Restoration of Erathia Manual Page 3
Dear Heroes of Might and Magic fans,
When I sat down to create King's Bounty, the precursor to Heroes of Might and Magic,
never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would grow into the phenomenon the series has
become. I had just finished Might and Magic II. At the time, King's Bounty was state of
the art: 16 colors and used up both sides of the floppy disk. I had one programmer and one
artist to make my design real, and it took us about a year to finish.
Nine years later, the Heroes III game is state of the art. The Heroes III game has 65,000
colors and fills an entire CD. I had over 30 people work on the project: programmers, artists,
voice actors, and level designers, and it took us about 18 months to finish.
King's Bounty, although crude by today's standards, was a lot of fun to play. Players
recruited troops, maintained armies, and fought battles on tactical maps with a variety of
fantastic monsters. The Heroes III game does the same, only the graphics are much fancier
and the animations are far smoother. In addition, some fundamental game play changes have
happened since then, giving the player options and tactics magnifying the scope of the game
The leap from King's Bounty to the Heroes I game was the single largest change, both in
terms of technology and game play. I looked at what I thought had gone right with King's
Bounty, mixed in our fans' wish lists and the capabilities of more modern computers, and got
down to work. After a seemingly endless series of false starts, dead ends, and programming
troubles, we shipped the game and held our breath.
The Heroes I game shipped quietly enough, but enthusiasm for the game was strong and grew
stronger as time passed. It took us a while to realize we had a genuine hit on our hands, but
when we did, we started work on the Heroes II game immediately. This time, we were armed
with a ton of fan mail suggestions and an existing game that we could build from.
Nevertheless, what seemed to be a simple improvement to a finished game was fraught with
complications, and I agonized over design decisions and game balance considerations.
After a year's worth of design wrangling, we got down to business and the Heroes II game
shipped in time for Christmas. I noticed that everyone in the office was playing the game -
even people working on different projects - and knew from past experience what a good sign
this was. The Heroes II game turned out to be one of our most popular games ever.
Now we've shipped the Heroes III game. We've had a lot of fun designing and making this game,
and once again, everyone in the office is playing it. I'm confident the Heroes III game is going
to be a smashing success! We hope you have as much fun playing it as we've had making it!
Jon Van Caneghem
Creator and Designer
Heroes of Might and Magic I-III
Might and Magic I-VII