Reply To: Inca Series

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(re: re: re: Inca Series) I’ve been thinking for a couple of days about how to comment on Inca. It’s not an easy topic, and hopefully my answer won’t upset anyone who worked on the project.
Inca should have been a major hit, but wasn’t. It had the potential, but was missing some key ingredients. The sound track was amazing. Technically, it was ahead of its time. The plot had some flaws (my opinion), and the product was not well play tested. A game such as this needs to start easy, and then add complexity over time. Inca was too difficult in the early levels. It also suffered from being buggy at introduction.
My recollection is that it sold very well in Europe, but that it sold poorly in the US.
Inca was really the first action game, that I can remember, to blend in a story. For those who haven’t seen it – I would compare it to Wing Commander, which was a huge hit.
Overall: I think Inca could have been one of our biggest hits if we had taken the extra months required to really polish the game. I don’t recall if this was an issue with Inca or not, but there were times when a game would be nearing completion, and suddenly find itself over budget, and in danger of missing Christmas. I was often faced with the dilema of whether or not to ship a game, or hold the game, and continue spending. If a product slips past Christmas, its sales forecasts would often be cut in half. Then again, if you ship a product that isn’t ready to go to market, you could lose your customer base. At Sierra, we usually made the right decisions, and became #1 because of it. But unfortunately, “usually” isn’t “always”.
-Ken W