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Heroes of a Broken Land
vaustein Jan 23, 2014 @ 10:10am
Impressions of Heroes 1.0
Last night, I played version 1.0 uninterrupted for 2-3 hours. Here are my thoughts.

+ The developer clearly is going for a Dungeon Master sort of experience as opposed to Eye of the Beholder or Wizardry. I feel that was the right choice. Also, the first-person dungeoneering experience beautifully captures and streamlines the Dungeon Master motif.

+ I'm probably not the only person who's been itching for a "randomized Dungeon Master" experience. The overhead strategic map ties the procedurally-generated dungeons together quite nicely.

+ The pace of character leveling seems logical. Also, clearing a dungeon is rewarded with more heroes to recruit and resources to develop the town.

- The same lugubrious, almost depressing music plays at all times. This gives the game a rushed-beta sort of feel. Even some campy, lively tunes would break the monotony.

- The strategic map isn't really strategic. Nothing is happening on the map. So far, the strategic map functions as a great way to tie the dungeons together, but otherwise it seems to serve no significant purpose.

- Encountering wandering monsters on the overhead map generates a single-room dungeon where combat begins. There really should be outdoor artwork for this. Suddenly transitioning from the overhead map to a single room dungeon breaks the immersion.

- Can I establish new towns in addition to the starting town? And why not some town graphics to make it look like a town instead of just a big ugly statue surrounded by up to 6 buildings? Screenshots from the beta showed lots of small buildings on the town interface. They weren't functional, but they made the town feel populated. What happened to that?

- The world feels empty except for the heroes in the town and the monsters in the dungeons. Some random event texts mention towns that I can't actually see on the map.

I bought Heroes (for short) as part of an IndieFort promotion on GamersGate. Since the version 1.0 release, the asking price on GamersGate has increased to $14.99 USD. In its current state, I would pay up to $10 for this but not $15.
Last edited by vaustein; Jan 23, 2014 @ 12:17pm
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Showing 1-6 of 6 comments
SkoomaDetox Jan 23, 2014 @ 11:58am 
I too have been itching for a game such as this to come along, however I've had a different experience than you have had so far.

You said that you hadn't run into any monsters on the overland map. I've already run into several overworld monster encounters within the 6 to 7 hours I've played so far, as well as receiving a couple random quests. I'm assuming our differences are due to random generation.

I could agree with maybe adding a couple lively music tracks, but to be perfectly honest, I think the music is just about perfect. I would go as far as to say that the music is what drew me in the most. The tracks that are there are hauntingly beautiful, and help to solidify your dungeoneering experiences.

My biggest concern with Heroes of a Broken Land lies with the infinite-ness of it all. I remember when A Valley Without Wind came out. I was so excited at the prospect of being able to generate an infinite amount of new worlds to play. The problem was, the game quickly became same-y and kind of lacked a way to keep you playing after 1 or 2 worlds. My hope is there will always be something new and enticing to help shuttle us through the infinite playtime that this game holds...a new piece of equipment to find, a new quest to solve, etc.

Overall, I think the 1.0 release version is a definite success. It's very immersive, and extremely addictive. It seems that there is a ton of content already there, I really hope Winged Pixel keeps adding more content in future updates.

Here's to hoping Heroes gets greenlit!
Last edited by SkoomaDetox; Jan 23, 2014 @ 12:12pm
vaustein Jan 23, 2014 @ 12:18pm 
I edited my original review after I encountered wandering monsters on the overhead map.
vaustein Mar 3, 2014 @ 10:28am 
The game is much improved since the update to version 1.3. At this point, I think it justifies the $15 price tag.
+ Smoother leveling and progression.
+ Multi-party dungeons with additional rewards and challenges.
+ More dungeon templates and textures. For example, cavern-type dungeons have a completely different layout compared to tower-type dungeons.
+ More encounters on the world map: alchemist huts, quests, towers of learning, etc. There is more work to be done in this area, but this looks promising.
+ All parties share a common item pool. This may seem hacky since parties on different ends of the world map have access to the same items. However, it improves the fun factor and reduces tedious item management, so this seems like a wise design decision.

Problems that persist.
- World map encounters and Arena battles take place in a single-room dungeon. C'mon, let's add some variety here.
- Towns still feel empty. World still feels like the only inhabitants are heroes and monsters. Where are all the laborers, merchants, ministers, etc.?
Last edited by vaustein; Mar 3, 2014 @ 10:37am
Kaas Chuig Mar 8, 2014 @ 11:07pm 
I often got quests from miners wanting me to clear out their mine of monsters, so they exist, you just don't see them in terms of graphics.
vaustein Mar 10, 2014 @ 1:10pm 
I'm seeing a lot more activity on the world map since the 1.3 update.
negatus Jun 26, 2014 @ 8:24am 
I've not given HoaBL a fair shot, but so far it leaves me cold & disinterested. If there is another update (currently 1.6), I'll put more effort into it..
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