Hiroyuki Kanno (菅野 ひろゆき, 8 May 1968 - 19 December 2011) was an influential Japanese game designer and scenario writer from Tokyo. He is best known for his work on visual novel adventure games, including Desire (1994), Xenon (1994), Eve Burst Error (1995), and Yu-No (1996), all of which were originally eroge computer games that were later ported to console systems with adult content (sex and nudity) removed. His work would prove to be influential on Japanese video games, and in turn anime as well.
During his school years, Kanno liked reading detective mystery and sci-fi novels, and was particularly influenced by the work of Isaac Asimov. These styles influenced his later adventure game scenarios, which feature sci-fi themes alongside a detective mystery structure. His games also often featured branching narratives and multiple endings. His greatest achievement in video games was possibly YU-NO, a 1996 multi-dimensional thriller which not only brought innovation to visual novels, but video gaming as a whole, having influenced a number of popular Japanese video games and even anime. With some 100,000 lines of dialogue, Yu-No had the longest script ever written for a video game up until that time.
After graduating from Chuo University, Kanno joined Himeya Soft and worked on adult adventure games released under C's Ware brand. After a short stay with Elf, Kanno founded his own company Abel and moved on to design Exodus Guilty (1998), Card of Destiny (2000), Mystereet (2004), and other games.
Kanno was a close friend of late composer Ryu Umemoto, a friendship which saw them collaborate on the games which made them two of the most well respected individuals and deeply regarded in the independent video game scene in Japan in their respective fields. The legendary duo both passed away in late 2011.
RIP Hiroyuki Kanno (1974-2011) at Hardcore Gaming 101
Hiroyuki Kanno at MobyGames
Hiroyuki Kanno (translated) at Japanese Wikipedia