|Summer Daze is set in the same location as Rogue to Redemption: Hero-U|
Lori and Corey Cole, the developers behind the Quest for Glory series and also Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption have launched a new Kickstarter campaign today aiming to raise $100,000 USD (about $148,869 AUD) for a spin-off title called Summer Daze at Hero-U. We're in the last few hours of the first day and the game has already raised almost $60,000 AUD thanks to 628 backers.
Summer Daze at Hero-U is a bit of a departure from your typical Sierra adventure or the sort of game that Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption turned out to be. Corey Cole claims it's "part visual novel, part adventure game and a dash of 'light RPG'" although it does look like it's most heavily inspired by the visual novel genre. Cole also describe the game as a "cross between a dating sim and an interactive storybook" which is apparently similar to "Dream Daddy or Long Live the Queen but with 10x the story and dialogue of games in their categories".
What I've played of the demo (available at itch.io) seems to echo what Cole is talking about: this is like one of the higher quality visual novels you get to play complete with great artwork (thanks to the efforts of JP Selwood and Al Eufrasio) and a great soundtrack that incorporates old stuff from Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption as well as new stuff thanks to Brandon Blume. Due to the reduced complexity in designing a visual novel-style game and the fact the development team is already one year into development (with a demo to show for it), it seems that this project will be a less risky proposition than Rogue to Redemption which ended up taking almost 6 years to complete (to be fair, there were a lot of pretty good reasons for the delays and it's to the Coles's credit that they persevered in delivering the game regardless - more than could be said for a lot of other developers with more funding).
|The Summer Daze at Hero-U development team|
In terms of lore and features, the game works as a prequel to Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption and occurs just before Shawn O'Conner arrives. The story will revolve around the annual Harvest Festival at the end of Summer and you'll have the choice to play as one of two characters: Tilly Appleberry, a "sweet but mischievous rogue" and Ifeyo Kinah, "an honourable wizard". The game will feature 23 unique characters and 25 locations.
What remains to be seen is how much impact will choices make on the overall story. I'm hoping it has quite an impact but I haven't really been able to gauge that so far in the demo (it's set too early I suspect). All I know is that the comments that there are some adventure and RPG elements in this visual novel and the fact there were some comparisons made with Long Live the Queen (a game that's part visual novel, part life management sim) are good signs.
There are currently a few backer tiers starting from $25 USD (which gives you a copy of the game) right up to the $500 USD tier which gives you a whole bunch of goodies such as an autographed poster, game DVD, soundtrack (CD and digital), journal, cloth map and downloadable art book, downloadable colouring book, as well as being prominently featured in the credits. If you want entry level recognition in the credits, there is the $90 USD tier which comes with the game key, invitation to an exclusive Discord channel to chat with the developers, beta access, wallpaper, downloadable art book and a digital version of the soundtrack.
Summer Daze at Hero-U is slated for release in October 2020.
[ Kickstarter: Summer Daze at Hero-U ]