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March 13, 2021 at 10:45 am #41261Dan WarneGuest
I just finished reading your book and what a FANTASTIC insight into you, Roberta and Sierra it was. Sierra games were a very major part of my childhood, and are a central connection point between me and one of my best friends, Mike.
As a kid, I always used to write to Sierra in the hope that your customer service team would send back game demo disks – which they almost always did. I later wrote to you and got several lovely letters from your assistant Kristy Welton. Finally, I wrote a letter asking for a reply from you personally, not your assistant, and I could not believe it when one day a letter arrived in the mail, handwritten from you, on lined yellow notepad paper – along with a typed note from the ever-professional Kristy saying that very occasionally, a fan catches your personal attention – and I seem to be one of those!
Believe me when I tell you, it was an overwhelming experience for me as a kid to receive a letter personally from you!
When I read your book and I realise how busy you were, how much you had going on at any one time, I realise how really lucky I was – I can’t imagine you would have had time to write to many people personally.
It was fascinating to read in the book how you were deeply involved in all the marketing; every line of copy attributed to you and how much money was invested in publishing the Sierra Magazine and posting it around the world.
I’ve never really experienced any other company like Sierra – the level of ‘personal touch’ put into all the games, marketing and communication was absolutely unique. I wonder after reading the book whether you can truly imagine what impact you had on millions of people all over the globe. I worked as a tech journalist for about 10 years and I know it was hard to visualise the readers when you’re producing mammoth amounts of content that are going out and being consumed.
For this young boy, I was sitting at my IBM PC compatible with Hercules monochrome graphics in my parents’ dim dining room here in Melbourne, Australia, playing after school. My dad brought back King’s Quest 1 from a trip to the US when he attended a medical conference. It was the beginning of a magical journey with Sierra games — and the fact that I only had monochrome graphics and a PC speaker at the time meant that my imagination worked harder to fill in the kingdom.
Over the years I pored over the pages of the Sierra Magazine / InterAction and bought many Sierra games. But receiving your letter was an absolute highlight of that time – thank you very much!
P.S. Exciting to hear that you and Roberta are now working on a game idea again. Reading through the book, I couldn’t help thinking that you’d worked out the business so thoroughly with your beliefes/systems/methodologies that it’s a shame that all that wisdom and expertise isn’t being currently applied. Great to hear that you’re bringing it back into action.