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?