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Every time I read someone ‘rambling’ on about the old days of Sierra
and how there was a sense of ‘family’ there… I get a little sad.
I, too, wanted to work for Sierra. I began developing games (all the
way down to maps and character dialog!!) when I was about 9 years old.
‘CityQuest’, ‘Sim-Theater’, and ‘SierraVenture’ (yeah, I know…) where
all the Sierra characters would come together in one world and you’d
switch between characters at certain sequences. Aaah, the years….
Anyway, I did a presentation for my Technical Writing class about the
style of Sierra’s documentation. I came upon some really cool
discoveries in my research, such as Ken and Roberta always starting
their letters with ‘Dear Friends’ and the humble line, ‘The only catch:
you gotta tell us why you don’t like it. Otherwise we’ll never get
better. Send it back to us and we promise we’ll make things right’ in
the Sierra No-Risk Guarantee. Things like that show that there’s real
people behind the brand name. I think that’s a big part of the ‘Family’
feel. Seeing pictures of them in the catalogs and hearing about their
personal lives, especially in the 10th anniversary edition not only
brought us closer to the company, but closer to the people who made it.
Things like that build loyalty, and the fan base you see here and all
over the internet today.
Will there ever be another company like Sierra? I don’t know, but
personally I think back to all the non-sierra games I’ve played back in
the dos days as well as the console games and I don’t find myself
wondering about what the founders of Mindscape, Software Toolworks,
Broderbund, High Tech Expressions or Nintendo are doing these days. In
fact, I couldn’t tell you their names. But I still think about Sierra
often enough to check the message boards. 🙂 Sort of a Sierra Family
Reunion, you could say…