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Space Quest- Left For Dead-Or Not As Dead As People Think

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I suspect everyone's tired of somebody new coming on here and wondering the same thing, but does anybody know if there are any plans for the original Space Quest Series?

 

i read about how Vivendi is it? has shut down multple attempts to remake some of these titles, but at the same time they don't seem to be in a hurry to bring their own ideas to the table.

 

After having been disappointed in the fact that the SQ2VGA was going to stay as buggy as it is and wouldn't get an update, i was hoping to find some solace here.

 

I actually found a site where an artist is looking for others of their kind for a Space Quest I remake into SVGA.

 

I've read that doing these remakes is costly, in time, money, and resources.

 

I'd be satisfied for the moment anyway with vocal packs for SQIVGA and SQV. It would be nice if Gary Owens were to do it, but I guess that would cost money. There's also the fact i guess that Vivendi would be keeping an eye on him and The Two Guys, so they can step in and say no you're not doing that.

 

That attitude is really annoying and ignorant too, as they don't realize how many people actually play the Space Quest games.

 

I think they owe it to us to do the Vocal Packs for these two games, because it was there fault they short-changed SQV and didn't put voclas in it, and it was there fault that they couldn't be bothered to do it for the SQI VGA remake. Vivendi's rolling in it and as far as i know gary Owens is still alive and kickin', so what's the problem?

 

I'd like to see SQIIi done up in VGA as well. Wouldn't we all? It seems it's the elephant in the room, as every other title in the original SQ series has become.

 

With Vohaul Strikes Back and Incinerations released, It makes me wonder if VGA is going to be skpped over for an all-SVGA remake of the series. Al Lowe's on board doing the same thing with the Leisure Suit Larry titles, theres been excellent remakes of Kings Quest I-III, and I think a few others picking up the fourth game for a VGA/SVGA remake.

 

I'd like to see a game in between SQV and SQ6. Something like The Return Of The Sariens or something similar. The story could go that Wilco goes to a Spacebar with the Goliath and has his ass chewed out by an Admiral there, and Wilco is ordered back to StarCon for his treatment that he gets in the intro for SQ6, when an emergency message comes in that the Sariens are invading and used the present confusion in StarCon to attack. And because StarCon's forces are spread thin, they have no choice but to give the Goliath and her crew back to Wilco, at least temporarily anyway. And he'd have the wcrew from SQV back again. Flow, Droole, WD-40, and of course, Cliffy. This setup worked well, but at the end of SQV, it just seemed like Beatrice was in the way somewhat. So maybe she could go undercover or get kidnapped.

 

Lastly, I'd like to see the original titles expanded. SQIII and SQV have potential for expansion as they involve going from one planet to another with a spaceship, so that opens up the possibility of more worlds to explore, etc.

 

SQIV is probably the game that has the most potential for expansion, as the whole game is jumping from one game to another. I'd like to see maybe SQV or SQ6 in there, or maybe even some of the fanmade games.

 

And even though they were spoofs, I'd still like to see an SQXI and SQXIII made.

 

Well, enough ranting. Haven't exactly stayed to the point.

 

But what dos everyone else think?

 

As a side note, I just finished Vohaul Strikes Back, and though it was fairly good. It'd be better with a vocla pack though, which I've read is on it's way.

 

It's unfortunate that money is always an issue, as i could really imagine Gary Owens doing the lines in that game. Somehow, if it's anyone else. it just doesn't sound right.

 

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You're just echoing everyone else's sentiments for the most part. Sentiments that have been spoken for the past 15 years. However, you do have some facts wrong.
 

I suspect everyone's tired of somebody new coming on here and wondering the same thing, but does anybody know if there are any plans for the original Space Quest Series?


Most likely, no. While a few developers have tried to acquire licenses to the Quest games, all ActiVision (the current owners of the old Sierra IPs) will say is that they "have their own plans" for them. Which is little comfort and probably just a lie.
 

i read about how Vivendi is it? has shut down multple attempts to remake some of these titles, but at the same time they don't seem to be in a hurry to bring their own ideas to the table.


Vivendi merged with ActiVision some time ago. It's ActiVision who is uninterested in giving out licenses to the games for the "reason" I mentioned above. Sierra was bought by CUC group (or something like that). They are the ones who decided to shut down the Oakhurst facility (where all the adventures were made), lay off all the employees, and destroy all the assets. Literally destroy them. They dumped EVERYTHING in the dumpster. Literally. Even technology that was valuable and innovative to the industry, one source said. Just didn't care at all. Just trashed it. So the source code for all these games is long gone, making any attempts to upgrade or add to them feasibly impossible, without reverse engineering the software. That's not something any company has any desire to do for ancient IPs that, in their eyes, have no profitable use in what they perceive as today's game market. After that, two high level executives were charged with embezzlement of some kind....or some kind of illegal business activities and were sent to prison.

After this, the IPs changed hands again to Vivendi. Vivendi wasn't so bad, they put forth the work to get some of the old Quest game collections repackaged and playable on modern systems (via DOSBox) and rereleased them. They also offered licensing contracts to certain fangames to allow them to continue. All of the remakes by AGD Interactive (KQ1-3 & QFG2) were officially authorized. I know because I was involved with one of them. As was The SIlver Lining project. A few years down the road Vivendi merged with ActiVision, which acquired all of Vivendi's assets. ActiVision was not so lenient to fangames and saw no potential at all in the old IPs whatsoever other than offering the Vivendi-made collections to be available on Steam, and also later to allow the games again to be on GoG, which is probably the best thing they could have done. AGDI's KQ3 wasn't yet released when this happened, so although ActiVision had no interest in allowing any more remakes to be made under contracts, they decided to honor the agreement previously made with those fangroups who had already signed contracts, and so TSL and KQ3 were allowed to be released. They either do not know anything about IA's adventures or the other SQ fangames, or are intentionally turning a blind eye. Either way, I think this is for the better. The makers of these fangames have all decided to move on to original works anyway and since the recent Adventure Kickstarter revival, companies have been keeping a close eye on the scene. It would probably be impossible to release a new fangame now, with the threat of C&D's from company lawyers being a much stronger possibility in the current climate.

ActiVision has turned down everyone's requests to acquire any of the old Sierra IPs. They apparently revoked TellTale's license (which had been given previously, but nothing was ever done with it), they denied Replay Games' attempts to acquire them (they only got LSL because it doesn't belong to them, being already sold to CodeMasters years earlier), and they denied the Two Guys' themselves access to the Space Quest IP. So it's safe to say that nothing is ever going to happen any time soon with the old Sierra IPs, and they'd be far too expensive to attempt to acquire. They simply do not care. But then again, there is the rumour that companies are keeping a close eye on what's happening with the current Kickstarter revival, as I've said. So who knows? Either way, I think the Quest games have had their time....long AFTER their time. They can rest finally at last, if that's the way things will go. It's better than seeing somebody take them and ruin everything about them.
 

I actually found a site where an artist is looking for others of their kind for a Space Quest I remake into SVGA.


Are you referring to the fanmade screenshots from the very old Starcon Federation website? With 3d rendered backgrounds and sprites taken from SQ6 (dubbed the Space Quest Special Edtion)? Awesome as they were, they were only created for fun and not in any way an attempt to create an actual remake.
 

I've read that doing these remakes is costly, in time, money, and resources.


Indeed they are, though not with money. As making money to create a fangame would be in a legal gray area that no company (ActiVision or Sierra itself) would ever allow. The amount of time and energy required to create these games with the quality they'd deserve would simply not be worth it, when you can just create something original. Something the original creators of the old remakes have decided to do. AGDI became Himalaya Studios and already has one game under their belt, with another on its way. IA became Infamous Quests and is working on the extremely promising Quest For Infamy. The Silver Lining team, Phoenix Online Studios, has already been working on original games as well as working with Sierra legend Jane Jensen for a Gabriel Knight I remake, which is the most anyone has ever gotten ActiVision to do with the old Quest titles! And that is being made for money. But no word on any other Quest games....again, we'd have to see how it goes.
 

I'd be satisfied for the moment anyway with vocal packs for SQIVGA and SQV. It would be nice if Gary Owens were to do it, but I guess that would cost money. There's also the fact i guess that Vivendi would be keeping an eye on him and The Two Guys, so they can step in and say no you're not doing that.

That attitude is really annoying and ignorant too, as they don't realize how many people actually play the Space Quest games.

I think they owe it to us to do the Vocal Packs for these two games, because it was there fault they short-changed SQV and didn't put voclas in it, and it was there fault that they couldn't be bothered to do it for the SQI VGA remake. Vivendi's rolling in it and as far as i know gary Owens is still alive and kickin', so what's the problem?


Again, you mean ActiVision, not Vivendi. Vivendi are long out of the picture. If only we could be so lucky. I think you overestimate the loyalty ActiVision may have to an extremely niche group of fans of one of their oldest IPs. ActiVision doesn't owe us anything. They could care less. They are a business and will only put money into what will make them the most profit and right now that is an endless stream of Call of Duty sequels and little else. While that doesn't seem fair, in their eyes it is. They go where the money is. It's not like it was back in the 80s and early 90s where companies made their games with passion. Much of that passion is gone now in the quest to create the biggest and highest-grossing mundane gaming experience they can.

The problem is that they just don't care what we want. Simple as that. That's sad, but the unfortunate harsh reality.
 

I'd like to see SQIIi done up in VGA as well. Wouldn't we all? It seems it's the elephant in the room, as every other title in the original SQ series has become.


Much like the 4th King's Quest. It'd be nice to see all the Quest games get VGA-ified for completedness' sake, but it doesn't look like it'll happen any time soon anymore. As I said, it takes a very long time to make a quality game. KQ3Redux took 7 years. SQ2 took 5-6. The other fangames took equally long development times. It's just not worth it anymore unless ActiVision was supporting and funding it, or at least allowing profit to be made from it. And the reality is that that is just probably not going to happen.
 

With Vohaul Strikes Back and Incinerations released, It makes me wonder if VGA is going to be skpped over for an all-SVGA remake of the series. Al Lowe's on board doing the same thing with the Leisure Suit Larry titles, theres been excellent remakes of Kings Quest I-III, and I think a few others picking up the fourth game for a VGA/SVGA remake.


I don't think many were ever intending on creating VGA "demakes" of SVGA Sierra games. There'd be no point. It'd be neat to have, again for completedness' sake, but that's a LOT of work involved to create something just for the sake of it. It's unnecessary. SQ6, KQ7, QFG5, etc are all very nice looking games. They have their problems, but really they all had problems. But they are all just fine on their own the way they are.
 

 

Lastly, I'd like to see the original titles expanded. SQIII and SQV have potential for expansion as they involve going from one planet to another with a spaceship, so that opens up the possibility of more worlds to explore, etc.

SQIV is probably the game that has the most potential for expansion, as the whole game is jumping from one game to another. I'd like to see maybe SQV or SQ6 in there, or maybe even some of the fanmade games.


I couldn't disagree more. The games are absolutely fine as they are. While it would be neat to see such changes, again it's simply too much work for too little return or reward. And it'd only turn out to be a neat experience at best, it wouldn't take the community by storm. And still others would berate it simply for being different (this has already happened on at least two occasions). Just not worth it.
 

As a side note, I just finished Vohaul Strikes Back, and though it was fairly good. It'd be better with a vocla pack though, which I've read is on it's way.


We'd be lucky to get one at all. Finding capable voice actors with decent hardware and equipment to create a quality voice pack is extremely rare and difficult in the best of circumstances. The voice packs for the KQ remakes specifically were as high quality as they were by extreme luck, due to special connections and networks of some of the people involved. Almost half of SQ2's voice pack was recorded solely by one man, who did the voices of Roger and the narrator. That man is insane and a trooper. He put in INSANE amounts of hours to get that thing completed. I doubt you would ever find anybody else as dedicated to something so huge for a free project. And he was incredibly talented and professional to boot! Even he has said that he'd never do something like that again unless he was paid. I find the notion of an upcoming voice pack for VSB to be exceptionally admirable and I feel extremely lucky as a member of the community to be able to have one. It's not something that can be done easily and is not a forgone conclusion to expect. It requires so much work and effort to be done right. And even so it'll still probably be ridiculed and criticized by some, which is unfair and unfortunate.
 

It's unfortunate that money is always an issue, as i could really imagine Gary Owens doing the lines in that game. Somehow, if it's anyone else. it just doesn't sound right.


It's not just money but a whole myriad of other issues. You can't just pay anybody to do voice work for you in that industry, even if you have the cash. Your project and company would need to have a lot of things in place to even allow for such notable actors to come in and work for you. They are all a part of a voice actor's guild or club or something to that effect which protects them and ensures that their work is only available to certain projects and people. Consequently, they can't just work on nay project they wish either. So even if Gary was willing to do it for free, it still wouldn't be possible.

As I said, a harsh reality we live in, but at least there IS the Adventure revival and good things are coming from it. If we never see the old games come back in any way again, I'm honestly ok with that. I'm looking forward to what new adventures can be had anyway. It's not good to be TOO stuck in the past, at least for too long. :)

Oh, and welcome to the forums!

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I'd like to see a game in between SQV and SQ6. Something like The Return Of The Sariens or something similar. The story could go that Wilco goes to a Spacebar with the Goliath and has his ass chewed out by an Admiral there, and Wilco is ordered back to StarCon for his treatment that he gets in the intro for SQ6, when an emergency message comes in that the Sariens are invading and used the present confusion in StarCon to attack. And because StarCon's forces are spread thin, they have no choice but to give the Goliath and her crew back to Wilco, at least temporarily anyway. And he'd have the wcrew from SQV back again. Flow, Droole, WD-40, and of course, Cliffy. This setup worked well, but at the end of SQV, it just seemed like Beatrice was in the way somewhat. So maybe she could go undercover or get kidnapped.

 

Make a fangame. ;)

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As a side note, I just finished Vohaul Strikes Back, and though it was fairly good. It'd be better with a vocla pack though, which I've read is on it's way.

 

Thanks - glad you liked it!

 

Sure, the voicepack is still on its way, but there's admittedly not much work being done on it these days. Because so many of our voice actors are otherwise engaged with their own projects and all of them are doing this for free on their own time, new submissions are fairly rare. So we've hit a bit of a snag where we can't really gain any momentum till the major characters, such as the Narrator, Roger and Vohaul are 100% in the can. Which is unfortunate, cause it means we can't really promise more than that "it's done when it's done".

 

Till then, your appreciation of the game means the world  :)

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I think they owe it to us to do the Vocal Packs for these two games, because it was there fault they short-changed SQV and didn't put voclas in it, and it was there fault that they couldn't be bothered to do it for the SQI VGA remake. Vivendi's rolling in it and as far as i know gary Owens is still alive and kickin', so what's the problem?

SQ5 was supposed to have a CD-ROM talkie version (the hint book says it's underway), but then Dynamix ran into financial trouble and decided to push ahead with new projects instead of polishing up old ones. Consequently, that CD-ROM talkie never happened. It would've been interesting, though.

 

I'd like to see SQIIi done up in VGA as well. Wouldn't we all? It seems it's the elephant in the room, as every other title in the original SQ series has become.

Actually, IQ Adventures were working on a VGA remake of SQ3. Steven Alexander, CEO of IQ, talked about that in one of the episodes of the Space Quest Historian podcasts. Unfortunately, for the reasons above (time and money, basically), they decided to forge ahead with original content (Quest for Infamy) instead of working on SQ3VGA. When you finish SQ2VGA, you do get a few glimpses of what the VGA remake of SQ3 would've looked like.

 

The original plan was actually to include a fully playable part of SQ3 as a bonus of SQ2VGA, but the lads never got around to finishing it.

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I think they owe it to us to do the Vocal Packs for these two games, because it was there fault they short-changed SQV and didn't put voclas in it, and it was there fault that they couldn't be bothered to do it for the SQI VGA remake. Vivendi's rolling in it and as far as i know gary Owens is still alive and kickin', so what's the problem?

Ignoring any issues with Activision as well as cost benefit analysis for paying to add a feature to an age old game showing this to be a bad business decision, even if they were willing to, the source code has long been lost. The games would have to be completely remade from scratch to add speech.

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Such a ridiculous thing to do. Just toss out all of your new assets from the most successful game company at that time. I've heard that competitor companies rallied together as a scheme to take down Sierra just to get them out of the way. If that was true, it makes sense that they'd just destroy everything they'd ever done. But my goodness, even if that was true, it's such a stupid thing to do. I can't think of another instance of a buyout or takeover where they just tossed everything in the trash.

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Here's an instance: Disney and LucasFilm. As soon as they acquired it they laid off all the staff. So they essentially said 'f*** off, we own it now so we're doing it our way.'

 

Also, to Frede, I really enjoyed Vohaul Strikes Back and thought it was well written, with two exceptions. First, the vocal pack, and second, and this probably won't come as a surprise, Beatrice. Her whole attitude towards Roger is condescending and she treats him as though he is a hindrance, not a lover or a friend, which is how she was in SQV. I mean, she may not have started out like that in SQV, but she wasn't that bad. I heard Incinerations got some flak for Beatrice as well. But don't worry. I'd still rate your game high, say, 8/10.

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Here's an instance: Disney and LucasFilm. As soon as they acquired it they laid off all the staff. So they essentially said 'f*** off, we own it now so we're doing it our way.'

Right after they promised everything would be "business as usual". Whatever, LucasArts was a shell of its former self anyway.

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Also, to Frede, I really enjoyed Vohaul Strikes Back and thought it was well written, with two exceptions. First, the vocal pack, and second, and this probably won't come as a surprise, Beatrice. Her whole attitude towards Roger is condescending and she treats him as though he is a hindrance, not a lover or a friend, which is how she was in SQV. I mean, she may not have started out like that in SQV, but she wasn't that bad. I heard Incinerations got some flak for Beatrice as well. But don't worry. I'd still rate your game high, say, 8/10.

 

Thanks again  :) I'm pretty proud of the talkie work we've been able lay down so far. When it does come out, I dare say I'm sure you'll be satisfied if you liked the game to begin with.

 

As for Beatrice, that's a matter of taste, I think. We actually had this discussion at least once during development and early on, I think Bea was even more dismissive of Roger. My take on it is that she's a bit tired of being second in line to her boyfriend's grand adventures. And then she turns more cranky when he not only insists they only eat at the damn Pie-ery during their supposedly romantic vacation, but also drags her to a godforsaken ice planet so he can flex his muscles against his arch-nemesis. Can't blame her for being a bit on edge, especially once she gets kidnapped. Just my 2 cents, though.

 

The same would apply to Incinerations, except that in that game, he continued neglecting the poor woman for ten years.

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I know I keep harping on it, but I really would like to see the Series revitalized. It means so much to so many people, but the ignorant view of 'people don't play those games anymore' seems stuck in their heads.

 

If it were to be remade, I don't think it should be done up in the latest graphics either. SVGA should be the limit.

 

It's just like the old classics X-Wing and TIE Fighter. Seeing conversions for them into X-Wing Alliance made me just shake my head. It didn't look right and didn't have that same feel about it. It's limit should be X-Wing VS TIE Fighter engine and that's it. After all, as Scotty would say 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

 

Which brings about three other games too. 25th Anniversary, Judgment Rites, and A Final Unity. These don't need re-doing, just re-visiting, to maybe fix a few bugs here and there and to bump up the graphics a bit.

 

But I digress...sorry.

 

To Frede again, I understand about the Beatrice thing. Back to the game though, there are a few places where some  comical references would've been nice. But there just little things that i though of while playing the game. Y'know? I looked at it and thought 'Wouldn't it be good if this dialog came up? An example is the frozen mushrooms. I fyou clicked the mouth/tase icon on it, it could say 'Turn about is fair play, unfortunately they're all frozen solid. Maybe it's just as well too. Knowing your luck, they'd most likely be poison'. This could be a reference to the mushrooms from SQ2. But that's just me.

 

Thanks for everyone to take the time to read what I have to say as well.

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Reviving the series, in technical terms, wouldn't be overly complex. The SQ2 remake shows, for example, that a relatively small team of "amateurs" (and I use that to mean "not getting paid" rather than judging their talent) can put together a game of as much polish as the early 1990s Sierra adventures with a small budget. So, a professional game of that quality should be pretty easy to put together. The potential profit to be made, therefore, relative to investment could be quite good.

 

The problem is, doubling an investment of, say, $100,000 still only nets you 200 grand. Which just isn't worth it to a major developer. When you think of the time it would take to make a decision like that, you'll probably spend more in the bureaucracy getting the game to be greenlit than you would make back on the game. That's even with 10,000 people coughing up $20 each.

 

People do play adventure games, but: a) how much are they willing to pay (each); and b ) is the size of that audience anywhere near the size of audience for other games? The answer is probably "not that much" and "no". Hence the (relative) success of the amateur games that have come out in recent years, and hopefully the small-firm indie successes about to be inflicted upon us (such as Spaceventure!).

 

It's frustrating in a way, but it's also the way that adventure games and adventure gamers can move on. The home brew attitude is actually liberating, and while we might get a number of mediocre games we'll also get some real gems. The internet being the internet, I honestly feel that if there were a genuine market for adventure games someone would have done it and made a decent living out of it by now.

 

Finally, I don't think Sierra (or any company for that matter) owes us anything. We got a lot out of those games. And a small number of people got quite wealthy off them, too. Personally, I'm interested to see what can be done by people with good ideas, and I frankly couldn't care how much they charge, how much effort they put into graphics, or what sort of technology they use/limit themselves to. One of the things that excites me about Spaceventure is that through legal shenanigans we won't be getting Space Quest VII (or V, depending on how you categorise the final two games that weren't produced jointly by Crowe and Murphy). This isn't a reboot, it's a new idea and new series being executed in the style of the old adventure genre. Rather than simply rehashing old ideas or being constrained by fans' rose-tinted expectations, we'll get a new product for a new century. That's the way forward. And if it proves there is a market for this stuff, hopefully it will be the start of something bigger.

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So, if Activision has "their own plans" for the various old series, why did they allow Jane Jensen and Phoenix Online (I believe) to develop a new remake? How did that come about? I'm surprised (and disappointed) that Phoenix Online (officially under the Pinkerton name?) is involved, since their work has been very amateurish and subpar. Why on earth go with that POS team? Is it because POS are willing to work for a lot less than seasoned pros such those at in-house Activision developers? I think people are going to be very disappointed when they see the animation in the new GK game.

 

Why revoke the KQ license from Telltale (top developer) and grant license to Pinkerton/POS (bottom of the barrel developer)? Is it because Telltale wasn't going to do anything with KQ? Why not develop a new GK game in-house using a team capable of delivering a polished, high quality product? If Jane Jensen insisted on her friends at POS being chosen, then I am very disappointed in her.

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