July 18, 2006 at 3:04 am #21185
The ex employee had the ultimate irony, and or metaphor.
Adventure gaming is dead, as has been that way since Sierra stopped releasing adventures. A cool KQ3vga version out there is nothing more than a flashback.
Why have a site if you ain’t doing anything about it?
July 18, 2006 at 10:00 am #21186
…firstname.lastname@example.org, Rakeesh, 2006-07-18 03:04:04Why have a site if you ain’t doing anything about it?… Do something about what? The decline of the adventure game? The staleness in the game industry?
At Sierra, I had all these ‘phrases’ that I lived by. Many of them are scattered throughout these message boards. Another one people used to get tired of hearing was ‘Customers vote at the box office’.
Ultimately, game companies build what customers buy. The same goes for films. If there was an adventure game that would sell one million copies, companies would build it.
Which I’m not sure they aren’t…
If you look at where I was trying to move the adventure game, it isn’t clear that we haven’t gone that direction.
My personal vision of the future involved multiplayer gaming. If I had continued to run Sierra, we would have been the ones leading the multiplayer game business. Are these adventure games? It depends on how you define an adventure game. Are you role playing? Are there puzzles? Is there a scenario?
It can be argued that adventure games haven’t died, they’ve just evolved in various directions. I remember the half-life guys trying to convince me that they had adventure game qualities.
Were I in the market today, I would not build ‘2d adventure games’ the way they used to look, because they wouldn’t sell very well. The #1 thing people want is to see something that surprises them. Another ‘Sierra’ expression — this time my brothers: A game has to have ‘wow’ value. If you didn’t say ‘wow’ when you heard about the game, and/or saw it — then it wasn’t going to sell.
So, where does that leave us…
To break-through, and ship a hit, you need something new. Is there something that captures what people liked about adventure games, but does something in a new way. The introduction of story and plot to action games, RPG games and multiplayer games has been done.
What is needed is kind of a fresh look at it.
I wish I had the time… but, I did 20 years in games. Now, I’m doing boating, and working on a book, and have talkspot.com going. I have no free time.
Besides, the budgets are huge these days. To do something new would take 10s of millions of dollars. That means a big company funding it, and big companies are research driven these days. If something seems new, it has a hard time getting funded.
Actually.. new things ARE coming. The market has a great way of reacting to boring products – they don’t sell. Innovative products break through. It’s really just a matter of time.
Sorry to ramble…
July 18, 2006 at 7:52 pm #21187
Yes, Ken is right. I remember that whenever a major Sierra sequel came out, an upgrade was needed for your computer starting with soundcards, video cards (CGA>EGA>VGA>SVGA), and then memory. In those days, Sierra drove the industry and now it seems the industry has sort of plateaud. I’ve had the same computer since 2001 and I’m still able to play today’s games. It was an age of innovation, everything was new and uncharted. Perhaps that is why it seems such an important part of many people’s lives. I assume most were growing up as I was and the computer was extremely new. It was also new to the people making the games. We should be lucky to have shared in the magic of the years Sierra On-Line dominated and not bash Ken for leaving. He has a life to continue living and we should all be honored that he’s created this website for everyone to share their love for the company he and his wife built. They’ve accomplished much and though I wasn’t able to fulfill my dream of working for Sierra, perhaps a chance will come when another company comes along and follows the Sierra business model. They founded the company like a family and the fact that the owners who bought the company did not follow the successful model Ken had established is what ruined the company. I just want to thank you Ken for creating some awesome memories in my youth and giving me the inspiration to become an artist and create.
August 2, 2006 at 12:09 pm #21188
What games are you playing because there is no way Oblivion, Half-Life 2, F.E.A.R. and games like that are going to work on your computer. My brother’s computer is probably from around 2001 too and he can only play these games with low FPS and the lowest graphic settings possible. Plus he had to upgrade his RAM, which cost a lot since his RAM type is ancient. I think the push towards technology and upgrades has increased rather than plateaued. My computer became obsolete just a few months after I got it. And soon there will be Windows Vista and DirectX 10 which will force more upgrades.
I’m frustrated with how fan-remakes don’t aim a little higher than the standards of 1993. It’s ironic that fans are making remakes of a game that would need another remake. I’d like to see some innovation and at the very least hi-res 32-bit graphics. Why don’t fans create high resolution games? Is it really that hard to produce such graphics as opposed to 320×240? I always thought the lower resolution graphics of the older Sierra games was due to limitations. After all, the backgrounds were hand-painted. Some amazing things can be done with 2d graphics to make them seem fresh and new. I wish I had the technical expertise to go for it myself.
September 30, 2006 at 7:47 am #21189
September 30, 2006 at 10:58 am #21190
And what an excellent essay it was. It’s never boring to read about the love we had for Sierra 😉 .
September 30, 2006 at 9:30 pm #21191
Thank you. 🙂