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:

Original Trek BIH

BIH Original Trek

This is now:

Next Generation BIH

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.

Sneaking 'round the Cellar

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:

  1. The combat system, including effects of skills, abilities, and equipment
  2. The inventory system with the ability to collect and use items
  3. Animation for doors, Shawn, and monsters
  4. The environment, including lighting, obstacles, and special areas
  5. What happens when Shawn moves behind a wall? How do you see him?
  6. Messages reflecting combat and other actions
  7. Music and sound effects
  8. 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.

Drat the Drats

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!