School For Scoundrels: Quest For Glory Devs’ Hero-U

By Alec Meer on September 18th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Don't just stand there, come in

2012: most definitely the year that’s all about 30-something gamers having large numbers of their long-held, long-frustrated dreams and fancies fulfilled at last. All these genre and developer resurrections on Kickstarter, XCOM and Half-Life remade, and a bunch of other similar things I could probably put in comma-based list form if only I could concentrate for than twelve seconds. Latest on the neo-nostalgia train are the main brains behind Sierra’s adventure-RPG crossover Quest For Glory series (formerly Hero’s Quest, until Games Workshop did a spot of proto-Bumgardening), Cory and Lori Cole.

They’re working on a new game with a similar ethos – well, I say game, but proving that the 2012 apple doesn’t fall from the early-90s tree, they’ve declared Hero-U will be a five-game series. Hero-U takes fantasy tropes to college, in a vaguely Potterish way, and promises us “turn-based, tactical combat and dungeon exploration with rich character interactions, challenging puzzles, and an immersive story.”

There appear to be a slew of different Hero projects on the go under one large online umbrella, including a persistent social game related to perform daily tasks, but it’s Hero-U: Rogue Rally that we’re ogling hardest, being as it is in the vein of the branching, choice-filled Quest For Glory games. You play a disgraced thief, sent to hero reform school where you’re given a hard time by students, teachers and malovelent beasties alike. The only thing more scant than concrete details are screenshots, so all I can do is point you at the reveal page, which lists a few of the planned elemnents. Including these:

Tactical combat, where player choices make a real difference

Branching conversations that affect your relationship with other characters

Characters with unique personalities and their own agendas

Challenging puzzles that are an important, organic part of the story

Meaningful choices between exploration, study, and social interaction

OK, which veteran dev is next up for a new moment in the sun? Where are Kirin Entertainment these days?

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38 Comments »

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  1. mckertis says:

    “XCOM remade”

    “Remade”, in quotes.

  2. djbriandamage says:

    What great news this is. I’ve always loved the Hero’s Quest/Quest For Glory games even though the only one I ever finished was the first one (and that was last month, 20+ years after first playing it!) Their games are full of wit and wonder and action.

  3. TillEulenspiegel says:

    The Quest for Glory series is still my favorite thing in PC gaming ever. Great adventure games, enhanced by RPG elements, with tons of replay value, and just the right mix of seriousness and comedy. Only downside was the poor combat; the only good version of it was QFG2’s numpad-based arcade combat. But now it sounds like they’re doing something completely different with it.

    In any case, I’m delighted to see the Coles making something new.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Agreed, combat after part 2 went downhill. Part 4 was the best in the series imho, but had the worst combat.

  4. Jahnz says:

    I own all of the Quest for Glory games. I still play the first three or four every year or two. So much love for those games.

    I acquired a copy of the very first game (EGA version) way back when it first came out. I played it for hours on our green monochrome monitor, and when the VGA version came out I bought that and every other QFG game (except 3 which was given to me). If I had never played that first “pirate” game I might never have bought all the rest.

  5. Swiftasaurus says:

    “proto-Bumgardening”
    It’s phrases like this that keep me coming back Mr. Meer, you smithy of the word, you.

  6. atticus says:

    From beyond the grave, my 1992 486SX-20 would like the following games to resurface in a new and shiny package:

    Commander Keen. (as a third person action platformer, like Tomb Raider but with helmets and aliens).

    Stunt Car Racer. (basically, just the way it was).

    AmCar aka Street Rod. (NFSU in the 1960/70ies).

  7. Bhazor says:

    As someone who only just bought the Quest for Glory set on GOG can I just say.
    Bring it the fuck on.

    The first Quest for Glory is probably the single most charming game I’ve ever played.

  8. scorpion_wins says:

    The QfG series is just incredible. Ok, 5 was a bit of a duffer, but it was caught in a difficult time for what it wanted to be. The VGA remake of the 2nd one is free here: http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/games.html

  9. Premium User Badge

    BodyByCake says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what in the world is going on with that site but QfG is one of my top 10 games of all time so I’m super excited to see what comes out of this.

  10. Alexian9 says:

    That site’s a work-in-progress for our supporters/fans and won’t be complete until early October (the Kickstarter will start around October 16).

    We’re actually providing content and updates on http://www.facebook.com/TheSchoolForHeroes.

    If you have anything you’d like to know, I’m happy to answer them to the best of my ability

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Considering the backstory, will you be able to choose to do thiefy things in the game? The burglaries were some of my favorite parts of QFG.

      • Alexian9 says:

        Yep! During the school period (which is more like an adventure game) you’ll be trying to make it through your classes, while fending off your more conniving peers. For example, one of your fellow students accuses you of stealing an artifact from the professor. It’s not your fault you need to break into your accusers room to find the evidence that they in fact stole the artifact and were blaming you for theft. The goal is to give you real options to let your decisions matter: maybe you clear your name, maybe you scapegoat another student, or maybe you just explain your way out of the problem.

        For combat, a major part of beating tough enemies is choosing the right trap, poison, and positioning. You’ll use your brains to win, rather than just using a super skill.

        At least, those are the concepts right now. The key game design goal is making it fun, so everything might change if some of the ideas aren’t as fun when we start testing.

        • Bhazor says:

          So its kind of like Bully then?

          • Alexian9 says:

            I haven’t played Bully, so can’t comment on similarities. The idea is to combine: Persona (school and character interactions), adventure game puzzle solving/thinking, and tactical combat (in a Dredmor like dungeon).

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Please could you make use of an alternative website, so that anti-facebook curmudgeons like myself can find out more without having to read about which random person thinks/likes what, not to mention being bothered by Facebook in a variety of mildly irritating ways to sign up with them.

      EDIT: I know making a website is no small feat, but wordpress.com or something?

    • Premium User Badge

      Jackablade says:

      I heard mention that you’re teaming up with the Aussie chaps from Brawsome who did that Monkey Island-with-dogs game. I’d be interested to know more about how you guys are working together.

  11. Bahoxu says:

    Joy! I loved the QFG series.

  12. Shralla says:

    King’s Quest plz

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Telltale has the license. Though it’s still waaaay in the future.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        There are remakes of the first few King’s Quest games.
        Also remakes of Quest for Glory, which is Hero Quest.
        google AGD Interactive

  13. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    … I said come in don’t just stand there I said come in don’t just stand there I said come in don’t just stand there I said come in don’t just stand there I said…

  14. Corey Cole says:

    Hmm, I like “School for Scoundrels”, has a nice ring. Mind if we use it?

  15. RSeldon says:

    SO MUCH JOY. The QfGs were some of the first computer games I ever owned, and they’re still some of my absolute favorites. So happy to hear the Coles are doing a Kickstarter– I shall start saving for it forthwith. :)

  16. freduardo says:

    As a wiser man than me once said, “BONAR.”

    Holy balls, the Coles finally making a new QfG-ish game that isn’t just their ill-fated (it was mostly just a forum really) school for heroes? FUCK. YES.

  17. Lemming says:

    “(formerly Hero’s Quest, until Games Workshop did a spot of proto-Bumgardening)”

    Bit of an unfair comment. HeroQuest is actually a quite well known thing, if I had that trademark, I’d protect it too. Boardgamers have been wanting GW to release a new HeroQuest for donkey’s years, so there is some proper scratch in it. You don’t want people confusing the IPs.

    • Corey Cole says:

      We knew about the Advanced Heroquest board game, and about Runequest’s planned Heroquest book (which was blocked by Games Workshop). But at the time we created Hero’s Quest, there was no other computer or video game with the title, so there was no conflict.

      However, Games Workshop wanted to do a computer game based on their system, and contracted to have the game made. Although it released after our Hero’s Quest, Sierra had not locked down the trademark in the UK, so Games Workshop was able to snag it. Since all of Sierra’s European distribution was based in the UK, Sierra had to change the name or be unable to sell games in Europe.

      I think the change cost us a lot of sales, as people looking for a sequel to Hero’s Quest couldn’t find it, and people seeing “Quest for Glory 2″ on the shelf probably thought that Quest for Glory 1 must have been a dismal failure or they’d have heard of it. But we’ll never know – QfG2 had other problems such as King’s Quest V releasing at the same time. KQ5 was Sierra’s first VGA point-and-click game, so QfG2 looked dated on the day it shipped (with 16-color EGA and typing interface).

  18. Frank says:

    Been waiting for these folks to Kickstart something above all other celebridevs from my youth