October 17, 2003 at 3:08 pm #26613
It’s true. IIRC, the first version of Space Quest 1 didn’t pause the game when you began to type in a command. You would have to be awfully quick typing in those commands (that or queue one up on the line) so you wouldn’t die a horrible death.
Oh the fun we could have with that text parser… *sigh*
October 17, 2003 at 3:43 pm #26614
(Ken, please read this message) I was practically raised on Sierra games, and I really loved them. They were the reason why I bought a PC in the first place. It’s hard to tell quite how much Sierra has meant to me. I know this sounds kind of geeky, but I have to get it out 🙂
I used to fantasy about going to the Sierra HQ in Oakhurst and kept bugging my parents to go there on vacation, but since I live in Norway, it would be quite expensive so we never went to America. I’ve always wanted to meet Ken and Robera in person (and Al Lowe, the two guys from Andromeda etc.) and I still think about it from time to time. So if you read this, Ken, you have to know that you and your wife have meant very much to me through the years.
October 20, 2003 at 1:27 pm #26615
(re: Space Quest taught me to type!) Brian, you’re not alone.
Believe it or not Sierra games also taught me to type. When I first caught wind of what they planned for KING’S QUEST V, my friend Shawn and I quickly dropped Sierra a line saying how bad of an idea this was, and that typing was not only more challenging (rather than clicking wildly on everything on the screen until something was picked up), but it also taught one how to, well, type!
We got the canned response that this was the wave of the future (well, I have to give them credit for being right at least). But I agree. To this day, I prefer playing the older Sierra games that require typing, just because those were the games that presented more of a challenge for me back then.
It’s been a dream of mine to “pull together” a creative team to use the AGI editors and what not to create Sierra type games, and just distribute them for free – just so others can have fun with the games, as I did when Sierra created them…
October 20, 2003 at 4:40 pm #26616
(re: re: Space Quest taught me to type! (text input isn’t dead))
Yeah, Sierra was right about the future gaming especially with the blurring of the lines between multimedia and video games. But, while one part of me feels nostalgic about the “good ole days” I can’t help but feel that there is still room in the world for games that use text commands as input.
I say this because using a computer still requires a large amount of typing. Until some geek out in Silicon Valley comes up with a way to commit our thoughts unto the digital ether via some kind of computer/mind interface (I am sure they are already working on it) typing thoughts in on a keyboard will still be necessary evil of using the computer.
Instant messaging has probably help a lot of people to type faster, but doesn’t necessarily lend it’s self to eloquence. I still believe that there is room for a game based upon text input that can be married up with a more literary subject matter. I’m not talking about reinventing Zork, but instead a game that would require players to read and then use the commands and vocabulary that they’ve learned to complete their tasks.
In all honesty this would be less like a game and more like a teaching tool. The reason I think that it would work is because of all the “learning” software that I’ve used I’ve found both the premise and plot to be over simplistic. Just because a piece of software is supposed to teach players something doesn’t mean it should skimp on story or details.
With all the emphasis placed on getting kids to read, don’t you think it’s time someone wrote a game that taught them to comprehend and think critically? Learning to digest information and use it to solve problems should be equally as important as learning to communicate your thoughts with others. That’s why I feel that the text control scheme still has merit in the modern age of gaming.
October 21, 2003 at 2:30 am #26617
(re: re: re: Space Quest taught me to type! (text input isn’t dead)) Wow, all I can add to that is: Very well said. 🙂
March 23, 2004 at 9:53 am #26618
(re: re: re: re: Space Quest taught me to type! (text input isn’t dead))
SQ’s 1 & 2 also taught me to type, and helped to further my reading skills at the beginning of my education. Hats off to you Ken!