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Sierra On-line founder Ken Williams on Adventure gaming in the 80s (guysfromandromeda.com)
9 points by peterkelly on June 9, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments

Sierra ushered in an era of Adventure games, but it took the upstart company games company LucasArts to perfect the formula and eliminate the tedium of being stuck in the latter parts of the game, having failed to pick up the right item or trigger the right sequence, way back in the beginning. Not to mention the frustration many a gamer felt when the protagonist got killed off for seemingly stupid reasons.

Funny as it sounds my least favourite experience in gaming was playing the original police quest on my uncles IBM PC(think it was like the model 2 maybe? Circa mid-late 80s) and having the driving portions be impossible due to the car racing around and not having any diagonal steering(20+ turns to get into a parking spot!). It wasn't until many years later when I purchased a rerelease that I was able to fully enjoy the depth of those early games.

I remember that. You had to set the game speed to a crawl; good luck going up the on-ramps for the motorway as well.

Oh, and if you did not "walk around" the car and thus 'inspect it', your game would end as your car "would break down." Yikes. I also remember that you had to stop a drunk driver and if you didn't write -- and I remember this even to this day -- "issue field sobriety test", exactly, you could never continue with the game.

What I think is so great about the way Ken ran the company was that he was genuinely committed to giving game designers a great deal of creative freedom, and was willing to take risks on new ideas - something you don't see a lot of in today's large game companies.

Within the realm of adventure games, Sierra came out with an incredibly wide range of material. Their games were a big part of what got me into computers in the first place.

Their games also got me into computers. But they also encouraged me as a 10 year old to learn and understand English. I remember playing with 2 different dictionaries, looking up every word I didn't understand. Thanks Ken & Roberta!

Its so freaking awesome for Ken and Roberta Williams to take such a personal interest in the Two Guys Kickstarter. It makes me wish SIERRA didn't get destroyed and sold off for spare parts.

Still, as long as we get the Two Guys back I'M SOLD!

He is one of the Hackers in Steven Levy's Book pubished in 1984:


So damn cool! Just take my money already - back www.tgakick.com

Ken, Roberta and Sierra are one of the biggest reasons I'm a programmer today. Played their games as a kid, some of my own first programming was making games, and I dreamed of running my own computer game company as an adult. The Sierra story as told in Levy's Hackers, in particular was a big inspiration to me as well.

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