Reply To: A question for Ken – Sierra after move to Coarsegold/Oakhurst

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(re: A question for Ken – Sierra after move to Coarsegold/Oakhurst)

Take it easy, Johann. First of all I do not live in Europe, I live in the US. Second, if adventure games are not dying out, where are all the companies that are making them? Where are the shelves upons shelves of adventure games at my local outlet? There are, maybe, three major studios that make them – all based in Europe. The adventure genre here in the US is most certainly dead. NO ONE I know plays adventure games anymore. In fact, most people look at me kind of weird when I tell them I still play them. That is from where I base my belief that adventure games are a fringe market.

You are right about Doom3 being pretty bad. But that has no bearing on the general state of gaming today. The FPS is still god, and it will be for a long time to come. Games have always pushed along the hardware market (or is it the other way around?)…It was possible to do that with adventure games for awhile as we saw the evolution from CGA, to EGA, to VGA, and then on to CD-ROM. But 2d graphics performance has been topped out for a long time, so what’s left?…The 3d market. FPS’s are the games that push people to buy $500 polygon pumps and make people go “that’s really awesome” when they look at the screen. Typical adventure games can’t generate the “wow” factor anymore, so that’s why they’ve fallen to the wayside.

Then make an adventure game in 3D you say? I think that’s where Sierra was trying to go with KQ VIII. However, as Ken noted in another post somewhere around here, Roberta was not the primary creative designer since CUC got their mitts into the deal. Otherwise, KQ VIII may have felt more like a “King’s Quest”. But, regardless of how you cut it, sooner or later the changing face of gaming would probably have ended up changing the face of King’s Quest to something its hardcore fans would have had trouble recognizing.

With that being said, there ARE a couple of games I really enjoyed that have adventure aspects with full 3d engines, which were “Broken Sword 3” and “Beyond Good & Evil”. These games had what I enjoyed most about adventure games – Decent puzzles, an engaging story, and cool characters. I think we might be seeing more of these types of games, especially if someone can come up with an engine that can do really cool, detailed outdoor environments. Bring back the “wow” factor, and we’ll see a resurgence in the genre.