SpaceVenture Update #108: Two Guys SpaceVenture – by the creators of Space Quest by Two Guys From Andromeda

Hey everyone! This is just a very short update to let you all know that we have issued Steam keys for Cluck Yegger in Escape From The Planet of the Poultroid.

To keep the tech support down to a minimal, please read all of this post before heading over to get your Steam key.

The keys are issued to all $15 and up backers just as a reminder. To get access to your key, just log onto and click the rewards tab at the top.

If you can’t remember your password, you should be able to reset your password from the website. If you have any other problems logging in, you should forward your “Thanks to you, Two Guys SpaceVenture” funded e-mail from Kickstarter to If you were a PayPal backers, just forward your PayPal paid receipt to that same email address.

Please do not post issues with the website on our Kickstarter page. Again, any issues with the SV Rewards website should be directed to the above email address.


We are still talking with quite a few online game store outlets and have gotten a lot of interest. Currently the game is only available through Steam and

Even though GOG is very interested in the actual SpaceVenture game when it is released, unfortunately the Cluck Yegger mini game will not be available through them.


If you’d like to help us, please spread the word to folks that they can buy the game right now for $2.99 here at (Our Steam Store) Another way you can help is that once you have your copy, and if you enjoy the game, please leave a review on our Steam Store page. Reviews on Steam make a major difference on whether or not Valve helps advertise the game to players in the store.

Lastly, we are giving out Steam keys to press and youtubers that might be able to help spread the word about the game. Feel free to help us poke at some of those folks about play testing the game, we’ll gladly provide them with access.

As mentioned, 100% of the proceeds from the Cluck Yegger mini game will go towards speeding up the process of finishing SpaceVenture.


We just completed work on the iOS version(release announcement in the near future) of the Cluck Yegger game and are moving full throttle into finishing SpaceVenture. I may personally spend a little time working on the Android version of the game, but my time will also be focused on getting SpaceVenture complete. We originally hoped to get the game out on iOS and Android at the same time, but we’ve had to prioritize.

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

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

Hero-U Project Update #78: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by Corey and Lori Ann Cole

This is a guest article by Judy Feng with additional material from Corey. Judy has been helping us add new features to our Composer story editor and will be working on other parts of Hero-U game play.

Since the previous update, another 600+ backers have filled out their BackerKit surveys. We still need over 600 surveys. It will be a great help if we can get closer to 100% as it takes me 5-10 minutes to manually resolve each incomplete survey – a week or two of time away from the game. We can’t realistically order t-shirts or other merchandise until all of the surveys are completed and resolved.

If you receive an email reminder to complete your BackerKit survey, please handle it or send email to support (at) hero-u (dot) net (sorry, but we’ve been getting many automated spam messages lately) to let us know of any problems you are having with the survey. You can also access your survey at

A recent question asked, “What is the scheduled release date?” I’ve been saying Spring (June) 2016, but since we aren’t in Alpha yet, Lori’s estimate of late Fall (November 2016) may be more realistic. We’ll try hard to complete the game earlier – it’s just as critical to us as to our backers – but we won’t release it until we’re satisfied that Hero-U is an excellent game with no major bugs.

From Story to Sardonia

What’s involved in making a game? Why does it take so long? The answers might surprise you – there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Let’s take a quick peek behind the curtains of Hero-U.

At the heart of every adventure game is the story. (You enter the room. What do you see? Who is there with you? What happens when you push the button?) The designer describes the scene and all of its possible interactions (and their consequences).

In an ideal world, everything would come together in a single glorious swoop. As the designer tells the story, the artists’ brushes (or styluses) would be a whirlwind of color; scenery and objects and characters would pour out of every surface, which animators would immediately bring to non-motion-captured life.

A symphony director would gesture madly (5/8 time! Now 4/4!) and a full orchestra and choir would respond in perfect harmony without needing a musical score. Programmers would capture all of this real-time data – story, art, animation, music – dynamically generate a world, shove it into a app, and… voila! A game would be born!

Sadly, game development in the real world moves far more slowly. Shockingly, it actually takes hard work and a lot of it.

Caveat Emptor

Sea Caves Level 1 (work in progress) Sea Caves Level 1 (work in progress)

From the earliest design phases, Corey and Lori planned the Sea Caves as an important environment in Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. One of Shawn’s classmates has a pirate father and is looking to recover his lost treasure.

But treasure is never so easily gained. Great reward requires great risk. Lori had visions of sea caves filled with diabolical puzzles, deadly traps, and dangerous creatures. Not least would be the Undead Pirates guarding the final treasure. Yes, it’s a trope, but a fun one! Hero-U would follow in the grand tradition of Tim Powers’ “On Stranger Tides”, Ron Gilbert’s “Secret of Monkey Island”, and of course Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

Waving their hands and saying, “Zombie Pirates – make them so,” would have been nice and so very efficient. In practice, first the Coles had to lay out the caves, figure out how to make them work – the backgrounds were still 2D at the time, come up with puzzles around the caves and the pirates, work with an artist to get sketches, other artists to make them look real, programmers to make it all work, and another half-dozen or so steps.

Zombie Pirate Sketch by Paul Bowers, Sept. 2013 Zombie Pirate Sketch by Paul Bowers, Sept. 2013

Paul Bowers sketched some zombie pirates and the pirate captain. Richard Aronson contributed some ideas about dead parrots and pirate hats. The cave maps went through four or five iterations as Corey, Michael, and finally Lori tried to create caves that would feel huge, but still be practical to paint and program.

By late 2014, they were ready to cut out the Sea Caves out of the game or make Hero-U episodic and move them to the second episode. The problem – the Sea Caves are a major part of the game story, and they’re Too Cool to Cut. Instead, Corey decided to run a second Kickstarter campaign to raise additional funding to keep Hero-U a full-sized game.

After multiple variations, here is the latest version of the Zombie Pirate captain, converted to 3D and animated by Al Eufrasio with textures from JP Selwood. The programmers will add the hat “at run-time”.

Animated Pirate Captain by Al Eufrasio and JP Selwood Animated Pirate Captain by Al Eufrasio and JP Selwood

The Whole Story

How do we even tell a story in a video game? Unity is great at showing things, but talking about them is harder. For Hero-U, we built a custom tool called “Composer” to describe the objects, participants, and interactions for each scene.

Composer is like a storyboard tool (, but a bit more complex – it documents the direction of the player action, rather than the direction of the art. For example, the demo might be documented as one scene (the “Break-In Room”), multiple items or “props” (the desk, the bookshelf, etc.), at least two participants or “actors” (Shawn – aka the player – and the cat).

Composer also captures interactions. What happens when you click on the cat? You see a list of options to pet it, talk to it, kick it, or do nothing. This list is represented in Composer as a “script”, like “Interact with Cat”. The cat doesn’t say much, so it’s a pretty simple script:

  • Scene: Break-In Room
  • Props in the scene: Desk, Bookshelf, …
  • Actors in the scene: Shawn, Cat
  • Scripts in the scene: “Interact with Cat”, …
  • 1. Pat the Cat – “Do you like your back rubbed, cat?”
  • 2. Talk to the Cat
  •   1. Greet – “Hello, Cat… Did your owners lock you in here while they went out for the night?”
  •   2. Introduce Yourself – “So, cat, you’ll be able to tell your great-grand kittens that you met Master Thief Shawn o’Conner on his very first break-in success. Aren’t you proud of this moment?”
  •   3. Question Cat – “I don’t suppose you’ve seen a small silver coin with a shamrock symbol stamped on it, have you?”
  • 3. Kick the Cat . . .

All of these options – and the dialogue – are created within Composer. Composer persists everything (scenes, props, actors, scripts) as individual objects with relationships.

Additional custom code which translates the Composer data into a format usable by Unity, a 3rd-party game engine. When all of the game assets are ready (the art, models, scenes, etc.), we hook up our Composer story logic to our game assets. This means we can tell Unity to associate a Unity Scene with our Composer “Break-In Room” Scene, and a Unity cat model with our Composer “Cat”, so that clicking on the Unity cat will auto-magically trigger our “Interact with Cat” Composer script.

Of course, that’s a really simple case – you’ll meet that cat at most twice during the game, and it doesn’t say much that Shawn can understand. Writing believable conversations in our style of game is far more complex. Lori crafts custom dialogue for every character for each game event in each scene where they appear – sometimes that means 50 or more dialogue trees for one character.

Here’s a small excerpt from a Composer script that handles the meeting with the Rogue Instructor just after midterm exams:

  • GerhardsOffice: Add Tags: [09 After the Midterm]
  • Master von Urwald: Is this a social call, or did you have a purpose to coming here?
  •   1. Say something Polite (Charm)
  •       Shawn o’Conner: It’s always a pleasure to speak with you, sir. I learn so much by what you say and do. You are an inspiration to us all.
  •       Charm check vs 60
  •           Success: Add 1 reputation to Master von Urwald
  •           Failure: Master von Urwald: You need to be a bit more adroit with your flattery, Herr O’ Conner. Do not call attention to your motives by saying too much.
  •           Master von Urwald: You are beginning to sound like Herr Sosi.
  •   2. Say something Clever (Smarts)
  •       Shawn o’Conner: I had a few questions to ask you about the university. I’m trying to better understand what being a hero really means.
  •       Smarts check vs 60
  •           Success or Failure: Add 1 reputation to Master von Urwald
  •   3. Say something Snarky (Moxie)
  •       Shawn o’Conner: I just came to see your smiling face and interrupt your afternoon nap with my annoying questions… sir.
  •       Moxie check vs 60
  •           Success: Add 1 reputation to Master von Urwald
  •           Failure: Remove 1 reputation to Master von Urwald
  • Master von Urwald: Get on with it, then.
  •   1. Ask about the Master
  •       Shawn o’Conner: Do you think of yourself as a hero?
  •       Master von Urwald: Am I a hero? An interesting question…
  •       Master von Urwald: What I do here at the school is evening the scale of justice, weighing a little more on the side of Good.
  •       Master von Urwald: However, I do not think of myself as a hero. Nor am I villain. I am merely a teacher who hopes that my words will inspire others to be heroes.

And so on (this is just one small section of the conversation). Note the skill checks – if you haven’t been practicing your Charm, don’t expect to get away with flattery. However, even trying to use a skill unsuccessfully has a chance of improving that skill.

If you’re familiar with programming, you might be wondering why we put this data in Composer, instead of directly in Unity. Although developing Composer was very costly, we only had to pay that cost once.

Now Composer decouples storyboard and dialogue from development. Lori and Corey don’t need to wait for Unity scenes or models to be created before they can start writing, and artists / animators / programmers can work in parallel on different items. The less time we spend waiting, the more time we can spend working. And writing several thousand scripts takes a lot of time and work!

How Does This Sound?

One of the high points of any game comes when we add the music and sound effects. In the case of Hero-U, we were lucky to get much of our music from renowned composer Ryan Grogan early in the project.

One of our stretch goals in this year’s Kickstarter funding campaign was improving the quality and quantity of music in the game. We’re excited to announce that Ryan is currently in Budapest, Hungary working with the talented Budapest Scoring Orchestra to record a fully orchestrated version of the theme!

From art to programming to music and sound effects, everything in Hero-U goes through multiple stages and a gigantic amount of work. If we were sensible, the game would be much smaller, but we believe depth and fun trump practicality. We only have to build the game once, but we hope that many players will each play it multiple times when we’re done.

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the inner workings of Hero-U.

SpaceVenture Update #105: Two Guys SpaceVenture – by the creators of Space Quest by Two Guys From Andromeda

Hey everyone! We wanted to do a very short and sweet update to keep you all in the loop on a some news. First off, let me start by saying this. If you didn’t read the last update, this update will not make a lot of sense. PLEASE CLICK HERE to view and read the last update before proceeding.

Key points we’d like you all to know about:

  • We are pre-releasing the Cluck Yegger mini game to all of you next week, Thursday October 29th. The pre-release will be DRM free and will be for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • If we can get the game on Steam, we will be giving Steam keys to backers as well as the DRM free versions of the game.
  • We need your help getting the game upvoted on Steam. Please visit and vote! This would really help us out a lot.
  • Though we are starting with Steam, we are looking into other outlets to sell the Cluck Yegger game.
  • All moneys made from the Cluck Yegger game will go towards speeding up production on SpaceVenture.
  • Although we’ve already been beta/bug testing the game, we’ll be taking feedback from backers on any found issues with the game.

This fun little mini game plays a key role in the plot of Spaceventure and will contain some surprises and revelations. But don’t worry, in SpaceVenture, it will not require you to beat the whole Cluck Yegger game to continue. We know that Cluck Yegger in The Planet of the Poultroids will not appeal to everyone, but any help you all can give in spreading the word would be very much appreciated. On top of voting, sharing with people is another great way to help as well.

SpaceVenture Update #104: Two Guys SpaceVenture – by the creators of Space Quest by Two Guys From Andromeda

This update was written by Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and Chris Pope together.

We’ve got quite a lot of big news in this update. Depending on how you look at things, some of what we tell you will seem like fantastical amazingly exciting news, and some.. not so much. Ultimately, we have thought long and hard on everything, and have decided on how we should best proceed with the project. This update will help you understand how we are proceeding. Before you jump to any conclusions, yes the project is still going strong and no we are not broke! Figured we should go ahead and get that out of the way.


The year 2015 has been an extra rough year for us all as a whole. Not in a game development sort of way, but in a personal way, which has affected the development of the game.

Eleven years ago Scott moved to Alabama to take care of his mother. There has been a lot of ups and downs he has had to endure during this time in his life, but over the past year, his mom took a major turn for the worse and developed a serious case of Alzheimer’s. Being the sole caregiver for his mom, he has pretty much had to dedicate every waking moment to making sure she was getting proper treatment for her condition. The whole process has been both physically and mentally draining for him. Understandably this has left Scott with little to no time to work on the project with the team.

A couple of months back tragedy struck as Scott’s mother passed away due to her condition. These past couple of months Scott has been in the process of pulling his life back together one day at a time. Scott has written a letter to all of those that would like more information regarding what’s been going on in his life. You can read it here

Though Mark has been hitting on all cylinders through the past year, he has also had limited amounts of time he could put into the project due to family issues as well.

The last couple years actually have been a crazy ride for Mark’s family, caring for elderly parents. But last fall their world was turned upside-down when a trip to the ER revealed that his dear wife had an abdominal ‘GIST’ tumor which proved to be malignant. She was immediately taken into emergency surgery where Doctors were able to successfully remove the tumor. It was incredibly fortunate that they caught it relatively early. Then began her long road of recovery and ongoing treatment. Thankfully, their story has had a happy outcome. But something like this certainly helps put your life priorities in order. Needless to say working on the game took a back seat for a while.

And even though Chris has also tried his best to put as much time as possible into the game, life has hit him hard as well. When the Kickstarter completed, Chris decided to drop the majority of his work with actors in order to focus on the game. This was totally possible given the time frame that we thought we’d have the game out. Needless to say, with the game taking longer than expected, Chris has had to take more work back on to pay the bills. He is still able to dedicate a huge portion of his time to the project and only has to take on work here and there, but it has still been a trying time in terms of pure project time. Again, we say all of this, not to make excuses, but to let you know that we are all real people that have had to deal with some hard real life issues. We hope you all can understand though that we are still going to finish this game out. We will get this game done, and it will be done with very high quality!


November 30, 2016 will be the release date of SpaceVenture. Wait, why not 2015 like you guys said months ago you ask? Please see above. Based on how far along we are with SpaceVenture as a whole, we know we can complete the game by November of 2016. Especially now with life getting back to normal. Soon, Scott will be able to rejoin the project and we can proceed with all team members giving Spaceventure their full attention.


We have some pretty big news involving a portion of SpaceVenture that you all are going to get a chance to play over the next few weeks. We have mentioned quite a few times over the last couple of updates that we have been working on a section of SpaceVenture that has been planned since the beginning. Albeit the game design and mechanics didn’t come together until recently, but the story had been written.

A few months back, with Scott’s personal life having to be his focus, Mark and Chris decided to focus on the Cluck Yegger portion of SpaceVenture since it wasn’t going to require most of the team to have insane amounts of time. With Scott being unable to be part of the team, and various other members being tied up, it seemed to the be the perfect opportunity to shift the focus to a part of SpaceVenture that was going to be a different experience than anything we had put together so far.

After spending a few months working on the artwork, game mechanics, programming and all, as it turns out, the Cluck Yegger portion of SpaceVenture evolved into a really fun mini game that parodies a very popular game series circulating around the appstorosphere(totally not a made up word). We even gave the Cluck’s mini game a name.

We know you all are chomping at the bit wanting to get your hands on the full game. We also know that the only thing that will quench your thirst for SpaceVenture, is the full game. However, putting all that to the side, we have made a decision to release ‘Cluck Yegger: Escape From The Planet Of The Poultroid’ to the public very soon. How soon? We are in the process of beta testing and polishing right now, so you can expect to hear from us on it over the next couple of weeks.


How about we start by showing you the intro sequence of the game with full voice acting, music and all!

After being blown out of the sky and crash landing on the planet Poultroid, Cluck will have to make repairs to his ship during the day, but deal with some “family visitors” trying to stop by his cockpit for a dinner time snack at night. With the damage to his ship, Cluck is running on auxiliary solar power that get’s charged during daylight hours. He uses that power to survive at night. If the power in his ship hits zero, it’s lights out for Cluck in more ways the one.




Enough said!


As mentioned above, we are planning to release the game to the public and hope to bring some more money into the SpaceVenture project as a whole. We are not broke, but having more income would help us bring in a few more artists which in turn, would help move the project along faster. Don’t worry, we got you covered! We will be giving our $15 and up backers DRM free access to the Cluck Yegger game on the following three platforms:

  • Windows
  • Macintosh OSX
  • Linux

What about public release of the game?

The release of the Cluck Yegger game is two fold. We want to give you all a chance to enjoy something from the SpaceVenture game ahead of time, but we also hope to bring some money into the project without having to ask more people like you fine folks to donate it. To start, we are going to try and get the game greenlit on Steam as well as publish it on some of the other game store outlets. Once the computer versions of the game hits, we are going to rework the game to come out for the iPad and Android tablets. We may eventually release the game on smartphones as well.

Keep in mind that once the Cluck game releases, only a very small part of the SpaceVenture team will continue to focus on getting it on the other platforms, everyone else will be shifting gears to wrapping the full game.

What if backers want access to the Steam and other platform versions of the Cluck Yegger game?

Backers will get full DRM free access to the Windows, Macintosh, and Linux version on a private backer only download outlet. In order to get the other platform versions of the game, backers would need to purchase those on those online stores. This would be greatly appreciated and is an awesome way to show a little more love to the project. But if not, we totally understand, the DRM free versions you get access to are full versions of the game and will hopefully give you some enjoyment and laughs.

You mentioned beta testing. Why aren’t backers getting to beta test?

The short answer is time. We will hold true to letting the $30 and up backers beta test the full SpaceVenture game as we get closer to our release date, however due to time, we have a small team of beta testers running through this mini game for play testing purposes. We hope you all will understand that we can’t afford to go through a lengthy beta testing process for the Cluck Yegger mini game, it not being a massively large game itself, the beta testing group is also being kept small in size.

Want to see some gameplay?


We hope this news is exciting to you. Rest assured, we know that you all didn’t back the project to receive a Cluck Yegger mini game. We know you backed the project to receive a fully functional, fun, and hilarious sci-fi adventure game. We plan to deliver on that! Until then, hopefully you all will enjoy this little Cluck Yegger mini game to tide you over. Stay tuned for the next update to contain information on the release and download of “Cluck Yegger In Escape From The Planet Of The Poultroid”!

Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and Chris Pope

Hero-U Update #75: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

BackerKit sent the surveys out (under my name – Corey Cole) yesterday, and you should have received yours by now. Please answer the survey both to make sure we have correct current information (such as your address) and to make sure we got all of your add-ons correct.

If you see a problem with your account, send email to so we can fix it. We’ve fixed several problems already, and I’m sure there are more.

I’ve heard there is an issue with “collapsing” your two pledges from the 2012 and 2015 campaign. I will work with BackerKit to resolve that.

Do *NOT* pay extra money unless you are ordering additional add-ons. Chris Fong and I did a tremendous amount of manually filling in spreadsheets based on text entries in our original backer spreadsheet. As a result, there will certainly be some errors. If BackerKit is asking you for more money, send email to and I’ll fix it.

If your add-ons included preordering the second Hero-U game (Wizard’s Way) or an extra copy of Hero-U, you should have paid $18 for each, but I listed them as $20 each on BackerKit. If you’ve already filled out the survey, that would have shown you as $2 short. I have fixed that by crediting all of those accounts an extra $2. I need to do a second pass for people who pre-ordered more than one copy; I’ll do that tonight.

Add-on t-shirts were not added due to a conflict between our spreadsheet data and the BackerKit database. If you added a t-shirt to the first campaign, please put the price into the tip jar – we mailed out all of the t-shirts last year.

Any other issues – please let us know by email. Thanks for your understanding as we go through this very complicated process. The folks at BackerKit have been extremely helpful, but we are doing things their system wasn’t really designed to do.

Hero-U Project Update #74: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

It’s been about two months since the second Hero-U Kickstarter campaign closed, and we’re making great progress in every area of the game. The current focus is on the thousands of tiny details that lift a game from “acceptable” up to “excellent”.

If you receive this update more than once, that means you contributed to the project in both Kickstarter campaigns, or on both our website and Kickstarter. In that case, make sure you read the section on “collapsing” your pledges into one pledge. This post is part of the November 2012 Kickstarter campaign.

Surveys Coming Soon

Later this week you will receive a link to a backer survey on BackerKit. We are using their service to track pledges, add-ons, address changes, and fulfillment accurately. The tricky part on our end has been combining pledges – especially those with add-ons – from our 2012 and 2015 Kickstarter campaigns, PayPal, and Humble Bundle into a single database.

In some cases, we were not able to do this. As a result, BackerKit will send new surveys to all of our backers from both campaigns. This will give you a chance to update your address and any other information that may have changed in the last couple of years. You will also get the opportunity to specify or request add-ons such as meep plushies, posters, and many others.

If you backed at the $20 level in both campaigns, we have automatically merged (“collapsed”) the two into a single pledge at a new $40 level that includes all of the promised rewards.

If you backed at any other level in both campaigns, you may choose to keep the pledges separate. You would choose this option if you want the rewards from one of the pledges to go to a friend. We expect that this will be a rare choice – most of you will prefer to “collapse” your pledges into a single larger pledge. Here’s an example of the BackerKit invitation page showing how to do that:

How to Combine Pledges on BackerKit How to Combine Pledges on BackerKit

If you choose the “collapse pledges” option, the extra funds from your pledge will be available to order add-ons or to move up to a higher reward level. If you can’t do that within the BackerKit interface, there will be a support option you can use to request a reward level change.

Please respond to the survey as soon as you receive it even if you answered our previous Hero-U survey in 2013. We plan to ship most of the add-ons in November to help backers who want to use them as Christmas gifts. We need accurate add-on numbers as soon as possible so that we can order the add-ons in time for November shipment.

Programming – The Combat System

Joshua continues to improve the tactical combat system features. We now take account of movement in combat including tactical retreat (also known as “bravely run away!”) Al has improved the combat animation and added more attack and defensive moves and reactions.

Here’s how the tactical combat grid looks in the debugger – the color-coded “pegs” show where enemies are allowed to go, and which areas they try to avoid. The grid makes enemy movement look more realistic and causes some “emergent behavior” that helps make combat less predictable.

I also think the grid is really pretty – maybe we can make it into a different type of game someday. More importantly, it’s useful.

Combat and Movement Grid Example Combat and Movement Grid Example

Our other team programmers – Cidney, Jonathan, Robert, and Judy – are concentrating on improving the Composer game design tool, cleaning up the game interface, integrating 3D art and animation, and generally raising the quality of the game play and appearance. Every piece of the game needs to be “just so” as we continually refine and polish the game.

Art and Animation

One of the stretch goals in the recent Kickstarter was “improved animation”. Former Sierra animator Al Eufrasio is now working full-time at bringing the characters and monsters of Hero-U to life.

There’s more to it than meets the eye – for example, students with capes have had trouble sitting down because their capes like to float through the backs of chairs. Some looked disproportionately large when sitting, and some seemed to float in mid-air. All of them tended to slide out of the way if Shawn walked too close to them.

As with everything else in Hero-U, we’re trying to walk a tightrope with character animation – it needs to make the characters feel alive without breaking the budget or adding too much time to the schedule. When in doubt, we try to err on the side of “make it look better”.

Speaking of tightropes, Lori recently added a tightrope challenge back to the rogue practice area. This is a side-effect of reaching the Gog Temple stretch goal. Shawn needs to have good climbing skills for the Temple, which means we needed to add a way for him to practice them. It helped that we can rely on Al to animate climbing and walking the tightrope.

Our dynamic duo of background artists – John Paul Selwood and Aaron Martin – continue to amaze us with great concept pieces deftly converted to full 3D environments. JP is also creating dozens of single-frame images for transitions and exposition. These fill out the story without the need for complex custom animation sequences or movie “cut scenes”. For example, the alley scene after Shawn escapes from the “break-in house” tells the story in a single image better than any movie.

These are just a few of the thousands of details involved in making a graphical adventure game. In some ways, it’s easier than an animated film because we are not creating custom animation for every event of the game. In other ways, it’s harder – each animation sequence has to work throughout the game.

Catacombs Exit (detailed concept by JP Selwood) Catacombs Exit (detailed concept by JP Selwood)

Hero-U Project Update #73: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by Corey and Lori Ann Cole

Amid some controversy and a lot of heart-warming support, we returned to Kickstarter for supplemental funding for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. The project was successful, ensuring that we can finish the game without maxing out every credit card and life insurance policy loan.

Between overfunding of the campaign and some very generous backers on PayPal, we have also been able to restore some content to the game that we previously planned to cut. Hero-U will be a much better game as a result.

I’ve posted a full report to

Keeping in Touch

We will use these Kickstarter updates mostly for posts about fulfilling Kickstarter rewards, including information on how to access your backer account on BackerKit.

To keep up-to-date on game progress, please bookmark:

Thanks for sticking with us as we try to make a game worthy of a million-dollar Sierra budget with the crowdfunding dollars, our own resources, and a lot of hard work.

Hero-U Project Update #72: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers

Down to the Wire

It’s our final day on the supplemental Hero-U Kickstarter campaign – 30 hours to go as I write this. The funding campaign ends Monday night (midnight PDT). The funding from this campaign will ensure we can complete Hero-U in style without going deeper into debt than the Marianas Trench.

We reached our $100,000 stretch goal on Saturday thanks to over 1600 dedicated backers. We’ve also passed the first two stretch goals – the Tower Garden and Improved Animation – and hope to reach several more in the final hours of the campaign. We are rapidly closing in on the $110,000 stretch goal – Better illustrated and more complex puzzles in the Sea Cave area.

Share the campaign with your friends so we can make Hero-U the best game possible. Every stretch goal dollar will be a big help in making Hero-U better.

Shawn Fights a Proach in the Combat Prototype Shawn Fights a Proach in the Combat Prototype

Combat in Hero-U

I’ve posted an article about the Hero-U combat system to

The Hero-U Skill System

I’ve explained the Stats and Skills system in Hero-U at

The Hero-U Development Team

I introduce the current team members along with shout-outs to key developers who had to leave the team in a post at

Further News

We hope you’ve enjoyed the more-frequent updates during the supplemental fund-raising campaign. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity of sharing more about the Hero-U game to our backers old and new.

We currently have backers from four sources – two Kickstarter campaigns, PayPal, and Humble Bundle – so it’s been a challenge to keep everyone informed. We will be using BackerKit to track all backers, and I think we’ll be able to use them to communicate with all of you in the future.

Thank you so much for supporting Hero-U! With our now-solid team, completed concepts, and the funding from the new campaign, we should be able to make rapid progress on the game. Our target is Beta testing late this year and release in early Spring (around March or April) of 2016.