Yes, Fact, it is KQ8...
Join Date: Jun 2011
Keep in mind when he was comparing to Super Mario 64, it hadn't even been released yet... He had a prototype copy from Japan, that he payed thousands of dollars for...
That's not to say, he may not have gotten the full version when it was released in 1996 as well... But more of a big deal was made over the fact he had a prototype long before any Americans had a chance to see the game...
But saying that Super Mario 64 (Tomb Raider and Quake are brought up as well), was showing the future of what 3D could do at that time... As everything on PC up to that time, were much more primitive, 2D sprites in a 3D environment type constructs...
BTW, came across an interesting article from late 1990's concerning the dieing adventure game genre with quotes from Jane Jensen, Roberta, and even nods towards the changes in KQ8...
The nonbloody adventure games preferred by female players are a dying breed.
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
| December 30, 1998 | Gornstein, Leslie
SANTA ANA, Calif. _ 'King's Quest: Mask of Eternity,' featuring the heroics of Connor, is the first of the eight-game series to include fighting.
It's just another day in medieval Daventry. Fair maidens and their widowed mothers prance and dote. Ye goode sun shineth on.
Suddenly a mysterious pox arrives and turns everyone to stone _ except you. Now you _ Connor, the dashing hero _ must find the missing pieces of the magical Mask of Eternity if ye hope to save yonder damsels.
According to marketers and psychologists, ``King's Quest: Mask of Eternity'' is just the type of computer game that women players love _ a world of beauty, magic and loss.
Except for one new element: blood. Connor must also fight zombies, ogres and sea serpents, severing heads and stealing booty.
Combat has never appealed to most women gamers, experts say. But increasingly it's all designers are offering, even in series that have always avoided fights, like ``King's Quest.''
Women's interest in computer games is at an all-time high, according to the Interactive Digital Software Association. But one of their favorite genres _ art-heavy, combat-free adventures _ is growing harder and harder to find.
``I have never seen it this bad before in all my years of writing games,'' said Roberta Williams, co-founder of game maker Sierra On-Line and creator of the popular ``King's Quest'' series. ``There is such a dearth of games for women. I have never seen the shelves so empty.''
To be fair, plenty of women love shoot-'em-ups and sports games. And women must be finding happiness, because an estimated 38 percent of computer gamers are women, and
their numbers are growing.
But that hasn't stopped industry veterans and gamers from complaining. They say the wild success of violent ``Doom''-style titles has inspired the industry to the point of obsession, clogging store shelves with violence, distorting the image of the computer-game world and turning off potential female buyers.
``I am afraid that the market has gotten a comic-book reputation,'' said Jane Jensen, creator of Sierra's ``Gabriel Knight'' adventure series. ``The industry isn't addressing this new, growing part of the marketplace that isn't about that.''
Jensen says the games she loves to write are fading. She remembers competing with 20 to 30 adventure titles in 1995, the year she released ``Gabriel Knight 2.'' But this year, she can count no more than six.
``It has been discouraging,'' Jensen said. ``I know a lot of people who worked on 'Gabriel Knight 2' who can't find work now because nobody is talking about story.''
Meanwhile, peaceful adventures make up the only major genre to have a significant female audience, said Jim Veevaert, director of marketing at Sierra.
``Action games are going to have a 95 percent male audience,'' Veevaert said. ``Strategy games are going to have an 85 to 90 percent male audience; adventure games are going to have a 55-45 split.''
But industry leaders say they have no choice but to crank up the action. For hard-core gamers, combat games are hot, and, with the exception of ``Myst,'' the best-selling computer game of all time, and the ``King's Quest'' series, which has sold more than 7 million copies since the early 1980s, adventures simply aren't flying off the shelves.
For example, Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment has sold more than 1 million copies each of ``Diablo,'' ``Warcraft II'' and ``Starcraft.'' The gory, frightening ``Resident Evil'' and ``Resident Evil II'' have sold more than 5 million copies combined.
But the two ``Gabriel Knight'' games have sold a total of 300,000 copies, considered a success in the world of adventures, according to Jensen.
To their credit, some companies have strained to keep adventures alive. But it has cost them.
Irvine-based game maker Interplay Productions tried mightily this year to win over adventure gamers, without success. In January, Interplay unveiled the stunning ``Of Light and Darkness,'' a combat-free game featuring $1 million in art from surrealist Gil Bruvel and the voice of high-profile actor James Woods. But sales were disappointing, said Green, who would not release a sales figure.
Last month, Interplay shuttered its adventure unit and put its only baby, a Star Trek-based game, on hiatus, saying the company didn't have enough money to continue its development.
``We are trying to build a successful business with sports and strategy games,'' spokesman Kirk Green said. ``We have not had as much success with adventure.''
Meanwhile, even Bellevue, Wash.-based Sierra, which has made its name in adventure games for nearly two decades, is turning to where the money is. The company released its first first-person shooter, ``Half Life,'' at the end of last month, and orders are already backlogged. Plus, ``King's Quest: Mask of Eternity,'' the eighth in the series, will be the first in the line to have combat.
That decision raised eyebrows, even within Sierra's ranks.
``When I first knew what they were doing, there was a lot of talk of, 'My God, what are they doing?' `` Jensen said. ``There are hard-core adventure players who will not like it, and I am one of them.''
Williams defended her strategy, saying it was time to introduce something different.
``It appeared that adventure games were just dying,'' she said. ``It just appeared that no one wanted adventure games anymore. ... I needed to do something strong and relatively risky in order to get it back.''
Meanwhile, marketing to women isn't as profitable either, said Doug Lowenstein, president of the Interactive Digital Software Association in Washington, D.C. They are more casual buyers _ harder to pin down, he said.
``Economically, they are not going to generate as much revenue,'' he said.
But hard-core gamers, overwhelmingly male, can be counted on to buy a game a month.
``Hard-core gamers tend toward shooters and sports games,'' Lowenstein said. ``In terms of women _ unfortunately, I don't have any real data about what they are doing _ but I suspect women tend more toward the adventure- and puzzle-type products.''
No wonder that Ruth Fry, a computer gamer from Sunnyvale, isn't standing in line at CompUSA.
She is, admittedly, extremely picky about what she plays. She doesn't buy many games, but when she does, they can't have fighting. What they do need is beautiful art and a leisurely pace.
``I am not big into the whole manual-dexterity thing,'' Fry said. ``I would much rather have the luxury of walking around and not worrying about dying.''
Combat is simply not a part of most women's socialization, said women's psychologist Dana Crowley Jack, a professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.
``Women are trained to de-escalate conflict,'' said Crowley Jack, whose upcoming book, tentatively titled ``Crossing the Line,'' explores female aggression. ``Combat is not where their psychological energy lies.''
As for Fry, she's realized that most store-bought games don't thrill her, so she's ready to write her own.
``I do a lot of art and I have been learning some programming,'' she said. ``The only thing lacking is a plot.''
Her efforts may not be necessary. Jensen and her peers are hoping that a new crop of adventure titles _ including ``Gabriel Knight 3,'' due out next year _ will reawaken the genre.
``It is like the publishing industry, where no one is selling mystery novels one year,'' she said. ``It is a cycle. Eventually adventure games will come back _ as soon as the next few years.''
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PHOTO will be available from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099.
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(c) 1998, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.).
Visit the Register on the World Wide Web at http://www.ocregister.com/
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.
Last edited by BagginsKQ; 03/11/2012 at 12:30 pm.