Matt, as far as I know Josh Mandel didn’t actively work (as in design or program) on AGDI’s games. He just did the voice for King Graham, which he also did back in the old days for Sierra and is now doing for the KQ9 fan project. However, we are told that Mandel is working on the unofficial SQ7 project as lead writer/designer.
And talking about KQ9, it is/will not be a “pure adventure game”. From what I’ve seen it contains several RPG elements and is set in a large, RPG-like world with multiple quests, etc. I could be wrong on this however, as that team have chopped and changed their game quite a few times over the last several years.
I do agree with you on that last point – please, no more remakes or fangames. Adventure games is an emerging market. If your team can produce an adventure game based on an original concept with original characters and that is actually good and worthwhile to play, then serious money can be made. Just don’t shoot yourself in the foot by claiming (like a certain development studio recently did) that you single-handedly saved adventure games. Such comments go a long way towards alienating fans who realise (and appreciate) that many different companies have contributed towards keeping adventure gaming alive during its darker years.