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List of Space Quest Fan Games

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Thank you for clearing that up for me, Ferde. I figured you had a reason for including my comic there despite its frequent use of official art, and I do appreciate the mention.

 

 

Aww! And here I was thinking that it was original design this entire time. Pull my credits track out. I'll not be associated with such laziness.

 

I've got to admit that when I first saw that post, I hadn't read the posts on the previous page leading up to it, and for a moment I thought, "Oh geez -- is he talking about Adventure: The Inside Job??" :unsure:

 

Didn't somebody once say something about there only being about seven original ideas and that everything else is some variation of one or more of them?

 

I think I've heard something about there being only eight or so basic plots used in literature ("Journey of discovery", "Bitter rivalry/revenge", "Triumph of the underdog", etc.), but I don't know if that's the same thing you're talking about, or if such a concept actually exists (the book where this concept was mentioned was pure fiction).

 

(Come to think of it, somebody's take on The Inside Job after seeing my description of it said it all sounded "a bit too Sophie's World" to him -- even though I've never read that book.)

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I've got to admit that when I first saw that post, I hadn't read the posts on the previous page leading up to it, and for a moment I thought, "Oh geez -- is he talking about Adventure: The Inside Job??" :unsure:

Hah! No no, the Adventure games (my, there's a descriptive line) were designed around that whole point. It don't consider that laziness at all, obviously.

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Wow, what a hornet's nest stirred with that question... thank you so much, Frede, and all of the other superfans, for giving me that insight into the Space Quest fan community. It was quite difficult, from his original statement, to discern whether or not he was saying "such ripoffs are garbage" or "well, really all of us have played them, I just won't promote them here". It's also clear that this question underlies a tangled mess amongst the adventure game community, at large.

 

Now that I've seen Akril's "Adventure" series, I'm convinced that her (obviously affectionate) homage to adventure gaming is an excellent justification for a doctrine of fair use, and that adventure gaming fandom would be poorer without it.

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Now that I've seen Akril's "Adventure" series, I'm convinced that her (obviously affectionate) homage to adventure gaming is an excellent justification for a doctrine of fair use, and that adventure gaming fandom would be poorer without it.

 

Thank you very much! :)

 

The Adventure series (which I really should give a proper title to eventually, even if it's something as generic as "the Thalia James series") started out partly as a homage to the classic Sierra and LucasArts games, but also as a form of advertizement for some of the less popular games that don't get as much attention. If just a few people play one my games and decide to check out some of the more obscure titles featured or referenced in either of them, I feel that this dubiously legal enterprise was definitely worth the risk.

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Hmm...I think I'll throw my Official Bootleg Astro Chicken Flight Hat into the ring here. Although I'm not sure some of you will like what I have to say this time.

 

I'm mainly offended by the whole concept because it is incredibly lazy.

Mostly because of this. :mellow: I've seen the various responses in this thread as to why someone would rip/repurpose/alter original resources, but it strikes me as odd that the single *biggest* reason (at least, the biggest one I can think of) doesn't seem to have come up.

 

Maybe the reason they do this sort of thing is because they have no choice.

 

The fact of the matter is, not everyone is an artist. This is a fact that I am intimately familiar with - it's been the source of many a crushed dream and frustrated head-desk on my part over the years. :( I'm something of a dreamer, and there are plenty of ideas floating around inside my armor-plated skull, but thanks to a complete and total lack of artistic talent, I have no way to adequately express them. I can't draw for spit - on a *good* day, my best drawings look like something an 8-year-old did. The closest thing I have to a creative talent is the ability to write - which might be fine for some people, but not for me. <_< I'm a highly audio-visual oriented person who best experiences things viscerally - directly, through the senses - and to me the written word has always come across as half-assed compared to that. It's the difference between actually *seeing* a movie and having someone reading the script of said movie to you - can anyone here honestly say they'd prefer the latter over the former?

 

My point being, I know from first-hand experience the frustration of wanting to create something awesome for other people to enjoy, but not being able to do so due to lack of talent. Once, years ago, I attempted to make my own Space Quest fangame. It wasn't anything fancy - just a short little adventure that was more of a test of my own creative skill than anything else. Since I had no ability to create my own graphical resources, I had two choices: 'borrow' resources from existing games, or make something that didn't require graphics. I chose the latter route, and put together an interactive fiction game (read: old-skool text adventure). Or at least, I *tried* to -like many other would-be fangame authors of that bygone era, I got frustrated and never finished. (Ah, those were the days - a new fangame announcement every few days, and a new cancellation of an existing project just as often. ;) )

 

In my case, the death knell came when I finally realized that it was the game itself that was making me frustrated. Not because it was hard to make, or because I felt overwhelmed - but because the more I worked on it, the more it *mocked* me and my efforts. I could see all these places, characters, and ideas in my head as vividly as if they were real - but every time I tried to put pen to virtual paper to write the corresponding text descriptions, they came up short. Nothing I wrote could make my ideas *exist* in that virtual world the way I wanted them to.To this day, I'm still not sure if it was because I just wasn't that good a writer, or if I *was* good enough but was being overly critical of my own abilities, or if I was just so used to *seeing* things that trying to approximate sight with words felt horribly clumsy and half-assed from my perspective. :unsure: All I knew was that it wasn't working, so I cut my losses and walked away.

 

There are others like me out there - people who have ideas, who *yearn* to create, to share them with others, but who lack the technical skill to make it happen. I've been in their shoes, and I can tell you from experience that it's not a fun place to be. <_< I can understand 100% why someone would resort to stealing graphics, music tracks, and other resources to make a game - because for some folks, it's the only option they really have. The only other choice would be to not try to share their ideas at all - and in my book, that's arguably worse. :(

 

...sorry, didn't mean to go on a rant there. ^_^ I used to do sprite/pixel editing as something of a hobby, and I'm thus well-versed in the art of ripping and reworking graphical resources (and pondering the resulting ethical quandaries). Just a frustrated geek who feels the need to vent. :ph34r:

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Interesting observations, Captain, and I can certainly relate. Primarily because I can't draw for the life of me. If I hadn't somehow been lucky enough to get a good team assembled, VSB would have ended with the idea. But since we made this game as a team effort, I can't understand what keeps other people from doing the same. There are some very, very talented artists and composers out there that just like working on games. It seems that some of these "rippers" just want to get famous from doing a one-man project, cause getting a team together isn't too difficult.

 

So while I understand your sentiments completely, I fear that this sort of credit-hogging is also a factor.

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Once, years ago, I attempted to make my own Space Quest fangame. It wasn't anything fancy - just a short little adventure that was more of a test of my own creative skill than anything else. Since I had no ability to create my own graphical resources, I had two choices: 'borrow' resources from existing games, or make something that didn't require graphics. I chose the latter route, and put together an interactive fiction game (read: old-skool text adventure).

 

So... you're saying you've a nice unfinished IF adventure to share with us? ;)

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I believe many more people (if not everyone) has an innate artistic ability even when they do not believe so. It just needs to be drawn out. It is a common misconception that all the great artists were prodigies like Michelangelo, or mathematical/perception geniuses like Don Bluth, who can swiftly form and shape a piece perfectly on the first try.

 

For the majority, all that's necessary is a vision and the desire to make it into a reality. There's a saying I'm fond of: An artist is only as good as his/her reference. Another one I'm also fond of: Drawings are like wine, not milk; the longer they sit, the better they get.

 

One of the the most useful lessons I learned in the fine arts (and this is no joke), was that an eraser is one of your most helpful and important drawing tools.

 

Yet; until people experience failure, and continue following through with the technique, in the face of that failure, they don't acquire a confident grasp of art, or begin to develop their own style. I have had experiences in my early days in the field, having spent 12-20 hours on a piece, only to have to scrap it and throw it away, and that final prototype of it, a week later, being hailed by the professor and entire classroom.

 

The bottom line is, everybody misses 100% of the shots they don't take, and things ALWAYS become better with practice, they have to. If I were to show you some of the earlier screenies I did for OEOE when I was 18, you'd being laughing at me, honestly.

 

I do believe that those seeking to unleash their buried talent (that is, to get the juice out of the orange, so to say), would do well to sign up for just one drawing class over a summer or even fall or spring semester. One evening class, that meets for three hours, one day a week. Within 4 months, you'll be amazed at what you were always capable of, but just never had loosened up or falled enough times to get to that point of development in your artistic ability.

 

If you can dream it, you can learn it. It's people without vision who can't make good art. It's only people WITH vision (such as yourselves, and I mean that as a respectful compliment), who haven't honed the skill YET; who blindly believe they are incapable.

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It seems that some of these "rippers" just want to get famous from doing a one-man project, cause getting a team together isn't too difficult.

Are you kidding? Getting a half-dozen people on the Internet to sit down and even *agree* on any one thing is a miracle in and of itself, let alone getting them to cooperate long enough to do something constructive. ;) In particular, Real Life has a *nasty* habit of butting its big fat nose in and ganking your buddies when you need them most. I've been DMing for an IRC-based tabletop gaming group for years now, and we've had members quit and join on a frustratingly regular basis - people keep trying to 'have a life' and such, and it inevitably interferes with our online schedules. :P

 

Seriously, though, there are other factors. Aome people just plain don't work well in groups - I myself tend to do badly in group-based projects because I have an intense hatred of being held to deadlines (read: I'm a procrastinator). Other people feel like handing off parts of 'their' project to other team members - having someone else draw the stuff you want to show, etc. - feels too much like outsourcing. If you're trying to create something, can you really call it *yours* if all of the graphics and sound effects and programming were done by other people? Yes, there's a certain element of egoism present, but it's not necessarily arrogance - just a desire to *make* something and feel proud of having done so. Collaberation gets the job done, but it also means the result isn't really yours anymore, in a sense - you may still feel pride, but not so much as a creator than as a contributor.

 

So... you're saying you've a nice unfinished IF adventure to share with us?

Sadly, no. :P The game never even remotely got to a playable stage - most of what I had done by that point was design drafts and the constructing and desc-ing of game objects. Unfortunately, due to two drive crashes I've suffered over the intervening years, anything I *had* done has long since been lost. :(

 

For those who are curious, the (simple) plot involved Post-SQ6 Roger and the Deepship-86 being attacked by the newest model of Gippazoid's killer robots - Arnoid 2.0 (a smarter, more heavily-armed version of the original model). He first attacks the ship - disabling it - but with his own ship getting blown up in the process. Thinking the attacker dead, Kielbasa sends Roger (the only crewmember who isn't needed for damage control) to a nearby starport to aquire some needed replacement parts. Once he gets them and returns, Arnoid (who survived the destruction of his ship) finally finds them again and boards the ship to stalk poor Roger. The Deepship's security forces can't stop him (what with him being invisible and all) and get slaughtered, so Roger is forced to flee for his life through the ship and eventually come up with a way to beat him (with some help from Sidney, who ends up becoming a sort-of sidekick for this section).

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I love how Akril keeps calling Frederik "Ferde."

 

Also, I'd just like to re-mention my idea of having a fan-made library of game assets that prospective game makers could download and use as building blocks for their Space Quest fan game. I really think this could be a great idea. Maybe someone who's good at doing 3D rendering could do a library of ships (just ships in various angles with transparent backgrounds). Then someone who's good at drawing could do a bunch of backgrounds of stardrops, various planets (ice, lava, forest, city, etc.). Then someone good at animating ... You see where I'm going with this?

 

Games built on those kind of "ripped" assets would have my blessing all the way. It would still force people to use their imagination to craft puzzles in intelligent ways. Well, hopefully. What do you think about that, Ferde?

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Also, I'd just like to re-mention my idea of having a fan-made library of game assets that prospective game makers could download and use as building blocks for their Space Quest fan game. I really think this could be a great idea.

 

Ok, I'll counter with this; what about a fan-made library of original characters, dialogue, game concepts, scripts, location descriptions, and puzzle designs that artists and programmers can take and run with, like building blocks for plot? I can easily see an artist go to town on Captain ASCII's brief plot description above, and credit him with the inspiration for the artwork, for example. Personally, I'd consider an original character idea (for example) a creditable game asset, just like any sprite. Plus, that way, original characters could be shared amongst fan works (which you guys may already do).

 

Inspiration finds all sorts of ways to strike, and as long as we're all good about crediting our sources, there's no reason to unleash it in multiple ways. You're an extremely creative guy, and it seems that writing is your greatest strength here. With your encyclopedic knowledge of SQ canon, characters, and gags, you are part of a small group of fans here that have what it takes to write something new and interesting, while keeping it firmly grounded the game universe.

 

Of course, everyone wants to keep some things to themselves, since introducing your creation is a huge part of the fun in creating fan content, but I'd welcome unfinished or dropped scripts, puzzle ideas, etc., from any superfan here on SQN.

 

Have any of you ever come up with something that you knew was awesome, clever, or inspired... but you just couldn't make it work? Like it was 80% there, but fatally flawed? Well, let it be free and see if someone else could do something with it. If you really don't like how it was used, ask not to be credited. It's not as different as one might believe from slightly modifying someone else's art assets, and then having to deal with the artist not wanting their modified work to represent them. And, of course, the alternative is that both parties are happy with the work, and everyone wins.

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I love how Akril keeps calling Frederik "Ferde."

 

Also, I'd just like to re-mention my idea of having a fan-made library of game assets that prospective game makers could download and use as building blocks for their Space Quest fan game. I really think this could be a great idea. Maybe someone who's good at doing 3D rendering could do a library of ships (just ships in various angles with transparent backgrounds). Then someone who's good at drawing could do a bunch of backgrounds of stardrops, various planets (ice, lava, forest, city, etc.). Then someone good at animating ... You see where I'm going with this?

 

Games built on those kind of "ripped" assets would have my blessing all the way. It would still force people to use their imagination to craft puzzles in intelligent ways. Well, hopefully. What do you think about that, Ferde?

 

Heh, I'm way too polite to point out something like that, but I've been called nastier things in this community anyway ;) By the way, is that "Fer-day", "Fer-dee" or "Ferd-uh"?

 

I love that idea myself, and I do wish I could contribute. I have actually considered whether some of the resources of VSB should be made available this way some day (our Roger is already out there anyway), but I'd like the game to have a life of its own for at least a few years.

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Back (sort of) on topic from the above foray into begging for a World O' Fan Wonders thread for the Troels Pleimert Memorial SQ Fan Content Library... shall we also have a thread (or list) of fan games that are in-development?

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I know this discussion happened a year ago and I'm late to weigh in. I was really disappointed to hear that some of the criticisms levied against the Space Quest Fan games.

 

I agree that breaking cannon can be annoying, but does everyone need to be a Space Quest Historian? Just enjoy these games for what they are.

 

I bought all the original Space Quest games when they were released. In my mid thirties I have still failed to evolve beyond a gamer. Fed up with the games released by major gaming publishers I have now started to see some of the games created by fans and kick-starter projects. I like them - a lot!

 

It really got my goat when I heard some people in this forum saying they "hate" a particular fan-game because of ripped graphics. That they felt so uninhibited that they could voice their perception of laziness! I would like to ask these people if they ever finished Space Quest 4? In the case of fan games - not everyone is a talented artist, musician, or has the ability to write a script - they are trying to do the best with what they have on the little resources they have available.

 

These games are not sold commercially but freely distributed, they are often made by people while studying, working jobs or supporting a family. The key point I raise again is "doing the best with what they have!".

 

Sierra that produced the original fan inspiring titles was a company that did the best with what the had! Those people did their best, received encouragement and got better at what they did in turn. I recently listened to the interviews by Chris Pope and Sierra was sourcing kids from the local high school and turning kitchen staff into game developers. Sirra wanted to move to larger markets and their games fell out of popularity, but it was trying to obsess over the best talent and market appeal that divorced this company from its humble origins. It was moving on from these humble origins that made their games indistinguishable form so many other soulless games on the market. Today, I don't think they even have anybody that gives a rats about their IP.

 

I think these people who have put their time and effort into creating these games that they choose to share with the community should be encouraged, and not criticised by people who haven't released a game themselves. Unlike the Star Wars, there is no George Lucas to come and pass his decree on what is cannon and set a standard. Instead in this case, there is a loosely knit community of people united by a love of Space Quest. It is these people who produce such diversity and ultimately succeed in keeping the series alive.

 

Now sure, go and pick my statements to bits as I'm sure some of you will but I'm glad for anything and everything Space Quest and anybody who has contributed has my unconditional gratitude. Thank you.

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Thanks for chiming in, Frede. I hope that Jukebox feature helped.

 

I'm not against ripping resources myself. My first two games were comprised almost entirely of downloaded MIDIs and the occasional ripped graphic. And I still use unoriginal music in my cartoons whenever convenient. As long as it remains a non-commercial project and doesn't hamper anything thing else, it's an okay practice for starters. Just as long as you don't bring the practice into a game that already has legitimate musical talent behind it.

 

There is slight problem rising with fans feeling entitled, though. It's common in commercial games where you drop $60 on a game that doesn't deliver to your expectations. Unfortunately, the line between $60 and free is getting blurrier these days as I see people reacting just as strongly towards free indie projects as they would towards "Call of Duty". But I guess it's reasonable given the rise of standards and the number of indie games getting released. Somewhere in there, fan-games are going to had a harder time of it.

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The SQ Prequel "Decisions of the Elders" has been released yesterday!

It's a full length retro-stylish (EGA graphics...)  game.

Challenging puzzles, fun, SQ-insider jokes...

See the extra thread on this game posted today in the forum.

 

You'll like it!

 

treetop.jpg

 

 

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