Poll

Which Sierra designer would you prefer KQ in the hands of?

Josh Mandel (Designer and Writer, KQ1SCI)
4 (66.7%)
Jane Jensen (Co-Designer and Co-Writer, KQ6)
2 (33.3%)
Lorelei Shannon (Co-Designer, sole writer, KQ7)
0 (0%)
Mark Seibert (Co-Designer, KQ8)
0 (0%)
Null--Only Roberta should handle an official KQ
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 5

Author Topic: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?  (Read 10542 times)

Sir Perceval of Daventry

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Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« on: August 19, 2011, 07:26:37 PM »
In total, five different designers/writers have tried their hand in designing KQ games. If Sierra was still around and Roberta had decided to retire from making KQ games (like she almost did after KQ5), who would want on board?

Josh Mandel designed and wrote the SCI remake of KQ1SCI with minimal to no oversight by Roberta, who was busy with KQ5 at the time. He was described by Roberta as the person who best understood KQ besides her.

Jane Jensen co-designed and co-wrote the story of KQ6, but was responsible for the dialogue and narration.

Lorelei Shannon co-designed KQ7 with Roberta, but wrote the game on her own with little help from Roberta outside of the basic story and characters.

Mark Seibert co-designed KQ8 and may have had more influence on the game than he is credited for.

Offline Baggins

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 08:35:16 PM »
Quote
Mark Seibert co-designed KQ8 and may have had more influence on the game than he is credited for.
According to my interviews with Mark, Roberta pretty much called the shots in the end, and wrote the final version's story.
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 Fierce Deity

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 09:43:14 PM »
Quote
Mark Seibert co-designed KQ8 and may have had more influence on the game than he is credited for.
According to my interviews with Mark, Roberta pretty much called the shots in the end, and wrote the final version's story.

So Mark Seibert didn't do anything for the production of KQ8? What all was done before Roberta intervened?
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Offline MusicallyInspired

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 11:00:09 PM »
Josh. He's the only one left, in my opinion and observation, who would care enough to put the level of heart needed into it. Also, I loved KQ1SCI and approve of his game design style. Actually, I liked all the games he designed. Except for SQ6, but that's because it was so far removed from the style of the earlier SQ games.

Also, Roberta herself said that if there was one person she'd trust implicitly with King's Quest it'd be Josh Mandel because he knows everything there is to know about KQ. She passed on her KQ knowledge to him.

Offline Baggins

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 11:19:22 PM »
Quote
So Mark Seibert didn't do anything for the production of KQ8? What all was done before Roberta intervened?

He did some of the music, some of the documentation, and assisted Roberta with the voice recording. He was also co-designer.

He also is listed as the 'producer', but what how much work that entailed is still fairly unclear! Consider that Ken Williams was often listed as "executive producer" in early KQ games, such as KQ5, but his actual role in the game was next to nothing. Seibert did a bit more than that, but he answered to Roberta on most things apparently. Seibert had nothing to do with the story itself.
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 Fierce Deity

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 11:41:05 PM »
In total, five different designers/writers have tried their hand in designing KQ games. If Sierra was still around and Roberta had decided to retire from making KQ games (like she almost did after KQ5), who would want on board?

Josh Mandel designed and wrote the SCI remake of KQ1SCI with minimal to no oversight by Roberta, who was busy with KQ5 at the time. He was described by Roberta as the person who best understood KQ besides her.

Jane Jensen co-designed and co-wrote the story of KQ6, but was responsible for the dialogue and narration.

Lorelei Shannon co-designed KQ7 with Roberta, but wrote the game on her own with little help from Roberta outside of the basic story and characters.

Mark Seibert co-designed KQ8 and may have had more influence on the game than he is credited for.

It depends solely on what I would want out of the next King's Quest. If I would want King's Quest to remain a classical adventure, I'd pick Josh or only Roberta (doesn't matter in my opinion). If I'd want the game to go in a bold direction but still remain an adventure game without it turning into an action adventure or a Disney movie, I'd pick Jane Jensen. Lorelei Shannon and Mark Seibert are both underdogs in the series' history, and I don't think either one of them could revitalize the series to its former glory, much less both of them combined. Now, a combination between Roberta, Josh, and Jane? I can imagine there being a lot of friction and confrontation, but the best case scenario would be them making the best game ever made.  :P

I do think there is more to be seen from this series though. The final outcome of TSL and Telltale's reimagination of the series could easily tip the scales if it brings the series to a more modern age. Classic adventures are fun, but innovation can easily improve the series. I'd like to see if Telltale can try to not ruin the series. The Back to the Future episodes and the Jurassic Park project have left me rather blase for what's to come. But Telltale's announcement of a King's Quest title so soon after Phoenix' release of the episodes has piqued my curiosity. What will they do next?  ::)

(Posted on: August 20, 2011, 01:30:57 AM)


Quote
So Mark Seibert didn't do anything for the production of KQ8? What all was done before Roberta intervened?

He did some of the music, some of the documentation, and assisted Roberta with the voice recording. He was also co-designer.

He also is listed as the 'producer', but what how much work that entailed is still fairly unclear! Consider that Ken Williams was often listed as "executive producer" in early KQ games, such as KQ5, but his actual role in the game was next to nothing. Seibert did a bit more than that, but he answered to Roberta on most things apparently. Seibert had nothing to do with the story itself.

Ah, so Mark even being an option in this poll is strange considering that Roberta had more leeway than him. I was always interested in the history of KQ8's development, because I had always heard that it changed direction in the midst of development, but never knew what they were changing it from.
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Offline MikPal

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2011, 06:57:03 AM »
Dan and Sam Houser.

I want to rampage around a sandbox Daventry hijacking carts and doing drive-by pieing of local yeti colonies.

Offline Baggins

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2011, 07:07:38 AM »
Quote
Ah, so Mark even being an option in this poll is strange considering that Roberta had more leeway than him. I was always interested in the history of KQ8's development, because I had always heard that it changed direction in the midst of development, but never knew what they were changing it from

It didn't really change direction, there was always the idea to have combat and platforming elements as early 1996, possibly 1995  (even Ken Williams was promoting this before he left the company!).

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


Chris Matthews quoting his dad's thoughts in spring 1997 on why King's Quest had to evolve in the market (Interaction, Spring 1997); http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Inquisition_2000_(Spring_1997)
Quote
"The traditional adventure game is dead."...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..., "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."

It just lost encounters and bosses, or boss encounters changed (different monster types, in the same boss location) over the course of development. It also lost a few levels. Connor's backstory was changed over the course of the game's development to reflect the removal of certain levels. he turned into a tanner instead of a fisherman (living inland rather than by the sea). Other elements of the story were modified to reflect the removed content, characters were moved to new areas or modified to fit in the finalized areas. The level and content removals were more due to time/financial restraints (mostly due to the engine not being finished early enough, a fault of Dynamix). They lost alot of money due to Dynamix taking too long to make the updated version of the 3Space engine, and then being forced to make their own modified engine instead (based on an earlier version of the engine). There was also a change in art style for some things, much based on upgrading the graphics to the 1997/98 standards (more polygons).

We know that Mark admitted to having originally been the one to making the suggestion of adding the enemies to the game (because the levels were largely empty between puzzles), and Roberta ultimately agreed that it was a good idea, and gave permission (again this was back in early 1996 when the main development started). imagine currently what the released levels would be like if there were no enemies (Mark might actually be right)!

It's a little more unclear if the game was going to include straight action combat elements in the game or was going to be an rpg game with action elements that early on. But there was definitely combat in the earliest builds.

This is kinda interesting, before KQ8 was released, there were some fans complaining about the series, claiming that it was "getting old", and they wondered if Roberta would create a new series instead. Roberta disagreed. But this is evidence that the 'direction change' from previous KQ was partially the fault of the 'fans', and not necessarily Roberta/Mark/Ken, etc, alone!

Quote
After eight games, don't you think the King's Quest series is getting a bit old? Will you ever consider starting a brand-new series from scratch with an entirely different and original plot and characters? If so, what technologies will this game use?

Let's wait to answer that question after King's Quest: Mask of Eternity has shipped. I think you will find that we were very successful in breathing new life into a series which could be construed as "getting a bit old." It is totally a breath of fresh air. It is like nothing else but yet feels very much like King's Quest. We may have accomplished the "impossible." I truly believe that this newest, latest iteration of King's Quest will be the best-selling yet! As far as starting a brand-new series from scratch with an entirely different and original plot and characters: I've done that many times in my career, and in the future ... who knows? -1997 interview.


I've been working on a development timeline based on the various interviews, magazine articles, and other details. Here is what I have so far;

Timeline:
1994 (or early 1995): Roberta decides that her next King's Quest project would go 3-D.

1995: Initial game development begins, notes, conceptart, stories start to form. she mentions that she is looking at 'Doom' for inspiration, and may focus primarily on first person perspective, with short elements of 3rd person. The playable character was originally thought to be a 'statue' that came to life.

1996: The initial version of the game world, and enemies, player character, and NPCS are created in an early version of the 3Space editor and engine (likely the version used in Earthsiege). 'King's Quest: The Mask of Eternity' briefly is mentioned in Summer 1996 issue of InterAction magazine, but no details are given (it promises a preview in a future issue). The first images from the game are shown around Fall. Roberta William's Anthology is released during the Holiday season with a promo video showcasing the early work on MOE.

1997: In July the King's Quest Collection 2 is released with an updated video showcasing gameplay with newly updated graphics, animation, and combat moments. The game misses its Holiday 1997 projected release date.

1998: In december the game is released.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 09:49:38 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 Blackthorne

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2011, 10:07:38 AM »
Wishing for any of these people to be "in charge" of King's Quest is a moot point.  They've all moved on.


Bt
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Offline dark-daventry

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2011, 10:33:51 AM »
I'm disappointed there's no "other" option. my answer would be none of the people listed, but rather the person or company who is most willing to put in the time and heart into making KQ games in this modern age. as blackthorne said, everyone listed has pretty much moved on, not only from kq, but from the industry as a whole. the only apparent exception would be Jane jensen, and we have no idea if shes doing anything after gray matter or not. I can't name a specific person who I think should be in charge; I would just say that I would like someone in charge who is willing to give KQ the TLC it deserves. if anything, I think the KQ license should go open to everyone; there have been some fantastic fan games and remakes over the years. the fans appear to be the only ones left willing to do anything with the series. I'm pretty sure activision having telltale make a new one is more of an attempt to cash in on the fanbase more than anything else, but maybe that's just me.
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Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2011, 11:16:40 AM »
I'm disappointed there's no "other" option. my answer would be none of the people listed, but rather the person or company who is most willing to put in the time and heart into making KQ games in this modern age. as blackthorne said, everyone listed has pretty much moved on, not only from kq, but from the industry as a whole. the only apparent exception would be Jane jensen, and we have no idea if shes doing anything after gray matter or not. I can't name a specific person who I think should be in charge; I would just say that I would like someone in charge who is willing to give KQ the TLC it deserves. if anything, I think the KQ license should go open to everyone; there have been some fantastic fan games and remakes over the years. the fans appear to be the only ones left willing to do anything with the series. I'm pretty sure activision having telltale make a new one is more of an attempt to cash in on the fanbase more than anything else, but maybe that's just me.

Agreed, although I would like to see Telltale pull a rabbit out of a hat. If they make an amazing installment to King's Quest, they would exceed my expectations and make a great title for a great series. I liked what they did with Monkey Island and Sam & Max, so maybe they can work their magic for King's Quest.  :-\
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Offline Blackthorne

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2011, 11:38:38 AM »
Though Jane Jensen is working today, I think she's more interested in developing her own IP and stories.   


Bt
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Offline dark-daventry

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2011, 11:50:29 AM »
agreed on both accounts, blackthorne and fierce deity. im hoping against hope that telltale can actually pull off kings quest. telltale is technically the only "mainstream" adventure company now a days, and I think they have the experience and knowledge to make a new KQ work, but it remains to be seen whether they'll succeed or not. ideally, I think a KQ reboot should have elements of the past games such as dead ends, deaths, etc, but introduce something new to the formula to make it more than just "another kq game". what those elements are, I dont know. I'm just hoping tell tale can pull it off.
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Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2011, 01:00:45 PM »
I just hope they don't turn it into a comedic attraction like most of their games. Telltale has a helluva a sense of humor, but keep it out of my King's Quest.  >:(
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 01:21:38 PM »
Me, baby.  ME.

Offline dark-daventry

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2011, 02:33:08 PM »
I just hope they don't turn it into a comedic attraction like most of their games. Telltale has a helluva a sense of humor, but keep it out of my King's Quest.  >:(

I feel as if Telltale's sense of humor might fit in with Space Quest... Maybe... But yeah, I don't want King's Quest turning into something it's not.
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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2011, 01:15:41 PM »
It is indeed a moot question--none of these people are working on the IP (some not even in the industry at all), and it's unlikely any of them will work on the IP again.

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Offline Blackthorne

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2011, 04:04:15 PM »
Personally, I'd like to see ANYONE work on the KQ IP.  I just like seeing it back in action.  I'm really curious to see Tell-Tales take on it.  Whether or not it sucks is to be determined, but whatever they make - it'll never get rid of the previous games, which I already love.


Bt
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2011, 04:50:55 PM »
But yeah, I don't want King's Quest turning into something it's not.

You mean like a soggy emo melodrama?

Lol...sorry, couldn't resist.

Sir Perceval of Daventry

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Re: Who would you trust KQ in the hands of--and why?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2011, 05:56:29 PM »
But yeah, I don't want King's Quest turning into something it's not.

You mean like a soggy emo melodrama?

Lol...sorry, couldn't resist.

I thought about saying something along those lines, but I didn't want to reignite the old arguments.