Hero-U Project Update #52: Teaming With Talent

Tobiah Marks recently asked me to do a podcast for his “Be Indie Now” web series. For some insight into the indie development side of the Hero-U project, check out the result at http://www.tobiahmarks.com/2014/04/be-indie-now-24-hero-u-rogue-redemption/ or visit Tobiah’s site at www.BeIndieNow.com to learn about other indie game projects.

In case you missed it, Lori and I were also on Up at Noon with Greg Miller in February. You can view the show at http://www.ign.com/videos/2014/02/17/persona-4-meets-dungeons-dragons-hero-u-on-up-at-noon.

Chaos Can Be Cool

When Lori and I started working with Sierra in the late 1980’s, the company was very informal. We didn’t sit down in a conference room for meetings – There were no conference rooms. Instead, two or three of us would stroll on the roof of the building or around the parking lot until we knew how to solve the issue of the day.

A few years later, Sierra set up a one-day training session to help the middle managers to work better with our teams. I had been promoted to Programming Manager for the educational game group, so was invited to the workshop. For one of the exercises, the trainer took each of the team leaders aside and instructed us in the management style we should use. I was the Authoritarian manager – My assignment was to dictate every detail of the project and brush off any suggestions. The second team leader was Democratic – She was told to listen to the team and then direct the project. The final team was Laissez Faire – The team leader was to dither and not make any suggestions, nor do anything to promote the team members working together. It was pure anarchy.

The expected winner was of course the Democratic team, one in which there was solid leadership, but everyone had some agency. The *actual* winner on both technical and artistic criteria was the Anarchist team. The trainer was astonished. He said he had been running these workshops for over 20 years, and the Laissez Faire teams never won; they fell into chaos and got nothing accomplished. Why was our workshop different?

I looked at the trainer and said, “Anarchy? That’s pretty much the way we make all our games here. We thrive on chaos!”

Anarchy might not be ideal for getting a game out the door, but it does promote agency and creativity by every team member.

All Around the World

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption development is far more challenging than developing our games at Sierra. We didn’t start with a multi-million-dollar development environment hand-tuned for making adventure games. We don’t have any full-time team members because the budget doesn’t allow for them. Communication is sometimes difficult because our team members are located all around the world – Australia, Virginia, Florida, Connecticut, Washington, and several locations in California. How could we all work together effectively?

Sometimes the answer is unfortunately, “We can’t.” In those cases, we’ve dropped team members or they’ve left on their own. And sometimes we have temporary issues because long-distance communication is hard. We decided to use a multi-tiered approach to keeping everyone on the team “on the same page”.

The Sierra workshop provided part of the answer – If each team member is highly talented and motivated, we can trust them to do their parts of the job well and to infuse them with their own creativity and talent.

We are also taking advantage of several network technologies that didn’t exist in the 1990’s. We have two weekly team meetings via Google+ Video Chat. One is mostly for the artists, and one for programmers, but everyone is invited to both meetings. We use Google Drive and Dropbox to share documents, and Trello to track project tasks. Occasionally team members phone us with specific questions. For anything less urgent, we send email either to specific team members or to the entire team.

Down in the DungeonDown in the Dungeon

Agents for Good

Our approach is inefficient – I would never recommend it for a manufacturing operation. But it is workable for creating an original computer game. One of our artists remarked recently that he is really enjoying the sense of “agency” and creative freedom he has on Hero-U, as well as the lack of deadline pressure.

Yes, we could ship the game sooner if we insisted on tight deadlines, but we do not think that approach leads to great games or good team morale. Lori and I gave talks on “The Fun Factor” at early game developer conferences. One of our points was that the team must have fun – The attitude of the team comes through in the final game.

As it is, our team members frequently surprise and delight us with the little unscripted touches they have added to their work. John Paul Selwood painted an unexpected magical plant that we did not specify in one of the school offices. It is a perfect Easter Egg in the game, and I will have a great time writing descriptive text and player actions for it. Our latest art team member, Chris Willis, is doing a fabulous job imparting the right mood and detail into the Catacombs and other underground areas of the school. Paul Bowers and Eric Varnes have done a fantastic job creating backer portraits that will add to the game instead of being obtrusive.

We are basing an entire dungeon area on work from one of our high-tier backers. If we implemented his entire scenario, it would be a game by itself, so we adapted selected portions of his design to fit into Hero-U. This collaborative approach adds more richness to the game than we could invent by ourselves, and is stronger because we can adapt everyone’s work to fit our overall design framework.

Does the development approach affect the experience of playing the game? Yes, it does, absolutely! Read “How Music Works” by David Byrne (of the “Talking Heads” musical band) for some insight on how the environments of the performers and listeners/players change the music/game experience.

Agency, creativity, collaboration – A game is stronger when many creative minds are free to do their best work… as long as someone is there to make sure all of those great assets work together consistently.

Portrait of a Hero-U BackerPortrait of a Hero-U Backer

Some Other Great Projects

Two of our favorite artist/writers – Phil and Kaja Foglio – are in the final days of a Kickstarter project to print the latest volume of their wonderful Girl Genius graphic novels. Consider supporting their creative efforts at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl. Girl Genius 13 has met its funding goal, but has some nice stretch goals.

Mark of the Old Ones (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1168767162/mark-of-the-old-ones-a-metroidvanian-adventure) is more of an action game than a graphic adventure, but we think it is worth supporting. The art is luscious, intriguing, and beautiful; and the concept and story line are original and intriguing. The tentacle-based game play should make an interesting variation on traditional run/jump/shoot platformers. Mark of the Old Ones has received a little over half its goal with one week to go, so it will need some extra support.

Jane Jensen, the creator and lead designer of Gabriel Knight, has completed Moebius, her first Kickstarter-backed adventure game. Read more about the project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1005365109/jane-jensens-pinkerton-road-2012-2013-csg/posts/811469. This update tells you where you can buy the game and get a nice discount.

Incidentally, Gabriel Knight 3 contained one of the most infamous puzzles in adventure game history (unfortunately overshadowing the wonderful writing and better puzzles in the rest of the game and series). I’m spoofing it in one of the Hero-U puzzles just because I can.

Quest for Infamy, a project inspired by our own Quest for Glory series, announced a release date in its latest update (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1992695780/quest-for-infamy-an-adventure-game-by-infamous-que/posts/827735). The game sounds fun. Creator Steven Alexander is an active and influential voice in support of adventure gaming. He deserves our support.

More Hero-U Resources

In case you missed it, here are some other places you can read about and continue to support Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

Thank you so much for your continuing belief and support of our efforts to make the world a little more Heroic, one game at a time.

Space Venture Project Update #95: May 1st Update: Sound design for the Nostrodomus explosion

Hey everyone! We are super excited about all the positive feedback involving the last update, which featured Nurb’s Landing. I’m really hoping to show you some more epic scenes like that in the near future.

Before I get into the goings on I wanted to say this. Just so everyone knows, we are working on a delivery date. We are not ready to give one yet. Please continue to be patient. Many people have made it VERY clear in our comments that they want to know when the game will be released. Don’t think for a second we aren’t aware of that.

Please just stay tuned. We know some of you are frustrated. We are working as hard and fast as we can, but are also pushing for a very high quality product that we know you’re gonna love. On the flip side, we are very focused and will NOT let anyone or anything cause us to put out a half baked product. The dates we are considering for release may not be as far out as some of you think. As you can imagine, we have one shot to make an amazing game. SpaceVenture will set the bar on quality for future games we try to release, and we aim to make it great and to leave you all wanting more!

The last couple of weeks we have made progress on some pretty cool things. A major push on Ace animations have been made as of late and we can now animate Ace doing everything from climbing walls and tip toeing around corners to dancing gangnam style if we want! We’ve also made major progress on some tricky puzzle work in the game. The Saving/Loading system for SpaceVenture has also gotten some love and it’s coming together nicely.

Ken Allen, composer from Space Quest 4 along with many other Sierra titles, not to mention our sound engineer and music composer for SpaceVenture has put together some really cool stuff for me to share with you on this update!

Remember this explosion scene we showed you awhile back?

http://youtu.be/5uBeGuvV07cKen spent some of his own personal time putting together a video of himself walking everyone through how he went about doing the sound design for that scene. This video is very informative and gives you a look into how he goes about picking the right sounds for the different scenes in the game.

We hope you enjoy his little tutorial! 🙂

http://youtu.be/GVyn79ThdtgThanks for all of your support everyone!

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

SpaceVenture Project Update #94: Apr. 16th Update: Introducing Nurb’s Landing

Hello backer buddies, got a fun update for you on a major part of SpaceVenture coming together.

WELCOME TO NURB’S LANDING

Nurb’s Landing is a small outpost built into an alcove of a large asteroid floating among other large islands of fractured planet. You’ll be visiting this area to help Ace out with some parts needed for a ship he’ll be working on. This area of the game also features a “local watering hole” in which Ace can visit and get caught up with some of his friends. Nurb’s has been on Mark and Scott’s radar since the beginning and along with game play, there’s a lot of great script comedy that will happen.

As for the artwork you see here, things are still in the works, it’s not 100% polished, but its in a state for us to show you at least. To be honest though, Mr. Mark Crowe is never happy even when things are finalized artwork wise, but with enough begging, he finally agreed to let this one out in the open. 🙂 The background rock formations for example will be updated to match the rest of the artwork in the game.

This is a part of the game that I know you are all gonna love. It will give you that “Monolith Burger” and “Galaxy Galleria Mall” kinda feel! Another cool piece of info about this area in the game is you’ll get to revisit it when you want for the most part. We want certain locations in the game to have a free roam kinda feel like you had in Space Quest 3 and 4. As a side note, some of our backer easter eggs will be happening here as well.

We also wanted to share a little of the concept art that got put together before hand to let you see how it all started. The below image was the very first rough concept drawing Mark did of Nurb’s landing. It was done while he sat at a bar on the back of a napkin.. okay not really. 😉

After we got the concept art to look at, a mockup was put together to get a feel for the walkable areas. These mockups come in handy when it comes time to create the more polished version of the artwork for the scene.

Although the inside of Nurb’s is in the works, I wanted to also show you another early piece of concept art. Keep in mind this is over a year old, whether or not Mark will allow me to show the polished artwork for this.. well we’ll see. 😉

Nurb himself is actually a full blown 3D model. We have a video showing off Nurb that I’m hoping to show you all eventually as well, so stay tuned for that!

JANE JENSEN’S MOEBIUS IS OUT

If you haven’t already heard, Sierra alumni Jane Jensen has just released her Kickstarter funded game, Moebius! Published by Phoenix Online Studios.

20% OFF COUPON

Phoenix Online Publishing has also been kind enough to offer you all a 20% off coupon to buy Moebius through their online store. Just visit http://store.postudios.com/ and use this code: 2GUYSMOEB20OFF

THE SIERRA CHEST

We wanted to give out a special plug for The Sierra Chest website. It is packed FULL of everything there is to know about Sierra On-Line. Visit http://SierraChest.com

EPISODE 12 OF THE BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN

“The wait is over! (You WERE waiting, right?) This is the 12th and final episode of this season of The Space Quest Historian. Yes, we’re doing seasons now. The podcast will be going on a short hiatus while season 2 is being planned. Stay tuned on Twitter @SpaceQuestNet and on www.spacequesthistorian.com for information on the new season. But for now, settle back and enjoy a very special season finale featuring some very special guests – including return appearances from SteveBot, Chuck Clusterbluck and Pete Toleman. And a bunch of other people (thank you, everyone!). And of course we will be continuing Josh Henry’s epic tale of Sierra fandom heroism, as read by the author himself. And also a very special treat: A 1,000 word excerpt of a new long-form Space Quest fan fiction story, written by Akril, and read by the great Joe Cassara – it’s a Space Quest Historian Exclusive! Thank you for listening, everyone, and I will see you around the chronostream!”

LISTEN IN ITUNES or THE RSS FEED HERE

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

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

SpaceVenture Project Update #92: Mar. 16th Update: Anti-Gravity Puzzle Spewing Action Teaser

Good day backer buddies! This update is going to be short and sweet since the last couple of weeks have been a continuation of a lot of the same focus points I mentioned in the previous update. We are still knee deep in a major scene that is actually three scenes and puzzles in one.

I did want to share a small and funny clip with you though. This is something that Mark Crowe put together after spending hours upon hours working on a scene in which Ace is dealing with an anti-gravity puzzle situation.

http://youtu.be/M_1oShIT77kNow please note that this isn’t polished and Ace isn’t gonna be spewing like that in the real game. This was just something funny put together because of some frustration Mark was having while working on this scene and we thought we’d share it. It will be part of the blooper reel for the game when it’s released 🙂

If you’re wondering when the game will be available, we don’t have an estimated date yet, but please see this update for more details on why that is.

EPISODE 10 OF THE BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN

Settle in with a nice glass of whatever’s-your-poison and relax to the soothing voice of professional radio announcer Joe Cassara reading excerpts from the Space Quest fan fiction novels written around 1997-1998 by Daniel Stacey (Mage’s Initiation, King’s Quest II and III VGA) and the Historian himself … oh, and Pete Toleman gives it a go, too. Prepare for horror. There’s also news from the Andromedan Bunker, straight from the lips of that sexy beast, the Space Pope. And we conclude with our last and final and ultimate part of the fireside chat between the gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen. Stay tuned for Part II and check out www.spacequesthistorian.com for links to the PDF’s of the novels.

LISTEN IN ITUNES or THE RSS FEED HERE

OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO OUR BUDDIES AT INFAMOUS QUESTS

Their Sierra Style “Quest for Infamy” game is looking epic! Check out the teaser trailer below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8HmIJpHudo#t=40You can get more info at their website: http://www.infamous-quests.com/

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

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

Hero-U Project Update #50: Irish You Were Here At Hero-U

Next Monday is St. Patrick’s Day. People celebrate it in the U.S. by eating corned beef and cabbage, wearing something green, drinking green beer, and singing Irish songs. We celebrate by eating; Lori added Irish soda bread this year. We are also singing, but then we do that whenever we can. (We don’t actually drink beer, sorry.)

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption has a touch of the green as well. Shawn O’Conner has an Irish name, and that’s an important part of his back-story. We set both Quest for Glory and Hero-U in worlds based on Earth geography, sort of a parallel planet to our own. In the game, you can help Shawn learn more about his forgotten childhood and family heritage.

Irish You Were BeerIrish You Were Beer

 Corey and Lori on IGN’s Up at Noon with Greg Miller

Last month Lori and I visited the IGN offices in San Francisco to talk about Hero-U on the Up at Noon webcast. Check out the results at http://www.ign.com/videos/2014/02/17/persona-4-meets-dungeons-dragons-hero-u-on-up-at-noon. We had a lot of fun doing the show and meeting Greg, Kristine, and some of the IGN crew.

Also in February, we managed to mail out all of the collectibles reward packages to backers except for posters and paintings. If you backed at the $125 tier or higher (except the $175 all-digital tier), you should now have your toy meep. If you backed at $200 or higher, we also sent you a t-shirt or baseball cap. We plan to send out the posters and canvas art later this year, and the boxed games when they are ready (probably late 2014).

Web Site Update

Lori and I took some time away from game writing to improve the Hero-U web site (www.hero-u.net). The new site includes in-progress art and music, the long-awaited Backers Page, and two new store pages.

By the way, if you do *not* want to be listed on the Backers page, please say that in a note to support@hero-u.net. Everyone is there currently because you are all part of our community and inspiration for making the Hero-U games.

The Hero-U Pre-Order Page

At http://www.hero-u.net/hero_u_preorder.html, those who missed the Kickstarter can pre-order Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Currently we have three all-digital tiers:

  • $22 buys Basic Admission – The downloadable game when it is ready
  • $38 buys Audio-Visual Extras – The game, digital art book, and sound track
  • $60 buys Premium Course Materials – All of the above, plus access to Beta versions as they come out, and the digital Yearbook with additional game information, illustrations, and an introduction to many of the other students at Hero-U.

Limited Edition Collectibles Page

The new Limited Edition Hero-U Collectibles page (http://www.hero-u.net/hero_u_collect.html) is the place to capture some of the collectible items we have left from our Kickstarter campaign:

  • $35 for a blue Meep plush toy
  • $30/$35 for a t-shirt with the Scott Flanders “Rogue’s Last Stand” design
  • $30 for a red embroidered Hero-U baseball cap designed by Lori
  • $10 for a “Team Meep” key ring and tag designed by Lori with the Eriq Chang Hero-U logo

The first two items are limited to stock on hand (about 350 Meeps and 50 t-shirts, mostly size L and XL). I plan to order more key tags, and possibly caps, if we have demand for them.

Please tell your friends about the game and the new www.hero-u.net site. Every purchase and pre-order helps us finish Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

Marching On

We are making a lot of forward progress on Hero-U. Our artists have created most of the game scenes and props. They have painted customized images for everyone with a yearbook picture, in-game painting, or “school spirit”. The programmers have put together many of the scenes and are working on the combat interface and simulation. Lori and I still have a lot of writing to do as we gradually build up the game, in between directing the team and handling the many details (such as filing tax reports, answering email, and posting here and on www.hero-u.net) involved in running a small business.

Next up for our “insider backers” ($175 and up) will be a sneak peek at the combat system. Jonathan has been working on the interface and I am developing a simulator to help us balance stats, tactics, and special abilities.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we work to get every detail right in Hero-U. This game will have a different feel than anything else out there, and that is only possible thanks to your support.

The Magic Classroom (In-Game Screenshot)The Magic Classroom (In-Game Screenshot)

SpaceVenture Project Update #91: Mar. 1st Update: Sneak Peek Pipes Puzzle Madness

Hello ladies and gents! It’s time for another look at how things have been going in the last couple of weeks on SpaceVenture. The SpaceVenture team has been moving forward quite nicely as of late. We had quite a few bug fixes that got taken care of, and we also made a lot of progress on a major scene in the game. This particular scene has taken almost a month just to get all the artwork and animations in order. Starting Monday, we’ll be breaking ground on the puzzle part of it! You know, the part that makes it tricky and fun to figure out! 🙂

AN UPDATE ON THE PIPES PUZZLE

So I told you all in a previous update and a rewards diary entry (if you can’t view that diary entry and you are a $30 and up backer please email pcj@andromedanpost.com) that I had the pleasure of working on a puzzle we have dubbed, “The Pipes Puzzle”. (I personally want to add “OF DOOM” to the end of that, but that didn’t fly) It has been in the works for about a month now, and I’m happy to report that it’s almost complete. We’re gonna give you a sneak peak in a video below. But before watching the video, here’s some info on how it came about.

My part in the puzzle was to handle all the events that happened in the background in order to make the puzzle function correctly. After that was all working, Mark Crowe gave it a beautiful face lift that made it have a darker more Sci-Fi convincing feel. Ken Allen has been hard at work rigging up sounds effects. Although most of his recent sound effects aren’t in the video, and there isn’t any music at this time. But you will get to hear a few sounds in the video. Soon, Scott Murphy will be jumping in to add his hilarious dialog to all the objects in the scene.

Originally this scene had ladders that Ace would climb to go up and down, but during one of our weekly team meetings, Scott Murphy brought up the great idea to add a Jetsons style tube system. The next day Mark had the assets put in and we got it rigged up and working. Please note that the scene you’ll see in the below video is a work in progress and we have taken out a few things that are a bit too spoilery, but I think you guys will like what you’ll see.

As a side note, the player UI (the icons) are also not what you’ll be seeing in the actual game, so please hold off on any feedback on those. We’re planning something very intuitive for our UI system that I think you’ll all love. More input on that in a future update.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bKqU21oqyE&feature=youtu.beIf you’re wondering when the game will be available, we don’t have an estimated date yet, but please see this update for more details on why that is.

THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN PODCAST 

The Space Quest Historian took a couple of weeks off due to some unforeseen circumstance this time around, but below is the most recent episode if you haven’t already listened to it.

EPISODE 9 – Something happened last week that put this week’s planned podcast topic on hold. Well, that, and some unforeseen complications. So this podcast is all about the freeware game Serena and what a very special collaborative experience it was making for and by the adventure gaming community. We’ve also got some startling news from Pete Toleman, who was last seen fleeing from some rather unsavory types and who had a Kickstarter out to save his company; the amazing Chris Pope regales us with some more news about the SpaceVenture; and, to cap everything off, we’ve got the fine gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen, with part 2 of their New Year’s chat. It’s a very special episode, unlike all the other episodes which weren’t special at all.

NOW IN ITUNES or RSS FEED HERE

 OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY  

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole  

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

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

SpaceVenture Project Update #90: Feb. 16th Update: Mmmmm Soylent Smoothee and epic explosions!

Hi out there to all of our wonderful backer folks. It’s time for our bi-monthly SpaceVenture update! First off, things are moving along really well right now. We have made a good deal of progress in getting certain scenes close to the finish line. Multiple game puzzle sequences have also been completed in the past two weeks, including the crazy pipes puzzle I mentioned in the last update.

As a side note, I posted some more information about that scene in a developer diary on the SpaceVenture Rewards website for you $30 and up backers. Don’t forget that all the developer diaries will be available to all backers once the game is shipped. You can check out that post HERE. WARNING: If you can’t log onto the rewards website, please contact pcj@andromedanpost.com

I have a couple of cool things to show you today, one of which you might be able to help us come up with some funny content for.

INTRODUCING THE WONDERFUL TASTINESS THAT IS A SOYLENT SMOOTHEE!

We’d love for you to help us come up with 101 uses for a frosty cup of Soylent Smoothee! Some of the best lines might just get mentioned in SpaceVenture itself 😉

Submit your comments HERE

Another thing I’d like to show you involves a certain ship that we’ve already introduced you to in the demo. Warning, this may be a little spoilery! It’s no secret that people are trying to escape the ship called Nostrodomus right in the intro of the game. See here:

Well we’ve been sitting on this epic explosion scene for quite some time now, but recently our Principal Composer and Sound Designer Ken Allen put some SFX on the scene to make it even more epic! See video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KACC_-B3608&feature=youtu.beIf you’re wondering when the game will be available, we don’t have an estimated date yet, but please see this update for more details on why that is.

EPISODE 9 OF THE BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN

Something happened last week that put this week’s planned podcast topic on hold. Well, that, and some unforeseen complications. So this podcast is all about the freeware game Serena and what a very special collaborative experience it was making for and by the adventure gaming community. We’ve also got some startling news from Pete Toleman, who was last seen fleeing from some rather unsavory types and who had a Kickstarter out to save his company; the amazing Chris Pope regales us with some more news about the SpaceVenture; and, to cap everything off, we’ve got the fine gentlemen of rock, Brandon Blume and Ken Allen, with part 2 of their New Year’s chat. It’s a very special episode, unlike all the other episodes which weren’t special at all.

 OTHER SIERRA ALUMNI PROJECTS

The amazing Josh Mandel / Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Jane Jensen’s Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio / GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the Quest for Glory designers – Corey Cole and Lori Cole

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen  

Thanks for all of your support everyone!

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

Hero-U Project Update #49: Further Fulfillment Fun

Well, it’s been an exciting couple of weeks here at Hero-U HQ.  With some serious help from Ken and Sue at Pugsly’s Trading Post, I managed to mail out about 3/4 of the “soft goods” packages. Then we ran out of one type of box, while having about 150 extra of another type.  Somehow I missed that lecture in applied post office mathematics.

We also ran into a slight snag with t-shirts, leading to a reorder.  So here’s the scoop:

  • If your tier rewards were exactly one meep toy and a Hero-U baseball cap, we probably haven’t mailed them yet. They should go out next week.
  • If you requested an XXL or XXXL t-shirt, your package is also likely to be delayed until next week. I think we were also short on about five other shirts.
Hero-U Key RingHero-U Key Ring

Missed Out?  Perhaps Not…

If you feel sad that you missed your chance to own an authentic piece of Hero-U history, Lori and I have decided  to make the Rogue to Redemption Softwear Collection available for a little longer.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with the 400 or so meep toys crowding our garage.  Still, they are really cute, and we’d hate to find out the bats ate them all.

Until we add our pre-order store to the Hero-U web site, you may use the Donate button at www.hero-u.net/KS-store to purchase meep toys or the whole soft goods set.  (Why a “Softwear Collection”?  When Lori and I married, I had her wedding dress sent to Olivetti, where I worked.  I told the dressmaker to send it to the “Software Dept.”, which she wrote as “Softwear”.  The company had a policy of inspecting all incoming packages, and I was much mocked for my apparent taste in women’s clothing.  Lest you think, “Oooh, fancy, custom wedding dress!”, well it was… from a stall at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.)

Rogue to Redemption Softwear CollectionRogue to Redemption Softwear Collection

Our price list:

  • Meep 8″ plush toy or T-Shirt or Cap – $30 + shipping, add $5 more to also get a key ring
  • The Softwear Collection:  Meep toy plus Hero-U t-shirt, baseball cap, and a key ring – $85 + shipping.  Add $5 for each additional key ring and $25 for each additional soft item. Make sure you specify your t-shirt size (S / M / L / XL / XXL / XXXL).
  • US/Canada/Mexico shipping – $5 First Class (Meep only) or $10 Priority Mail (either).  US customers also please add 8% Sales Tax on the product (not shipping) cost.
  • Worldwide shipping – For either item, $20 First Class or $40 Priority Mail.  You may also be subject to VAT when you receive the shipment.  (First Class is much more reasonably priced, but can take several weeks.  Priority Mail should arrive within one week.)
  • Make sure you send your order details, your full name, mailing address, and (if you’re getting the Collection) t-shirt size to support@hero-u.net when you order.  Phone number is also helpful for our international customers.

Our profits on these sales will all go into completing the development of Hero-U.  If you have any questions, send email to support@hero-u.net

Shawn’s New Moves

Last night we received the first set of animation for Shawn from Concept Art House.  We’re very excited about finally getting to see him move around in 3D in the game.

We have an art meeting every Tuesday, usually the first time Lori and I see some of the new creations.  It’s getting more amazing every week!  The artists have especially had fun with some of the crazier requests for in-game portraits.  Wizard about to be eaten by a bear, anyone? Or the… well, that would be telling!

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone – This is the year of the Horse. To honor that tradition, there will be a horse in Rogue to Redemption. Of course, it’s a horse of a different color – It has been dead for decades. We could say more, but that would be beating a dead horse.