April 23, 2009 at 11:03 am #26719With the advent of the game consoles, it’s a wonder somebody hasn’t thought of releasing a version (collection) of our beloved Universe in that genre. Think of it! Space Quest for PS3, PSP, Nintendo, Wii, etc.
At the age of 49, and having messed with PC’s since the advent of the Tandy 1000’s, I’ve watched the hardware and capabilities get more sophisiticated, but the gaming industry has not kept up. Sure we have graphics that are amazing, and speeds that are now incredible, but the games of today lack the charm and whimsical humor that the Sierra games had. When the collection was released for Windows, I introduced my daughter to them, and she had as good a time as I did playing them. A generational fan was born.
So, how do we get the best computer game ever designed shifted to a game console and a huge new fan-base? Anybody got any ideas?
April 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm #26720Randy,TrulsonParticipant
This is a great idea, but from my understanding it is wrapped in legal issues. Sierra was sold and thus the intellectual property rights for the games as well. It is my understanding that the owners of the rights aren’t terribly interested in seeing these sorts of games return.
So in lue of that, the next best thing would be to make new games in the spirit of the Sierra style games. We have been looking into the interest level of these type of games and may build a game engine to fascilitate this genre should interest prove high enough.
So since you the old Sierra games won’t be coming to systems near you, who is up for new adventure games in similar fashion?
April 29, 2009 at 7:19 am #26721
Thanks for the vote of confidence Randy. Legal issues notwithstanding, I’d submit that the logical first step would be to find out WHO has the rights to the games. Once that’s established, it all comes down to a sales pitch. If the deal is packaged correctly, the corporate greed will undoubtably kick in, and there may yet be a possibility of ressurection for our beloved universe. (Case in point, the rerelease of the Midway classics on the PS2 format).
What fascinates me about the entire concept, is the high level of adaptability and the commercial potential of such a release. The controls of most console systems are ideally suited for the game. The text entries would have to be turned into a multiple choice box, since most people don’t own a keyboard interface. (They aren’t very practical, anyway). But, the manual dexterity portions of the game fall right into place with the controllers of most consoles.
Selling the idea would be all come down to a matter presentation to the “right people”, whoever they may be. Several possibilities come to mind; “Re-live the adventure”, “Do YOU have what it takes”, “Coming soon to a console near you”, are viable ad campaigns.
In addition, there are possibilities with the other properties, (i.e., Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.), which would only generate further income. I’d also like to see a deal struck for residuals for Scott and Mark. Brilliance should be rewarded, and God knows they deserve it.
April 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm #26722ckrapfl77,ckrapfl77_hotmail_comParticipant
Unfortunately the time has passed and apparently the interest for these classic tittles is just not enough to interest any investors in the industry to put any money into porting the tittles. Simply put no one out there believes they can get a return on their investment to justify the risk.
You can find the Sierra Classic tittles on Gametap. From my brief look over there it doesn’t seem to have a large draw. Its a matter of customer attrition, its been several years and the brands have faded. The adventure game genre in general has declined significantly over the years ( i think its about 5% of the market now)
I’ve done a bit of research since i got back into playing these old classic tittles and this a a brief summary of what I’ve found out that might interest you if you don’t already know:
-Al Lowe (Leisure Suit Larry) tried to make a come back in 2006 with a game called Sam Suede, got about a year into it and then the project was canceled. The start-up studio was closed and that was it…sad. From articles I read it appears he underestimated the cost to develop games for the nextgen consoles. In addtion publishers did not want to come on board as they could not come up with comparables from which to estimate projections (its all about minimizing risks and making money).
-Adventure gaming does still exist in undergroung communities with small projects and fan based games.
-apparently there is a small market for adventure games in Europe. Classic designers like Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Kings Quest VI) is coming out with a new game called Gray Matter. Hal Barwood (Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis) is comign out with a game called Mata Hari.
Your not going to find the mainstream games we did in the past, the games coming out now are slow to develop and typically dont have the funds backing them to see the great production quality of the past. The best we can do is to support the publishers/dev that put these games out in hopes that someday the genre might make a comeback.
I think the best shot as far as Adventure games on a console is with the Wii. It would actually be a perfect fit IMO. The DS is great fit as well.
Liesure suit Larry 7 had a good concept for a blended interface of text and point and click.
just my thoughts…
April 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm #26723
Thanks for the comments CK. I appreciate the input. I disagree about the time being passed. As I said before, I introduced my daughter to the collection, and she laughed as hard as I had, and became a nextgen fan. (She’s 18 now, BTW). The thing of it is, the gamers of the current generation haven’t been exposed to anything but what the companies have had to offer. Let’s face it, Sony hasn’t exactly impressed the gaming world, and from my limited observation of the thing, the Xbox has a million titles with the same game engine. (A rose by any other name….).
I firmly believe that it just has to be presented to the right people the right way. Forget the past. The fact that the game was released over 25 years ago doesn’t even have to be mentioned. (The kiddies will think it’s a NEW game, and it would certainly be unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. The main body of the programming has already been done. If they want to update it to keep up with the hardware, so be it…that’s on them. But if they just want to stoke an emulator, there’s almost nothing to be done, save for interface recognition. Whoever OWNS the rights certainly would have nothing to lose. They’re sitting on a property that’s earning them nothing. One would think that in this economy, the mere hint of profit would have their corporate sphincters all a-twitter. With very little effort, the game could be brought to any one of the consoles. Besides, the gaming community might just be getting a little tired of “Call of Duty” vs.”Resistance”. (Same engine, different graphics). But remember the “Mortal Kombat” series had it’s genesis, (no pun intended), and rebirth. And then it spawned a whole slew of games based on the same premise. (Witness it’s latest incarnation : Mortal Kombat vs the DC Universe)! The game designers just have no imagination anymore. If they’re gonna bring back “Sega” games, at least inspire them bring back something clever and amusing. I firmly believe that the company that successfully re-launched the game would be sitting on a veritable gold mine. And the internet itself would be enough of an advertising market. I give as an example the buzz concerning “The Blair Witch Project”. It could be done….it SHOULD be done.
May 8, 2009 at 6:09 am #26724Randy,TrulsonParticipant
Well, they might be available on GameTap, but you have it exactly correct. The Classic versions of these games (without any marketing hype) are available. We live in an ADD society. James it correct, you have to take the meat of the old games and re-hash them with a point and click ADD interface and make the game solvable in like two days as opposed to two months. I don’t believe interest in the games is dead so much as the people that played them. This was 20 years ago +! People today don’t have a clue what they were. Therefore the amount of people on GameTap that would even consider them is tiny at best. Most gamers today was like 5 when Doom came out, think about it.
May 8, 2009 at 9:26 am #26725ckrapfl77,ckrapfl77_hotmail_comParticipant
Dang Randy way to put it, DEAD! lol a little harsh but I was sort of thinking the same thing. the core market for todays games was definitely too young at the time these classics were popular. To James’ (hey capn Kirk just notices that name what the middle initial?) point I think they could be revived if they were repackaged in the right way.
Think about this what if they took only the later Sierra Games (VGA with the point and click interface) and ported them to the Nintendo DS. Use the 2nd screen for inventory items and maybe a map. The interface is perfect and the graphics would look pretty decent on a screen that size. Sell the games online on the Wii Shop console sort of like episodes (think what they did with the Sam & Max sieries). I think a project like this would be small enough that someone capable could take it upon themselves to do it and present a finished product to Activision Blizz. Heck just give it to them and cross you fingers they use it.
From their perspective I guess they don’t like to touch the brands as they beleive it would dillute the brand value. Maybe they plan to actually sell the Ip one day or release later compilations, or perhaps its a conflict with existing agreements (i.e., gametap) who knows….
August 23, 2009 at 9:39 am #26726
Been a while since I posted here, although I have been keeping up with the posts (somewhat). As a side note, greetings to ck and Randy. I’d like to assure you guys that I’m NOT dead, and I’ll try not to take those comments personally <grin>. And my middle initial IS “T”, but thankfully, it doesn’t stand for “Tiberius”. And I premiered 6 years before the series, so I guess Mr. Roddenberry didn’t have his glasses on when he read the birth certificate.
I still firmly believe that a market exists, or could be created with VERY little effort. I’m so very tired of the same game being repackaged in different characters/artwork. “Resistance” is “Call of Duty” with aliens instead of Nazis, etc. There aren’t any games out there that really require any creative thought, or have the biting humor that made SQ in all it’s incarnations such a hit.
I was never a fan of the mouse driven episodes. The interface never seemed as much fun as the joystick/text combination. I was also a little disappointed by the more complex artwork. It WAS more sophisticated, to be sure, and beautifully rendered, but it somehow lacked the charm of the “cubistic” renderings. (I still get tickled thinking about the “ZZ Top Blues Brothers” in the original; or the Alien awkwardly stalking Roger down the corridor, intent on a romantic interlude). Subtle, but funny stuff.
Either of you guys remember “Lands of Lore” ? That was rather interesting, even though it wasn’t a huge hit. The Robin Hood adventure, “Conquest of the Long Bow” I think it was called, held the same kind of promise that any of the other games held back then, although it lacked “The Two Guys from Andromeda” sense of humor. And I think EA was responsible for “Starflight”, which even though monotonous, was still entertaining in it’s own way. It STILL required more thought than the “point, shoot, and slaughter” games of today.
I think, (and most certainly HOPE), that if this generation of gamers were presented with something “new and different”, (notice the twinge of sarcasm), that they would most likely respond. The one thing that 99% of all gamers, then and now, have in common is the desire to place themselves IN the game. And requiring thought to solve the puzzles AND having an interactive mode makes that easy. It doesn’t really require thought to steal a car, beat up some hookers, or destroy a city with a coded tank like in “GTA” It also doesn’t take a lot of thought to beat the crap out of either a computer character, or your buddy’s character like in “Mortal Kombat” or “Street Fighter” or any of a hundred other titles all with the same basic engine. (I DO concede to the manual dexterity aspect of these games, however).
Maybe I’m a relic – but I LIKE to think. I also like to laugh and chuckle. And those elements are exactly what are missing in today’s games. Yeah, the graphics are impressive – so what. Yeah, the moves are so complex that only kids can pull ’em off – so what. There’s no sense of triumph of having solved the riddle, or the satisfaction of having shared the joke with, or matched wits with the likes of Scott and Mark. I can almost guarantee that some software company somewhere would be stepping into a goldmine if they would run with the idea.