Hero Zero – Out Now!
Hero Zero, my first browser game, is now online, in German only, at http://herozerogame.com/. It’s free to play, so if you want to improve your German, get a head start on your superhero now. The English version will follow in the next couple of months. Why so? Because, while written and developed in English, the game was made for a German publisher for a primarily German audience, so while QA was made in the native language, this order of release was preferable, probably for marketing reasons too.
I was approached in May of this year through t-recs studios to help with the text and concept for this superhero/loser-themed flash-browser game. The concept, background and character descriptions, items, costumes, and mission texts were all whipped together in 6 weeks, late at night, while I was travelling on both coasts of the US with my girlfriend and one year old daughter!
The story of Hero Zero concerns a protagonist player, of optional gender, embarking on a crime-fighting campaign in his or her suburban neighbourhood, using whatever implements at hand which may be converted for superhero purposes (toilet plungers, a shower curtain for a cape, etc). The recent crime wave is eventually linked to inner city hoods, in the pay of downtown mobsters, and the player advances through these location stages, all the way up to the state capitol and to the Big Cheese itself. As it happens, the evil Swiss corporation, Yoyodyne, is behind all the trouble in the player’s home town of Humphreydale. The Swiss are trying to drive down property prices to buy up whole American neighbourhoods and replace them with car parks and shopping malls. The player must travel to the Yoyodyne headquarters in Switzerland and confront their army of mimes to win the game.
Gameplay options include multi-player duelling (against other superheroes in your level range) with a ranking system, work missions and training options to increase stats, time- or fighting-mission based campaign advancement, and a second-hand store where weapons or armor can be bought or sold for either coin earned from missions or donut-currency which can be purchased in-game. The main selling-point of the game, however, is its humour, which I hope will translate as well into other languages as it has to German.
The experience on working on this game has been generally very positive and I hope to work on more browser games in the future, with the added satisfaction of such a quick turnover (4 months from concept to release in this case!). This said, I’m hoping for Hero Zero to break a million players and to use as a credit for future browser game work!