(re: re: Half Life) You know…
I’ve never been a gamer (other than poker, chess, backgammon and craps). A long time ago, I used to play backgammon for serious money. As to Sierra’s games, other than Larry, Space Quest and Phantas 1 – I never really played them (for more than a few hours each).
I’m a great judge of what will, and won’t, sell. I had solid instincts as to what might be fun, and what wouldn’t. I also had “been around” long enough to know what had been done before, and what hadn’t. Lastly, I came from an engineering background, and knew what was possible and what wasn’t. I couldn’t be bulled by the developers. I knew what was possible, and I knew how long it would take to develop.
Sierra won because I was a good engineer with strong competitive, direct marketing and sales skills, and with an ability to “relate” to the ultimate buyers of our products – not because I was a gamer. I think it also worked because I had respect for our customers (who were the smartest people on earth). I had a concept that at the time was novel – I computed how much it cost to obtain a customer, and how much it cost to RE-obtain a customer if you ever burned them. It was clear that the cost to re-acquire a customer was prohibitive. If you burn a customer, it is game over.
Roberta was (and is) the creative member of the family, and I the business-person. She played games (and, created games). I ran a software company. These are different skill sets.
To be honest, she’s the fun person in the family. I’m the boring engineer/bookeeper/geek/marketing type person. (she’s also cuter…)