Jump to content

Some Sierra questions for y'all


Recommended Posts

Some Sierra questions for y'all. I'll give my own answers first.

 

 

1) When do you feel was Sierra's peak? Creatively, and in terms of their relevance/impact on the industry?

 

Creatively, I feel they reached their peak between 1991 and 1995. SQIV, KQVI, Laura Bow II, Conquests series, Gabriel Knight in late '93, GK2, SQ6 and Torin's Passage in '95. I'd argue they started slipping in '94, though.

 

Impact on the industry wise, I feel they hit their peak in 1997. They were the market share leader in PC gaming for several years in a row, and in 1997 were a massive conglomerate and had made what would be their final two purchases of smaller developers. They had studios and subsiaries all over the world, were backed financially by a (seemingly) unstoppable parent company, were still led by Ken Williams--In 1997, Sierra was the King of PC Gaming.

 

2) What do you feel caused their decline and collapse?

 

3) Who was your favorite Sierra designer or design team and why?

 

Mine would have to be the Three Guys (Scott, Mark, Josh), and Roberta.

 

4) What do you think will become of the newly reborn Sierra? Do you think it will be respectful to the Sierra of old and become a household name? Will it last long, or will we see the name disappear again in just a few years? Could it grow to rival Telltale?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 -- Around SQIV, KQVI

 

2 -- I think the main problem was how computers in general were advancing very fast at the time,

going from very, very basic graphics and sound, to full video stuff, etc.

 

I think because that was happening, there was a huge emphasis on every new release taking

full advantage of all the new technology... 

(there is still that to a certain extent now, but nowadays it's going from "very good" graphics to

"very, very good" graphics, rather than from no graphics to full video during that 80s to mid 90s period) 

 

I think that really hurt adventure games at a certain point, because there was the need to force

technological innovations on them past the point where they benefited from them.

 

Nowadays you can choose -- shall we make it in 2D or 3D? But around the late 90s there was a lot

of pressure to use the new 3D look to make your game seem "up to date", even when it hurt gameplay.

 

Also companies figured out that most people just want to shoot things and that's about it,

so first person shooters took over.

 

3 -- Three guys

 

4 -- If I'm being brutally honest, I think the following will happen:

 

I think the first couple of games will come out and they'll be ok,

but they'll try for a mix of old school flavor but with new approaches to appeal to new audiences, and the

games won't really be that distinct due to this mixture...

 

This will result in relatively few new fans because kids today have never heard of things like King's Quest

and the games will be wishy-washy enough to not really make any impression on them...

 

They also won't do that well with actual fans of KQ and the other series, because they won't have

the character and charm and proper puzzles, and they will half-ass the experience by trying to appeal to younger gamers.

 

I think then it'll either disappear or it'll focus on making non-adventure games of some kind, that they find sell better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

1) When do you feel was Sierra's peak? Creatively, and in terms of their relevance/impact on the industry?

 

"Creative peak" is a tough phrasing because they were always creative. My personal favourite Sierra period is late parser SCI through early VGA, so 1989-1994. In games terms, LSL3/SQ3 to about QfG4 would easily be my favourite period.

 

In terms of impact, Sierra was easily the most influential studio of that era. I think it's more accurate to say that they were the most influential studio for their entire existence until about 94-95, when FPS started to dominate the market and Lucas took over the mantle of adventure games. Of course, they still went on to publish industry-changing titles like Half-Life and critical classics like Arcanum, but those aren't really Sierra titles.

 

 

 

2) What do you feel caused their decline and collapse?

 

They just transformed into a big corporation is all. They started out as a small group of reasonably talented, fun people, then they got rich and started trying to buy up all the good talent on the market (Dynamix, etc).  

 

 

 

3) Who was your favorite Sierra designer or design team and why?

 

1. Lori and Corey Cole, because the Quest for Glory series is simply the best thing that Sierra ever made.

 

2. Josh Mandel, because I think I just click with his style. Everything he's written has really been great, especially Freddy Pharkas. 

 

3. The two guys would have to be tied for third.

 

4. Jane Jensen.

 

 

 

4) What do you think will become of the newly reborn Sierra? Do you think it will be respectful to the Sierra of old and become a household name? Will it last long, or will we see the name disappear again in just a few years? Could it grow to rival Telltale?

 

 

I think it will be a minor publishing label that is revived with a limited scope every now and again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 - 1987-1993

 

2 - Going corporate. It was probably inevitable in the business climate of the day, but ... yeah, hindsight.

 

3 - The Two Guys had punk spirit and went their own way. So them. :)

 

4 - There's no way of knowing. They're clearly in this to try and capitalize on the growing indie game market. Whether this will translate to credibility remains to be seen. I think it might turn into what Fox Searchlight is to the 20th Century Fox movie corporation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...