Reply To: About Artwork and Copy Protection

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(re: About Artwork and Copy Protection) 1. I understand that for your VGA games, you scanned hand-painted backgrounds. What did you do with those paintings after they were scanned? Do you still have them? I’m sure there are quite a few die-hard Sierra fans who would gladly purchase one (me included!) :))

We did hand paint the backgrounds. Our official policy was to save the backgrounds, in case we ever did a re-release of the game, and wanted to upgrade the quality of the graphics. I’ve heard rumors that many of the backgrounds have been lost or stolen. I also heard a rumor that they appear from time to time on eBay, but have never seen one. I agree – these would be worth buying if you could find one.

2. It seems that Sierra switched from disk-based copy protection to manual lookups somewhere in 1988. Did you make this change out of convenience to your customers, or was it (as one source claimed) because the then-popular “copy2pc option board” could circumvent all disk-based copy protection schemes?
I made the decision. It was made primarily because the copy protect was failing on legitimate copies on some drives, and was considered annoying by our customers. Also, as you mentioned, there were devices on the market that would copy the disks anyhow.

3. I noticed that with PC versions, there are three different disk-based copy protection schemes used by Sierra. Did you program them in-house, or did you license them from a third-party company (i.e. Aztech’s Neverlock or ProLock)? This may sound like a strange question, but I’m very dedicated to researching ancient copy protection schemes. 🙂

We mostly programmed our own. I don’t remember ever licensing someone elses other than once or twice. It was too expensive to do a license for copy protect.
-Ken W