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Remake KQ8 project

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 541 users

Would anyone like to start up or help me out with a project with the goal of remaking KQ8? The idea is to bring the game in line with Roberta's vision of the game and make it the epic KQ8 it could've been. Many have noted that while the final product is generally something Roberta approved, there's also a lot of other voices drowning hers out.

There were so many changes done to the game, so much stuff cut or quickly cut and pasted together. The original game was much larger, but also much more concise.

A lot of stuff had to be junked (two whole levels, Daventry was supposed to be completely different, etc) and nixed mostly because the technology of the time wasn't able to keep up with Roberta's ideas, and because of budget constraints and problems coordinating development between the various teams working on the game, and with a change in management and video game demographics, the question of how much action should be in the game became important. Roberta wanted action, but said action might've only been limited to Bosses had the pressures of changing times not been on her.

I'd just love to do something that could make Mask of Eternity into the classic game it had the potential to be, as close as possible to what Roberta originally envisioned before others began tampering with her ideas, or before what she wanted got sidelined by technological barriers and demographics concerns.

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  • I assume then, that you have some mind-reading ability so as to be able to know exactly what her "original vision" was?

    Or do you mean that you want to remake KQ8 in a more traditional point-and-click style, which certainly would be more palatable to long-time series fans, but was absolutely the opposite of where she wanted to take the game.

    What makes you even think her "original vision" would have been good? The design choices in the last few King's Quest games were terrible, and directly made those games worse than what had come before.

    This idea that staying true to "Roberta's vision" would have magically made KQ8 a great game is ludicrous. The woman had been becoming increasingly out of touch with what fans of her games actually liked for quite a while before KQ8 was even made.

    Anyway, that said--how much will you pay me?

  • @Lambonius said: I assume then, that you have some mind-reading ability so as to be able to know exactly what her "original vision" was?

    Or do you mean that you want to remake KQ8 in a more traditional point-and-click style, which certainly would be more palatable to long-time series fans, but was absolutely the opposite of where she wanted to take the game.

    What makes you even think her "original vision" would have been good? The design choices in the last few King's Quest games were terrible, and directly made those games worse than what had come before.

    This idea that staying true to "Roberta's vision" would have magically made KQ8 a great game is ludicrous. The woman had been becoming increasingly out of touch with what fans of her games actually liked for quite a while before KQ8 was even made.

    Anyway, that said--how much will you pay me?



    If you read the wiki on KQ8's devleopment, you can get a good idea of what she originally invisioned, what was cut and why, etc.. Reading through her released design documents should fill in the gaps. At least two levels--an Underwater Level and an Air level (separate from the Realm of the Sun) were cut. Daventry was supposed to be a HUGE, brightly lit kingdom and it was to look just as it did in the previous games (there's even an early screenshot ofo Connor standing next to the famous Well from KQ1), but the engine couldn't handle the brightness and so that's the only reason why we got the dark, desolate, small Daventry that we did.

    And she had two former ideas about KQ8's protagonist, which I thought was interesting. One was the idea of Conor being a statue turned to life, whilst all else is turned to stone. In the end, as reward for saving the Kingdom, he'd become a person, ala Pinocchio. The other had Connor as the son of a fisherman, touched by a piece of the Mask at birth.

    There's a lot of other ideas that were dropped that just seem like it would've been epic. There was to be a Green Man, A Leprechaun, part of the Underwater level would've been exploring a sunken ship which had been en route to raid Daventry, in a treasure hunt. There was to be an "Island King" and a Harbor town bordering Daventry. Daventry itself was to be HUGE--You would've been able to go, without loading, through the entire Kingdom, from the City of Daventry (cut), to forests (cut), to a the aforementioned Harbor Town (cut), to Conor's Village (which made it into the final game). There was to be moving living characters to interact with, a puzzle involving a Phoenix egg (and thus possibly a Phoenix). The Swamp Witch was to have a big role, and the action was to be limited to Boss characters. Just a ton of stuff.

    As to Roberta being "out of touch" with what fans wanted...Well, KQ5 is beloved, and that's the last game that Roberta totally spearheaded without any help or collaboration. KQ6 she co-produced with Jensen and that's a beloved entry. KQ7 wasn't Roberta's game at all outside of basic ideas (Lorelei Shannon is listed as the sole writer, first on the list of Designers, and first on the list of Directors of the game; KQ7 is basically a Lorelei Shannon game based on characters and ideas by Roberta). KQ8 went from being in her hands to having a bunch of other people put their own ideas in.

  • SHe had three totally essentially unrelated visions for the story direction of the game... They all started from very different parts of the kingdom.

    It would be impossible to 'merge' those, and have "Roberta's vision".

    It might be cool to have three different player characters, who somehow come together help each other out, based on the three original character ideas... But it would still not be Roberta's vision.

    The Leprichaun and the Redcap goblin for example were the same character. She couldn't decide which one to use...

    They went with the Boss Spriggan Boss instead, which in some ways better fit better with the Spriggans that were taking over, and gave them a 'leader'. Although it might have been more interesting if it had dialogue (or if another character made reference to the spriggan menace and their leader)... But none of the spriggans have any dialogue...

    from the City of Daventry (cut), to forests (cut),

    Do you have proof that the city of Daventry or that forests were cut? I know of no screenshots of such things. I've never read anything about the "city of daventry" being in the game (or rather a separate city), actually Connor's village is named 'Daventry', so its actually in the game.

    Do you mean that little square with 2-3 buildings that is shown in the 1996 video? It's a town in Daventry, not necessarily given a name. It might even be a prototype to the village as it is seen in the final game. Or it might be the 'harbor town'... Who knows.

    There is an unused part of the overworld map that is a forest, but that's not a proof that level in a forest was designed. Besides that map looks like it was added late in the game, during the final story development. I think it was drawn by the later artist.

    There are a few woodsy trees near a road, which seems to be the same map as the one with the little town square, and possible the same as the ocean side with the hydra. Calling it a 'forest' might be a bit of an exaggeration.

    the action was to be limited to Boss characters

    No proof of this, and I have never come across anything like that in my research. The only thing that might have been different is boss characters might have involved more puzzle solving than regular enemies. Some of that is actually kept in the game (Basilisk, Black Dragonwyrm, Two-Headed Dragon, Lucreto, all require a bit of puzzle solving to be able to defeat).

    Daventry was supposed to be a HUGE, brightly lit kingdom and it was to look just as it did in the previous games (there's even an early screenshot ofo Connor standing next to the famous Well from KQ1),

    THere is absolutely no proof that that is the famous well from KQ1, infact it doesn't even look like the well from KQ1 (other than being the same type of generic covered well)... It's also inside of a farm, where such wells are generally found...

  • Or you could do what Roberta generally did... She often had more ideas that she could use... KQ2 for example is made up of many ideas that she couldn't include in KQ1 wrapped into a new story...

    So it might be more interesting to make a series of new games, based loosely on the other two character ideas. But with original stories, that somehow incorporate unused characters and ideas/puzzles into new original stories...

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    exo

    Aside from all that - what game credits do you have Anakin? Or do you expect someone else to do all the heavy lifting while you just inform them of what Roberta's "original vision" was?

  • @exo said: Aside from all that - what game credits do you have Anakin? Or do you expect someone else to do all the heavy lifting while you just inform them of what Roberta's "original vision" was?



    I know you're trying my threads, but I'll dignify this one with a response.
    Ideally, I'd work with a team, using Roberta's released design documents to see what the first design document for KQ8 had in terms of the story, puzzles, etc. Seek her advice as to what exactly she intended for certain points and general guidance. Work with a team. I'm not very good with a computer or programming but in terms of helping to craft the story, plot points/puzzles, general direction, art direction/design, music direction, I could be of use.

  • @Anakin Skywalker said: ... in terms of helping to craft the story, plot points/puzzles, general direction, art direction/design, music direction, I could be of use.



    If legal concerns weren't an issue, I would definitely support/buy/financially back (e.g. on Kickstarter) such a project. I would feel especially good knowing that an extremely knowledgable KQ fan like you is involved. You care about the series and are a true fan of the originals, so I think it would be in good hands.

    Sigh, I wish I had artistic, musical or technical/programming skills. I am jealous of all you talented artists! :-p

  • The first design document were mainly world ideas few or no puzzles and combat discussion. The first test world was apparently a version of Daventry kingdom itself.

    Puzzles mostly came later, after they had general combat figured out. I'd guess probably a few months into actual development.

    I've been looking through kQ8 staff resumes and they seem to suggest actual programming and initial level design started about November through December 1996 give or take.

    Any ideas before that must have been very rough story treatments but no puzzle concepts. This is not surprising as Roberta has said in some cases she worked on stories and came up wih puzzles later in development once the worlds and characters were put in place.

    For sense of perspective remember having a story does not mean you have puzzles to progress the story.

    One of the things Seibert explained in that test Daventry was having Connor run around to places hey wanted to place puzzles, but they saw how much unused space there was between. Keep in mind many of those early maps were even larger than the final maps and had more unused and mostly flat space. On the wiki I have an image of an early map of the swamp as an example.


    Earlier version of the Swamp;
    Swmap3.jpg

    Final version of the Swamp;
    Theswamp.JPG

    So because of the wide open space they added idea of combat. Now the finalized maps made space a bit more closed in and varied, and kinda pushes you towards bottle necks and canyons where enemies are placed. This also helped to lead the player towards relevant locations, so you are less likely to get lost or overlook relevant locations, and puzzles.

  • What I would like to see is someone design a program that can open the *.pbm files, or any other files that contain KQ8's graphics assests (UI, maps, etc). There are are even some BMP files that modern graphics programs don't like to open, but may contain interesting character, or item textures. Being able to open these may open up access to unused material, that may offer an idea of what was cut from the game.

    It would be fascinating if there was any code or files left in the files of any of the prototype level designs.

  • Personally, I think first draft design documents are abandoned for a reason.

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