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When can we expect to see SOMETHING about Telltale's KQ?

posted by Blackthorne519 on - last edited - Viewed by 2.1K users

I wonder when we'll see or hear something substantial about Tell-Tale's King's Quest game.


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  • @Cez said: I understand what you are saying, and I know TSL has done it. But I've worked at Telltale, as well. Telltale's model doesn't fit the number of screens TSL has. It would be way too much for their production cycles.

    If you compare TSL to Tales of Monkey Island, for example, TSL's world is much bigger. A world the size of TSL would cost Telltale a lot of money. That's what I'm saying.



    So basically you're saying that a professional company with paid workers and a budget couldn't accomplish the same level of gameplay depth and quality as a group of amateur fan developers with no budget or compensation?

    Why does that statement not seem to make sense to me?

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    Cez

    @Lambonius said: So basically you're saying that a professional company with paid workers and a budget couldn't accomplish the same level of gameplay depth and quality as a group of amateur fan developers with no budget or compensation?

    Why does that statement not seem to make sense to me?



    Because we had years to make it happen. And we didn't care how much we "spent". That makes a huge difference. Producing that same amount of content in a year period, would have been next to impossible, even with a big budget. Note that I'm talking just about quantity (number of screens, number of characters, number of actions you can perform, etc), they will definitely have better quality.

    We are talking about x number of months to craft the first episode, but then it goes down to a timeline of roughly one to two months to put together a full episode. Trust me, I've been there, that times passes FAST. You could insert 40 more people to create more content, yes, but 1) that's money, 2) in such a short amount of time it becomes extremely chaotic to manage, because you still want only a few people managing a huge team in order to hold the vision into something coherent.

    Remember, a game like Mask of Eternity, or even Gabriel Knight 3 took 2-3 years to make. Those are 2-3 years of spending a lot of money maintaining a team. That's a hit that Bioware could take these days, but it would ruin a "small" company like Telltale. Professional has nothing to do with it --again, we are not in the golden years of adventure anymore where Sierra was one of the lead developers, they had a PR monster machine and their games were the popular ones. All that has changed immensely. And so, in order for a game like King's Quest to survive in this time, it would have to adapt to a lot of things.

    What I'm hoping we get is what Tales fans got when you compare it to something like Curse of Monkey Island. Still, a lot less scenes/characters, but it was done in such a smart way that they managed to keep the feeling of Monkey Island. But, like you've said before, King's Quest is about exploration. Maybe Telltale will come up with a way where they give us a big forest that they manage to create within their budget, I don't know, I really don't know what's going on in there anymore, and they have scaled up since I left. But I'm setting my expectations accordingly to the amount of content they have created for all of their games, because that's probably what we are going to get for King's Quest.

    I'm talking from personal experience as I've been delving a lot into that lately. If we were to do a commercial project, it would be hugely scaled down from the size of TSL --TSL would probably cost 2-3 millions dollars or so to make or more with a timeline of 2 years or so (if graphics were updated to latest technology). That's just development money and not counting in any Publicity/Publishing/Licenses related costs. Unfortunately, I don't think any adventure game would make that kind of money back.

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    Cez

    And, in general, that's why I say that we have to get over the 90s, with these big adventure games, with these big worlds to explore, with them being much less accessible, etc. My comment was oriented towards all that. Telltale is the ONLY company in the whole world that has managed to succeed, and it's not only because of dumbing down their games, it has to do with a lot of smart decisions they have made, including the perfect size and amount of content in their games.

    Look at a game like Dreamfall. Big, huge, pretty and fun. Where's the sequel? Where's the next adventure game from Funcom? It didn't sell enough. Telltale's game won't carry the headlines news. That's space is reserved for other games these days, so you either sacrifice a lot in order to make these games, or you fail miserably, like 95% of adventure developers in the 2000s. And then, for better or worse, we had Telltale coming along, and finding a way to steadily put out products every year. We can say whatever about their games, but damn, we got to applaud them in how they've managed to do this successfully where everyone else has failed.

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    Cez

    @MusicallyInspired said: Everything you've said seems to kind of prove many people's whole point on the whole issue. :) And that is that it shouldn't be attempted. Many would say it would be better if it stayed in the 90s than to be tarnished into something unrecognizable.



    I don't think that way. Honestly, if it's not my cup of tea I won't play it, but that won't change my feelings about King's Quest. Mask of Eternity certainly didn't make me feel different about King's Quest V or VI. If anything, it just reinforced what masterpieces they were.

    If it's not what you want, let a new generation enjoy it. It may even get them interested to go to the past and experience the old games.

    If we didn't want it brought back officially, maybe we shouldn't have worked so hard in keeping it alive with our fan games :)

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    @Cez said: Telltale is the ONLY company in the whole world that has managed to succeed



    There's an enormous amount of sense in what you've been saying, but this statement is a bit of an exaggeration. Look at Her Interactive for example. They've churned out a couple of entries in the Nancy Drew adventure game series every year, across multiple platforms, for a good number of years now. Pendulo Studios was founded in 1994, and while not exactly prolific, they still seem to be making games (and games that are fairly well rooted in old adventure traditions at that).

    While Telltale certainly stands out in terms of rapid growth, I wouldn't say they are the ONLY company in the WHOLE WORLD that is doing ok.

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    Cez

    @puzzlebox said: There's an enormous amount of sense in what you've been saying, but this statement is a bit of an exaggeration. Look at Her Interactive for example. They've churned out a couple of entries in the Nancy Drew adventure game series every year, across multiple platforms, for a good number of years now. Pendulo Studios was founded in 1994, and while not exactly prolific, they still seem to be making games (and games that are fairly well rooted in old adventure traditions at that).

    While Telltale certainly stands out in terms of rapid growth, I wouldn't say they are the ONLY company in the WHOLE WORLD that is doing ok.



    Yeah, but Her Interactive's games are not something you would find as being hyped or wanted as a Telltale game. It depends on the public, I guess, but there's in general, from players and press, a huge gap when it comes to interest level from both companies games. There's a quality to Telltale Games that you don't find in other studios.

    I did say constant release of games, as well. So, yes, I know about Pendulo and I know about other companies out there, but there's nothing that scratches Telltale Games when it comes to a steady, growing, successful formula. Everyone else is just gasping for air, or producing low quality products. That's what I meant.

  • I think ultimately what it boils down to is this:

    Telltale is going to have to try a different approach with the KQ license, or it won't be King's Quest.

    At least not in the eyes of fans of the old games. I firmly believe that it will be impossible to capture the spirit and tone of the original KQ games using the format Telltale has used with the majority of their adventure games--games like Tales or Sam & Max.

    It's just that simple.

    Now, despite my negative outcry, I don't think that it is TOTALLY outside the realm of possibility that they could do King's Quest justice, but it won't be with a game formatted like Tales of Monkey Island or Sam & Max. And CERTAINLY not one formatted like BttF. *shudders and crosses himself*

    Telltale has shown with Jurassic Park that they are willing to experiment with new formats--they are even bringing down the episode count to four (presumably to flesh out each episode.) So maybe they will surprise us with something new for King's Quest.

    That's what I'm hoping. Otherwise, it's already over.

  • @MusicallyInspired said: Everything you've said seems to kind of prove many people's whole point on the whole issue. :) And that is that it shouldn't be attempted. Many would say it would be better if it stayed in the 90s than to be tarnished into something unrecognizable.



    Well, one must remember, Cesar probably has an agena saying what he does. After all, his team was bucking hard to get the license themselves so we could get Angst Quest I, II, III starring the emotionally tortured King Graham and the creepy, whipped, anime-esque Alexander.

  • @Cez said: Because we had years to make it happen. And we didn't care how much we "spent". That makes a huge difference. Producing that same amount of content in a year period, would have been next to impossible, even with a big budget. Note that I'm talking just about quantity (number of screens, number of characters, number of actions you can perform, etc), they will definitely have better quality.

    We are talking about x number of months to craft the first episode, but then it goes down to a timeline of roughly one to two months to put together a full episode. Trust me, I've been there, that times passes FAST. You could insert 40 more people to create more content, yes, but 1) that's money, 2) in such a short amount of time it becomes extremely chaotic to manage, because you still want only a few people managing a huge team in order to hold the vision into something coherent.

    Remember, a game like Mask of Eternity, or even Gabriel Knight 3 took 2-3 years to make. Those are 2-3 years of spending a lot of money maintaining a team. That's a hit that Bioware could take these days, but it would ruin a "small" company like Telltale. Professional has nothing to do with it --again, we are not in the golden years of adventure anymore where Sierra was one of the lead developers, they had a PR monster machine and their games were the popular ones. All that has changed immensely. And so, in order for a game like King's Quest to survive in this time, it would have to adapt to a lot of things.

    What I'm hoping we get is what Tales fans got when you compare it to something like Curse of Monkey Island. Still, a lot less scenes/characters, but it was done in such a smart way that they managed to keep the feeling of Monkey Island. But, like you've said before, King's Quest is about exploration. Maybe Telltale will come up with a way where they give us a big forest that they manage to create within their budget, I don't know, I really don't know what's going on in there anymore, and they have scaled up since I left. But I'm setting my expectations accordingly to the amount of content they have created for all of their games, because that's probably what we are going to get for King's Quest.

    I'm talking from personal experience as I've been delving a lot into that lately. If we were to do a commercial project, it would be hugely scaled down from the size of TSL --TSL would probably cost 2-3 millions dollars or so to make or more with a timeline of 2 years or so (if graphics were updated to latest technology). That's just development money and not counting in any Publicity/Publishing/Licenses related costs. Unfortunately, I don't think any adventure game would make that kind of money back.



    The only reasons KQ8 and GK3 took 2-3 years were largely technical issues and the fact that Sierra's new management had no faith in adventure games. Consider that that KQ8's production started in 1996, and was planned to be released for Christmas 1997--Only Dynamix's failures and the new management having no faith in adventure games and trying to control Roberta stopped that.

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    Cez

    @Anakin Skywalker said: The only reasons KQ8 and GK3 took 2-3 years were largely technical issues and the fact that Sierra's new management had no faith in adventure games. Consider that that KQ8's production started in 1996, and was planned to be released for Christmas 1997--Only Dynamix's failures and the new management having no faith in adventure games and trying to control Roberta stopped that.



    That may have been part of it, I won't talk about MoE because I don't know the story, but GK3 took 3 years because it needed them (and I had a conversation with Jane Jensen about it). Granted, there were a lot of technical issues why this happened, but that's all part of the complexity of systems since 3D was implemented. The truth of the matter is that as developers get their hands on better and better technology, times also increase. For the 3D technology, you have to do your 2D passes, but then, when you get to the modeling part, that normally takes more time than 2D. Nowadays with Normal Maps which brings the ability of doing extraordinary detail on things, a character that you could do in 5 days prior to this technology, now can take 15. The more detail and features you can add, the more time game making is going to take.

    The development cycles of Sierra games in the 90s were about a year each with a mid size team. You would not be able to do that in less than 2 years today and you would need double or triple the team. Just look at a credits list of a game of today and compare it to a game from the 90s. Look at the absurdity of Uncharted or Assassins Creed lists. They never end, they keep rolling and rolling and rolling. Making AAA titles is absurd in how expensive it can be today. In the same way, GK and MoE were pushing the technology back in their day, and MoE was basically their first adventure product where they did this. They might as well thought that it was going to be easy, and then they hit the reality, and complexity of it. Which is the point I'm trying to make, you can't compare the production time of VGA games from the 90s to 3D games, not from today, and not from the late 90s either. I'm not saying that the VGA games are "easy" to put together, they are definitely not child play, and they have their own nightmares like animation for example, but 3D goes through all of that, and adds another layer of complexity to things on top of everything.

    Even games like Final Fantasy went from being released year after year (VII in 97, VII, in 98, IX in 99 or 00) to taking two years for X, and then 5 years for XII and 5 years for XIII. Politics, etc, play part in that, but that's also because if you make mistakes in this generation, the price you pay is very high, because everything is more complex, and harder to "redo" or "fix".

    But this is actually a very good example of what people are asking Telltale to do. They are asking them to leave what is tried and true for them in order to do new things. When you take people from their comfort zone, it creates risk. Sometimes, that risk must be matched to sales expectations. If KQ's sales expectations match their sales expectations from Jurassic Park (and trust me, they must have numbers), they will probably take the risk with King's Quest as well. If not, then they may just stay within their comfort zone in order to minimize risk. That whole thing of "well, then they must try a different model" makes sense as a fan, but not as someone who is running a company and is responsible of feeding the families of those who they have employed.

    Now, are they listening? Yes, they are. Will they give us the KQ we want? no, they'll give us Telltale's King's Quest, not Sierra's King's Quest. Will it have that full exploration feeling to it with a bunch of different screens, characters, and interactions? If Monkey Island is an example to follow, the answer is no, because Tales was much smaller in number of screens and characters than every other game in the series? Will it be horrible even if it's that way? We don't know. Hey, maybe they understand what we fans want, because sometimes it seems obvious to me that we don't know and that we want all different things in a KQ. Right, but that's what the series itself taught us --always be different, there's no true King's Quest, and there's no definite way of approaching this series.

    They say It all depends on Roberta's mood at the time, so, since she's retired and traveling in her boat around the world, maybe this game will feel more like Monkey Island than King's Quest :P

    (and, yes, I know she's not working on this, Anakin, this is a joke ;)

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