Summer Daze at Hero-U on Steam Game Festival

The Steam Game Festival – Summer Edition

Summer Daze at Hero-U Preview this Saturday at 2 pm PDT

We’re proud to have Summer Daze at Hero-U as a featured title on the Steam Game Festival. You should check out the festival not just for Summer Daze coverage, but for over 500 mostly-indie games coming out in the next year. Yes, we have some serious competition!

Visit https://store.steampowered.com/sale/gamefestival to learn more. The Festival runs through the morning of June 22.

In conjunction with the festival, we will be live-streaming Summer Daze at Hero-U this Saturday starting at 2 pm PDT. (That’s Sunday at an unreasonably early hour if you live Down Under.) We’ll also talk about the game and the development process.

Come to https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames to watch and participate in the stream. If you haven’t been to one of our streams before, this is a great time to start! We have games, contests, and giveaways for viewers, a chance to ask us about our games and work, and much more.

The second hour will be devoted to playing a bit of Quest for Infamy, the Infamous Quests (Steven Alexander) game that was inspired by Quest for Glory for those who want a little more of a “dark side” anti-hero. Steven has had an especially rough year and can use more support.

We’ll close out the stream at 5 pm PDT, but not before Lori reads chapter 17 of her Hero’s Quest inspired novel, By the Book. The first 11 chapters are on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-pxvRIKKQsXNnkDvqPgWLRLxc-RuMwwE. We’ll gradually post more chapters, but will have a decision to make after we post chapter 13. That’s the last one we reached in a stretch goal during the Summer Daze campaign on Kickstarter. In any case, you can catch all of the chapters live on our Twitch channel, and I think Twitch keeps those videos up for two weeks afterwards. Our previous livestream – featuring Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok – is still available there if you hurry!

Corey and Lori play Quest for Infamy live this Saturday at 3 pm PDT

Yearbook Status

Yes, we have not forgotten about the Yearbook for premium backers. Steve is working on it currently, and says he’ll have news for me to announce during the stream on Saturday. Once he’s finished with it, I’ll upload it to BackerKit in digital form. Then we’ll start work on the autographed physical edition, which will likely take a few months to print and ship to everyone.

Think of it as a flashback to when we were all a few years younger!

In the meantime, stay safe in these challenging times.

Hero-U Update #122: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption version 2.1.2

We have a newly-updated version of Rogue to Redemption on Steam, and will be uploading it to GOG.com and Humble Bundle soon. If you’re on Steam or use GOG Galaxy, you’ll get the update automatically.

The game is now playable in both English and French. We’re working with translator William Bertin to get the technical manual and student handbook translated to French.

We upgraded to the 2018 version of Unity for version 2.1, and we’ve had a few “growing pains” with that transition. We’ve now fixed several reported bugs involving particles, lighting, and charcoal collection in version 2.1.2. Thanks to everyone who reported these issues to us.

The Sea Caves quest line no longer breaks if you find a quest item before talking to Katie about her quest.

The Long-Awaited Yearbook (cover image selected by backer vote)

What’s going on with the Yearbook

The one unfilled pledge from our 2012 Kickstarter campaign is the Hero-U Yearbook. This contains text and pictures of many of our distinguished Hero-U alumni. The book was substantially completed by Eric Varnes in 2014-2015, but we ran into a snag as a result of running the second crowdfunding campaign in July 2015.

We merged all of the backers from both campaigns into a BackerKit account, and sent out new surveys. This resulted in getting entries from over 200 backers who belong in the Yearbook, but that had been left out of Eric’s version. Unfortunately, the data I gave Eric didn’t include any “key” information such as backer ID’s or email addresses, which made it very difficult to combine the old and new lists, or to spot which backers changed their entry in the later survey.

Last Summer I started working with Steve Coupe to finish the Yearbook. Steve managed to improve the graphics resolution of the original book, but that’s when I discovered that I had never merged the missing entries. By this point, I had multiple spreadsheets, each with a piece of the necessary information to complete the book.

Many delays ensued – preparing for and attending PAX, preparing and running the Summer Daze at Hero-U campaign, family illnesses and caregiving, and this big distraction called COVID-19. Corey planned on hand-merging the data, but that is a daunting task. Then he had the idea of bringing everything into SQL and using database queries to combine the tables, but his last SQL project was 15 years ago.

At this point, our lead Summer Daze developer, Cidney Hamilton, stepped in and offered to take over the data merge. Once she has that done, Corey will work on the exception reports to assign “classes” to the new alumni, resolve conflicts in the Yearbook text, and get the new entry data to Steve for layout.

As you can imagine, all of this will take a while, and we can’t promise a new Yearbook date yet. Our plan is to release the digital version first so that backers will have the opportunity to fix problems with it, then to do the print version. The digital version will be more complete, with only backers who signed up for the print version being listed in that version.

Autographed Bookplates for Game Boxes and Yearbooks

Autographs

A related missing piece is that the physical Yearbooks need to be autographed by the Coles, and we’re also supposed to have autographed premium copies of the game box. Our plan all along was to handle both sets of autographs as “Ex Libris” style stickers that backers may put on the outside of the box, or in the game manual or student handbook. We recommend one of the latter to avoid covering the box art.

Fortunately, most of the backers getting premium boxes are also getting the Yearbook. As shipping is one of our major costs, we’re going to try to enclose the autograph stickers with the Yearbooks, or at least mail out both stickers at once to appropriate backers.

Lori designed the stickers (see above). We’ll get them printed and sign each one individually before sending them out.

Corey Plays Castle of Dr. Brain on Twitch this Saturday

Castle of Dr. Brain Live Stream

We’re doing another Twitch stream this Saturday, 3-5 pm PDT. (That will be Sunday morning in Oceanic time zones.) In previous streams, besides the book reading, we’ve chatted and run games and contests. This one will be a little different as Corey will play through his game, Castle of Dr. Brain, during the stream. You’ll get to see Corey struggle with his own “easy” game. If we have time, Lori will read chapter 14 of By the Book.

Our streaming channel is https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames. Please subscribe and watch the stream on Saturday!

Spaceventure Update #121: Two Guys SpaceVenture

Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your patience in waiting on this update. We know it has been a long time coming.  We’ve been debating on bringing up personal issues due to it sounding like excuses. However, we decided to at least let you all know that Mark and Chris both lost their mothers during a span of time in the last few months. This is not the only reason for a slow update, but we hope you’ll understand that it has played a role in delaying things further. I am happy to report that things are getting back to normal for the team.

For months we have hoped for this update to have a doable release date in it. It took some time for us to get things to a point to where we felt good about a date that seems possible.

First off, where are we on the game right now?

  • All the main scenes of the game are completed, including the intro and ending game sequences
  • Parts of the game are still being properly connected so everything plays from sequence to sequence
  • Parts of the game are going through a polish phase right now
  • Almost all of the VO has been added to the game. There are a few small parts that still need to be added
  • The game still has some missing SFX and music that need to be added.
  • More death sequences are being added
  • Some fun Easter eggs are being added
  • Game credits have not been put in yet, but that is on our radar
  • We will be doing beta testing on a very large scale as soon as we feel we are ready. Backers that backed at a high enough level will receive access to beta testing
  • The save game system is going through a revamp to make things work better and have a bit more polish

Our Gantt chart shows that June is a reachable date so long as everything goes as planned. If June gets close and we feel things continue to run behind, we’ll post another update and let you know. Either way, the game is close and you can look forward to seeing it finally get released soon. We will be releasing the game for digital download in English first and hope to have the localization stuff done in the not too distant future. Once everything is ironed out with the digital downloads, we will be going through getting the physical copies done. Please do not worry about sending us mailing information yet. When we are ready to mail out the physical rewards, we will send out a questionnaire on Kickstarter that will allow you all to update us on that information.

In the last update, we mentioned having video game boxes printed. We got that done and here is a glimpse of some of the boxes stacked up and ready to be folded:

We have two more VO interview videos for you all involving our fantastic cast of voice actors for SpaceVenture. The first video here features actress Melanie Stone(Mythica series fame)https://youtu.be/cLxb5McqHUs

Last up, we have Jake Stormoen, also known for his role on the Mythica series as well as Outpost and Extinct.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYBB2eKRaCw&feature=youtu.be

 As usual, thank you all for your patience as we head to the finish line!

Hero-U Update #120: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption

We’re doing a live stream today on Twitch at 3 pm PDT. Our channel is https://www.twitch.tv/transolargames and the theme is “Go Green” in honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day and Shawn O’Conner’s “Eirish” heritage.

We’ll run live games and contests for Fabulous Prizes, some Q&A, and Lori will read chapter 12 of her Quest for Glory inspired novel “By the Book.”