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Would it make more sense to make a game (much like) Quest for Glory? Hard to say. In any case, between the original Hero's Quest and Quest for Glory 5, development budgets ballooned from $250K up to over $2.5M. Even if it was (only) $1.5M, that's too much to ask on Kickstarter.
You can't step into the same stretch of river twice. The Quest for Glory games were a unique combination of Lori's and my background with the tools we had available at Sierra. If we had been working for a company with different tools, we would have made an entirely different game.
In fact, when I designed Castle of Dr. Brain - using those same tools - I would argue that *it* was an entirely different look and feel from Quest for Glory. Based on reviews and comments, people seem to think it was just as fun. Did lightning just happen to strike twice in the same place, or did I actually know something about designing games? A little of each, I'd say.
We tend to look at games, films, etc. with the unique perspective of being able to see the finished product. Will Hero-U be as much fun to play as Quest for Glory (pick your favorite number)? That's impossible to tell. Filmmakers all think they're making great films, but only in hindsight can we find out which ones were right about which of their films. Peter Jackson did an amazing job with Lord of the Rings, but I found his King Kong disappointing. Am I looking forward to his take on The Hobbit - knowing that he's changed a lot of things? You bet I am!
What Lori and I will promise is that we are putting the same work and dedication into Hero-U as we put into each of our other games. We still have the same (gamers sensibility) that we applied as a yardstick each time. Hopefully we'll be funny. Hopefully the dialogue will work as well as it did in Quest for Glory. Is it possible we'll get this one wrong? Sure it's possible - but I don't think it's the way to bet.
Of course, you can always (wait and see). But then the game might not happen at all. It's pretty much up to you, the players, to determine the fate of Hero-U. If you want higher production values, support at a higher level and get more of your friends to support the project. For now, we've designed a minimalist style that can be implemented within a reasonable budget. It's more important to make sure that we can complete the game than to promise a level of polish that we won't be able to fund.
It's all about the story. and the puzzles. and the characters. and the game mechanics. and the play balance. :-) Those are where we'll be spending our time. In the meantime, the only promise we can make is that we will work hard to create the best experience we can. Really, that's as much as anyone can promise.
And the part I left out...
Actually, it's "all about" the art and music and solid code too. We can have it all if we're smart about it... and we intend to be!