(The Future of Quest Games…)
This actually brings up a good point. We are a generation of gamers who
grew up with Sierra just as we have grown up with the gaming industry as
well. I for one not only learned how to read by playing the classic
Sierra games, but also learned how to type and learned critical thinking
skills (all of which help me in my career and my hobbies.) I cannot
begin to stress how my life has been affected by the game industry and
Sierra in paticular.
I firmly believe that if we truly want a game that is of the same
quality as those that Sierra put out in the late 80’s and early 90’s, we
should do it ourselves. I have heard a lot of interesting feedback
(both positive and negative) about the KQ remakes that Tierra has done
and the one thing that rings true (in my mind, at least) is everyone has
an appreciation of Tierra for bringing the beloved classics of a bygone
era back with a new look and updated stories. I for one cannot wait to
see what they come up with when they decide to make an original game.
They (the Anonymous Game Developers) work with the same spirit and
fervor that marked just about all of the games Sierra put out for over
ten years. They weren’t doing it for the money alone (though I am sure
money was in the back of their minds at some point). They were doing it
because they loved what they did. The long hours and everything that
goes along with developing a commercial game was nothing compared to the
joy they all got from doing what they wanted to do.
Something that Ken has said since the mid 90’s was that online gaming is
the future of the industry. Looking back on what he said then with that
is happening now, I can honestly say Ken was something of a visionary.
Look at games like Ultima Online, EverQuest, Final Fantasy XI, and the
horde of other online games out there and you can see that they all
share one thing in common. They probably would not have been concieved,
let alone made, if not for the influence of INN (the first graphical
online-only game if my memory is correct.)
That said, perhaps the future of Quest games such as King’s Quest is
better served in the online world rather than the offline world. It
isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibilty to have a King’s Quest
Online, where players assume the role of characters of assorted lands
(not main family characters) and work together to solve quests and
combat evil. While the combat system in MOE was less than perfect, it
was going in the right direction. I think that the idea behind MOE was
good, but suffered from a flawed implimentation. If a game like KQO was
ever to be successful, it would need to have what I deem the Three Great
1) Great Story – King’s Quest has always been about story. They are
like books only instead of reading about events, the player actually
participates in the events. In an online game, story is just as
important. Emphasis lately has been on leveling up and getting better
gear to kill better monsters. While this formula works, it sacrifices
story, or at the very least, puts the story in the background. KQO
would need to have a great story that is at the front at all times.
Every aspect of the story should be mirrored in everything the player
sees and does. If the player forgets the story, a game like KQO would
2) Great Gameplay – If the game isn’t fun to play, no one will play it.
KQ games have always had great gameplay. Not only great, but
innovative as well. If you doubt what I am saying, play each of the KQ
games in order. In doing this, you will see an evolution of gameplay.
The puzzles got more complex along with the worlds the games took place
in. Casting spells in KQIII was highly innovative for it’s time in that
it combined logical thinking (puzzles) with creative thinking
(application). In an online game, these elements are just as important.
3) Great Incentives – Most people play a game to beat it. Some play a
game for the story. Others play a game for the graphics. A game must
provide incentives to draw players in. This translates into pushing the
envelope and not resting on one’s laurels. Graphics should be top
notch, the story should be involved, and the gameplay must NOT be a
complete rehash of what has been done before.
Great games have these things in common and that is what makes them
great. If there ever was a KQO, it would be a challenge to develop, but
if the formula is there and implimented properly (i.e. no external
influence from greedy publishers), it would be a great game.
Just something to think about 😉
>Although this may be truer now and I see your point…I think he’s
>He spent a lot of time and hard work building Sierra into what is was.
>Retirement is well deserved. Although I wish he would get back in and
>lead a project he is enjoying life – which he should.
>I think if we want to see any more games like Sierra’s originals we just
>have to make them ourselves.
>Otherwise how can we just sit around and complain about him. It’s not
>really his responsibility to make sure we get those games. And we
>really can’t be angry. Neither is this mailing list or the website. I
>don’t know why he does that other than to try to be friends with his
>If we get angry we might as well be angry with ourselves as well. There
>are more that enough tools out there for an indie project to get off the
>ground with enough support and enough talented people to make
>Hey, wait they’re already doing it!
>I think my point is clear.
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