Thanks everyone! So glad you liked them. My twitter name is @jonkristinsson. I’ll repost all the Sierra ones.
Thanks everyone! So glad you liked them. My twitter name is @jonkristinsson. I’ll repost all the Sierra ones.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
Happy Friday, Larryettes on this side of the International Dateline.
Those of you who read all the way to the bottom of my last update may’ve read this line: “If all goes according to plan, you can expect the beta next week (week of May 6th)!”
Well, we’re pretty much at the end of the week of May 6th, and those of you who pledged at the Alpha/Beta level (and above) haven’t received your beta invitation yet. (For those of you who are still wondering why you didn’t get an Alpha version: when we Kickstarted, access to the Alpha/Beta versions of the game came only with a pledge of $75 or more.)
We’re now shooting for Monday, May 13th, to release the beta. We’ve had some interesting hiccups in the past couple of weeks…one of which was breaking Unity. (It seems that no Unity game has ever had more than about 3,000 lines of speech before, and we have about three times as many.) We also wanted to get *all* the final speech into the game before sending out the beta, and the last of the “pickups” was only recorded today.
We’ll announce it here when the beta goes out. It will include French, Italian, German, and Spanish (“FIGS”), and we’re hoping for a Mac version as well for testing.
If you’re one of our Beta testers, when you receive your email invitation, please be sure to read the materials very carefully. We will be looking strictly for *bugs* at this point, as opposed to suggestions for enhancements. (We’ve fielded and taken into consideration thousands of enhancement suggestions over the course of the project, especially after releasing the Alpha, but now it’s time to concentrate on finding and squashing bona fide bugs.) The instructions we send will tell you how to download the beta, where to report the bugs, and what format to follow in your bug reports. We’ll also be sure to tell you what bugs we already know about, so that you don’t waste time writing up a beautifully-crafted report for a bug we’ve already identified.
So cross your fingers for a Monday release. We’re shooting hard for a May 31 ship date, so that should give us almost three weeks. We’re anticipating that’ll be doable, because the beta you’ll receive is going to be pretty darn clean.
In other news: our Box Art contest on the Replay forums ended this past Wednesday, and we’re still debating the winner. Those of us who have hair (that disqualifies Al and me) are tearing it out trying to pick the best. We’ll have a decision for you next week.
And in the meantime, just in case you haven’t seen her yet, here’s Larry’s new love interest, Jasmine, exactly as she’ll be seen in the game!
Talk to you next week!
Hello everyone! As mentioned in the title of this update, it was one year ago down to the minute that the SpaceVenture Kickstarter went live. Well it would have been, but I kid you not, Kickstarter went down right as I was posting this. Were you guys all just so excited that you kept spamming the page and caused the server to crash?
Wow it’s already been a year..I cannot stress the stress that followed the following 35 days!(say that three times fast) But we made it, and that was all because of you fine folks here on Kickstarter. We are all so thankful and so blessed that you all tossed your hard earned buckazoids our way.
One thing up front I am excited to tell you about is that we are going to start doing a minimum of two updates a month starting on June the 1st. You can expect an update on the 1st and 16th of each month. Our epically masterful “Two Guys” are insanely protective about spoiling some little twists and turns they have planned in SpaceVenture, but I am going to at least be able to divulge project status and some fun tidbits along the way!
You will be happy to know that the project itself, though we ran into a slow snag on some engine issues we had, is coming along very well now. We actually hired another Unity developer to help speed everything up. His name is Vander and he is a bit of a Unity guru. Amongst video game creation, his resume includes writing plugins for the actual Unity store. He now works alongside our senior developer, Tyler.
We still aren’t ready to share a ship date yet. I know you guys are all chomping at the bits to know when you’ll get your hands on the game. The game is still on par with being done within the next few months, and for sure well before the end of the year. Please continue to be patient on that. Now that tax season is done, we are very clear on the budget for the rest of the project and things are rolling along!
Be on the lookout for a playable portion of SpaceVenture to come your way! Can’t wait for everyone to check it out!
Emails were sent out about GoG credits around 2 weeks ago. 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 email contact AT guysfromandromeda DOT com
For those of you that chose to receive SQ 4+5+6 as your GoG download, please read the following. Some of you have not received your credit because we had to order more. We are still waiting on them to send us the credits order. You will receive an email and get access to those as soon as we have them.
CHAT SESSION WITH SCOTT AND MARK
For those of you at a high enough reward level to receive access to chat with Scott and Mark will be happy to know that there will be another one schedule for the beginning of June. The update on June 1st will contain exact date and time 🙂
I’m also planning to do a live podcast with Mark and Scott soon. Anyone and everyone can be a part of it!
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?
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. Chris Pope will be at Alabama Phoenix Festival(Birmingham) and Ancient City Comicon(Jacksonville) as well.
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!
Our buddy Ben from Titanbase productions has a new KS out. Check it out if you have a moment. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/benlindelof/ac-10-the-fps-project?ref=live
So in conclusion, look forward to hearing more from me now that we have everything working like a well oiled machine. We really do appreciate everyones continued patience and understanding as we wrap everything up! I’d also like to leave you with a scene from SpaceVenture(Made by Mark Crowe). Can you guess what those green lines are for? 😉
Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope
And again Quo Vadis 😉 Only hours after our interview with Richard Garriott another designer legend gave us the opportunity to interview him: Al Lowe, Master Mind behind “Leisure Suit Larry” and other great Adventures from the 80/90ties.
Al Lowe isn’t only the oldest game designer, he is also the funniest and very kind… As a Speaker on the Quo Vadis in Berlin, he audited about how he became Game Designer and why he loves music. Have fun 😉
Greetings and salutations, Larryettes.
Let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we?
1. Al Lowe has been in Berlin at the Quo Vadis conference, and gave a speech that was the runaway hit of the show! At least, that’s what Al said!
2. We’ve been sending the Collector’s Box art to various e-tailers who, although selling only a non-boxed digital version of the game, like to – or insist on – a mocked-up box for their websites. Since a lot of people have seen the Collector’s Box art and thought we shouldn’t be using it for marketing purposes, we’re going to start a contest (today or tomorrow) for all aspiring commercial artists. Details for the contest can – or shortly will be – available on the Replay forums, https://forums.replaygamesinc.
3. Al recently gave an interview, and in it, he’s quoted as saying that LSL2 might be out by Christmas. Don’t you believe it! We dispute the accuracy of that quote! LSL2 is a much bigger, more complex game than LSL1, and work on LSL2 has scarcely begun. The interview must’ve taken place in Amsterdam, which might explain the author’s wishful thinking.
I guess that’s it.
Oh, right, one other thing:
4. If all goes according to plan, you can expect the beta next week (week of May 6th)! That’s right, IT’S COMING! OH, MY GOD, IT’S COMING!
And on that note…
Our “Kickstarter-like” PayPal support page at http://www.hero-u.net/KS-store added slightly over $2,000 to the project budget during March. Originally we planned to close it at the end of April, but due to the project delay, we’re extending it to June 30. If your friends missed out on the Kickstarter action and would like to join in the Hero-U community, please tell them about the page and the hero-u.net site.
We would also like to remind you of the Hero-U forum at http://www.hero-u.net/forum/. This is a place to discuss the game with other supporters. You may also post questions for the developers that you think will be of interest to other backers. We try to answer as many as possible when we have time, and knowledgeable fans often step in to provide answers.
Thank you to the dozens of people who wrote in about our programming openings. I’ve chosen a three highly talented programmers for the current phase, and identified six others we might bring in later as needed. You’re a very talented group!
Speaking of talent, we’re now looking for one or two experienced 2D animators. These will be contract positions and unfortunately well below “big game company” pay rates. But it’s more lucrative, and much more fun, than your average fast food or warehouse store job. You will get to work with our outstanding art director, Terry Robinson, and our other talented character artists. Here is Terry’s job description:
If you are interested and well-qualified, please send an email with your resume (CV) and a link to your animation samples to “jobs (at) hero-u (dot) net”. Lori and I will scan them and forward the best candidates to Terry for evaluation.
Our new full-time Lead Programmer is Mike Croswell. Here’s Mike in his own words:
Finally (but certainly not last!), let me introduce Jonathan Cheatham, a triple-threat Unity wizard with experience in programming, art, and game design. In his copious free time between a full-time job and a family, Jonathan has already wowed us with a great prototype of the isometric graphics system we only had on paper before. It isn’t quite ready to share on Kickstarter yet, but it’s a terrific first pass. Jonathan says:
This team has made more programming progress in the last two weeks than we saw in the previous three months, and Lori and I are delighted with the talent, energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism of our three core programmers.
Grumpy Gamer Ron Gilbert (co-creator of Secret of Monkey Island) recently posted something with which we agree whole-heartedly: “If I made another Monkey Island, I would rebuild SCUMM. Not SCUMM as in the exact same language, but what SCUMM brought to those games… I’d build an engine and a language where funny ideas can be laughed about at lunch and be in the game that afternoon. SCUMM did that. It’s something that is getting lost today.”
At Sierra, we had SCI, our version of SCUMM with many of the same features. At one point, I heard that Sierra had spent over a million dollars (back when that was real money) on SCI development. It gave us a huge head start, and even let me make a non-adventure game, Castle of Dr. Brain.
We knew we will need a new dialogue editing system, so we asked Rob to take that on. He could have just followed my spec and made us a useful tool. But you know these uppity programmers. Rob took the basic ideas, and is building a true Unified Design Editor, the Hero-U Composer. We saw his first prototype today, and it will let use craft the Hero-U design in ways we could only dream of back in the 1990’s.
Meanwhile, Mike and Jonathan are working on a graphics tool that will let us patch together a beautiful-looking level from the background artists’ tiles, and a “tester” that will let them check out their animation in the context of the game. We will also be building a combat simulator to make sure combat is balanced. Tools like these were at the heart of adventure game development in the 1990’s, but the new ones are like supersonic jets compared to the bicycles we rode back then.
In the next update, we’ll probably have an animator or two to introduce. I will also share some of the work Lori and I have been doing on the game design and story – The combat system and perhaps a bit about the Noctes de Mortuus. Yes, Hero-U has a few holidays.
Thank you all for your continuing patience and support!
A gracious “good afternoon” to all you Larryettes.
As we near the release of Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded, this update finds me a little wistful. We began our Kickstarter efforts on April 2nd, 2012; it’s just over a year later, and the end is well within sight. And to think that, within just a few weeks, these updates will no longer even be necessary.
Today and tomorrow will be the final recording sessions for the game voices. That’s been a monumental task; with about 8,500 lines of dialogue and narration and 60 different characters, Al and I slogged through weeks of marathon sessions to get it all done. (Just about the only messages that won’t be voiced are the inventory-on-inventory responses, of which there are hundreds more, and the Blackjack/Slot Machine messages.)
Most of the sessions consist of Al, Randy (our brilliant and incredibly detail-minded engineer/editor at Hamsterball Studios), the “talent,” and me, all on Skype. Al’s in Seattle, I’m in Albany, Randy’s in Austin, and most of the talent is in LA. The talent’s already gotten their scripts, as well as visuals of the character(s) they’re portraying. We go line-by-line, recording each one anywhere from once (if they nail it off the bat) to maybe a dozen times if necessary.
What do we listen for?
Well, sticking to the script is important. The game’s being translated into many different languages, so every time an actor improvises and we end up changing a line (because we like the improvised version better), there’s actually more time and money involved than simply changing the text to match the actor’s version.
Beyond that, we’re listening for subtext and interpretation, pacing, consistency of accents and dialects, and “popped” p’s and b’s and other aural distortions. Al, Randy, and I all tend to catch different things with every single read, so naturally there are a lot of retakes. It’s also not unusual for Al or me to read the part of another character so that the actor whose voice we’re recording has something to react to. We frequently end up splicing – the beginning of one read and the end of another, for instance – to come up with the version we think sounds perfect.
So it’s a lengthy process, and it can’t be rushed. But it’s punctuated with a lot of laughter and a lot of creativity all coming together in real-time. That keeps the energy and excitement up even when we’re doing inhumanly long sessions.
Also in the next couple of days, N-Fusion will be putting in the very last of the animations. So with a couple of weeks’ worth of polish and internal testing, and plugging in all the speech, we’ll be ready for beta.
And now, a surprise: a video, courtesy of Al Lowe. I won’t tell you what it’s about, but I do want to give credit where it’s due. Al conceptualized this video, directed *and* shot it himself, and edited it. (His daughter selected the music, “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, http://www.
As you’ll see, none of it would’ve happened without the terrific team at www.darkhorseink.com, who have our gratitude for their hard work and perfectionism…the results of which many of you will be enjoying shortly.
Without further adieu… http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Your obedient servant,
Hello there our dear and most beloved backer buddies! As promised, we have an update for you today! First off, you are probably wondering why we haven’t had anything really cool to share in awhile.. well, to be honest, we have been working on a surprise involving a playable alpha for everyone to have a look at. Due to some difficulties, things kept getting pushed off on the playable alpha, so instead of making everyone wait even longer, we made a small video for you.
NEWS ABOUT BACKER REWARDS:
As we mentioned before, we will be shipping all rewards for backers once the game is complete. We do not need your address just yet. When it comes time for us to start shipping everything out to you all, we’ll be requesting everyone’s current address.
As for GOG credits, we are planning to distribute those in two weeks. Two weeks from now, you’ll get an email(if you are a GOG credit level backer) which will have instructions on receiving your GOG credit rewards 🙂
GUYS FROM ANDROMEDA LLC APPEARANCES:
May 24-26th – Alabama Phoenix Festival – www.alabamaphoenixfestival.com Who’s going? Chris Pope
June 21-23rd – Ancient City Con(Jacksonville, FL) – www.ancientcitycon.com Whos going? Chris Pope
July 18-21st – San Diego Comic Con-SDCC(San Diego, CA) – www.comic-con.com Who’s going? Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and Chris Pope
Aug 31-Sep 2nd – PAX Prime(Seattle, WA) – prime.paxsite.com Who’s going? Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and Chris Pope
Nov 1-3rd – GMX (Nashville, TN) – www.geekmediaexpo.com Who’s going? Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and Chris Pope
JAMES MULVALE HAS A KICKSTARTER
You guys might remember that our friend, James Mulvale wrote the music for our prototypes as well as the Cluck Y’egger game that Titanbase Productions put out. He has a 3D album he’s trying to get funded! Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/ASMRkick