(re: Interface of Sierra games) I could be wrong, but wasn’t Jeff Stephenson one of the godfathers of game engines during Sierra’s early days? Anyways, the game engines were of course team efforts where several people should be mentioned.
In the case of AGI, I would love to know how much of the original design was Sierra and how much was IBM. Did IBM control the technical development of the game engine for KQ1 in any way, or did they just provide the hardware and money?
As for the icon interface introduced in KQ5, I would also love to know how much of that was Roberta’s artistical vision and how much was the decisions of the technical staff. My view of it is that it usually was Roberta imagining great things that had never been done before and the programmers struggling to implement this, but it was probably more of a give and take situation with exchange of ideas between lots of people.
Still, it’s kind of sad when you think back at the days when Sierra, and especially Roberta’s games, led the technical evolution of interactive entertainment, while they now can’t seem to produce anything new and fresh themselves. No offense to the current Sierra employees, but I don’t think it’s possible to be that creative in such an environment. I don’t even know what the last Sierra game produced in-house was, even though I believe they still hire a lot of programmers. It seems to me that the company is mostly a publisher of others’ games today.