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oasis789 November 10th, 2012 08:21

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, from the Quest for Glory creators

Like role playing but bored of monster slaying and fetch quests? Wish games had more meaningful plots and memorable characters? Join novice thief Shawn O'Conner as he attends the hallowed halls of Hero University (think Hogwarts meets D&D) and navigates the trials of college life. Your choices determine whether he becomes a noble hero, a ruthless villain, or some mix in between. You decide if he will use force or finesse, persuasion or cunning to overcome obstacles and accomplish goals. But remember, all choices inevitably have consequences. And that's just the freshman semester of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.

What is Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption?

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is an upcoming fantasy RPG, currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. It's set in a university for adventurers, where you play a thief who was caught and has been sentenced to reform school. If the bullies don't get you, the midterms will, or the extracurriculars in the catacombs below.
  • Turn-based tactical combat with emphasis on stealth, deception, and traps, oh my
  • Adventure game style puzzles with multiple solutions
  • Tough decisions that affect branching storyline
  • Deep interaction and relationships with NPCs and their hidden agendas
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux support!

The game designers have very strong views on adventure game and RPG genre conventions and this game is supposed to tip all these sacred cows over.


Who's making it?

Designers: Lori and Corey Cole, the creators of the classic Sierra Quest for Glory series, adventure/RPG hybrid Shannara, and puzzle game Castle of Dr. Brain. Basically, they made the games of my childhood.

Developers: Andrew Goulding, founder of Brawsome, developer of the Jolly Rover and MacGuffin's Curse adventure games. Haven't played those games yet myself, but they seem fun from the LP videos.

Art: Among others, Eriq Chang and John Paul Selwood, who did the artwork in the Quest for Glory II remake, which was done pretty.


What is Quest for Glory?

Quest for Glory was a series of adventure-RPG hybrids in the Sierra line (King's Quest, Space Quest, Gabriel Knight etc) that combined RPG elements into the traditional point-and-click adventure genre, with storylines that borrow heavily from folklore and mythology, and a brand of humor that emphasized puns and wordplay.

The games were a lot of fun because they had puzzles with multiple solutions depending on your character class, descriptions and dialogue genuinely worth reading and laughing at, and character import - characters from the 1st game could bring their stats and skills all the way to the 5th game. They even had a secret class (Paladin) that was only available through import if you had played a certain way in the previous games. There were many, many ways to die in the games, and all of them were fun enough to try once before reloading. Here's one of them from QFG4. Some fans loved the series so much, they remade one of the games (which you can play for free!).

Hero-U is being planned as a similar five-part series, with each game focusing on a different class character.


Tell me more!

I can't do better than to point you to their site and some of the more informative articles about it:

If you have questions ask away and I'll try my best to point you at the game designers' answers.


Sacred_Path November 10th, 2012 15:38

I really like the music so far. Even though the composer has probably taken more than one cue from the Harry Potter movies

oasis789 November 10th, 2012 20:11

Well, going to Hogwarts was one of my dreams

Sacred_Path November 11th, 2012 00:22

lol yes. The whole thing pretty much screams Hogwarts.

wolfing November 11th, 2012 01:45

I pledged, definitely a game I'd like to play.

Carnifex November 11th, 2012 19:35

I'm on the fringe on this one, is it truly an RPG? Looks and reads to be more of an adventure game, but maybe I'm missing something. If it really has C&C elements, I could be convinced to pony up some cash.


oasis789 November 11th, 2012 20:41


Originally Posted by Carnifex (Post 1061170477)
If it really has C&C elements, I could be convinced to pony up some cash.

C&C? I know not this acronym

Carnifex November 12th, 2012 02:21

C&C for me are choices and consequences.


oasis789 November 12th, 2012 03:44


Originally Posted by Carnifex (Post 1061170540)
C&C for me are choices and consequences.

The Coles discuss that in update 5:


There are a lot of "black and white" games out there. They give the players two paths good or evil, etc. That's an improvement over making the player sit through a linear, non-branching story.

But we can do better. Yes/No, Either/Or, Binary pathing is so last century! It's also not the way life works.

Quest for Glory broke the mold of D&D-style games by eliminating experience levels. Instead, players gradually improved each of their skills through practice. In Hero-U, we are doing the same thing for character relationships. All of your actions during the game will affect how others see you, and how they react in turn.

No two players are likely to see the exact same story in Hero-U. Each player will forge their own relationships, and choose where to spend their time. The subtle connection between these decisions will affect many aspects of game play.

This won't as simple as "You're a Thief" or "You're a Rogue Hero." The game like real life will be much more complex and layered. Shades of grey mean something in Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption.
Let's say for instance you've been friendly to one of the other students. Maybe that student saw you in the hallway after curfew, but she'll keep quiet about it. Or maybe she'll mention a useful book in the library. If things work out, maybe you can develop a romantic relationship.

Of course, the opposite is true too. Maybe someone else is jealous of that budding relationship, and decides to make you look bad. There are a lot of ways for a Rogue to find revenge. Maybe one of your teachers will stand up for you, or maybe everyone will hang you out to dry. Everything you do in the game will affect someone's attitude towards you, positively, negatively, or sideways. That would be the case when a plot element hinges on your actions, and a character decides you might be useful to them… or not.

The people who write walkthroughs for games are going to have a hard time with Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. The players, on the other hand, may find themselves playing the game over and over, trying to see what changes when they take a different attitude. The developers will need to develop some automated tests to check out all the options.
You can read more of what they think on this and related topics in updates 8 and 9.

oasis789 November 15th, 2012 04:24

An interesting worldbuilding tidbit from update 17:


Alexander Freed (a writer on the SW:tOR team) wrote:

I've worked as a fiction writer for about a decade now, largely in the world of video games. I won't say I wouldn't be doing this without Quest for Glory (or Hero's Quest, as my ten-year-old self will always think of it), but those games absolutely shaped my sense of what was possible in an interactive narrative.

Breaking down plots with other writers, I've repeatedly used Trial by Fire as an example of the Right Way to generate player emotional investment in a city setting--not just by giving the player quests involving a place's residents and history, but by creating a large and rich supporting cast with attitudes that evolve slowly and subtly. Other games have tried it, of course, but few have executed it as well.

Shadows of Darkness remains one of my touchstones for how to give a player the chance to make All Things Right--not requiring it, but allowing players who want the happiest ending for everyone to actually achieve it. (Yes, I saved the Rusalka.)

To this day, I'm still comforted by how few "bad guys" the series had (Ad Avis and the Demon Wizard are the only ones who spring to mind)--my bleeding heart wishes there more modern games that didn't insist on having a Guy You Hate and Kill.

oasis789 November 17th, 2012 22:15

Update with some preview art from Eriq, the artist:


oasis789 November 19th, 2012 10:43

So the official website has been completely revamped. It's well worth a look even just for the new art! I attached a nice one below.

With the campaign coming to a close and still a ways to go, it's now or never folks.


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