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Colossal Cave Adventure remake from Ken & Roberta Williams

Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
920

So, since you're an insider...
Will there an item the size of a single pixel in the second room without which you can't finish the game, and which you can't go back for once you miss it? Just for the old authentic Sierra experience?
:negative:
Of course. It's literally in the very first room. It's on the main menu, in fact. If you don't click on it, you can't complete the game.
Start button?
 

Boleskine

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4,045
https://www.wired.com/2022/08/geeks-guide-kings-quest-creators/winamp/

The Creators of ‘King’s Quest’ Are Back With a New Game​


Ken and Roberta Williams are the cofounders of Sierra Online, the company behind such classic computer games as King’s Quest, Space Quest, and Quest for Glory. Their latest project, Colossal Cave: Reimagined by Roberta Williams, is a remake of the genre-defining Colossal Cave Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods.

“It’s a wonderful game, and I would love to bring it back to the world,” Roberta says in Episode 523 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “We want people to see that an older game like this can be brought back, and brought back in a beautiful way—and in a fun way—for today’s audiences.”

The game features modern graphics and sound, and even support for virtual reality devices such as the Quest 2, but is otherwise unchanged from the original text adventure. “We’re trying to stay super faithful to the original version,” Ken says. “If you’re doing history, you don’t want to change it. The old game has survived for 50 years. There’s still probably more people that play that game each year than play a lot of the indie games that come out. It’s a good, solid, well-designed game.”

Since selling Sierra in 1996, Ken and Roberta have spent much of their time sailing the world, a lifestyle that doesn’t generally lend itself to running a game studio. But Ken says modern communications technology has allowed them to work on Colossal Cave from anywhere. “In some ways the pandemic saved the game, because suddenly everybody uses Teams and Slack and all of these screen-sharing apps, and it’s practical now to work remotely on a project,” he says. “What we’re doing on this game couldn’t have been done five years ago.”

Ken and Roberta have assembled a team of almost 30 artists and programmers, most of whom weren’t even born when the original Colossal Cave was released in 1976. “None of them really knew what Colossal Cave was, and we’ve had to educate them,” Roberta says. “And I have to say that as we’ve worked with them on this game, in various ways—programmers, animators, artists—they have come to have such respect for this game, and I’ve been told many times, ‘I had no idea that this game was this good, and this interesting, and this deep and complex.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, it is.’ It’s a really good design. And they have come to have such respect for this game, which is a really good sign.”

Listen to the complete interview with Ken and Roberta Williams in Episode 523 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Roberta Williams on The Black Cauldron:

[The Disney executives] came into the room, and they basically sat down and said, “We decided to change a lot of your game because it wasn’t fitting our script. There’s too many places where you’re letting the player wander around and nothing is happening, and you realize this is a movie, right? You have to follow the script of the movie.” … I went into Ken’s office and I said, “I’m not going to do this game with them because they just took my game and they changed it all around, and back to—basically it’s almost like a script for a movie again, and so what’s the point?” I just said, “I’m done. I’m not going to do it.” And he called them into his office, and he basically said, “She’s not going to work on it unless you leave her alone and let her do it her way”—that they had to trust me. And they came back into the conference room and they said, “OK, you can do it however you want.” And I did.

Ken Williams on success:

There are a lot of people like me who were born with parents that couldn’t send them to a good school, that weren’t able to afford to go to college because they had to quit and get married early, and yet somehow I managed to go from the bottom of the heap to the top of the heap, and really it was just through hard work. I don’t claim to be a genius of any sort. I’m just kind of a good old boy who works really hard. Even on this game, I get up before the East Coast people and I’m there after the West Coast people. I don’t fart around a lot. I really work hard. And I think that almost anybody who’s really willing to dig in and work hard can succeed. And Roberta’s the same way. We’re both highly focused, hardworking people.

Ken Williams on Sierra Online:

I wanted to create a company that my grandkids would know about, and that would still be around for multiple generations. All decisions at Sierra were based on the long-term, not the short-term, and that’s why we did so well. But when we sold it, suddenly everybody was looking at it saying, “It’s inefficient to have an operation in Portland and an operation in Seattle and an operation in Paris, and have programmers in Boston. Why don’t we just fire all of those people and consolidate to one location, and quit developing our own software and just publish software [like] other people do?” That brought it all down.

Roberta Williams on Farewell to Tara:

I hired a professional genealogist in Ireland, and then I hired one in New York, and I hired one in Iowa—the three places where [my ancestors] were—and I was getting a ton of information. I just kept getting more and more information, and was doing a lot of my own research, and I just loved doing it, until I accumulated three huge, thick notebooks full of papers and research, and I said to myself, “You know, I should write a book.” Because the story was actually kind of interesting. … I wanted to write it as a historical novel, and turn this real-life story into an interesting read. I didn’t want to write it just for family members only. I wanted to write it in such a way that readers of historical novels might actually enjoy it, even if it’s not their own family.

 

Aeschylus

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Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
The opposite of most of the old-school Sierra revivals, the more I hear about this one the more cautiously optimistic I get. Props to them for going oldschool, and engaging with the fan community of developers.
 

Blackthorne

Infamous Quests
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Codex 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
I'm biased, because I've been playing this for months, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. There's a lot to explore in it, and Roberta is really adament about being faithful to the original design. It's not a really narrative story game, as the original never was, but it's definitely an old-school adventure explorer game, set in a 3D created environment. I was able to navigate around on my first playthrough solely based on my memories of playing the text adventure in DOS from my youth.
 

Boleskine

Arcane
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https://www.eurogamer.net/sierra-on-line-founders-ken-and-roberta-williams

Sierra On-Line founders Ken and Roberta Williams​

Live from their boat.


Ken and Roberta Williams inside a wooden cockpit of a boat. Ken is looking particularly fetching in his captain's hat and moustache.

I was hoping they'd be on their boat while conducting the interview and they were! Bobbing along. They're super-keen boaters you see - well, not so much boaters as adventurers, which is absolutely appropriate and you'll know why when I eventually get around to telling you who they are. They've sailed across the Atlantic ocean on their own! They've sailed across the Bering Sea up near Alaska, though they took an experienced navigator to help them there.
In fact, if it weren't for the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown that came with it, they'd probably still be boating and wouldn't have returned to games at all. But being landlocked meant they got bored and so decided, eventually, to make a game again.

^ The rest is behind a paywall.

Roberta has also done an interview with the Video Game History Foundation podcast.

https://gamehistory.org/ep-90-colossal-cave-adventure-with-roberta-williams/



Designer and Sierra On-Line co-founder Roberta Williams shares how Adventure inspired her own career in creating/designing the King’s Quest and Phantasmagoria series as well as her newest work: Colossal Cave 3D Adventure, a reimagined version of the original title.In this episode we’re joined by a very vocal special guest, avid readers become avid storytellers, we’re all acutely aware of our own age, and looking under the hood bears greater appreciation for design.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
4,129
Location
Chicago, IL, Kwa
That’s pretty cool. As generally non-plussed as I’ve been by most of Dave’s output, there’s no doubt that he’s probably the single biggest reason that point and clicks have maintained what little market share they still have over the last 20 years. He deserves to get a picture with the Williamses.
 

Darkozric

Arbiter
Edgy
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,711
Dave Gilbert didn't maintain shit. It's the opposite, he's also a part of the decline, the godfather of walking sims, the inspirator of hundreds of brain-dead story driven abominations. He feels awkward on the panel cause he knows the truth, he has nothing meaningful to add.
He only deserves a photo with my cat's poop.
 

Zeriel

Arcane
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
13,530
I think VR is slowly becoming more popular.
While still kind of cumbersome and expensive, devices get better and more efficient year by year.


Anyway, I don't understand the hesitancy for an optional(!) VR support and claiming that it would make the game worse in any way.

Obduction from Cyan showed that even with VR support, the game can be played without problems and decline on a normal PC monitor with mouse+KB.
I never played it in VR and still enjoyed it a lot.

I think the "killer app" for VR so far is the community based stuff. VR chat but also the way it lets streamers, vtubers especially, do stuff together and get up to wacky hijinx.

As actual full gaming experiences that don't contain painful compromises though... don't really exist, and I don't see it happening for decades.
 

Blackthorne

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Codex 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
Eh they hired Blackthorne to work on this, that alone is enough to warrant a closer look at least.
I'll say this - Ken's work ethic is amazing. I live on the East Coast, right... I'll pop on Teams sometimes at 7 AM to peruse work that's been done, etc. before I start my day later, and Ken's there, working, answering questions, hacking away at code... and he's on the West Coast... it's like 4 AM then... and he's still on sometimes when I glance at 8 or 9 PM my time. He's been fully hands on with this project - not just some dude with the money barking orders; he's in there working, having fun... honestly, this is probably more fun than he's had with this stuff since his early days. Dude's an old school coder at heart, and he lives for this stuff. I know plenty of old "bosses" who do nothing, but this dude has been in the trenches on this one.
 

Boleskine

Arcane
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Sep 12, 2013
Messages
4,045
Not sure if there's anything new or noteworthy about Colossal Cave 3D in this video, but I skipped to the end and Marcus says people "will be shocked" at what he's doing next. Then he mentions that his original goal was to create "Sierra 2.0" and keep Ken and Roberta developing games. Doesn't confirm if the next project is an adventure game.

 

Darkozric

Arbiter
Edgy
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Messages
1,711
Don't waste your time with this Marcus Maximus Cyclops, there's a new documentary about the Legends on Netflix.

Netflix.jpg
 

Darkozric

Arbiter
Edgy
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,711
Before anyone says that I'm an "edgy" and hateful cunt, I want to inform them that I support only strong independent women.


InVSde.jpg
 

Boleskine

Arcane
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
4,045
Then he mentions that his original goal was to create "Sierra 2.0" and keep Ken and Roberta developing games.
Btw "Sierra 2.0" sounds like a politician's promise. You can't go more cringe than that.
I completely agree, was just sharing the comments for others to see.

Marcus seems like a nice guy and it's great he's working with Ken and Roberta, but it's funny that he's trying to hype up "the next thing" before Colossal Cave 3D has even released. We'll see if there's something real behind his tease or if he's just grandstanding.
 

AndyS

Augur
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
450
Eh they hired Blackthorne to work on this, that alone is enough to warrant a closer look at least.
I'll say this - Ken's work ethic is amazing. I live on the East Coast, right... I'll pop on Teams sometimes at 7 AM to peruse work that's been done, etc. before I start my day later, and Ken's there, working, answering questions, hacking away at code... and he's on the West Coast... it's like 4 AM then... and he's still on sometimes when I glance at 8 or 9 PM my time. He's been fully hands on with this project - not just some dude with the money barking orders; he's in there working, having fun... honestly, this is probably more fun than he's had with this stuff since his early days. Dude's an old school coder at heart, and he lives for this stuff. I know plenty of old "bosses" who do nothing, but this dude has been in the trenches on this one.
He sounds like the kind of guy who builds a billion dollar company. Much as people don't want to admit it, most of the new wealthy people out there got that way because their work ethic is off the charts.
 

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