HERO-U Update #39

Last Chance to Pledge on the Hero-U.net Site

We are closing the KS store on June 30. This will be the last chance for you and your friends to contribute the project until we open a regular store shortly before we release Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. The “KS Store” is at http://www.hero-u.net/KS-store.php#storetop for just one more week.

You may also upgrade your Kickstarter pledge in the KS Store. Choose the “Donate” button, and donate the difference between the reward tier you want and the amount you have already contributed. Make sure you use the “Comments” field to give us your Kickstarter name and any other information we need to upgrade you to the new tier.

Staying around after the store closes will be the Hero-U web site – http://www.hero-u.net/ – recently redesigned by Lori. You can find new artwork and more information about the game there. Be sure to visit and participate in the discussion forums – http://www.hero-u.net/forum/ – while you’re there.

Then there’s Lori’s news column – http://www.hero-u.net/leaders/ – in which she posts project news in between these updates. The latest column mentions our composer Ryan Grogan’s latest award for his exceptional children’s TV work Down Under.

Fine-Tuning the Demo

The team is well along on our first playable demo, the “Break-In House”. This is a simplified version of an actual game scene, so creating it tests most of the code we’ve developed so far. Shawn can walk around in it and interact with everything. Don’t worry – It’s one of the first scenes of the game, so there aren’t any spoilers.

We are trying to complete the demo in the next week or two with Shawn’s real animation, sound effects, and most of the interactions and dialogue that will be in the game. We’ll post a link to it when it’s “ready for prime time.”

Wagging Our Tales

We are delighted to welcome Mark Povey to our team as a senior animator. Mark’s impressive background includes working on Don Bluth films including “All Dogs Go To Heaven” and “An American Tail”. He has also animated games such as “Broken Sword”, Disney’s “Tarzan”, and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”. Mark is currently focusing on animating our characters smoothly.

We have also added Luke Utterback as a part-time AI (Artificial Intelligence) specialist. Luke has six years of experience as a game programmer including work on “Bourne Conspiracy” and “LEGO Universe”. He also did the AI programming for the lamentably cancelled “Warrior’s Lair” project (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfGeTVugKZM).

Then there’s Richard Aronson, famous for the Dread Gazebo story (http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/98/Jul/gazebo.html).  Richard helped create the characters of Erasmus and Fenrus that later made it into Quest for Glory. Then he started designing games professionally, including Hoyle’s Bridge, The Ruins of Cawdor, Law and Order, ER, World Series of Poker, and some other excellent games. Richard had a bit of time to spare, and has been helping Lori and me fill out the design of economy, equipment and other treasure, and other game systems.

Interesting Kickstarter Projects Ending Soon

There are just over two days to go on Armikrog, which has so far raised $700K of its $900K ask. This is a stop-motion-animated adventure game from the creators of Earthworm Jim. The lead artist (Doug Ten Napel) has raised some controversy unrelated to the project with comments against gay marriage. If this is an important concern to you, you will have to decide whether you want to back Armikrog. Personally, I am backing at a minimum level just to keep up with the game’s progress. The art style and proposed game play look amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfGeTVugKZM

Also ending soon is Double Fine’s Massive Chalice Campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doublefine/double-fines-massive-chalice). This is a strategy game rather than an adventure or RPG, but I think it looks really fun. One feature is a campaign mode in which your heroes can retire to raise new generations of heroes – You have to balance your short-term chances against the long-term survival of your realm.

There are still two weeks to go on The St. Christopher’s School Lockdown (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1645187100/the-st-christophers-school-lockdown). This is a unique adventure game that explores modern themes of suppression and revolt in the context of a British public school. It looks great, has a different and very interesting theme, and promises to have a character-centered story similar to our own plans with Hero-U.

Just started is LFG: The Fork of Truth (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1412277313/lfg-the-fork-of-truth). This is a 4-player co-op RPG based on the popular Looking for Group web comic (http://www.lfgcomic.com/). The comic started out as a World of Warcraft parody, and has progressed (“matured” would be too strong a word) into a very fun series. I follow it religiously.

Until We Meet Again

Hero-U development is starting to accelerate, and many exciting developments are happening behind the scenes. We look forward to sharing more art, music, news, and demos with you here and on the hero-u.net web site. Stay tuned!

Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Update #65

Hi ya, Kickstarters! Al Lowe here. It looks like we are EXTREMELY close to the finish line!

And it appears that Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded will be the first Kickstarted game to ship!

N-Fusion hasn’t wasted the last few weeks; they’ve made improvements to the game everywhere. I can’t wait for you to see it. While I’m proud we did the right thing and waited to ship until all the bugs were exterminated, we did much, much more: hundreds of new sound effects, redesigned menus with new artwork, user interface improvements, and even additional voiceovers. This truly is the best Larry game we can bring you.

And our mutual wait is almost over!

E3 Action

Paul Trowe and I spent last week at E3 in Los Angeles and had a blast. We had loads of interviews with the foreign press. (U.S. press coverage was handled earlier, at GDC.) Even though Replay didn’t have a booth (a nice one would only cost all the money we raised on Kickstarter!), Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded was on display in several other booths. Reports were universally positive, as was the response from the press who’ve seen it. So far, so good.

E3 week began with a bang: on Monday night, Paul and I joined Austin Wintory and Melora Hardin at Typhoon (a Santa Monica restaurant and jazz spot) for gig by the Late Night Jazz Orchestra. Wow, what a band! I knew they were good players after watching them record our soundtrack and this night cemented that reputation.

But the highlight for us Larryites came in their second set when they played several of the cuts from the Larry OST. Melora sang her song from the game while Austin accompanied. She looked as good as she sounds!

I just happened to have a saxophone mouthpiece in my pocket (heh, heh) so I borrowed a sax and played the Leisure Suit Larry Theme Song with them. They even gave me an opening cadenza. It was a musical highlight that I won’t soon forget!

If your Kickstarter reward level includes a download of the original soundtrack and you haven’t grabbed it yet, what are you waiting for?

Press Previews

We’ve received scores of previews from gaming sites since the beta was released and they’ve been nearly unanimous in their praise. We’re (almost) blushing! Here’s one from yesterday on Destructoid.

I’m hoping the actual reviews will be as sweet.
Another Game to Kickstart

Josh sends along news of another adventure game with a Kickstarter campaign: The St. Christopher’s School Lockdown. It’s an homage to the Sierra and Lucasarts games we love and they need your help. Josh says,

“I’m incredibly impressed by their art style, by the fascinating political theme of the story, by their extremely well thought-out plan for the series, and by the team of individuals who are working on the game. PLEASE go over to their Kickstarter site and show your support for the game and, if you can’t see your way through to supporting it monetarily, just helping spread the word would, I’m sure, be of inestimable benefit to their project.”

Well said, Josh!


Once the game goes live, you’ll want to download it but remember: you have to register first. Watch for another update from Britton with instructions on what to do, how, and when.

Of course, game discs take time to be pressed and assembled, and some of the physical rewards need to be autographed, so those won’t ship for a few more weeks. (What? Game discs don’t burn themselves?) So please have patience. We promise: we’re working as fast as we can to speed your items to you!

It’s been a fun year for me and I mean this sincerely: we literally could not have done it without you! Thank you so much for your faith in us (and Larry).

As Larry would say, “It won’t be long now!”

Space Venture Update #74

Okay, so the demo is still not quite ready. We do want some polish to it since we will be showing it off to you fine folks and to the press at San Diego Comicon this year, hope everyone understands the logic there.

To tide you over, I wanted to share some of the facts about this small piece of the game you’ll get to experience in the demo:

  • There will be 7 beautifully created scenes by Mark Crowe.
  • Every scene contains hilarious dialogue written by Scott Murphy.
  • You’ll get to control the man, the legend, Ace Hardway himself as well as his lovable robotic K-9 sidekick Rooter!
  • Space Quest fans might notice a few fun easter eggs thrown in as well.
  • There are 8 different tasks(puzzles) you’ll have to accomplish in order to beat the demo, some more difficult than others.
  • At the moment there are 4 possible funny ways to die. There might be a couple of more added soon as well. We have a very creative and tactful way to accomplish this that we think you’ll love, whether you like the Sierra method or LucasArts method of Adventure Games.
  • The demo is laced with some epic music and SFX created/produced by Ken Allen
  • As far as voice over goes, we have 3 different characters being voiced in the demo.
  • And a nice little ending to the demo that will leave you wanting more!

As far as the demo goes, we mostly have some more programming to wrap up and a little more polish left. I can’t make any promises, but cross your finger for a release coming your way soon!


This is gonna be happening in one of the upcoming updates as well, be on the look out!
GOG CREDITS ($50 and above backers only)

Emails have already been sent out. PLEASE NOTE: The email was in regards to filling out a form. The form allowed you to make a choice involving your GoG credits. If you didn’t receive that email, please check your spam folder first, if it’s not there, then message us here on Kickstarter so we can verify you are at the $50 or above level. Please do not message in the comments of Kickstarter. It is best to message us directly on Kickstarter so we can verify your backer level. If you have already contacted us about this, please be patient and we’ll get back to you soon.

Most of you who have filled out the form have received your credits, however If you have already filled out the form and are still waiting, please continue to be patient, it’s on the way!

When will our rewards be shipped?
Answer: As soon as the game is complete, we’ll be shipping rewards out.
My address has changed and I need to update it with you guys. How do I do that?
Answer: Don’t worry about giving us your updated address right now. When we get ready to ship the items, we are gonna request you all to give us your updated address so we will all be in sync. No point in getting that as of now, because some of you may move between now and then.
Which conventions will you guys be at?

Answer: The Two guys Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and the SpacePope Chris Pope will all three be at SDCC 2013(San Diego) and possibly GMX 2013(Nashville). We were all hoping to be at PAX Seattle as well, but that may not happen.

You guys sure have been going to a lot of conventions. Shouldn’t you be making a game?

Answer: Actually Chris Pope is the one that has been going to conventions, and that has been on his own dime, not the company’s. Mark and Scott have only been to one convention so far and that was GMX 2012. GMX paid for the entire thing.

Do you love us backers?

Answer: We love you more than Orats love chasing Sarien Spider Droids! We love you more than Labion Terror Beasts love Cubix Rubes! We love you more than Fester Blatz loves ear wax! We love you more than Sequel Police love dressing in black! We love you more than… oh you get the picture!

Project Update #64: LSL Reloaded: Austin Wintory Speaks! – 06/03/2013

When Al, Josh and Paul first called me about scoring LSL I was rather speechless, and truthfully I still am. The Sierra adventure games were a huge part of my life back in the day, and so this gave me the chance to explore something real personally meaningful. And on top of that was the chance to work with an amazing big band: the Late Night Jazz Orchestra. Wait until to you hear these guys! Actually, don’t wait. Watch this:

It goes without saying that I *love* Al’s original Larry theme, and so I clung to it rather fiercely throughout the score. Even though this is a fundamentally new Larry, in terms of the music, hopefully it feels like one big tip of the hat. But that said, one of the first questions I asked Al was if he had any sort of agenda to recapture the previous scores, to which he confidently said “No, in fact I’d be disappointed if you did anything other than what YOU want to do.” So what you hear is equal parts silly, grimy, and rather naively romantic. That last aspect in particular was of fun … I became sort of obsessed with trying to make Larry feel almost like this idealistic romantic guy, and not some sleazeball, so hopefully you’ll feel a genuine, earnest romance in the music too (which of course ends up being rather hilarious when you pair that with some of the dialogue these guys wrote).

To cap it all off, Josh and I collaborated on an original song called “Tiers of Joy,” which was sung by the amazing, incredible Melora Hardin (who you probably didn’t realize was a singer; she played Jan Levinson on NBC’s “The Office!”). She even sang it live with the band, not as an overdub the way it’s normally done these days. I’ll be posting a video of that soon too.

All told I couldn’t be more excited about this game and soundtrack. Coming off of experiences like JOURNEY and MONACO, this was the most wonderful opportunity to try something totally new. I hope you enjoy the music and the performances by these absolutely stellar musicians. And I am so grateful to Al, Replay and N-Fusion for the wonderful partnership, and above all to YOU the backers for making all of this possible.

The OST (Original Soundtrack) will be coming to Kickstarter backers relative to their giving level, and for everyone else you can check it out here:


Ok, go pour a glass of wine or mix up a martini, kick back and open up your ears … 😉 –

Austin Wintory