Reply To: Who came up with idea for AGI?

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“… (by Chris Schweiter) Can you give myself and the others on this board insight as to the process you and Jeff went through to create AGI?

Prior to starting Sierra, I was working as a software developer doing compiler development. I had worked on lots of different compiler-related projects, including: a Fortran compiler, a spreadsheet-style product (years before Visicalc), a SQL-style database query language, etc. Compilers were always interesting to me.

Sierra’s very first games – the Hi-Res Adventure series, used a very primitive programming language.

I don’t recall AGI being developed as part of the Kings Quest 1 IBM project, but suspect you are right. We wanted to take a major jump forward, and the language we were using for the adventure games was too confining. It had almost no “procedural code” capability. AGI added variables, looping, branching and animation, and the simulated 3-D effect. My recollection is that most of the code was written by Jeff Stephenson. I don’t think any of the code in AGI is mine. I was involved, but more on the design than the coding side.

Jeff Stephenson drove SCI more than I did, and deserves most of the credit. At the time, object oriented languages were still in the “theoretical stage.” This was a decade before Visual Basic. Jeff was a bit of an intellectual, and was watching object oriented languages evolve. I didn’t really “get it” at the time. Jeff wrote a demo of what he was trying to accomplish, and walked me through what an object was. We moved ahead based on my belief in Jeff, not because I really believed in Object Oriented languages. In the 70s, Sierra probably shipped more product, developed using an object oriented language, than the rest of the software industry combined.

I wish I had more memories for you .. but, this was a LONG time ago, and my memory of this is starting to fade.

-Ken W