October 16, 2007 at 11:35 pm #25835
Ken & Roberta,
I’m not sure why it’s taken me 23 years to contact you, but it has. I’m having trouble finding the words, so if I seem a bit disjointed, I apologize. I can say for sure that it may seem odd to most people that computer games could influence someone’s life so much, but seeing all the posts here confirms it – I’m not the only one.
When I was 5, we had The Black Cauldron for our Tandy 1000HX. I remember playing it with my dad and hiding under the desk in anxiety when we’d walk Hen Wen to the Fair Folk, because the Gwythaint showing up randomly sent me into fits of hysterics. My parents bought me Mixed-Up Mother Goose for the same system, and I was hooked.
My first King’s Quest was III, To Heir is Human. Again, Mananan’s random appearances would startle me so much I’d yelp. I was so terrified of being caught. These games got under my skin like television never could. I remember it was when IV came out that i realized the series was created by a woman (yay for me, I read the box). I was so inspired. I was 8 years old, and I knew what I wanted to be. My friends all wanted to be ballerinas and astronauts, but I wanted to make video games. And play them. All day. I started to write a script for KQV, and it was going to be Valanice’s adventure, since she hadn’t had one yet. I never finished it.
In high school I expressed an interest in programming, and intended to follow that path until it lead me to a place like Sierra. Some boys I knew who were self proclaimed “hackers” would discourage me, telling me, “girls can’t code.” But I was determined. Our unit on “high-res” graphics (it was AppleBasic) and animation was fascinating but an ungodly manual process that made me rethink the “future in computer game design,” but the fixation with the code remained.
I went to university and majored in Computer Science – in any given class, i was one of maybe 4 girls out of 30 students. I made it out, and in the smaller winter graduation of 2001, I was the only girl recieving a Bachelor of Science.
I eventually ended up a Microsoft .NET Developer in Michigan – a far cry from making video games in California, but I’m okay with it. The whole point of this story isn’t my boring rise to Developerdom – it’s to let you, Roberta, know that you were the inspiration for my career path. I love what I do, and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. Thank you for being made of awesome. Ken, thank you too. Thank you both for setting me on a path to doing what I love.
October 21, 2007 at 2:15 pm #25836
I can fully relate to her sentiments. They echo the story of my own growing-up tale.
I too was affected by your games, all of which oriented my future studies and career aspirations. I went through a sleu of odd-jobs through college until I was able to land a entry-level job working for Blizzard Entertainment, a large video game company. Sadly it wasn’t my original dream of working for Sierra On-Line during the golden era, but living in California allows me to go see where it all I got started. I always wanted to live in the Oakhurst area, but haven’t had the chance to do so. But, I’m still working toward that dream, and hopefully one day I will achieve it. I am always doing my best to do all that I can to get there, and I wish everyone who reads this the very same. We all have dreams, and some that we hopefully all share. Hopefully the Sierra titles are a piece that shaped your everyday lives, for I know they were a crucial piece of mine.
Thanks Ken and Roberta for helping shape the future of generations to come.
October 25, 2007 at 4:35 pm #25837
I am sitting here in IT Database Systems class reading these post. Sierra pointed me towards the computer field too but it is sure taking some time. I wonder if more Sierra fans work their way into the VU Company if real change could happen with the games they produce? Less shoot-fest and more Adventure!
August 26, 2008 at 9:00 am #25838
Same here….Played the games when i was a kid…..
And here i am working for a computer company programming away (in Israel….played the games in South Africa as a kid)
So here is another kid that made it into the computer world….