Author Topic: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?  (Read 30303 times)

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2011, 07:50:43 AM »
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given a fetch quest, but this doesn't eclipse the gameplay since there is a lot to do elsew
Yes, while it is a spell ingredient fetch quest of the likes of KQ3, KQ6, and KQ7 (disenchantment spell), the game still doesn't tell you were to go exactly. It's up to the player to discover where the items are for themselves, and actually the spell descriptions are slightly obscured through riddles, so the actual needed item is not directly mentioned entirely! This adds to the games exploratory feel.
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Where it fell down, in my opinion, is in the worlds after Daventry, which are often labyrinthine (the Dimension of Death) and filled with monsters to fight rather than characters to interact with. In Daventry, I felt the combat was one element of many: an important element, but no more important than other adventure game elements like finding items. In the later worlds, where 90% of your interaction with the world is via combat, I think the cracks in the combat system started to show and the game became much weaker as a result, since worlds were often filled with monsters apparently because there was nothing else to fill them with.
While I do agree with your take on the DOD (it could apply to the Temple of the Sun, and lesser extent the Gnome Land), I slightly disagree on the Swamp and most later outside levels. Those areas tend to have more characters to interact with than the Daventry world combined, the swamp, the fire realm, and the ice world is where the game starts showing civilization and life, and much of the whimsical characters. They are also brighter, more wide open and filled with exploration.

Even the gnome realm had quite a bit of life with many friendly occupants and had civilization (unfortunately most of them say the same thing). Still the gnomes are some of my fave characters in the game! Plus there is that compelling history of past civilizations and the Ancients! Seriously it's a maze done right, as there is plenty to see and do (lots of puzzles). KQ5 maze was a bit devoid of things to interact with (empty and only dink to interact with).

As for DoD I loved many of the random wisecracks the enemies said! Some are the quote are straight out of Army of Darkness, iirc (does that make Connor Ash?)! The level has the atmosphere you'd expect from a egyptian, mesopotamian, inspired underworld! I like the few characters you discover down there, sylph, boatman, the lad, the girl you have to save, and even Azriel. The enemy guard are pretty cool too, have some of the best scripted lines in the game!

I seem to recall some of the fire dwarves in the fire realm also have some funny comments, and also some Army of Darkness nods as well. Which gave then character, and not simply mindless monsters.

The ice world? I like the Thork character, would have liked to have had more interactions with him. But overall I thought he was an interesting character! He was also one of Roberta's favorite characters in the game! Gryph was cool too, and I though the nymphs were interesting as well! I like the queen (she is one of the more developed characters in the game, appearing in two levels)! The Orcs have a few amusing random battle cries and death comments adding to their characterization!

However, the weaknesses to the level is that it probably has the fewest puzzles in the game there are only like maybe a half dozen or so mostly a combination of maybe 5-6 inventory style puzzles, a 2-3 block puzzles, a couple of rope/hook climbing puzzles, and a couple of combat-type puzzles . Though I admit it has one of my favorite puzzles in the game (and any KQ game for that matter), which happens to be one of the more complicated multipart puzzle series in the game; the 'ice shard/fire sword/'frost bow/ice lever' physical puzzle/inventory/weapon-based puzzle (the puzzle is not a fetch quest). Secondly which is a weakness depending on your position, it probably has the most enemies thrown at the player at one time (with perhaps the exception of DoD), hordes of yeti-like frost demons and orcs coming down the mountains.

The two combat-related puzzles, require use of certain potions or certain weapons to get past specific obstacle enemies. This includes use of a potion of reveal to see an invisible enemy (though you can technically ignore it, as its optional), and the need for the fire sword to kill the hydra-like 'two-headed dragon' (cauterizing its wounds, to prevent its heads from regenerating).

But its also one of the most beautiful levels in the game, and of my favorite to explore! There are alot of hidden areas with cool vistas to find.

The temple levels are unfortunately one of the least compelling levels, with little to do. No one to interact with, except a few archons. Though there are a handful of puzzles to complete.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 10:24:33 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline DawsonJ

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2011, 12:11:37 PM »
@Baggins: I knew someone would mention GOG's KQ sets, but, legally, GOG could combine Descent 3 and Syberia into one installation pack - which is easy enough to do - and sell them together. That doesn't make it an Official Collection. Therefore, although having bought that set myself, I omitted mentioning that set. Hence, MoE is not included in any Collection. In fact, on many lists of Sierra's games, MoE isn't called King's Quest 8, but rather Mask of Eternity as if it were a separate game.

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2011, 12:14:01 PM »
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I knew someone would mention GOG's KQ sets, but, legally, GOG could combine Descent 3 and Syberia into one installation pack - which is easy enough to do - and sell them together. That doesn't make it an Official Collection. Therefore, although having bought that set myself, I omitted mentioning that set. Hence, MoE is not included in any Collection.

Actually GOG set is still an official set, they had to get permission by Activision to release it. The set has a copyright and date to Activision as well. Look for set copyright at the bottom of the GOG's webpage;

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"1994-1998 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision and King’s Quest are registered trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners."
Rumor has it that Activision suggested that particular set combination to bilk as much money from it as possible! It was apparently one of the ways Vivendi used to test the viability of commissioning a new King's Quest game through Telltale (thanks are to made to the fan games resurrecting the series as well)!

Still the set is an official authorized rerelease of the game, currently the only official authorized rerelease.

Still there is a good reason why MOE never showed up in the truely Sierra-released collections (which there are only four that were released before Sierra closed down), and that is because those collections came out before MOE came out. The last two of those collections advertise KQ8, even calling it that in the developer's preview, and directory files! One of these is the completely awesome Roberta William's Anthology (which is cool because it has a KQ8.AVI video in a KQ8 directory that shows some of the earliest versions of MOE, called the game KQ8).

The first two official Sierra KQ collections were released before KQ7 (or just after), and contain advertisements/demos for KQ7. Although there might be a nod towards a future KQ8 made in the second, just no promotional material.

The 2006 collection, technically released by Vivendi games, not the real Sierra (so technically more like the Activision collection mentioned above) left out most of the contents that were hard to emulate, or to save space (all previous KQ collections were on 2 to 4 disks). It's purely a technical issue, and space issue. This was a problem with most of those 2006 series for all the series!

They also butchered the Police Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry collections by forcing them onto one disk each, leaving out the CD versions of titles, and/or leaving out classic versions of titles. LSL collection left out the LSL6 Hires CD version, LSL1AGI, and LSL7. Believe me Al Lowe does not consider that the 'official' or 'complete' collection! Nor does he consider any of the Vivendi or Codemasters LSL games 'official' Larry games!

http://www.allowe.com/Larry/collections.htm

No one argues that the original AGI LSL1, the Talkie LSL6 or LSL7 are not 'official' Larry games despite the fact they got cut from the Vivendi collection!

For that matter no sane person would argue that KQ1 original version is not an 'official' KQ game despite the fact that it got cut from its respective Vivendi collection. Nor for that matter would people argue that the original Police Quest, or the original Space Quest are not 'official' PQ or SQ games despite the fact that they cut from from there respective Vivendi collections.
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In fact, on many lists of Sierra's games, MoE isn't called King's Quest 8, but rather Mask of Eternity as if it were a separate game.
First off, most game lists should be calling it King's Quest: Mask of Eternity, as that is the the game's official title, just like how Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness, should be called that in the game lists (it has nothing to do 'being a separate game', it has to do with what the game's physical title is).

While it may be true of fan sites and gaming sites with no affiliation with Sierra  calling it just "Mask of Eternity",  this is an appeal to authority on your part will not work as they are not official authorities on the series.

From the words of Roberta Williams' herself;

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By the way, I feel to the need to stress that this game is “King’s Quest” first and foremost. “Mask of Eternity” is the subtitle. Basically, it’s “King’s Quest 8.” I noticed that you keep referring to the game as “Mask of Eternity” - but not really referencing “King’s Quest.” I need to make sure that people who read this understand that this is DEFINITELY a “King’s Quest” game.
 
-Roberta Williams, 1998



As I have discovered after much research that most Sierra related magazines, designer sites, etc, that Sierra often called it King's Quest 8. There was even a gold seal on some of the boxes of the first release that called it King's Quest 8, and Sierra's official German release even called it King's Quest 8 (largely because there was a large audience for Adventure games there apparently, and most had played previous KQs). Several magazine advertisements published for Sierra also list it as King's Quest VIII.

If you go to Ken William's own website, SierraGamers, not Activision affiliated, so not an 'official' Sierra site (though he was a former Sierra CEO), he also calls the game King's Quest 8. So the numbering and authority is on Sierra's and the William's side, not the fans.

http://www.sierragamers.com/aspx/m/637445

Also Roberta called her own hypothetical ninth game in the series KQ9 (i.e. a KQ8 had to have come before!), and Vivendi was also developing a 'KQ9' of its own, but it was cancelled. She was calling the previous game King's Quest VII as late as one of her last public interviews in 2006 (long after the release of the game).

The only reason Roberta chose to leave off KQ8 off the main box title was as I recall in her own words, so that it would draw in a larger audience. She didnt' want to scare any newcomers to the series, who might think that lack of knowledge of previous games, might get in the way of enjoying the game (had the number been given). It's the same arguement given for when producers choose to leave off numerals on movie sequels! There was no secret conspiracy on the Williams' part, it was purely a marketing decision.

It's the same reason that Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness wasn't numbered in the game, or the reason why Police Quest: Open Season wasn't numbered in the title screen, or the reason why The Beast Within isn't numbered, The Lost Secret of the Rainforest isn't numbered, or even The Dagger of Amon Ra. Mind you there are quite a few other examples from Sierra where new games created as part of a series left off the numerals (some even in other 'quest' series)! You'd never argue those weren't part of the series! There is much fallacy in your arguement, and poor logic (that can easily be remedied through proper research of first hand material).





No, you would not argue that these games are somehow part of a separate series!

That being said, there actually was apparently a point extremely early on in the game's development (at some point during the first, or early second phase), in which Roberta Williams was starting to lose control, too many people involved, two many teams. There was her main team in California, I think, another team at Dynamix in Eugene, Oregon (making the game engine very slowly), and the suits in Bellevue, Washington were complaining about budgets and development time. Roberta was so upset during this period she apparently wanted to pull her name from the game, and she even pretty much took "King's Quest" out of the title, calling it; "Mask of Eternity: From from the world of King's Quest" in promotional material. But in later stages of development she reasserted her control until the final release. During the early period, they were still calling it KQ8 though (just not on the title) in interviews and what not.



This was during the phase of the game's during the 1996 development when Connor was named ''Connor mac Lyrr", he was a fisherman, living near the sea. Quite a few story details were quite different than in the finalized released game. Even the Mask had a different appearance back then. They even had more ideas for extra bosses and combat that got cut in the final game. Even an idea to turn the game into an MMO. Even some arcady action-adventure stuff with swimming and water currents, that turned out to be technologically impossible in the engine they were working with (and Dynamix failed to complete the advanced version of the system for them in time, before they had to start putting it all together).

The more I learn, the more I wonder if the earliest ideas for the game made further detours from adventure games than even the final release! Maybe so much so, that Roberta didn't even want to put King's Quest or her name in the title. She wanted to distance herself from it.

The combat, and action shouldn't have have come at a surprise, as they were advertising that aspect in spring 1996 (when they were showing off pictures of the 'Connor mac Lyrr' version of the game), in all the gaming and computer magazines at the time. They went out of there way to point out that it would be a very different KQ game experience. Perhaps there was alot of denial in fanbase at the time?

Roberta Williams gave plenty of warning, well ahead of time. Even Ken Williams knew about it then, was giving it his blessing, talking about it (and the need to change the market), and he was still CEO in many of those discussions. Despite any changes in opinion he may have now in 20/20 hindsight, I still think at least part of the fault lies at his feet. He was one of those 'suits' he now tries to distance himself from.

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My wife, Roberta, is working on the newest King's Quest game, Mask of Eternity. It's an enormous project and has the largest team we've ever assembled. Roberta's feeling is that adventure games are starting to "all look the same." She wants to try to completely redefine the genre. For about six months all she did was study games. She studied in detail every successful game on the market, even non-adventure games like Duke Nuke'm, Warcraft II, and Super Mario for the Ultra 64. She is well into Mask now and expects it to complete in time for Christmas '97. It is impossible to describe because there really aren't any games like it. When I asked Roberta how to describe it, she said, "Imagine a King's Quest game which takes place in a true 3-D world, with true 3-D lifelike characters. I borrowed Dynamix's flight simulator technology and pushed it in a new direction. The result is still King's Quest but it's much more immersive, and the 3-D makes the game more interactive. It also changed how I design. The 3-D allowed me create challenges for the player which never could have been done in a 2-D environment, including many that use physics."
 
-Ken Williams, CEO of Sierra-Online, InterAction, Fall 1996, pg 10


I mean seriously if Ken Williams was comparing the game to Super Mario 64, and saying Roberta was taking  inspiration from Warcraft II & Duke Nukem ( I think he even says Ultima in one discussion), people should have known long beforehand it was going to be something new and different!

This puts much of the fault of what happened with the game at Roberta's feet! I mean she admits early on to taking inspiration from Doom (back in 1995) when she first gave initial concept for the game's story, later she does mention Quake and Diablo, and the then 'upcoming' Zelda for the Ultra 64! She chose to look at those games for inspiration on her own, and Ken was praising her for it!

That's not to say she took 'much' inspiration from it, because the game is not an FPS, it is not anything like Duke Nukem, Doom, or Quake. It's not really anything like Diablo either (its much less gory and much slower paced, you don't have hundreds of enemies tossed at you at one time), just the potion interface, the single cursor clicking style of fighting, and the changing armor graphics seem to be derived from that game. It also really has nothing in common with Warcraft II, other than it has orcs! It's not really anything like Super Mario 64, other than well Connor can jump (well so could Graham back in the day)!

But ya if those were the assorted games Roberta chose to look at for inspiration, you just know things are going to be different! She gave plenty of warning.

There might even be a few more comments about adding action elements as early as late 1995 in some interviews.

Also there is some indication from Interaction Magazine, that even Chris Williams (Roberta's son) might have influenced the game through the games he liked to play at the time. He apparently had a prototype of the Ultra 64 and was playing it before was named a Nintendo 64 and released to American market. He mentions his mother enjoyed watching him play the games on the system, and he and she discussed how they might incorporate some of those ideas into KQ8!
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For those old enough to remember, when did the adventure genre begin to markedly decline in popularity--decline enough for people to ponder whether or not the genre was "dying"?

I'm reminded of an old advertisment for KQ8;



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LucasArts just used those ideas and abilities and mixed them with a new style, e.g. "Look At," "Pick Up," etc, instead of Sierra's icons. But Sierra was first to implement a GUI for text parser adventures. So... when the Master dies, as do the followers. LucasArts got away with a couple games after Sierra died, but everything changed during that time period.

Wrong. Maniac Mansion and SCUMM, and its robust Verb point and click system came out before any of Sierra's icons.  In 1987 to be exact.

Infact the new interface was praised int he industry for simplifying things over the traditional parsers used by most graphic adventure games at the time!

The 1989 version of KQ1 for the Sega Master System by Sierra/Milton Bradley more or less used a verb/noun point and click system much like the one in Maniac Mansion.

Sierra didn't unveil its icon system until late 1990, in King's Quest V.

Now do you want to revise who copied who? I personally think both versions are different enough that neither copied each other.

For the record the Sierra's icon interface actually combines multiple parser or verb commands from earlier games into single commands. So a single icon for push, pull, turn on, turn off, open, close etc. A single icon for look at, read, etc. A single icon for movement, so on and so forth. So to some it was considered too simplified, it is definitely more simple than the Maniac Mansion's robust verb system which had many assorted actions.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 06:22:47 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline MusicallyInspired

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2011, 10:27:51 AM »
You forget Sam & Max's interface. LA may have revolutionized P&C adventure gaming first, but S&M Hit The Road was pretty much a Sierra interface through and through in just about every way.

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2011, 11:16:57 AM »
I was only correcting him on the history of particular interface he was mentioning first. What went later on are separate issues.

One other bit I can think of how, Lucasarts influenced the industry during its history, was in the music department with its interactive music. In later SCUMM games, the Music changed as you made decisions, or moved to new areas. It just didn't just end abruptly, but faded in and out. So it was like having an interactive orchestra.

Sierra's music almost always ended when you left the screen, or after playing for a short while! There was no fading or anything.

Also another aspect they impacted the market was, there no-death approach. Love it or hate it. Many reviewers considered it a revolutionary approach to the genre. But Hardcore sierra or old skool adventure fans tended to hate it.

Lucasarts also had the advanced conversation systems were also considered revolutionary as well at one time. As in some cases they opened up alternate game solutions, such as in the Indiana Jones adventures.

Cartoon-style animation showed up in early Lucasarts first (but only vga and limited use). But KQ7 revolutionized it with hires graphics (and several professional animation studios). Lucasarts refined it in Monkey Island 3.

For what its worth even Grim Fandango garned a few awareds for being innovative when it was released, blending 3-d with traditional 2-d prerendered backgrounds.

Now, if I switch to another company, Westwood Studios they created a more simplified interface for Legend of Kyrandia. According to Lorelei Shannon or Roberta Williams it was said to have influenced the overly simplified single cursor/hotspots found in KQ7!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABbtNide_jY&feature=related

Kyrandia's system came out in 1992. As I understand it, the developers even pitched the game to Ken Williams back in 1989-1990, wanting them to publish the game for them. Ken showed them a demo version of KQV at the time, suprising them. Sierra wanted to buy Westwood, the company went to Virgin instead. Sierra offered them more money, but Virgin offered them complete creative freedom, that Sierra wouldn't have allowed to have.

KQ7's parsor is even more simple, and some argue it was 'revolutionary' for its time.

Nah if you really get into the nitty-gritty, you find that many companies were influencing each other, influencing the changes in others, and developers will even admit to it!

(Posted on: August 02, 2011, 12:30:04 PM)


Here is a bit of trivia, did you know that Roberta had thought about dropping the numerals from KQ7 as well?

It was originally going to be called, King's Quest: The Prince-less Bride (though they thought of other subtitles like "What's Lava Gotta Do With It?" or "Rosella Vs. the Volcano");

Here is the concept box art for the game;

« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 02:46:05 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2011, 01:29:20 PM »
Roberta talking about ideas for a new adventure game interface, December 1992:




Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2011, 01:32:15 PM »
Cool documents! That has all the inspiration from Kyrandia comments!

Although to be fair, Mixed-Up Mother Goose (1987) has a streamlined interface, almost no visible interface really. You just walk over an item, and walk into an NPC to talk to them. You can only hold one item at a time.

Black Cauldron also had a simplified interface as well doesn't it?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 02:34:20 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2011, 01:53:23 PM »
Cool documents! That has all the inspiration from Kyrandia comments!

Although to be fair, the single cursor interface appears as early as the original Mixed-Up Mother Goose (1987) does it not? But that game also only has a single item inventory. You have to drop whatever you rae carrying to pick up another.

Black Cauldron also had a simplified single cursor interface doesn't it?

It does seem that there was and is a trend of increasingly "dumbing down" Adventure Games for the more common "computer illiterate" player. A lot of people hate this--Look at the hate the TT KQ is getting because of fears that it'll be "dumbed down" like TT's other games. But TT's direction has precedence.

I mean, I recall hearing that back in 1990, people felt the icon interface of KQV took a LOT away from the interactivity with the world and essentially had dumb downed the adventure greatly--And as we all know, most developers followed the new Point&Click model in the '90s after the massive success of KQV.

And from there we went to KQ7 and KQ8, both single cursor games. And that single cursor interface stuck around for almost all of Sierra's last adventure games from the mid to late 90s--this was the route they were going down. Phantasmagoria and the like--The interactive movies--are kind of the prototype for what TT is doing now, IMO.

It can be argued that Sierra themselves started off the whole "dumbing down" of adventure games by introducing graphics, if we really want to be picky. Before Sierra, most adventure games were text only, and as such, it allowed for more imagination, more immersion in the environment because you had to picture everything, you had to build the story in your mind. With graphics, you had half the world GIVEN to you--Taking away the  "imagination" part. And then once the icon interface came around, the whole "Interact with everything and anything on the screen by typing" went away and the world became a lot less interactive.

In retrospect, there should've been a way to both maintain the level of interactivity which Parser based adventure games had, while making the games more accessible to a more modern, less sophisticated audience.

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2011, 02:01:19 PM »
Adventure games are making a circle back to the Choose Your Own Adventures style of books! The precursors to text adventure games!

I read an arguement once, someone said if critics considered KQ6 the "height" of KQ and adventure games. Then what was left? Once something reaches a height, it must come down. Its basic law of physics!

No one gave Roberta a chance to take her heights higher, as they all had preconceived standards, and wanted to leave everything in the past. Everyone set themselves up to be disappointed!

Just think if people had gone with the flow, accepted her changes, and Roberta had been given the chance to make KQ9?

How would her next games have been, when the technology finally caught up or exceeded her ambitious ideas!

How would her game have influenced Assassin's Creed, or how would Assassin's Creed influenced her game?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 02:07:26 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2011, 02:53:45 PM »
Adventure games are making a circle back to the Choose Your Own Adventures style of books! The precursors to text adventure games!

I read an arguement once, someone said if critics considered KQ6 the "height" of KQ and adventure games. Then what was left? Once something reaches a height, it must come down. Its basic law of physics!

No one gave Roberta a chance to take her heights higher, as they all had preconceived standards, and wanted to leave everything in the past. Everyone set themselves up to be disappointed!

Just think if people had gone with the flow, accepted her changes, and Roberta had been given the chance to make KQ9?

How would her next games have been, when the technology finally caught up or exceeded her ambitious ideas!

How would her game have influenced Assassin's Creed, or how would Assassin's Creed influenced her game?

I think the problem is exactly as you said. People felt KQ6 was a "height" and as such wanted KQ6 Part II, Part III, etc. And anything else different wasn't going to suffice and still doesn't for many people. Look at KQ7 and KQ8. Opposite ends of the spectrum and still bashed. The "wiggle room" for KQ is very small--unfairly small, really. It limits the series' potential.

Adventure game fans are very stubborn, very hard to please, very close minded, and a lot of them are still stuck in the "The 1992 Adventure Game Model is the Best." When you're dealing with people who feel a near 20 year old model is still the best, there's little room for innovation, and innovation is always what kept the adventure genre at the forefront of the industry. Even when Doom and the like were coming out in 1993 and 1994, Adventure Games were still the games with the best graphics, the best music, the best storylines, etc. The most well developed games.

The problem too, with KQ specifically, is that many are stuck on the KQ6 model, even though each game in the series is very different from the other.

I think if people had accepted the changes, KQ would still be a leading series, alongside Final Fantasy, Asssasin's Creed and the like. I think Roberta, given her nature, would still have wanted to innovate even further and indeed might've inspired games like Assassin's Creed. But close mindedness and an unwillingness to try anything other than "Royal Family, Point and Click, No Violence" killed that.

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2011, 03:28:15 PM »
Isn't a bit telling and ironic, that POS, chose to essentially make KQ6 Part II?

It's a bit sad that the fans essentially destroyed Roberta's imagination, and it could be argued largely at fault for driving her out of the industry!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 03:39:42 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Damar

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #51 on: August 02, 2011, 07:47:42 PM »
Ok, so first person shooter isn't the perfect language to refer to Mask of Eternity which is my fault for not being up on the lingo.  Regardless of what you call it, though, my point is that it departed from what an adventure game was.  The core of the game was hacking at monsters.  That was where the entertainment lay.  It had some nice atmosphere, some cool music, and some interesting worlds, but they were stuffed with monsters you had to slay.  The actual adventure game puzzles were missing.  In its place were simplistic cause and effect relationships.  Is the door locked?  Break it.  Yes, there was the same puzzle in KQ5.  The difference to me is that in that game you were in a locked room and had a full inventory of items.  The hammer made the most sense to use and you obtained the hammer by exploring the land, braving a forbidden forest, besting a witch with an item from the desert that you only got by infiltrating bandits, then breaking out of the forest by befriending elves, then performing an act of kindness by giving shoes to the shoemaker and getting his cobbler hammer.  It's an intricate adventure of puzzles and exploring.  In MOE, you come across a locked door and smash it open with the war hammer you've been using to crush rock monsters and split the skulls of enemies.  There's no intelligence required.  You didn't go through anything to obtain your weapons.  You just loot them from the dead or buy them with money you looted from the dead.  MOE may be entertaining, I actually do enjoy the game, but I would not call it an adventure game.  In fact, I would go so far to say, to quote something I read somewhere, calling MOE an adventure game would be "using extreme hyperbole. Perhaps even going so far to be intentionally misleading!"

Personally, when there's talk about how the fans lack of acceptance of the new destroyed the adventure games, I just have to disagree.  Even if the changes had worked out, they changed what adventure games were at their core.  That killed adventure gaming.  You can love what came out of it, but it wasn't adventure games.  To use an example, I'm a huge Star Trek fan.  To me, Star Trek is dead.  Yes, there was a new movie.  And yes, the movie was entertaining, even good.  But it wasn't Star Trek.  It was a summer blockbuster action movie that took place with a Star Trek setting.  The Star Trek I knew was cerebral and could take its time with a story.  It wasn't all about explosions and lens flares and rebooting the timeline (ok, the occasional temporal reset, I'm looking at you Voyager!)  People can say that the new movie brings in new fans and makes the series accessible to them.  They might be right.  If a Trek movie about communication and some of the higher ideals from the episodes was made, it would bomb.  But even though you can say that Star Trek is evolving, what it was is still dead.  It's essence has been tossed away in the evolutionary cycle.

So that's what I mean when I talk about the changes killing the adventure genre.  Whether you believe the changes made were good, bad, or would have been good if the technology existed and without corporate meddling, ultimately is a separate argument.  Those changes altered the goals and fiber of the adventure game and changed it into an amalgam of other, more profitable, genres.  Call it evolution, call it selling out, call it visionary, call it necessary, but it altered adventure games in such a way that they ceased to exist.

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #52 on: August 02, 2011, 07:55:00 PM »
Read this article from spring 1997, from Chris Williams. He gives his dad's opinions of the time, and Roberta's thoughts. You can find stuff like this in interaction going back earlier into 1996.

You might be wrong about it being a first person shooter. But the point was Roberta wanted this game to be different, and she took on inspiration from everything including FPS, RTS games, Action-Adventures like Tomb Raider, etc.

Sierra's adventure game genre was a failure to them, they were hoping to save it. Ken Williams was pretty much wanting to scrap it altogether. It was losing money! Their main job was to make things that the public wanted to make money! They weren't making things for small 'niches'.

Remember Grim Fandango was pretty much strict classic adventure game, and it completely bombed!

So ya, the problem was the audience. The audience was moving away from Sierra to Nintendo and Sega, and those sorts of games.
Quote
Inquisition 2000 was an editorial section in the Spring 1997 issue of Interaction Magazine.
 
Edit Getting advance info on King's Quest is usually "Mission Impossible" so we hired Chris Williams to pull an inside job.
 
"The traditional adventure game is dead." At least, that's what my dad[1] says. He thinks it's time to change adventure games at least as much as the gamers themselves have changed over the last few years. It's time to make them "less pretentious. More open-ended, faster paced, and just more fun to play than they have been." After all, he's reasoned, "what's the use of creating these super-serious, overly literary, and downright studious games when the major audience that will play them played a Nintendo or a Sega last year? These folks are used to playing games where the correct answer to any problem might be jumping over something, hitting it with a hammer, or maybe even shooting it with a big bazooka. Why hassle through all the literary pretense when most of today's gamers just want to blow something up."
 
Well, he's got a point. When you take a look at the bestseller lists, it's hard to miss names like Quake, Diablo, Duke Nukem, and CyberGladiators. These action-oriented games have replaced more sophisticated games on the shelf and it doesn't look like that pattern is going to change any time soon (Even RAMA isn't selling as well as these arcade games--and you gotta find that hard to believe if you know how good that adventure is.) It's easy to tell that adventure games are going to have evolve, or they'll die completely. There's only so much room on the shelves at the software store, and it goes to the games that sell the tonnage.
 
My mom[2] is aware of all this, of course, though she still prefers to think that adventure gamers appreciate the more intelligent puzzles, the more literary storytelling, and the more "mature" challenges of the adventure genre. But you don't have to hit her with a board to get her attention. She's a smart lady, and she wants to see adventure games survive into the next century, even if it does mean she needs to build them a little differently.
 
So for the last half year or so, Mom's been playing games like crazy. She was one of the first people I know who ever played Mario 64, and she also Duke, Tomb Raider, and all the other 3D action games (Isn't life tough? Guess who gets to grab all those games when she's done with them?) Anyway, after mega-hours of playing and playing, she finally sat down with a "team" of developers a few months ago and started work on what will probably be the most radical King's Quest adventure game since the series began. She calls it The Mask of Eternity.
 
I have to admit, I'm pretty impressed with Mom's design. The early gameplay stuff I've tooled around with is very "Mario 64"ish with shades of Tomb Raider, Quake, and even a little Diablo thrown in. Mom says that the sim people at Dynamix are actually building the "engine" that makes the game run, so there may be some Red Baron and EarthSiege in there, too. Mom's spending a solid bundle of bucks on this one and she's got a ton people working on it, so wouldn't surprise me. It still has all the plot and literary depth of her old adventure games, and she even has a whole new cast of characters and even a new hero who will take on the dangers of Daventry. The backstory concerns a group of priestly beings who guard a powerful object in a faraway land, and how one day, one of them gets greedy and decides to steal the object. It blows up in his face. The pieces of the object go everywhere, and the blast from the explosion turns every living creature in Daventry into stone. Well, not everyone--it wouldn't be an interesting game if everyone were stone-prone, would it?

The star of Mask, a peasant named Connor, is one of the few who survives the blast because a piece of the object basically lands on him and shields him from the evil magic. From there, it gets crazy, all kind of nasty monsters. Mom hates when I give away the plots to her games, but I can tell you it gets a lot more complex than "go waste an alien."
 
It's a little early to tell yet, and a lot of what I've seen on The Mask Of Eternity comes from the files I find on mom's hard drive and the stacks of written notes she leaves all over the kitchen table, but this one looks pretty cool and it's actually a Mom game I really look forward to playing. (The last game of hers I played was Phantas--but I only played it because she absolutely forbade it.) It's really coming along very well now that everyone agrees on what the game will look like, so Mom expects to have this one one in stores around September (When she shuts her office door, all the programmers laugh and tell me that it will be November earliest, so we'll see.)
 
I know I'm her son and all, but I still think it's gonna be good. You should watch for it
 

Believe me Ken Williams is trying to white wash the issue in modern times. But if you go back to his comments from the time, you see he was one of the Suits. He wanted his business to compete with the rest of the companies out there!

Adventure games just didn't compete with other genres out there!

The whole claim that the upper echelons medaled with the game, and turned it into something else is a bit of a myth.

Because from the moment Roberta announced the KQ8, she was comparing it to "Doom", and talking about adding things from 3D and action games to compete with the modern gaming world, in an attempt to "evolve" the adventure genre and save it! The game Roberta would have released would have just added more boss battles, and more action elements, and stuff out of Tomb Raider, Mario 64, etc!

She was never working on anything that resembled KQ6 in any way shape or form!

Quote
alling MOE an adventure game would be "using extreme hyperbole. Perhaps even going so far to be intentionally misleading!"

No, I call it an Action-Adventure game, which is a genre that arose out of the Adventure game genre. I would also call it a hybrid adventure. There have been many games like MOE long before it. Infact one of the earliest was a classic known as Beyond Zork, which was an RPG-ADventure game hybrid. Sierra always had its Quest for Glory series! Which have the same amount of killing! Yet those are considered Adventure/RPGS!

Quest for Glory didn't kill Adventure games! Neither did Beyond Zork!

Metroid Prime is an First Person Adventure! People who don't have a clue call it a FPS! But shooting is not the focus of the game!

There is so much actual fluidity to what the Adventure game genre was, that no company ever agreed to what it was, or could be.

My guess you never played the relatively successful Inca series! Which blended Adventure Game, Space Combat, and Shooter elements! All mixed up together at various points in the game!

None of these games fit one mold. I there are very few games like them! There has been nothing like KQ8 since.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 08:09:39 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Damar

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #53 on: August 02, 2011, 08:08:58 PM »
That brings back memories.  I remember reading that article when it came out.  My family actually picked up that magazine because it had that information in it and I was hoping to learn about the new King's Quest.

I guess that's the danger of growth.  Eventually all things change or fall in and out of fashion.  People may identify KQ6 as the peak of adventure gaming but that's only because adventure gaming has fallen.  When you're still waiting at the peak, you expect things to change or continue.  If the country falls apart tomorrow we'll look back at the economy collapse as the beginning of the end for the United States.  If the economy picks up then the past years will just be a historical footnote to be looked on with academic curiosity by the future public at large.  It's all hindsight.

It's easy to say now that adventure gaming never should have compromised because the genre is dead for the most part, outside of a small niche of fans that sustains it.  The niche exists now, so it's easy to say that it should have always existed.  But it was a business and they had to try to make it profitable and changing it was the only way to try to bring it back.  It didn't work and now we can point fingers at why it didn't work.  Still, it might have been business, but I can dream that maybe, just maybe the change wouldn't have been necessary and it could have existed in its own little niche.  I enjoy my denial, I guess.

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #54 on: August 02, 2011, 08:12:49 PM »
The beginning of the end of the United States? Or a chance to arise as something better ala a phoenix?

Sorry... But just noticing that Adventure Game fans are alot like conservatives! Live in the past, and think that it is the only successful method! I don't think everything will turn to holocaust, even if the US goes bankrupt! It may just be paranoia. Always keep a kernal of hope!

Grim Fandango didn't compromise, and it still failed! The industry isn't going to continue make things to bankrupt itself! The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over, expecting a different outcome!

I think Ken also said that KQ7 was not as successful as they wanted it to be, that's another reason for the direction change!

I wonder what people would be saying now if Sierra had just decided to scrap things, and end it at KQ7? If twenty years went by with no KQ and KQ7 was the last game in the series?

Remember that at the time KQ7 was one of the most low-rated games, ridiculed by many gaming magazines, etc. I think it had about 40% rating aggragate if you take all the magazines together! It still outsold KQ6, but it wasn't favored by the critics. Roberta said in an interview at the time she didn't really care what critics thought, she just made games she thought she would be interested in playing, and what she thought her audience would want to play (she pointed out that many previous games have had their critics as well)!

For comparison, KQ8 received a 70% aggragate score (many critics loved it giving their top marks, although there were a few bad ratings as well), and was the bestselling KQ of all time. It was generally successful for a KQ game. That might have had something to do with the attempt to ressurect it in 2002, the cancelled KQ9 (which would have also likely been an action adventure, more Zelda like in scope).
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 10:48:15 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Damar

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2011, 08:41:24 PM »
Sorry... But just noticing that Adventure Game fans are alot like conservatives! Live in the past, and think that it is the only successful method! I don't think everything will turn to holocaust, even if the US goes bankrupt! It may just be paranoia. Always keep a kernal of hope!

I absolutely agree.  As for what would have happened if KQ7 was the last, I'd imagine we'd be having the same discussion as right now, but subtract the topics of slashing enemies and absence of real puzzles and replace them with a dumbed down interface and trying to cater to children.

I guess it's easy to demand that the developers should have stood their ground when we we have the hindsight to know that death was inevitable even when they tried to evolve.  So we would see it as having died with dignity.  But it's just natural (not to mention good business) that they did fight to adapt, even though it did them no good.  Still, I think there's something to be said about not compromising completely, even in the name of survival.

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #56 on: August 02, 2011, 08:47:40 PM »
Out if trivia apparently the least successful KQ game was the KQ1 remake. It apparently bombed, people hated it and compared it to colorizing classic films! It's failure stopped then from going ahead with a KQ2 remake!

Fans are fickle things!

Quote
discussion as right now, but subtract the topics of slashing enemies and absence of real puzzles and replace them with a dumbed down interface and trying to cater to children

I argue that the game lacks real puzzles once you get out of the desert (or rather they become fewer and farther between)... When it turns into a series of fetch quests by various characters :p... Although 'fetch quests' are a classic adventure game trait... "Bring me emerald water, a dragon scale, and a silver spoon", "my husband falls asleep with just a touch of sulfer, don't you know?", "I gave my spine away, if only I had one", "You shallp be imprisonedp here forever, unlessp you put the moonp back in the sky, slobber", etc, etc, etc.

I can name a number of item puzzles in KQ8 (assuming that's what you are defining as 'real'), many that are my most favorite puzzles in the entire series!

But what we define as 'puzzles" or "real puzzles" is completely subjective.

Like I mentioned before, those jumping puzzles and box puzzles in KQ8 are rare for King's Quest adventure games (though KQ6 had a variation on a tile puzzle). But they are quite common if you have followed the history of Adventure games, and played games from other companies. The jumping puzzles for example in torin's passage is very similar! But I think KQ8 went a little overboard by putting something like 4 of them in the game! Box puzzles are traced back to Zork and other text adventures! So they very much have a history in adventure game puzzle design!

Roberta has said in Hindsight;
Quote
When discussing the transition from 2D to 3D for King's Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity, I can only say that we were on to the right idea of switching to 3D. However, the implementation was not exactly correct. In 20/20 hindsight, I would have omitted the RPG (role-playing) aspects and would have stuck with more traditional adventure game elements. I would have thought more in terms of physical puzzles that could be done better in 3D than in 2D, but, still, I wouldn't have changed the game so dramatically just because I was switching from 2D to 3D. But, what do they say about 20/20 hindsight?
-Roberta Williams, 2006

This would seem to possibly suggest, if say if she had thought about leaving out the RPG aspects back then, she might have actually put more of the box puzzles, physics puzzles, and probably the jumping puzzles into the game :p Stuff that utilizes the 3D effectively. But you don't think the current 'physics puzzles'  in the game are 'real puzzles". So it probably wouldn't have changed your opinion much!

It would actually probably turn it more into Broken Sword 3... Or Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 10:09:51 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline DawsonJ

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #57 on: August 03, 2011, 01:12:00 AM »
While Roberta was heavily involved in the creation of MoE, Mark Seibert described MoE this way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOPd_wVpuqI

(Specifically at time 1:24)

Offline Baggins

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Re: When did the Adventure Genre begin to decline?
« Reply #58 on: August 03, 2011, 09:03:40 AM »
Keep in mind that he said that back in 1996, when that video was filmed! Back when they were calling the game; "Mask of Eternity: From the world of King's Quest".

So these different views going around between Roberta, and others go back to the beginning of the development!

If you want to know more check out the KQ8 development page on the omnipedia.

Here is another quote from Ken, discussing Roberta's inspiration back in 1996;
Quote
My wife, Roberta, is working on the newest King's Quest game, Mask of Eternity. It's an enormous project and has the largest team we've ever assembled. Roberta's feeling is that adventure games are starting to "all look the same." She wants to try to completely redefine the genre. For about six months all she did was study games. She studied in detail every successful game on the market, even non-adventure games like Duke Nuke'm, Warcraft II, and Super Mario for the Ultra 64. She is well into Mask now and expects it to complete in time for Christmas '97. It is impossible to describe because there really aren't any games like it. When I asked Roberta how to describe it, she said, "Imagine a King's Quest game which takes place in a true 3-D world, with true 3-D lifelike characters. I borrowed Dynamix's flight simulator technology and pushed it in a new direction. The result is still King's Quest but it's much more immersive, and the 3-D makes the game more interactive. It also changed how I design. The 3-D allowed me create challenges for the player which never could have been done in a 2-D environment, including many that use physics."
 
-Ken Williams, CEO of Sierra-Online, InterAction, Fall 1996, pg 10

Duke Nukem, Warcraft I, Mario 64!

Here is a comment by Roberta in 1998, about her decision to switch to 3-d;

Quote
I decided King's Quest was going to go 3-d while I was working on Phantasmagoria. That was in, around 1994, maybe 95, somewhere around there. It was about the time Doom came out, and it just made a splash. Everybody was playing Doom. Other 3-d games were beginning to come out around that time too. It just became clear that computer games were going to be going 3-d. I pretty much made up my mind during the development of Phantasmagoria. I knew I was going to be doing the next King's Quest. I knew, being the eighth in the series, that's tough, gives the desire...You know its going to be the eighth of the series, its gotta be bigger and better than ever, and you gotta keep this thing going, and its gotta be great, and its gotta be all these things. It's really tough to do that. In all honesty its much better to work on a brand new game, that nobody has ever seen before, that nobody knows about. Because you can do anything, the sky's the limit. But to try to do something that's eighth in the series, is really not easy, and so to me to go 3-d was, we had to do that. ...and also I, Mark and I entertained the idea of making it multiplayer also, but that was nixed. It was like, well were doning 3-d, and that's enough, you know, for now. Maybe Multiplayer later.
-Roberta Williams, Talkspot part 2.

Doom!

Roberta talks about the idea for seven bosses in KQ8 back in 1996;
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"In dealing with the challenges of finding the seven pieces of The Mask of Eternity, the title gives you more ethical choices than ever before. A prime example is the potential to destroy some of the evil, magical beasts that get in your way - a mode of behavior that was not included in previous games. "If this was the real world, you might actually have to fight and kill an enemy, says Williams. "In the Mask of Eternity there are seven instances where you must mortally defeat a monster before you can proceed."
 
-Interaction magazine, Fall 1996.

Here is an image from the second promo video released in the KQ Collection Series;

Notice that like the first promo image from the Roberta Williams Anthology, they call the game simply "Mask of Eternity'. Not even a mention of KQ this time, not even Roberta's name. This video is interesting in that it shows the first playable scenes from the game. A build somewhere closer to the final game, but still quite a few physical differences. Connor is a little less buff, and got a more how to describe it griseled face.

Also from this time the promo box printed in the Fall 1997 issue (it also appears on the back of the KQ Collection box from July 1997);



Notice, this the first time they added King's Quest above the title, in the classic KQ5/KQ6/KQ7 font, the one that Taletale is currently using. Still no sign of Roberta William's name on the box.

So we seem to have a progression of the tentative title just being Mask of Eternity, but it later gained the attached "King's Quest" title later on, but still no sign of Roberta's name.

Next promo box shot appears in InterAction magazine in Fall 1998 issue;



Notice, it finally starting to look like the release box. It has King's Quest: Mask of Eternity title. But interestingly enough lacks the "Roberta Williams" part of the title! So so far all promo boxes from 2006-2008 lack Robert's name.

Keep in mind though that even KQ7's history of prototype box covers and logos also lacks Roberta Williams in the title, until the final release!

The final box cover shows up in in Holiday season 1998 or so (although it might have appeared in places earlier), with the finalized Roberta Williams' King's Quest: Mask of Eternity title;



For a history of the combat portion of the game, this is what we know;

Quote
When we started working on the project, we first started by designing Daventry, and ended up with this huge map, and Connor wandering around this big area, with pretty much nothing to do in between the puzzles, and that in connection with Roberta's story, I started recommending lets add things like combat, and health items, and things like that, to give us more things to fill out the world, and to keep the player involved in between the puzzles. ...and so we came up with this very simplistic combat system that I don't think gets in the way of the story, its a very easy to grasp, click on the guys, until he is dead, diablo-like combat. I felt it really added to the system."
-Mark Seibert, Talkspot part 2, December 1998.
Quote
"I have to admit I was a little nervous about it and I never questioned it, I always felt it was the right thing, and I feel time will tell as to how that eventually works out, only I must say by the sales of King's Quest, and by the fact so many people seem to be enjoying it, it must have been the right thing to do. I think combat, got quite a bit of attention and controversy, because they say that's not part of King's Quest, but it certainly can be part of King's Quest, if its a knightly quest, and its good vs. evil, and if it fits into the story, which I think it does very well in this game."
-Roberta Williams, Talkspot Part 1, December 1998.

Quote
The reason why combat was added, and first of all, I don't think people should take it negatively because combat is definitely can be part of a story, lot of people think combat, that is just an action game, just action. But if you think about some of the great movies that have been out there, some of the great books where combat has been part of it, if you think in terms of adding it to the story, and if it fits very well with the story, then I think it's very appropriate. My idea was I wanted to do a story that was more in like the tradition of the epic games, where you had your true hero that would go out, and think about some of the old legendary figures of King Arthur or Sir Lancelot or Jason and the Golden Fleece. I mean they were all super heroes that would go out and they would fight the monsters and they were working for good. ...and really also if you sorta think about the quest, the quest for faith, or even your inner self. It can be said fighting the monsters, is the same as fighting your own inner demons. But when you think in terms of putting it into the story, fighting chaos, and your trying to set order right, and your fighting evil, I think its very appropriate. How would Star Wars be without Luke Skywalker out there fighting the bad guys.
-Roberta Williams, Talkspot part 2, December 1998.

We saw images of the first enemies, and first build of the game as early as Fall 1996 or so (maybe a little bit earlier in other non-sierra magazines). This would suggest that the period when Roberta hadn't thought of having enemies was a for a very short time in early 1996 (by fall 1996 they had a substantial amount of work finished in at least semi-playable or demoable state, using the early version of the 3Space editor used in Earthsiege II). I don't know how long it takes to make assets, and entire levels. But I'm guessing that it had to be at least half the year?

But by late 1996, the game was definitely already had the 'violent' encounters (technically its really not that violent, it only has a teen rating). By the time she announced the game to the public for the first time, the game already had enemies in it. This was when Ken Williams was still in charge of Sierra, although he had already sold the company to CUC in late July 1996.

Since we must take development time into consideration, much of that material used in the level editors/early 3Space engine including combat ideas were built into the game long before CUC came into the picture! So Ken Williams (who already was thinking of stopping adventure games altogether, since they weren't profitable), Roberta Williams, and her team already supported turning King's Quest into something more mainstream, to draw in a wider audience (which by the way did work) was made before CUC came into the picture. Ken may now try push the blame on CUC, but truly it was his fault originally. At least even if we got the build with more levels, more bosses, more enemies, and extended cutscenes, it still would have been more of the same! Just it would have played much longer! We might at least gotten a better ending.

Plus much of the fault in the loss of that extra content was on the shoulders of Dynamix for not finishing the more robust version of the 3Space engine that could handle adventure games, puzzles, scripted events, etc. That meant they had to scramble to build a new engine from scratch, and they had to recycle as much of the material as they could. In the meantime they were also converting many of the assets to their updated art style, and higher res graphics (the older 3Space models wouldn't have cut it in the market by late 1997 into 1998).



(Posted on: August 03, 2011, 03:16:19 AM)


Roberta Even jumped into defend her decisions for KQ8 back in summer 1997, back in the old KQ8 forums. Other than fan game community I can't think of very many designers that are willing to come out in public to defend or discuss there decisions;
Quote
July 7, 1997:

I have been reading with interest all of the various comments that everybody has had about KQ8 (Mask of Eternity). I find it interesting that everybody has their own ideas about what King's Quest IS. And everybody seems to have a bit different idea. It seems, on this board, anyway, that quite a few people have the idea that King's Quest is (or should be) non-violent...no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And it must be cute, funny, have fairytales in it, and have lots of puzzles and inventory objects. First of all, I have to say that King's Quest comes from ME and each one is different and has its own flavor. Some have a darker tone, and others have a lighter tone. Some touch upon violence, and some don't. King's Quest reflects the mood that I am in when I go to tackle another one.

King's Quest really is a reflection of me and how I'm feeling about the subject and upon the reference material I am using and how I approach the subject. Basically, King's Quest comes from me and my heart and it always isn't going to be exactly the same, because I'm not always exactly the same, and I, like most people, feel a need for a change of pace and a sense of moving forward and of trying and experiencing something new. With KQ7, I was in a "Disney-esque" mood. Some people really liked it, others didn't. Earlier King's Quest's reflected my moods during those times: KQ3 was very dark, and it utilized lots of magic and magic spells with the basic idea of finding ingredients for "black magic" spells and then casting those spells. (Certain religious groups were upset with me over that one!) KQ1 certainly had violence. Sir Graham had a dagger and could kill the dragon (and it didn't get you "stuck," by the way, if you did so), and you could also kill the goat. It's true that I also had non-violent ways of dealing with those situations, but, that's because I chose to handle it that way for that particular game. I've gotten into trouble over the years for all the various ways that my main characters can "die." And they die a lot! I am known for changing course a lot, and changing my style a lot. I like change, and I like to keep people guessing. KQ7 felt very Disney-esque, and I felt like doing something different for KQ8 but yet, still keeping a "King's Quest" feel to the game. Each game in the King's Quest family has been different. Almost each time I do a new King's Quest, people get up in arms and say it's going to be "different" and won't feel right. Yet, each time, it DOES wind up feeling like King's Quest but each in its own way...and people just kind of KNOW that when they are playing it.

That's because I know, in my heart, and what I am feeling, that it is, indeed, King's Quest. The components that make a King's Quest are (in my mind, anyway and since I am the creator of the series, I guess that holds some weight): A land, or lands, of high fantasy; fantasy creatures from myth, legends, and/or fairytales both good and bad; situations to be found in those same types of stories; a "quest" type story; a calamity in the land with one "hero" to "save the kingdom"; a story of the "good" hero against the "evil" bad guy; a story that everyone can relate to, i.e., a "reason" for having the hero go out and risk his or her life for "saving the kingdom"; interesting worlds to explore; high interactivity; interesting characters; great animation; great visuals and music. Within that general framework, I feel that I can have some "leeway" to accomplish those tasks. In the case of KQ8 I chose to give this game more of a "Tolkien-esque" feel rather than a "Disney-esque" feel. But each of the above elements is true for KQ8 as they were for KQ1 through 7. KQ8 indeed has a story, actually, a much more profound story than prior King's Quests. It is a new telling of the ultimate "quest" the quest for the most powerful, spiritual, benevolent item of all; the Mask of Eternity. This story takes its cue from two sources: the Quest for the Grail, and the Christian story of the struggle between God and Lucifer. When we say that the story is very dark that's really not true; it's just that the story is more profound and seriously looks at the struggle between good and evil. Rather than taking a bubbly, Disney view of good and evil, I chose to look at the struggle between good and evil from a more serious, traditional, almost spiritual, viewpoint. If you look at the traditional stories of the Grail and even in past Christian legend, you find that it is not light-hearted, gooey, and bubbly. Those stories are filled with conflict, peril, finding ones own morality, proving oneself a hero by overcoming evil creatures of Chaos, but yet proving oneself virtuous and good with all things good. That is the theme with this game. Connor is indeed a new character within the world of Daventry. Currently, he has no connection to King Graham and his family, but that doesn't mean that King Graham is not aware of him...and what he's going to do to help Daventry. This is, instead, a story of Connor and a story of how one young man of "common" background can rise to the situation and prove himself to be the true hero which can save the world. It is the traditional story of the young "initiate" who becomes stronger through proving his mettle, his virtue, surviving perils, overcoming evil and in the end can even conquer the ultimate evil. By doing so, he will restore the land and all of the people, and good creatures and animals within it. The Mask of Eternity is the "key." It is the source of all Power, all Order, all Truth, and all Light. It belongs in its place in the "Realm of the Sun." It has been broken into five pieces and distributed throughout the world. A mysterious evil (guy) has destroyed it and taken over the Realm of the Sun. Darkness has now settled over the land and all people (mortals) have been turned to stone, while creatures of darkness have risen from the very cracks and crevices of the earth at the instigation of this evil guy. Now Chaos reigns in all the various regions of the world: In Daventry (where all people have been turned to stone, including King Graham and his family); in the Dimension of Death (where even the Judge of the Dead has lost control of his guards and the souls); in the swamp (where the evil swamp witch has poisoned the swamp water and has all the good swamp creatures in her thrall); in the underground Realm of the Gnomes (where the industrious gnomes are willing to sell you items to help in your quest, but have also lost some control to the rock demons and an evil dragon); in the Barrens (where the trading post dwarfling has lost his "business" to the predations of an evil basilisk and the savagemen block your way to the Frosty Mountains); in the Frosty Mountains (where travel is impossible without the commandeering the controls of a flying crystal dragon, and the snow nymphs need relief from the evil Ice Lord); and finally in the Realm of the Sun (where the bad guy has taken over the domain of the Archons and the Mask of Eternity....this bad guy, the ultimate source of the terrible evil and darkness which has overcome the world). Connor must overcome all of these problems while recovering the pieces of the Mask and returning the Mask (in whole) back to its realm to its altar. Not until it has been returned will green and light return to the world. Not until then will the Realm of the Sun "shine" again and the waters flow.... I feel very proud of this game and the story which goes with it. Do NOT gain any preconceived ideas which may be wrong about this game from some preliminary screen shots which you will see at this early date. As time goes on we will supply you with more screen shots which will show other aspects of this game which are not "fighting" oriented. The reason it appears that this game is all about that is because we have not ever done a game which has that element so we're concentrating on that element right now. The other elements; the story elements, the character elements, the animation elements, the inventory object elements, the puzzle elements...are all stuff we've done before and will be much easier for us to put in place....we just haven't done those yet.....therefore, you're getting a skewed view of this game which is WRONG. I plan on keeping in touch with everyone and endeavoring to answer questions. I will try to check in a couple of times a week. Thanks for your patience in reading through my long-winded explanation of KQ8. Hopefully, this will have helped answer any nagging questions about "Mask of Eternity."

Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg
 

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