HOME › Forums › Sierra History › TSN / INN Patents
- This topic has 13 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 16 years, 2 months ago by Unknown,Unknown.
You mentioned in another post that you retain “…broad patents…” regarding the TSN service.
Don’t sell !!! Oh man don’t sell those! License them for a boatload of moolah.
Then you could maybe work in a little side agreement to free TSN / INN from it’s eight year imprisonment.
That would be very cool, sorta like the Phoenix quest in Yserbius.
Just a thought…
(re: TSN / INN Patents) Cyriak:
Even though the INN patents are in my name, all rights to the patent were owned by Sierra. Part of our standard employment agreement was an “invention assignment agreement” which gave all rights to any inventions back to the company.
They are great patents, and someone will make a lot of money off of them, but, unfortunately, it won’t be me…
(re: re: TSN / INN Patents)
The same thing happened to my father. He invented a specialized air conditioning system for large industrial equipment, and the patent was owned by the corporation he worked for. He could be a millionaire today if he owned that patent. So believe it or not, I feel your pain.
Aren’t those sort of agreements legally unenforcable? I mean.. I would think most companies wouldn’t give a hoot if someone uses something they signed away AS LONG AS they didn’t actually make any money off it. 😉
Ahhh… TSN. I met my fiancee (soon to be wife) on there 12 years ago, and we’ve been a couple 10 our of those 12 years. I actually moved from NY to California for her. TSN was the best! I was on it from 1993 until 1996. Was such a shame when it turned into INN, as it seemed to become less fun after that =( I check fauxinn.com often, but the project seems to be stuck. Unfortunately, I ended up in the technical side of IT, not the programming side… although I can do C++ and Java, just not very well 😉 Anybody ever find out whether AOL or whoever will care if it is resurrected? Oh, and Ken, I just wanted to thank you and your wife for all the Sierra games in the 80s… King’s Quest, Hero’s Quest (Still like that name better than QFG) and of course Space Quest! If it weren’t for those, I never would have found TSN, and wouldn’t have found my true love!
(I haven’t signed my name like that since TSN!)
THE ONLY THING THEY SPIT OUT WAS THE KING’S QUESTS. Do not confuse the others. They were all written by separate parties. Quest for Glory was written by the Coles. Leisure Suit was written by Al lowe. Space Quest was written by the guy that got FIRED from sierra back in the 90’s. Get your writers straight!!!
Well, at least it’s official that you didn’t rip your employees off. Sorry for swearing on your site.
I am sure he was thanking them in reference to the fact that they were the founders of Sierra.
Ken was CEO and Executive Produced most of the products.
And Roberta did many other things in addition to writing the King’s Quest series and many other games.
Did Roberta have an offical company title? Other than Game Designer?
To be technically accurate:
Roberta was never ‘officially’ an employee of Sierra.
She was always an independent contractor, and didn’t really have a title, other than ‘independent contractor’. We contracted her for ‘design services’.
Roberta was paid for her games via a royalty on their sales. Both Roberta and the company made a lot of money off of this arrangement.
In addition to her providing design services to the company, she was also on its Board of Directors, where she added tremendous value.
I thought as much. I had heard before that most of the game designers were not under contract or ‘paid employees’. But Naturally assumed Roberta had a tremendous amount of input and would have been on the board. Were any other game designers on the board at one time or another?
Also, I’ve been curious as to whatever happened to Jeff Tunnell. I remember reading back in 91 or 92, that after Willy Beamish he resigned from Dynamix to form his own company to create games exclusively for Dynamix, but never saw anything that indicated his company produced any games for Dynamix…
Jeff Tunnell was still an employee of Dynamix when I left the company. He was running his own game development subsidiary (I forget the name).
I spoke to Jeff a few years ago, and he mentioned that he negotiated a deal with Sierra for the engine from the last game he was working on, and was planning on selling games based on it. I think there was some deal under which his games could be marketed by Sierra (or, Dynamix).
I suggested he package up the engine, and market it to others, and make money selling the engine, rather than building products.
Jeff did this, and has a company going under the name: garagegames.com
As far as I know, he is doing very well.
That’s good to hear. I remember hearing he left to form Jeff Tunnell Productions right around the time Willy Beamish was released. I also remember the same article said that he was working on a sequal before Willy Beamish was released. The article mentioned that it was believed to be the first time in Computer Gaming History production on a sequal began before the first installment was even released. And then nothing…didn’t hear anything else about a sequal or any further Adventure games from Dynamix…
I personally thought the three Dynamix adventure games (Rise Of The Dragon, Heart Of China, and The Adventures Of Willy Beamish) were some of the best written adventure games ever. Why did Dynamix stop producing Adventure games before Sierra did? Were their flight simulator and strategy games just better sellers and a decision was made for them to concentrate on them?
I read that Jeff founded a new company called Garage Games.
Also former members of Impressions started a new company called Timbermill…
The purchase of Impressions brought their work to a larger audience. I probably would never have bought their games if I hadn’t seen the Sierra logo. At first, I thought it was a Sierra game!
The topic of TSN/INN patents came up recently on another discussion forum that I frequent, and we ended up doing a little checking using Google’s patent search.
We only came upon one patent relating to TSN, but it’s an interesting one:
Looks like it was (and still is?) owned by AOL.