Today’s a big day — our first title as Pinkerton Road studio is now live in the app store!
1. Please help us celebrate our launch by downloading the app today (the lite version is FREE). This will help us appear on the charts. The game works on iPad 1, 2 or 3. Here’s a direct link (open on your iPad on in iTunes):
Just when we were getting nervous, 260 new backers joined the team today and kicked us up to almost $302,000. $98,000 to go in a little under four days. We have over 4,500 backers now. Let’s go for 6,500 before we close!
I won’t promise that Hero-U will do as well as Shadowrun Online at the end. We all have a lot of work to do in these last few days to let people know that “It’s now or never!” But based on past projects, our chances look Very Good.
That makes it time to announce our First Stretch Goal if Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption reaches $500,000 in funding. Drumroll, please…
(NOTE: Staff, sheep, and ribbon not included, subject to Artist Whim.)
The Meep That Came Out of the Woodwork
As we approach the Outer Limits of our goal, we begin to look around the hidden nooks and crannies of Hero University. There among the woodwork hide some of the rather odd furry creatures we know as “Meeps”. (Think of Tribbles with legs, eyes, and very sharp teeth.) Most of them are shy, and avoid the students and school staff.
But what’s this? One little baby Meep seems to have formed an attachment to Shawn. Or at least, it will form an attachment if we reach our first Stretch Goal at $500,000. The baby meep will be Shawn’s unreliable companion – Sometimes following him, and sometimes running off on its own.
Meeps require a lot of care. You’ll have to feed this one, pet it, and generally treat it with care. If you do, you will have a loyal (though strange) companion to help you explore the catacombs. Of course, it might alert monsters to your presence just when you thought you were sneaky. On the other hand, it might distract an enemy long enough for you to get by it, set a trap, or sneak up behind it.
Just remember the Roger Rabbit rule: “You mean you could have done that at any time?” “Not any time! Only when it’s funny!”
In addition to the Companion Meep, if we reach the $500,000 stretch goal, we will be able to add more art and content to the game. Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption will become an even richer experience.
Can A Rogue Even Be A Hero?
Some of you may wonder why we chose the Rogue class for our first Hero-U game. Of all the fantasy game archetypes, the Rogue or Thief is usually considered the least heroic.
That’s exactly why we decided to start with Shawn. He’s an “unlikely Hero.” Think of the game subtitle, “Rogue to Redemption”. This game gives you – the player – a chance to experience Shawn’s redemption, or to see what happens if you fail to redeem him. There is no greater Hero than one who starts out as a scoundrel.
Some famous Rogue Heroes include James Bond, Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Robin Hood. Note that we only listed fictional ones. The real ones are too good at disguising their Roguishness. African and Native American mythology prominently feature “trickster gods” (Anansi the spider and Coyote) in devious roles. In the old Greek stories, Prometheus was a Rogue when he stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. So Rogues have been around for a long, long time.
Rogues know that when you do things “by the book,” you get mediocre results. They strive for exceptional results by breaking the book, tearing out the pages, and using them for something more practical, like ransom notes or toilet paper. They tend to do things indirectly, because direct action is too easily countered. And boring. Rogues have a problem with boredom.
Heroic Rogues go a step farther. They may break the rules – or even laws they consider stupid – but they always have a Heroic goal in mind. Spiderman isn’t concerned with reading criminals their Miranda Rights. He leaves that to the authorities… and stays away from those authorities himself.
So Shawn is an unlikely hero, but he comes from a long tradition of troublemaking heroes. And he will have just as hard a time of it as most of them did.
Backer Art and Testimonial
Jon Cassou sent us this nice illustration and letter:
I am a huge fan of the Quest for Glory games! I first played the games via the Quest for Glory Anthology back when I was 9, and I fell in love with the games ever since! I’ve always enjoyed the storytelling of the games, the more natural and intuitive speech system (Ask about… Greet, barter, etc.), the witty and random humour, the extremely customizable character creation system, and the fast-paced action combat system! And after finding out that both you and Lori were pitching the Kickstarter campaign (funny enough, near my birthday), I REALLY got hyped!
So far, Hero-U looks to be a fantastic series! I really can’t wait for when Rogue to Redemption begins production! I believe you’ll make it to the pledge goal soon!
Thanks, Jon, for the great drawing and for supporting Hero-U.
Lori and Corey Coles’ Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption Kickstarter has entered its final few days of fund-raising. However, they still need the support of adventure and RPG fans alike to help get their project over the line. With art contributions from AGD Interactive artists Eriq Chang and John Paul Selwood, Hero-U promises to be a treat!
Watch the recent fireside chat video featuring Lori and Corey where they discuss Quest for Glory, Hero-U, and and their heroic quest to make a brand new Adventure / RPG game with all the nostalgia of their classic Sierra games.
Here’s what Corey Cole had to say recently to fans and would-be backers:
“Your Support Is a Vote of Confidence. When you “vote” by supporting the Hero-U project, you are doing two things – You are saying that you like the concept of the project, and you are casting a vote of confidence in the game’s creators. You believe we will make games you want to play.
Lori and I express ourselves in every game we write. Our players learn something about us from each one – Our belief in Heroes, our emphasis on the individual, our view that everything in a game must make sense in context, our styles of dramatic and humorous writing, and much more.
By supporting Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, you are helping us create this game, and you are also saying that you want to see what we will come up with next. Having played or heard about our previous games, you are saying, “I like what I see, and I want to see more.” You are giving Lori and me both the means and the call to action for us to return to the game industry.
We assure you that we still have a lot of important things to say in our games. They will be fun, but they also just might make a difference in your life. We have received hundreds of emails about how our games have helped players, and they are a large part of why we are using Hero-U to make adventure/role-playing games again.”
If you haven’t already pledged to the Hero-U Kickstarter project, please consider doing so and help the creators of Quest for Glory reach and surpass their goal!
I promised that this update would include news about the making of SpaceVenture, and here it is!
SpaceVenture is coming along nicely, with Mark and Scott having regular meetings, most recently, meetings in person while at GMX. Below is a list of updates by category.
We recently hired Tyler Drinkard as senior developer to help over see all programmers for the project.
The game as we have said during interviews is being development using the Unity engine. We are about to get Unity 4(the most recent version of Unity that just came out)
Mark Crowe is working directly with programmers to make sure the artwork he is creating works seamlessly in game.
Chris Pope continues to oversee the project and keep the open line of communications with all project members as a Producer, along with his marketing duties.
Continued direction of Mark Crowe is being done on all aspects of the game. Every single piece of artwork must be approved by him.
We also are working with a couple of very seasoned modelers for 3D character creation. The game is still 2D but will contain some 3D characters.
We still aren’t ready to announce who will be scoring SpaceVenture. We will say that we are still in talks with one of the original Sierra composers about the task. Along with some newer blood as well.
The music that has been pitched for the game so far is extremely epic, and we are really excited about it!
Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy have the high level story line worked out and are putting in some small details here and there as the programming is coming together
From one Space Quest fan to another, the story in my opinion is hilarious and holds true to what we all loved about Space Quest, but still will appeal to new generations of adventure gaming fans.
A female character is being developed that we hope to announce more details about in the near future.
I’m Corey Cole, co-designer of the Quest for Glory series and creator of Castle of Dr. Brain. Lori and I are working on an exciting new project in the spirit of the Quest for Glory games, but we need your help to make it happen.
Our new game, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption once again combines Sierra-style adventure game play with the character growth and suspense of a role-playing game. You will take on the role of Shawn O’Conner, a young man who needs your help. He wants to join the Thieves’ Guild, but gets caught on his first attempted heist. Fortunately, he gets a second chance; he is sent to Hero University to clean up his act.
We are funding this game on Kickstarter, and are closing in on our goal, but we now have less than five days left to complete it. As you may know, Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing system. If we make our goal, they will fund our project. If we come up even a dollar short, no backers are billed, and we receive nothing.
You can help Lori and me get back into the adventure gaming business in two ways – Pledge towards the game, and tell your gamer friends to support Hero-U. You can find the project on Kickstarter at http://kck.st/WwVlp7.
Sierra made unique games in the 1980’s and 1990’s that gave players a real sense of adventure. Our games challenged gamers with puzzles that made them think. Now they call that the Golden Age of Adventure Games.
Some of our top game designers from that era are reviving the Sierra style of games through crowd-funded Kickstarter projects. Al Lowe and Josh Mandel are rebooting Leisure Suit Larry. Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy are making a new Space Venture inspired by their Space Quest series. Jane Jensen is designing Moebius, a new story with roots in her Gabriel Knight franchise. All of their Kickstarter projects have been successful, and they expect to release their games next year.
Now we – Corey and Lori Cole – are working to revive the spirit of Heroism first seen in our popular Quest for Glory series. We are really close to meeting our goal, but we need you to help push us over the line.
Supporting the former Sierra On-Line developers is your way to help create a new Platinum Age of adventure gaming. You can be part of a new spirit of games that focus on story, characters, and challenging puzzles.
As we in the United States begin a season that focuses on gratitude, I’d like to wish everyone a happy Veteran’s Day.
On the topic of gratitude: despite dire predictions, my immediate neighborhood was treated fairly gently by Hurricane Sandy. Both flooding and wind damage were minimal. (I had been preparing for something similar to the previous year’s Hurricane Irene, in which a creek backed up into our house and the sewer lines collapsed, resulting in a nightmarish and expensive mess.)
As most of you probably know, though, Sandy devastated major portions of the East Coast, with an estimated 40,000 homes lost and some areas still – after almost two weeks – without electricity. Anything you can do to help right now would be great, but I’d especially like to point out that *blood* is a particularly useful gift that money can’t replace. So if you can see your way through to donating a pint, or double-red cells or plasma, that’s the kind of contribution that may prove just as valuable to an ill veteran as to an injured storm survivor.
Our developer, N-Fusion, was right in the storm’s path in Northern New Jersey. Their power was out for a full week (from Monday, October 29th ‘til Sunday night, November 4th). Fortunately for our project, several of the team members had power at home and were able to continue working throughout the week. Today marks N-Fusion’s third milestone on the project, and, due to their extra commitment and push through this past week, it looks like they’re going to make it.
I think I mentioned last time that Al’s choice for musician has been made. The contracts still aren’t signed yet – there’s a lot of negotiation involved because the musician is a monumentally hot industry talent, and we’re on a Kickstarter budget. So I’m still not at liberty to mention a name, but I will as soon as I’m cleared to do so.
Colin has been cranking on the final background art, and both Al and I are completely in love with everything he’s been doing. At this point, the finals we have are:
Lefty’s Back Hallway
The “Secret Room”
The Upstairs Room
Every single one of these is an absolute gem. Al and I were both doing virtual flips over the Cab (Al deemed it “brilliant”) late this past week. The attention to detail is simply incredible. N-Fusion has been providing us with a new build every Monday, so we can see the incremental progress being made. I’m expecting a new build later today that should have all of Larry’s “idle animations” included for the first time, and, also for the first time, they’re loading my messages into the rooms.
With each new Kickstarter update, I’m torn about releasing artwork. On one hand, it’s so unbelievably good that I just want to share it all with you and get you as pumped as Al and I are. On the other hand, Lost Wages is a lot smaller than, say, Morrowind, and every time I share finished background art, that’s one less major happy revelation you’ll get when you play the game. I’m inclined to err on the side of undersharing. It’s not that long ‘til testing starts anyway, and then much will be revealed to many of you.
I don’t want to be miserly, though, so here are three previously-unreleased pieces of art:
• The model sheet for the taxi driver. Love this guy! If we’d known he was going to look this good, we might’ve given him a bigger part (in the game)!
• A rough animation of the clerk (in what we’re now calling the “Come ‘n’ Go”) being paid for something; I love how this guy’s movement is so simple and deft, but reeks of personality.
• A rough animation of the (only) babe in the bar at Lefty’s (she’s been the object of some prurient curiousity). Does Larry have a chance with her? You’ll just have to wait ‘til the end of this sentence, where I say, “No.”
Before I close it out for today, I’d like to turn over the microphone to Corey Cole, who, along with his wife Lori Cole, created one of the most unique game series in history: the Quest for Glory games. As we mentioned last week, they’ve got their own Kickstarter push going on for Hero-U (I am a full and vocal supporter), and Corey had this to say in an interview with AdventureGamers. It’s something Kickstarter supporters, and potential supporters, should read.
Corey: We’re not sure if you realize how much power you have. When we left Sierra, the game industry became mired in an endless succession of first-person shooters. Adventure games died overnight because publishers didn’t want to spend millions of dollars on games that would only sell a couple hundred thousand copies.
Gaming as we knew it died, except for a few decent MMOs. But now there are signs of life, and you’re in charge.
By backing projects you care about, games that have quality and good design, you can help make smaller games possible. Big publishers have so much overhead, they’re only interested in mass-market games that don’t require any brains to play. They’ve abandoned the adventure gamer, and are providing only a watered-down husk of role-playing games.
Nobody has picked up the mantle we discarded in 1999, the idea of making an adventure game stronger by adding role-playing elements. It’s a unique sub-genre that a lot of people found fun in the 1990s, and that most of you will still enjoy now.
But it’s up to you whether these games even get made, and whether they have enough budget to rise to the level of quality of top-tier games. You can’t sit back and wait to see what will happen. If you do, here’s what will happen – Nobody will make hybrid adventure/RPGs. Very few people will make adventure games of any type. The people who started paying attention when Double Fine Adventure and Project: Eternity got their huge budgets will say, “Ah, I thought so. Those were flukes. Nobody really cares about those kind of games. Next shooter! Next endless sports game clone! More action, more special effects, less thought!”
You can stand up for the kind of games you want to play, or you can watch the adventure game renaissance die its second death. It’s all up to you. Please support our new game, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption on Kickstarter. And support other worthy games such as Shadowgate, ones with quality design that don’t have $50 million advertising budgets. If you don’t, the creative, thoughtful games will die out just as they did in 2000.
Let’s not let that happen this time, ok?
Corey has said it better than I ever have, so I’ll leave it at that for today.
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a classic 2D role-playing adventure for Windows PC, Macintosh, and Linux by award-winning game designers Corey and Lori Cole (Quest for Glory, Castle of Dr. Brain, etc.).
Hero-U combines the rich character relationships, story and puzzles of a classic adventure game with the exploration and excitement of a role-playing game. Bringing all these features together makes Hero-U a completely unique game experience.
Classic adventure game characters, story, and puzzles
All the exploration, skill development, and choices of a classic RPG
A rich story that changes based on the way you play
Tactical turn-based combat
Characters with unique personalities and their own agendas
Fun, Funny, and Punny
There is danger and intrigue within the hallowed halls of Hero-U. Danger? Ha! Rogues laugh in the face… well, actually, they sneak up behind danger and bop it in the head, then run really, really fast.
To select any of these add-ons, add the cost of the add-on to your pledge at any tier. When the project closes, we will send you a questionnaire you can use to tell us which additional rewards you have purchased. We will also ask you for additional information, such as a picture, headstone epitaph, biography for the Yearbook, your operating system, and so on.
Important Note on digital keys to our previous games: We are actually buying these keys from the respective sites. Since Kickstarter and Amazon payments take a percentage of our proceeds, and the purpose of selling these add-ons is to raise money for Hero-U development, all of these keys are more expensive than if you buy them directly. If this concerns you , please buy the previous-game keys directly from Steam, gog.com, or another site. We are offering them here solely as a convenience.
Virtual Add-Ons, No Shipping Charge
$15: Steam game key to Jolly Rover (PC or Mac)
$15: Steam game key to MacGuffin’s Curse (PC or Mac)
$20: gog.com game key to Quest for Glory 1-5 package (PC only)
$18: An additional Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption game key for a friend
$18: Pre-order the second planned Hero-U game featuring a female Wizard main character
$100: In-game Head(stone) of the Class. See below for details
$200: In-game School Spirit. See below for details
Physical Add-Ons Requiring Shipping
Note: There are two changes here since Update #10. Baseball cap price lowered to $30 and Meep added at $35! See below for shipping charges.
$30: Hero-U logo t-shirt
$30: Embroidered Hero-U baseball cap
$35: Your very own Toy Meep!
$50: Extra standard boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption
$50: (Extra) copy of the physical yearbook.
$100: (Extra) copy of the Kickstarter-only premium boxed game plus Graduate-level inserts (game DVD, manual, music CD, varsity letter, and Hero-U backer’s button)
Physical Add-On Shipping Charges
In Update #10, we stated that these items would be shipped separately from the game. Since this greatly drives up the shipping costs, we are changing that decision. If you have not chosen a physical goods tier, you will need to provide your shipping address on the post-Kickstarter questionnaire and add the following to your pledge for custom shipping: $10 U.S., $15 Canada/Mexico, $20 other countries.
Next, whether or not you are paying that extra shipping charge, count the number of add-ons you have selected, and add the following to your pledge:
1 item, US/Canada/Mexico $5, Other countries $10
2-4 items, US/Canda/Mexico $10, Other countries $15
Each 5 items, US/Canada/Mexico $15, Other countries $20
Example: You are pledging a physical tier, and want 8 add-ons. If you live in North or Central America, add $15 + $10 + cost of items. If you live elsewhere in the world, add $20 + $15 + cost of items. We apologize for these charges, but international shipping from the U.S. is very expensive.
Head(stone) of the Class (Add-on $100 to any reward tier): In the catacombs deep beneath the hallowed halls of Hero-U lie the monuments to those who gave their all in the service of heroism. Are you one of those who quested for Good and Glory? Then you too should be honored by all those who come after. Add $100 to your pledge at any reward tier, and our skilled artisans will engrave your name and epitaph on a headstone hidden deep within the catacombs. Those who seek, shall find you. They may regret it.
School Spirit (Add-on $200 to any reward tier): The catacombs are filled with the restless spirits of those who came before. They haunt the passages and guard their secrets. Is your fate yet unfulfilled? Do you belong among the ghosts? Then add $200 to your pledge at any reward tier. Not only will your epitaph grace a headstone in the catacombs, but your restless spirit, ghoul, or revenant will haunt the area to terrify lesser adventurers and guard your hidden treasure.
Classic adventure game characters, story, and puzzles
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption combines role-playing, puzzles, an immersive story, and rich character interactions. As in our acclaimed Quest for Glory series, every element works together to create a unique game experience that you will love.
In Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, you take on the role of Shawn O’Conner, a would-be Thief who has had a rough life. As Shawn, you will attend Hero-U, a school that tries to teach young adventurers to be heroes. Shawn can continue his quest to join the Thieves’ Guild, or he can strive to become a Rogue Hero. He has a lot to learn to succeed at either path.
All the exploration, skill development, and choices of a classic RPG
Hero-U plays like a classic RPG, with turn-based tactical combat and exploration of the environment on top-down, 2D maps. There are traps, obstacles, and enemies for you to overcome as you explore the school and the ancient catacombs beneath it. Key scenes feature beautiful painted backdrops to let you see from Shawn’s perspective.
Shawn has skills and attributes that improve through game play. He will also acquire possessions that give you additional options. Your choices determine which skills Shawn learns. He can improve them through study and practice. Explore the school and catacombs as Shawn fights monsters, avoids trap, finds hidden items, and solves mysteries.
A rich story that changes based on the way you play
Your life has not been an easy one. Caught red-handed during your thief guild initiation, you have a choice – Go to reform school or rot away in prison. The teachers and students are intent on making your life a living hell, while trouble lurks in the catacombs below. It would help if you didn’t need to worry about being killed and passing midterms.
In your hands, Shawn has real choices. If he does someone a favor, it is because he figures they will be useful to him later. If he wants to unleash nameless horrors of destruction upon the world, well, hey, that’s his business… and yours.
Along the south coast of Marete to the east of Silmaria, there stands a great sprawling castle built in ancient times when demonic creatures sought to dominate Gloriana. Long abandoned, the castle was greatly feared by the people of Silmaria. There were rumors of hauntings, curses, and a great Evil buried within its rocky walls.
Over the years, a few desperate and foolhardy souls dared to explore dark towers and musty hallways in search of forgotten treasures. Even fewer returned; they whispered of eldritch horrors best left buried beneath the ancient stones. The castle’s grim silhouette upon the cliffs warns us that there are dangers in this world that mere mortals are not prepared to face.
So what better place than this to build a University for Heroes?
Besides, the rent was cheap.
Tactical turn-based combat
One doesn’t just wander around an ancient, possibly haunted, castle and expect to have an easy time of it. Your hero must learn the cunning, deception, and just plain Rogue skills, then use them to survive. “Hack and Slash” won’t cut it for a Rogue. Shawn must outwit and outmaneuver the creatures that lurk within the ancient catacombs beneath Hero-U.
Our turn-based combat system features an action point system that will make you choose between slow, powerful attacks, tactical movement, or a mixture of defense and quick attacks. Shawn will supplement his Roguish skills with clever use of traps and other items. Between battles, you will explore the catacombs, setting and avoiding traps and other challenges.
Characters with unique personalities and their own agendas
Many of the characters you encounter have their own reason for being there. They aren’t there to serve you, only themselves. Shawn will meet with these characters as you choose what he says to them, and how he relates. Conversation is an important part of Hero-U. It is a way for Shawn to gain information, make friends, and try to stay out of trouble.
Challenging puzzles that are an integral part of the story
We believe that puzzles are an important part of a good adventure game or RPG. Hero-U is filled with challenges that will make you think and that enrich the story. The problems Shawn faces are all closely linked to the story and characters at Hero-U.
Elective system that lets you customize Shawn’s abilities
All rogue candidates study basic techniques such as stealth, picking locks, and setting traps. But Hero-U also offers elective courses that will allow Shawn to customize his to assist his extra-curricular activities. These electives will give you choices on how you like to play.
Lori and Corey Cole have been making and playing games for… let’s just say, “forever”. At Sierra On-Line, we created one of the first hybrid graphic adventure/role-playing games. Our award-winning Quest for Glory was one of Sierra’s most successful game series. Corey’s Castle of Dr. Brain puzzle adventure game was another top-selling, critically-acclaimed game that spawned a successful series.
Game Designers: Lori and Corey Cole, creators of Quest for Glory, Castle of Dr. Brain, Shannara, Mixed-Up Fairy Tales, and Tower of Indomitable Circumstance.
Programming: Andrew Goulding and the Brawsome team, developers of Jolly Rover, MacGuffin’s Curse, and many other games.
Art and Animation: Eriq Chang and Eric Varnes (Fable Foundry Creative Studio), Paul Bowers, and John Paul Selwood.
Music and Sound Design: Ryan Grogan, composer of music for film, animation, and games including MacGuffin’s Curse.
Marketing Maven and assistant combat designer: Michael Cole
YOU! Your support makes this game possible, and your feedback on the Hero-U forums will help us shape and perfect the game.
The Kickstarter revolution has changed all that. Now you, the players, help decide which games get made and which go back to the drawing board. We are very excited about our plans for Hero-U and think you should be too. This game will be the spiritual successor to our Quest for Glory series.
We have a file drawer full of great game proposals that we couldn’t convince traditional publishers to support. In one case, the publisher decided instead to design their own game. Millions of dollars later, they created a dismal failure that sold under 1,000 copies. Alas, we didn’t get a chance to tell them, “We told you so!” They were out of business after that.
We think you’re a lot smarter than most of those publishers. You know the kind of game experiences you want to have – Ones in which substance rules over form. You want well-designed game play that rewards thinking, with an immersive story, meaningful character development, and intelligent puzzles. Killing monsters is fun too, but it all needs to be part of the story.
You can help make Hero-U become a reality. If enough people support our Kickstarter project, we will be able to bring a new type of game to market. But if too many people choose to wait and see what our game looks like, we may never have the opportunity to make it at all. Your support here is important!
We know that you are taking a leap of faith by supporting our new game, and we want to assure you that we will use the money wisely. Our goal is the minimum budget with which we can make a high-quality game. Here’s our breakdown based on reaching our minimum goal:
65% – Art, programming, music, and design of the game
10% – Kickstarter and Amazon Payments fees
10% – Reward Premiums and Shipping Costs
5% – Repayment of pre-Kickstarter loans and expenses
10% – Marketing and Project Overhead
If your generosity helps this project exceed its minimum goal, it is likely that a higher percentage (possibly as much as 20%) of the funding will go into reward premiums, but most of your support will go directly into the game. We will add features such as voice acting, and we will add more content including additional art, music, locations, story, and dialogue.
Kicking It Forward
We support the “Kick It Forward” program. Brian Fargo of InXile, developers of the Kickstarter-funded Wasteland 2 project, started this initiative to ensure the future of gaming on Kickstarter. We wholeheartedly support this initiative, and believe it is the responsibility of successfully-funded games to Kick It Forward.
Your contributions to our campaign will not be used to fund other games. When we complete and ship the game, we will regularly take 5% of the net revenues from game sales and commit them to other Kickstarter projects. Lori and I intend to pick projects that we believe promote heroism and value characters and story over violence and twitch action.
Friend ($5): Thank you for your support! Your name will be added to the Hero list on www.hero-u.net/leadersroll.php, a small first step towards immortality. Access to project updates.
Freshman ($20): You will receive a DRM-free digital game download, access to discussion forums to help us improve the game, and your name will appear on the Hero list.
Sophomore ($35): Digital Reward 2: Receive everything from the Freshman level, the downloadable Hero-U Soundtrack, and the gorgeous Hero-U Art Book in PDF form. The art book contains production sketches, final art, and insider commentary on the making of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.
Junior ($50): Get a head start on your education by playing one of the development team’s previous award-winning games. You will receive all of the Sophomore class benefits plus a digital key to your choice of MacGuffin’s Curse, Jolly Rover, or the complete five-game Quest for Glory collection.
Beta Tau Initiate ($65): All-Digital reward. Everything in the Junior package, including your choice of one game key. PLUS you get early access to the Hero-U Beta and Combat-Balancing tests. Help us shape and tune the game the way YOU want it!
Senior ($75): Get physical with a high-quality boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption containing the game on DVD and a printed game manual. You will also receive all of the Sophomore benefits (including an additional digital copy of the game). While you wait for your box, enjoy a preview with early access to our Beta and Combat Balancing Tests. All Seniors may add any of the Junior-level previous games at $15 each.
Big Man On Campus ($100): (Super Digital Rewards) You’re special, and everyone should know it. Your name (or your favorite character’s name) will appear in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK along with a brief statement of your/their accomplishments. We will also email you the Secret Thieves’ Guild Password. (Other players will need to discover this in the game.) You will also receive everything from the Sophomore level as well as early access to our Beta and Combat Balance tests. (NOTE: This tier does not include any physical rewards. It’s highly International-Supporter-friendly.)
Frat Rat ($125): New Halloween Special Reward! You love Meeps, and that’s why you will get your very own Toy Meep along with your boxed copy of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. That’s on top of all of the Senior-level physical and digital rewards and eligibility for add-ons. You will also receive your own entry in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK.
Graduate Edition ($150): Unique Kickstarter-Graduate-only Collector’s Edition Box containing the game DVD, manual, a Music Soundtrack CD, your own Varsity Letter, Hero-U button, and everything in the Big Man On Campus digital reward tier including your very own entry in the in-game DIGITAL YEARBOOK.
Exchange Student($175): NEW! The ultimate all-digital package, perfect for international backers. You will start with everything in the Big Man on Campus edition. Then you will have the chance to follow the development of Hero-U with insider access to developer discussions and Alpha tests. To give you more insight into our games, you will receive digital keys to ALL EIGHT of our currently available previous games (Quest for Glory 1: So You Want to Be a Hero EGA and VGA versions, Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire, Quest for Glory 3: Wages of War, Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness, Quest for Glory 5: Dragon Fire, MacGuffin’s Curse, AND Jolly Rover). NOTE: The previous game keys are part of this tier only; we are not adding them to the higher physical tiers.
Research Assistant ($200): You’re practically a team member, so you will receive a very-limited-edition Team Meep Hat plus insider access to developer discussions and Alpha tests. You will also receive everything in the Graduate Edition, and your chosen picture (subject to team approval) will appear in the in-game digital yearbook.
Alumnus ($250): As a proud Hero-U Alumnus, your chosen name, preferred photo (or other image of your choice, subject to team approval) will appear in the Very Limited Edition physical Hero-U Yearbook. Of course, alumni like to collect signatures from their University friends, so Lori and Corey Cole will autograph your yearbook and Graduate Edition premium game box. You will also receive Research Assistant privileges and a Team Meep hat.
Master Rogue ($500): The rewards of your advanced education include a limited-edition art print of the school on Canvas, everything in the Alumnus package including the autographed premium game box and autographed yearbook. You will also receive a Limited Edition Kickstarter Superfan T-Shirt, and digital keys to ALL SEVEN previous games – the five-game Quest for Glory Collection, MacGuffin’s Curse, and Jolly Rover.
PhD ($1,000) – SORRY, SOLD OUT: You will be immortalized. Not only will you receive all of the benefits of a Master Rogue, your chosen name, hero biography, and picture will appear prominently in-game as well as in the yearbook. Your canvas art print will be supersized, and you will be one of the proud few to complete a graduate school education at Hero-U. We’ll also provide you with the secret location and key to the Faculty Lounge. (Other players will be able to break in later in the game.)
DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts)
DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts) ($1,050): You will be featured on an in-game painting. When players click on it, they will see your chosen name, image (this could be you, a favorite character, pet, or other approved image, converted by our artists to look like other in-game portraits), and humorous description. You also receive all of the benefits of a Master Rogue, You will have a listing including your chosen image in the yearbook, and of course will receive an autographed copy of the physical edition. We will send you a canvas art print of your in-game “portrait” in addition to the school art print, and you will be one of the proud few to complete a graduate school education at Hero-U. We’ll also provide you with the secret location and key to the Faculty Lounge. (Other players will be able to break in later in the game.)
Above are two examples (from our personal collection) of paintings you might receive at the Art Collector reward level. Your actual painting will probably differ, but is at the same level of quality. A small number of paintings were rescued when Yosemite Entertainment closed its doors, and we’ve negotiated the purchase of a few of them. NOTE: Each backer at the Art Collector level will receive only ONE painting, and these will NOT be included in higher tier rewards. (We are reserving a few paintings for possible sale after the close of the campaign.)
Art Collector ($2,000, SORRY – SOLD OUT): In this extremely-limited reward tier, we will send you an original, one-of-a-kind production painting that was used to create a Quest for Glory game. We only have a few of these paintings available. You will also receive all DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts) benefits, including having your picture and biography immortalized in-game. The Quest for Glory artwork will be shipped separately in January or February.
Monster Lair ($2,500, limited to 10 backers): You are so diabolical, you are the master of a dungeon den. We will collaborate with you on designing your own custom monster lair, likely including a sculpted image of yourself or a friend. Your lair, complete with the monsters and traps you select, will be placed somewhere in the catacombs. You will also receive all benefits of the PhD reward tier. Free shipping worldwide!
Benefactor ($2,500) – SORRY, SOLD OUT: As one of the top alumni contributors to Hero-U, we will name one wing of the University after you or a loved one. The name you choose (with team approval) will be prominently displayed when any student enters your wing. We will send you a customized architectural drawing of your wing. If you send us a suitable video clip, it will appear in the launch video for your wing. You will also receive all benefits of the PhD reward tier. Free shipping worldwide!
High-Roller ($5,000): You’re a serious role-player, or just really want to support our game at a high level. In addition to all of the PhD-level rewards, Corey and/or Lori will run a D&D game for you and friends at a convention anywhere in North America. Or add $1,000 for our additional travel expenses, and we’ll join you anywhere in the world. Does not include the Benefactor reward – The school doesn’t have enough wings. Instead, you’ll have a large statue in the main wing celebrating your or your hero’s accomplishments.
Philanthropist (reduced to $7,500!): You really care! And we care about you too! Spend a day visiting Yosemite Park and touring famous Sierra landmarks such as the Talking Bear in Oakhurst with Lori and Corey Cole. We’ll share a nice meal (or two) and discuss game design or anything else you want. You’ll also receive all the rewards of the PhD level and we’ll find a prominent place in-game to thank you for your awesome support. We will cover a one-night hotel stay, but you are responsible for transportation to and from Oakhurst, California.
“We choose to go…not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to measure and organize the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” – John F. Kennedy establishing the Apollo space program
Creating a new computer game is hard. Making one up to our standards is harder. Hero-U will require an intensive development schedule that includes game design, writing, programming, creating art, creating music and sound effects, and constant quality assurance. But it’s not rocket science.
Fortunately, our team is up to the task. We have created multiple best-selling, award-winning games with budgets ranging from $250,000 to over $4,000,000. In particular, our team members led the development of six acclaimed projects – all comparable in budget to this Kickstarter project – that shipped on time and under budget. We know exactly what we can and can’t accomplish at various budget levels and schedules.
I have budgeted out the entire game development with contingencies depending on the amount we raise. As long as we reach our Kickstarter goal, we have a specific plan for making the game – a budget for art, for programming, etc. Most of use are working at “cost-of-living” rates so that we will be sure to finish the game.
We don’t just believe we can make this game, and make it great. We know we can! With your support and feedback during development, we will show the world that there is a place for well-written, well-crafted role-playing adventure games. More importantly, we will deliver to you a quality role-playing game that measures up to our standards and yours.
I see several different art styles in the video and project page. What will this game actually look like?
What are your target platforms? Will you support Linux?
The $1,000 tier sold out in hours. Will there be a new tier at $1,000 or $1,500
Is this a game “episode” or a full game?
I’m still confused – Is this an RPG or an Adventure Game?
Will Hero-U be a floor wax or a dessert topping?
Can I play Hero-U as a female Rogue?
Which tiers include previous games? Will they run on Macintosh? How are they being fulfilled?
Is Hero-U a puzzle game like MacGuffin’s Curse, since you are “using the MacGuffin’s Curse engine”?
How large are the canvas art prints of the school from the $500 (normal) and $1,000 (supersized) tiers?
For those in the CSG interested in Lola and Lucy for their kids, we’re holding a sale this weekend on the iPad version. Normally $4.99 the sale price is $1.99. This will be good til Monday morning.
Note that CSG members at $50 and up will get “Lola and Lucy’s Big Adventure” for PC or Mac FREE around Dec 1. This sale is to allow you to cheaply pick up the iPad version as well, if you’re interested.
On your iPad, search for “Lola and Lucy” or look under the Books category where Lola and Lucy is in a featured slot under “New and Noteworthy”. And here’s the itunes store link:
Lori and Corey Cole, original creators of the Quest For Glory Series have a Kickstarter up and need your help to make their new game become a reality! Visit: Hero-U Rogue to Redemption
We’d like to give a shout out to GMX (Geek Media Expo) for having us(and paying for everything) this past weekend!
While at GMX this weekend, Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, and Chris Pope all got to cameo in Professor Shyguy‘s new tribute video to Felicia Days “The Guild”. It also features two of our voice actors, Ellen McLain and Rob Paulsen. Check it out here
Also got a lot of audio/video of Mark and Scott doing game development talk live at the convention. We’ll be making that footage available to backers eventually 🙂
Meanwhile, enjoy the below picture of Mark Crowe attempting to invoke his evil genius steam punk plans on Scott Murphy and Chris Pope!