Happy Thanksgiving

Being grateful is a very important tool for life. That may be an odd way of putting it, but the truth is that learning to regularly count your blessings makes your life richer and more rewarding. It is a way of being mindful of all the little pleasures and wonders that surround our lives on a daily basis.

Right now, I look out my window and the sun is shining on the yellow, gold, and pale green leaves of the massive oaks. The ground, which has been brown and parched by the dry, hot summer, now is a verdant green from the Autumn rains. I’m very happy that I can sit here at my computer and see the changes of nature around me. I’m glad that there were rains after such a long hot drought here. I’m glad that our well didn’t run dry over the summer. I’m glad that though this morning is chilly here in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, I have my blanket, sweater, and hot tea to warm me.

I have a lot to be very thankful about – and many people to be thankful to. I am admiring a blue jay on a fence post outside my window while I do something I love to do – all thanks to you.
You give me the support to work each day to create the tour-de-force that Hero-U will be. Whether you donated to our Kickstarters, wrote us about Quest for Glory’s effect upon your life, commented upon on blog posts, or just gave us a Like on Facebook, you remind us that what we are doing with Hero-U isn’t work – it’s a calling. It’s creating a piece of art that will one day be shared back with you.

Thank You

When I am designing a game, I am constantly thinking of you. What will you want to be able to do in this Situation? How will you want Shawn to talk to people – do you want Shawn to be polite and friendly, or snarky and cynical? What will you want to explore – the dangerous dungeons of monsters and treasure, or the mysteries of friendship and Shawn’s past?

There are a lot of you out there. You are not all alike. So I need to think of all of you and create experiences that will please you whatever your taste may be.

So you are very much on my mind every day. I’m very grateful to you for this opportunity.

Many More Thanks

Of course, I’m not alone while I create Hero-U. Corey’s nearby paying the bills, managing the programming team, and designing the complex systems that underlie the game play. Yes, we’re over budget because we care more about making the game better than we do at being fiscally sound. Somehow, Corey manages to keep this company going and our people paid. I’m very glad that he’s doing it and not me.

I’m very grateful for our programming team. They’ve worked so hard over the last year on Hero-U despite the fact that they all have other jobs and other lives. Cidney, Robert, Judy, and Joshua have worked wonders bringing Hero-U to life. I’m grateful for all the other programmers who helped shape Hero-U over the years – Jerry Shaw, Jonathan Cheatham, Andrew Goulding, Mike Croswell, Rob Eisenberg.

I’m also very thankful for our artists. Without their creative talents and craftsmanship, this game would be lifeless and dull. Thank you, JP, this game is amazingly beautiful and rich thanks to your artistic vision and skill. Game creation is a collaboration and a synergy of creative talents, and JP is as much a designer of this game as I am. I look on the walls beside me at the paintings of Mordavia and Spielburg, the wonderful scene of the Caligari Harbor with the Pegasi flying over the water and the Hero-U castle rising in the bright morning sky, and I am inspired. Hero-U will be a beautiful game thanks to JP.

Of course, I’m also thankful for the other great artists who are helping bring Hero-U to life. Aaron and Chris have turned sketches and drawings into 3D environments. Al gives new animations and motions as well as refining the 3D models to all our characters. Paul, Eric, and Terry all contributed to the look and style of the game. Ryan Grogan gave us the music to give emotional depth to every scene.

That’s Gratitude for You

I’m very grateful to all of these people, most of whom I’ve never met in person. Some of them were former Sierra On-Line people. Most of them were strangers from distant places. And yet, they all help to make Hero-U.

I have a lot for which to be grateful.

Mostly though, I have to be grateful to you. Without you, I couldn’t make Hero-U. Without you, I wouldn’t be working with all these wonderful people creating an amazing game.

Thank you so much.

Dinner with Shawn