Quest for Glory / The Realm Online

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    • #22655 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Does anyone play The Realm Online? It’s a great game in the style of Quest for Glory / Hero’s Quest and it was developed by Ken Williams and others in the late 90’s.

      The website for the game is
      RealmServer.com

    • #22656 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Huh? I can’t believe it is still going! Who is doing it? How many people are playing it?

      Very cool.

      -Ken W

    • #22657 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Who did the writing for it? Did any of the Dynamix people who did their RPGs (BAK, BIA, RTK, etc) have any involvement with it?

      JT

    • #22658 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:

      Taggart, Jeff, 2006-04-12 14:01:09

      Who did the writing for it? Did any of the Dynamix people who did their RPGs (BAK, BIA, RTK, etc) have any involvement with it?

      JT…

      No. The Realm was strictly a Sierra project, and my recollection is that a programmer named David Slaybeck was primarily responsible for it. I think David had some health problems and dropped off the project, but don’t remember who took it over.

      -Ken W

    • #22659 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I saw that charges a monthly service, and there’s some note on how it has not increased since they started charging. I remember seeing demos for the realm on some of the later CD games i got (don’t remember which off hand, maybe QFG 5??), and I don’t remember it saying anything about fees? Does anyone know when they started that?

      JT

    • #22660 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I’m a huge fan of the QFG series (Hero’s Quest was the first computer game I picked out at the store, brought home, and played). Anyhow, I got the demo also (a 30 day trial) in 1999 or so and it was a 30 day trial. After that it was $4.99 per month or $50 per year.

      Sierra sold it to Codemasters, and they sold it to Norseman Games (a company owned by a longtime player). I’m an addict, especially since Norseman took over and they’ve been improving the game so far. They want to develop the next version (4.0) so they had to raise the price two bucks to $6.99/month or $70 a year.

      Many of the players on there are longtime Sierra gamers, who like the nostalgic look and don’t mind paying for it since it’s much cheaper than everything else out there.

      Do you guys know anything about its origin? I.e. funny stories, weird trivia, etc?

    • #22661 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I was heavily involved in its development, and arguably am it’s dad.

      Most of my involvement though was on the technical side. On the creative side, the project grew out of my saying ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do something like our adventure games, that was medevil themed, and allowed players to swap things with each other, buy weapons, and attack monsters?’ That’s about the limit of my involvement creatively. From a one sentence description like that, the development team built a prototype, and we started talking about the technical challenges.

      I remember that most of our conversations dealt with fighting. At the time, we still had to deal with slow modems, and huge network delays. We did a lot of experimenting, with trying to decide what was possible, and would look right, given the unpredictable nature of communications.

      My last memory of The Realm was a visit I made to the ImagiNation Network offices, shortly after we sold INN to AT&T. They were showing a version of the Realm that had been rewritten from  SCI (Sierra’s programming language) to C++ (I think).

      I’m not sure if the code that exists today derives from the original SCI version, or from the C++ version. At the time I saw the C++ version, it looked good, but it also looked a long way from completion. The year probably would have been around 1992.

      -Ken W

    • #22662 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      That’s great! One of my hobbies is taking things and restoring their history, and preserving it and getting it out to as many people as possible. For example, I am going to my 10 year High School reunion on the 30th and I’ve found some old yearbooks, scanned them, and I’m going to give out CDs of them at the reunion.

      Anyhow, I’d love to use this kind of hobby (obsession) with Realm, since I’ve recently put up a Realm website at RealmCenter.com

      Do you remember if there were any aspects for the game that were considered but ultimately deemed too complicated, or too advanced for the technology, etc?

    • #22663 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Not off the top of my head.

      This was over 10 years ago, and The Realm was only one of 20+ games running on The Sierra Network. Most of my meetings at the time had to do with the marketing, technical and financial aspects of the overall network. I attended MANY meetings on server and network plans, but I was the last person to ever get involved in plot/character issues. On those types of issues I always left the thinking to the creative team.

      TSN (The Sierra Network) was in a seperate building, which we called the old barn, in Oakhurst. Their offices were a couple miles from corporate, and they were set up as an independent business unit. I visited them perhaps once or twice a week.

      They had extreme visibility in the organization, in that it was a project of huge dimensions for Sierra. Although they were an infintesimal part of our revenue, they were a major part of our spending. Some thought it was a project that should be shut down, and others thought it was the next big thing. These were the pre-internet days, and had we stuck with it — it probably would have been something enormous.

      Sierra was a public company at the time, and TSN was a large drag on earnings. I spent a lot of time on the road explaining to the financial community why this was a justified expense, and raising money to fund the project. At one point I raised $50 million primarily to fund the TSN effort.

      -Ken W

    • #22664 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I played on TSN a lot (as much as I could get away with thanks to my parents) but I don’t remember much except that I was addicted to certain parts of it, like the miniature golf game.

      As far as Realm goes, was it up and running in its first version on TSN, and then later became an individual game?

    • #22665 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      In my Space Quest 5 newsletter (which I pulled out last night to play), there is an offer for trial membership to TSN (or INN, can’t remember if it had been renamed yet). Anyway, one of the things they mentioned was playing SHADOWS OF YSERUBIS on TSN. Was ‘The Realm’ on TSN as well? Was the Shadows of Yserbuis something that evolved into The Realm? Or were they two different projects entirely?

      JT

    • #22666 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Shadows of Yserbius was a completely separate product. It was an RPG/strategy dungeon game that you could play multiplayer on INN (it also had a single player game mode) and it was developed by Sierra.

    • #22667 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Were they both on TSN (INN) at the same time, or did The Realm replace Shadows of Yseurbis as the RPG on the network?

      JT

    • #22668 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I’m wondering that too. I am also wondering who the ‘dad’ was of Realm on the creative side? 🙂

    • #22669 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I’m not sure what the Realm looks like today, and how much it has changed from the original release. Are there any credits on it?

      I’m fairly certain that David Slaybeck was the original designer. He was an engineer, not really a designer, but did a good job (as I recall). David dropped off the project early – I think because of a fairly nasty medical problem. For some reason, my memory is that he did come back, but I don’t recall him coming back to the Realm, and I don’t remember who took it over.

      If you happen to see a credits page, post it, and perhaps that will jog my memory.

      -Ken W

    • #22670 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Contributor History

      Original Concept: David Slayback
      Designer: Stephen Nichols
      Programming: Janus Anderson, Stephen Nichols, Kerry Sergent, Bryan Waters
      Interface Art Designer: Terry Robinson
      Art: Linda Lubken, Mike Cicchi, Deanna Yhalkee, Tim Loucks, Dan Peters, Scott Multer, Al Eufrasio, Ananda Linde, Robin Phanco, Jason Piel, Barry T. Smith, Clayton Larabie, Michael Hutchison, and Christopher Willis
      Music: Victor Crews and Dan Kehler
      Writing: Leslie Balfour and Nancy Grimsleyobin Phanco, Jason Piel, Barry T. Smith, Clayton Larabie, Michael Hutchison, and Christopher Willis
      Music: Victor Crews and Dan Kehler
      Writing: Leslie Balfour and Nancy Grimsley

    • #22671 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      That appears to be the original credits from Realm. Maybe the game is essentially the same as when we released it? I recognize most of the names.

      I had forgotten about Steve Nichols. My recollection is that he was an engineer, not a designer. He must have taken over both the technical lead, and creative lead position from David Slaybeck.

      The Realm was a technologic breakthrough for its time. It needed an engineer to lead it more than a creative person, as every design detail had network ramifications.

      -Ken W

    • #22672 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Oh, I’m sorry, on Realm they have a current credits and then they have a ‘historic credits’ too, which is the one I posted. When Codemasters sold the game, they auctioned it. Stephen Nichols tried to buy it with his company but they lost to Norseman Games, a company owned by a longtime Realm player (Scott Wochholz). These are the current credits:

      Norseman Games Realm Staff

      Lead Artist/Designer:

      Alex Krumweide

      Chief Operating Officer:

      Ellington ‘Duke’ Ellis

      Community Relations Manager:

      Brett Wochholz

      Customer Services Manager:

      Lynn Havens

      General Manager:

      Michael Crow

      President:

      Lee Wochholz

      Producer:

      Scott Wochholz

      Lead Programmer:

      Aaron Sowers

      Programmer:

      Corinne Fell

    • #22673 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Leslie Balfour was at one time co-director of the canceled Space Quest 7 If I recall. Did she do any one projects at Sierra.

      Is/Was she Married to Bruce Balfour, co-director of Dagger of Amon-Ra and creator of Outpost, or another relation?

      JT

    • #22674 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      So did you guys get a lot of press for Realm since it was basically the first MMORPG?

    • #22675 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Absolutely!

      Actually we got a lot of press for EVERYTHING about The Sierra Network. It’s hard to imagine, but the internet wasn’t mainstream yet, and email was still an evolving concept — and, here we were doing massively multiplayer games and wide area network flight simulators.

      Those were some very cool times.

      -Ken W

    • #22676 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      So did Realm replace Yserbius on TSN? And was it on TSN until it was sold, and then went with it?

    • #22677 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Also, when Al Lowe was asked to design the first multiplayer online adventure game, was The Realm basically what you guys had in mind?

    • #22678 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      A RPG Leisure Suit Larry!!! What a great concept 🙂

      People tryout their best pick up lines and other things to score with computer generated women!

      Imagine the contraversey that would have stirred up…

      So what exactly was the TSN version of ‘Larry 4’ going to be??

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