Forum Replies Created
(re: Thanks!) I also “grew up” on Sierra games (or “Quests” as we used to call them here in Israel). My first quest was “The Black Cauldron” which I played to completion when I was eight. How I loved these games! They added a lot to my puzzle solving skills and also to my English! (Back in the day, you had to type… I remember that the word “sculpture” I learnt because I played Leisure Suit Larry 3…). I have to admit, though, that today the games are much harder than they were when I was young. Probably because I have so many games I want to play, and so little time – so I don’t allow myself to get completely drawn into a game…
I have to tell you (Ken) one more thing. When I was young, one of my biggest fantasies was that Sierra will discover I am such an avid gamer and will invite me to work on designing new “Quests”. I remember lying on my bed dreaming up different various quest genres…
(re: copy protection?) Well Frans’ site has had all the SQ manuals for quite some time, including the copy protection, in addition to tons of other stuff, and they haven’t made any action against him so it seems they are not nearly as legal-shark-like as some other companies are about their old adventure games (ahem). Sierra doesn’t sell the games anymore nor do they seem to be making any move to do so again (despite the SQ hopefuls some time ago) so that’s probably part of it, they don’t care, though it would still be their legal right as Ken said.
By the way in the SQ4 space piston the copy pro is pages 8 and 9.
(re: QFG1 FULL FACS MANUAL on it’s way!) The complete QFG1 manual? That’s great, I’m looking forward to this one! 🙂
(re: A new feature) Never mind. Silly me.
(re: Thanks!) I played my first Sierra game (Police Quest 1) when it first came out when I was 5. By 6 I could get through the whole game by myself after watching my dad do it so many times. Playing those games taught me how to read, spell, and how to use a computer. I believe I would fall into that same ‘youth’ category .. I’m only 21 now. But believe me I would buy any game if I knew you were behind it Ken. Do you still play any games that are out now or ever go back through some of the old sierra games? I remember when Iceman came out my dad surprised me with it and when I asked him where he got it he said “Ken Williams dropped it off on the doorstep” I think it’s kinda funny that a kid knew you by name … anyway have fun playing golf and whatever else you do now. James
(re: copy protection?) I can’t speak for Sierra – but, I doubt they would complain. Sierra knows about this board – I’ve discussed it with them in the past. I wouldn’t allow pirated software here, but instruction manuals and images, are ok in my opinion – unless Sierra complains about something – and, then we need to kill it immediately. All rights to everything Sierra-related are owned by Sierra. My sense is that they won’t complain to the extent things are uploaded for historical purposes, but that they will complain if it feels like someone is pirating their stuff, or making them look bad in some way. But, as I said before – even though I ran it for nearly 20 years, that was then, and this is now. I can’t speak for them.
(re: QFG1 FULL FACS MANUAL on it’s way!) It’s a bug I’m in the middle of fixing. It should be fixed tomorrow (late – I’m playing golf in the morning).
For now, you can’t attach a file to a message where you haven’t “unchecked” the “allow comments to be posted”. To get around this, just uncheck this message when posting a new message.
Sorry — try it again tomorrow.
(re: QFG1 FULL FACS MANUAL on it’s way!)
(re: Re: Old page / Interaction / PDFs) I don’t really have anything to say … I just wanted to experiment with the smiley face!
(re: Re: Old page / Interaction / PDFs) ken, yeah, some of my posts got lost, it’s not a problem though.
(re: Re: Old page / Interaction / PDFs) LOL. Actually, if you read my post at the top, you will realize that I deleted a whole bunch of messages.
As I said, the whole thing began to get pretty insane and also screwed up as Ken was changing things, and there wasn’t anything *especially* important, so I just deleted most of it.
(re: Leisure Suit Larry petition) It’s a great game and I would love to see it back again. I have them all and still play them a lot.
(re: Where is everyone now?)
If you look in the links section you’ll find a lot of sites that will tell you about the old designers and what they are doing.
(re: Re: Old page / Interaction / PDFs) What bulletin board transition? Well…. maybe I understand … are you referring to when we went from the crazy indenting forever to this format? I did accidentally lose a bunch of messages then. My fault – sorry.
(re: Re: Old page / Interaction / PDFs) yeah, most of my posts seemed to have disappeared in the great bulletin board transition. 🙂
i’ll send you an email (if i can find your name on the list!) — but mine is
(re: Thanks!) Um, yeah. At risk of sounding like a fanboy with no life (oh wait, I am a fanboy with no life. That’s all right, then), I would just like to say Thanks to everyone involved with this site, and with the making of Old Sierra. I know it’s corny, but old Sierra adventure games were a part of my childhood, and if I have a somewhat hyperactive imagination now I know that in part it’s because of those old adventure games I used to play back in “The Day” (of the tentacle? Oh, wrong company). It’s really nice to see that some fragment of that past is being preserved here. They really “don’t make ’em like they used to.” And speaking as somebody who is still a member of that skateboarding, snowboarding, rap-listening to youth that Mr. Williams was talking about under the Where Is Everyone Now topic, the new “Harder Edge” games just don’t compare. I know this is sort of digressing from the topic here, so I guess my point is…Thank You. A lot.
(Interaction / PDFs update) I just wanted to say, I’ve continued testing and everything is looking great for decent looking stuff at about 10 megs per issue! More info to come soon!
Emily, can you email me? I don’t think any of your old messages are here, and I didn’t see your name in the list so I don’t know what your email is.
(re: Where is everyone now?) Well, Mark Seibert (whose website is in the links area), former musician / producer at Sierra, is working for a new game company in Baltimore called Gentle Revolution Software, making PS2 and PC games. I don’t know of any other former Sierra staff.
I meant to say it before but it seems like Ken is having a great time, playing golf every day!
(re: Where is everyone now?) It is strange that most of the “great designers” from Sierra aren’t doing games anymore. I’ve been trying to think of who is in the industry and really can’t think of anyone (although there probably is someone I’m forgetting).
I had an email from Jim Walls (Police Quest) recently. He said that he had been at Electronic Arts for the last five years doing games. He was finally exiting the business. Jane Jensen is still writing. And beyond that….
I think it comes down to a few things:
1) Sierra had a unique system that has not been copied anywhere. Be it good or bad, Sierra’s “style” was unusual. My opinion was that computer games were like books or records, and that one person should be the “artist” responsible for the product. I always wanted one person on the game who was accountable for everything in the game. I called this person the “designer”. All creative decisions had to be signed off on by the “designer”. If the game succeeded, the designer got to do another game. If it was a hit, their budget got bigger. If it was a disaster, their career was over. This sounds good in concept but is difficult to implement. As game budgets grew over the years, small 5 person teams became 50 or 100 person teams. Each team member wants to leave their creative vision on the project. In my experience, each team member “believes” that they know more than the designer. The art director tends to believe they have a better vision for the art than the designer. The lead programmer tends to believe they understand technology better than the designer. And on, and on. On a small team, one person can make their creative vision for a product happen. On a huge team, the resulting product can become “design by committee”. A large part of my job at Sierra was ensuring that the teams were listening to the designer, and that the products weren’t becoming the work of a corporate bureaucracy. Once I left, the designers found they didn’t have the same level of management support, and the system collapsed. I don’t think many (any?) game companies exist today that really “feature” strong designers.
2) After the sale of Sierra, I think there was a backlash against the “prior regime”. Perhaps there is a reason why many of Sierra’s designers were never offered more projects, but I can’t think of it. I don’t really want to name names, but there are at least a couple of designers who always shipped mega-hits, who shipped projects on-time, and on-budget, but who Sierra seems to want nothing to do with.
3) Most of Sierra’s designers are “adventure game” designers. It’s what they do. For instance Roberta has said “I design adventure games. I have no interest in designing a action game. When adventure games come back into fashion, I’ll consider doing another game.” Right now, there really isn’t a market for adventure games, even ones that are well done.
4) This could be a factor: Anyone designing games in the early days of Sierra is “older” now. Most games are bought by kids. To be honest, none of the early Sierra folk are kids anymore. You need to be able to relate to your target audience. I have much less in common with a skate-board riding, snowboarding, rap-music listening youth than I used to. I always said that the best designers were those who “lived and breathed” their games. If someone wanted to do a racing game, their whole life should revolve around racing. If they want to do a civil war game, their whole life should be about the civil war. Most of the market today is hard-edged action games. I’m not sure most of Sierra’s designers “live and breathe” that kind of product.
(re: Where is everyone now?) Boy, you sound quite glum!
Well, Jane Jensen has worked on her new novel (Dante’s Equation, if I’m not mistaken)…
(re: Where is everyone now?) I really don’t know what most of them are doing at the moment, but it seems that none of them has actually done anything really interseting after the whole Sierra-Thing blew up. It really makes me sad when i read about Ken and Roberta playing golf – for the past 5 years or so – or Al Lowe launching CyberJoke 3000 as a kind of breakfast entertainment for bored surfers (which, i must confess, has it’s good sides too, because he answered some of my e-Mails now!!!!). However, apparently nobody relly seems to care, which is rather sad, isn’t it?
(re: Comments on Sierra products list) Rama was made at Dynamix, in Eugene Oregon.
My recollection is that Rama was a disaster – way over budget, and neither a critical nor commercial success.
(re: re: Love for Police Quest)
Larry is there, in the museum, about 1/2 way down the list.
(re: Comments on Sierra products list)
Wasn’t RAMA a Sierra game in that division? Made in 96′ If I believe.
(re: Love for Police Quest)