Author Topic: Re-inventing the Wheel  (Read 48184 times)

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #140 on: August 18, 2010, 11:35:38 PM »
While I was introduced to games in many different forms (Super Mario, Sonic, Doom, and anything I could play on a Game Boy), King's Quest 6 was primarily the game that got me interested in games for the story (Mario and Sonic can't deliver a story quite as well as a good adventure game). Now that I primarily buy games for the story, I've actually seen myself buying less games as the years go on. Most games now profit from online multiplayer modes, as well as sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. It's crucial that developers take heart in their stories, cause that's all that matters (to me at least).

So in Ken's wise words, I would only expect Phoenix to follow their own lead and uphold their own vision. To be honest, it's not even relevant to try and label their vision with metaphors pertaining to other stories (Harry Potter, Twilight, Kingdom Hearts, etc). There's already a Harry Potter, and there's already a Kingdom Hearts. Don't try to relate two stories together that are separate. Who knows, from this time next year, we may end saying  that Telltale Games could learn a thing or two from The Silver Lining. While being true to the King's Quest universe may be important (because obviously, the game is in the King's Quest universe), it's much more important for them to be true to themselves.

I've been faithful to this project, cause I truly think something grand can come from it. It's unfortunate that the majority of developers in the industry take a storyline for granted, when there's an ample amount of developers out there that have a good story to tell. Time will tell if The Silver Lining has a place with the likes of King's Quest and Gabriel Knight, but then again, so would Episode 2.  :P
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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #141 on: August 18, 2010, 11:39:31 PM »
While I was introduced to games in many different forms (Super Mario, Sonic, Doom, and anything I could play on a Game Boy), King's Quest 6 was primarily the game that got me interested in games for the story (Mario and Sonic can't deliver a story quite as well as a good adventure game). Now that I primarily buy games for the story, I've actually seen myself buying less games as the years go on. Most games now profit from online multiplayer modes, as well as sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. It's crucial that developers take heart in their stories, cause that's all that matters (to me at least).

So in Ken's wise words, I would only expect Phoenix to follow their own lead and uphold their own vision. To be honest, it's not even relevant to try and label their vision with metaphors pertaining to other stories (Harry Potter, Twilight, Kingdom Hearts, etc). There's already a Harry Potter, and there's already a Kingdom Hearts. Don't try to relate two stories together that are separate. Who knows, from this time next year, we may end saying  that Telltale Games could learn a thing or two from The Silver Lining. While being true to the King's Quest universe may be important (because obviously, the game is in the King's Quest universe), it's much more important for them to be true to themselves.

I've been faithful to this project, cause I truly think something grand can come from it. It's unfortunate that the majority of developers in the industry take a storyline for granted, when there's an ample amount of developers out there that have a good story to tell. Time will tell if The Silver Lining has a place with the likes of King's Quest and Gabriel Knight, but then again, so would Episode 2.  :P

One question--Why would TellTale have to learn a thing or two from TSL?  I mean it's two different companies' IPs, two different cultures and fanbases and TellTale has their business model/way of doing things, so does Phoenix---And that's what makes both companies unique and special.

TellTale's games seem to have been received rather well with the fans of the old LucasArts franchises anyway, so they seem to have achieved their goal(s). Phoenix so far the reaction has been pretty positive.

I mean Blizzard is Blizzard, Bioware is Bioware--Both are different in their style and excel at what they do. And what makes them equally special is that they're different. If all companies acted the same, or took the same style or approach, the playing field would kind of boring.

That's what made Sierra special--They didn't act like Broderbund, or EA or Davidson & Associates or Atari, or try to--They acted like Sierra.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 11:42:25 PM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #142 on: August 18, 2010, 11:46:48 PM »
One question--Why would TellTale have to learn a thing or two from TSL?  I mean it's two different companies' IPs, two different cultures and fanbases and TellTale has their business model/way of doing things, so does Phoenix---And that's what makes both companies unique and special.

TellTale's games seem to have been received rather well with the fans of the old LucasArts franchises anyway, so they seem to have achieved their goal(s). Phoenix so far the reaction has been pretty positive.

I mean Blizzard is Blizzard, Bioware is Bioware--Both are different in their style and excel at what they do. And what makes them equally special is that they're different. If all companies acted the same, or took the same style or approach, the playing field would kind of boring.

That's what made Sierra special--They didn't act like Broderbund, or EA or Davidson & Associates or Atari, or try to--They acted like Sierra.

It was a joke.  ::)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 11:53:58 PM by Fierce Deity »
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #143 on: August 18, 2010, 11:48:09 PM »

One question--Why would TellTale have to learn a thing or two from TSL?  I mean it's two different companies' IPs, two different cultures and fanbases and TellTale has their business model/way of doing things, so does Phoenix---And that's what makes both companies unique and special.

TellTale's games seem to have been received rather well with the fans of the old LucasArts franchises anyway, so they seem to have achieved their goal(s).

Heh--also Telltale was founded by ex-Lucasarts employees, so many of the people that worked on the Telltale games, including Tales of Monkey Island, actually worked on the old Lucasarts adventures as well.  They succeeded because they already knew darn well what they were doing to begin with!  ;)  They knew what would work and what wouldn't, for the most part, and stuck to what made those old games so great.  That's the thing, I honestly don't think that Telltale has deviated at all from the spirit of the old Lucasarts games.  They've changed things like the interface, the method of distribution (episodic), and good 3D graphics, but the spirit of those games feels JUST LIKE the spirit of the old Lucasarts games.

I dunno, I just don't really think a comparison between Telltale and Pheonix Online is at all valid.  On the one hand you have a group of experienced adventure game developers who worked on the old classics and decided to start their own company after leaving Lucasarts--and then put out series after series of high quality adventure games, and on the other, you have a group of fan-developers, just like any other, that have managed to garner an inordinate amount of mainstream press while only releasing the smallest amount of actual material.   :-\

*In fairness, I suppose I should add the qualifier "yet" to that last sentence.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 12:09:13 AM by Lambonius »

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #144 on: August 18, 2010, 11:52:58 PM »

One question--Why would TellTale have to learn a thing or two from TSL?  I mean it's two different companies' IPs, two different cultures and fanbases and TellTale has their business model/way of doing things, so does Phoenix---And that's what makes both companies unique and special.

TellTale's games seem to have been received rather well with the fans of the old LucasArts franchises anyway, so they seem to have achieved their goal(s).

Heh--also Telltale was founded by ex-Lucasarts employees, so many of the people that worked on the Telltale games, including Tales of Monkey Island, actually worked on the old Lucasarts adventures as well.  They succeeded because they already knew darn well what they were doing to begin with!  ;)  They knew what would work and what wouldn't, for the most part, and stuck to what made those old games so great.  That's the thing, I honestly don't think that Telltale has deviated at all from the spirit of the old Lucasarts games.  They've changed things like the interface, the method of distribution (episodic), and good 3D graphics, but the spirit of those games feels JUST LIKE the spirit of the old Lucasarts games.

I dunno, I just don't really think a comparison between Telltale and Pheonix Online is at all valid.  On the one hand you have a group of experienced adventure game developers who worked on the old classics and decided to start their own company after leaving Lucasarts--and then put out series after series of high quality adventure games, and on the other, you have a group of fan-developers, just like any other, that have managed to garner an inordinate amount of mainstream press while only releasing the smallest amount of actual material.   :-\

I have to be honest--I was never a fan of the LucasArts games. I've tried them, but I could never like their interface. There was something a little overly complicated about it to me. Even the Sierra Parser which some claim is hard, was to me easy because it's relatively straight forward.

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #145 on: August 19, 2010, 12:01:47 AM »

I have to be honest--I was never a fan of the LucasArts games. I've tried them, but I could never like their interface. There was something a little overly complicated about it to me. Even the Sierra Parser which some claim is hard, was to me easy because it's relatively straight forward.

Heh...well, that's a debate for another thread, my friend.   ;)  The very first graphic adventure game I ever played as a kid was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and it changed my life in two ways: 1) I became a lifelong Indyfan, and 2) I became a lifelong adventure game fan.  My introduction to KQ was slightly later, but no less inspirational.

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #146 on: August 19, 2010, 12:20:32 AM »

I have to be honest--I was never a fan of the LucasArts games. I've tried them, but I could never like their interface. There was something a little overly complicated about it to me. Even the Sierra Parser which some claim is hard, was to me easy because it's relatively straight forward.

Heh...well, that's a debate for another thread, my friend.   ;)  The very first graphic adventure game I ever played as a kid was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and it changed my life in two ways: 1) I became a lifelong Indyfan, and 2) I became a lifelong adventure game fan.  My introduction to KQ was slightly later, but no less inspirational.

Well, it's not that I didn't like the content--the whole concept of Monkey Island is awesome, it's just the interface. It's why I like Curse a lot--different interface. I do like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, but it's Indy--I can't dislike it  ;D

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #147 on: August 19, 2010, 01:56:41 AM »
Thanks Ken for your insight.

BTW, tell Roberta thanks for all the games she made. Let her know I enjoyed KQ VIII as well. Despite its flaws it was still a quality game IMO. While my favorites in the series change depending on my mood (and which I have hankering to play), it occasionally falls into the the near top spot in the series.

BTW, if you have feel to have some free time, check out the the King's Quest Wiki, and other assorted Sierra wikis :). We at the wikis welcome you.
http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/King%27s_Quest_Omnipedia
Links to the other wikis are down at the bottom of the main page.

Quote
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.
Just saying, both of those topics could be great ideas for computer games, wink wink, nudge nudge, ;). As an anthropologist and archaeologist I'm quite interested in the roles of computer simulation for reconstructing past and present. Giving people ways to "seeing the world", or seeing the world of the past. I'm currently working on a paper looking at military war games and there cultural role.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 02:09:59 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 Allronix

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #148 on: August 19, 2010, 03:09:56 AM »
Correct. I started retro-gaming because I wanted to finally solve the games that frustrated me as a kid. I stayed retro-gaming because there's precious little on the market that I want to play. Darker and Edgier has lost a lot of its appeal as it's become trendy. Cheap deaths have become the norm to solve story arcs (I'm looking at YOU, Joss...). Genuinely heroic or good characters are thrown under the bus in favor of folks I'd rather not support, or considered antiquated (Marvel, Civil War). There's also a proliferation of games that, while very entertaining and well-constructed, make me feel worse after playing.

Crapsack worlds and anti-heroes have their place. Sometimes, they are very necessary. But an endless diet of dreary cyberpunk and dark fantasy won't do us any more favors than an endless feast of glurge. I'd argue that the cynical nature of these really hurt our ability to hope and work for better. It gets us to accept the hopelessness and jaded outlook of things as "That's the way it is. I can't change it," and stops us from fighting when we NEED to fight.

Phoenix already has a very distinct style from AGD and IA, even when working in the same universe. That's the fun in fanfic. Give fifty fans the same material, ask them "Now, what happened after the credits rolled?" and you'll get fifty-one different answers.
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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #149 on: August 19, 2010, 05:56:12 AM »
Fear not, DMD--personally, if I ever make a game like Twilight, it'll be for mocking purposes and doing a WAY better job only!

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Offline wilco64256

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #150 on: August 19, 2010, 06:09:28 PM »
I moved what basically became a whole new topic about a variety of fantasies (adult, high, and teen) into the Off-topic board.
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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #151 on: August 19, 2010, 06:39:53 PM »
I'm very glad to see that Ken was able to take the time to post on the forum and to provide some insider information on the development through Mask of Eternity.  It's great to know that two lovely people have had such a huge impact on the lives of so many people, to the point that we've all been united because of them.  So thank you, Ken and Roberta, for giving us the gift of friendship and a wonderful gaming series for the ages.
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Offline Enchantermon

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #152 on: August 20, 2010, 11:16:52 PM »
Thank you for stopping by, Ken! It's a great pleasure to hear directly from one of the founders of the awesome company that was Sierra. :)
So what if I am, huh? Anyways, I work better when I'm drunk. It makes me fearless! If I see a bad guy, I'll just point my sword at him and saaaaaaaaaay, "Hey! Bad guy! You're not s'posed to be here! Go home or I'll stick you with my sword 'til you go, 'Ouch! I'm dead!' Ah-ha-ha!" Ha-ha. *hic* See? Ain't no one gonna be messin' wit' ol', Benny!

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #153 on: August 21, 2010, 03:27:26 AM »
I was going back from InterAction magazines and other sources, and it seems Roberta may have not has had as big impact on King's Quest VI either compared to previous games (infact she at first didn't want to have much part in it at all, instead she wanted to take on the role of "Creative Consultant").

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Heir_Today,_Gone_Tomorrow_Development#Roberta.27s_Involvment

Apparently in KQ7, Lorelei Shannon has most of the main credits in that game. She was designer, writer, director, writer, voice director. Roberta was billed second after Shannon as a designer, and billed third after Shannon as Director. Trying to confirm it but apparently the credits state that the "game based on characters created by Roberta Williams",  thus further distancing itself from Roberta's direct involvement.

Apparently she also had only a reduced role in the KQ1 remake, as she was busy working on King's Quest V at the time. So Josh Mandel took on most of the production duties on that game, and rewrote and extended the script. Roberta came back along and played his finished game, to give her opinion. She didn't like an extended scene he had included, with Edward pointing at the wall as the location for the mirror, before passing away. So he removed it.

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Quest_for_the_Crown_Sci_Development

It seems with each additional game she took an ever diminishing role. Not sure you can call most games from King's Quest VI on, "purely" Roberta games.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 03:32:44 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

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #154 on: August 21, 2010, 01:24:45 PM »
I was going back from InterAction magazines and other sources, and it seems Roberta may have not has had as big impact on King's Quest VI either compared to previous games (infact she at first didn't want to have much part in it at all, instead she wanted to take on the role of "Creative Consultant").

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Heir_Today,_Gone_Tomorrow_Development#Roberta.27s_Involvment

Apparently in KQ7, Lorelei Shannon has most of the main credits in that game. She was designer, writer, director, writer, voice director. Roberta was billed second after Shannon as a designer, and billed third after Shannon as Director. Trying to confirm it but apparently the credits state that the "game based on characters created by Roberta Williams",  thus further distancing itself from Roberta's direct involvement.

Apparently she also had only a reduced role in the KQ1 remake, as she was busy working on King's Quest V at the time. So Josh Mandel took on most of the production duties on that game, and rewrote and extended the script. Roberta came back along and played his finished game, to give her opinion. She didn't like an extended scene he had included, with Edward pointing at the wall as the location for the mirror, before passing away. So he removed it.

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Quest_for_the_Crown_Sci_Development

It seems with each additional game she took an ever diminishing role. Not sure you can call most games from King's Quest VI on, "purely" Roberta games.



The ''game based on characters created by Roberta Williams'' bit is in the ending credits I  believe. I remember seeing something like that and being shocked and when I watched the end credits, because before that it says "Written by Lorelei Shannon" and then the next ''credits'' scene after that says the ''game based..."

I think KQ8 was at first her attempt to once again make KQ hers, sort of like she had a great idea (whereas after KQV she felt she had spent all her good ideas already)--And she was succeeding at first but then the CUC merger happened and things went belly up not long after. Ken has said on his forum whereas when he was CEO, he made sure all the designers were to have as much or as little creative control as they wanted, after he left he became the ''reasonably nice guy who used to work here'' and thus didn't have any say, and thus Roberta's importance declined as he said.
I mean, while KQVI and VII may have had (intentional) diminished imput from her, they were still fit enough to be branded with her name, especially KQVII which is "Roberta Williams' King's Quest VII" on the box--Whereas as Ken said, there was a period where she didn't even want her name associated with Mask of Eternity, that's how much it deviated from her intentions.

I'd say her role in KQVI and KQVII was like George Lucas' role in the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi--All the basic characters, design of the game, lands, and general events and storyline were crafted by her, but the meat of the story and the dialogue and little details was crafted by Jane in KQ6 and Lorelei in KQ7. Roberta than, like Lucas with the Star Wars prequels, wanted to have full creative control once again as she had had with the originals (just as Lucas wrote and directed A New Hope) but unlike Lucas her control got gradually ebbed away from her by the sale of the company to people who didn't give a crap.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 01:30:47 PM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #155 on: August 21, 2010, 02:09:07 PM »
Quote
mean, while KQVI and VII may have had (intentional) diminished imput from her, they were still fit enough to be branded with her name, especially KQVII which is "Roberta Williams' King's Quest VII" on the box--Whereas as Ken said, there was a period where she didn't even want her name associated with Mask of Eternity, that's how much it deviated from her intentions.

In the end it looks like it went back on track enough for her, so that she was fine with taking top billing on several credits in the game. The writer and the main designer. As well as allowing them to put her name and photograph on the box. Ken even says as such, in the end, that they pulled it back in line to her vision. Which would explain her willingness to have her name on the box, etc.

She was jointly with voice casting (with Mark Seibert), and voice director (with Mark Seibert). This isn't uncommon as I think she did things jointly on the sound and voice stuff in previous games.

You can hear more about her thoughts on the game at the time in Talkspot stuff.

My guess the period where she probably most upset was probably somewhere near phase 2 or so, mentioned in the Talkspot interview. That's where everything was falling apart, they weren't getting engine from Dynamix on time, and other huge problems.

That being said there was a period where she didn't want her name associated with KQ6, and not on the box either, but got pulled back into it, LOL
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 02:24:28 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: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #156 on: August 22, 2010, 04:00:14 AM »
Quote
mean, while KQVI and VII may have had (intentional) diminished imput from her, they were still fit enough to be branded with her name, especially KQVII which is "Roberta Williams' King's Quest VII" on the box--Whereas as Ken said, there was a period where she didn't even want her name associated with Mask of Eternity, that's how much it deviated from her intentions.

In the end it looks like it went back on track enough for her, so that she was fine with taking top billing on several credits in the game. The writer and the main designer. As well as allowing them to put her name and photograph on the box. Ken even says as such, in the end, that they pulled it back in line to her vision. Which would explain her willingness to have her name on the box, etc.

She was jointly with voice casting (with Mark Seibert), and voice director (with Mark Seibert). This isn't uncommon as I think she did things jointly on the sound and voice stuff in previous games.

You can hear more about her thoughts on the game at the time in Talkspot stuff.

My guess the period where she probably most upset was probably somewhere near phase 2 or so, mentioned in the Talkspot interview. That's where everything was falling apart, they weren't getting engine from Dynamix on time, and other huge problems.

That being said there was a period where she didn't want her name associated with KQ6, and not on the box either, but got pulled back into it, LOL

The KQ6 thing was UTTERLY different. She wanted to hand the series to someone else thinking she had run of ideas, probably even before it's conception, and then decided she wanted to co-design the game. It's different than having the rug pulled out from under you and wanting your name not associated out of disgust or being upset. I don't know that it had to do with Dynamix as Ken has said (on his forum) she lost all CREATIVE control over MoE:

''KQ8 is a wild story.

KQ8 was in development at the same time that the company was sold. Basically, Sierra went through changes during the development of the game, and those changes are reflected in the game. During the first half of the game, I was the CEO - during the last half of the game my status shifted to "reasonably nice guy who used to work here". My way of doing things was different than the new way of doing things.

My #1 issue was always to maintain the "clarity of vision" of the game designer. A Sierra project, like KQ8, has nearly a hundred highly creative people on it. Many of these people were working at Sierra because they wanted their shot to be a game designer. It was not uncommon for everyone on a project to seek opportunities to "put their mark" on the game. This is a delicate issue. I recruited people who could be designers, and I was a huge supporter of creativity. Roberta wanted ideas from the team, but at some point, if you accept too many ideas, the product can become a muddy mess. There were dozens of people on KQ8 who could have been the designer, any of which would have made a great designer. But, unfortunately, if this tendency, on the part of developers, to add their creativity to a product, isn't carefully controlled, the product starts to veer into "design by committee". Roberta had her vision for the product, as did almost every person on the project.

When I lost control of Sierra, Roberta's ability to maintain her control over KQ8 was also eroded. The product that shipped is very different than what would have shipped had the company not been sold.

There was another issue at work on KQ8. Roberta is a perfectionist (I'm guilty of the same sin). Whenever she would play the game, she would turn in lists of hundreds of "bugs". Perfectionist can be a pseudonym for nit-picker. When a development team gets a long list, the natural tendency can be to look at some bugs as nit-picky. I always supported my designers. I wouldn't let a game go until the designer was happy (with a couple of exceptions that I regretted later), even when it seemed like we were spending lots of money to fix stuff no one cared about. It was critical to me that the game our customers played represented the game our designer wanted produced. When I left Sierra, Roberta's ability to get bugs fixed diminished.

Ultimately, the last year of KQ8 development was a tough one for Roberta. For a long time, she refused to let the game ship and there was threatened litigation floating around.

This is not to say that the game that shipped isn't a good game. Roberta was reasonably happy with it at the end - but, it reflected a much wider product vision, than Robertas alone. People other than Roberta influenced its development, in a greater capacity than in her previous products. There will be some gamers who see the change as positive, and some who wanted a Roberta product more consistent with her prior products.

There is an example I used to use on this point. One of my favorite authors is: Steven King. I also like Peter Straub. Each alone is a bestselling (mega-selling in Kings case) author. They cowrote a book; the Talisman, which bombed. Either alone could have sold plenty of copies, but together, the whole becomes less than the parts. KQ8 had wonderful people on it. This message should not be construed as being derogatory to anyone (other than that I am definitely critical of the management changes that took place.) My belief is that if the new owners had taken a couple of days to ask about "what made Sierra special" in the days after acquiring it (they could have asked me, or better yet, its customers) before dramatically changing things, things would have gone a lot smoother in the transition.

-Ken W''

And even still to this day, as Ken says, it's ''not a Roberta game.'' And evidently I'd say the fact that he still contends this, and the fact that she was simply ''reasonably happy'' as well as the fact that ''The product that shipped is very different than what would have shipped had the company not been sold.'' I'd say doesn't indicate that it came really that close to what she originally intended--Just some token changes to satisfy her.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 04:03:45 AM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #157 on: August 22, 2010, 04:13:21 AM »
There is apparently another quote from Ken where he said she moseyed it back into the Roberta's direction btw.
Quote
"...After a bunch of negotiation and changes to the product, to mosey it back towards what she designed, it finally did release."

You can also get Roberta's own personal thoughts on the game mentioned in the Talkspot interviews. I've quoted many of those in the King's Quest Development page. That page probably has more details about the development than that one post from Ken. Which can be interpreted in several different ways, and suffers from "hindsight"... and you know what they say about hindsight right ("hindsight is 20/20")? Of course they also have a saying about "opinions", ..."everyone has one but thinks everyone else's stinks..."? There seems to be descrepent opinions on the project between what Roberta has said, and Ken's personal opinion on the issue :p...

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Mask_of_Eternity_Development

I for one won't accuse Roberta of lying, in any of those interviews, as well as the other ones she made for various websites. It just seems that she and her husband have different viewpoints on how they view the game.

Frankly, anyone who does accuse or imply that she was lying is a jerk, if not an ass.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 04:41:22 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

TheReturnofDMD

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #158 on: August 22, 2010, 05:34:00 AM »
There is apparently another quote from Ken where he said she moseyed it back into the Roberta's direction btw.
Quote
"...After a bunch of negotiation and changes to the product, to mosey it back towards what she designed, it finally did release."

You can also get Roberta's own personal thoughts on the game mentioned in the Talkspot interviews. I've quoted many of those in the King's Quest Development page. That page probably has more details about the development than that one post from Ken. Which can be interpreted in several different ways, and suffers from "hindsight"... and you know what they say about hindsight right ("hindsight is 20/20")? Of course they also have a saying about "opinions", ..."everyone has one but thinks everyone else's stinks..."? There seems to be descrepent opinions on the project between what Roberta has said, and Ken's personal opinion on the issue :p...

http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Mask_of_Eternity_Development

I for one won't accuse Roberta of lying, in any of those interviews, as well as the other ones she made for various websites. It just seems that she and her husband have different viewpoints on how they view the game.

Frankly, anyone who does accuse or imply that she was lying is a jerk, if not an ass.

Not lying exactly, but are you going to say right as a product that bears your name is out of the gate that it's crap and nothing like what you wanted it to be? It's tactulness, not exactly dishonesty. Everyone who works on a product is going to push the product at the time or shortly after it's out. Look at Indy 4--Harrison and Shia LaBeouf, the film's main stars were praising it while it was out. Now that the hype is over, not so much and have admitted it's faults. But you don't go and bash a thing while it's out, or while it's ''happening''--It's business tact.

I mean for example, crazy and horrible things were happening at Sierra in 1996 and 1997 but you wouldn't read a post or interview from Ken at the time talking about how bad things really were behind the scenes. In fact, even after leaving the games division due to CUC's mismanagement of Sierra, he still penned an article for InterAction's Summer issue in 1997 talking specifically about CUC and even assuring fans that it was a move for the best and wasn't the ''end of Sierra as we know it.''
Similarily, you wouldn't find Michael Brochu (President of Sierra, 1995-1997) talking about what CUC was doing to the company he ran while he was running it, even if he had grave disagreements. It's not dishonesty, it's tactfulness.

That happens across the field of business, in every industry. See flop films--The stars and even the directors will crow about how good it is while it's out and then later if it's really badly received step back and say, "Yeah...It wasn't so good." At the end of the day, every product released, especially by a major company like Sierra was, is business. None of the players are going to slam it as it's coming out, especially if you're billed as the director. What does that say about you? That you're A) Unsure about you own work B) Trying to kill your own product after releasing it.

There's not very good strategy if you want even your basic vision to succeed. Mask did hold to the basics of Roberta's vision: A 3D King's Quest with a non-Royal Family character that included action; The difference was in the details. She wasn't going to slam it just as it was out of the gate--There goes any chance of working with Sierra on a King's Quest IX in the future right there, and any chance with it of making another game which might hold truer to her design. If the creator him or herself is downing it as it's out, what's that going to do to the sales of the game?

Roberta's comments made in 1998 and early 1999 I would say are akin to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg being enthusiastic about Temple of Doom in 1984 and saying how great it is, and by 1989 saying it was a bad idea and a lesser film and even making a third film as an apology for it. Opinions can change, especially after ten years or eleven years.

"Clearly not a Roberta game."

Is that to say it's BAD game? No, I like it, it ranks within I'd say my top 5 of 8 games now. It's an awesome game, and I think was the right direction for King's Quest--It needed a lot of refining, however. That's another example of how opinions change--Five years ago I'd have told you it was a terrible game--a piece of garbage. But, my opinion changed.


« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 05:42:30 AM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline Baggins

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Re: Re-inventing the Wheel
« Reply #159 on: August 22, 2010, 06:49:13 AM »
As I said before "hindsight is 20/20", it always changes people's opinions compared to what they might have originally thought of it. People's opinions change, that I can accept. But completely ignoring insight into the design process so you can take an alternative perspective is hardly fair to Roberta herself. She was as far as I'm concerned pretty honest about the troubles they had during the development process in the Talkspot interviews and others. She never claimed it was a "perfect", and she did admit several regrets she had about development (those have all been posted in the development page, as I recall). Infact she didn't claim King's Quest VII: Princeless Bride was perfect in those same interviews either. Infact I would say that they were pretty unbiased on the issue giving both what they thought were strengths and what they thought were weaknesses in the game. They even had a third episode where they broke it down pretty detailed fashion, including much of the stuff Ken was alluding to. Unfortunately no one seems to have that episode anymore...

As for if its a "Roberta" game or not that comes down to personal opinions. In my opinion the fact that she wrote the script and dialogue in the game is enough for me.

There is more to making KQ games than just the story, true (and some say that wasn't necessarily Roberta's strong point). Such as art design, and music design. But in general starting with KQ5, those duties were handed off to other people, rather than Roberta herself.

It seems most of the stuff KQ5 on up are a team effort and not just Roberta herself. There are a handful of names that can essentially be put on the games for having left their own influences on the series. Mark Seibert left his mark (no pun intended) on the games since KQ5. Hudgins, Hoyos, etc, left their mark on the games, etc. Andy Hoyos left his mark on artwork in  KQ5 (0, but as far as I remember he pretty much had full control on that (of course Roberta would have been able to give her opinion on what she did and didn't like). William D. Skirvin left his mark on several games.

Roberta's strong point was actually more in the realm of inovating the the industry, adding new technological ideas that couldn't be found elsewhere in the market. She put those into the various games she was involved in.

As for Temple of Doom, it's one of my favorite movies ever. They had no reason to apologize for it... I think all three have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Now if they would apologize for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I would accept that... Seriously I can't take there comments seriously if they consider Crystal Skull to be superior to Temple of Doom... That's just crazy talk.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 08:44:32 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
 

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