Originally Posted by Anakin Skywalker
The only reasons KQ8 and GK3 took 2-3 years were largely technical issues and the fact that Sierra's new management had no faith in adventure games. Consider that that KQ8's production started in 1996, and was planned to be released for Christmas 1997--Only Dynamix's failures and the new management having no faith in adventure games and trying to control Roberta stopped that.
That may have been part of it, I won't talk about MoE because I don't know the story, but GK3 took 3 years because it needed them (and I had a conversation with Jane Jensen about it). Granted, there were a lot of technical issues why this happened, but that's all part of the complexity of systems since 3D was implemented. The truth of the matter is that as developers get their hands on better and better technology, times also increase. For the 3D technology, you have to do your 2D passes, but then, when you get to the modeling part, that normally takes more time than 2D. Nowadays with Normal Maps which brings the ability of doing extraordinary detail on things, a character that you could do in 5 days prior to this technology, now can take 15. The more detail and features you can add, the more time game making is going to take.
The development cycles of Sierra games in the 90s were about a year each with a mid size team. You would not be able to do that in less than 2 years today and you would need double or triple the team. Just look at a credits list of a game of today and compare it to a game from the 90s. Look at the absurdity of Uncharted or Assassins Creed lists. They never end, they keep rolling and rolling and rolling. Making AAA titles is absurd in how expensive it can be today. In the same way, GK and MoE were pushing the technology back in their day, and MoE was basically their first adventure product where they did this. They might as well thought that it was going to be easy, and then they hit the reality, and complexity of it. Which is the point I'm trying to make, you can't compare the production time of VGA games from the 90s to 3D games, not from today, and not from the late 90s either. I'm not saying that the VGA games are "easy" to put together, they are definitely not child play, and they have their own nightmares like animation for example, but 3D goes through all of that, and adds another layer of complexity to things on top of everything.
Even games like Final Fantasy went from being released year after year (VII in 97, VII, in 98, IX in 99 or 00) to taking two years for X, and then 5 years for XII and 5 years for XIII. Politics, etc, play part in that, but that's also because if you make mistakes in this generation, the price you pay is very high, because everything is more complex, and harder to "redo" or "fix".
But this is actually a very good example of what people are asking Telltale to do. They are asking them to leave what is tried and true for them in order to do new things. When you take people from their comfort zone, it creates risk. Sometimes, that risk must be matched to sales expectations. If KQ's sales expectations match their sales expectations from Jurassic Park (and trust me, they must have numbers), they will probably take the risk with King's Quest as well. If not, then they may just stay within their comfort zone in order to minimize risk. That whole thing of "well, then they must try a different model" makes sense as a fan, but not as someone who is running a company and is responsible of feeding the families of those who they have employed.
Now, are they listening? Yes, they are. Will they give us the KQ we want? no, they'll give us Telltale's King's Quest, not Sierra's King's Quest. Will it have that full exploration feeling to it with a bunch of different screens, characters, and interactions? If Monkey Island is an example to follow, the answer is no, because Tales was much smaller in number of screens and characters than every other game in the series? Will it be horrible even if it's that way? We don't know. Hey, maybe they understand what we fans want, because sometimes it seems obvious to me that we don't know and that we want all different things in a KQ. Right, but that's what the series itself taught us --always be different, there's no true King's Quest, and there's no definite way of approaching this series.
They say It all depends on Roberta's mood at the time, so, since she's retired and traveling in her boat around the world, maybe this game will feel more like Monkey Island than King's Quest :P
(and, yes, I know she's not working on this, Anakin, this is a joke