(re: Is there a market for quality adventure games?) You bring up the huge questions that we’re all asking, to which there are lots of answers and lots of speculation. I suspect if you read the messages around here, you will find your question already answered – in many different ways, of course. Ken might have something direct to say to your question, but I figured I’d chip in a word or two.
1) Cost of production has risen. That means you have to sell a lot of games to cover your costs. Most game-making companies will sell a lot more shooter games, so that’s where the market’s gone.
2) There is still interest – but not as much as the big companies need to justify the spending cost. There is still interest because of support for the adventure games of today, such as Syberia 2, and some other companies doing adventures (I keep hearing that Runaway is good, but never played it) – there are a lot of downloads of the King’s Quest remake games that AGDI is making – there is great anticipation for other Sierra fan games, such as the KQ9 and SQ7 projects – there is a lot of strong fan reaction to the Lucasarts cancellation of their Full Throttle 2 and Sam and Max 2 games – there are a good number of websites that show support for adventure games in different ways (justadventure, mixnmojo, underdogs, just to name a few) – and Sierra’s games are always on sale on eBay.
3) Is it possible to create successful games in this genre? I assume you mean commercially, on the market? Probably – but it probably needs to be a small company to start small, even smaller than companies such as Microid for example, just as Ken and Roberta did all those years ago. At some point, the AGDI folk plan to make new, commercial adventure games, in the absolute traditional style of adventure games, under a new banner – that’s the closest commercial endeavour I know of in the near future.