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  • in reply to: KQ4 AGI #22955

    If anyone is interested in a copy of KQIV AGI I’m willing to share with those who haven’t had luck finding it on the net.

    It’s only about (1.24 Mb), included in the file i have is also a note on how to bypass the copy protection screen with a simple keystroke.


    in reply to: Question for Ken: Who owns classic Sierra IP now? #25930

    From ATVI 10k filling for the CYE 12/31/2008

    ‘As part of our restructuring and integration efforts,
    we have exited or are winding down several of Vivendi Games’ legacy
    studios or businesses, including Vivendi Games Mobile, and Sierra
    Online, to achieve synergies and form the streamlined organization of
    Activision Blizzard. Our goal is to substantially exit or wind
    down these divisions by June 2009 to maximize synergies.’

    Considering what Ken said about being offered the Company recently, it seems to me that ATVI might still have the bulk of the Sierra Online properties.  I would think the IP rights for the original Quest adventure games could go for pretty cheap considering they haven’t done anything with them for years.

    You are right it doesn’ seem that they announce any agreements with the individual titles, its unclear to me if they actually sold the Larry IP to codemasters (makes sense that they would since it is clear they have no interest in the franchise).  Looks like the new LSL is a total disaster, which is great news!  I’m saying this because maybe this will drive down the value on the IP so much that Al Lowe could get it back (thats if he would be interested).

    Nice investigating with the Gabriel Knight and Quest for Glory, you could be on to something, I hope!   Like you said it probably is up to the buyer and in this industry discretion seems to be important.  I can totally see Quest for Glory being valuable given todays RPG market.  I guess we can only wait and see.

    in reply to: Question for Ken: Who owns classic Sierra IP now? #25929

    I believe Leisure Suit Larry may have been sold, as the latest LSL (“Box Office Bust”) was recently published by Codemasters (http://www.codemasters.com/games/?pid=347).

    I’m not sure your comment about Activision-Blizzard legally being obligated to announce any sales is necessarily true.  This may in fact be up to the new owner’s discretion, not Activision-Blizzard.  Case and point: Codemasters (not Activision) announced that it would be publishing the new Leisure Suit Larry game.  To give you another example, when Ubisoft picked up the Might and Magic franchise from 3DO a few years ago, Ubisoft made the announcement (and at its convenience), not 3DO.

    Why I think Sierra’s other IP may have been sold: before (and shortly after) the big merger, http://www.questforglory.com and http://www.gabrielknight.com both redirected to http://www.sierra.com (and eventually http://www.activision.com).  However if you type-in these addresses now, neither website redirects to anything anymore.

    in reply to: Would you Ken? #25924

    Ahh what great nostalgia! I have very fond memories growing up with these games. For me it was Kings Quest V that started it all for me, I’d just turned 13 when it came out and 256 colors was a big deal, then we heard the game with a Sound Blaster! woo hoo sound baby (not being sarcastic, I thought it was the coolest thing ever seriously). No game before or after ever captivated me in the same way, the whole family would get together a few hours a day to try and solve the puzzles, I’d say (IMO) that was very close to the peak of quality from Sierra (KQ6 was excellent as well). I never really cared for the SCI 32 engine used later on in KQ7, just didn’t have the same feel went too far off into another direction, wasn’t KQ to me anymore and the animated style just didn’t work for me. Although I think the SCI 32 cell animation did work with LSL7, which to me was a good fit with the style/feel of the series.

    I completely respect Ken’s decisions and even have more respect for the fact that he actually disclosed the fact he was offered a chance to buy the company back (he could have easily just not said anything, but for respect of his fans perhaps he doesn’t want to give us false hope). All good things do come to an end sometimes, we always want to hold on to the good things in the past and perhaps change what we might think were previous mistakes. We all know things got real ugly in the years following the original sale of the company to CUC. I think things started back when they went public (yes it was good for the growth of the business, but the core of the company started to unravel). It was the end of a great time in the gaming times have changed and we have to remember the good times.

    Capitalism is what happened! Things change technology changes, the markets change. I don’t believe Sierra could ever come back to the size it was before, perhaps a much smaller niche gaming company/project that would start off with one small project and then stay small.

    The price was probably not right for this (sale of Sierra to back to Ken) and as Ken says the timing is not right for him or the economy. You have to take a step back and think Ken is a human being just like the rest of us and more than entitled to enjoy his life and family as he sees fit. I’d like to see anyone take themselves out of retirement and risk their life savings on a 2nd chance, there are more thing to life than a 2nd go at it . Another thing we might overlook is how much time and effort it takes to run a successful business, it took years for the Ken and Roberta to put that workforce together and build that goodwill.

    Don’t get me wrong I would absolutely love it if they made some form of a comeback. My pitch on a comeback would be to stick with what works and the simple beauty of the original games, forget all the latest and the greatest software rendering technology (I hated KQ Mask of Eternity even thought it seems to have been a commercial success) . Come to a licensing agreement with no upfront fees (lowering initial capital cost) to use one of the original IPs (i.e., Kings Quest). Then work your magic to raise some capital and put together a team that can do it as a side project. Now the target market is very niche, id say its mostly men now ages 30-50 who enjoyed the original games. What do they/we like the originals, text is ok, 2d is fantastic, pixilated even better, old school, the real magic is the story and the puzzles. You can leverage today’s technology to come out with fantastic retro tittles that I think could be economically reasonable to make (bad analogy, but think how South Park cartoon creators use software engines similar to those used in the making of Jurassic Park to make cut and paste looking animation – what used to take them days before to animate now only takes hours). I know I love the old school, I recently started playing KQ5 again and tried out the Roland Midi sound and the CD version and actually didn’t like it, reverted to the good old original and loved it. Even in these tough economic times I would dish out the cash to buy good old Sierra magic.
    Basically the simple classic ingredients model, no fluff. Simple and cheap, not looking to make it rich just pay for itself and maybe a little extra without killing yourself putting it together.

    I wonder if Ken would give me an informed opinion if a project like this would/could ever happen in today’s world you being expert (me the BS speculator).

    in reply to: Question for Ken: Who owns classic Sierra IP now? #25928

    I think I can answer you question without having to do any specific research (pulling from my experience/knowledge of finance merger/acquisitions). From the nature of the deal (i.e., merger) in which perhaps stock is swapped there is no actual transaction of assets, rather an exchange of ownership (i.e., equity).   Typically all the assets (including intangible assets (aka IP) would remain with the newly formed merged company.  Now if this had been an acquisition of assets (asset deal vs. stock deal) then the IP could have or could have not been transferred.  one would think if certain IP would not have been sold in this case the seller would later use this IP or sell it to a 3rd party.

    I think we would have heard something by now if the IP was sold to any other 3rd parties.

    Of course I could be wrong, but i think this is the more likely scenario.


    EDIT:  Sorry i read your other post and did some further research, I didn’t find anything about any selling off of t Sierra IP in the filling by Blizzard Activision.  Being a public company i beleive a transaction of this nature would have to be disclosed unless it was not considered material.

    in reply to: Jones in the Fast Lane… FLASH version #26495

    I didn’t write it, to be able to smartly comment. But, it does seem harder then the original version.

    in reply to: liontaur sketch/picture #22699

    strange, i remember seeing this exact same sketch myself very long ago..

    im thinking i saw this sketch in a magazine of interaction when they were showing very early production sketches of quest for glory 5.

    in reply to: QFG1 FULL FACS MANUAL on it’s way! #22611

    Hey everyone, its me again Brent.

    Just wanted to say that im sorry that i had never gotten by to actually uploading those quest for glory scans.  I really had intended to have that all done, but for some reason i just couldnt get the plan to work out for me.  I know that this message was done like 6 yrs ago, which was also like the last logon that ive actually done to this site.  Kinda sad.  Sorry Again but i would like to redirect you to someone who has already done this favor and also who deserves full credibility for it (cant think of his actual name as of now, but im sure he is notated for in the downloads section).  Here are the actual full quest for glory manual scans for games 1-5 i believe.   Sorry it took so long to do this, but when i came back up again on this, remembering, i felt i needed to make up for it somehow.  Even though these scans, like i’ve said, were not compiled by me, they are still free source and i would like to make sure every fan of the series has their chance at having their own copies!  😀


    the link to the quest for glory archive (the manuals are all available, just right click and save as over the picture and itll save as the complete .pdf of that manual as scanned)


    the link to the actual homepage, of which, deserves full credability to and also a great source for all things sierra is the Sierra Vault Archives!



    yes, keep questing

    (yes, i was shadowtitus@msn.com)

    in reply to: Jones in the Fast Lane… FLASH version #26494

    Nice work! Did you boost up the game’s AI? Maybe it’s just me, but the game feels harder to beat than it used to…

    in reply to: Shadows disk version install #22702

    It is in the INSTALL.SCR file, but this board seems to no longer let you upload.

    in reply to: Various Things #21081

    Yeah? I had those boxes and such forever. But everything now Is on my hard drive. I have every Sierra game there is up til Ken took off 🙂 LOL

    in reply to: Videogame music site #21318

    Yeah its not bad. But for me well..I am not into the screaming guitar remakes of Castlevania and such. I like the old style.

    in reply to: Would you Ken? #25923

    I still play a few of the Sierra games that I have not yet ever had the chance to fiddle with.
    After playing games of the new day its hard to even handle the old EGA graphics but I enjoy it anyway.
    I have the dream system I wanted now when I was 14 with the Roland MT-32 to hear the sounds and play the games exactly like I wanted to back then.
    I am like a 68 year old man that bought a old car to just “remember” – well im actually 33 🙂

    in reply to: Would you Ken? #25922


    Very well said!  The current state of the computer gaming industry can be summed up with your comment that ‘the core elements of good storytelling are the same now as they’ve ever been’.  That is exactly why the cookie cutter clone titles sit on the shelves as fewer and fewer people even bother to see what’s available. 

    Fortunately for Jane Jensen there is a company that seems to “get it”.  I can’t even express how excited I am for Gray Matter to hit the shelves.  She’s not using multiplayer, online play, or any other unnecessary “features” to sell her game.  Just a darn good story.  In a sense it will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen and yet for any Sierra fans, it will like hopping on a bike again after 10 years.

    You’re right that no company appreciates the value of Sierra’s brand, heritage, characters, and stories.  It seems like such a simple concept.  If Activision isn’t going to take advantage of this immense opportunity then sell it to someone who will.  All the buyer has to do is grant licenses for their use.  Then Jane can make her GK4.  Then the fans can have their LSL8 or their Space Quest 7. 

    Ken might look around and think he’s been ‘gone’ for so long he’s no longer relevant.  But I admire Sierra for accomplishing a simple yet difficult goal.  They instilled a solid brand loyalty in a huge fan base that is, for many of us, as strong today as it was 10 years ago. 

    Look at the Sierra remake projects from AGD Interactive.  Look at Quest Studios.  Look how much used games go for on eBay.  Look at the petition sites for new Sierra games.  Look at how many people have worked together to get an old Sierra game working on Windows XP or Vista.  Ask how many people still play old Sierra games because today’s offerings just don’t cut it. 

    Then you tell me if Ken Williams is still relevant today.

    in reply to: Would you Ken? #25921

    Hey Ken,

    I was just wondering whether you knew who owns Sierra now.  I know Vivendi merged with Activision, but it seems like this new mega-publisher has been letting many of its studios go (e.g. Massive Entertainment was sold to Ubisoft).

    I would imagine that most of the people using these forums would like to know who ended up with classic Sierra IP after the merger (i.e. King’s Quest, Gabriel Knight, Quest for Glory, ect.).  Do you have any idea?  Also, I know the new Leisure Suit Larry was picked up by Codemasters… does this mean Codemasters now owns the entire LSL property?

    It would be interesting to see who picked up Sierra’s other popular franchises…. if it was by a company interested in properly reviving our favorite Sierra series, we fans may actually have something to look forward to.

    in reply to: Would you Ken? #25920

    Hi Ken,

    I know I’m a little late to the thread, but I’d like to echo the sentiments of the other poster who thanked you for being so forthright and patient with the fans. Heaven knows you don’t *have* to do this, or answer the same questions over and over, but I’m so glad that you choose to do it. Sierra was this great, legendary organization for so long; it’s good to be able to fill in the historical blanks and know what really happened, even if we don’t always like the answers.

    I’d just gotten used to Sierra being dead and gone, so it’s kind of heartbreaking to think that you had the chance to get your hands on it again but things didn’t work out. That would have a certain poetic drama to it – a revered institution clutched from the jaws of certain death. But as so many others have said, I certainly understand your reasons. There’s no reason to come off the boat and throw yourself back into that world of headaches again. But although you’re right that game publishing has changed a lot and is very expensive now, I think you don’t give yourself enough credit by saying you’re too old to be relevant. Good taste doesn’t go away, and although game engines and mechanics have changed a lot since your Sierra days, the core elements of good storytelling are the same now as they’ve ever been.

    Besides, if I’m not mistaken, after Sierra really took off, you weren’t actually writing and designing the games yourself – you were handling back-of-house and technical issues. There’s nothing to say you couldn’t still take an executive producer role, guiding the overall product while letting individual development teams do the heavy lifting. You can always hire young and hungry developers, and guide them with the knowledge you’ve gained over the years.

    Nor would a new Sierra have to be the biggest publisher in the business – look at all the development houses that do perfectly respectable business by producing only small adventure games. A new Sierra with reasonable investment could do the same thing but much better, and would have a wealth of ready-to-go intellectual properties to use in games. I see all these run-of-the-mill adventure games on the shelf and they all kind of look the same, but if I saw a Space Quest or Laura Bow mystery it would really grab my eye. Sierra also always had a variety of products that embraced a far wider range of themes that are used today; all those low-budget adventures tread the same water over and over again. There’s nothing really diverse like Gold Rush!, Code Name: Iceman or the like.

    I guess that the main reason I hate to see Sierra slip through your fingers is that no one is going to wind up with these IPs that understands their value. While people can debate whether the original games are still relevant in this flashy, 3-D world (I still love them, although I’m biased), the characters – Graham, Larry, Roger W., Gabriel Knight, etc. – are still as fascinating as they ever were. Games these days – even fun and entertaining ones – have a shortage of really interesting personalities. Sierra had this in spades, and it’s something that I think could still be valuable.

    Of course, although this has turned into a sermon/sales pitch, I know your mind is made up and I can certainly understand why. I just didn’t want you to walk away while giving yourself and your old team too little credit – if you had decided to go that route, I do think you could have made it work. I also think that these aren’t dusty irrelevant properties, but are still perfectly viable and could be much-loved again today.

    Anyway, it’s not that I’m saying you *should* have done it – just that I think it *could* have been a success if you had wanted to pursue it.

    Thanks as always for this forum and site,


    in reply to: Wizard and the Princess #21316

    Ken’s on a boat!

    Hello Ken and Roberta Williams. Greetings from a long time fan here!

    Not sure if  you remember me, but I did see you once with my father on what was my 2nd tour of Sierra Online building  in Oakhurst. I wrote fan letters to you and Roberta when Kings Quest V was big and became a favorite game. Got signed replies as well –that was very exciting!  I remember I was stuck in the computer room and could not wait to get home from school to restore my last saved game! One of my first trips to Yosemite was on my way to Oakhurst -now I keep going to Yosemite as much as I can every summer — love it there. If you lived in that area for so long I’d like to know if you miss it.

    I still play computer games and often visit the Quest Studio’s website to download MIDI files composed using the Roland MT-32 sound module. I could never afford $500 for one of those things when I was just 14, but later found one online with the original box and all for dirt cheap.

    Aside from being able to manipulate my own role in a story, the best part of Sierra games for me was the music. Something came out of me when I began to learn about how it was put together. Now I have become very involved in electronic music. I now run an Internet radio station called ‘Evolved.fm Radio’ – http://www.evolved.fm. &  http://vhost.desync.com/evolved.pls  Is link to tune in. It is a commercial free 160k MP3 stream and even put my own sets on the air. It has been around since 2001 and I have a lot of fun with it.

    I have been checking out your boat page on nordhavn68.com. That looks so cool.  You even have a Leo perch at the front! (like the Movie Titanic). If you ever bring that vessel of yours up along the California coast –bring me out to DJ for a boat party and I’ll mix-up some Sierra tunes with some beats in my set! 🙂

    You must be having so much fun. I can’t wait to read over your blog entries to come.


    A great video called ‘I’m on a Boat’ From Saturday Night Live – (just for fun)

    in reply to: Wizard and the Princess #21315

    Actually, I should mention that Roberta and I are about to embark on a wild adventure.

    To see what we’ll be up to, check this out:




    I’ll be sending out a daily blog along the way, and it should be worth reading:


    -Ken W

    in reply to: Wizard and the Princess #21314


    Have you read the book Hackers, by Steve Levy? It was written about Sierra around the time you describe, and is really the best reference.

    That said, it isn’t a very flattering portrayal. The author felt I was a villain for trying to profit from the sale of software, which he thought should be free. I’m portrayed as an evil capitalist exploiting a herde of creative geniouses. He also depicts what happens when you take a lot of kids in their 20s, and give them more money than common sense.

    Overall though, it’s a very well written, and fun to read book, and does capture that time in history; all that was good about it, and all that wasn’t.

    -Ken W

    in reply to: help…. #23361

    My bad.  His site.

    in reply to: Police Quest time warping #27698

    I suppose it was part of an attempt to retcon some time elements from the previous game: the first Police Quest, if I remember correctly, took place around 1984-1985, according to dates given within the game itself. The second game tried to bring events closer to the year of the game’s release (1988), so it changed some dates – but obviously, nobody kept track of this to make sure it goes all the way (the third game, I think, also pushes the entire timeframe a few years forward). I suppose such mistakes are more obvious when it comes to games that take place in the “real world”, like PQ, as opposed to games like King’s Quest or Space Quest.

    in reply to: help…. #23360

    No, The Sierra Help Pages is my site. Tawm only hosted it for a while on his site, Tawmis.com. I moved SHP to its own domain, http://sierrahelp.com last fall. I am the author of the patches and new installers that I have on SHP. I did make Tawm an admin for my forums, but the site is mine.

    in reply to: Would you Ken? #25919

    If Ken started making computer games again I would lose my job, my wife would leave me and my dogs would starve to death.

    Sail on, big man.  Sail on.

    in reply to: help…. #23359

    Hey big guy – I feel your pain.  Almost all of the old Sierra games have some technical… challenges.

    When I run into problems with any of the Sierra games I consult with the expert… Tawmis.  He runs a set of webpages and has written scads of patches, updates and general hint tips to make playing on modern computers possible.

    Sierra Help Pages

    If you can’t find what you need there, swing back by here or over at Sierra Forums and I’ll try to help you out.  I check “my” area of the forums (SierraVault) once every few days, here a little less.

    Sierra Forums

    Good luck.  Kings Quest 8 was a great game.  I’ll probably get run out of the Sierra community for saying so but I enjoyed it, warts and all.

    in reply to: Would you Ken? #25918

    Thanks for sharing with us, Ken.  Since the deal with Activision, there hasn’t been much mention of what will happen to the Sierra brand.

    I appreciate your patience and openness with your legions of fans.  I’m sure you’ve answered the “will you come back?” question hundreds of times now.  We love Sierra so much we can’t help but hold a tiny place in our heart for the “what if?”

    However, I understand if it doesn’t make business sense to buy back your brand and try to restart a company.  Sierra was born and raised at a very special time by a very special group of people.  Although Sierra would be at the top of their game today if you were still in charge, you can’t fire the company back up and expect the same magic to just fall into place now.  

    That said, the loyalty and devotion of Sierra’s fans is something that can never be taken away.  I believe that under the right leadership, Sierra could make a very exciting come back.  The computer game market today is a joke, it is ready to be revitalized. 

Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 6,534 total)