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Roberta's level of involvement in KQ7

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 234 users

One thing I am curious about is:

What was Roberta's level of involvement in KQ7?

On one hand she did seem to be spearheading it's design, the idea of it being Disney inspired both in terms of feel and design style, Lorelei Shannon also talked about how creative they were TOGETHER, designing characters and the story TOGETHER, that they were on a creative roll that could've lasted two years, in her own words.

But in the game and booklet, the credits are:

Design: Lorelei Shannon, Roberta Williams
Director: Andy Hoyos, Lorelei Shannon, Roberta Williams
Written by: Lorelei Shannon
Based on characters created by: Roberta Williams

KQs 1-5 were purely Roberta games, 6 is 50/50 Roberta/Jane, and Roberta's level of involvement in KQ8 will never truly be known as the story of it's development leads to sort of a blur and there was executive meddling...While she was the lead designer, writer and director of KQ8, what exactly the new management of Sierra pushed on her midway through the design will never be known, and how much of her distancing herself from KQ8 is just backtracking, will also never be known.

But KQ7 should be more of an open and shut case and yet it's not. Roberta truly did seem to spearheaded by Roberta, her vision, her design, her story ideas, and Sierra was not owned by anyone except for her and Ken Williams when KQ7 was developed, but her level of total involvement is unclear. Did she work hands on with Lorelei Shannon in developing the story and characters and puzzles? Or did she give Shannon totally a free hand, while acting as an overseer?

5 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • At least in the case of KQ8, it is confirmed that Roberta at least wrote all the text in the game apparently, she also chose the actors. So as as far as story goes it is all hers. Even if it may not have been the full extent of the story as she originally wanted to tell..

    Infact she had at least three different versions of that story, or at least backstories for the playable character.

    See KQ8 deveopment page over on the wiki.

    BTW, I think Interaction Magazine suggests that she basically let Lorelei Shannon take over KQ7 as she was busy working on what would become Phantasmagoria at the time...

  • @BagginsKQ said: At least in the case of KQ8, it is confirmed that Roberta at least wrote all the text in the game apparently, she also chose the actors. So as as far as story goes it is all hers. Even if it may not have been the full extent of the story as she originally wanted to tell..

    Infact she had at least three different versions of that story, or at least backstories for the playable character.

    See KQ8 deveopment page over on the wiki.

    Yes that is how I see it. KQ8 is Roberta's baby but things she wanted were cut and had to be cut and pasted or rearranged due to budget, timing and technological issues. Sort of like if editors had taken their pens to Lord of the Rings and taken out or condensed several chapters.

  • http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/103/

    This is interesting, we can add yet another 'version of KQ8' to the list. Apparently Roberta discussed replacing Connor with Alexander several times, before Connor finally won out

    Some more here from Ken Williams perspective in 1996.
    http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/125/

    There is some stuff on KQ7 here;
    http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/127/

  • @BagginsKQ said: http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/103/

    This is interesting, we can add yet another 'version of KQ8' to the list. Apparently Roberta discussed replacing Connor with Alexander several times, before Connor finally won out

    Some more here from Ken Williams perspective in 1996.
    http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/125/

    There is some stuff on KQ7 here;
    http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/127/

    I don't think that there was ever a "version" of KQ8 which had Alexander as the protagonist--it was probably just an idea loosely bandied about in pre-pre production discussions. I think Roberta was ready to have a new character from the time the basic story (Mask of Eternity shatters, curses kingdom, hero has to save the lands) was worked out. Now who this character was exactly, how large the story was, who the villain was and what exactly he did to the lands etc, that evolved over time, I imagine. But I did read a brief interview from May 1996 where Roberta said she felt it was time to "unload" the Royal Family and start the KQ series afresh with a new character--and the interviewer commented that many in the game industry would agree with that notion!

    Off topic but I would LOVE to read the contents of Roberta's book shelf. She must have some awesome, informative books! She probably has like a library of myth, fairy tales, folklore, tales, the occult, new age stuff and all sorts of fantasy stuff and old obscure works.

  • I don't think that there was ever a "version" of KQ8 which had Alexander as the protagonist--it was probably just an idea loosely bandied about in pre-pre production discussions.

    If there was an Alexander version in pre-productin, is not anymore than there was a 'version' with the Living Statue version of the story. As he was a pre-produciton idea as well... Maybe concept art that early, but nothing actuallly a 'game'.

    Once they started getting down to the actual game development it was a version of Connor...

    Off topic but I would LOVE to read the contents of Roberta's book shelf. She must have some awesome, informative books! She probably has like a library of myth, fairy tales, folklore, tales, the occult, new age stuff and all sorts of fantasy stuff and old obscure works

    Not necessarily Occult or New Age stuff. Actually some of her interviews she makes nods to having a christian faith. Her version of Samhain is actually based on a bit of Christian propaganda against druid faith, that druids and wiccans actually find offensive! Although what she practices now is unknown... She has a very cut and dry sense of good vs. evil, even in Phantasmagoria. There are no 'shades of grey'.

    As for early games she talks about basically only basing her stuff of of myth, fairy tales, and folklore... That's a far cry from jumping directly to the 'occult/new age' genres.
    Was she as fundamentalist as say the Davidsons? Probably not...

    Now if you want the developer with the cult ties, that's probably Jane Jensen! Some of her references in KQ6 are pretty darn obscure... The Night Mare as portrayed in the game is fairly obscure, and practically one of the only sources that discusses it is Magick book for 'women'... and a few very dry sociology books... Jane Jensens stuff tends to touch on more grey areas, where evil, the arcane, can be used to fight evil, etc... Not always light verses dark...

    I remind you Tolkien for example was a stringent catholic was very anti-occult, and had strict black and white message in his books, good vs. evil. His books are largely based on mythology and folklore as well. He often criticized his friend C.S. Lewis since Lewis actually did delve more into the occult, Golden Dawn perhaps and stuff like that. Before he converted to Christianity, and only slowly moved away from the Occult as he became a deeper christian.

    So there are certainly 'degrees' of what would be considered 'occult', 'new age', and what is not.

    Ya, I realize that KQ5 has some 'occult' like things on Mordack's Island, but that too is probably more of a product of the art team than Roberta directly. Andy Hoyos had a huge part in the art design in that game. 2nd or third biggest credit in the game after Roberta Herself. I think there are articles where Roberta admits the art style is mainly his influence.

    Roberta also claimed she weas occused of practicing the occult when she wrote the magic into KQ3... But she brushed that away too, as merely a fairy tale thing...

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