July 9, 2004 at 12:26 am #20862
Ok, I’ve heard:
Mystery House- First Computer Game with graphics
KQ1- First 3D game
KQ4- First game to use speakers, first game with a female protagonist
KQ5- First game to have voices and first on CD-ROM
Are any of these true?
July 13, 2004 at 6:30 pm #20863
(re: What did Sierra do first?) I think, basically, yes, though I’m sure there are some qualifications for some of these. One of the history buffs will have to answer that one. I haven’t got all that stuff in my head right now.
Brandon ~ SierraGamers.com admin team ~
July 14, 2004 at 12:35 am #20864
(re: What did Sierra do first?)
Kings Quest 5 was the first VGA game in the industry. Mystery House was the first game ever to use graphics.
July 14, 2004 at 5:38 am #20865
(re: What did Sierra do first?)
> Mystery House- First Computer Game with graphics
Of course, this is not the first computer game with graphics. For example, Akalabeth (prequel to Ultima) was created in 1979, and released a few months before Mystery House.
But Mystery House was indeed the first *adventure* game with graphics.
> KQ1- First 3D game
Not at all here. I think King’s Quest was the first *adventure* game where you can move the character on screens that are often called 2.5D. The graphics use front-back 2D objects priorities to show the characters in front or behind things, but it is still 2D. I’m not sure, but I also think King’s Quest was the first adventure game with animation and sound.
Games in 3D are a lot older. For example, Flight Simulator used a true (although very simple) 3D engine.
King’s Quest was the first “3D Animated Adventure Game”, which is basically an adventure game using the AGI or SCI engine.
> KQ4- First game to use speakers,
I suppose you mean sound cards. If this is “better sound than the PC speaker, using a dedicated sound chip”, then there has been plenty of games using complex multi-channel musics and sounds before. All Commodore 64 games for example. Laserdisc games (Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, …) had pretty rich sound as well, back in 1983, because it was simply CD-quality pre-recorded sound.
On the PC, when using a PCjr/Tandy 1000, Sierra games all used 3-voice sounds and musics (plus noise channel) since King’s Quest in 1984.
If you mean an add-on sound card for IBM PC-compatible computers, then there has also been earlier games. For example, MobyGames.com lists Airball as making use of the CMS Game Blaster sound card. Both the game and the sound card were released in 1987, before the Adlib sound card was released.
Still, King’s Quest IV is definitely the first Sierra game to support PC add-on sound cards, and it is also possible that it was the first game to support some of them, or at least so many of them.
> first game with a female protagonist
With a leading female protagonist, maybe (at least in an adventure game), but “Maniac Mansion” and “Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders” from Lucasfilm Games both featured female protagonists in 1987. In Zak, you take control of Zak, the main protagonist (male) and 3 other female protagonists, alternatively.
> KQ5- First game to have voices
Probably first game to have so many fully pre-recorded voices.
But some games have featured voices since the early 80’s, and some games (for example Mortville Manor, Maupiti Island and I think Explora) have featured synthesized voices throughout the whole game at least as early as 1988, and sometimes in 3 languages! (French, English, German)
> and first on CD-ROM
See my other post on the subject:
Of course, I may be wrong for a number of points developed here, so please correct me if you have better information or knowledge.
July 14, 2004 at 5:50 am #20866
(re: What did Sierra do first?) > Kings Quest 5 was the first VGA game in the industry.
Not true as well. For example, Mean Streets by Access Software (now Microsoft) featured full 256-color VGA graphics, as well as real actors and digitized voices, sounds and musics coming out of the standard PC speaker, in 1989!
Many other games were making some use of VGA ealier, but most of the time in only 16 colors (with palette).
July 21, 2004 at 1:46 am #20867
(re: What did Sierra do first?)
Man, I feel so disillusioned now…
I was so sure that Sierra had been the first to do all sorts of big things in the gaming industry, and now it seems to be just a step behind the rest…
Is there anything Sierra DID do first? I heard that the Mixed-Up Mother Goose CD was the first multimedia CD, but I’m starting to doubt this as well…
July 21, 2004 at 3:43 am #20868
(re: What did Sierra do first?) I believe Sierra was the first company to publish hintbooks that required a special viewer in order to actually read the hintbook. The hintbooks for the first couple of KQ games were small handbooks that were typed in black ink for puzzle titles and other headers and a 90% transparent ink for puzzle solutions that was only legible when the reader used a piece of cardboard with a rectangle-shaped “window” made out of red celophane (same material used to make those wierd 3D glasses u get when u see a 3D movie).
The size of the “window” was only big enough to show one line at a time, so you could get hints/solutions for the puzzle you are stuck on without seeing the solutions to other puzzles (unless you moved the “window” down).
Other hintbooks at the time did not utilize such an innovate process. The Universal Hint System (UHS) program is based around the same concept.
I will also issue a correction on what others have said about Alkalabeth being the first computer game to feature “graphics”. Mystery House was indeed the first computer game to feature graphics. Alkalabeth was created by Richard Garriot as part of his Computer Science curriculum and did not hit shelves until July 1980 (Mr Garriot speaks about this in an interview on the Ultima Collection CD-ROM as well as a book published in the mid 80’s about the Ultima series from 0 to 6). Mystery House, on the other hand, was on shelves in May 1980.
As for the first game to feature VGA graphics, that paticular honor goes to the game “The Colony”, published by Mindscape in 1988. It’s easy to overlook this game, as most times when you think VGA, you think 256 color graphics. While the 256-color palette is awesome, you also have to remember that VGA was lightyears ahead of EGA in terms of resolution. While “The Colony” did not feature 256 color graphics, it was the first game to take advantage of the higher resolution options VGA gave.
As a note of trivia, Sierra’s VGA games ran at a resolution of 360×300. I believe Sierra didn’t switch to 640×480 resolution until the Windows 95 version of KQVII was released.
-David “Oberon” Reese
July 22, 2004 at 4:40 am #20869
(re: What did Sierra do first?) >KQ1- First 3D game
>>Not at all here. King’s Quest was the first “3D Animated Adventure Game”, which is basically an adventure game using the AGI or SCI engine.
>KQ4- First game to use speakers,
>>I suppose you mean sound cards.
All I have to say to you is Picky, Picky!
When I said 3D, I meant how Graham could go behind or in front of other objects and I don’t know the right term for it, but they used to call it 3D. And when I said “Use Speakers”, I meant that it was the first game where you could use speakers instead of the one inside of the PC tower that had horrible sound. I am a geek, but DEFINETLY not a tech one.
July 22, 2004 at 5:44 am #20870
(re: What did Sierra do first?) > Alkalabeth was created by Richard Garriot as part of his
> Computer Science curriculum and did not hit shelves until
> July 1980
OK, thanks, I didn’t know that. So Mystery House is probably the first commercial computer (that is not console) game with graphics. Still, the first computer game with graphics (non commercial) dates back 1958. Here’s an interesting timeline:
> you also have to remember that VGA was lightyears ahead
> of EGA in terms of resolution
Well, not much actually. VGA does 640×480 in 16 colors (with a palette of 262144 colors), whereas EGA does 640×350 in 16 colors (with a palette of 64 colors). Still, the EGA card requires 256KB of video memory to be able to display this resolution, and a specific monitor is also required (a CGA monitor can only display 200 lines, so most games only used the 320×200 resolution).
> As a note of trivia, Sierra’s VGA games ran at a
> resolution of 360×300.
I may be completely wrong, but I’d say it was the standard 320×200 resolution.
> I believe Sierra didn’t switch to 640×480 resolution
> until the Windows 95 version of KQVII was released.
CD-ROM versions of King’s Quest VI, Gabriel Knight and Leisure Suit Larry 6 featured some 640×480 graphics (at least for the objects and the dialog close-ups).
July 22, 2004 at 6:02 am #20871
(re: What did Sierra do first?) > When I said 3D, I meant how Graham could go behind or in
> front of other objects and I don’t know the right term
> for it, but they used to call it 3D.
Well, I think Sierra indeed invented this kind of adventure game graphics presentation (which is 2.5D as I said earlier) which I think suits the genre very well, even to this day with Syberia (which uses 3D environments rendered to 2D, with 3D characters).
BTW, anyone knows who came up in the first place with this idea of a character walking/swimming/climbing on the screen at Sierra?
> And when I said “Use Speakers”, I meant that it was the
> first game where you could use speakers instead of the
> one inside of the PC tower that had horrible sound.
So that’s what I thought. And there were earlier games. But maybe King’s Quest IV was the first game to include a musical score composed by a professional musician coming from outside the gaming industry? Anyone knows about this?