Hero-U Update #122: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption version 2.1.2

We have a newly-updated version of Rogue to Redemption on Steam, and will be uploading it to GOG.com and Humble Bundle soon. If you’re on Steam or use GOG Galaxy, you’ll get the update automatically.

The game is now playable in both English and French. We’re working with translator William Bertin to get the technical manual and student handbook translated to French.

We upgraded to the 2018 version of Unity for version 2.1, and we’ve had a few “growing pains” with that transition. We’ve now fixed several reported bugs involving particles, lighting, and charcoal collection in version 2.1.2. Thanks to everyone who reported these issues to us.

The Sea Caves quest line no longer breaks if you find a quest item before talking to Katie about her quest.

The Long-Awaited Yearbook (cover image selected by backer vote)

What’s going on with the Yearbook

The one unfilled pledge from our 2012 Kickstarter campaign is the Hero-U Yearbook. This contains text and pictures of many of our distinguished Hero-U alumni. The book was substantially completed by Eric Varnes in 2014-2015, but we ran into a snag as a result of running the second crowdfunding campaign in July 2015.

We merged all of the backers from both campaigns into a BackerKit account, and sent out new surveys. This resulted in getting entries from over 200 backers who belong in the Yearbook, but that had been left out of Eric’s version. Unfortunately, the data I gave Eric didn’t include any “key” information such as backer ID’s or email addresses, which made it very difficult to combine the old and new lists, or to spot which backers changed their entry in the later survey.

Last Summer I started working with Steve Coupe to finish the Yearbook. Steve managed to improve the graphics resolution of the original book, but that’s when I discovered that I had never merged the missing entries. By this point, I had multiple spreadsheets, each with a piece of the necessary information to complete the book.

Many delays ensued – preparing for and attending PAX, preparing and running the Summer Daze at Hero-U campaign, family illnesses and caregiving, and this big distraction called COVID-19. Corey planned on hand-merging the data, but that is a daunting task. Then he had the idea of bringing everything into SQL and using database queries to combine the tables, but his last SQL project was 15 years ago.

At this point, our lead Summer Daze developer, Cidney Hamilton, stepped in and offered to take over the data merge. Once she has that done, Corey will work on the exception reports to assign “classes” to the new alumni, resolve conflicts in the Yearbook text, and get the new entry data to Steve for layout.

As you can imagine, all of this will take a while, and we can’t promise a new Yearbook date yet. Our plan is to release the digital version first so that backers will have the opportunity to fix problems with it, then to do the print version. The digital version will be more complete, with only backers who signed up for the print version being listed in that version.

Autographed Bookplates for Game Boxes and Yearbooks


A related missing piece is that the physical Yearbooks need to be autographed by the Coles, and we’re also supposed to have autographed premium copies of the game box. Our plan all along was to handle both sets of autographs as “Ex Libris” style stickers that backers may put on the outside of the box, or in the game manual or student handbook. We recommend one of the latter to avoid covering the box art.

Fortunately, most of the backers getting premium boxes are also getting the Yearbook. As shipping is one of our major costs, we’re going to try to enclose the autograph stickers with the Yearbooks, or at least mail out both stickers at once to appropriate backers.

Lori designed the stickers (see above). We’ll get them printed and sign each one individually before sending them out.

Corey Plays Castle of Dr. Brain on Twitch this Saturday

Castle of Dr. Brain Live Stream

We’re doing another Twitch stream this Saturday, 3-5 pm PDT. (That will be Sunday morning in Oceanic time zones.) In previous streams, besides the book reading, we’ve chatted and run games and contests. This one will be a little different as Corey will play through his game, Castle of Dr. Brain, during the stream. You’ll get to see Corey struggle with his own “easy” game. If we have time, Lori will read chapter 14 of By the Book.

Our streaming channel is https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames. Please subscribe and watch the stream on Saturday!