Hero-U Update #24

For those interested in Katherine Owens’s testimonial in last night’s Update, Katherine has posted a longer version with more of her story at http://digitalspiritguide.com/gaming-and-heroism-how-video-games-changed-my-life-for-the-better/.

One of our fans made a terrific 3D model of Spielburg based on the Quest for Glory 1 VGA version. Check out his work at http://questfor3dproject.wordpress.com/images/.

New Add-Ons Available

We’ve had a number of requests for new add-ons, so we’ve added some new art and music options. We’ve also had questions about add-ons and how to change your pledge.

Both are handled by clicking the blue, “Manage My Pledge” button near the top right of the project page.  Clicking this button allows you to change the dollar amount of your pledge, as well as your chosen reward tier.  The two do not need to match.  You may pledge any amount equal to, or higher than, the minimum for the reward tier.

Why would you want to do that?  For one thing, you will be helping the project to succeed.  Every dollar you add to your pledge brings us a dollar closer to making our goal.  Your pledge is a vote for the style of gaming Lori and I make – an adventure game that also features strong role-playing elements, an intriguing story, interesting characters, and challenging puzzles and mysteries to solve.

Many of our backers have chosen to “join the Adventurers’ Guild, Local 589” (or AGL 589 for short). All of the members of AGL 589 have voluntarily added $5.89 to their pledge without counting it towards a reward tier or add-on. These additional pledges help us reach the goal, and will be a valuable addition to the project budget when our Kickstarter is funded.

Second, we have a number of tempting add-ons on the main project page.  To get one or more of the add-ons, increase your pledge, but do not change your reward tier.  When the project closes, we will send a questionnaire to all backers. If you added extra to your pledge, that will be your chance to tell us what add-ons you would like to get.

If you choose any of the physical add-ons, please be sure to add the appropriate amount for shipping. This is explained in detail on the main project page.

Here are the new virtual add-ons (no shipping charge):

  • $10: NEW – Downloadable game music soundtrack
  • $10: NEW – Art book PDF
  • $20: NEW – Set of 4 high-resolution game art images in PDF

NOTE: The first two are included in the $35 and higher tiers. Order one if you are at the $20 tier and only want one of the two items, or if you are at any tier and want an extra copy to give to a friend.

New physical add-ons (shipping charges apply, the 4 art print add-on counts as a single item for shipping purposes):

  • $10: NEW: Meep keychain
  • $20: NEW: “Erana’s Tribute” poster 11″x17″ (art without poem)
  • $50: NEW: Set of four 11″x17″ poster prints of Hero-U game art

The art prints are different from the “school art on canvas” print that Master Rogues (and above) will receive.

Check out the main project page for many other add-on choices and shipping charge information. They are right under the “Fat Loots” sheep.

Incidentally, feel free to download free wallpapers from the hero-u site: http://www.hero-u.net/hero-u-game-media.html#wallpapers.  Here is a video Lori made from one of the images there and from Alistair Gillett’s version of the Erana’s Peace theme in Hero’s Quest (original theme composed by Mark Seibert).

How Is Hero-U Different from Other Adventure Games

Lori answered this question for the Gaming on Linux site. I think her answer is of interest to all of our backers and potential backers.

In the first place, Adventure/RPGs are a very rare breed indeed. We were the first to design them with our QfG series. Japanese RPGs could be called Adventure/RPGs because they have strong stories and characters. But I don’t know of anyone actually using the classification of Adventure/RPG other than us right now.

But story-telling is ingrained in human nature. We love stories. That’s why movies and books continue to entertain people all over the world. RPGs are direct descendents of tabletop D&D games that combined story-telling with character progression and action. We want to create games that are fun experiences with meaningful stories, characters you care about, and excitement.

There isn’t a lot of excitement in most Adventure Games. There aren’t too many quirky characters in RPG games – they tend to take themselves very seriously.

Quest for Glory was an Adventure Game with Role-playing elements. It took advantage of the strengths of Sierra On-Line’s talents and resources. Hero-U will have more Role-playing elements – more exploration of caverns, dungeons, and catacombs. The player will have the ability to shape Shawn’s character and his destiny by making critical choices and improving Shawn’s skills by practice and study. Unlike the real-time combat of Quest for Glory, Hero-U will have tactical combat where you can treat each combat like a chess match where you plot your moves carefully, a fast-action skill vs. skill, or find ways to never come in direct combat with your opponent. We want the player to feel completely in charge of Shawn’s fate.

Hero-U will be a unique game with humor, story, adventure, action, and perhaps even romance. It will touch the heart and it will make you smile. What’s not to like?

Hero-U Update #23

Loyal Backers and Other Readers,

I am excerpting a second of my Quest Log article (“A World Full of Heroes – The Power of We“) because, first, I think it’s important. And second, it may help you understand why our games are more than just games.  After the excerpt, one of our top-level backers explains why she made the decision to commit a large amount to this campaign.

Why do Lori and I make games about Heroes? It’s because we think the world needs more Heroes, and that playing games the focus on heroism is a small start. The characters in our games start out pretty ordinary, but as they work and learn and grow, they become better. When they commit themselves to heroic goals, they slowly discover that they can achieve those goals.

We can be Heroes too.

Where do soldiers, firemen, policemen, philanthropists, charity volunteers, and other real-life heroes come from? They all start out as ordinary people – some rich, some poor, most middle-class – and they commit to higher goals. They set their sights on noble goals, join a team, and work their tails off to gain the skills they need to succeed.

You and I and each of us can do the same. It takes commitment, follow-through, and the “power of we”.

A World of Heroes

Imagine a world full of heroes. It starts out as one or two individuals saying, “Things aren’t right. Someone should do something about that. I guess it’s up to me.”

Then they get together and realize that two people working together can accomplish more than two individuals alone. So they talk to others and share what they’ve learned. Pretty soon, someone else stands up and say, “You know, if they could do it, maybe so can I.” And then there are three.

And four. And a dozen. Slowly the word spreads, and more people join the cause. They aren’t all Heroes at first, but when they commit to doing good, they’ve taken the first step to becoming Heroes themselves.

And maybe you and I read, and listen, and say, “These people need help. How can they take on all the world’s troubles themselves?” And each of us has a choice – We can sit back, and keep complaining, and do nothing. Or we can take those first small steps ourselves. We can commit to joining the movement, doing Good whenever we can, and working towards becoming Heroes ourselves.

Because there is no Superman, or Batman, in our world. And there’s only one Chuck Norris. But there are a lot of ordinary people working to do good deeds, one small task at a time. Every time someone does Good – even it’s not a big, scary, Heroic action – it makes our world a little better.

The Power of We

Every time *you* do good, you make the world *and yourself* a little better. You become part of the hidden team, the people who care, the people who would rather be Heroes than lie back and ignore the evil around them.

That’s what “the power of We” is all about. A whole lot of people who take a stand and strive to do things that matter… That can be the difference from a world that suffocates under its own pollution, starves to death because it has exhausted its natural resources, or lives in fear under the iron hand of despotic rulers. We won’t stand for that world; we can’t allow it.

And that means we all – each one of us as individuals and many of us working together – must become Heroes. The world needs more Heroes, and if you and I do not heed the call, who will answer for us? It’s up to us and the Power of We.

Katherine Owen On Backing at the Highest Tier

Dear Fellow Backers of Rogue to Redemption,

I am one of the proud Philanthropist level backers (the one who bumped up from High Roller yesterday). I haven’t written anything about my particular pledge level to date but as Hero-U hits the final push to reach its funding target, I thought I would just share a few reasons why I have chosen to back it in such a serious way.

Quest for Glory was an important part of my childhood. The game I played for so many hours, days, weeks, months…the one that kept me coming back through my teens, my twenties and, eventually, the first part of my thirties. I wasn’t crazy, nor was it the case to say I didn’t play other games or indeed have other hobbies besides the computer. I was a very serious musician who later chose to become a professional violinist. This series was special. The kind of game that can change your outlook, make you think…the game that literally changed my life. I’ve read so many other similar stories across forums, I know it had a positive and lasting effect on many people.

Something that also changed my life, though with much less of a positive effect, was a car accident back in 2003. It has left me struggling with chronic pain and increasing disability, infecting every single corner of my life.

Still… In 2004 I decided to play Quest for Glory again to lift my spirits. An internet search led me to the How to be a Hero website and I was finally able to meet Lori and Corey Cole. That was a singularly awesome experience for a long-time fan. Through a difficult part of my life, struggling to come to terms with pain and the need to find new directions, this reconnection with the game of my youth somehow directed my energies into teaching and helping others.

Fast-forward another eight years. I still have the same physical problems, but I have spent years in a profession that I love, helping young people to grow and develop, gain confidence and see opportunities each and every one of us can take to make the world a better place. In so many small ways, you can be a Hero: Lori and Corey taught me that.

So, I have used a portion of the money I received as compensation for my accident to help fund this and a couple of other Kickstarter projects, some charities and local opportunities for young musicians; although something horrible happened to me, I now have the ability to support the causes that are close to my heart. I am tremendously honoured to have pledged to this game; I believe it will live up to all of our expectations, and I look forward to the next three days as we hopefully push Hero-U over the line.

My backer level is something I could NEVER have afforded previously. Some might choose to invest that portion of money in something that will return dividends to provide some security later in life. I’m doing that to an extent, also. But by investing in opportunities and projects that matter, ones I feel will genuinely make the world a better place, I see that as an investment in the future of humanist and the dividends will be beyond worth. (By the way, I am not religious, just a humanist. One who likes beagles…not sure what you’d call that). All of us believe in this project and invest what we can reasonably afford.

People often reach old age and regret opportunities missed. I am determined not to miss out on the opportunity of helping this game become a reality. It might sound far-fetched to say that Hero-U will change the world. But it could, simply by virtue of changing the lives of individual people in any number of small ways.

Also…there are uber-cool rewards at each tier. Why not consider bumping up your pledge today?

– Katherine Owen

Thank you, Katherine! Stories like yours inspired us to create the How to Be a Hero and School for Heroes sites, and they are the reason we want to make Hero-U now. Our #1 rule is, “The player must have fun,” but close behind that is, “Our games must give players meaning and value.” As long as it’s fun. 🙂

 – Corey Cole

Hero-U Update #22

Eriq Chang has completely revised the Hero-U web site.  It now has a lot more information about the game and the process of making it.  It also has a lot more recent concept art for those who have been wondering about the art style.

Visit the new site at http://www.hero-u.net/.

We’ve passed 4,650 backers and just need to raise $87K to reach the goal.  We’re on our way!

Adventure-Treff just posted my article on “Adventure and Role-Playing – They’re Better Together”. Click the article title for a link to the English version, or edit “lang=en” to “lang=de” for the German version. In the  article, I explain why Quest for Glory and Hero-U are hybrid games with both adventure and role-playing game features.  They’re just better that way.

Several people have commented that they liked the more in-depth approach of the Quest Log article I posted yesterday.  If you would like to read more of my thoughts on gaming, game development, and success, this index lets you find any article in the Quest Log: http://www.theschoolforheroes.com/questlogindex.php

 

Pinkerton Road Update #38 (Forgot to post this one, Sorry!)

Dear Kickstarter friends —

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):

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id567069685?mt=8

2. Leave a review if you are so inclined!

For our $50 and up backers, “Lola and Lucy’s Big Adventure” for PC and Mac download will be coming to you FREE around Dec 1, 2012.

Please share this image on your facebook page and blogs….

Thank you for supporting Pinkerton Road!

Jane

 

Baby Meep Stretch Goal and “Why A Rogue?”

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!

Just in case that seems too hard, here’s the chart for Shadowrun Online – http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1964352341/shadowrun-online/#chart-daily. They were almost exactly where we are at this stage of their project, except their goal was $500,000. They went from 4,100 to 6,000 backers in the last two days, raising almost $100,000 each of those days.

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.

I talked about Rogue Heroes in my “Hero on the Ropes” Quest Log article (the full article is at http://www.theschoolforheroes.com/questlog/450/the-rogue/). Here’s a brief excerpt:

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.

A Re-Quest for More Glory. (From AGD Interactive!)

Quest for Glory Designers Need Your Support!

 

Hello, Sierra Adventure Game fans!

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!

Also, take a look at their recent campaign updates to see what you can do to help spread the word.

Oh, and there are meeps! LOTS of fluffy meeps.

 

To read more information about the game…

Click to visit Hero-U on Kickstarter

SpaceVenture Update #63

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.

Game Creation:

  • 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.

Graphics/Artwork:

  • 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.

Audio:

  • 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!

Writing:

  • 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.

Other News:

  • Don’t forget to pledge to the Hero-U Kickstarter! It is by the creators of the Quest for Glory Series, Lori and Corey Cole! Here is 10 reasons why you have no excuse not to!
  • The recent podcast in which Chris Pope was interviewed can be found here.
  • We will be giving out GoG credits soon. Please be patient.
  • Keep an eye out for the December issue of Wired Magazine, we recently did an interview with them.

And Lastly…

Mark and Scott are gonna do a private chat room session with backers. Remember that you must be a $150 or over backer to take part in this.

When?

Monday Novemeber 19, 2012 at 6pm Pacific / 9pm Eastern

Where?

On the private backer website at svrewards.com

What if I’m not a high enough backer to get in the chat room?

Go here and upgrade your pledge if you’d like 🙂

What if I have already pledged $150 or higher and still can’t get it?

Email svrewards.com support: pcj@andromedanpost.com

Do you love us backers?

Yes, yes we do, you are the wind beneath our astro wings!

 

Message from Corey Cole.

Hero-U Kickstarter http://kck.st/WwVlp7

Dear Sierra Gamer,

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.

Thank you!

Corey Cole

Hero-U
http://www.hero-u.net

LSL KS Update #41 – From Josh.

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 Exterior
Lefty’s Interior
Lefty’s Back Hallway
Lefty’s Bathroom
The “Secret Room”
The Upstairs Room
The Cab

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.

Josh