In May, Transolar Games will start another Kickstarter to raise money to finish the Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption project with extra flair and pizzazz. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will send two demos out to our Kickstarter Backers who wanted to Beta test our game. After initial testing and feedback, we will make both demos available to other backers and the public.
The Break-In House, Redux
Why two demos? The first demo is the opening scene of the game – the Break-in House. We released this same scene originally with different artwork. Now we’ve revamped the artwork and redesigned the interactions in the room to make it more interesting and exciting.
That was then:
BIH Original Trek
This is now:
BIH Next Generation
Shawn and the room are now rendered in 3D. We updated many of the original props for the new version, but they are now 3D rather than the 2-1/2 D of the original Demo.
The new Break-in House Demo doesn’t look like some bright and cheery, bland scene with cutout cartoon characters pasted over it. Now we have a mysterious darkened room full of unknown obstacles and puzzles. The emotional appeal of the room has changed dramatically. We’ve gone from an imitation 90’s Sierra wannabe game to something with its own unique style.
Why is this important? This scene is not just for the demo – It is the opening scene that sets the tone for the rest of the game. And Shawn will return later as part of a critical plot revelation. So “ok” wasn’t good enough for this scene… or the rest of Hero-U.
The Combat Prototype
We originally planned to release a combat demo a few months after the adventure game demo. However, as we began work on it, we discovered that this was a much more complicated exercise. To really show off our combat features, we needed 3D monsters, a much more complex 3D environment, and most of the behind-the-scenes RPG features.
Shawn sneaks quietly through the wine cellar
When you play a game, you see the end result of the coordinated effort of all the team members. To make the combat prototype, we needed:
- The combat system, including effects of skills, abilities, and equipment
- The inventory system with the ability to collect and use items
- Animation for doors, Shawn, and monsters
- The environment, including lighting, obstacles, and special areas
- What happens when Shawn moves behind a wall? How do you see him?
- Messages reflecting combat and other actions
- Music and sound effects
- Much, much more
This was not something we could put together in a month. In fact, we had to put it on hold for many more months until we received character art, hired 3D environment artists, and hired a programmer who understood all the aspects of creating an RPG.
Shawn encounters two Dire Rats and fights for his life
We didn’t want to waste any of this art or programming, so we created an important section of the game – the wine cellar – and populated it with monsters and treasure for the prototype. The specifics will change in the game, but everything we built for the prototype will be used somewhere in the game.
We’re calling this a “prototype” rather than a “demo”, as we plan to refine many aspects of the combat system before we release them as part of Hero-U. Your feedback will be very important to us as we create the game you want to play.
So we say, “Demo Arigato” – Thank you for checking out these demonstrations of our ongoing work on the Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption project!
Great news! Thanks to our impending merger with Blizzard Entertainment, we are happy to announce our ambitious new plan for Hero-U(™): Rogue to Redemption(™).
The new game title is “World of Hero-U(™)”, and asks the question, “In a world full of Rogues, how can one Shawn thrive?” Well, we are guaranteeing success by making every player a Shawn!
Since we determined that Hero-U’s old school, turn-based strategic combat does not take full advantage of the power of Unity3D, World of Hero-U(™) will be a pulse-pounding, massively multiplayer, real-time first person dagger throwing game of legendary proportions.
Besides daggers, new weapons will include the flamethrower, the railgun, and unlimited use of thermonuclear booms, each capable of leveling Sardonia.
We plan to run a modest supplementary Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $25 million in additional development funding, which should carry us most of the way to our new launch date – April 1, 2020.
We are making some fantastic changes to Hero-U in the next few months. We’re in overdrive mode to get the game out this year. But there’s more to releasing a game than writing, coding, debugging, and art. There’s more debugging, for one. Budgeting and marketing also affect schedules.
And Money. Or more precisely, lack of money…
It’s our third year of development and our first Kickstarter money got us through 1 1/2 years of it. We’ve been racking up debt and ransoming our home to bring Rogue to Redemption to you. The game development is going great, but this is a large project and we still have several months before we will be ready to start beta testing.
We promised to create the best possible Adventure Role-playing game we could make. We will keep that promise, but we still need time and funding to do it right. Therefore, we are going to hold another Kickstarter in order to give you the game you deserve – a beautiful, rich, rewarding, and intriguing experience that you will treasure.
With this Kickstarter we need to attract new friends and fans to Rogue to Redemption. At the same time, we want to reward all of our current loyal supporters with treats. We want to thank you for your faith in our abilities and your support.
The first treat is a brand new website design.
A New Look
What’s that? A website design isn’t exactly the sort of treat you were hoping for? Well, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if you were already expecting it!
We’re redesigning the Hero-U site to make it more colorful, inviting, and user friendly. You’ll actually be able to find things you never knew were hiding on this site.
We’ll have regular opinion polls that will determine some of the things that will go into the game. After all, “Rogue to Redemption’ and “Kwirks” were both decided upon by our supporters. We want all of you to feel like you’re part of the Hero-U team.
We are also renaming our Facebook page from “The School for Heroes” to “Hero-U”, since that’s what it is really about. We are increasing our activity on Facebook with more posts, links, and polls to help us improve the game.
Previews of the Premiums
Here on www.hero-u.net, we will showcase the most exciting and special rewards from the original Kickstarter along with the upcoming one.
”The Art of Hero-U” is a virtual book filled with examples of the gorgeous art done by our artists for the game, along with brand-new pieces created especially for this book. You’ll learn more about the art process and the talented people who are making Hero-U a beautiful game. This is just one of the premiums we offer for our Kickstarter backers.
We’re also offering the limited edition boxed edition of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. You’ll see the first preview of the box cover real soon now.
These are just a few of the unique items we will be offering for our fans.
But what about the game, you ask? We have a full team of programmers around the world working night and day to put this together. They are all dedicated, talented, and passionate about making Hero-U great. You’d be amazed to learn just how much better a game can be when it is developed by people who care enough to do their very best. Synergy will make this game extra special.
We’ve recently added another talented 3D artist to the team – Aaron Martin from Australia.
It Has to Be U
So with all of these changes and progress being made on this game, we need your support more than ever. Tell your friends and connections how amazing Hero-U is going to be. Brag about how you have supported us from the days of Hero-Ewe to the days of Hero-Unicorn and encourage people to share the Hero-U experience.
To get this game out, we need all the help you can give to let others know about our upcoming Kickstarter. We’ll need your love and support to get us through the long hours of work and polishing to make this game sparkle. We also want to make sure the game and our message reach as many fans as possible – So many players who loved Quest for Glory still have not heard about Hero-U.
We can’t do this without U.
Every hallowed Hall of Higher Learning and Edifice of Advanced Education competes against other such Bastions of Books and Colleges of Collected Knowledge in order to attract the best and the brightest to enter their ivy-covered corridors. Amidst the throngs of scientists, Paladins, Wizards, and Warriors, there is one individual revered above all by teachers, professors, faculty members and Headmasters – the Alumnus.
Alumni and Benefactors light the lamp of illumination that feeds the needs of schools.
In order to attract wealthy patrons of scholarly studies, schools must have sports teams to attract alumni support. Hero-University is no exception. We have an outstanding Wizard’s Whirl team, an excellent Extreme Obstacle Course team, and a consistently competent combat team.
There is one thing above all that drives sports players to excel and pushes them to win – a team mascot.
Here at Hero-U, we are proud to announce our school symbol of greatness: the Hero-Unicorn.
So for all of you out there who revere Heroism or cheer team accomplishments, we give you a mascot and symbol you can proudly wear on your shirt, your mug, your hat, or your hoodie. Yes, you too, can become one of the University’s greatest resources – an athletic supporter!
See our new line of Hero-Unicorn swag at the Hero-University Store on Café Press.
Greetings and Salutations, All.
This is your intrepid reporter, Rona Gabbler, the Gnome with a nose for news, with an exclusive interview for Hero-News. Today, I’m talking with famed game designer Lori Ann Cole of Transolar Games.
RG: Tell me, Lori, what is your latest project and what is it exactly that you do?
LAC: Right now, I am Writer, Designer, and Creative Director for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption game that we’re developing…
RG: So what sort of game are you talking about? A board game? A Massively Multiplayer Military Maneuver and Mutual Armageddon Pact? A new sport involving trampolines, tomatoes, and tutus?
LAC: Hero-U is a combination Role Playing and Adventure Computer Game…
RG: An Adventure/RPG? Really? Isn’t that like sooo last millennium?
LAC: I think that Adventure/RPGs are timeless classics. The art styles of older games like Quest for Glory might look dated, but the stories and emotional appeal touch people of all ages and lands.
RG: Yeah, but this is the 21st Century – we’re into fancy graphics, explosions, and instant gratification. What makes you think that anyone would even look twice at Hero-U?
LAC: Well, for one thing, the art is gorgeous. For another, it appeals to people who love mysteries. magic, and heroes…
RG: Heroes? You mean like Captain American, Thor, and Tony Stark? Weren’t they just adorable in their latest movies? Such Hunks…
LAC: Hero-U isn’t about superheroes. It’s the story of a young man learning who he is and what he wants to do with his future…
RG: Is he a hunk?
LAC: Not particularly…
RG: Well then, what’s the point? Who wants to play Joe-Shmoe with no superpowers or abs of steel?
LAC: For one thing, it’s set in a haunted castle full of intrigue. It’s about the importance of family and friends…
RG: Oh, so a Game of Thrones sort of thing where the hero has a wedding to kill off all his rivals and relatives in order to be crowned king?
RG: Okay, so is it a case where all the other characters are found dead in gruesome but mysterious ways, the hero falls in love with the beautiful young Gnome woman with the tragic past, and the butler did it?
RG: Does it even have a Gnome in it?
RG: There you have it, Folks. Sounds like Lori Ann Cole and her team are creating a unique game unlike anything ever done before. I’m sure it will be something special even if it doesn’t have Gnomes in it. Or Superheroes… Or hunks…
This is Hero-Nues reporter, Rona Gabbler, keeping you up to date with all the latest and greatest news you need to know.
Until next time, remember, if you want news, you want Gnomes!