User Avatar Image

Do you wish that there will never be a new KQ game?

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 462 users

Does anyone else here actively hope and wish that another KQ game--whether by TT or any group that is not the fans--is never, ever made?

32 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Anakin Skywalker said: I'd contribute to a Kickstarter to further develop AGDI as a real company. I've always held that some of the fan groups should get together and join a very loose confederacy of sorts, with each group acting creatively autonomously and simply pooling resources and distribution...It'd make great Sierra inspired competition to Lucasarts' TT. It'd be the closest thing to a "new Sierra" that there ever could be. But it'll sadly never happen, egos....



    "Egos" doesn't really cover why that would be a very difficult goal. There are a lot of complicated legal, business, financial, administrative, and creative details to trying to do something like that. "Too many cooks in the kitchen" comes to mind. Everyone could have a really great idea, but just deciding whose vision to go with would be a long and trying process. Then what role do the others play? How about what engine to use, what art style? Who do those tools belong to, ultimately? Whose site is this game hosted on? How is income from the sales split? Who answers to who?

    These may seem like "ego" issues, and while that can play a role, it's really got a lot to do with coordination. We can idealize that everyone will get along and it'll all "sort itself out" but realistically, that won't happen. It's a lot of voices and you need only one or a few to be the one(s) leading the choir, here.

    Impossible? No. But I'm just saying it would be a difficult and complicated task that goes far beyond the potential clash of "ego".

  • @KatieHal said: "Egos" doesn't really cover why that would be a very difficult goal. There are a lot of complicated legal, business, financial, administrative, and creative details to trying to do something like that. "Too many cooks in the kitchen" comes to mind. Everyone could have a really great idea, but just deciding whose vision to go with would be a long and trying process. Then what role do the others play? How about what engine to use, what art style? Who do those tools belong to, ultimately? Whose site is this game hosted on? How is income from the sales split? Who answers to who?

    These may seem like "ego" issues, and while that can play a role, it's really got a lot to do with coordination. We can idealize that everyone will get along and it'll all "sort itself out" but realistically, that won't happen. It's a lot of voices and you need only one or a few to be the one(s) leading the choir, here.

    Impossible? No. But I'm just saying it would be a difficult and complicated task that goes far beyond the potential clash of "ego".



    I think all the issues you mention could be settled with meetings. I really think, in terms of the long run, a joined company of sorts would not only be good for the adventure genre--as all the companies that would (ideally) be involved are INCREDIBLY talented (POS, IA, AGDI)--but you wouldn't be working on just one game. In the long run, with shared resources at your disposal, each studio could work harder, with larger budgets and more tools, to create better games.

    Let me draft out a basic idea, to address some of your concerns:

    1) Each company would form one joint company, but all companies would retain both their creative autonomy as well as their individual brands, IE Phoenix Online would still be Phoenix Online, IA would still be IA. All that would be shared are production resources and distribution, as well as possibly an R&D department and if it was wanted, a shared PR department. Only "functional" departments would be shared--not creative departments.

    2) All of the company heads would form a sort of "Board of Directors." Each with equal say. Every year or so, this Board could convene to elect a Chairman, who would act basically as an "overseer" of sorts. A majority of the board, or a 2/3rds majority, would have to elect the Chairman. This Board would NOT make any creative decisions for the individual studios. It would only address "big" issues--Like for example, the addition of another company to the corporation, which would be voted on. It would be very loose sort of oversight.

    Alternatively, this Board could elect, in the same fashion, someone OUTSIDE of the company--think a CEO or someone from some other company, someone respected by the majority with more experience--who the majority agreed on. For example, the Board could hire someone like Ken Williams or an ex-Sierra person to act as the Chairman. Something along those lines, electing someone outside of the Board so there's no domination by one company over the other or any conflict of interests.

    3) Each company would follow it's own creative vision. None of the joint companies would have any influence over any one company's creative direction--Unless one company wanted help or guidance from another. Once again, only non-creative functions are shared. You'd all use your own art styles, engine, etc. Just like while being a subsidiary of Sierra, Dynamix used it's own engines, so did Papyrus, etc.

    4) As for site--each individual company would retain it's own site. The joint company would have it's own, separate site.

    5) Income from sales could be divided based on resources shared and allocated.

    6) Department heads of each company would answer to their respective CEOs and/or Presidents.

    7) Some core members from EACH company would work as employees of the joint company. A headquarters of sorts.

    The idea is very rough and requires refinement of course--I am no expert in these matters. What I would do is look at the business model and financial set up Sierra had at it's peak. Between 1990 and 1995, Sierra acquired around 12 different companies. Each company functioned as a studio of Sierra--"Part of the Sierra Family." Yet despite being subsidiaries, each company retained it's creative autonomy, it's own branding and marketing, it's own physical location, and it's own management. All that was shared was sales, resources and distribution.

    If any of you ever did consider any idea like this, I'd consult Ken Williams. He's great at this kind of stuff--Joint companies, mergers, etc--Making one company into a "Family" of companies. Think of the company culture and structure of Sierra prior to 1996.

    I'm just thinking long term here. All of the fan groups have in common the fact that they are all inspired directly by Sierra, all of them love Sierra style adventure games. The various groups all could do something better together, could create something lasting in the long run, could really grow and become a big time player in the game industry, especially in the adventure game corner of the industry.

    A big joint company could also, if they ever wanted to, negotiate easier with Activision. Rather than ten tiny fan groups all equally wanting the KQ license, for example, one moderately sized joint company with strong resources and connections, could be in a better position to negotiate.

  • I've tried to explain this to him, Katie. But he's never been in our position, so it's hard to understand the actual logistics of it.

    This is a free market. We all want to do what it is that we want to do. That's the beauty of it. Just because McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's all make burgers doesn't mean they should form up one Super Burger company.


    Bt

  • Egos have nothing to do with it. Every team has a different style. And ego or no, that will clash with another team's style. I say this as someone who's worked at both AGDI and IA. And it's just too many people. It's just not realistically feasible. Long and short, it's just not going to happen. And it's got nothing to do with egos.

  • @Lambonius said: Worst. Business plan. Ever.



    Sorry. I just want to see one of these companies grow powerful as a commercial company.....That's all I want. A great, powerful, commercial adventure game company that makes adventure games in the style of Sierra's games--Like TT makes adventure games in a style akin to LucasArts. That's all I'd like to see. A spiritual successor to Sierra get as big as TT has.

  • The reason TT can be somewhat considered a spiritual successor to Lucasarts, is because it has a some members of the the original Lucasarts teams, and worked on a few IPs in a style similar to Lucasarts games (albeit simplified in many ways)...

    A true successor to Sierra would have to have some members of the original Sierra teams...

    Some of these Kickstarter projects started by classic Sierra directors and team members are the true successors to the Sierra style... Although they may not necessairly copy Sierra style entirely. The Coles for example have said that Hero-U will intentionally be avoiding the style of Quest For Glory series, and will be something new.

  • There's Pinkerton Road, the Two Guys from Andromeda, Al Lowe and the Replay Games crew, The Coles. What more do you want? Why do they have to be a big company? Having more awesomeness would be better in my opinion. It's basically the same thing. They each make the games they like to make, much like when they were at Sierra, they're just not under the same banner. And also don't suffer from favouritism (like Ken Williams did with King's Quest). Each project gets all of the attention of the company and developers behind them without any obstacles or obstructions.

  • @MusicallyInspired said: There's Pinkerton Road, the Two Guys from Andromeda, Al Lowe and the Replay Games crew, The Coles. What more do you want? Why do they have to be a big company? Having more awesomeness would be better in my opinion. It's basically the same thing. They each make the games they like to make, much like when they were at Sierra, they're just not under the same banner. And also don't suffer from favouritism (like Ken Williams did with King's Quest). Each project gets all of the attention of the company and developers behind them without any obstacles or obstructions.



    A bigger, more powerful company = more funding, employees and resources to develop an even better game (or games), be it in terms of the game's size or scope or graphics or detail or art style, etc. For example, in 1990 a company with the size and financial strength that Sierra had say in 1983, couldn't have produced KQ5 or 6. KQ5's budget for example was $1 million and it was a state of the art game. It takes big budgets to produce "big" games, to produce state of the art sort of games. To produce A++ quality titles, you have to have a very nice sized budget.

    Why are we trusting anyway that all of these games by these ex-Sierra people will be quality titles, budget notwithstanding, to play Devil's Advocate for a moment? All of the people you mentioned have either not done a game in many years, or were last involved in subpar projects, or at the very least, games that got mixed reviews. I'm sure they'll be great personally, I have faith in all of them and am especially excited for SpaceVenture, but it is the same sort of skepticism that some have to the (impossible) idea of Roberta Williams ever producing a KQ9--Skepticism based on how KQ8 turned out.

    When I say a new Sierra, I don't mean I want all the original Sierra designers under one roof again. That'd be like a reunion of an old band--the magic wouldn't be there again a second time, or wouldn't be the same. What I mean is having people who are young, talented, with fresh, sharp and younger minds and ideas, who actively play video games and know the modern industry, working together to make games in a Sierra influenced style.

    That said, I realize my dream of a merger will likely never happen, so in any case, I'll definitely be buying Cognition and Infamous Quests and SpaceVenture and whatever else the Sierra alumni and Sierra fan groups cook up on their own.

  • A bigger company doesn't necessarily mean bigger funding. In fact, more likely it would be a much rougher situation financially because you've got more people to try and pay now with whatever funding you DO have. Plus, particularly when starting out, you don't NEED all those people on top of not being able to pay all of those people. If we've got a game we can do with 3 animators, what are we going to do with 9 extras?

    And those former Sierra employees are a 'safer bet', as it were, because they've proven themselves already. People know their names, they can check out their previous works.

    And I'll echo much of what everyone else said. It's very impractical on top of being nigh-impossible to oragnize, even if everyone was interested in doing so. So, like you said, enjoy the products we're all coming out with on our own and how each company is going to have its own unique style, story, flair, and so forth, to add more variety to the gaming world, and to adventure games in particular.

Add Comment