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The Silver Lining thread

posted by Mike Haley on - last edited - Viewed by 4.2K users

Nobody else has posted this, so...

It looks like The Silver Lining (formerly known as King's Quest IX: Every Cloak Has a Silver Lining) will finally be released in Summer 2009. That is, if Vivindi Games (now merged with Activision) doesn't sit on its royal ass during the approval process. Unfortunately, only the first two chapters of The Silver Lining will be released. The remaining chapters (3-9) will most likely never see the light of day. According to the team, it would take 10 or more years to complete them without proper funding, which even if they had, would put their fan license in jeopardy.

It would be interesting to see if they ultimately decide to release the remaining chapters one at a time over the next few years. I hear that episodic gaming is doing fairly well...

http://www.tsl-game.com/journal/special/

Now, I just wish that SQ7.org would receive permission from Vivindi Games to be completed.

301 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • This will be just a short little retrospective on TSL...I was probably one of the games' most vocal critics in the past. I had my reasons. But upon replaying it, I've come to a different conclusion.

    While the game takes great liberties (which I disagree with) with the backstory of KQ and retcons a lot of the older games, the game's story in and of itself is a damn good one. They managed to recapture the atmosphere, fairy tale references, and for a bunch of people working for free, they created a very beautiful game with awesome music.

    The game doesn't work very well as a standalone game, and does rely a bit too much on nostalgia, but perhaps that's because it's a fan game and not so much any flaw of the writers. The game was long awaited and many fans had invested a lot of emotions into it and it wouldn't have delivered if it didn't have an ample dose of nostalgia.

    I think their company would be a great go-to company if the KQ license were to ever fall into another company's hands, with some modifications if it were a commercial game:

    -I would not touch or retcon the backstory of the original games.
    -I would not establish The Black Cloak Society as having anything even remotely to do with any KQ game prior to KQ5. No "the Black Cloak Society is responsible for everything that went bad in the previous games"
    -I would make it a standalone game, the same way the previous KQs were, with very few callbacks to previous games.
    -I would focus more on fairy tales/myths/the fantasy element rather than on character development.
    -I'd use a totally new land as the setting, as all the previous games o.

    In a fan game, all those things (the focus on nostalgia and character development, going back to the Green Isles, etc) work, because a fan game is supposed to be partly a nostalgic revisit with old friends who you've come to love, but in a commercial game, it wouldn't work.

    But I do think the writers of TSL are very talented, and probably are even better now than when TSL was written (a decade ago or so), and I think I can honestly say at this point I'd trust the KQ series in their hands--Hopefully they'd take the series beyond a KQ9.

  • I only played Episode 1. I hear it gets much better after the first episode, but I still haven't had a strong desire to give the other episodes a try.

    I was very disappointed in Episode 1. It didn't even feel like a King's Quest; it was so dreary, there was very little gameplay and the voice acting was very subpar. Worst of all, the writing was incredibly amateurish. I was shocked that the project manager or editor let the game be released in that condition. These are areas that should have been much, much stronger, even in a game with a small budget.

    I would never want this team to get control of the series in any kind of official way. At the same time, I applaud them for their dedication and hard work. Technically, the game was quite impressive for a fan game, and I thought the music was effective. The graphics and animation were also very nice.

    I would have rather had someone like that Chris Warren of Himalaya/AGDI (Mage's Initiation) helm new KQ game projects. The AGDI games were, hands down, the best of the non-official KQ games. Just give them a decent budget to create a new engine or whatever else is needed, and I am sure we would get an epic new adventure worthy of the KQ name.

  • I enjoyed some aspects of the first 3 episodes (haven't gotten further), but wouldn't want them to be canon, or for the writers to go near a new game (respectfully)... I can't think of anyone that would be an easy pick to write new games, though.

    I'm holding my breath that Jane Jensen manages a return to form with Mobius... Cognition felt like TV-level writing.. or soon-to-be-canceled-psychological tv thriller quality.. I do miss the days where Jane's games didn't feel like I was reading a cheap bargin-bin mystery thriller... I have a pile of hope that these folks, with more experience, keep going and nail it one day (or step-it-up, in Jane's case). Then they'd be perfect to helm a new KQ.

  • TSL is what it is: an amateurish fan game, which the developers used to tune their skills in order to go into commercial game design. For a free game it does deserve my respect for the work that trhe team put into it, but all in all I wouldn't call it a great game by itself, as if it had been a commerical game I would have been rather disappointed had I bought it. I never played further than episode 2.

  • On the other hand, I would pay real money to play AGDI's KQ games, if that's what it took, and would not have regretted spending it.

  • I thought Jane Jensen had very little to do with cognition that she more less essentially offered advice and helped with editing but POS did most of the work.

  • That's more or less an accurate description of Jane's role. She's our Story Consultant--gives us feedback on the outlines, does an editing pass of each script, occasional meetings to review the design, etc. But by and large, all the writing and design is our own in Cognition. Moebius, on the other hand, the writing & design are all from Jane's hand, while Phoenix Online is the developer--art, programming, anything outside of design, essentially.

    But back to TSL. Honestly, yeah, the writing and design could've used help and a few more passes. But it was also written YEARS ago and the voice recorded YEARS ago, and it's a volunteer project--there was no going back to massively rewrite, redesign, and rerecord everything. It'll be interesting to see what people think of Episode 5, actually, because that Episode was written much more recently, and after we'd had feedback on the other Episodes (plus many more years of experience in general under our belts).

    And if (a big hypothetical if) we were ever to do an official, canon, King's Quest, we wouldn't do it the same way we did TSL. TSL's a labor of love from fangirls and fanboys--it's flawed but done with heart, and no matter how flawed it is, we're always going to be proud of it.

  • @KatieHal said: That's more or less an accurate description of Jane's role. She's our Story Consultant--gives us feedback on the outlines, does an editing pass of each script, occasional meetings to review the design, etc. But by and large, all the writing and design is our own in Cognition. Moebius, on the other hand, the writing & design are all from Jane's hand, while Phoenix Online is the developer--art, programming, anything outside of design, essentially.

    But back to TSL. Honestly, yeah, the writing and design could've used help and a few more passes. But it was also written YEARS ago and the voice recorded YEARS ago, and it's a volunteer project--there was no going back to massively rewrite, redesign, and rerecord everything. It'll be interesting to see what people think of Episode 5, actually, because that Episode was written much more recently, and after we'd had feedback on the other Episodes (plus many more years of experience in general under our belts).

    And if (a big hypothetical if) we were ever to do an official, canon, King's Quest, we wouldn't do it the same way we did TSL. TSL's a labor of love from fangirls and fanboys--it's flawed but done with heart, and no matter how flawed it is, we're always going to be proud of it.

    I never saw much wrong with the voice acting...So I don't get where that criticism comes from. For a fan game with no budget, it's pretty damn impressive. The only voice I didn't find fitting was the voice actor doing the voice of Saladin, but then it's hard to replace Tony Jay successfully.
    Also, while Jason Michael Victor did a terrific job as Graham, I (and I think many others) will always see Josh Mandel as Graham.

  • The quality & talent varies--I think our leads are all great, but some of the others could be better. And sometimes people did their own recording, with less-than-ideal equipment, so the audio quality on some characters could be better. But, like everything else, the voices were all from fans who were doing it for free. :)

  • @Anakin Skywalker said:
    Also, while Jason Michael Victor did a terrific job as Graham, I (and I think many others) will always see Josh Mandel as Graham.

    I respect and admire Josh Mandel to pieces (he's a huge writing/designing talent, no question), but his voice acting work usually sounds so wooden and stilted. Dramatic acting doesn't appear to be his strong suit. I think TSL's Jason Michael Victor is certainly a better actor, but he just didn't seem like the right fit for Graham.

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