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Sierra tech support reunion party, KQ7 is mentioned quite a bit

posted by Armakuni on - last edited - Viewed by 772 users

I recently stumbled upon this Youtube called MetalJesusRocks, and the guy whose channel it is used to work for Sierra, in the phone support section.

He hosted a little reunion party for other people having worked in support, and while it might sound really dull to watch... it's actually quite interesting!
They talk about which games were the most work to support, and which ones were the easiest... and Kings Quest 7 is mentioned several times as being one of the very worst ones as it was apparently incredibly buggy when it was first released (mine wasn't as far as I remember, but then again I didn't buy it right away and maybe the European release was more polished..?).
It was actually so buggy that they started including patch floppies in the game boxes! :D

Anyway, here are links to the two parts -
Sierra tech support reunion part 1/2
Sierra tech support reunion part 2/2

17 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • AFAIK, the earlier release that didn't come with a DOS version had quite a few bugs. Incidentally, this is also the version that comes with Vivendi's 2006 KQ collection.

  • I see... I think my version didn't come with the DOS version actually... haven't tried it out in so long that I can't remember anymore... the few times I've tried it out over the years I've always played the version that comes with the Roberta Williams Anthology, but I have no idea if that one is buggy or not.
    However, I did finish the game once way back when it was rather new, and I can't remember encountering any serious issues.
    Another game I bought where I seem to remember I didn't get the DOS version is Phantasmagoria 2... though if I remember correctly, you could download a patch to enable DOS support.

    Btw, Outpost was apparently another really buggy game according to the people in the clips... I haven't played many of the non-adventure Sierra titles so I know very little about most of them (though I did play their VGA version of Oils Well quite a bit, and didn't they have some Lode Runner game too..? I played that one too... and some of the Dr Brain stuff, those aren't really adventure games either).

  • AFAIK, the earlier release that didn't come with a DOS version had quite a few bugs. Incidentally, this is also the version that comes with Vivendi's 2006 KQ collection.


    The first version version that came out originally was 1.1 for Windows 3.1. This was the buggy version.

    The Vivendi box version is 1.4 (or 1.51), the first win 95 version. This version has developed bugs on modern operating systems.

    The first dos version was version 2.0.

    http://www.sierraplanet.com/kingsquest7/techdoc2.html

  • Ah. Apparently I did in fact not know as far as I thought.

  • I think the bugs and the crappy QA work done on kQ7 lead to many of complaints, bad reviews etc for the game.

    The QA really went down starting around the release of QFG4.

  • [quote=BagginsKQ]I think the bugs and the crappy QA work done on kQ7 lead to many of complaints, bad reviews etc for the game.

    The QA really went down starting around the release of QFG4. [/quote]

    Don't blame QA, blame management. I interviewed Lori Cole a couple of years ago for a Quest for Glory article and she talked about this:

    [quote=Lori Cole]When Shadows of Darkness was released, it was terribly buggy. The programming system had been behind schedule and the game only had about a week of testing before they shoved it out the door for Christmas. I was miserable. The game was virtually unplayable. ... Shadows of Darkness started late because of system redesign and it was a very complex game. Sierra was shipping two other games that year, and all competed for the QA department's testing. Rather than miss the Christmas season, they shipped the game with only a week in QA. Then the management couldn't understand why it was so buggy.[/quote]

    A week in QA for a game of that size is ridiculous. King's Quest 7 was the same vintage, the QA situation was probably similar.

    Back on topic - Armakuni, thanks for posting the YouTube links, that will be fun to watch!

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    exo

    now they release buggy games all the time. every time I boot a console game it has to download a patch. bet sierra wishes they had that sort of direct line to a consumers pc back then. :rolleyes:

  • Except for SCI games, once the game is updated old save games no longer work. Not so for modern games, in most cases, anyway.

  • [quote]now they release buggy games all the time.[/quote]

    There's some degree of bugginess in most products. However, I felt that games like Police Quest: Open Season, Quest for Glory IV (which I couldn't even start up until I got a new computer), and King's Quest VII were much worse than the majority of modern releases. Sierra had serious issues (incessant crashing, interface glitches, corrupt save games, etc.) once DOS extenders and Windows 3.1 were supported.

    In addition to the holiday rush, I suspect that QA schedules hadn't evolved to match the growing complexity of games.

  • Their Windows 3.1 interpreters were absolute GARBAGE. The developers said so themselves. Win 3.1 was apparently not very developer-friendly as far as programming third-party programs was concerned. That's why I always stick to the DOS interpreters. The Win95 ones did far better, though.

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