In the midst of Winter, there are times when it seems as if the chilling gloom will never end. Game projects go through a similar period when the game is like a scattered jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing. It is hard to believe that the project will ever be completed. But even in the depths of the coldest and darkest Winter days, we know that Spring will be reborn with joyous warmth and sunshine. So too, we know that Hero-U will find all the pieces of the puzzle, put them together into a beautiful picture, and we will be ready to release the game so that we can share that beauty with all of you.
The pieces are coming together now. There are many more pieces to this game puzzle than we expected when we started out. We listened to our fans and supporters. Thus, the Sea Caves are much more extensive than we planned. Our animation is becoming more sophisticated. Our programming is becoming more elegant and expressive.
It will still take months to fit all the pieces into the game. It will take more months to test it all and make sure it lives up to its heritage of QfG and the expectations of its fans. However, we are springing closer to our goal every day.
All of the backgrounds for the Sea Caves have been completed by JP Selwood and Aaron Martin. This means that all of the background art is finished.
So, is the art done? No, not exactly.
When we started out designing the art for the game, we created backgrounds like a stage set with many reusable walls and props. This made the scenes seem a little dull and artificial.
We have started the polishing phase of the project. We are going over many of the older rooms now to make them more dramatic and dynamic. Each prop is handcrafted from the finest pixels. Each room is aglow with the careful arrangement of many-colored lights. It’s amazing what lighting can do to bring out the emotions in a scene.
We are also refining and improving our user interface design to make the game play intuitive and yet beautiful.
Our newest programmer, Carolyn VanEseltine, is crafting each scene with character movements and camera placement to bring a cinematic approach to game interaction.
Josh Mandel is bringing his clever wit and wry humor to Hero-U whenever the player examines objects or interacts with the myriad of props and decorations in the rooms.
My dialogue script keeps getting longer and more sophisticated as the stories of all the characters in the game are revealed. This is the richest, most complex story I have ever written.
The game just keeps getting better and better.
Of all the games I’ve worked on in the past, Hero-U has the best team and the best art. I could not be prouder of what we are creating with Rogue to Redemption.
I was asked to speak about Adventure Games at the 30th Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco in Mid March. I was one of twelve Keynote Speakers; together, we gave a retrospective of the game industry over the past 30 years.
There are some truly amazing Adventure Games today. The genre did not die when Sierra folded and LucasArts turned its back on the medium. Instead, adventure games morphed into the interactive, episodic stories of Telltale Games and other studios. They are being jumpstarted by Kickstarter, giving designers like Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island), Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango), and Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight) the opportunity to make great games once more. Games like “Her Story” and “Life is Strange” tell compelling stories by reinventing the genre.
Adventure Games are alive and well.
A Kickstarter I Love
My favorite cartoonists and web comic creators, Kaja and Phil Foglio, are raising money to publish the latest edition of the adventures of Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius, on Kickstarter. If you like a wild, ribald romp through the world of Mad Scientists and Steampunk, then read Girl Genius on line. If you love the comics as much as we do, then support their Girl Genius Kickstarter.