Hero-U Project Update #96: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by Corey and Lori Ann Cole by Corey Cole

The time has come! Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is completely playable and ready to enter Beta testing. Alpha testing was challenging, but wonderful – we have never previously had the time and opportunity to find and fix the rough spots in the game. Beta testing will help us add the final polish that will make Hero-U a great game.

What does this mean for the release date? Most likely that will happen 6-8 weeks from now, which puts it in June 2018. That will give us time to fix problems found in Beta, finish the opening cinematic, reach out to reviewers and influencers, and do final polish on the game.

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption at Indie Prize Showcase in London
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption at Indie Prize Showcase in London

In fact, we’re going to show off the game “in public” for the first time at Casual Connect London at the end of May. If you’ll be at the show, please stop by our space and say hello. Hero-U is an Indie Prize finalist, so we’ll be showing it in the Indie Prize Showcase area.

As for influencers, you are our first and most important. Once you get a chance to play Hero-U, please share your experience with your friends and on social media. There are so many games being made these days that discovering great new games can be very challenging. You’ll be doing us and your friends a favor by letting them know which games are worth playing. We hope that Hero-U will place high on your list.

Checking Out the Beta

If your pledge included Beta Test privileges, keep an eye on your email for a message from BackerKit.

Once you log onto BackerKit, click on Digital Downloads (https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com/backer/digital_rewards) to find your Steam key for the Hero-U Beta test. This will also be your key for the full game when we release it – Steam will automatically update it each time we release a new version.

We intend to make Rogue to Redemption available on other sites including gog.com and Humble, but for Beta testing we are only using Steam for simplicity.

While we warned Alpha testers that they would be experiencing a rough and incomplete game, I don’t think we need to do that for potential Beta testers. At this point, the game is complete, and we think it’s a lot of fun. Hero-U is a cross between a Quest for Glory style adventure role-playing game and an epic interactive novel.

An Epic Experience

The latest word count puts us right up with Gone WIth the Wind, although you will only see a fraction of the text during each play-through. We hope you will come back to the game multiple times to catch more of the dialogue and try out different play styles. Shawn can be intelligent, charming, or snarky.

A Quiet Way to Play
A Quiet Way to Play

Shawn can work out in the practice room and take on every monster, or he can avoid almost all of the combats by using stealth and subtlety. In fact, there’s a Steam Achievement waiting for everyone who completes the game without killing any monsters. That will be one of the most challenging of the game’s achievements.

Here’s a bit of silliness we might or might not fit into the Student Handbook:

Better Than Bard

So you’ve been told you’re a “Disbarred Bard”. What does that even mean? Are you a failure, someone defined only by what you’re not? Have you been placed in a remedial class because the Headmaster feels sorry for you?

Far from it! The Disbarred Bards of Hero-U are some of the most promising potential Heroes in the University. Each one of you has enormous potential to rise above the common crowd. But there are as many ways to achieve that potential as there are Disbarred Bards at Hero-U.

It’s up to you (and -U) to decide just what kind of Bard you will be. Will you ride the waves and reach for the High Seas? Will you seek to solve uncertainty and become the next Shawn von Neumann? Steal everyone’s heart as you emulate Shawn Juan? Cure their ills like Dr. Shawnas Salk? Be a Ninja Warrior Bard? Or keep it all to yourself as you look out for number Shawn?

The choices are endless, and it’s all up to you what you take from Hero-U. Let’s look at a few of them:

Riding the High Seas

Caligari has long been renowned for its sailors and seafarers, some more opportunistic than others. The Disbarred Bard curriculum at Hero-U can teach you many of the skills you will need for a seafaring life. You could become the next Shawn Paul Jones or Blackbard!

Make sure you practice your climbing and rope mastery every day. That will help you become more agile as well. Practice combat and defense because you never know when some scurvy scalawag will strive to steal your ship.

(more in the Hero-U Student Handbook… if we decide to use it)

A Shared Journey

Thank you all for your part in helping make Hero-U a reality. When we started down this winding road fifteen years ago with the How To Be A Hero book and website, we had no idea it would lead to us making our most ambitious game project. Even as we finish Rogue to Redemption, we’re looking forward to raising the ante again in every game of the Hero-U series. Every step of the way will be an adventure, and we hope you’ll be there with us!

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