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Roberta Williams/Josh Mandel discussion

posted by tomst on - last edited - Viewed by 2.7K users

Congrats to the Telltale team for announcing the return of mid-30 year old males (and anyone else old enough to remember this series) to the world of computer gaming!

Can anyone from TT comment on Roberta Williams's involvement in terms of story & design, if such plans even exist?

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  • This is from 1997. Roberta's take on what makes a KQ game a KQ game, the idea of change and evolution in the KQ series, and her general feelings on KQ as the creator of it:

    "I have been reading with interest all of the various comments that everybody has had about KQ8 (Mask of Eternity). I find it interesting that everybody has their own ideas about what King's Quest IS. And everybody seems to have a bit different idea.

    It seems, on this board, anyway, that quite a few people have the idea that King's Quest is (or should be) non-violent...no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And it must be cute, funny, have fairytales in it, and have lots of puzzles and inventory objects. First of all, I have to say that King's Quest comes from ME and each one is different and has its own flavor. Some have a darker tone, and others have a lighter tone. Some touch upon violence, and some don't. King's Quest reflects the mood that I am in when I go to tackle another one.

    King's Quest really is a reflection of me and how I'm feeling about the subject and upon the reference material I am using and how I approach the subject. Basically, King's Quest comes from me and my heart and it always isn't going to be exactly the same, because I'm not always exactly the same, and I, like most people, feel a need for a change of pace and a sense of moving forward and of trying and experiencing something new.

    With KQ7, I was in a "Disney-esque" mood. Some people really liked it, others didn't. Earlier King's Quest's reflected my moods during those times: KQ3 was very dark, and it utilized lots of magic and magic spells with the basic idea of finding ingredients for "black magic" spells and then casting those spells. (Certain religious groups were upset with me over that one!)

    KQ1 certainly had violence. Sir Graham had a dagger and could kill the dragon (and it didn't get you "stuck," by the way, if you did so), and you could also kill the goat. It's true that I also had non-violent ways of dealing with those situations, but, that's because I chose to handle it that way for that particular game.

    I've gotten into trouble over the years for all the various ways that my main characters can "die." And they die a lot! I am known for changing course a lot, and changing my style a lot. I like change, and I like to keep people guessing. KQ7 felt very Disney-esque, and I felt like doing something different for KQ8 but yet, still keeping a "King's Quest" feel to the game. Each game in the King's Quest family has been different.

    Almost each time I do a new King's Quest, people get up in arms and say it's going to be "different" and won't feel right. Yet, each time, it DOES wind up feeling like King's Quest but each in its own way...and people just kind of KNOW that when they are playing it.

    That's because I know, in my heart, and what I am feeling, that it is, indeed, King's Quest. The components that make a King's Quest are (in my mind, anyway and since I am the creator of the series, I guess that holds some weight):

    A land, or lands, of high fantasy
    Fantasy creatures from myth, legends, and/or fairytales both good and bad
    Situations to be found in those same types of stories
    A "quest" type story
    A calamity in the land with one "hero" to "save the kingdom"
    A story of the "good" hero against the "evil" bad guy
    A story that everyone can relate to, i.e., a "reason" for having the hero go out and risk his or her life for "saving the kingdom."
    Interesting worlds to explore
    High interactivity
    Interesting characters
    Great animation
    Great visuals and music.

    Within that general framework, I feel that I can have some "leeway" to accomplish those tasks
    ."

  • I wouldn't make far fetched conclusions yet. All he revealed was that they have talked and he is interested about the project, not that he is already working on the project. I'm certain that if he is going to work with TTG, there will be announcement about his role in the project. However the fact that TTG has at least contacted him is quite promising.

  • @Olaus Petrus said: I wouldn't make far fetched conclusions yet. All he revealed was that they have talked and he is interested about the project, not that he is already working on the project. I'm certain that if he is going to work with TTG, there will be announcement about his role in the project. However the fact that TTG has at least contacted him is quite promising.

    Cesar Bittar (head of the TSL project, ex-employee of TT) said:


    "yep. I know Josh and Dave had been talking since last year.

    Dave also wanted to get in touch with Roberta.
    "

    So, TT has been in touch with Josh since last year. That's a pretty long time for them to be in touch.

    The fact that they wanted to get in touch with Roberta (who is happily retired) is also nice.

  • Actually all that really means is that they talked to him a few months ago, it wasn't meant to give any indication that they've been talking to him like every day or something.

  • It's nice to see TTG reached out to some Sierra veterans.

  • Interesting.

    @GuybrushWilco said: It's nice to see Sierra reached out to some Sierra veterans.

    You mean Telltale, right?

  • @wilco64256 said: Actually all that really means is that they talked to him a few months ago, it wasn't meant to give any indication that they've been talking to him like every day or something.

    Still, he trusts them. That's a good sign :D.

  • @MusicallyInspired said: Interesting.

    You mean Telltale, right?

    Fixed :)

    I hope TTG are getting some input from Mandel on story and all that.

  • Again, I'm not certain this means much. "Last year" wasn't that long ago, and unless we know communications were sustained, I just don't know this means much. Now, I trust Mandel, but how much better of a picture does he have of the project than we do? I mean, I'm sure he has seen more than the NOTHING we have, but what does he have otherwise? Just a story document? Concept art? A chat with developers? Anything about gameplay design?

    I wouldn't say it means much yet, but the fact that they're reaching out is definitely a sign that they're at least trying.

  • @Rather Dashing said:
    I wouldn't say it means much yet, but the fact that they're reaching out is definitely a sign that they're at least trying.

    I agree. I think this is the important point. Also, it's worth noting that Josh mentioned he wasn't allowed to divulge more info, which suggests he at least does have SOME bit of insider perspective on the project.

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