Leisure Suit Larry KS Update #47

I had planned to keep this update short; we’ve had four updates in December already.

But then I remembered that I promised last time to go into some detail about my text process.

But then I thought that if it were me receiving these updates, I’d say, “C’mon, Hanukkah ended last week, yesterday was Festivus, Kwanzaa’s in a couple of days, tonight’s Christmas Eve. Just cut to the goodies, please.” So I’m throwing caution to the wind and cutting to the goodies!

Here are a half-dozen of Colin Merlo’s finished backgrounds for the game, complete and in all their high-res glory. You’ve seen them in the Greenlight video, but not like this! (Speaking of Greenlight, for those of you who upvoted Larry and Fester, THANK YOU! If you haven’t, we still need every vote we can get…instructions here).

The interior of Lefty’s! (Hi-res version)

Lefty’s Gorgeous Bathroom!  (High-res version)

The “Secret Room”! (High-res version)

The “Come ‘n’ Go”! (
High-res version)

The Alley to the right of Lefty’s! (High-res version)

Mugger Alley! (High-res version)

 Happy New Year, everyone! 

(Our High-res Holiday Card)

See you next quarter!


SpaceVenture Update #66

Well, we’ve been through a lot this year. From the re-rise of adventure gaming, and the return of the Two Guys From Andromeda, to the surviving of the end of the world.. again! What has been accomplished in 2012 would have never been possible without you backers out there. With your help, the dream that is SpaceVenture is coming together, and in 2013, Ace and Rooter will be fixing the galaxy one clumsy epic adventure at a time!

Have a safe and happy time with your friends and family everyone!

Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, Chris Pope, and the rest of the gang at Guys From Andromeda LLC

Hero-U Update #32

Apocalypse Averted

Well, it appears that most of us have survived the Apocalypse supposedly predicted by the Mayans.  It’s a funny thing – When one of my calendars runs out of months, I usually get a new one.  For some reason, when the Mayan calendar ran out of years, a lot of people panicked.

Like some of our friends, Lori and I both wore red shirts on Friday.  After all, on Star Trek, crew members wearing red shirts usually died.  So it was only fitting that we should all wear red shirts on the day of the Apocalypse.  That day was also the Winter Solstice, shortest day of the year.  Now that we’ve survived, the days will keep getting longer, and Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption will keep getting closer to completion.

Key Questions

In response to my previous Update, so far I have received responses from about one-third of the backers entitled to a previous game key.  We need more, so I have now sent surveys to all of the $50 and $65 tier backers.  Please answer your survey as soon as possible.  It’s ok to answer the survey if you already told me what key you want.  I’ll see from the database whether I’ve already sent you a key.

Incidentally, I’ve fulfilled all the previous game key requests that I received on Dec. 20 or earlier.  I also sent all three keys to backers at the $175 level and $500 and higher levels.  If you pledged at a level other than $50 or $65, and you added money to your pledge to get a previous game key, please send email to support (at) hero-u (dot) com.  Specify your Kickstarter user name and the add-ons you want.  If you pledged at the $50 or $65 tier, please answer the survey.

Expanding Universe

Although we have not yet started full production on the game, we’ve added a programmer to help build the game “rooms” and an animator.  Todd Hendrix has programming credits all the way back to Might & Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic.  We worked together on an online poker site, and I’m excited to have the chance to work with Todd again.  Bryan Ellis is a talented local artist who worked at Sierra and several other local game companies.

Andrew has prototyped the isometric-view modifications to his game engine, and we’ll start developing art and animation for it in January.  In the meantime, Lori and I have been working on the game design, converting FAR Studio to an LLC, and fulfilling previous game key requests.  The latter has been time-consuming, but I’ve worked out some ways to speed up the process.

Why an LLC?  That will help us to raise additional funding that we can use to create a better-looking and more impressive game than we think we can manage on the Kickstarter budget alone.  Our goal is to give our backers much more than you paid for.  Adding content will also mean more work for the team, so they won’t starve quite as much.

Design Refinements

While I’ve been working the spreadsheets, Lori has added quite a bit of content to the game design.  After Shawn has had some time to explore the University and storage cellar, he’ll find some exciting opportunities in the Sea Caves.  Meanwhile, Lori has added an entirely new plot line based on the story of one of our “Wing” backers.  We’ll send out a Survey to the other Wing and Monster Lair backers next month to see how your stories can be incorporated into the game.

We’ve also done some work on the stats and skills systems, with much more yet to come.  There will be some seriously challenging game play with a bit of whimsy and humor.  Shawn doesn’t take much seriously, and that includes his hard-won Rogue education.

There is a lot more going on, but we wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.  And of course every design decision is in flux until we test it.  An important part of good game design is being willing to throw away our most cherished ideas when they turn out un-fun.

We hope you are all having a good holiday season, and we wish you a happy and prosperous 2013.

SpaceVenture Update #65

Good news everyone! We are going to be able to offer women’s size t-shirts after all! As of this morning, we sent out an email to those eligible backers to get everyone’s shirt size. If you are eligible for a backer T-Shirt, please make sure of the following:

  • You are a backer of the proper level to receive one of these shirts!
  • Make sure that our official email address is in your email safe list: contact AT guysfromandromeda DOT com (email address listed this way to protect from mail harvesting)
  • If you didn’t receive an email from the above address, check your spam folder!
  • If you are worried about shipping address, don’t! We will get that later when it comes time to ship your shirt and other items!

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SpaceVenture Backer T-Shirt!

Hey everyone! We are in the process of getting all the backer T-Shirts made! As of this morning, we sent out an email to those eligible backers to get everyone’s shirt size.

If you are eligible for a backer T-Shirt, please make sure of the following:

  • You are a backer of the proper level to receive one of these shirts!
  • Make sure that our official email address is in your email safe list: contact AT guysfromandromeda DOT com (email address listed this way to protect from mail harvesting)
  • If you didn’t receive an email from the above address, check your spam folder!
  • If you are worried about shipping address, don’t! We will get that later when it comes time to ship your shirt and other items!

SHIRT PRO TIP: Don’t put on or lose any weight between now and when you receive your shirt! 😉

Also, those that would like to receive a shirt but aren’t a high enough level, please visit http://guysfromandromeda.com to up your level. The shirts will no longer be available after 12/16/12!

Thanks everyone so much for being a SpaceVenture backer! I know you are gonna love these shirts.

-Chris Pope

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LSL Update #46

Good morning!

We were hoping to hold this back for a couple more days, but there was a Red Carpet interview at Spike TV’s Video Game Awards last week, and now the cat’s out of the bag.

So we’re dropping this on you shortly before our official Press Release goes out: Our composer on Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded is Austin Wintory, Grammy-nominated, VGA-winning composer of the incredible soundtrack for Journey.

It’s impossible to say who’s more excited by this: Al, Paul, me, or Austin himself. We’ve been working on this deal for months (I note that my very first email to Austin, introducing him to the project, was on August 8th), and we couldn’t possibly be more thrilled. Any game would be outrageously lucky to work with Austin, and our li’l Kickstarter Larry GOT HIM!

Have a great day!


Larry Update #45

Good morning, Larryettes.

There have been two extra Kickstarter updates since I last wrote, pertaining to the effort to get both Leisure Suit Larry and Fester Mudd approved via Steam Greenlight. If you haven’t voted for them, and you’re willing to do so, I’d take it as a great favor…especially with Fester Mudd, because that game’s lead designer, Paavo Harkonen, is a talent waiting to be celebrated, and it’s been a privilege for me to work on that game with him.

As you probably know if you read the previous update or two, we’re having a contest, and five of the six prizes are pieces of original art from the game I did with Al back in ’93, Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist. I want you to know that those pieces, original Freddy Pharkas talkers lovingly painted by ex-Sierra artist Ruben Huante, are near and dear to my heart. I’ve never made any of the Freddy artwork available before this year, I’ve been caring for them and showing them off for about 20 years now, and I think it’s time to spread some of the joy around.

(If you haven’t voted yet to enter the contest, here are complete instructions.)

The video that accompanied Kevin’s first update dropped eight full, complete backgrounds on you:

  • Lefty’s Exterior
  • Lefty’s Bathroom
  • Lefty’s Secret Room
  • The Come ‘n’ Go Interior
  • The Alley right of Lefty’s (got that?)
  • Mugger alley
  • The Telephone close-up
  • Lefty’s Video Gaming Terminal

For those of you keeping track, that’s not nearly all the backgrounds that’ve been finished. Others include Lefty’s interior, Lefty’s hallway, Lefty’s upstairs, the exterior of the Come ‘n’ Go, the close-up of the Hooker, the Taxi, and the Video Gaming Terminal at the Wed ‘n’ Ready (the while-you-wait wedding chapel).
You also got a taste of Larry’s animation and some of his “idle cycles,” the movements he makes randomly and habitually when you’re not telling him to do anything specific. We’re fully cognizant of the sliding issue with Larry’s walking. That’s a fine-tuning task that came standard with pretty much every Sierra adventure: matching the scale of the walker to the scale of the background.

From a narration-and-dialogue standpoint, I’m still keeping up with artwork. I’m going to talk a lot more about my procedures and choices with the text next time, but since there’ve been so many updates in the past two weeks, I’m going to keep this one brief and give you something entirely different today: the video from N-Fusion that I’ve been talking about for so long.

Now you’ll get to see a bit more of the process, put some faces to names, and so on. I love these people, and we’re lucky to have them working with us. They go above and beyond every damn day…weekends included.

More to come…perhaps sooner than you think.


Hero-U Update #30

Some of you may have managed to relax a little since our “photo finish.”  I managed to sneak away for a few days to play bridge in San Francisco (“Relax? Hah!”).  Besides handling requests from our backers, Lori and I have spent most of the last two weeks planning the project and adding to the game and story design.

And we’re still staying up until 2 a.m. most mornings.  Sleep is for the weak!

Final Kickstarter Results

The Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption project is now underway, and the Kickstarter funding period is closed.  There were only 21 failed payments out of almost 6,100 backers, which is amazing – Thank you, everyone, for staying committed to this project.

The funds have not yet been released to us, but we now have solid numbers.  Some of our expenses – notably backer rewards – are coming in higher than anticipated, but we still have a very solid starting budget for the project.  There are three ways we can add to the budget in order to increase art and other resources:

We are not currently offering add-ons on the PayPal page.  When we start producing items such as the t-shirt and toy meep, we will add a store page to purchase them.  Those items will ship immediately, rather than being added to the game shipment.

Cascade Falls Bridge, acrylic painting by Terry Robinson

Team and Design Changes

We are delighted to announce that Terry Robinson has joined the Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption team as Lead Artist.  Terry is an incredibly-talented artist who led the art team on Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, created box and promotional art for several of our games, and has created art for many other game projects including King’s Quest 7 and The Realm.  Eriq Chang remains on the team as a Senior Artist.

Terry’s first “modest” change was to scrap the square tile interface in favor of an isometric art style.  The game will still be 2D, but this will give it more of a 3D look.  In particular, characters and objects on the screen will look more natural.  The change will require a significant engine change, but will greatly enhance the visual appeal.

Lori and I, and the whole development team, are committed to making Hero-U a great game.  We have a tiny budget by current big game standards, but we know how to use it efficiently.  If it comes up short, we will increase the budget with additional investment rather than cut game features.  We’ve promised you a game as good as – or better than – any Quest for Glory, and we won’t back down on that.

Also joining the team is Chris Fong as Assistant Producer.  Chris recently received a Masters degree in game production from Full Sail University, where he was also Valedictorian.  Chris will assist me with planning, tracking contractors and project tasks, and making sure that all Kickstarter rewards are correctly fulfilled.

Other Game Projects

I mentioned Antharion in a previous update.  It’s an “old-school, turn-based, party-based RPG set in an open fantasy world.”  Unfortunately, they came up slightly short of their modest $15,000 goal, but now they’ve relaunched with an even lower $10,000 goal and several more hyphens in the description.  This time they’ll make it for sure, but they will be able to make a better game with more funding.  Check out their Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/YwRiKl.

The Last Door project has promised to Kick It Forward.  They are making a free-to-play episodic horror adventure “combining orchestral music with pixel art”.  If that sounds intriguing to you, check it out at http://kck.st/UJZqQN.

I’m sure there are a lot of other worthwhile projects of interest to Hero-U backers.  If you see one that we should share, please send me a Private Message (click on the “Contact Me” link next to my picture on this project’s home page) and let me know why we should support it.  As we will be doing much less frequent updates (approx. every 2 weeks), I would prefer to learn about projects that still have a few weeks to run.

A Decent Proposal

Everyone was in for a surprise at our AnyMeeting talk a few days after the Kickstarter closed.  One of our backers asked if he could make a speech.  As it turned out, Charles used his time to propose to Christiana, also known as Elsa von Spielburg.  Elsa founded the Quest for More Glory web site that helped convince Sierra to let us develop Quest for Glory V.  She has kept the spirit of our games alive ever since, and we were thrilled to learn of her engagement.

Elsa lives on Cyprus (not too far from the location of Hero-U), and Charles lives in the Northeast United States.  This is definitely a made-on-the-Internet match.  Lori and I are very happy to have played our small role in their online meeting through our games.

Bashar Speaks Out

At the previous Google+ hangout (shortly after we closed funding), another backer gave a presentation that we would like to pass on to all of you.  Bashar kindly provided this transcript:

Here in the United States we will soon be celebrating our day of national thanksgiving. But in this instance we have cause to be thankful that breaches all borders. Not just for the Coles, who have returned from obscurity to the industry where they so deservedly belong, nor for Brawsome Studios who have given them the capacity to do so. Not just for the deeply rooted community that has coalesced around this project and put so much effort into promoting it, nor to the more than six thousand individuals who made a difference in funding it. What these things, in combination, have brought us is more than a game. It is the confidence that tomorrow, the sun will shine a little bit brighter.

We live now in the digital age. Where we were once influenced by books, and then cinema and television, games will play an ever larger role in shaping who we are as individuals and as a society. Hero-U is a reminder that transformational change is made up of many small instances of heroism, sacrifice, and faith in a greater good. It is also a message to the next generation that life is string of choices, choices that define our character and have a real impact on the world around us. Today we have made our choice. We have chosen the Coles over corporations, we have chosen compassion over compromise, resolve over reflex. We have done so for more than our own well being, but to bring substance to those struggling under the weight of social ennui.

Whatever impact Hero-U may have on the industry, what I believe in is the impact it will have on those who play it. Lives that have been empty shall be filled. Eyes cast to the ground will be raised. The hopeless shall receive purpose. If Hero-U benefits one person in the same way that the Coles work has elevated my life, I shall hold my head high in knowing that I was there, I was part of it; that mine was one of the many instances of heroism that helped make transformational change in the lives of people I will never meet, in ways that I will never know. For that privilege, it is my privilege to give thanks to you all.

Thank you, Bashar!  We hope we will be able to add one more tiny addition to the spirit of Heroism around the world.  While we’re working on it, we encourage each of you to think about some small act of heroism you can do to make your part of the world just a little better… then do it!

Happy Birthday to LarryLaffer.net!

It’s our birthday today! December 8th, is when the first LarryLaffer.net site was born onto the web! It’s gone through quite a few revisions! Thanks to all of you who swing by and enjoy whatever content we have on the site! And thanks to Al Lowe for creating this lovable character!