Hero-U

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Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Wed May 01, 2013 2:57 pm

So with the kickstarters soon to be blooming and being released, I figured I'd kick off some threads for each "Sierra related" Kickstarter (or at least the ones I am aware of and funded).

Hero-U is from Lori and Corey Cole, who as you - I am sure! - know, the makers for Quest for Glory. Their new RPG looks quite a bit different than any of the versions of QFG that we saw - but, Lori and Corey always delivered solid games with QFG, so I am not worried! What are you most excited about? And did you fund the Kickstarter? What was it that made you want to fund it for as much as you did?

Note: You can share the following URL with others to bring them to this thread: http://tinyurl.com/herouSHP
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Tue May 14, 2013 2:35 pm

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Re: Hero-U

Postby DeadPoolX » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:24 pm

As a backer, I got the Hero-U demo, so I tried it out.

Wow. I mean that as in a very bad "wow."

First of all, the demo is a joke. It's you walking around one room in someone's home, checking out furniture and items, and "stealing" a few things. I put "steal" in quotes because the actual act of thievery comes down to right-clicking on objects and the character deciding whether or not to take them himself.

Beyond that, the game's production values are terrible.

The graphics are piss-poor and cartoony. They actually look worse than some Flash games I've played from over five years ago. For some reason or another, your character's legs randomly become transparent as well.

Real-time shadows and lighting are completely absent. There are some shadows drawn in, but they don't have any meaning in the game world. Try walking through them and you remain just as lit up as if you were in full view of candles or other lights.

The viewpoint is weird, as it's some sort of pseudo-isometric style, which doesn't really work. It looks like 3D was attempted, but they didn't know how to implement it within a 2D engine.

Interactivity is at a bare minimum. You can left-click or right-click to move around (which results in your character leisurely strolling about, while his legs walk in a very awkward manner) and you interact with objects by right-clicking.

If you right-click on an object that you can interact with, it brings up a menu of several options. Most of these involve choosing an option and watching your character say he can't do something. Every so often, he'll comply.

As far as I can recall, there's music, a few sound effects, and no audible dialogue. Everything is written and meant to be read-only. This isn't entirely a bad thing considering bad voice acting is worse than no voice acting. However, the lack of voice acting is very strange in this day and age.

I know this is a demo, and probably an alpha build at that, but it's still lousy. Most demos, even alpha builds, are in better shape than this.

There are a bunch of titles on Steam right now under the category of "Early Access" which means they're all in various states of alpha or beta. These are all from independent developers.

None of the Early Access titles are in as poor of state as Hero-U, and comparatively speaking, Hero-U is a much, much simpler game, so it has no excuse.

I hope the Coles get their act together and that this demo they released was more of an oversight/mistake/work-in-progress than actually being representative of the final product.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Collector » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:54 pm

To be fair, the project has a fairly small budget and probably a small team. That said, I was not terribly impressed with the graphics, either. I am not a fan of the cartoony outside of where it fits (i.e. an Al Lowe game). I think often this style is more to hide what would otherwise be bad or lazy artwork. My fear is that many of these new games will fall short enough that they will do more damage to the adventure genre and the Sierra legacy revival than help it. This is not so much of a lack of faith in these veteran developers as it is a concern that they do not have the resources to do them justice.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby AndreaDraco » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:37 am

Collector wrote:This is not so much of a lack of faith in these veteran developers as it is a concern that they do not have the resources to do them justice.


I agree. Wholeheartedly. And I'm incredibly sad to say that, alas, this applies to Moebius too.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby OmerMor » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:26 pm

Corey Cole is responding to criticism in this thread: http://www.adventuregamers.com/forums/viewthread/2699/
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Re: Hero-U

Postby DeadPoolX » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:12 pm

Some of those criticisms are harsh; accurate, perhaps, but still could've been worded a bit more tactfully.

One thing I noticed in that thread is that Corey seems almost too defensive and picked on a few people who gave their opinions. I realize it's virtually impossible not to feel insulted when someone heavily criticizes your work, but reacting with hostility won't help.

I do think part of the problem is money, but also that the Coles are out simply out of touch with the current gaming market. Al Lowe was as well, which probably accounted for the overall poor quality of his LSL remake.

People expect more out of games than they did in the 80s and 90s, and it seems that former Sierra designers don't understand that.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:40 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:People expect more out of games than they did in the 80s and 90s, and it seems that former Sierra designers don't understand that.


Yeah, but you'd think most of the people that backed these projects (SpaceVenture, Hero-U, LSL, Pinkerton Road) - are all "Sierra fans" from the classic days. You'd think these are people that understand that these games are not being made by Activision or EA (or whoever the big gaming companies are these days) that simply churn out Battlefield XXX: Shoot To Kill. Again. over and over again. These are former Sierra employees and game designers, working within a limited budget that they got from Kickstarter (which, you know, $500,000 money seems like a lot of money - but I'd bet that most of these designers are throwing their OWN money into the project as well, to keep it going).

I admit, I am not a fan of the over all look and feel of Hero-U, even when they were showing initial screen shots during the Kickstarter campaign. This, however, didn't stop me from backing them. I want to show my support for their endeavors and be thankful for them giving us another game, and taking the time (and stress) to do it (again, because it's not under some big corporate umbrella, so money and having a team, is no doubt a pretty big issue). Will I play this game as much as I did Hero's Quest/Quest for Glory - who knows. The initial graphics, tell me no. But then I think, I still play these old classic Sierra games - and these games are 16bit color games (like King's Quest 1 and 2).

So I am, ever hopeful, that design the graphics (and it's not that they're "bad" to me - it just reminds me of Ultima graphics, which I was never fond of).

I always kind of wished that these guys (any one of the Sierra people) recreated the SCI game engine (or close to it) - and gave us games like King's Quest IV, Colonel's Bequest, etc. Or even something more advanced like King's Quest V or VI.

It'd also be cool if these Sierra peeps did what Image Comics did - they banded together to make "Image" comics as an umbrella company - and then each had a division of their own beneath it (Top Cow Comics, Extreme Comics, WildStorm, etc). That way, they could develop/use one game engine for all of these games, so there's a sense of familiarity between the game. But... that's just wishful thinking and dreaming.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Collector » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:28 pm

Looks like the Coles have changed the art of Hero-U. It is now full 3-D

Hero-U.jpg


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/18 ... sts/978955
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Re: Hero-U

Postby miljo » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:15 am

Anyone interested in reading the exclusive backer reports?
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Rath Darkblade » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:05 am

Erm, yes? *surprised*
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:14 pm

I'd ask you just PM those interested, so the Coles don't see exclusive content being posted here.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby DeadPoolX » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:02 pm

One of the Kickstarter projects I backed just finished, so while I was collecting the Steam key I was guaranteed, I decided to check on Hero-U.

Do you guys realize that I backed the game back on November 8, 2012? The original release was projected for 2013.

Now I know games often take longer than originally expected, but this is getting ridiculous. When November of this year rolls around, it'll have been THREE years since I donated (and I imagine tons of other people as well).

What do we have to show for it? An alpha-demo that was so bad it almost seemed like an April Fool's joke and some screenshots, plus updates. That's it.

Even worse, the Coles are now asking for MORE MONEY! That's right, they want more money to finish their project because they say they knew they'd require more money to complete the project.

What about the people who've already donated for their Kickstarter campaign? That money was collected and CANNOT be refunded.

So if the Coles now don't get the extra money they claim they knew they'd need (but apparently didn't ask for at the time), the project won't be finished and the money given for the original Kickstarter is wasted.

I'm more than a bit angry about this. Not only have they completely changed the look, feel, and aim of the game I backed (it doesn't really resemble what was promised in the beginning), but now they want more money because they've either run over budget or lied about the funds they needed in the first place.

I really wish I could get a refund. I know I can't and it's been far too long to issue a chargeback on my credit card. Unfortunately, I'll just have to assume that the money I pledged is burned and that if Hero-U ever sees the light of day, it'll be years from now given how long it's taking them to do anything.

I just feel bad for the people who gave a lot of money. I only donated $20 (which was all that was needed to get a DRM-free copy and my name in the credits), so losing that isn't a major setback. Annoying, yes, but it won't be a financial hardship. However, there were people who pledged as much as $7,500, and they'll probably never see anything for it.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby OmerMor » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:29 pm

I feel bad for the Coles.
I'm certain they meant well and just lacked what it takes to plan correctly. I hope they're not burning their personal savings on this (mis)adventure.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Collector » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:42 pm

Kind of show how critical it is to have someone like Ken to keep things moving and within bounds, even if it occasionally put them at loggerheads with each other.
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