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Check out our new and improved website at Hero-U.com.

Kickstarter is Almost Live

Well, the good news is that we finished setting up the Kickstarter just in time to launch at 12:30 this morning.

The bad news is that I learned that Kickstarter needs to now approve the project before I can launch it. It’s “in their queue”. So we don’t know the actual launch date or time.

In the meantime, you can preview the project using this link:
Hero-U Preview on Kickstarter

Please post comments here. Let us know what you think of the layout, features, rewards, any typos, etc. so we can improve the page before it goes live.

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Comments

  1. Caz Says:

    Awesome. In my opinion, Raistlin and Soth are the best characters in that franchise. Of course, a great deal of what made me like Soth was actually in Ravenloft, not Dragonlance, but this whole comment is a digression. Suffice it to say, Raistlin sounds like a perfect archetype to keep in mind.

  2. Corey Says:

    @Caz: To tell the truth, we haven’t put much thought into that yet – When Lori and I worked on the Mage story in 2010, we just did the main line. But you’re right, we will definitely need alternative story options and fates for every character class.

    An interesting approach was Raistlin in the Dragonlance series. He is a very complex character with elements of good and evil as the result of his trials to become a powerful Wizard. He is also extremely physically weak, but magically powerful. We won’t duplicate his story, of course, but that degree of complexity is something we will want to get with our Wizard character.

  3. Caz Says:

    Another question, since it seem less likely to get lost here than in the massive comment thread on Kickstarter; I see in the project description that we will get the option during the story of choosing between being more of a Hero and more of a Thief, will that (wonderful) narrative flexibility continue throughout the series, with Fighters and Mages also having the capacity to drive their story toward less than heroic versions of their class, i.e. some version of the prematurely game ending choice (but preferably not also a game ending one) offered to Magic Users in a certain section of Trial by Fire?

  4. Speedster Says:

    I see the platform support added to the front page now as a FAQ — it could be a good strategy grouping Linux in with the Android and IOS support, since all three put together have a broad enough base that windows gamers will not be likely to claim that cross-platform support is worthless, and clearly Linux is the easiest to support of the three :)

  5. Speedster Says:

    What SD said… and in particular a plea not to make Linux support look like a huge big deal in itself, which can bring out the worst in a few windows-using backers who ruin the normal community among fellow backers by making it Us-vs-Them. There was a flame war going early on in the Project Eternity thread where a few people were vigorously asserting that every dollar must go towards making the game as perfect as possible for the majority Windows users — supporting Linux would be an almost criminal waste of money. That kind of remark finally stopped after the voice of authority (Project Eternity devs) announced that Linux cost was negligible once they had chosen Unity to ensure Mac support, and took it off the stretch goal list.

    In contrast, Jane Jensen stuck Linux support in as part of the lowest stretch goal at $100k above base, and nobody got at all grumpy about it to begin with.

  6. Andhaira Says:

    @Corey Thank you for the informative reply Corey dear. I’ve also read your interview on RPGCodex and that clears some things up. :) Now that I think about it, it sounds quite charming that you will detail every game to a single class.

    However, I still do not know if we will only play as a rogue in this game, or will we be able to select other classes? From the interview, it appears we only play rogues with rogue like skills, plus certain ‘electives’ i.e. cross class skills, but nothing major from other classes.

    Is this correct?

    No worries ofcourse, I am supporting this game 100% all the way in any case!

    Regards

  7. The SD Clan Says:

    Corey –

    You’re correct about Unity for Linux not being technically out… but, it’s already kind of “out”. That is, out in the sense that we can buy a native Linux Unity3D game right now (Rochard, as mentioned before). It’s a solid & somewhat graphically-intensive 3D puzzle-platformer available *right* now on Linux. That’s not as “out” as it gets, but close. Also, it means that Unity Technologies is waiting for something before releasing it officially, and that what they have is capable of building real games right now.

    Regarding your license woes, it turns out that’s not the case! :-)

    Only developers who are actually deploying/publishing for all platforms need a Linux or mobile license. Everyone else can work using a normal Unity Pro license, which I believe is $1500 per seat, regardless of the platform on which you actually release. So, I would assume that $1500/dev for Unity Pro is already a sunk cost.

    From what I’ve read of other studios’ experiences, you only really need one Linux deployment/publishing license for one build machine to theoretically produce all test builds (IIRC, software licences for that one box would be about $6K to get you Linux, Android and iOS export).

    Realistically, you may want at a couple of deployment/publishing seats, but that should handily help you keep costs down.

    Of course, UI/design considerations are not something I can comment on… the game is your heads, not mine! Most games ported to Linux use an identical UI to the Windows version (as I’ve observed on Torchlight, Neverwinter Nights, Psychonauts, and dozens of others), but designer’s discretion definitely reigns, here! We tend to use mouse and keyboard like all other desktop OS’s, so your normal Windows UI will be just fine. Mobile, of course, requires a complete UI redesign, and tons of testing, so I see where a large additional cost is incurred.

    At any rate, I don’t want to push you at all, I just want to provide good information! I’m passionate about the platform, and I’m thrilled to see you give us the time of day. It means a lot! While it’s not the biggest platform, in terms of adoption, we have the biggest hearts, and you can measure them with a dollar sign πŸ˜€ The Humble Bundles have shown that by a wide margin, and they are a good approximation of Kickstarter activity, because KS is a, essentially, a hybrid between philanthropy and a business investment. In the wider world of games, Linux support may not be as important commercially, but on Kickstarter, I’ve seen it be important in getting a game funded.

    For a developer, that may feel like a bit of a Faustian bargain, and so I understand the stretch goal, but it will be difficult for me to “rally our troops” until they feel like they’re actually going to be funding a game for their plaform. Those that are already fans will pledge, even if that meants gifting the game key when it arrives (something I may, myself, do if it turns out that the KS is funded below $550K). I think that is where Speedster and I are coming from, in terms of the stretch; we’ve seen platform expansion stretch goals work best when coupled with some sort of content expansion (that way everyone gets something).

    Otherwise, you end up with some backers actively lobbying against the stretch goal (no joke) because they perceive that it will weaken the game. Carmageddon had that problem, as did others, and by the time projects like Shadowrun Online, and the now-legendary Project Eternity came about, we saw project creators offering content plus a port. I perceive Linux as being a straightforward desktop port, with a (near) identical control scheme. Also, the community definitely appreciates game vendors testing across a number of distributions, but the problem there is that your toolchain is only guaranteed to work on Ubuntu. So, you’re swimming upstream a bit, and going “off the ranch” may put you in an unsupportable position with Unity Technologies. That’s why I’m advocating a lower stretch goal for a modest content expansion plus one port added on, specifically supporting exactly what Unity supports. This pattern has worked really well on a number of projects (I can, of course, provide references on demand ;-). Again, I’m not a Ubuntu advocate, but a Linux gamer who is well used to having to get a game working in on my own rig which was originally intended to work on Red Hat (Fedora actually) or Ubuntu. It can be a hassle, but it’s enormously better than paying into a software ecosystem I’d prefer not to participate in (software for Windows) plus the hassle of Wine, with no guarantees. So, it’s a matter of trying to make my dollars count.

    I’m afraid that I’ve now written several long-winded novels on your poor comment thread here, and have dominated the conversation. Mea culpa. I’ll try to keep any further dialogue, in detail, to e-mails only. This is the last I’ll write of it here; in my defense, I didn’t feel that this conversation should go to this level of detail over at Kickstarter. It’s crucial that the mood be kept light and cheerful over there, to keep the momentum. I hope you’ll both swing by there as frequently as possible to shoot the breeze with your backers… Obsidian did that at Project Eternity, and it added immensely to the experience!

  8. Speedster Says:

    I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to “do it right” with respect to Linux support, but technically picking more than 2 distributions to support as a small team would likely overkill. As SD mentions, just supporting Ubuntu would even go a long way. Much bigger companies than you have picked either RedHat/Centos or Ubuntu as “supported” and anything beyond that is up to the ingenuity of the user. If they can’t make it work on Linux distro X, they are free to install the supported distro on a spare partition — or possibly inside a virtual machine image, given that your game does not have high graphics requirements!

    Dual-booting between different Linux distributions is actually pretty common, for Linux users who are advanced enough to not just default to Ubuntu, and now that many Indie developers have settled on Unity 4 as cross-platform solution… Linux gamers are going to make sure they have at least one partition that works well with Unity 4.

  9. Corey Says:

    Caz: We broke all the formulas when we made Quest for Glory. There is no progress without taking risks! Check out my Quest Log on http://www.theschoolforheroes.com/questlog for more about that philosophy. :-)

    Linux, tablet, iPhone, and Android support is planned for the first stretch goal at $550K. We won’t add that to the project updates until we get over $250K.

    Here’s some more detail on why it’s a stretch goal (from a private message I sent to a Linux fan):

    There is a lot of hope for Linux. :-) It will be a stretch goal, and one we hope to make. Even if we don’t make it as a stretch goal, we will try to add Linus support after the Windows version is done.

    Our challenges: Unity has promised a Linux port, but I don’t think it’s available yet. Unity charges a large per-target-platform license fee – I think its $1,500 *per developer*, so adds up fast. We may need to customize the user interface for Linux, and we definitely will need to test the game on a variety of Linux builds.

    If it were not for the challenges, we would simply say, “Of course we’re supporting Linux!” up front. But we certainly hope to be able to get that done.

  10. The SD Clan Says:

    Corey,

    Hey, thanks for the vote of confidence on Linux! I’ve worked, as a backer, with dozens of successful Kickstarter project creators to help them “suss out” their Linux strategies. In general, the best choice is to choose a target distribution, support it & support it well. The community is well-used to repurposing a build from one distribution and getting it to work well on another. From the demo shots of your game, I doubt you’ll have too much difficulty having a top-down, tile-based RPG run smoothly on modest hardware, hence you’ve leaped the largest Linux hurdle, which is adequate graphics driver support. Unity3D officially supports Ubuntu 32 & 64 bit. Support that platform, and invite us hard-core supporters to be a part of your Linux beta (P.S…. we file better bug reports… just sayin’).

    Speedster and I are both professional engineers working in a Linux environment every day of our lives, for all of our computing requirements; neither of us call Ubuntu our favorite distro, but it’s the lingua franca of Linux gaming, and frankly, I’m OK with that. It can be made to work, and you absolutely should not shy away from the platform due to distribution ambiguity. Similarly, I’m sure you’ll encounter backers who want to play on XP or Mac OS 10.6 (or lower).

    Second, it’s a common misconception that Unity is in am early state, regarding Linux support because it’s currently stated as a developer preview, and many people don’t know much about it yet. Well, the truth is that it’s actually in really good shape, you can easily get a copy of the developer’s preview for your own testing (including building your own test output binaries *right now*, as other KS project creators have already done). Spycraft Studios, creators of the recent Papier Adventure project (which suffered chronic neglect, but is very promising), were able to use the developer preview to build their tech demo and successfully test it on Linux *during the campaign*.

    Third, a commercial Unity game has *already* been released on Linux. Unity’s debut release was Rochard, the indie physics puzzle platformer, in Humble Bundle 6. I can personally attest to it playing beautifully for me, as can many Ubuntu gamers, much to the delight of the Linux gaming world. Here is a demo video on Youtube of some dude playing this Unity game on Linux, posted on September 20th… http://youtu.be/H2yDtRegsHA

    My other half (The Lurker, who has posted us below) will be joined by me on Hero-U later today, and we can continue the dialogue on the comment thread, together. I’m not claiming that there are no costs involved, but don’t be fooled by doubt and uncertainty! It isn’t nearly as bad as the press makes it out to be, and the absolute best way to reduce the porting cost is to begin with high-portability in mind, and involve your community in distributing the test effort. We can do it together, Cole’s; you have our swords!!


    The S.D. Clan

  11. Caz Says:

    I understand and appreciate what you are saying, and will support a game with Cole story and these graphics over a game with no story and Crysis graphics any day of the week. If I was forced to have only one game series installed on my computer, it would be Quest for Glory, no contest.

    I didn’t mean to sound like I was criticizing, it just makes me a little nervous when winning formulas (like the classic Sierra approach) are changed, because it is hard to pinpoint which elements are essential to success until one gets left out, and then success doesn’t follow, as happened to several Sierra series towards the end with ill-advised adventures into 3D land.

    I’m going to leave that alone now, and ask a completely different question; what level of “stretching” do you anticipate Android support being added at? The interface style looks like it would work very well on a 7 inch tablet.

  12. Speedster Says:

    One more detail about rewards:

    digital keys to ALL THREE previous games – the Quest for Glory Collection, MacGuffin’s Curse, and Jolly Rover

    That is counting all Quest for Glory games as a single game, which seems like a big understatement. Don’t sell it short!

    digital keys to ALL SEVEN previous games

  13. Corey Says:

    And the answer is… YES! Project approved. It actually took them less than 12 hours after I submitted it at 12:30 a.m., so Kickstarter did a fantastic job fast-tracking it.

  14. Robert Says:

    http://imageshack.us/a/img18/2510/28639468.jpg

  15. Speedster Says:

    Aside from the previously-mentioned gap between $200 and $500, the tiers look pretty well laid out. A mid-level digital-only tier is a really good idea; the more digital backers the less overhead goes to reward fulfillment. Some projects also have a high-level digital-only tier in order to encourage international backers who are tired of paying high shipping and import fees.

    The secret password thing may be a little weak as a backer incentive, as a lot of us hard-core gamers would rather find it ourselves :)

    If you want to add something to make $100 tier more appealing, maybe offer a digital download of just one of the previous games, as opposed to all them them in the higher tier?

  16. Corey Says:

    @Caz: 14 projects (not all games) in Kickstarter history have raised $1 million or more. Quest for Glory 5 cost Sierra $4.5 million to develop. Even Quest for Glory 4 cost close to $1 million. About 65% of Kickstarter funds are available for game development, so we would need to raise at least $1.5 million to make that style of game.

    Here’s the catch – We have to promise one thing to raise funds. If we promise a Sierra-style game and fail to become the 15th project (out of over 70,000) to raise over $1 million, we couldn’t deliver it. If we promise a 2D tiled game, and people like it so much they put us over $1 million, we have to deliver what we promised… NOT a look and feel they didn’t support!

    Our games are not about the backgrounds. They’re about story, characters, and puzzles. The art style is important, but it’s not the MOST important part of the project. Many other games out there have forgotten this, and they quickly sink into obscurity. We are about the GAME first.

  17. Corey Says:

    @Andhaira: This game is planned as the first of a series. Each game will focus on a single character class so we can do full justice to it. Our first designs were for the Wizard character, but we don’t want to look like a Harry Potter game, so we decided to do Rogue first and Wizard second.

    These details are not in the Kickstarter because we don’t want to confuse people about what they’re supporting. We hope to be able to bootstrap the rest of the games from Rogue to Redemption income (after the game is finished and launched)
    .

  18. Joseph Austin Says:

    @Caz – Thats not a stretch goal so much as a redesign of what the Coles have in mind.

  19. Caz Says:

    A suggestion for a stretch goal, at whatever funding level is deemed necessary for it; “Upgrade from MacGuffin’s Curse style interface to an old school Sierra “Quest” style interface.” I for one will commit to doubling my pledge level to make that goal happen.

  20. AztecMonkeyGod Says:

    Spotted a few more typos.

    In the main description for the Alumnus level: “You will also receive Research Assistant privileges and a Team Map hat.”

    Meep.

    “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.”

    Missing period after “wisely.”

    And now that I’ve had a chance to read the entire project and watch the video, I am excited and proud to offer my support and money to this project (as soon as Kickstarter lets me). And I cannot wait for future installments in the series (especially the Wizard and Paladin). I have all the confidence in this.

  21. Joseph Austin Says:

    Personally, I think the 2D top-down view can work quite well, having played and loved Dungeons of Dredmore. I would like to see a smooth, well-animated style for sure, preferably much better than DoD. Even better if it looked something like Bastion, which was more isometric but beautiful in every way.

  22. Scott Says:

    So many wonderful memories of Quest for Glory! Can’t wait to stick a lock pick up my nose! πŸ˜€

  23. Caz Says:

    Do you anticipate all the games in the Hero-U series using the tile graphic system on display for this one, or is it possible with enough funding we might see a more classic Sierra style graphical presentation at some point? I love the stories in your games, and will fund at some level regardless, but personally I would be happier with 1989 adventure game graphics equivalent to the original Hero’s Quest than what is on display here, which looks more like a similar era NES style, or something modern designed with phones and other handhelds as the primary target platform.

  24. AztecMonkeyGod Says:

    Spotted another typo:

    “Game Designers: Lori and Cole, creators of Quest for Glory, Castle of Dr. Brain, Shannara, Mixed-Up Fairy Tales, and Tower of Indomitable Circumstance”

    Looks like you missed a “Corey” there.

  25. Speedster Says:

    On the topic of Linux support, I suggest you put it on as a low stretch goal based on those extra costs mentioned, and sooner rather than later — Linux gamers will be motivated to go over minimum pledges to help cover actual extra costs, but may not chip in at all when the Linux stretch goal is a huge additional amount so the chances are good that they would end up preordering a windows game without even knowing whether it will eventually work under their wine setup. Concrete example: the Shaker project decided it would cost a half mil extra for Linux support, a 50% increase from the base, and I haven’t seen a single Linux enthusiast come over from Project Eternity to support it. I can guarantee they would have had some enthusiastic Linux backers to help spread word about Shaker on reddit and forums if they had priced Linux support at actual additional cost.

    So in deciding whether to reach out to Linux gamers, remember that we tend to have extra enthusiasm because we have even more to be grateful for at the prospects of a high quality new game — we may be few in comparison, but we’re used to pledging above the minimum tiers and getting involved with online publicity (posting articles on slashdot.org, creating and voting up reddits, and so forth).

  26. Trevor Says:

    Looks cool! Big fan of the QFG series. One piece of constructive criticism:

    I don’t think there’s enough indication of the desired artistic style for the game. Will the paintings be the games backdrops similar to Quest for Glory 1 VGA, 3, and 4? Or will the backdrop be a top-down rogue-like tile graphics shown in the “test dungeon”? Top-down vs perspective would considerably change how the game is played. I think this is important to communicate to potential backers.

  27. Ravi Says:

    one more idea haha..

    I think a live Q&A on redditt would be cool later on as well.

  28. Ravi Says:

    Also, will there be a paypal donation option added later on?

  29. Andhaira Says:

    Wow, I cannot wait for this game to come out. The artwork in the pitch video is BEAUTIFUL! It made me feel I was looking at QFG 6. :)

    I only have one worry: The OFG series had classes, but in this game it appears you start out as a Thief class. Why? What if I want to play a Paladin, or Wizard, or Warrior Mage?

    I do hope other classes will be allowed, at least the ‘classic’ QFG classes, including Paladin, and that they all get unique class only abilities/skills/spells.

    Maybe you should mention that in the Kickstarter to clear things up, as I cannot be the only one that preferred the class based system of the Quest For Glory series…

  30. Corey Says:

    @Jakie: As usual, it all comes down to budget. Also be aware that the 2D piece we show is clearly marked “Test Dungeon” and is the very first prototype. The actual game will look different.

    We will promise to make the most beautiful game we can within our budget and without compromising the game design. The exact look will depend on a combination of how much support we receive and what makes sense for the style of game.

  31. Ravi Says:

    Oh forgot to mention, love the transparency in the fact that you put the percentages of where the money will go to. It’s great to know that and i’m not sure where all the money goes in other projects.

  32. jakie Says:

    This pretty fantastic! I am excited to see whats going to happen. I love the story idea. The one thing that kind of turned me off was the art style. I am not a huge fan of the engine used, it reminds me too much of a flash game. While I am not someone who needs super mega awesome graphics (I could care less), I do like/need a certain style (or styles) to commit myself to a game. Just to give you an idea of were I am coming from, rather then use the current engine for this game I would rather go back to what QG 4 looked like.

    It might be that I am not a fan of the top-down style used for this type of game.

    I am probably alone in this, I am not trying to be a jerk, just expressing my thoughts.

    I really hope your goal get’s blown out of the water (I am thinking quadrupled :))

  33. Corey Says:

    The “Insider” support level includes the livestream-type access.

    We definitely plan to expand the content based on our final budget. As for additional locations outside the school, there are both story issues and significant art costs to adding them. For Shawn, Hero-U is reform school, which is to say a bit like a prison. There may be ways out, but they won’t be obvious, easy, or possible until very late in the game. And if we make close to our minimum goal, probably not possible at all.

    A meep toy? Very interesting idea. Quite possible it’s been considered earlier. πŸ˜‰ Of course, we didn’t want to clutter up our reward tiers more than they already are. We shall see.

  34. Ravi Says:

    This all looks great so far, can’t wait till it goes live! was hoping that it would be today!

    What are the thoughts about have a special forum for the backers?
    That would be nice.

    Also, I thought of another idea. what if one level of backing could have a meep stuffed animal as a reward?

    Another reward could be a livestream of a developer session or video of developer/ behind the scenes stuff. That wouldn’t cost too much to do but would be pretty fascinating to some.

    I also think that if budget allows and more funding is raised then additional locations / quests would be awesome to add!

  35. James StarRunner Says:

    Linux AND voice-acting! I know I’ll be one of the first to audition for a role (or two)!

  36. Joseph Austin Says:

    The page looks great, and I’m glad you took the time to show how the money was going to be used. Its a very well thought out kickstarter. Maybe this hold-up is a plus since it might give you guys some last minute fixes that the community of fans was able to help point out (so I see.)

    I would like encourage Linux users like myself not to base your buying decision on whether it will be for that OS. I mean, if you don’t have Windows on dual boot then I guess you have no choice, unless it runs well in Wine (which it may as a 2D game.) I just want us all to understand what Corey was saying, that every OS is an expense that cuts into the budget of the game. However, I think we’re on our way to seeing a more equalized share of the market due to recent trends in technology and game development. And it’s up to us to push the funding to a point where Linux can happen!

  37. Corey Says:

    Ref last-minute changes: I’m hoping I will be allowed to make minor edits to the project after approval and before launch. I do know that I will need to click a Launch button after the project is approved. If I’m not allowed to edit it before launch, the best I can do is clarify in the project description and updates.

    I actually got the last of the art at midnight last night (ok, some trickled in later that hasn’t gone in yet), so we could not have submitted any sooner. Not to mention that I’ve barely looked at it myself. :-) Keep in mind that Ryan and the artists did all of that work “for free”, or “on spec” if you prefer. Also, Eriq had to wait until I had everything else finalized before he could create much of the Kickstarter art (particularly the reward tier images). It’s great stuff, and the delayed deadline was inevitable.

  38. Corey Says:

    Ref Linux and other stretch goals:

    Yes, we have them in mind. I have a budget spreadsheet with “what if?” scenarios for various funding levels. The goals are based on what we can accomplish based on the budget and our team, as well as Lori’s and my personal priorities for the things we most want to add to the project.

    But we will not announce any stretch goals until it looks possible to make them. We don’t want people to feel they are supporting an incomplete project.

    As for Linux, the issue is testing the game on a variety of Linux installations. Unity is currently working on Linux support, but I don’t think it’s available yet. We will need multiple additional Unity Linux licenses at I think $1,500 each to do the Linux customization and tuning. Shorter answer: Yes, we want to support Linux, and we will do so if the project is successful enough that we can afford to do so.

    Why isn’t it there up-front? It’s because we will not risk having to reduce content to support additional platforms. Our research shows that 90% of our players will play the game on Windows, 5% or so on Macintosh, leaving tiny shares for all the other platforms combined. While we can try to increase those percentages by having wide support, we can’t compromise the game by spending our time and people adapting for less-popular platforms.

  39. MichaelH Says:

    Corey, if you want to change tier descriptions after the project goes live you will need to be extremely fast. As soon as someone backed at a certain tier, that tier can’t be changed. In that case it would be a good idea to clarify your changes in the comment section and in an update. Most Kickstarters also end up putting the changed tier descriptions in the main text sooner or later to have everything in one place.

  40. Corey Says:

    @Bill: $15 vs. $20 price point for the game. We did extensive research into other game projects on Kickstarter, and found the basic game tier ranging from $10 to $30. Most supporters will follow the path of least resistance, and pay the minimum needed to obtain the game. Pricing it at $15 would reduce the funds available for developing the game by almost $4 per supporter. It would also send the message, “We are making a cheap game, not an top-quality professional product.” If an extra $5 costs us supporters, that’s unfortunate but unavoidable.

  41. Corey Says:

    Thank you everyone for the comments! I can’t edit the project while it’s in the approval process, but will make the fixes as soon as possible. This is the first Kickstarter project we’ve created, so we are learning the process as we go. That’s also the first video Lori ever shot with her camera. :-)

    On the Secret Thieves’ Guild Password and Key to the Faculty Lounge, very good points about avoiding the impression of elitism. I’ll see if I can do some edits on those after approval. Here’s the scoop:

    Both of those “keys” will give players a head start, but they will *not* provide exclusive content. All players will eventually be able to obtain the passwords and keys in-game. Also, the content at those locations will add flavor and humor, but will not affect game play.

    There are some exclusive in-game vanity rewards, but they are not related to content. Contributors at the $100 and higher levels will appear in the Hero-U Yearbook, accessible in-game. At the $250+ level, you will get an entry (including picture) in a physical book – probably hard-cover – similar to a high school or college yearbook. At very high levels, supporters will get more exclusive “personal placement” in the game, such as your name and bio on the plaque of a statue.

    These rewards are not limited to exclude people, but because they are by nature limited. A yearbook with 20,000 names is useless. A physical yearbook with 20,000 names would require a fork life to deliver, not to mention that it would bankrupt the project.

    We spent many hours tuning the reward tiers so that they are as fair as possible, while also providing value at every level. The alternative would have been to have exactly two tiers – Get the game, or get the physical boxed game. People want to support the project, but they also want to feel they are getting something unique if they contribute more. It is a very challenging balance!

  42. Miljo Says:

    I found two typos.

    In the “Why are we doing this?” image, there’s a sentence that reads “Kickstarter lets us to come to you directly…”

    Shouldn’t that read “Kickstarter lets us come to you directly…”?

    Also the sentence: “Michael Cole, our Marketing Maven, grew up around Sierra On-Line, so wisely decided to to into marketing rather than game development. ”

    Decided to /what/ into marketing? If he really did decide to “tutu” into marketing, I guess this would make sense. But you you should probably check his references. πŸ˜‰

  43. Miljo Says:

    OK. Don’t mod in my last comment. I need to elaborate. I just watched the video. HOLY COW! It’s so cool seeing some Heros of my youth start up a new endeavor. Having played the QfG games over and over again over the past 20 years (Like everyone else here, I’m sure), I often thought about what decisions or factors influenced the design of these games. What was it like working with (or as) The Coles and a group of talented people at Sierra? How will HU:R2R add to the richness of this world? What new and exiting things will we uncover? I can’t wait to find out.

    I have to say, I’m completely okay with this not being a new QfG game, but I hope as we go along and watch (and influence) how HU:R2R comes together, you’ll share more insight into the creative process and the world of Gloriana. (The blog posts on this very subject have been riveting, I must add).

    The feel of the video is excellent. The music and art is fitting and I hope that the two of you (Lori and Corey) make more videos as we go along as you’re both welcoming and entertaining. (Nice pith, btw)

    So here’s to a rousing success! Best of luck to you and all of us who will work to get this project funded. And remember, wherever you go, there you are.

    -miljo

  44. BoBo Says:

    I was wondering if you’re planning on any stretch goals. I realize at this point you’re just worried about whether or not you will reach your initial goal. But lets say you’re able to raise 500k through kickstarter, or 750k. What plans would you have for that extra money?

  45. Sameer Says:

    The site looks great! Just a few thoughts regarding the tiers:

    Would it be possible to describe the “Secret Thieve’s Guild Password” ($100) and “secret location and key to the Faculty Lounge” ($1000) in more detail? That way people pledging to these tiers have a better idea of what they’re getting, and those below know what they’re missing out on. To be honest I’m a bit wary of having unique, in-game rewards, only because it may make smaller backers feel like they’re getting less of the full game/experience. I may be over-thinking things or being hyper-vigilant, but I still wanted to share my honest, first impressions.

  46. Miljo Says:

    This looks /really/ good guys. I can’t wait to get in on this.

  47. Technatorium Says:

    Oooh, nice. Thanks for the preview for kickstarter.

  48. Jeremy Murdoch Says:

    It looks fantastic. The rewards look wonderful, and the presentation is awesome. The video was great, and it was nice to see a shot of what the 2D Maps will look like, as well as watching you two and your banter.

    The description of the elective system sounds very cool, although I think I may have spotted a typo or grammatical error on that line. Then again, I could be misinterpreting things.

    Everything looks absolutely brilliant. I really love what I see so far, and only wish that I had more money to give you.

    Good luck!

  49. Bill Says:

    I think pricing the reward for the game at $20 versus $15 that the majority of other similar kickstarters have done may be a mistake. I loved the Dagger of Amon Ra reference in one of the pictures!

  50. jaes Says:

    I skimmed the KS page, and all in all the game sounds great, and I think you provide the right amount (and type) of information.

    About the features: I like what I see, but I had personally hoped, that the game would be set at more locations than at the university and dungeons. I don’t think I’m the only one who enjoyed exploring the rich and varied environments of the QfG games :) Maybe include a few side-quests in other areas? A stretch goal? But, if it goes against the concept and story I don’t think you should do it. Games need a strong vision! If other locations are already planned, maybe put the info in the KS page.

    But, the game sounds great, even if you decide not to include more types of areas, and I will pledge and spread the word no matter what :)

  51. The S.D. Clan Says:

    Also…
    In the $5K tier: “celebrating yours or your hero’s accomplishments” should be celebrating *your*…no ‘s.’

  52. AztecMonkeyGod Says:

    I don’t have time to look at it in detail yet (early shift in a few minutes), but I do like what I see so far and have already shared it on my Facebook.

    I did notice, on the $100 pledge, the following typo: “We will also email you a Secret Thieve’s Guild Password usable in-game.” I believe the apostrophe should be after the “s” in “Thieves”.

  53. MichaelH Says:

    Hi,
    The game looks interesting. I have some concerns, though.

    1) Secret password at $100 and up. I’m not certain what this password will unlock, but it sounds like there will be some sort of exclusive content for higher tier backers. I think this is a terrible idea. While higher tier backers should obviously receive more rewards, the game itself should be the same for every backer. I would back at least $100, but I will not back a project when the game doesn’t offer the same for every backer.

    2) The tiers could be structured better. It is better to just add rewards at every tier and include everything at the lower tiers. Offering some rewards at lower tiers that are only available as add-ons makes the campaign needlessly confusing.

    3) Maybe you should include Linux support from the start. There is a very vocal group of Linux users in the Kickststarter community. They can really help you to get the word out about the campaign.

  54. The S.D. Clan Says:

    As we simply cannot wait for the project to *actually* be live, we’ve decided to start bombarding you with questions here!
    1) Linux as a stretch goal…how much stretching are we talking about? Linux-using gamers are a seriously loyal bunch with oodles of commitment to devs who support them. The sooner we know, the sooner we can spread the word!
    2) “Secret Thieve’s Guild Password” sounds a lot like ‘exclusive content.’ If so, that will *not* go over well. Can you elaborate on what this actually is?
    3) Not a question…more of a warning: Folks will want one or more additional tiers between $250 and $500. So, we suggest planning to add a tier or preparing a “we know what we’re doing…the answer is no…please stop asking” statement.

    Thank you for letting us be a part of this project!

    –The S.D. Clan

  55. Bradley Macomber Says:

    Oh Corey, how do you so easily draw my money away?

    I think the text is really well worded, which is to say I’m pleased that you described your situation nearly the same way I would. And of course, the drawings add an alluring richness.

    Though as I read thru the rewards, it’s a little hard to keep track of what all this stuff actually means. Yearbook? Thieves’ Guild? OIC, that stuff’s in the game. The images don’t explain that… but the text underneath does. Maybe you should avoid redundant/alternate descriptions within the images so I don’t feel like I need not read the text underneath? (Sorry if this is too nit-picky; I’m trying to be helpful, honest!) Also my imagination wants to know just how big a “big” canvas print really is.

    I kinda wish your video had some fast-talking voice-over at the beginning or at least some wipes to gently transition from one slide to the next, but I realize you need the right guy available to do a good job of that, and maybe you don’t have one of those freely available. But if I know some dudes that I could beg to whip this up for me, surely you know some too, huh? The music’s real nice, though. And props for wearing your Famous Adventurer hat, haha! I like how y’all seem earnest in your video.

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