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Opinions of KQ8: Mask of Eternity?

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 1.7K users

Personally, I actually really liked that game. Yes it had a bit too much violence, but then again violence was an option in the early KQ games. While KQ5 is my favorite KQ, I wouldn't have minded KQ going in that epic, Arthurian direction. KQ8's story and symbolism is much deeper than any of the previous games, and Connor isn't that bad of a character in retrospect. I personally find it a true KQ game and criminally underrated.

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  • [quote]John Shroades: I was the art director on Mask when it started. Mask had a big influence on why I and others left Sierra. It was obvious Sierra had, unfortunately, lost touch with the direction of the game industry in the mid 90's. In my opinion adventure games are like interactive picturebooks for adults, which isn't a bad thing. But they need to have a very interesting abbriviated story and beautiful and interesting environments to play in. The disappointing decisioin to force Mask into a 3d engine before 3d was ready for that kind of experience couldn't deliver the visuals needed. You must admit, in the mid 90's the game audience started demanding a deeper or more fast paced experience and the slow story experience was a smaller audience that was difficult for game companies to justify production for. That experience is making somewhat of a comeback in the found item games on Facebook. I never played Mask, but I know it was a forced project trying to use a technology that wasn't ready to deliver that kind of experience.[/quote]

    Bam.


    Bt

  • @Blackthorne519 said: Bam.


    Bt

    Where did that quote come from, just out of curiosity?

  • Sierra Memorabilia group over on Facebook. He posted it a couple days ago.


    Bt

  • Good post, and opinions actually. Of course he doesn't bring up the point that it was Roberta Williams who pushed the 3D thing! But we must remember it is her 'fault' (if you find it a negative!).

    On the other hand... If 3D games were never made because they were 'ugly', and "3D wasn't ready" at the time, we may never had progressed to 'better 3D'! It's the early 3D that were used as testing tubes that lead to our modern HD 3D!

    He does bring up the excellent point that even if KQ8 came out 2D it would have likely been a flop, because the main gaming audience had moved on to faster more exciting material.

    BTW, IIRC. John Shroades was the art director early on in production? He left early, and art went to someone else. Most of John Shroades work in the game was cut IIRC, and reimagined. Only a few things like the frost demons more or less remained close to how they appeared when Shroades was involved.

    So this post does give us some interesting insight into why he left!

  • That experience is making somewhat of a comeback in the found item games on Facebook.

    Is he talking about 'hidden object' games? Like those casual games, that require to look for random junk hidden in a picture?

    I never played Mask, but I know it was a forced project trying to use a technology that wasn't ready to deliver that kind of experience.

    Well, Roberta apparently had alot of internal criticism from her staff for her ideas. Even Mark Seibert pointed out in the Making of KQ8 videos that many of her ideas were unfeasible, and impossible with the technology they had at the time. But Roberta believed they could do it. Who knows, but this may part of the "too many cooks" problem that some say she had. Too many people trying to curb her ideas, even if the concern was true and justified.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOPd_wVpuqI

    (look about 48 seconds into the video)

  • @Blackthorne519 said: Bam.


    Bt

    Eh I think what he wrote kinda rambles to be honest.

    It was obvious Sierra had, unfortunately, lost touch with the direction of the game industry in the mid 90's.

    Actually, KQ8 was Sierra's way of trying to remain in touch with the game industry's direction in the mid 90s. As were games like Phantasmagoria, Lighthouse, Rama, their Nascar series, and others and signing other games like Half Life. If they'd lost touch with the industry, they'd still have been putting out VGA/cartoon style adventures, IMO.

    In my opinion adventure games are like interactive picturebooks for adults, which isn't a bad thing. But they need to have a very interesting abbriviated story and beautiful and interesting environments to play in.

    I think that's overly simplifying adventure games. And Mask has an "interesting abbreviated story" As to beautiful and interesting enviroments---they were interesting and very much rooted in the same background of folklore, legends and myth that KQ had always been founded upon. As far as beauty goes, you weren't going to get much 'beauty' with mid/late 90s 3D.

    The disappointing decisioin to force Mask into a 3d engine before 3d was ready for that kind of experience couldn't deliver the visuals needed.

    Perhaps. But this sort of contradicts his statement about Sierra losing sight of where the industry was going. Sierra knew early on that 3D was the future. And they tried to adapt KQ to that future.

    You must admit, in the mid 90's the game audience started demanding a deeper or more fast paced experience and the slow story experience was a smaller audience that was difficult for game companies to justify production for.

    I'd say a fast paced story experience is found in KQ8. And if slow paced story experience games was a smaller audience, what of the success of Baldur's Gate, which came out the same year as KQ8?

    That experience is making somewhat of a comeback in the found item games on Facebook. I never played Mask, but I know it was a forced project trying to use a technology that wasn't ready to deliver that kind of experience.

    If he's not even played Mask, how can he come to all these kinds of conclusions?

    His statements are very vague to be honest.

  • Yeah, what does he know. He only worked for Sierra On Line and worked on Mask Of Eternity. In the capacity as an art director. Pretty weak qualifications.


    Bt

  • @Blackthorne519 said: Yeah, what does he know. He only worked for Sierra On Line and worked on Mask Of Eternity. In the capacity as an art director. Pretty weak qualifications.


    Bt

    He says he's never even played the finished product...He worked on the game in the first version of it. The game went through three different versions with three different design documents, which from what I've read were quite different from the final game. That'd be like me judging the 1977 Star Wars by the first draft of it's script without ever actually having watched the finished film. And what of the fact that he worked for Sierra or worked on Q8? Does that somehow render his opinion infallible and above any critique?

  • It is true that they (Roberta) were (was) trying to do things with MOE that just weren't entirely possible at the time. I'm all for pushing the envelope, but that sounds like they were pushing a bit too much. I think the problem with Sierra was that it was too far ahead of its time for its own good.

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    exo

    for the last 3 to 4 years of their existence, the only envelope pushing sierra did was too the bank.

    I mean - look - lucasarts and sierra were both run into the ground. But LA did it by crawling completely up the star wars franchises ass. And as horrible as many of those games were, people just don't talk about the demise of LA with the same vitriol as they do Sierra.

    I think it has a lot to do wit the asinine statement Ken made towards the end (his imaginary "forever" company), the way they treated their IP developers (Lowe, 2 guys fom Andromeda), and the fact they were willing to bastardize their most popular franchises in an attempt to gain new fans - seemingly without regard to previous fans of the series.

    Whether KQ8 was good or not becomes irrelevant if the original fans don't care to play it.

    They love to talk about the sales figures of KQ8, but I feel they can be very misleading, especially compared to a game like Grim Fandango. Sierra loved to put titles down to budget prices, while LA did not. So where a predominant amount of KQ8 sales at the $10 price point or under? If so, it doesn't matter how many copies were sold, because the actual sales figure itself would be the same or lower.

    Also - the 2 to 1 sales is only for the year of release - and, Roberta is the only source for this "fact". So, even if true, it does not speak towards:
    A: International sales numbers
    B: Total sales (after year 1)
    C: Actual monetary sales, not numerical.

    Also, I don't see any groups reverse engineering the kq8 code to get it running properly on modern pc's. On the other hand, the ResidualVM project is coming along nicely...

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