Roberta Williams’ Book Is Out

Roberta just released her book! She has been working on it for almost a decade and is excited to finally have others read it.

About the book …
This is an account of the ordeals of the Irish people during the Great Famine of mid-19th century, although she added a twist: Though it’s written as an historical novel, she decided to portray her actual ancestors as the primary protagonists in this emotionally-charged story. Thus, the principal characters were actual people, the historical facts are true, and the story of their lives during this terrible time was as real as possible by means of research, fact and document gathering, personal interviews, and intensive travel to Ireland. Where that knowledge wasn’t possible she inserted her forebears into the historical situations surrounding them so that her readers could learn and understand what they — along with so many others — experienced through that tumultuous time. And why so many Irish chose to leave their lovely emerald isle.

Ken and Roberta appear on this podcast to talk about her book.

Hero-U Update #135: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

Live Stream This Saturday

Streaming in the Lambent Light of Your Monitor

Our next livestream is this Saturday at 2 pm to 4 pm PDT. That’s 2100 UTC if I have my time arithmetic correct. You’ll find the stream at The theme this time is “Out Like A Lamb,” referring to the saying that, “March comes in like a lion, but goes out like a lamb,” and to the Hero Ewe school mascot. Afterwards, we’ll take it on the lam.

Why is a sheep the mascot for Hero-U? It started with one of us making a joke about the Hero Ewe, and Eriq Chang drawing a number of whimsical sheep images for the first Rogue to Redemption Kickstarter in 2012. Since that game is entirely indoors, or in underground caves, there is no sheep in game. With Summer Daze at Hero-U, we decided it was time to bring the Hero Ewe into the game plot.

That’s pretty much how our game designs go. People keep telling us that games should be carefully planned out from the beginning. That’s probably a good approach for meeting schedules and budgets, but we think it detracts from creativity. We prefer a chaotic process that has room for whimsy and team contributions.

Fully Fulfilled

I’ve started to hear from international Yearbook backers that their Yearbooks have arrived. Yay! Thanks to JP Selwood and Eric Varnes for the images and original layout, Chris Fong for wrangling backer photos and text, Steve Coupe for finalizing the layout, many backers for proofreading and corrections, and Simply Yearbooks for the printing and distribution.

With that, both Kickstarters (2012 and 2015) are fulfilled. That eight year journey is finally complete; I naively thought we could do it in two years, back when we started.

The Hero-U journey continues. We’ve just posted the first Alpha test version of Summer Daze at Hero-U: Tilly’s Tale. Lori and I are working with developer Philip to bring full voice acting to the game, and with JP and Al on the backer credits movies. We also have an accompanying “flippy book,” cloth map, and more.

JP and Al have completed the principal art for the second Summer Daze story, Ifeyo’s Adventure, but the game still has a long way to go in writing, music, and other audio.

Our other projects are currently on hold until we make more progress with Summer Daze. These could include some selection of Puzzleworthy, Hero-U: Wizards Way, Consulting Magicians, and other cool ideas in various stages of imagination and design. Alas, we haven’t found a magic box that will take a game directly from ideas to production.