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Roberta Williams/Josh Mandel discussion

posted by tomst on - last edited - Viewed by 3.7K 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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  • or it could mean he doesn't want to say anything that makes it seem like he knows more about it than he does.

  • @Irishmile said: or it could mean he doesn't want to say anything that makes it seem like he knows more about it than he does.

    LMAO that's an interesting point. The easiest way to avoid people speculating based on something that's been said is just to say nothing in the first place.

  • @wilco64256 said: LMAO that's an interesting point. The easiest way to avoid people speculating based on something that's been said is just to say nothing in the first place.

    Yeah, but in that case it'd be much easier to simply say "I don't know anything," rather than "I'm not at liberty to say."

    Or he could have just not commented at all. But he didn't. He specifically chose to let it be known that he had been contacted by Telltale, that he knew more than he was allowed to say, and that he had faith in their handling of the license.

  • In all honesty so do I - for the most part I enjoy Telltale's games and I look forward to seeing what they do with the KQ franchise. Will it be fun? Probably yes. Will it be different from other KQ games? Also probably yes. Whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen but I intend to play through it.

  • @Irishmile said: or it could mean he doesn't want to say anything that makes it seem like he knows more about it than he does.

    That is what I have gotten as well since such a line is PR talk for "I know something is going on, but for legal reasons, I cannot say." The same thing happened with the voice of Duke Nukem who blantally told the fans to read between lines after he said "I can't talk about Duke Nukem Forever. Think about it, if I can't talk about it, what does that tell you?" when asked about the series being resurrected after being cancelled last year; this was a year before it was announced that Duke Nukem was sold to that company who makes borderlands.

  • It appears that as time went by, Roberta's role in the KQ games got smaller and smaller.

    KQ1SCI was designed and rewritten solely by Josh Mandel, who has claimed Roberta only asked him to change one small thing at the end of the game.

    KQV's credits are (in order) such:

    Designed by Roberta Williams
    Creative Director: Bill Davis
    Creative Consultant: William Skirvin

    KQVI's credits are (in order):

    Written & Designed by Jane Jensen and Roberta Williams
    Produced by William Skirvin
    Directed by William Skirvin, Jane Jensen and Roberta Williams
    Text & Dialogue by Jane Jensen

    Note also that Roberta took a month long vacation during KQ6's vacation after discussing basic design issues with Jane. Some key elements, like the Black Cloak Society, were only discussed loosely and not too seriously at the early stages of the game's design and Roberta was unaware for several years that that idea even made it into the final game. Note also that Roberta felt her ideas for KQ were used up after KQV and wanted to hand the series over to other designers.

    KQVII's credits (in order) are:

    Directed by Andy Hoyos, Lorelei Shannon and Roberta Williams
    Designed by Lorelei Shannon and Roberta Williams
    Produced by Mark Seibert
    Writing/Dialogue/Story by Lorelei Shannon
    Based on Characters Created by Roberta Williams

    KQVIII's credits are (in order)
    Designed by Mark Seibert and Roberta Williams
    Produced by Mark Seibert
    Directed by Mark Seibert
    Writing/Dialogue/Story by Roberta Williams

    Roberta went into KQ8 with a brand new idea and wanted to reassert her own vision over the series once again. However, Ken Williams claims that midway through development (after he left Sierra in 1996), Roberta lost gradually creative control and other ideas which weren't her own began to get injected into the game, and corporate pressure from above also changed the game, demanding more monsters and the like to keep the game 'relevant.' Roberta had always intended for KQ8 to be fully 3D and with action, but not as much as we ended up geting

    As Ken was no longer in charge of Sierra and thus was uable to protect the the integrity of Roberta's vision, KQ8 became designed by committee and it slipped out of her control. In fact, the game went through three separate design documents. The first two, from 1995-1996, to around early 1997 reflected Roberta's vision. The last and final design totally deviated from it, to the point that Roberta wanted her name taken off KQ8 and only allowed her name to be put on it after some token changes were made to make it a little bit like she originally intended it to be. She kept delaying the game, trying to reassert control and get it back to her original intentions until finally Sierra's new management threatened to bring litigation against her and she handed the game over. Ken has said she was moderately happy with the product in the end but it reflected a much wider product vision and was not a Roberta game.

  • I'm pretty sure he knows more than any of us, I also imagine TTG has asked him if he would like to voice the character but I am sure he is not allowed to talk about it until all the details are worked out... And I'm sure TTG gets final say on what we get to know

  • I'm not convinced we should read that much into the credits, especially for King's Quest V, VI, and VII. In my opinion, King's Quest V is a 100% Roberta game. King's Quest VI and VII did have the co-designers you listed, but I remember Roberta saying in interviews how she always stayed very involved with her projects (Laura Bow II and Shivers being the main exceptions, but there she was only credited as a creative consultant). I think the main difference with KQVI/KQVII is that she didn't write the actual script (and the Black Cloak Society thing falls into the script domain). I still think she was instrumental in developing the story, puzzles, and overall look and feel of the games.

    Of course MOE is an entirely different story, and Ken's comments support that.

  • Also, I think sometimes the credits were just listed in alphabetical order (e.g. Jane Jensen before Roberta Williams, Lorelei Shannon before Roberta Williams, Mark Seibert before Roberta Williams.) The games still had her name and face on the box (although I guess you could argue this was done for marketing purposes).

  • You must have posted this 3 times in different threads. Why does it need its own thread now? And what is the point?

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