Hero-U Rogue to Redemption

May 29 2015

What Kind of Hero are You?

There are many kinds of heroes in the world of Hero-U. Some, like the Paladin, are true-blue goodie-two-shoes who devote their lives to making the world better. Other heroes are not quite so obvious.

The RogueTake the Rogue, for example.

The Rogue’s weapons are stealth, guile, and clever repartee, along with a few lockpicking, climbing, and eavesdropping techniques. Those don’t often appear in a Handbook for Heroes. Nevertheless, such skills can be used for heroic actions.

Are evil villains plotting dastardly deeds? Of course they are! The Rogue can sneak up and eavesdrop on their plots, then use fast talk to convince the local Sheriff to take action.

Has your crown prince been kidnapped and locked away as a hostage in the dungeon? If the King sends in an army, the enemy will probably kill the prince for spite. The Rogue can use climbing and lockpicking skills to extricate the future ruler without causing an international incident. All in all, a Rogue can be very heroic.

The Wizard

The WizardWizards are notorious for living in ivory towers, far removed from reality. Many of them have reputations as pedantic scholars, unwanted advisers, and irascible misanthropes.

Not all of them are that way. Even the most settled Wizards can bestir themselves from their books to do a few good deeds now and again. Of course, they will first make a long-winded lecture on the foolishness of other members of your party for alerting the enemy. But as the angry monsters chop down the door to attack, a Wizard can be an invaluable member of your heroic adventuring group – with a well-timed Lightning Bolt.

The Warrior

WarriorNot all Warriors are heroes. Warriors can make very good villains. The same skills apply to both roles – charisma, strength, courage, martial arts, and leadership skills.

However, if you ever need to travel with a group of disparate do-gooders in order to prevent some hideous monster from desecrating and demolishing all the castles in the countryside (a potentially very lucrative as well as noble deed), you will want a Warrior to take the lead.

Otherwise, you’ll suffer from party members who wander off randomly, constant squabbles between the Elves and the Dwarves, and a distinct lack of a cohesive plan when it comes to facing the antagonist of the story. While Warriors can be authoritarian, ball-bearing, blasphemous, goal-directed bullies, they do manage to get missions accomplished.

The Bard

The BardThe Bard is one of the more underestimated hero types. Most think of Bards as egocentric, vainglorious performers who entertain and distract people from the trivial meaninglessness of their day to day lives. However, Bards have a few useful skills that are easily overlooked by the oblivious Overlords.

Bards are welcome everywhere and make great spies. They are masters at undermining the reputations of pompous princes with their satirical songwriting. Their stirring ballads can inspire and incite the masses to throw off the yoke of tyranny. Best of all, they can sing praises of all your heroic actions, spreading word of your reputation so that you can raise your Good Deed fees.

The Scientist

The ScientistMad? You think that they are mad? Well, yes, Scientists are not precisely known for their social graces. Nor are they likely to tolerate weak-minded Luddites who are too stupid to see the magnificence of their doomsday machines.

Still, many Scientists have the good of all mankind as part of their credo. They just differ in their opinions as to whether the greatest good is to turn people into mindless drones so that they really enjoy being slaves, or whether it is better to serve mankind on whole wheat and rye. Nevertheless, do not underestimate the heroic role that a Scientist can play. A properly-constructed death ray can be very useful when you are confronting the arch-villain in the middle of his soliloquy.

The Chef

The ChefOn the list of “People Least Likely to be Invited to Heroic Parties,” the Chef ranks somewhere below the Village Idiot (who frequently turns out to be wiser than the rest of the village) and the Undertaker (who really does know where all the bodies are buried). On the other hand, the Chef is the one most likely to cater such an event.

A great Chef has leadership skills and a vocabulary that can make the strongest Warrior shake in his boots. The Chef has culinary knowledge that can transform the deadliest of poisons into palatable delicacies. The Chef has a better grasp of practical chemistry in creating delicate souffles than any Scientist.

A great Chef can please a petty dictator or wicked plenipotentiary better than any Bard. Never underestimate the power of the Chef. After all, everyone knows that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through the stomach – or up under the rib cage with a sharp knife. Chefs keep their carving knives very, very sharp.

The Paladin

The PaladinNo list of would-be heroes would be complete without mentioning the Paladin. The Paladin really wants to do the right thing, regardless of the cost.

One Paladin might suffer great angst and remorse when she was unable to save the town from the rampaging dragon because she happened to be in labor with her first daughter at the time, but she’ll get out of bed, press that babe to her breast, and start pulling victims from the wreckage afterwards.

Another Paladin will kiss his one and only true love goodbye at their wedding night dance, then will ride off to negotiate peace between the Dwarves and the Elves. If there is a good deed that needs doing, you can always count on the Paladin to answer the call.

All Kinds of Heroes T-shirt Design

So yes, there are all kinds of heroes here at Hero-U. You can be one of them at The Hero-U Kickstarter page!

What Kind of Hero are You?

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May 27 2015

See our Sites of Scenic Serenity!

Our games have always been set in lands of great beauty. From the silvery peaks that surrounded Spielburg Valley to the golden desert sands of Shapeir, from the marvelous sandstone towers of Tarna to the verdent forests of Mordavia, down to the cerulean waters of the Med Sea in Silmaria and Sardonia, the world of Gloriana is awash in color.

Now we offer you a chance to relive the glory and revel in the serenity of the sylvan, sandy, and sometimes swampy land, seas, and savannas of this game world. For the first Hero-U Kickstarter, we offered you this tribute:

Tribute to Erana

Believe in Yourself

For the second Kickstarter, we are adding the opportunity to own four additional posters of the loveliness of Gloriana. The first poster is a travel poster for the magical valley of Spielburg:

Come to Spielburg

Come to Spielburg

Also from the land of Spielburg is this vision of the garden that Erana created:

Erana's Serenity

Erana’s Serenity

Next, from the island of Sardonia in the Med Sea, comes this blissful vision of the city of Caligari and the Hero-U castle:

Visit Scenic Sardonia

Visit Scenic Sardonia

These posters will fill your house and your heart with the grace and glory of Gloriana.

But Wait… there’s More!

So far, we have shown off three posters from this Kickstarter. However, we offered four posters. I thought it would be nice to see what sort of poster you would like to see on your wall in addition to the ones shown above. Would you prefer the dramatic desert sands and the ivory towers of the land of Shapier? Perhaps you would prefer the grand city of Tarna golden and tawny as a Liontaur in the sun? Or maybe the walled town of Mordavia shadowed by Borgov Castle looming against the dying light of the gloaming?

Where would you like to go – and what would you like to see on a poster?

Which land would you like to see on a Hero-U poster?

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May 20 2015

Picture This!

Art Critic

Art Critic

You might have noticed in some of our screenshots and publicity posts that there is a lot of artwork around the university castle. One of these days (after the game has been released), we’ll have to post the “Docents Tour” of the university, there is so much art to be seen and appreciated. Some of the artwork tells stories about the history of the castle. Other artwork is dedicated to the people who helped make Hero-U possible – our Kickstarter backers and patrons of the arts.

Artistic License

In our original Kickstarter, those who backed at the “Doctor of Fine Arts” level and above, or at the “Immortal Image (Priceless)” in our current Kickstarter, get a custom portrait created by John Paul Selwood. The Backers send in their photos and some suggestions of what should be in the painting and JP works his artistic magic. Not only will these stunning pieces of art be found around the castle, but the backer will have a large print to hang at home.

Here are just a few of the artistic masterpieces to be found on the walls of the halls of Hero-U.

Cheetaurs Never Prosper

Cheetaurs Never Prosper

Fricana Hitchhiker

Fricana Hitchhiking

Steampup

Steam Pup

Righteous Knightus

Righteous Knightus

Wouldn’t you love to see your favorite pet or heroic face at Hero-U? This could be the start of your own art gallery. Back our Kickstarter at the “Immortal Image” level or above and you, too will be immortalized in art. There are only so many walls in the castle, so this is a limited offer.

Some day, you too can be part of our art tour.

May 18 2015

Castle Mania

One of the major ‘characters’ in Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is the university’s castle. Built several centuries ago to prevent a terrible disaster, the castle holds many secrets and ghosts of its tragic past. Shawn will uncover a few of the secrets as he tries to survive his semester at Hero-U.

Over the course of developing Hero-U, we’ve had several different views of the castle painted by John Paul Selwood. We’d like to share these paintings with you and see which one is your favorite.

The Original Castle View

Original Castle

This was the painting of the castle created for the first Kickstarter to finance this game. It shows the Castle in the first light of dawn.

Castle in a Storm

Castle in theS torm

This is one of the many paintings that grace the walls of the castle. It hints that the castle has a ‘Dark Side’ as well as a ‘Light Side.’ Not everything is sunny and bright at Hero-U.

Castle Morning

This is part of a larger piece that shows off the countryside beyond the Castle as well as the fortifications. At one time, this castle was the major defense against pirates as well as the supernatural for the town of Caligari.

Castle over Caligari

Castle over Caligari

This is a detail from the “Come to Sardonia” poster. It shows the road leading up to the castle on the precipice over Caligari.

Shawn and the Castle

Shawn and the Castle

Here’s a detail from a poster version of Shawn and the Gogs that we will use on the exclusive box cover. The road to redemption is steep and fraught with peril.

Which of these paintings do you like best?

What Castle do you prefer?

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May 14 2015

Kickstarter Stretch Goals

Halfway There

Here it is, the second day of our Kickstarter and we’re more than halfway to the finish line thanks to you, our fans. Whether you backed our first Kickstarter, supported our current Kickstarter, or just joined us to cheer us on, we really appreciate your help to make Hero-U.

Now that there’s a good chance that we will make our financial mark, it’s time to show off some of the things we have planned for the Stretch Goals.

Tower Garden

Tower Garden – Saved

Thanks to one of our backers, this room is officially back in the game.

This room was one of the first areas we designed. Unfortunately, it has been very difficult to create in a way that is both beautiful and practical. It was placed on the list of “it would be nice” and slashed from the script. Yes, it could be a romantic hideaway for Shawn and someone special. It can be an active classroom for identifying and harvesting strange mushrooms and healing herbs for First Aid. It’s also the only area in the game where Shawn can see the sea in the sunshine or the moonlight.

Not everything in this game has to be epic or scary. It’s the quiet beauty that makes the world worth saving.

Skull Wall

Skull Wall Puzzle

This goal isn’t just a fancy wall or puzzle in the Sea Caves. Achieving this goal means that the Sea Caves becomes a huge complex with many areas to explore and mysteries to uncover. No wonder no one has recovered the pirate treasure hidden in the Sea Caves – it will take wits, skills, and a handy treasure map.

Master Wraith

Master Wraith

Here’s another section of the game that was planned from the start but placed on the “optional” list. Most monsters in this game can either be avoided or negotiated with, but not this nasty. He’s haunted this crypt since the heyday of the Illuminari and he’s not about to let any would-be thief desecrate his crypt. This is the toughest battle in the game. Shawn had better be at his best to take on the Master Wraith.

Gog Temple

Temple of Gog-SoSloth

This will be a chance for Shawn to really put all his roguish tricks, wits, skills, and traps together if he wants to steal the Gog treasure. Those players who love combat will have Shawn fighting for his life here. Those who love stealth missions can sneak through and try to get past all the Gogs. It’s definitely one of the most exciting places to explore in the game.

Improved Animation

Improved Animation

This is the one that EVERYONE on the team would like to see. Shawn needs some fancy combat and victory moves. Oh, and a snappier walk while we’re at it. Monsters need to have better attacks and dramatic death scenes. We’ve had to make do with the most limited of animations up until now. We could really use a good animator added to the team to give our characters more life.

Unspeakable Horror

Unspeakable Horror

Ever wonder why someone bothered to build a medieval castle on Sardonia? The castle conceals many dark secrets within its walls. Unfortunately, not all the darkness has been contained. Things – vile things – are invading this world. The Unspeakable Horror is one of those things that man (or woman) was not meant to know.

Voice Acting

Voice Acting

This stretch goal is my personal favorite. A good voice actor brings another dimension of character to the game. Unfortunately, the amount of dialogue in this game exceeds that in most trilogies. We will need to use professional voice talents and a lot of studio time.

If we achieve this goal, we will release a first version of the game without voices to make sure we stay on schedule. We will add the voices later as downloadable content.

Companion Kwirk

Companion Kwirk

Everyone needs a friend. Kwirks are loyal, inquisitive, mischievous, and smarter than they look. If we reach this goal, Shawn will have more than a little buddy to follow him around; he will have his own personal Kwirkish spy and scout. The Kwirk is also the only “person” in the castle who is as snarky as Shawn.

These are a few of the ambitious features we would like to add to the game because we want to make Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption the best game possible. Please visit us on Kickstarter, and make sure you share the project with your friends.

May 12 2015

Kickstarter Time!

Kickstarter TimeWe have just launched our second round Kickstarter.

Right now, the game has 60 unique areas and several hundred unique events. Hero-U is the kind of game you play over and over again because there is so much to see and do that you can’t do it all in one play-through. However, we want to make Hero-U even more exciting.

We will use the funds to open up new sections of the game. There’s the temple of Gog-Sosloth, the Skull Wall, and the Unspeakable Horror that guards the wreck of the Royal Flush. The Master Wraith will lurk in the Catacombs and the Tower Garden will be available for late-night trysts. We can add all these things and more with the Kickstarter funds.

That’s why we are holding another Kickstarter. We want Hero-U to be the best game possible!

May 10 2015

One More Day!

Our Kickstarter 2015 starts tomorrow, and here’s a Sneak Peek at all the fun stuff we are giving away as rewards for those who support us. If you are already one of our great backers, never fear – there’s new stuff just for you. We’ve got new t-shirt and hat designs, new posters, hint books, and even a lucky coin.

We’re really excited about this Kickstarter. It will give us a chance to show off many of the tricks and treats awaiting you at Hero-U. It’s also a chance for all our backers to get together and share their experiences. This will be fun.

One Short Day

May 06 2015

Top Ten Reasons for Running Another Kickstarter

10) We’re running out of money (Sad but True)

9) It would be a shame to waste the cool art of the Master Wraith room

8) We really want to see the Temple of Gog-Sosloth in the Game

GogTemple

7) Somebody has to pay the artists for their work!

6) The more money we get, the better the game

5) We want the scary parts to be even scarier

4) We’ve got an awesome new t-shirt design!

3) The castle needs more backer paintings

2) Wanted Posters (Everybody wants to be Wanted, after all)

Wanted Alexian

And the Number 1 reason:

We bet the ranch on this Project. (Do you want to be responsible for thousands of homeless flying Aardvarks?)

May 05 2015

Countdown to Kickstarter

Countdown

Hero-U will be holding another Kickstarter starting May 12 at 12am EDT.

Why another Kickstarter? It’s been two and a half years since we began this journey. We’ve adapted and evolved from a simple tile-based 2D Adventure turn-based Strategy Game to a full 3D Adventure RPG. The game outgrew its initial budget a year ago. For us, the priority was to create an amazing, beautiful, and fun game rather than worry about money.

At least we would like not to worry, but our personal coffers are running low, and some of that is reserved for food. We need to find more funds to pay our awesome team members to finish building and polishing Hero-U. They like to eat occasionally too.

This Kickstarter will determine the scope of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. We’re asking for $100,000 to finish this game with style rather than rush it to the finish line. We want to add to the Sea Cave experience with the Temple to Gog-Sosloth. We want to give the Master Wraith his tomb. We want to give Shawn a little more romance in his life. We can do this with your help.

The new Kickstarter will have some fantastic rewards including new posters of your favorite lands of Gloriana. We have new t-shirts, caps, and cool stuff. We’re offering you a chance to be a part of Hero University.

For backers who pledged at the $20 level on our original Kickstarter, we have a special $20 “Love You Twice As Much” tier which will give you all the rewards of the new $50 tier including the hint book, soundtrack, and beautiful art book.

We’re revealing two playable demos that will show off the game play and some of the style of the game. It’s an Adventure/Strategy/Role-playing game filled with fun.

We hope you’ll help us make this game even greater.

Kickstarter 2015