Email: Games with heart

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    • #24658 Reply

      I haven’t spoke with almost anyone at Sierra during the last seven years, except Al Lowe, who I see quite a bit. I have no idea what people are doing. Jim Walls and I swapped emails last year – and, he had been doing games for Electronic Arts, but my recollection is that he was laid off and thinking about leaving the industry.
      As to everyone getting together to make games again: I never like to say never – but, it’s VERY unlikely. Everyone has gone on to do other things. My guess is that Al, Roberta and I will do something again sooner or later, possibly together, but that are no current plans. It would be fun. Roberta is the one of us most interested in doing something, and is constantly pushing me.
      Thank you for the kind words! I too miss the kinds of games that used to exist. Hopefully, they’ll come back into fashion at some point.
      -Ken W
      From: Deon du Plessis []
      Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 11:08 PM
      To: (

      Subject: Games with heart
      Dear Ken,
      Do you still keep in touch with the old Sierra gang? I haven’t heard anything from Scott Crowe, Mark Murphy or Mark Seibert over the last 5 or so years. What are they up to? Are they still in the games industry? Or have they also had enough and have slipped quietly into retirement? And what about Lori and Cori Cole, the designers of my all-time favourite game series?
      Is there any remote possibility that you guys would ever get together and make one last game together, or is that the vain hope of a die-hard Sierra fan? I miss games with heart, which you guys had in spades, I miss characters I actually care about rather than those whose idiotic one-liners I chuckle weakly at as I blast my way through the latest alien/monster/gangster bloodbath. Even Max Payne, as brilliant as that franchise is, lacks heart. I never get the impression he falls in love in
      Part 2, hell, I don’t even think that man has any idea what love is. Now Alexander of Daventry, there was a character that had love right, at least in my book. He went to the ends of the earth for his love, he did whatever it took to get to her, he was fair, honest, he had a sense of humour, and he wasn’t into mindless bloodshed, or “proving” himself in idiotic, macho ways.
      When I finished KQ6, I felt SO GOOD about it, it is a game that will stick in my memory for all time, not because of any “wow” factor, but because I felt something while I played it, I was moved on a level no game since has ever touched.
      Yeah, different days, I know, but I’m sorry, the human heart has NOT changed since then. We all know love when we see it, we all identify with characters to whom “strength” isn’t that which determines how many weapons they can carry, we all identify with the quest to fulfill the longing in our hearts for that one, true love. It’s just a pity that popular culture has things ass-backwards, that being “cool” is far more important than being real, or feeling whatever feelings we are going through, or even giving expression to that which we DO feel. Our games reflect a lot about ourselves, our current state of development as human beings. Maybe I am seeing too much into it, but I don’t think so.
      I miss people like you and Roberta and the old Sierra gang, who know what is fun but who also know what feels good. When was the last time you played a game and actually felt GOOD about finishing it, beyond the egotistical satisfaction of being able to say “I beat game X on hard”? Games today lack heart; if you know of any that don’t, please let me know as I just haven’t found any lately. All I’ve found is a celebration of death and misery, and it’s depressing.
      And that’s all I have to share for the moment. Thanks for all the great memories, and I wish you all the best for your retirement.
      Deon du Plessis
      South Africa

    • #24659 Reply

      (RE: Games with heart)

      I received an e-mail from Jim Walls’ son earlier this year(I purchased a game from him on e-bay). He said that Jim recently retired from EA, and is planning on relaxing and taking it easy. I do not think he was laid off because he also said EA had a big retirement party for him etc.

      I am not sure if this is going to quote the long msg that I replied to, if so I apologize because I did not know how to post without doing so.

      See ya!

    • #24660 Reply

      (re: RE: Games with heart) I received an email from Jim in October of last year saying that he was retiring, and haven’t heard from him since. His email didn’t say anything about being laid off – only that he had decided to retire — but, then I heard from someone else that all of Westwood, the Las Vegas branch of Electronic Arts, had gone through a major staff reduction. Whether or not the two events are related or not, I have no idea.
      One way or the other … Jim’s a world class guy, and I’m sorry to hear he isn’t producing games. He was great just to be around. Hopefully he’s doing something fun.
      -Ken W

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