Almost two years ago Eric and I started working on the project which would eventually become known as “HRO: Adventures of a Humanoid Resources Officer.” The fit was perfect. It combined so many of our favorite things — adventure games and 1960’s sci-fi, puzzles, snarky dialogue and making fun of office politics. In many ways it’s been a dream assignment. Since then, we’ve (knock on wood) weathered the bulk of a pandemic, designed, rolled-out, and retired an audio-only game (OverHerd), and worked like dogs to get the first “season” of HRO on its feet. 6 full-length episodes, 20 recurring and guest characters. 118 unique branching conversations, 180 different ways the HRO of the Coalition Space Ship Endeavor might save the day. We’ve been very busy boys.
And now — as the resumption of this blog is meant to signal — it’s time to bring our players, colleagues and friends back into the process as we work to shape the experience and improve the storytelling. As part of that effort, we’ve been setting up the game’s store page on Steam — which has proven to be a surprisingly inspiring set of tasks. In the process of clearly laying out the game’s theme and its mechanics — so long after the initial concept work on the game was originally done — we found a golden chance to evaluate how far we may have hewed or strayed — for good or ill — from the original vision.
The new marketing language for the game now describes it as: "HRO: Adventures of a Humanoid Resources Officer is a puzzle-driven visual novel set in a retro-futuristic sci-fi universe. You play the underappreciated Humanoid Resources Officer aboard the Endeavor — a military spaceship with more than its fair share of crew rivalries, office politics, and erratic decision-makers. When the Endeavor stumbles into universe-shaking trouble, can you harness the power of the bureaucracy to rein in your crew’s worst impulses and survive to the next episode?”
We’re also really jazzed to announce that HRO will be included in the upcoming Steam NextFest, June 16-22. There will be some live-streaming of gameplay, and you’ll be able to playtest and give feedback on the first episode in the season, “Saints and Sinners.” It’s the one where the iron-willed Captain Spangler appears to have gone rogue — but there’s more to it than that, of course.
This is all part of the larger drive toward release of HRO — which has been officially scheduled for December 02, 2021. We admit, the date was chosen at least partially because it is a palindrome — that’s how we roll here at Worthing & Moncrieff. Thanks for sharing the ride with us. And if you’re wondering about the use of the plural of “pancreas” in the title you’ll have to play Episode 03 “Their Pound of Flesh” to find out why it’s here…
Worthing and Moncrieff, LLC is an independent developer of video game stories founded in 2015.