Author Topic: Re-inventing the Wheel  (Read 13390 times)

Offline bugle_truffle1

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #120 on: August 18, 2010, 05:13:05 PM »
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I'd assume that any group that was doing fan work based on an old game series that was given the opportunity to continue doing that and actually get paid for it would jump all over that opportunity.

Certainly. The difference is if I was given this opportunity, the first thing I would do is add the original creators to my payroll and give them absolute freedom over the writing and designing of the game, and the rest of the team would only be there for the graphics, music, coding, PR and making the original creator's vision a reality. I'd use this opportunity to let the people who created these series to continue the tales they began two decades ago or conclude them on a high note, I wouldn't use this opportunity to re-engineer a series to reshape it in my own vision.

I completely second Baggins when he says he expects Jensen to be directly involved in GK4, Lowe in LSL8, the Coles in QFG6 and Josh* in SQ7, and not just as consultant like Telltales apparently did with Ron. And I think a lot of people would be reassured to know if that would be the first thing you'd do if you were given that opportunity.

* He did leave SQ6 on a cliff hanger, it's only normal that he finishes it. Plus Scott is done with the series, he has a vision of SQ1-4 and doesn't want it tainted with fan games and sequels it seems, and Mark and Scott hate each others guts.

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Hell, it's why Blizzard abandoned their own adventure game.

No, they abandoned it because it was always behind in term of technology. By the time it would have been on the shelves, it would have looked dated compared to other games. That's why they canned it.

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #121 on: August 18, 2010, 05:22:47 PM »
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Scott is done with the series, he has a vision of SQ1-4 and doesn't want it tainted with fan games and sequels it seems
Scott Murphy was  the one who finished SQ6 actually. Made something like "half" the game after Josh Mandel left.

http://www.spacequest.net/sq6/funfacts/

Apparently if the quote in that link is real or serious, he didn't like the material that he created however, and apparently didn't really like SQ4 either, wishing he had quite after 3. Although I think he's saying that partially in tongue in cheek, since obviously wasn't looking to commit suicide over making the games...
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Mark and Scott hate each others guts.
???
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 05:42:46 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

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #122 on: August 18, 2010, 05:42:31 PM »
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Scott is done with the series, he has a vision of SQ1-4 and doesn't want it tainted with fan games and sequels it seems
Scott Murphy was  the one who finished SQ6 actually. Made something like "half" the game after Josh Mandel left.

http://www.spacequest.net/sq6/funfacts/
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Mark and Scott hate each others guts.
???

Josh left Sierra around 1994 or so, seeing how corporate bureaucracy was suffocating and changing the company he remembered (I believe that's why he left--I am not sure though), and Scott took over the rest of development--I think it was either 50-50 in terms of who contributed how much, or 70-30. I remember hearing that Josh designed most of the game and Scott only designed the ending parts. Sierra however had a policy of not crediting a designer or publicizing their work on a game if they left the project  before it was completed, and if you look at the InterAction, for example, after Josh left, the game is treated as if it was Scott's baby all along and Josh didn't have any major part in it. I remember hearing that Scott apologized to Josh some years back for going along with Sierra's charade of making it appear that he had mostly made SQ6.

And I believe the original SQ7--the one in development in 1997 was Scott's baby with help from Leslie Balfour as Co-Designer/Writer.

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #123 on: August 18, 2010, 05:47:38 PM »
Hmm came accross an interesting fact on the SQ7 trailer that came with the SQ collection. http://wiw.org/~jess/scott112900.html;

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JM: Fans who purchased the most recent version of the Space Quest Collection were treated to the promotional movie for Space Quest 7. Many of these fans, however, are not aware of the story behind the game's eventual cancellation. Could you give us the full scoop on what happened to Roger's seventh adventure?   
 
    SM: The deal with the demo is that it had nothing to do with what Space Quest 7 was supposed to be. It was merely eye candy for management (ugh) and for the Collection.
    It never stood a chance. With the unrealistic expectations of the dumb-asses running the Sierra division in Oakhurst and Bellevue at the time, it was doomed from the start. I know that they'd pretty much jerked my heart out of the process. The only good thing about that time was the people I got to work for a while who would have made up the SQ7 team, and they were some great people. Just don't tell the bastards I said that. Nobody reads this crap anyway. Right?
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

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #124 on: August 18, 2010, 05:50:50 PM »
Hmm came accross an interesting fact on the SQ7 trailer that came with the SQ collection. http://wiw.org/~jess/scott112900.html;

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JM: Fans who purchased the most recent version of the Space Quest Collection were treated to the promotional movie for Space Quest 7. Many of these fans, however, are not aware of the story behind the game's eventual cancellation. Could you give us the full scoop on what happened to Roger's seventh adventure?   
 
    SM: The deal with the demo is that it had nothing to do with what Space Quest 7 was supposed to be. It was merely eye candy for management (ugh) and for the Collection.
    It never stood a chance. With the unrealistic expectations of the dumb-asses running the Sierra division in Oakhurst and Bellevue at the time, it was doomed from the start. I know that they'd pretty much jerked my heart out of the process. The only good thing about that time was the people I got to work for a while who would have made up the SQ7 team, and they were some great people. Just don't tell the b******s I said that. Nobody reads this crap anyway. Right?


I heard they (Sierra's management/Oakhurst management) tried forcing the idea of making SQ7 multiplayer, in order to make it more modern, down the team's throat, and the team tried this and wasn't able to and Scott (or someone) tried to explain to Sierra's management that Sierra had attempted this idea of a multiplayer adventure game when LSL4 was in development, and it didn't work then (which is why we never got a formal LSL4), but the new guys who were concerned purely with the bottom line didn't want to listen.

The game was definitely in development, from around early '97 to sometime in 1998 maybe?

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #125 on: August 18, 2010, 05:53:46 PM »
There as apparently a relaunch, attempt in 1999. Didn't go very far.

http://spacequest.wikia.com/wiki/Space_Quest_7_(Sierra)
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 bugle_truffle1

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #126 on: August 18, 2010, 05:57:40 PM »

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #127 on: August 18, 2010, 06:04:08 PM »
Wow, sounds like he didn't much like Ken either, or at least "workplace Ken" (sounds like Barbie doll line). The fact that SQ4 had point and click when they wanted to keep parser, would explain why he said he wished he had quite at the third game...

There is another interview out there where he doesn't criticize Mark, and even complements the work that was done on SQ5. At least he was happy it maintained the cartoony style they began with, but said he wasn't into the whole star trek stuff as much as Mark was. But its interesting to see that otherwise he was very distrustful of Mark.

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JM: After the Two Guys from Andromeda split up, Mark Crowe went on to fly solo for SQ5. What was your take on the somewhat different direction in which Mark took the series in this sequel?
 
    SM: It was interesting. It occurred to me that Mark had been into Star Trek much more than I had, not that that's a bad thing by any means. I didn't really start watching those until the last five or six years (weird, eh?), and I've been digging it. Mark is also a big fan of comic books, as are virtually all the artists I have ever known. The Dynamix development system in those days leant itself well to the comic style, and it did end up with a kind of "Roger Beamish" look, if you will. I was glad that he kept the cartoon look. That was how we'd wanted the games to look from the start and I never wanted that to change.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 06:09:11 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

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #128 on: August 18, 2010, 06:06:01 PM »
There as apparently a relaunch, attempt in 1999. Didn't go very far.

http://spacequest.wikia.com/wiki/Space_Quest_7_(Sierra)

I remember hearing discussions about a SQ7 (by a supporter of the project) were launched just prior to Black Monday. It was around January or so of 1999 more than likely. It couldn't have been after Black Monday since pretty much all of the adventure game department was sacked. I think it was a member who was either a fan of the series, or who had been at Sierra for a long time and felt it would be the right thing to do.

Offline bugle_truffle1

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #129 on: August 18, 2010, 06:35:54 PM »
http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/196/

The SQ6 ending was apparently not Josh's idea. But he does seem to have lot of ideas for SQ sequels, there's no other person I'd trust to continue that series.

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Josh: The ending was another disappointment. I know that Scott didn't like my original concept, which was a Planet of the Apes riff with a statue of Leisure Suit Larry. So, when I left, I'd been working on ideas for new endings that we both liked. The ending in the final product was a total surprise to me, and not my idea of what an SQ ending should be. Maybe the budget ran out.

The development of Space Quest VII: Return to Roman Numerals had started as early as 1997 but was eventually canceled by Sierra On-Line years later. Had you been in any way contacted or involved in this attempt to revive the franchise? If you had the opportunity to develop the sequel, what would the new Space Quest be like and how would it be tied to the previous games in the series?

Josh: I wasn't connected with the aborted SQ7 at all, nor was I asked to be. I actually have a lot of ideas for another SQ, some of which I used in writing the story for the SQ7.org fangame. Other ideas, I'm holding onto since people keep popping up with ways to approach Vivendi with a true sequel, and I wouldn't want to tip my hand just in case one of them actually pans out.

Offline kenwilliams

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #130 on: August 18, 2010, 07:11:24 PM »
Roberta and I have enjoyed reading through the postings here. We didn't read them all, so my apologies if I'm repeating some of what has already been said, or am off the subject.

But...

As was pointed out, MOE had a very different flavor from the earlier Kings Quest games. The 'rest of the story' is that it was developed after I left Sierra, and that there were multiple opinions as to what the game should be. When I was running the company, these differences were not an issue, because everyone knew my position on the matter. I always felt that a game is like a book, and that there should only be one author, or one creative vision, for the product, and that the game needs to sink or swim with a single vision. It was Roberta's game, and needed to be her vision. Typically, on a game, there are 100s of people, and most of them are 'wanna be’ game designers. They look for every opportunity to show off their creativity, and prove to the world that they should be the next hot designer. I understand and respect this, but it really just screws up the product. I would argue that if you were to publish a book, with the top 200 authors who ever lived each writing one page, it might have good press value, but would be an unreadable book.

With me gone from Sierra, Roberta's ability to force the project to be her vision, alone, was compromised. It suddenly became a group effort, with lots of smart people each having their own ideas. Sierra hired only the best, so they weren't bad ideas, but they weren't Roberta's ideas. The game became a mish mash of lots of people's good ideas, but clearly not a Roberta game. There was even a period where Sierra wanted to release the game, and Roberta wouldn’t allow her name on it. After a bunch of negotiation, and changes to the product, to mosey it back towards what she designed, it did finally release.

As to the Phoenix game, I think the same rules apply.  I have no idea who Phoenix’s designer was on their game. The important thing was that it wasn’t Roberta. I don’t think that the greatest writer in the world could write Steven King better than Steven King. Everyone has a style. The Phoenix people should do what the Phoenix people do, and then people will like it or they won’t, but it should be their vision, and considered by players as the Phoenix vision. Even better, there should be one person at Phoenix, who has a clear vision for the product, and it should be that person’s vision.

Lots of people have done Batman, including Tim Burton. He gave it his flavor, and it was a cool direction. It was very different than what had been done before, and even targeted a different demographic, but was an interesting new direction, that found an audience. I always say that ‘customers vote at the box office’. Phoenix should design their game their way, and people should NOT consider its success attributable to Roberta, whether it sells 10s of millions of copies, or if it bombs. Roberta and I think it is cool that they chose her ‘universe’ to base their world on, but believe that their best chance for success is to not worry too much about Roberta, and instead worry about creating a fun game. Roberta’s vision for the series was ‘Disney and fairy tales.’ However, if Phoenix’s designer wants to go dark directions, and that’s what their vision for the game is, then so be it. Phoenix’s designer will do hers, or his, best work if they do what they do best, and not worry too much about what has gone before.

Ultimately, customers get a vote, and that’s what really counts. If whatever Phoenix builds is cool and fun, it will find an audience, and if it isn’t, it won’t. Obviously, we’d prefer Phoenix does something awesome, and given the constraints under which they’ve developed the game (no budget, fragmented staff, unclear rights to even do the game), they’ve overcome some amazing odds to get something to market. What could these guys do with a real budget, and a full-time commitment? I think they’ve exhibited enormous talent and hope they continue their effort.

As to someone’s comment, that Roberta has passed the Kings Quest torch to Phoenix… That’s kind of a silly notion. Roberta and I don’t own the rights to Kings Quest anymore, and can’t bestow the rights to anyone, or even use them ourselves. Activision has allowed Phoenix to do this game. I have no idea whether or not Phoenix can do future games based around Kings Quest. I think it’s pretty awesome of Activision to have allowed this game, and love anything that keeps the Kings Quest name alive. In my dream scenario, this game would do well enough that Activision will have a renewed interest in doing something with the intellectual property, and perhaps Phoenix could get involved in a well funded game with real market potential. Whether or not that is practical, whether this game will do well, or working together is something Activision or Phoenix would ever consider, I have no idea. I’d just like to see the brand live on…

 Ken Williams

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #131 on: August 18, 2010, 07:45:59 PM »
Welcome to our forums, Ken!

This is really surprising to see you posting here. Again, you and Roberta never cease to amaze us in your support.

Like I've mentioned to you before, I am who I am today because of the amazing company that Sierra was when it was under your command. We made the promise that we will continue to do our best as we go to make sure that those great gems continue to see the light of day.

As for Roberta passing down the torch, I made the comment in the sense of what you are saying. I'm sure that you guys would love to see those games back in the spotlight, and whether it's Phoenix Online or any other group making them and paying great tribute to what you did, you would approve of it. Just like Roberta approved of our game, even if it takes a different direction to what she would have originally done. I've said it time and again, the worse and most dishonest thing I could do is copying what Roberta has done and trying to do a Roberta game. I find that I can only give my best by using my own style and paying tribute to Roberta's universe through my own words and feelings. And I'm glad that you understand, and approve of that. That's mostly what I meant by saying "Roberta is passing down the ball". Not from the legal standpoint, but more from a spiritual standpoint. And by doing that, understanding that this will be a different vision to hers, but still true, because, at the end, we are doing this because of how much we love Sierra and the legacy you guys left.

Again, thank you for your kind words. And again, we'll continue to do our best so that we can give Sierra back the spot it truly deserves.

Thank you
Cesar
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 07:47:34 PM by Cez »


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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #132 on: August 18, 2010, 08:01:00 PM »
As Cesar said, thank you and welcome to the forums!  ;D

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Offline wilco64256

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #133 on: August 18, 2010, 08:05:07 PM »
Another welcome and another thank you, it's both a total shock and a tremendous honor to have you post in our community.  I think you've definitively clarified everything that was being speculated about in this thread.
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Offline Oldbushie

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #134 on: August 18, 2010, 08:16:23 PM »
Thank you for your kind words, Ken. We're too stubborn to let the Sierra legacy die. ;) I sincerely hope that Phoenix Online Studios can one day be as great as Sierra was.
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TheReturnofDMD

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #135 on: August 18, 2010, 09:22:33 PM »
I have to say, as the OP of this thread, I was wrong on quite a few counts. For one, when Cesar had said ''teen fantasy''--I kind of associate teen fantasy with Twilight, Hannah Montana, that sort of silly stuff. But I didn't realize he meant Harry Potter & The Lord of the Rings. If the game's tone is inspired by the Lord of the Rings, than count me as on board.

As to Ken's post--Welcome to the forum! And he's right--Just like Batman, there can be all different visions of KQ. Each can be equally good. I mean all the different teams and fans have their vision; AGDI, IA, Phoenix, MMG, etc--And all, in my opinion, are equally valid. This isn't science where everything is generally set in stone; All have their own takes, and everyone is entitled to them.

And again--If the game's spiritual father is Lord of the Rings, Kingdom Hearts, Harry Potter, etc, than I withdraw my previous statements.

Offline kenwilliams

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #136 on: August 18, 2010, 09:59:30 PM »
Thank you everyone! I'm happy to have joined the forum, although, don't expect many postings from Roberta or I.

We've dropped out of the game business, and haven't played a game in a decade. Roberta did play Chapter 1 of the Silver Lining, but that was really the only game I can remember her playing since the Sierra days. Since becoming deadbeats we spend most of our time traveling. I've written three books about boating (kensblog.com) and Roberta is hard at work on a non-fiction book about the Irish Immigration. We would both love to be doing games, but that would mean sitting still, and we're in a phase of our lives where seeing the world is our #1 priority. Writing gives us a creative outlet, and is something that can be done when we have free time. Developing games is serious hard work, and we're past the point in our lives where we want to work that hard.

We're thrilled and amazed that people still remember us now that we've been retired for so long, and really do miss 'the good old days.'

-Ken Williams
 

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #137 on: August 18, 2010, 10:12:16 PM »
Thank you everyone! I'm happy to have joined the forum, although, don't expect many postings from Roberta or I.

We've dropped out of the game business, and haven't played a game in a decade. Roberta did play Chapter 1 of the Silver Lining, but that was really the only game I can remember her playing since the Sierra days. Since becoming deadbeats we spend most of our time traveling. I've written three books about boating (kensblog.com) and Roberta is hard at work on a non-fiction book about the Irish Immigration. We would both love to be doing games, but that would mean sitting still, and we're in a phase of our lives where seeing the world is our #1 priority. Writing gives us a creative outlet, and is something that can be done when we have free time. Developing games is serious hard work, and we're past the point in our lives where we want to work that hard.

We're thrilled and amazed that people still remember us now that we've been retired for so long, and really do miss 'the good old days.'

-Ken Williams
 

Of course people would remember you guys! You and Roberta were among the founders of the computer game industry, and more than that, the company you built is still legendary today and the games you, your wife and many other talented people are beloved by millions.

Sierra will always be one of the pioneers of the industry, and the founder of the adventure game genre as most know it. You guys always pushed the envelope and innovated and were the market share leader in gaming in the days when you ran the company. Someday, the Sierra brand will live again, as it once was, and the dream you've often spoke of--of there being a Sierra your grandchildren could enjoy--will come true.

By the way, does Roberta's book have a title, or working title yet?

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #138 on: August 18, 2010, 10:33:18 PM »
Wow--I go away for the day and look what happens!  :)

To Ken (actually, I feel like Mr. Williams is more in order--such is the amount of respect I have for you, Roberta, and the Sierra legacy)--thank you for taking the time to post, and to give such a fair, objective, and thoughtful response to this conversation.  I've read a lot of quotes from Roberta and yourself over the years, and its clear how much Sierra meant to you guys, and how disappointing the loss of control and creative influence in the company must have been.  

I hope that you both realize just how beloved your creations were and continue to be by people the world over, and how special a place King's Quest and Sierra in general holds in so many peoples' hearts, including mine and everyone else here.  So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you guys did back then, putting out those beautiful games that were clearly labors of love and devotion, and for sticking true to your principles even when the going got tough later on.  (Incidentally, for what it's worth, I want to say that I quite liked Mask of Eternity, even if it was fairly different from the previous King's Quest formula--I only wish I could get it to run on my computer nowadays; I'd love to revisit it and give it a good replay.  :))

I hope you also know that your creations have inspired hundreds of fans from all over the world to create loving, high quality tributes to those series, not just here at Pheonix Online, but elsewhere like Anonymous Game Developers Interactive and Infamous Adventures (to name the only two groups to have actually finished such tributes...;))

Anyway, long story short, your legacy definitely lives on, and will continue to do so.  And I think I speak for all of us when I say that we'd love to see the King's Quest series (and the other great Sierra series) revived commercially in capable hands.  (We just happen to disagree as to what exactly that constitutes--such is the nature of hardcore fan communities, I suppose.  ;))

Thank you again, for creating those games which had such an influence on me growing up (I learned to type as a kid playing the parser King's Quest games, in fact.)  And thank you for extending your support and encouragement to the fan community at large.  As one who has spent a significant chunk of his free time over the past few years working on such tribute games (I am one of the lead artists at Infamous Adventures,) I have nothing but the utmost respect for you, Roberta, and all the other talented folks of the late great Sierra Online.

You are a gentleman and a scholar, and I wish you and Roberta all the best.

--Jason Lamb
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 10:49:05 PM by Lambonius »

Offline Big C from Cauney island

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #139 on: August 18, 2010, 10:59:18 PM »
Ken and Roberta Williams, you guys are pretty famous.  Sierra is synonymous with the old-school, and hopefully some form of sierra "likeness" can continue on.  Sure, its video games, but they were a big deal to me.  I'm  a grown man saying thanks for the countless hours of gaming I had as a kid and the stories I followed religiously.  Enjoy your retirement, you deserve it. Its an honor to have you guys here.
 

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