Close to the Finish Line - Hero's Hour v0997

Hero's Hour v0997 has landed! Working on a game like Hero's Hour is a strange experience, since making changes can feel like small drops in a large bucket. Two skill reworks, at least six new units, updated AI, HUD overhaul, 15 new artifacts, in-game lexicon of units, spells, artifacts - well, I believe this might be enough to make a bit of a splash.

Certainly the most obvious change, that the heads-up display has been changed. That part of UI has been the same since well before v01, so it feels quite nice that it finally gets a much-needed change. Also added in are a slew of hotkeys for quick management of your armies. 1-9 to select armies, F1-F9 to select towns. Fixing the problem of running out of space when you get too many heroes or towns. Showing daily income of any resource when hovering over the resource slots at the top of the screen. Oh, and moving the Day Circle over to the right, where it now exists permanently instead of sometimes jumping up and obstructing your view. Same, updated animations as before. Really neat all in all.

When some weeks ago, I added in those 16 new hero skills, well, I kind of took a shortcut, with Taming and Hunting ending up identical. Not so much any longer! Hunting now works quite differently, linked to a set of 11 artifacts collected as trophies after hunting down beasts.

Resistance skill was also reworked.

Pretty large change, actually, that neutral armies now sometimes draw from a pool of unique unit groupings. These unit groups go across factions, and include never-before seen rare units, like the capricious Wildkinds seen above. There's also a whole set of new dwarves.

Let's go for the feature list. I know I hinted at most of them earlier, but here goes:


  • Allies share vision
  • Hunting skill rework
  • New preset unit combinations for neutral armies
  • In-game Lexicon, detailing:
    • All units
    • Faction specific buildings
    • Heroes, classes, skills
    • Artifacts
    • Spells and abilities
  • AI players now better manage multiple heroes
  • Hotseat PvP battles where neither player controls battle
  • Heroes can be positioned at the start of battle
  • 15 new artifacts adding two new mechanics
    • Call Beasts
    • Call Elements

OH! Hotseat. I should mention this:
HOTSEAT IS REALLY REALLY COOL! It's still not perfect, I plan to add a better solution for PvP battles. But apart from it working really well locally, I've been experimenting with some solutions to simulate online hotseat multiplayer. There are programs around that are perfect for just that - cooperating on one computer. There's some lag, there's some setup, and I can't officially say "You should try X solution". But at least, if you ask me, it has been more than worth the hassle.

One of the biggest experiences of this whole game dev experience, playing my own little game against people from around the world.

Here's a video of a duel I played against Empischon. It's a long game, but there was a lot of fun stuff - I almost died laughing at one point.

Now, more reading:


  • Save files are now automatically sorted
  • Amount of gold plundered from large battles reduced drastically
  • Aether gain from battles has been increased slightly
  • Letting enemies flee now show XP gained
  • Hotseat battles suspending player control now work
  • AI spellcasting now follows the same rules as player spellcasting
  • M and Spacebar now make the currently selected hero move along their path
  • N selects next hero with unspent movement
  • Fixed a bug that prevented a defender-controlled hotseat PVP battle player from casting spells
  • Fireflies now explode on death, greatly buffing them
  • Town Garrison is now visible in the mini town window when in the Misc. tab
  • All units have been rebalanced
  • The way unit balancing works better avoids upgraded units being too strong
  • Early-game Pyre units have been made stronger but less numerous
  • The Grotesque now retaliates faster when struck
  • Upgraded dwellings in towns are now cheaper
  • Upgraded units are now 5% stronger
  • All units have +5 hp and +1 attack (biggest change for small units)
  • Units now clump up less, making small units less vulnerable to AOE
  • Dwellings with Elite units now have fewer supporting units
  • Reduced the chance of buried treasure spots being protected by units from 50% to 20%
  • Border guards are stronger
  • Neutral towns are always guarded
  • Hardsoul and Darkheart will now start with the Curse spell
  • Teyonot and Melphermea will now start with the Summon Imps spell
  • Truqnopl and Qroznir will now start with the Forcefield spell
  • Khaz Tyr and Tiq Rup will now start with the Fireball spell
  • Soul Beacon now gives upgraded units when your town dwelling is upgraded
  • Heroes can be hired in a town’s tavern even when there is already a visiting hero around
  • Slightly reduced rate of artifacts generating on the overworld
  • Caravans will no longer go to tented heroes without armies
  • Reworked Plunder, so the results are less random, and that there is always one stack of gold
  • Forest Spirits no longer go to the infirmary, since they never really die, do they
  • Taught the AI to use Firegating and Firetrapping more efficiently
  • Weak neutral armies will no longer surrender before combat starts - instead, you will be offered to skip the battle and have the computer calculate expected
  • Weak enemy player armies will now also prompt the skip to outcome window - but only when there’s a large power differential
  • Dwellings with mutual exclusivity will now only in rare situations be chosen as prerequisites for other buildings


  • Text describing unit costs is now legible
  • Fixed an error putting enemy units in infirmary when fighting at a buried treasure point
  • Fixed a bug making hero sprites of newly recruited heroes after loading a save weird
  • Fixed a bug making boss unit strengths wonky
  • Fixed a bug making dead heroes belong to all hotseat players
  • Claiming a building now shows the right colour banner in the message
  • Planning now correctly rounds gold costs to the nearest 25g
  • Wargroups now shows the right colour banner in hotseat PvP battles
  • Fixed a bug that gave the Arcane Spire spell to the wrong player in the case of a hotseat PvP battle where the defending player controlled battle
  • Fixed a bug causing only one player in hotseat to get units in caravans from their dwellings
  • Fixed end of game week showing the wrong number
  • Fixed end-of-game graph showing the wrong colour in hotseat
  • Fixed a bug that could give 0 size unit stacks when defeating an enemy hero without units and using necromanc/demonology/diplomacy
  • Fixed a bug that could mess up FOW when loading a save - especially obvious in hotseat games
  • Fixed a bug that made army strength evaluate work wrong when evaluating a town without a fort
  • Fixed a bug that made Taming not become stronger with level-ups
  • Fixed diplomacy when you have too little money to recruit the units showing up strangely
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes made spells show the wrong icon in the overworld message
  • Fixed a bug where only one player would be able to use diplo/demon/necromancy after a hotseat PvP battle
  • Fixed a bug where combat results would show the wrong units when attacked during an enemy turnts
  • When hovering over both an army and a building, the army overview will now replace the building tooltip
  • Fixed a bug that made AI weaker than it should be
  • Building tooltips will no longer show up while a UI window is active

That's all for this week - and I might not even do an update next week. I'm moving across the island, and there'll probably be some unexpected overhead related to that. But I'm still looking forward to releasing v1 really soon. Just two big things missing:

  • A couple more translations
  • New hotseat PvP battle

And a thousand small things.

Hero's Hour is an incredibly large game. Back when I started, I felt it hilarious, the idea that I might be able to create something rivalling in size a game like Heroes III. I guess now I start to see I bit off a bit more than I could chew. The game, now, is far larger than it was then and than it has any right to be. It's taking its toll.

The strange thing is, I'm actually really excited to do more stuff with the game. I really just want to get v1 out so that I can start to focus on v1.1. And certainly, being able to play multiplayer has taken my excitement to a whole new level.

I hope all of you out there reading this have something they're as passionate about as I am this game. It's never 100% sweet, but a good thing doesn't need to be perfect all the time. It is passion nonetheless.

- ThingOnItsOwn


Hero's Hour - Free (v09972) 63 MB
May 25, 2021
Hero's Hour - Premium (v09972) 63 MB
May 25, 2021

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