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Colossal Cave Adventure remake from Ken & Roberta Williams

Taluntain

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https://www.colossalcave3d.com




https://af.gog.com/en/game/colossal_cave?as=1649904300

Nope, not a joke. This has been "leaked" in some of the more niche FB groups I follow, so the major outlets haven't picked it up yet. Apparently the rough pass of the game is already finished from start to end, so now they just need to pretty it up. More here:

 
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Taluntain

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Apparently decades of yachting got boring. Ken released a book about Sierra a while back and during promoting it started to mingle in the Sierra/big box FB groups and realized that there's still a cult following and niche market for Sierra-related wares. It seems to have drawn him and Roberta back in.
 

Taluntain

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Repost from the Big Box PC Game Collectors FB group (ugly formatting, but it's FB, I'm sure it'll be published in other places too later on):

Hi all -- I don't want to say too much, because:
a) I'm trying to focus on the game, and Facebook can become a full-time job, and there are only 28 hours in a day
b) It's too soon. I probably shouldn't have leaked that I'm working on a game. There will be a time when I want all the publicity I can get, but it just isn't that time yet.
Anyway .. here's some answers to questions (a pre-emptive faq):
What are you working on? -- It is indeed a game, and it's one that is very mainstream. Roberta talked me out of the educational game and into something more people would enjoy. I'll say what it is about six weeks from now. In the meantime I just want to be head-down focused.
When will it be done? -- Our goal is November, but that probably isn't realistic. We're pushing hard though.
What platforms will it be available on? -- I don't know. Certainly Mac and Windows. I hope eventually it will be on most platforms and in most languages. A lot will depend on how people like it.
Can you give me a hint? -- I hope not!
Can I beta test? -- Possibly. Send me an email - ken@kensblog.com. I won't respond but I will put your name on a list of possible beta testers. I don't know yet how many we'll want or how we'll choose them, or even what we'll be looking for. I'm inclined towards fewer people who have the time to take it more seriously and put in more time. I'm guessing beta testing can start in August (or, at least hoping!).
Can I do the music? the box cover? character voices? the foreign translation? the porting to Apple ][? Probably not. We will need help with foreign translation and porting to other platforms, but the box art, voices and music are already handled.
Is the game any good? -- I have said that I do not think a small team can produce a product that is competitive in today's world. I still believe that. The major studios have nothing to fear from this game. It's an incredible accomplishment for a small team, and those who play it will find much to love. But, I am not kidding myself that this will sell millions of copies. That said, I do think traditional Sierra fans will be very happy.
What's Roberta's involvement? -- So far, her involvement has been important, but minimal. She was the original inspiration for the game, and has been consulted almost daily. But, in terms of hours spent in front of a computer it is 99% Marcus and myself. We've been filling all spare time 7 days a week. Roberta will get more and more involved as we get closer.
What's the game's exact current status? -- The whole game is there, but with scratch graphics. That's one reason for no screen shots. We wanted to rough out the whole game and then make a second (and, third and fourth) pass to replace the placeholder graphics and animation and start polishing things. If you saw the game today I doubt you'd be impressed. You would need a LOT of imagination. That's how we planned it and that's how it is.
Is this the beginning of a new company? -- I have no idea. Marcus (my partner in this effort) is in this for the long haul. He's young and has the ambition and talent to do something great. Whereas, I am happily retired and more excited about having an excuse to create and write code than I am about building a company. I do think people will like this game and that it will be the start of something. But, what that is, and whether Roberta and I will hang in there, or if this was just a fun one-off I do not know. At this point I don't want to think much beyond solving bugs and polishing the game. All of that said, I do have more ideas for things to do and have surprised myself (and, hopefully you) by what we have accomplished. I would have thought it impossible to do what we have done, but with a good set of tools and a lot of focus and hard work, big things appear to be possible. I can't imagine ever not waking up and going to my computer. So, we shall see!

Ken Williams
 
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Man. I thought Ken was done with games for good. I’ve always gotten the impression he was pretty disgusted by where the industry went and was happy to be done with it. I wish he’d been around to whip the Coles into shape during the Hero U dev.
 
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I would be surprised if Ken did a Kickstarter. He definitely has enough money that he doesn’t need to, and as far as I know he’s pretty staunchly Reagan Republican when it comes to economics.
 

Taluntain

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When is the Kickstarter campaign?

Ken Williams
Alon Rajic No money needed. I thought about if I'd do a Kickstarter to fund the marketing, platform conversions, foreign language conversions, etc -- but, no. I don't think we need money. The first versions released will provide the funding to pay for the alternate versions. And, if they don't, then: That will be telling me that there is no reason to do the alternate versions
1f61f.png
 

Taluntain

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Also, just dumping some more interesting comments here, excuse the formatting puke, FB is cancer:
  • Thomas Leroy
    Do they still own the rights to the Sierra On-Line games?
    1Ken Williams
    Thomas Leroy We do not. All rights went to the new owners when we sold the company (darn it!) .. I do hope this sells well enough that I can convince Activision to work with me on producing sequels to some of the Sierra series...
    • Brian Cagle
      I will pay mucho money for a big box copy
      3
      Robert Bongers
      So much this, haha


    • Ken Williams
      Brian Cagle Marcus is very focused on a big box copy. I hadn't thought there was a market for those -- but he has persuaded me. There will definitely be a boxed version (and, I haven't ruled out that it will be the only way we distribute)
      • Thomas Leroy
        Do they still own the rights to the Sierra On-Line games?
        1Ken Williams
        Thomas Leroy We do not. All rights went to the new owners when we sold the company (darn it!) .. I do hope this sells well enough that I can convince Activision to work with me on producing sequels to some of the Sierra series...
        • Jesse Hardesty
          Color me more than slightly interested! This is really excellent to hear. Can you tell us whom the other talents are working with you in regards to music, graphics etc...?
          3Ken Williams
          Jesse Hardesty At this point it really is just Marcus and myself. Others will get added as we need them. For now, adding anyone else to the project would just slow us down.
          • Jarrod Kailef
            I'm glad you've got all the voices taken care of, but I admit I would have loved to lend my voice to the job like I did for your book.
            1
            Ken Williams
            Jarrod Kailef Hi Jarrod! I did see your email. As of now, there is no voice planned for the game. That said, it may change, and in all events there will be a marketing video of some sort needed. You'll be my first call when the time comes.
 

Boleskine

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<3sRichardSimmons Taluntain

My post was a joke. Ken and Roberta are loaded and don't need any outside help (although, being filthy rich hasn't stopped people from offloading their risk onto unsuspecting rubes who want to become "investors" in crowdfunding).
 

Taluntain

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Exactly, it's not like Fargo and various others needed the money, they were just smart enough to put other people's at risk instead of their own.
 

Morpheus Kitami

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Its very rare for me to be excited for a new release. I figure this has a 50% chance of being amazing or blowing up in their face. I honestly think I'm going to be on-board for this, definitely so if they're doing it in a big box.

Gotta say, I wonder what engine they're doing this in. It would be amusing to see the Ken Williams doing a game in AGS.
 

Narushima

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I'm intrigued, and I hope Roberta is responisble for most of the game design, she seems to me like a better designer than Ken overall.
 
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It is indeed a game, and it's one that is very mainstream. Roberta talked me out of the educational game and into something more people would enjoy.
Please be an FPS!
I want to see the incredible butthurt this would generate among the "Doom killed adventure games" crowd.:bounce:

Realistically, I'd expect a Candy Crush clone, a hidden object game or something to that effect. It certainly won't be a point & click, those haven't been "very mainstream" for over two decades.
 

Neuromancer

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I'm intrigued, and I hope Roberta is responisble for most of the game design, she seems to me like a better designer than Ken overall.
Ken already said, that her involvement is very little.
From his words, she gave some very important advice now and then, but otherwise does not design the game herself.
 

MRY

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I'm really eager to see this. I worry slightly that Ken was at his best guiding the the folks I'd call the creative types (the names usually associated with the games themselves), just as they were at their best when overseen by Ken.
 

Narushima

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Ken already said, that her involvement is very little.
Actually, I misspoke. I did read the little Q&A. What I meant to say was I hoped she would have been more involved.
But we'll see what comes out of it.
 
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Taluntain

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FYI -- I'll be posting info as the project evolves on KensGame.com. People are encouraged to register there if they want kept up to date.

I should mention a few things:

- It is a 3d adventure that is being coded with Sierra fans in mind. I think they'll like it

- It's a very small team. I'm doing the coding and Marcus is doing all the art. We're leveraging assets that we are buying in the Unity Asset store and elsewhere.

- Both Marcus and I are hard workers, but two people cannot build a triple-A title that compares to the big budget titles that are out there. Anyone expecting this to be a major milestone for the industry will be disappointed. One major reason I have wanted to stay retired is that I don't want to make the commitment required to work on a huge game, and I knew that if I did something lame it would wreck my reputation. The game we're working on will be fun for those who play it, and it will bring back some good memories of the old days. But, I don't kid myself that it will win awards. That said, it is turning out better than expected and I think my reputation (such as it is) will be just fine. I suspect people will be blown away when they see it in the context of a project built by two people with no budget.

- Roberta's input is negligible but important. She had the original inspiration for the game, and we check in with her daily, but it's not really a "Roberta Williams" game. It will make a lot more sense when we are ready to talk more directly about what we're doing.

Ken W

From the comments at https://www.destructoid.com/roberta...E4gIr74pY-gsvcE5Tzr7OVDHUyXjMVMGLL4ZiVGqZStXk
 

Narushima

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I have to say, I'm quite worried about the fact the other guy heavily involved in the game's creation is someone who calls himself "Marcus Maximus Mera" (I can't imagine that's his real name) and looks like this:
 

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