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Video: Hero Generations interview with creator Scott Brodie

April 1, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

If you check the 2011 IndieCade Finalists list, you'll find a Flash game called Hero Generations about halfway down the page. It's credited to Heart Shaped Games, the independent studio Scott Brodie founded after leaving Microsoft in 2010.

The game actually launched that year on Facebook and garnered positive feedback, though it was voluntarily taken offline roughly nine months later.

To hear Brodie tell it, further development on Hero Generations -- a roguelike where every step costs a year of your life, and you're challenged to lead successive generations of a heroic family in their quest for money, fame or filial continuity -- was put on hold when he made the choice to focus on his second game, Highgrounds, his family and his newborn son.

"There's definitely inspiration from my own life," Brodie told Gamasutra during a video interview, commenting on the happy coincidence of working on a game about making meaningful decisions shortly after becoming a father. "What are some of the big choices I've had in my life, and how can I turn that into a mechanic in the game...I think that's the genesis of how it started."

Now Brodie is looking to bring Hero Generations -- which he sums up as a sort of "5-Minute Civilization" -- back as a standalone downloadable game. To that end, he's trying to crowdfund development through a Kickstarter campaign, with a goal of $32,000 to create an improved version of the game for PC, Mac and Ouya.

Concept art of an aging hero

If the campaign is successful, the money pledged -- which will be matched by Ouya as part of their Free the Games initiative -- will go towards funding Brodie and his development partners (composer Andrew Riley and artist Dominic Sodano) as they work to create more material for the game -- bigger maps, more quests, and the like. But Brodie is also hoping to build a better game based on the lessons he's learned since creating Hero Generations back in 2011.

"There's a lot of little things about development that I just wasn't experienced with," Brodie told Gamasutra."I'm excited to apply what I've learned -- about making a UI, for example -- from Highgrounds to [Hero Generations]."

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