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An ode to all things Sierra and Roger Wilco


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"Many of my childhood memories are virtual. I spent my days exploring the kingdom of Daventry, playing Astro Chicken at Monolith Burger and trying not to buy any “fine leather jackets.” Once a year I would upwrap something special from Sierra and then spend my weekends at Incredible Connection (I didn’t even have dial-up back then) studying gaming forums and HTML walkthroughs, trying to figure out how to finally get rid of Sludge Vohaul, free Cassima from the clutches of Mordack and ultimately unite my VGA families with their happy endings.
 
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When Marc Crowe and Scott Murphy Kickstarted SpaceVenture, a modern point and click adventure game in a similar vein to my beloved Space Quest, I felt like a door had been opened. Not only to my unsatiated Sierra obsession but also to the people I felt like I “knew” as a youngster. I immediately followed them and the development team on Twitter. I backed the project. I blew the dust off my CD-ROM collection.

 

I wish I hadn’t.

 

The truth is that I expected Al Lowe, of Leisure Suit Larry fame, to be a dirty old man (even though he looks like the jolly Santa type) but I didn’t expect my Andromedian heroes to be real people as well. I’m not sure if it’s okay to judge others by what they post on Twitter, but the updates populating my stream seemed to chip away, pixel-by-pixel, at the love I once had for Sierra.

 

In real life, they were not like Roger Wilco at all… maybe a bit more like Deadpool, that foul-mouthed, overconfident idiot from the comic world who seems to embody everything that’s wrong with modern games. I wanted to jump in a timepod and warp right back to the virtual broom closet, back to a day when I didn’t know as much about my childhood heroes. And now, to be blatantly honest, I don’t even want to even play Space Venture. The characters and storyline, despite being inspired by my heroes and favourite gaming moments, do not appeal to me and largely, I’ve lost faith in the people making the game.

 

Can I please have my buckazoids back?

Excuse me?

 

I dare not imagine what a game like Space Quest (or any other Sierra or LucasArts adventure) would be like in the age of social media. Spoilers would be inevitable. The hashtags? Unnecessary. And let’s not forget today’s credible batch of “everything but Call of Duty sucks” gaming types who seem to actively discourage developers from experimenting with their games. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a new release only to be surprised by how low it scored online. That said, I loved every minute of Hitman: Absolution and am truly sorry you didn’t, serious gaming journalists.

 

(...)

 

I don’t want to play Tom Clancy’s Call of Space Quest. I’m not prepared to buy Halo meets Laura Bow meets Battlefield.

Excuse me again?

 

I think the author of this article has really grievously misunderstood something. SpaceVenture is not going to be a modern action game. It is going to be an adventure game.

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I think the author of this article has really grievously misunderstood something. SpaceVenture is not going to be a modern action game. It is going to be an adventure game.

Pretty sure the issues are unnecessarily conflated. The author expects the Two Guys to be perfect and is shocked when they are real people. Then they criticize other journalists for not appreciating it when authors experiment with their games. Sounds like a double standard to me, but I don't think the author expected SpaceVenture to be an action game (or that they think it will be).

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@Troels' article quote

 

...ooookay. His thoughts are misinformed and seem all over the place. You can't even credit the guy for at least articulating his thoughts effectively. I have no idea what he's trying to say or how he came to the conclusions he did.

 

Is there a link?

In the first post...

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Sounds like he followed them on twitter, maybe read a tweet or two he didn't like or didn't agree with

and has now just convinced himself he won't like the game either...

 

Otherwise why say, "The characters and storyline do not appeal to me" when we don't even know the

storyline and we have only seen one character essentially?

 

I reckon there is something specific he's not saying, they probably dissed something he likes...

eg. this guy might be a big fan of pineapples and the two guys may have been like, "pineapples suck,"

and this guy is now all like, "oh no, the people who made a game I like aren't exactly the same as me,

therefore I can't like the game anymore."

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Pretty sure the author is female. Just wanted to mention that since things might get awkward otherwise; I'm thinking the OP in here might actually be the author. Who might also be in for a bit of a rough welcome  ;)

 

I find myself scratching my head over this article as well. Sure, it's nice with some love for "Space Quest", but... why aren't Scott and Mark allowed to be just as fallible as the rest of us? Sure, they're creatively gifted, but that doesn't make them superhumans.

 

And, once again, I really must shake my head at the notion that adventure games are, for some reason, only meant to exist in this 1990's time bubble so we can dust them off once in a while for a fix of quaint nostalgia. Load of rubbish, to be frank. Adventure games have always been about telling stories and I'm clueless as to why storytellers should suddenly be told that they have to stick with the tools they had in their heyday. And to think that bringing adventure games into the current decade will only result in "Call for Space Quest" is absurd.

 

So, yeah. It may be an ode to "Space Quest", but I'd argue it manages to miss the train completely and it winds up being kind of insulting to the people behind the games, and to those of us who have faith in "SpaceVenture".

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I disagree, I truly think she was just writing a light-heartened opinion piece. Sure, it might be a little insulting to Crowe and Murphy but I do think she was trying to be sweet and nostalgic about a series she played (and clearly loved) as a kid. I don't think she is saying Space Venture is an action game, I think that point was ironic (not absurd) because so many of the big games coming out end up being in that genre. What does Yahtzee call it? Not God of War but... I don't know, I liked it. 

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PurpleTentacle gives that trash article two suction cup thumbs WAY DOWN!

 

What pretentious, self-superior nonsense. This person sounds like they're in love with the sound of their own voice. And their cliched, high school-level writing sucks.

 

Did they post that here? Looks like trolling to me. The key point of that article is the totally uncalled for personal attack on Mark and Scott. That's really what the whole post hinges on.

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I disagree, I truly think she was just writing a light-heartened opinion piece. Sure, it might be a little insulting to Crowe and Murphy but I do think she was trying to be sweet and nostalgic about a series she played (and clearly loved) as a kid.

And then goes on to say that SpaceVenture is going to be rubbish, that she has lost faith in the Two Guys, and that their presence on social media is somehow detrimental to their fan base and good name. I just don't see it as anything other than a backhanded slap that reads between the lines as, "You guys used to be great because I didn't know anything about you. Now that I do, I am disappointed for undisclosed reasons, and I'm pretty sure the new game will suck even though I know nothing about it, because social media will spoil the whole story and, also, hashtags suck."

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I don't mind the conclusion. Or rather, I don't mind that the author doesn't like the project. (S)he is well within his/her rights to not like SpaceVenture, not like the Two Guys, not like the way the social media is handled, and everything else.

 

What I have a problem with is the complete non-sequitur between the first half of the article and the second. I don't understand how they got from point A to node 2.

 

What I also have a problem with is the complete lack of evidence for the conclusion. What exactly did the Two Guys say on Twitter that was so bad? What spoilers have they released? Where is the indication that this will be an action game? Because I've followed all of these developments really closely and... well... I've not seen any of this stuff actually happen.

 

Provide some links and screen grabs and we can engage with the discussion. Otherwise, it's just a poorly written article that doesn't seem to be based at all in the reality of the SpaceVenture project.  :unsure:

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Okay. Here's my two Buckazoids. The article actually started out fine. We all have fond memories of playing Space Quest and other Sierra classics. But, then it quickly degenerated into a complete bash on Scott and Mark and SpaceVenture. What the hell?! Personally, I feel that this a thinly veiled attempt to attack childhood heroes for being less than perfect and only human. The only thing that I agree on is that there's too much of a focus on action games these days. Everything else is pure rubbish.

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The real head scratcher that I neglected to mention is that Mark barely uses Twitter. Certainly nowhere near as much as Scott does when he has the time for it. And, sure, Scott can be foul-mouthed, but if you judge someone's entire personality solely on the words they use, you may just happen to be a worse person than they'll ever be.

 

I'd laugh my head off if this was somehow because Mark swore like a sailor behind the scenes, but he doesn't. Like Scott, Mark is one of the nicest people I know, only he seems to be more into remaining politely silent until you need his help, as opposed to Scott's refreshing honesty.

 

I'm clueless, because it's not as if it takes a major research effort to see that Mark tweets once in a blue moon and never drops any F, C, S or Skate-O-Rama bombs. But, meh. People have published worse ill-researched stuff under the guise of "opinion".

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I'm clueless, because it's not as if it takes a major research effort to see that Mark tweets once in a blue moon and never drops any F, C, S or Skate-O-Rama bombs. But, meh. People have published worse ill-researched stuff under the guise of "opinion".

 

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, myself. I may not be on Twitter as much as I'd like, but I've rarely (if ever) seen Mark tweet.

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