There's a third update to read through on Transolar Entertainment's Kickstarter page for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, with this entry focusing on concerns surrounding the game's additional focus on RPG vs. adventure, the reasons behind the game's turn-based combat, how the protagonist will be able to avoid combat altogether, and more.
It's a Floor Wax AND a Dessert Topping
Add enough character development, and a bit of combat, to an adventure game, and you have a CRPG. Add enough story and puzzles to a CRPG, and you have an adventure game. Why settle for just one?
That's exactly what we did with Quest for Glory. We started with an engine that was designed strictly for graphic adventure games, and then we started adding on layers. First, we let you choose abilities that affected how well your character could fight, climb, cast magical spells, and so on. Then we added a layer of skill improvement through practice. And finally, we let your character fight vicious enemies with all of those abilities, just like in a CRPG.
It worked – We ended up with a game that was both an Adventure and a CRPG. We're doing it again with Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, but this time we're focusing even more on the character and the story. Shawn has strong reasons for improving his skills and solving the mysteries around him. As a result, you will help him become better equipped to make his way past diabolical traps and overcome the forces of evil. Or maybe join them – Sometimes that's easier.
Puzzled About the Combat?
We want combat to be interesting and exciting, but not a "twitch game", which is why Hero-U uses a turn-based, tactical combat system. We are turning combat into a puzzle, but one to which every player will find different solutions.
Adventure gamers thrive on puzzles. They are why an adventure game is more than just watching a movie or reading a book. Adventures are interactive, and everything you do in the game furthers the plot, or branches it, or gets your character past an obstacle. We love to solve puzzles, and they make the player part of the game.
But there are limits to the types of puzzles you can put in a computer game, and too often they devolve into asking the player to guess the designer's mind. Famous game designer Ron Gilbert wrote "Why Adventure Games Suck" about this problem. If we want to make it better, we need more types of puzzles, not to keep using the same ones over and over.
Adding role-playing skills and tactical combat to an adventure game is one way to solve this dilemma. The game designer might have "the solution" – or two or three – in mind, but the players will find a dozen other ways to use their skills to get past each challenge. This amazing open-endedness is what makes tabletop roleplaying so fun, but it's lacking in most CRPG's and adventure games because it's hard to allow and balance.
Lori and I thrive on "hard". So does Andrew, and he'll soon be learning a new definition of it. :-)
Yeah, but I Hate Combat
You know those multiple solutions? Many of them involve avoiding fights entirely. As a Rogue, Shawn can sneak around many combat situations. He can get away from them by using sneezing or flash powder. He can sneak up behind his enemies and take them out of action before they know he's there. He can lay traps to keep his enemies away. Hero-U's tactical movement and action features will let you play the game the way you want to play it.