Happy Hanukkah My Friends

Welcome to Hero-U, a unique Role-playing Adventure Game series.

Hero-U features a strong story and interesting characters, mystery, excitement, danger, and intrigue.

And, of course, Kwirks.

What’s Happening

We’re deep into production of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. The game’s scope and scale are much larger than we intended when we first started out. We thought we were making a small puzzle/rpg that had its roots in Adventure Games. Now it is becoming a full blown RPG/Adventure Game along the lines of our original Quest for Glory games.

As you may know by now, the Hero-U team is all over the world. It would be very nice to have us all in the same place working at the same time as we had on our previous game project. It is a challenge to manage a project of such an ambitious scale under the best of situations, but our team is creating something beautiful and unique for all of you to play.

It’s time we pulled back the curtain to show some of our progress and process.

The Wine Cellar Painting

Wine Cellar Painting

Wine Cellar Painting

This was one of the first concept paintings that JP Selwood made for this game back just after we completed the Kickstarter. It’s such a beautiful piece, it made it difficult to picture our game as a simple puzzle game. Between the fans and artwork like this, we knew we had to make a game worthy of them all.

This was the inspiration – now it was time to turn the Wine Cellar into an environment for the game.

Game Design Time

First I came up with a list of all the things we wanted to happen in the Wine Cellar. Most of the castle/school is safe for the students – much safer than Hogwarts. But it’s hard to learn to be a hero if you never have to face danger.

Few things are scarier than the unknown.

So the Wine Cellar is a place to explore in the dead of night. There are creatures lurking in the corners. There is danger here. There is a mystery to solve.

And at one time, it was where the knightly order who lived in the castle made wine. Alas, even knightly orders have to make a living somehow.

So I had to research the ins and outs of winemaking in order to set up this location.

Then I created a floor plan for the Wine Cellar, wrote up a detailed room description in Google Docs so that it could be shared with the team, and passed it onward to JP.

Wine Cellar Layout

Wine Cellar Layout

Bringing the Wine Cellar to Light

Now it was time for JP to work his magic again.

He started with a detailed pencil sketch.

Wine Cellar Pencil Sketch

Wine Cellar Pencil Sketch

Then he did this lovely color comp.

Wine Cellar Color Comp

Wine Cellar Color Comp

Here’s a detail of the glass blowing room (where the bottles were made) and the main corridor of the cellar.

Wine Cellar Detail

Wine Cellar Color Comp Detail

Building the Cellar

Now that we had a detailed vision of the Wine Cellar, it was time to give Chris Willis his turn at taking a painting and creating the room in 3D. It had to retain the unique qualities of JP’s painting. We are creating the game with both 2D and 3D artwork, and they need to meld seamlessly.

Chris first created the separate elements that made up the Wine Cellar right down to the individual bottles. Here’s a screen shot of some of the elements in Maya.

Wine Cellar 3D Details

Wine Cellar 3D Pieces

The main way we work together with the team is by holding weekly meetings – one with the artists and another one with the programmers. Here is a screenshot from one of our Google Hangouts showing part of the 3D rendered art.

Wine Cellar 3D Construction

Wine Cellar 3D

And finally, here is a close up of the 3D Wine Cellar to match JP’s color comp.

3D Details

Wine Cellar Color 3D Detail

After all that work, the room is only about half finished. The programmers need to put in the events, the combat, the game play, and finally the music. Meanwhile, we will continue to polish the game design and fill out the text, dialogue, and events that take place in the Wine Cellar.

And this is just one section of the game. We are making steady progress on all of them, but as you can see, nothing in game development comes easily.

Comments

  1. Lori Says:

    Thanks Florian! We’ll do our best to make the best game we can.

  2. Florian Says:

    I love the art, I love everything about this. A story and puzzle driven RPG? perfect! I was a huge fan of Ultima 6 and 7 and this seems to be the perfect new game for me! I wish you the best of luck with it and hope you can create it exactly as you imagine it.

  3. Lori Says:

    Thanks, Mark. When we pledged the Kickstarter, we knew that we the money we raised from it would not be enough to create a game like Quest for Glory. We were more realistic with our bid and presentation for Kickstarter than we are now. We were quite right – we can’t afford to do Hero-U the way we are doing it now. However, we’re skimping, scraping and doing whatever we can to make this game the way it should be made. Never let it be said that we are practical people who are content to do what is possible. No, the truth is that Corey and I are both very unreasonable people who expect the impossible.

    And we intend to make that impossible come to life.

  4. Mark Says:

    For a long time I’ve pined for QFG6. I don’t think I even want that any longer. That series was very fortunate to have all intended chapters completed. We even got an extra with 3.
    It’s best to just leave that series as-is for all-time. At most, remakes would be appropriate.

    I’m all-in on Hero-U though. I really hope you guys do exactly what you think is best, I think this series is a great continuation in the memory of QFG. Also, I love the sound of the recent changes- what was shown and pitched in the Kickstarter was not appealing to me. Especially one I tried out the MacGuffin’s Curse and games on that engine, I had a sinking feeling about the whole thing.
    You’ve got one more on-board now though!

  5. James Says:

    Thank you for the update! Looking good! <3

  6. Lori Says:

    Thanks, Peter. Corey and I really want to make Hero-U, too! We’re really excited with the game, both with the team’s accomplishments and with the story. The artwork, programming, and the design will make for a unique game that is full of mystery, magic, and fun.

  7. Peter Says:

    Ah, don’t listen to the people complaining about 3D, etc. They just want you to make Quest for Glory 6. I want you to make Hero U!

  8. Magnus Von Black Says:

    I wish you all great success in this endeavor! I cherished the Quest For Glory games as a kid, and I am so happy to see that you are churning away on another great adventure!

    The artwork looks amazing, I am excited to play this game.

  9. Lori Says:

    Sorry, Chris, but you can’t say we didn’t try to go 2D… We started out in 2D with everything. However, Sierra had a game engine that simulated 3D. When we created Quest for Glory, we adapted the game play to match the graphics. For Hero-U, we had Unity. We adapted our graphics to work best with Unity. So we’ve gone from working in total 2D to working with 3D with some 2D. These weren’t easy changes to make and the decision to make the change was a hard one. However, it was the right choice. In a few months, we will release a newer version of our original demo, this time with more 3D than before. You’ll be able to see the difference and tell for yourself whether Hero-U should have stuck with 2D or adapted to the current 3D technology.

  10. Chris Says:

    PLEASE keep it point & click…

  11. Chris Says:

    Noooo :( why in 3D… very few adventure games work in 3D (Walking Dead & Grim Fandango being the exceptions)

  12. Adrian Says:

    Looks amazing! so happy I backed this!

  13. TAHR Says:

    At last, I find the time to read that update, and I have to say this looks very promising :)

    Congratulation to the team – keep up the good work !

    -TAHR

  14. RGH Says:

    I love it so far! Like many, I am happy you are taking all the time you need to make a great game. Please do another of these updates on occasion. It is great to see the process the team is going through. Thank you for including the link the the email newsletter. I was unaware of the blog! It is bookmarked now!

  15. Daniel Gimness Says:

    Thanks for the update Lori and Corey! Graphics look great.

    Best,

    Dan

  16. Jeff Says:

    Looks great! I’m impressed with the work. Take the time you need!

    Honestly, I’m just happy to look forward to another game from the folks that brought us QfG.

    Keep it up!

  17. Tarhiel Says:

    Hello Hero-U Team,

    Very much anticipated update and game looks sweet.

    Definitely worth the wait.
    Just take your time, donĀ“t get into debt and release the game you are content with.

    Good luck!

  18. Les W Says:

    This looks fantastic. My daughter (aged 9) and I loved your QFG series and can’t wait to play Hero-U. It looks fantastic – what a teaser!
    Best of luck.

  19. Orion Says:

    This makes the wait so much more worth it! It’s so beautiful! Keep it up, Hero-U team!

  20. Greg Says:

    Oh my! AWESOME update! Thanks SO much!!!! So excited! :D

  21. Michael Shaw Says:

    Looks fantastic! I’m so excited that Hero-U is growing in size and scope and will be more like the old QFG games I love!

  22. James StarRunner Says:

    Sweeeeet! It’s looking great guys! I can’t wait to play it!

  23. Sean Pettis Says:

    It’s great to see the artists at work. Keep it up! I can’t wait to explore more of your imagination.

  24. Son Of Thurgoth Says:

    LOVED that update! Great to be able to see the process of design from concept to realization! Really like the look of the wine cellar, too.

  25. Ternian Says:

    Awesome update!

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