SpaceVenture Update! The Heat Is On!

Trust me when I say, nothing more would make me happier than to be giving you link info to download the SpaceVenture playable demo today, but unfortunately we’ll need a little more time. How much time you ask?

Good news on that, the next update should have it! We are projecting to have it done for you by the July 16th update! 🙂

THE HEAT IS ON TO GET THIS THING OUT!

VOTING ON CONCEPT ART AND DEATH SEQUENCES

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. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY EMAILED US ABOUT THIS, WE ARE WORKING ON IT! NO NEED TO EMAIL AGAIN, THANKS!

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!
FAQ
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!

SAN DIEGO COMICON 2013 

Anyone and everyone that will be at San Diego Comicon, please come by and meet up with us to get a live demonstration of the SpaceVenture playable demo. Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and Chris Pope will all be there showing off a taste of what to expect in SpaceVenture. We’ll let everyone know what table number we’ll be at as soon as we have that from Comicon.

LEISURE SUIT LARRY: RELOADED

In case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t realize it, Al Lowe / Replay Games just released their Kickstarter funded remake of Leisure Suit Larry. You gotta check it out! 🙂

https://www.replaygamesinc.com/

Thanks everyone!

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

Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded: On Sale Now!

Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded ($19.99)


DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ONLY

It’s not just the funniest game you’ve ever played…

…it’s also the most infamous video game of all time!

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was first released by Sierra On-Line in 1987 and became an international phenomenon. The lovable loser Larry Laffer — a 40-year-old virgin in pursuit of losing his vir….um, finding true love — and risqué humor were unlike anything anyone had ever seen or played.

Now Larry’s original creator, the world-famous game designer Al Lowe, has teamed up with Replay Games to bring this amazing, perverted game back to life – updated and expanded in every way imaginable! All we kept from the original game is the plot. EVERYTHING else is fresh and new including:

 

  1. Incredibly lush new high-res graphics! Explore all the seedy sights and sounds of Lost Wages, where fortunes and reputations go to die!
  2. A brand new musical score by Grammy-nominated and BAFTA Award-winning composer Austin Wintory! Fresh from completing the musical score to Journey, Austin composed the best music Leisure Suit Larry has ever heard!
  3. Everything in the game was rebuilt from the ground up, including all hand-painted backgrounds, characters, and state-of-the-art 2D animation!
  4. Thousands of hilarious new lines, gags, jokes, and dialogues, written by Al’s old Sierra partner, Josh Mandel (aka the voice of King Graham from King’s Quest)!
  5. New characters, new locations, new puzzles, and a major new love interest for Larry!

What’s more, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is the first major game to be released with funding by Kickstarter! Over 14,000 fans chipped in to bring Larry back to life!

Will Larry find true love? Will Lost Wages ever be the same? And will YOU want to play any other comedy adventure once you’ve played Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded?

There’s only one way to find out!

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!

Wrap-Up

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!

VOTING ON CONCEPT ART AND DEATH SEQUENCES  

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!

FAQ 
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:

http://austinwintory.bandcamp.com/album/leisure-suit-larry-reloaded

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

Austin Wintory

Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Update #61

Good day, Larryettes.

I’m making this very short since I just updated you a few days ago.

The PC version of what we’re calling the “Kickstarter Beta” is being built as we speak. After that version’s built, the Mac version will follow later this evening. Both versions will be uploaded to Steam immediately.

Don’t worry. There will still be a DRM-free version of the finished game available. The Steam requirement is for the beta only; we need to do what we can to keep the game from being pirated before it’s even out.

Items uploaded to Steam take a number of hours to become available, so it will be tomorrow before you’ll be able to download your beta version. (Remember, only people who pledged at the $75 level or higher have access to pre-release versions of the game.)

We’re also preparing a list of instructions and known issues. Definitely read ‘em over; this’ll save you both time and frustration down the line.

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. By this time tomorrow, the game should be on your hot little hard drive.

All my love,
Josh

Hero-U Update #38

Once long ago, in that bygone era we now call 2012, we set out to create a simple game. It would involve turn-based combat in a dungeon-like setting with a simple plotline overlaid upon it. We would use cartoon-like graphics on a tile-based, flat world that would allow us to concentrate upon the story and game-play rather than upon the engine or graphics.

Then we held our Kickstarter and heard from you – our fans – what you actually want to see.

It was clear that what you really wanted was something more like the Quest for Glory series and less like yet another RPG.

As we read your comments, our vision evolved. We put more story and puzzles into the design. We went away from the cartoony look into a more realistic character style like the best Sierra On-Line characters of the 1990’s.

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption evolved from an RPG/Adventure Game into a modern take on Quest for Glory with turn-based, puzzle-oriented combat. We decided to let the players out-think the monsters in the game rather than out-mouse-click them.

One change leads to another

The flat tile system for the backgrounds was too unrealistic and distorted to work well with our new character designs. We had to find a better way to present the art and create the game magic than what we started with. Our team artists far too talented to let the game look anything less than amazing.

We have a new team of programmers who are talented and passionate about our game. They are creating new ways to bring the visuals of the game to life.

We have spent the past few weeks testing new approaches and pushing the envelope of how 2D art will work with the Unity Engine.

So far, the strongest approach is to turn the 2D background artwork into 3D. We have come a long way from the flat little game we envisioned at the start. We are starting to create a huge, complex world full of fun and surprises.

Making Hero-U the Way a Game Should Be Made

Unlike those days when we worked for big companies where we had to make our deadline no matter what it takes, where creativity, bug-fixing, and polish are not important, and the game will ship whether it is ready or not, we control the vertical and the horizontal. We can strive to make the best possible game. We can push the boundaries of what has been done in the past to give you a game you love to play.

After all, now we are working for the best bosses in the world – You. We want to give you our absolute best, no matter what it takes.

By the way, we are still looking for one or two highly talented and experienced 2D animators. We do not pay as well as the big studios, but you get to work on your own schedule on a fun project. Interested artists need to be able to animate large, semi-realistic characters and create smooth “walk cycles”. Contact jobs (at) hero-u (dot) net with a link to your portfolio and animation samples to apply.

Here is a very early look at the new Hero-U Composer design tool in action.  It will let us define complex conversations and other interactions that we can import directly into the game code.  More automation = Fewer errors and more player options.

In Other Worlds

There are some very interesting projects out there currently. We would like to mention four Kickstarter projects and three other web sites, so we will keep the descriptions brief.

A Small Favor (http://kck.st/ZlhUxj) ends in less than four days. It looks like a side-scroller, but it is actually a science fiction adventure game with a good story line and nice animation. It looks fun, but needs serious support!

Among the Sleep (http://kck.st/11D7N79) is a horror adventure in which you play a two-year-old child. It is well along in development and is very close to reaching its goal in the remaining five days.

The Realm Game (http://kck.st/XZlFdU) is being developed by a studio more known for animation. As a result, it is gorgeous and you should visit its project page. The Realm has about 30% of its funding goal with nine days left, so they will need a serious push to make it.

Bashar, a passionate backer of Hero-U, is writing Derelict: A Short Story (http://kck.st/10kmLMF). If you like short-form science fiction, give this one a try.

Spellirium (http://spellirium.com/) is a “Kickstarter-like” project looking for funding on its own web site. If you enjoy spelling (think Boggle or Bookworm) and adventure, you might find this fun.

Adventure Burger (http://www.adventureburger.com/) is a site that follows Kickstarter adventure games. This is a good place to find out about adventure games that fall between our project updates.

KickstartVentures (http://www.kickstartadventure.com/home/) is a blog by Shawn Mills. Like Adventure Burger, this site will keep you up to date on new Kickstarter adventure game projects. In addition, Shawn’s articles talk about great adventure games of the past as well as current news affecting players. Also check out the Infamous Quests site at http://www.infamous-quests.com/home/.

We hope you all had an excellent Mother’s Day (or your local equivalent), and are enjoying the turn of the seasons. Lori got a nice gift and an AIM conversation from Michael. I sent flowers to my Mom and broke any semblance of a low-carb diet by making blueberry ricotta pancakes.  And Lori and I romantically wrote this Kickstarter Update together. 🙂