February 10, 2004 at 9:23 pm #20481
I sometimes hope that someone would make the following titles:
kings quest 9
quest for glory 6
gabriel knight 4
but my question is: the creators of the original games…..which of them are still working for sierra? and did they want to make new titles?
July 27, 2004 at 2:51 pm #20482
(re: What about new sequels?) I believe it all came down to corporate decisions. If a game didn’t sell (e.g. Phantasmagoria 2 and Torin’s Passage), or if it did sell well but didn’t fit into new corporate strategy (e.g. more Laura Bow and Conquests games), then a sequel didn’t get made.
Although, already by the early nineties Sierra seemed to be moving away from its adventure game company roots. During this diversification process, the focus shifted from producing adventure games to trying out many different products and genres. In my opinion, this decision was to some extent behind the slump in quality of Sierra products experienced in the mid nineties. (Because of a lack of focus on its core product / audience.)
July 27, 2004 at 6:08 pm #20483
(re: What about new sequels?) but my question is: the creators of the original games…..which of them are still working for sierra? and did they want to make new titles?
Hmm, old question, though still interesting I guess. Now of course, with Sierra shut down and with Vivendi having no interest at all in adventure games, none of the creators of the original games are working for Sierra anymore. As for did the creators of the original games want to make new titles? Probably, though there are factors such as Johann mentioned as well as others. Some of the “blame” for the “slump in quality” that you mention Johann may also lie in the changing gaming market and how Sierra’s games were marketed to that market. The early nineties brought some of Sierra’s strongest adventure games – certainly toward the mid-nineties and late-nineties, the effect of the diversification process is more obvious – and this is where we can look back and see how Sierra experimented with taking adventure games to the next level. And I wouldn’t say of any of those games, such as KQ: Mask, KQVII, Phantasmagoria, Torin’s Passage, etc., that they failed as adventure games. That is a controversial statement for sure. I would say instead, that they were indeed experiments of taking adventure games to the next level. It’s only too bad Sierra didn’t get the chance to learn from what they did in those games and keep making adventure games, either sequels, or new adventures. I believe if they would have, they would have perfected the new forms of adventure games that they were exploring, bringing them to the same excellence as they did with the form of games such as Space Quest 4, King’s Quest 6, etc, that had so many years to develop, from the very beginning with the original King’s Quest game.
July 28, 2004 at 5:29 am #20484
(re: What about new sequels?) The way I see it, the Golden Age of adventure games lasted from 1987 – 1994. I believe those titles mentioned by Brandon were (and I reckon this is general adventure gamer opinion) of a lower quality than the Sierra product that went before. Thus I believe that where Sierra initiated the Golden Age, they were also the ones who ended it by releasing a whole clump of lower quality products.
Of course, this Golden Age weren’t only dependant on Sierra’s releases. It seems that many companies who were heavily into making and/or publishing adventure games at that stage released their best product during this time period as well. One can take a look at Lucasfilm Games/Lucasarts, Microprose, Revolution, Dynamix, Infogrames, Delphine, etc.
In the end, I reckon the heavy diversification of product that happened at Sierra in the mid ’90s was a huge mistake. But that may just be me. Their core market was still an adventure game market. But because of a loss of focus, their adventure games released in mid ’90s were of a lower quality than those released during the Golden Age. In a sense, I do believe this directly triggered the short-lived surge in popularity of RPGs in the late ’90s, and that of first person shooters thereafter.
I reckon if Sierra remained focussed on producing high quality adventure games (and thus allowing the market to retain a large percentage of gamers who were primarily interested in this type of gaming), instead of diversifying so heavily, the PC games market might actually have looked very different today.
July 28, 2004 at 6:51 am #20485
(re: What about new sequels?) I don’t think that diversification of product had an effect on the quality of the adventure games, as the games were developed by different teams, usually at different sites. Maybe the Police Quest series was harmed by this diversification, but in reality that series started of brilliantly with 1 and 2 and then was pretty average after that anyway.
I think some games were harmed by management forcing them to be finished by certain dates, e.g. Quest for Glory 4. I also think that the management decisions played a big part in what went wrong at Sierra – series that weren’t huge sellers were subsequently canned, even though the games were brilliant.
And as adventure games became less mainstream/popular, the trigger happy management started making more and more tough calls.
I agree with your point about Sierra could’ve remained concentrated on high-quality adventures etc, but I think by that stage Sierra had become so big, and owned so many other companies that they had to try and keep on being a big player.
July 28, 2004 at 12:24 pm #20486
(re: What about new sequels?) I was talking to a former Sierra 2D animator this weekend who worked on games such as Larry 7 and Torin’s Passage. He made an interesting point that is relevant here. As Sierra started experimenting in different directions adventure games could go, as I pointed out, they had these games with “full” screen animation such as Larry 7 and Torin’s Passage. Unfortunately, as computer processor power increased to make 2D animation more exciting, that same processor power allowed realtime 3D to happen. This goes along with what I said before – Sierra didn’t have a chance to explore the new directions adventure games could go, because the adventure game suffered when realtime 3D was possible and inevitably, the first thing that made money was shooter games.
So I do agree about your diversification point (I think that point was about the market in general and what kind of games Sierra made, not that diversification ruined Sierra series or changed them), and the points about less quality because of management decisions which were ultimately affected by the market… well, the thing is there are just tons of factors at play here, I’m sure they all contributed.
July 28, 2004 at 12:54 pm #20487
(re: What about new sequels?) i agree. the hardware is the major factor in the change in the game market. i am a programmer who does a lot of graphics stuff and i can tell you there is NO hardware support for 2d graphics anymore on graphics cards. thats not to say that it cant be done, but there isnt direct support. in fact, i just downloaded the new directx sdk, which is microsofts high performance graphics interface, and the documentation comes right out and says that microsoft advises against using directdraw, which was the 2d graphics part of the sdk. you can fake 2d in direct3d, but its not that straight forward, and with development times being as long as they are now, no company wants to end up making its own graphics library. thats what directx and opengl are for, so you dont have to do that. i think that a lot of game companies see this kind of thing and think that they have to make it 3d. with nvidia and ati only pushing 3d, than it must be hard to get approval for a 2d game. im not actually a game programmer ( yet:) ) but i cant imagine a major company approving a 2d game anymore. it needs to be flashy and take advantage of all that the 3d hardware has to offer, or it wont sell i guess. or at least they think it wont. there is one exception, which is the gameboy advance. since the hardware is designed for 2d, thats what is made. its funny how that works since the gameboy is capable of some 3d stuff, but there are very few 3d gameboy games.
its natural that the hardware will advance, and eventually we will see 3d games that look as good as pixar movies, at least i think we will, but some really fun gameplay ideas just dont work in 3d. a lot is going to be lost if 2d games dissapear forever. its actually very sad. i love the 3d mario and zelda games, but i long for another 2d one. and i dont think i have played a TRUE adventure game done in 3d, so i dont know if that would be good or not. i personaly prefer the hand drawn 2d background and stuff over the geometrical worlds of today.
July 28, 2004 at 1:13 pm #20488
(re: What about new sequels?) Sure, the GBA platform has a lot of side-scroller games, or other types of games that aren’t realtime 3D. Is that because those games work better on a small screen? Because the GBA’s processing power is better spent on side-scroller games? Because Nintendo (as opposed to PS2 for example) makes more side-scrollers? I’m not always up on the platform market, but I have a GBA (which I love), and you’re right about the type of games.
As for 2D adventures, large companies won’t touch them anymore. You’re right. And thanks for the insight about the programming side of things. You’re also right that there hasn’t been a true realtime 3D adventure game. Either new “adventure” games debatebly do not fit into the genre, or they use pre-rendered backgrounds.
I agree that there is fun to be had in 2D that doesn’t work as well in 3D. I also think though that there is potential for realtime 3D adventure. Watch for the KQ9 fan game. It should be true to form as an advenure game, while being realtime 3D (though I *think* the camera angles are fixed).
July 28, 2004 at 1:20 pm #20489
(re: What about new sequels?) The GBA has a tile-based 2D graphics hardware, which means side-scrollers are the easiest to do. There is absolutely no dedicated 3D hardware in the GBA, although a few tricks can be used. Any 3D must be calculated in software.
As for true 3D adventure games, I’d say Gabriel Knight 3 is one, or am I missing something?
Also, Shenmue is essentially an adventure game (although is blends other genres) and is incredibly beautiful.
July 28, 2004 at 1:49 pm #20490
(re: What about new sequels?) im not sure about GK 3, havent played it. i heard that it was excellent though. the kings quest fan sequel does look great, and also looks to be a true adventure game. i just have doubts about it. same with the space quest and quest for glory fan sequels. great ideas, but i doubt a game will truly ever come from any of those camps. i hope that i am wrong, but i think they are aiming a little too high.
one thing that i am sad about is the announcement of the new nintendo DS and the sony PSP. they are both portable 3d machines. i think the life of 2d games is almost over. although there is hope, the nintendo DS is not the new gameboy, at least thats what nintendo keeps assuring people. so maybe the next gameboy will still have the dedicated 2d hardware.
August 11, 2004 at 10:39 pm #20491
(re: What about new sequels?)
There is, in fact, a team of people working on a King’s Quest IX in order to wrap up the story, and it looks very promising: http://www.kqix.org. (I’m just ticked because I missed the voice auditions for it by about 2 months…) I’ve also heard rumors of a fan-created Space Quest 7, but I haven’t tracked it down yet…
August 12, 2004 at 1:55 am #20492