Hero-U

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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:20 am

Collector wrote:I don't see this as purposeful deception. If anything they were deceiving themselves. This may make little difference to the supporters, but I would not call it a scam. I think that the one thing that the Kickstarters have shown is the importance of Ken Williams' role as a manager in Sierra's success. He has said that he learned that you cannot rush creative types, but I would say that there needs to be someone to keep the fire lit under them to keep things moving.


I don't think they were doing a "scam" (I am not even sure DPX is saying that). However, the purpose of Kickstarter is to fund whatever your project is. And you request the amount of funds to complete that project. This cost, should naturally, include labor, food, and whatever else it's going to take to make it a success.

So if your project is going to take $100, you do a Kickstarter for $100.

If your project is going to cost $500,000, you do a Kickstarter for $500,000.

What the Coles did I feel, is said, "Ours is going to cost $1,000,000 {or whatever the total they knew it would be}, but no one is going to fund that much. So let's do a Kickstarter for $500,000, bank on some stretch goals, and put a lean on our property if it comes to that."

Now the fact that they put a lean on their property and all that shows that they're willing to go the distance and do some pretty incredible things for this Kickstarter.

But what's that done - by not coming out and saying - from the get go - that this is what they're going to do - is leave a bunch of people (6,093 from the initial Kickstarter) who have donated anywhere from $5 to $500 or $1000 - wondering, "What will become of my money?" (There's even hardcore people - six people donated $1,000; 19 people donated $1,050; five people donated $2,000; three people donated $2,500; two people donated $7,500)... Can you even begin to imagine? You've donated over $1,000 - and no sign of this game being done anytime soon - after almost four years (in October)?

As someone who donated to the Kickstarter; I would have preferred the honest cost up front to make my choice whether or not I would back it up.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Mostly » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:28 pm

I trust that $400,000 was appropriate and sufficient for their original idea (2D, top-down, tile-based game using the Brawsome engine), although Corey said last year that the planned budget for that game was actually $650,000.
We budgeted $650K for the project (which would have been at least an $800K Kickstarter campaign), asked $400K because that was the most we could expect, and have done our best with what we had.

They probably could have covered the rest with venture capital or other means, so while a bad omen for what was to come in their business decisions this doesn't concern me too much (more on that later).

However, the major problem is the Coles got caught up in backer excitement for a bigger and better game (wanting to address the lukewarm reception to their original pitch). During the kickstarter campaign they promised backers a different, more expensive game in order to secure funding for a 2D game that would no longer be developed. Whatever that game concept later became (3D game), $400,000 definitely wasn't enough. That's why they lost one of their original team members so soon after the campaign ended - the terms of the original contract (for the 2D game) had changed and that person wasn't confident Corey could pay him and/or actually finish the game. As I said in my last post, the Coles should have either stuck with the 2D game or canceled the kickstarter and relaunched it later on for the 3D game.

In other words, if $400k was not enough for the 2D game w/ an existing engine then it certainly would not have been enough for a 3D game requiring engine development, more character/environment modeling, etc. Their pitch changed from "2D, top-down, tile-based game w/ Brawsome engine" to "a game from the Coles that is more complex than that 2D game" but the funding goal didn't change with it.

Still, I don't think they came to the kickstarter in bad faith with that original game concept, but once they compromised the first idea just to get funded they dug a big hole.

Recall above I mentioned the possibility of venture capital. For some inexplicable reason, Corey turned down a $500,000 investment offer in 2013.
Other games have supplemented their Kickstarter funding with venture capital. We probably should have done that. Big Corey mistake was turning down a $500,000 investment in 2013. I could try to get an investment like that again, but we don't need that much money, and it comes at a very high cost.

We don't know the details of that offer, but I have a hard time understanding why Corey would turn it down. That would have fixed many of the financial issues they were having at the time, in 2013 no less.

I still give the Coles the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their intentions to make a game for their fans. However, as mean as it sounds I think they grossly overestimated how much people wanted or needed a new adventure/RPG from the Coles. They saw their former Sierra and adventure games peers diving back into the mix and thought, "Hey, why not us too?" I'm not saying they should have given up, but their misconception of how big the audience is for this game has led to many poor decisions of making things harder and more expensive for themselves.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:50 pm

Mostly wrote:I trust that $400,000 was appropriate and sufficient for their original idea (2D, top-down, tile-based game using the Brawsome engine), although Corey said last year that the planned budget for that game was actually $650,000.
We budgeted $650K for the project (which would have been at least an $800K Kickstarter campaign), asked $400K because that was the most we could expect, and have done our best with what we had.



So, they knew going on that it wasn't enough.

Mostly wrote:However, the major problem is the Coles got caught up in backer excitement for a bigger and better game (wanting to address the lukewarm reception to their original pitch). During the kickstarter campaign they decided they would do a different, more expensive game in order to secure funding for a 2D game that would no longer be developed. Whatever that game concept later became (3D game), $400,000 definitely wasn't enough. That's why they lost one of their original team members so soon after the kickstarter - the terms of the original contract (for the 2D game) had changed and that person wasn't confident Corey could pay him and/or actually finish the game. As I said in my last post, the Coles should have either stuck with the 2D game or canceled the kickstarter and relaunched it later on for the 3D game.


They should have stuck with the 2D version. I admit, it wasn't that great looking - but that's all right. I was doing it to support the Coles in producing a game. I knew they didn't have a big studio behind them; so I wasn't expecting much. I kid you not, if they had done the game with the SCI thing; I would have been more than happy with what I donated to get a game that looks like Quest for Glory III. They're not a big studio; they didn't need to make it a "modern day game."

Mostly wrote:Recall above I mentioned the possibility of venture capital. For some inexplicable reason, Corey turned down a $500,000 investment offer in 2013.
Other games have supplemented their Kickstarter funding with venture capital. We probably should have done that. Big Corey mistake was turning down a $500,000 investment in 2013. I could try to get an investment like that again, but we don't need that much money, and it comes at a very high cost.

We don't know the details of that offer, but I have a hard time understanding why Corey would turn it down. That would have fixed many of the financial issues they were having at the time, in 2013 no less.


Curious if part of the reason it was turned down was losing some kind of creative control of the game... maybe some company was willing to investing, having seen other Sierra Adventure game related Kickstarters... but wanted to do their own thing with it...

Mostly wrote:I still give the Coles the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their intentions to make a game for their fans. However, as mean as it sounds I think they grossly overestimated how much people wanted or needed a new adventure/RPG from the Coles. They saw their former Sierra and adventure games peers diving back into the mix and thought, "Hey, why not us too?" I'm not saying they should have given up, but their misconception of how big the audience is for this game has led to many poor decisions of making things harder and more expensive for themselves.


Oh, I think the Coles are pretty cool people - they're pretty nice on Facebook (and Twitter, though in recent times, they've gone silent on both).

I don't think they're bad or evil. Or liars. I just think they should have been a wee bit more honest about their Kickstarter.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Mostly » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:57 pm

Tawmis wrote:So, they knew going on that it wasn't enough.


Yea, which isn't a huge deal if they had plans for how to supplement the remaining budget or had already spoken to potential investors before the campaign (like many kickstarters have done). But if they were just going to wing it, that's not a responsible approach at all.

Tawmis wrote:They should have stuck with the 2D version. I admit, it wasn't that great looking - but that's all right. I was doing it to support the Coles in producing a game. I knew they didn't have a big studio behind them; so I wasn't expecting much. I kid you not, if they had done the game with the SCI thing; I would have been more than happy with what I donated to get a game that looks like Quest for Glory III. They're not a big studio; they didn't need to make it a "modern day game."


Agreed 100%, especially on the bold. I kind of liked the 2D concept. They could have still made a good game with some fun puzzles and a clever combat/RPG system. Going old-school with the AGS engine would have been cool, too.

The bigger issue was that the Coles didn't do much work in advance to prototype or sell that original concept, other than a few mock-up screenshots, and as a result they scrambled to convince potential backers to fund any project from them without enough considerations for what they were committing themselves to do.

Tawmis wrote:Curious if part of the reason it was turned down was losing some kind of creative control of the game... maybe some company was willing to investing, having seen other Sierra Adventure game related Kickstarters... but wanted to do their own thing with it...


Creative control was probably a factor. To be frank everything I've seen of Hero-U seems a little bland - it's not bad, but it doesn't seem like there's enough there to warrant passing on $500,000 to preserve a singular creative vision. If that vision is there I just don't see it (I feel genuinely awful to say that and hope I'm wrong).

Tawmis wrote:Oh, I think the Coles are pretty cool people - they're pretty nice on Facebook (and Twitter, though in recent times, they've gone silent on both).

I don't think they're bad or evil. Or liars. I just think they should have been a wee bit more honest about their Kickstarter.


Yea we all love the Coles and hope it works out for them. It's just a shame what's transpired. Most importantly I think they should have been more honest with themselves about how capable they were of not just making a game but managing its development and how hungry the gaming audience was for a new title from them. If there's one thing the adventure game kickstarter wave taught me, a small but diehard fanbase of old adventure fans isn't enough to guarantee success. Moebius sold poorly. LSL Reloaded didn't do too well I think. Tesla Effect also sold poorly and was in the $1 tier of a Humble Bundle 6 months after release. Most of these games simply didn't make enough money, for whatever reason (quality, size of audience, etc.).
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Mostly » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:54 pm

Kickstarter update

There are some new screens and a video of "knife-throwing practice."

Corey in the comments

We're on schedule for completion late this year, but I'm not sure if "completion" will mean release or final beta. I'll know more by September.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:38 pm

Mostly wrote:Kickstarter update
There are some new screens and a video of "knife-throwing practice."
Corey in the comments
We're on schedule for completion late this year, but I'm not sure if "completion" will mean release or final beta. I'll know more by September.


It's weird... when I first backed Kickstarter - I thought it was going to be like Quest for Glory. More fantasy.

Now, the more I see, I see it's more - a British Game with Fantasy Elements - a lot like - well, the latest Kickstarter update - closer to Harry Potter. A guy. In a school. Rather than a magic user, he's a thief.

I dunno. The more I see, the more I am getting disappointed... I guess it's my own fault, because the others have remained close to what they did before (LSL = LSL, SQ = SpaceVenture, GK = Moebius... and well, GK1Reloaded)... so I guess I had it in my head, it'd feel a lot closer to QFG. But who knows - it just might.

I do like Harry Potter.

So... we shall see.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:39 pm

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Re: Hero-U

Postby DeadPoolX » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:08 pm

Serena Nelson (of Cliqist) recently interviewed Corey Cole about Hero-U and wrote an article of it entitled "Going Back to School With Hero-U’s Corey Cole" that was posted yesterday, so it's very up-to-date.

Nelson shares many of the same viewpoints and disappointment that many people (such as Tawmis and I) feel over the constant delays and extremely poor management of the project.

Unfortunately, as interesting as Nelson's article — and brief interview — is on the subject, she doesn't really cover anything new. Given the progress (or lack thereof) of Hero-U, I suppose that's not surprising. After all, you can't write much about a game that's been in development hell for years now.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Collector » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:51 pm

It really emphasizes the role that Ken Williams had in creating these games. Not just the business end of it, but these projects need someone to keep it on track. He said that he learned that you could not rush creative people, but it seems that someone needs to keep them focused.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:09 pm

Collector wrote:It really emphasizes the role that Ken Williams had in creating these games. Not just the business end of it, but these projects need someone to keep it on track. He said that he learned that you could not rush creative people, but it seems that someone needs to keep them focused.


You can not rush creative people; that much is true. But you can help keep them inspired, focused and on track.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Mostly » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Update

State of The Game

We’re making great progress. Adam immediately started to bring new tools to our development process, such as ways of showing the interaction points for all of the objects in a scene. This is a great way to make sure that every object has a waypoint and that they’re in the right places.

Currently we’re working on mini-games such as trap disarming and puzzles. Joshua is getting back to the combat system after adding many new features to the game and Composer systems.

Our target is Beta at the end of the year, and release once the game is absolutely solid. Due to the complexity of character interactions and the scripts, we expect to have an extended beta of around 3 months.
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:54 pm

Mostly wrote:Update
State of The Game
We’re making great progress. Adam immediately started to bring new tools to our development process, such as ways of showing the interaction points for all of the objects in a scene. This is a great way to make sure that every object has a waypoint and that they’re in the right places.
Currently we’re working on mini-games such as trap disarming and puzzles. Joshua is getting back to the combat system after adding many new features to the game and Composer systems.
Our target is Beta at the end of the year, and release once the game is absolutely solid. Due to the complexity of character interactions and the scripts, we expect to have an extended beta of around 3 months.


You beat me to it.

So at least we now have some sort of "visible" date... It's... progress...
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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:41 pm

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Re: Hero-U

Postby Tawmis » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:24 pm

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Re: Hero-U

Postby Mostly » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:00 pm

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tr ... t-15498809

Corey Cole 2-time creator 3 days ago

Thank you so much! Your support is much appreciated.
We really do see light at the end of the tunnel for mid-2017 release (probably May or June), but it's hard to predict because making games is all about people, and we do need another programmer or two. Who we get, and what happens next with the team, will determine how quickly and how well we are able to wrap this up.


It doesn't sound very good at all. They're out of money from the 2nd kickstarter and in need of 1-2 programmers.
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