Why We Loved Sierra Games: 1984 fan reviews King's Quest 2015, Part 2

Why We Liked Sierra Video games: 1984 fan critiques King's Quest 2015, Half 2



Why We Liked Sierra Video games (Half 2): King’s Quest 2015: An Opinionated Assessment by a crotchety Sierra fan who remembers 1984 This as soon as in a life-time (I am not …

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20 thoughts on “Why We Liked Sierra Video games: 1984 fan critiques King's Quest 2015, Half 2

  1. Once, in child age i've played in Gold Rush! – it was change my vision of everything what links with adventure games… my taste in quest genre was being configured by Sierra's games.

    Also:
    Colonel's Bequest – great example of variable solutions that player can figure out to walkthrough…

  2. Not everyone is the same. I tend to love story and love the cutscenes. This is why I would spend hours trying to solve some puzzles. To me, King's Quest 1 is not as engaging as King's Quest 4. King's Quest 1's story was very generic, each puzzle being similar to an rpg side quest. While KQ4 had several fetch quests, there were a lot of puzzles that did seem to make a difference. For instance getting the golden bridle and snagging the flying horse, or was it unicorn as I can't remember now. But I seem to remember using the flying horse to get into the witch's castle.

  3. Around 10:07 you talk about asking the burgomaster about about the adventurer's guild. But this isn't required to get in. You can force the door open, or wait until night and use the open spell on it. The game provides alternate solutions with dialog being one of them.

    Just a minor nitpick, I love the videos.

  4. There are only two games off the top of my head which allow one to type in whatever one wants to talk about: Wizardry 8 and Starship Titanic. There must be more, but most games only have limited choices. Of course, both games were fully voiced, yet had a limited number of characters with any significant amount of dialogue. Even so, the amount of responses one could receive was very impressive. Of course, typing in something not anticipated by the developers would usually result in "I don't know about that" or "If you have nothing important to discuss, let's move on."

    The sheer number of characters in modern games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (a very great game in my opinion) makes it difficult or impossible to give them the option to speak about more than a few things, hence the need to limit to dialogue to a relatively few choices.

  5. The taking away of the text parser was the biggest let down for me. I never really liked the point and click games. For me, Sierra's golden era was when they released the SCI0 engine, and culminated with the SCI1 in Quest For Glory II. They had found a good balance between the older text parser seen in the AGI of the first Kings Quest, which didn't allow as many inputs. Before they released the point and click, the games were only getting better, and more options, creativity, and freedom were allowed with the text parser. Imagine if they had kept the text parser, and further refined it. The games would have only kept getting better, with countless more inputs made available and better item integrations. It all ended for me after the point and click was introduced. The independence, charm and what seemed like limitless possibilities were lost forever.

  6. The problem with text parsers is that they are "invisible" interfaces. *What* are my choices?? What words (verbs & nouns) does the parser understand?? Voice interfaces are *not* the solution — they have the exact same problem.

    Again this is analogous to the Command-Line-Interface vs GUI. Both have strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the one is the weakness of the other and vice-versa. While the text parser enabled creative freedom, the command line is extremely poor at another — it pushes the burden of learning onto the user. There is a reason games with text parsers don't sell (well) past the 90's compared to GUI's. We're visual creatures and flashy graphics (form) will always outsell function.

  7. I also disagree that without death the achievement of over coming mean nothing. Just because there was no way to lose doesn't invalidate all the work that went into overcoming the puzzle; people can still be challenged in other ways. Although there is something to be said that "People have the potential to learn the most from failure." (Assuming the game *gives* feedback on why & how they died.) /me glares at Path of Exile.

    Perma-death is experiencing a bit of revival with "Dark Souls" but the casual gamer really isn't drawn to those types of "elitist" games. You see this attitude with certain hard-core RPG gamers that call the soft-core gamers "scrubs". Puzzle games are another perfect example of this. Either you solve the puzzle or you don't.
    Even FPS have trivialized death by having fast respawn rates instead of 1-life-wait-until-next-round.

  8. A very interesting series. I want to add one thing about text parsers though. As a non-native speaker, who started playing adventure games as kid, those would have been completely inaccessible to me in English for one. I also think that it's one of the unique features of English that those type of simple commands don't sound completely awful. Like in English there's no difference between the infinitive, the first person and the command. But many languages are not like that, so imo you couldn't just run the text parser through google translate and have it still work because it would sound even more highly unnatural/fake in other languages. Localization is something that is complicated and expensive, while you can play something "collision based" often even when you don't speak the language it is presented in.

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