing for bugs before we go into full beta testing.
  • Music for most areas of the game are added where music is warranted. There are still a couple of scenes that need music including the last areas of the game as well as the ending sequence
  • Sound effects have been added for the large majority of the game, but there are still a few areas left to complete
  • The vast majority of “look” messages are added to the game with exception to the last few scenes
  • Voice over has not been recorded but we are in the process of selecting the correct voice actors for all the parts in the game, and will hopefully have news on that coming up.

THE TWO GUYS FROM ANDROMEDA SPACEDOME

Going as far back to the original Kickstarter pitch with our playable concept art pieces, we showed you all of a Two Guys From Andromeda Space dome idea. There is a whole sequence of the game in which Ace Hardway gets a call from none other then the Two Guys themselves involving their in-dome swimming pool/lagoon. Ace eventually makes his way to the dome only to find that the Two Guys haven’t exactly made it easy for him to get to where he needs to be in order to fix the problem.

This is image of the old artwork for the Dome that was put together in the Kickstarter campaign:

Below is a look at the huge artwork revamp that has been done on the Space Dome. This is how the dome currently looks in game:

One of our SpaceVenture artists, Patrick Parish, worked hard with direction from Mark on making this scene look absolutely amazing.

This sequence of the game has quite of bit of hilarious content we think all of you will enjoy, not to mention some huge plot points that will take place. The dome has gone through a massive overhaul artwork wise that we hope all of you will love. Check out the exploration video below.

EXPLORING SOME OF THE DOME

This video features a fun new tune by our composer Ken Allen.

NOTE that this video is fuzzy due to compression, and parts of the scenes are still a work in process.

https://youtu.be/ia_6kes8u1Y

THE TGFA LAB

After finally meeting the Two Guys in person, Ace will need to make his way down below the interior of the dome into the pump house to repair the pool/lagoon. In order to get to the pump house, Ace will need to pass through the Two Guys development lab. The lab happens to be the place where the Two Guys design and work on their latest projects.

Things can get real spoilery here so we aren’t gonna say too much about what to expect, but we thought you guys would like to have a look at the scene itself.

UPDATE ON VERONICA

We’ve mentioned Veronica to you guys a few times in the past. We also got quite a bit of feedback from you all on how you felt involving Veronica. Veronica is meant to be a strong female character in SpaceVenture that plays a pretty important roll in solving the mystery of some of the story line going on around Ace.

Here is how Veronica used to look in early concept art:

Here is a look at Veronica as she is scene right now. Keep in mind, she isn’t wearing any of the outfits here that are planned for her in game.

Considering Veronica’s line of work, she will be seen wearing different outfits in different scenes of the game. Her outfits are one of the artwork elements we have left to complete. Some of you backers backed at a high enough level to vote on concept pieces for SpaceVenture. We plan to let you all vote for which outfits you like, and the ones that are selected will be the ones that she wears in game.

Here is a glimpse of one of the concept pieces to be voted on:

Be on the look out for a survey request involving Veronica’s outfits.

NEW DIARY ENTRIES ON SVREWARDS

Mark posted a diary entry on the SVRewards website involving what it takes to put together a 2.5D scene in Unity, such as the Space Dome. There is also a blooper video involving Rooter posted up there as well. All $30 and up backers can go have a look at that. Here is a sneak peak of an image he posted. The image will also link you straight to the website as well.

 

 http://svrewards.com

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

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

How well do you know your Sierra games?

Over on the SierraHelp forums, we have a game where a portion of the screen shot of a specific game (King’s Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, etc) and others need to guess where the screen shot is from. Some of the games have been going on for quite some time; but we’ve opened up some new ones (like Conquest series which includes Conquest of Camelot and Conquest of Longbow; as well as EcoQuest, Freddy Pharkus, Goldrush, Laura Bow series which is Colonel’s Bequest and Dagger of Amon Ra, and the Manhunter series).

Be sure to check out the latest post of each thread to see where the game stands! So if you haven’t already, please come by the forums and join in the games! And if you haven’t already registered on the forum – please do! We’d love to have you! Whether it’s to participate in the games, or join us in all the Sierra conversations we have!

 

Hero-U Update #87: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

Posted by Corey Cole

Lori and I cannot express how much we appreciate both the initial support and continuing patience (or at least acceptance) from all of our dedicated Hero-U backers. Making this game is proving harder than anything else we’ve done, but you’ve also given us the opportunity to create something new and we hope wonderful.

So we wish a Happy Valentine’s Day with love to all of you.

Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine’s Day

New team members

I put out a call for Unity programmers in December, and we were delighted with the results. Ten people applied, and if I had the budget I would have hired all ten of them. Currently I’ve added three additional developers to the team. Each brings extensive Unity and game development experience to the team.

Thanks to everyone who applied. Lori and I were impressed with your level of talent and dedication.

Planned Beta and Release dates

The current plan calls for “Code Complete” – all features implemented and ready for outside Beta testing – in 2-3 months. Figure on April 30 for the start of Beta. We plan to distribute digital copies of the game through a download on BackerKit for backers, and through Steam, GoG, and Humble for new orders.

The Beta phase will also last 2-3 months, so we’re targeting late June to mid-July for game release. We are following the tradition of similar Kickstarter projects in releasing the digital version of the game first. After we’ve fixed most of the problems reported by players, we’ll manufacture the boxed games and send them out to the backers at higher contribution levels.

We might still slip, but it won’t be by much. Lori and I have strong financial and creative incentives to get the game out the door and into your hands.

It’s a Trap

Here’s a sneak peek at the trap disarming puzzle. As Shawn practices disarming traps and improves in skill, some of the incorrect letters will be removed from the dial of Shawn’s Trap Tapper. https://youtu.be/RW3JjZI5YKM

Remember, Rogues, it takes more than a disarming smile to bypass a diabolical trap!

Project upgraded to Unity 5.5

We looked into porting Hero-U to Unity 5 a couple of years ago, but decided we did not have the expertise to make it work. Now with the help of our new team members, we’re up and running on version 5.5. This brings the game some big improvements in lighting, performance, and stability.

Bob Bates Thaumistry game

Bob Bates is an adventure game hero going all the way back to the days of Infocom text adventures. Bob also co-founded Legend Entertainment and published our Shannara adventure RPG. Now he has returned to his text adventure roots with Thaumistry, a comical fantasy interactive fiction game on Kickstarter. The project is fully funded, but additional backers will help Bob reach stretch goals including audio.

Please support Thaumistry and help keep the text adventure market alive. The project is on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1575848200/thaumistry-in-charms-way-a-new-comedy-text-adventu

Seriously, You’re the Best

Thank you for supporting our incredible journey into making a Sierra-quality video game in the new indie era. We wouldn’t be here without our generous backers, and we think you’re going to love Hero-U as much as we love making it.