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Greetings from Roberta Williams (Sierra On-Line)

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Joined 2020-10-05

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Greetings everyone. I am Roberta Williams; you might remember me from Sierra On-Line. I designed the games: Kings Quest, Phantasmagoria, The Colonel’s Bequest, Mixed-up Mother Goose, and a bunch of others. I don’t have a Adventure Gamers account, but I’m borrowing my husband, Ken’s account! I just wanted to let people know that I’ve been working on a book (nothing to do with the game industry - it’s a historical novel about Ireland during the Great Famine). It’s an intense drama—and it just released. If interested, check out http://www.RobertasBook.com. But since I haven’t been here in a while—might anyone have any questions for me?

 

     
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yeah, I have a question, do have any idea how much we love you, and much we miss you, Oh, i can’t believe the Queen herself is here, Bless you, Roberta Williams!

is Farewell Totara exclusive on your page or will be available at other venues that like Goodreads… ?

     
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Joined 2013-03-14

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Well, first off, congratulations on finishing your book. Secondly, I’d like to have this opportunity to tell you how much your games brought me joy back when I was a kid. I loved King’s Quest and Colonel’s Bequest a great deal, even when I was too young to really understand a word of English and was playing them with a help of a walkthrough.

Really, some of my earliest memories of playing adventure games on a PC are when I was in a computer club back in the 80s and after the business part of the meetings were done, the teacher let us play games, among which were titles like King’s Quest.

I do play your games from time to time even in this new era of gaming when the tech has evolved way beyond what Sierra games ever were. I may whine and moan about the puzzles, despite I now know them by heart at this moment in time, and claim how dated they seem, but still, I still love what you did.

So, thanks for those memories. I’ll be checking your book out as well.

     
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Kenwilliams - 04 March 2021 07:24 PM

Greetings everyone. I am Roberta Williams; you might remember me from Sierra On-Line. I designed the games: Kings Quest, Phantasmagoria, The Colonel’s Bequest, Mixed-up Mother Goose, and a bunch of others. I don’t have a Adventure Gamers account, but I’m borrowing my husband, Ken’s account!

You should have just said “Ken sent me”!
Laughing

Kenwilliams - 04 March 2021 07:24 PM

But since I haven’t been here in a while—might anyone have any questions for me?

Do you mean about the book, or questions about anything?
If anything goes, I would be interested to hear your opinion about The Odd Gentlemen’s King’s Quest.

I have seen some comments, but those were given before the game was released/during development. I don’t think I have seen any comment on the completed game, so I would be interested to hear your opinion about that.


(Also earlier when Ken was here talking about his book, I asked him what’s the secret of Monkey Island™ but he didn’t know…  Do you have any idea? Tongue )

     
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If anything goes with questions, any regrets about Cedric the owl?

On a more serious note, when you stopped designing games, was there a direction you hoped adventure games would have gone? If you’d be designing an adventure game today, in what direction you’d take them? Would you be more interested in going into a more story-driven way, or explore the possibilities with a more open driven design. King’s Quest games were, in their own way, something of precursors for modern open-world games after all.

     
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GateKeeper - 05 March 2021 11:19 AM
Kenwilliams - 04 March 2021 07:24 PM

Greetings everyone. I am Roberta Williams; you might remember me from Sierra On-Line. I designed the games: Kings Quest, Phantasmagoria, The Colonel’s Bequest, Mixed-up Mother Goose, and a bunch of others. I don’t have a Adventure Gamers account, but I’m borrowing my husband, Ken’s account!

You should have just said “Ken sent me”!
Laughing

Genius! Hahaha

Roberta, I just wanted to say thank you for making Phantasmagoria 1 and 2, very bold from you.

     
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Joined 2013-08-25

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So nice to hear from you, Roberta! As a long-time Sierra fan from the other side of the world I’m just glad to see you and Ken working on something new while keeping in touch with us. Ken’s recent book was fascinating, read it in one sit, found answers to many questions about Sierra and the whole gaming industry during its Golden Age that bothered me.

Are you still interested in games at all? I’m also curious about your opinion on modern adventure genre or simply story-driven games. Also are you contacting any former Sierra employees? Jane Jensen, Lorelei Shannon, maybe even Muriel Tramis of Coktel Vision fame?

     

PC means personal computer

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Joined 2020-10-05

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Advie - 04 March 2021 08:30 PM

yeah, I have a question, do have any idea how much we love you, and much we miss you, Oh, i can’t believe the Queen herself is here, Bless you, Roberta Williams!

is Farewell To tara exclusive on your page or will be available at other venues that like Goodreads… ?

The book is available now on Amazon. You can check it out on http://www.robertasbook.com. My goal is to get reviews on Goodreads.com. But I haven’t had time to work on that yet.

 

     
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Joined 2020-10-05

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tomimt - 05 March 2021 06:57 AM

Well, first off, congratulations on finishing your book. Secondly, I’d like to have this opportunity to tell you how much your games brought me joy back when I was a kid. I loved King’s Quest and Colonel’s Bequest a great deal, even when I was too young to really understand a word of English and was playing them with a help of a walkthrough.

Really, some of my earliest memories of playing adventure games on a PC are when I was in a computer club back in the 80s and after the business part of the meetings were done, the teacher let us play games, among which were titles like King’s Quest.

I do play your games from time to time even in this new era of gaming when the tech has evolved way beyond what Sierra games ever were. I may whine and moan about the puzzles, despite I now know them by heart at this moment in time, and claim how dated they seem, but still, I still love what you did.

So, thanks for those memories. I’ll be checking your book out as well.

Thank you—Roberta

     
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Total Posts: 39

Joined 2020-10-05

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GateKeeper - 05 March 2021 11:19 AM
Kenwilliams - 04 March 2021 07:24 PM

Greetings everyone. I am Roberta Williams; you might remember me from Sierra On-Line. I designed the games: Kings Quest, Phantasmagoria, The Colonel’s Bequest, Mixed-up Mother Goose, and a bunch of others. I don’t have a Adventure Gamers account, but I’m borrowing my husband, Ken’s account!

You should have just said “Ken sent me”!
Laughing

Kenwilliams - 04 March 2021 07:24 PM

But since I haven’t been here in a while—might anyone have any questions for me?

Do you mean about the book, or questions about anything?
If anything goes, I would be interested to hear your opinion about The Odd Gentlemen’s King’s Quest.

I have seen some comments, but those were given before the game was released/during development. I don’t think I have seen any comment on the completed game, so I would be interested to hear your opinion about that.


(Also earlier when Ken was here talking about his book, I asked him what’s the secret of Monkey Island™ but he didn’t know…  Do you have any idea? Tongue )


About my book, or one of my games, or anything!

I played the first Odd Gentlemen’s King’s Quest and was impressed by it. It’s a bit different than our old games, but it is still very reminiscent of our old games and I thought it was quite well done. But unfortunately, due to time constraints, I didn’t go on with it. I’ve heard that it’s done quite well, though!

As to Monkey Island—like, Ken…I don’t know!

     
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Total Posts: 39

Joined 2020-10-05

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tomimt - 05 March 2021 12:49 PM

If anything goes with questions, any regrets about Cedric the owl?

On a more serious note, when you stopped designing games, was there a direction you hoped adventure games would have gone? If you’d be designing an adventure game today, in what direction you’d take them? Would you be more interested in going into a more story-driven way, or explore the possibilities with a more open driven design. King’s Quest games were, in their own way, something of precursors for modern open-world games after all.


I like Cedric the Owl—no!

I was working on King’s Quest 8, The Mask of Eternity, when Sierra was sold and I was out of a job! If you read Ken’s book, “Not all Fairy Tales Have Happy Endings,” you’ll see the trouble that both Ken and I had during that time when I was working on KQ8. My idea, at the time, was to try to think how we could use the new (at the time) 3D graphics that were coming in-vogue. But because of the various issues regarding the company turnover, I was never able to really get a handle on that, and so “Mask of Eternity” never came out the way I had wanted…and then it was over. Off we went into the sunset…

But, with your question in mind, back ‘in the day,’ I had put in a lot of time thinking about the future of adventure gaming—whether 3D or massively multi-player. I came to the conclusion that a ‘true’ adventure game could never be multi-player. MAYBE with just a few players, like 4 or something like that, but certainly not massively multiplayer! Because an adventure game, at its heart IS a story. It’s just a story that you can interact with (either a lot, or a little…depending on the game designer). But still, it’s a story at heart. And if someone ever does what they call ‘an ADVENTURE game,’ but it’s multiplayer and lots of people are wandering all over the place—it won’t really be an adventure game.

My opinion.

But, if I could go back and try to figure out where adventure games go at this point, I would probably really get into the 3d—but do it right!

     
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Joined 2020-10-05

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walas74 - 05 March 2021 01:21 PM
GateKeeper - 05 March 2021 11:19 AM
Kenwilliams - 04 March 2021 07:24 PM

Greetings everyone. I am Roberta Williams; you might remember me from Sierra On-Line. I designed the games: Kings Quest, Phantasmagoria, The Colonel’s Bequest, Mixed-up Mother Goose, and a bunch of others. I don’t have a Adventure Gamers account, but I’m borrowing my husband, Ken’s account!

You should have just said “Ken sent me”!
Laughing

Genius! Hahaha

Roberta, I just wanted to say thank you for making Phantasmagoria 1 and 2, very bold from you.

Just to correct you a little: I did Phantasmagoria 1—but not 2.

Roberta

     
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Joined 2020-10-05

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Doom - 05 March 2021 04:31 PM

So nice to hear from you, Roberta! As a long-time Sierra fan from the other side of the world I’m just glad to see you and Ken working on something new while keeping in touch with us. Ken’s recent book was fascinating, read it in one sit, found answers to many questions about Sierra and the whole gaming industry during its Golden Age that bothered me.

Are you still interested in games at all? I’m also curious about your opinion on modern adventure genre or simply story-driven games. Also are you contacting any former Sierra employees? Jane Jensen, Lorelei Shannon, maybe even Muriel Tramis of Coktel Vision fame?

I am loath to say that I have lost touch with more of the old Sierra On-Liners than I should have—but I have. Or, I should say, we have. Time goes on, things change, lives go on. And, you do lose touch.

I am interested in checking out some of these games that people here have been telling me about. I’ve got a few to check on…and I might get sucked into playing them—who knows? I honestly don’t know if they’re story-driven or more open explorations. I’ll find out!

 

     
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Joined 2016-04-08

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Kenwilliams - 05 March 2021 08:28 PM
walas74 - 05 March 2021 01:21 PM
GateKeeper - 05 March 2021 11:19 AM
Kenwilliams - 04 March 2021 07:24 PM

Greetings everyone. I am Roberta Williams; you might remember me from Sierra On-Line. I designed the games: Kings Quest, Phantasmagoria, The Colonel’s Bequest, Mixed-up Mother Goose, and a bunch of others. I don’t have a Adventure Gamers account, but I’m borrowing my husband, Ken’s account!

You should have just said “Ken sent me”!
Laughing

Genius! Hahaha

Roberta, I just wanted to say thank you for making Phantasmagoria 1 and 2, very bold from you.

Just to correct you a little: I did Phantasmagoria 1—but not 2.

Roberta

My bad. What I wanted to say is that you dared to make a game such as Phantasmagoria 1 and Phantasmagoria 2 wouldn’t have ever existed without that, so you also made Phantasmagoria 2… possible.  Wink

     
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Total Posts: 205

Joined 2019-12-22

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Congratulations on publishing your book!  Smile

To answer your question: probably a hundred. I’ll do my best to contain the excitable sprout inside and bring it down to five.

What was it like, writing a book?

Have you found other creative outlets in the past twenty years?

I know quite a few avid readers with a preference for historical drama. I think they’d be interested in your subject matter; I’ve noticed they’re also really into TV shows set in US/UK history - with (Dutch) subtitles. Are there any plans to translate your book?

Maybe this is an odd question for the pioneer of graphic adventure games, but have you ever considered creating a (new) text adventure? (there’s still a small scene, alive and kicking!)

Could you share a funny anecdote about working with all those characters employed by Sierra in the 80s and 90s?

 

     
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Total Posts: 522

Joined 2010-02-08

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Hi Roberta, thanks for creating several games that inspired my imagination growing up.

King’s Quest 3 was the first graphical adventure I ever played, after a couple text adventures. I was still young enough that I didn’t really know how to classify games by genre. I remember hearing from another kid about a game he was playing that sounded amazing. It involved hiding from a wizard, and being captured by pirates. I later picked up King’s Quest 3 in a toy store using allowance money without knowing it was that game, but I was thrilled when I realized it was the one I had heard about it, and just as delightful as it sounded. Most other games I knew at the time were so arcade-like that this one expanded my sense of what games could do to immerse you in a world. So much suspense in hiding spell-making ingredients from Manannan!

I then went on to your wonderful King’s Quest 4 with its resilient heroine and spooky atmosphere. I became hooked on the entire series and many other games from Sierra, and learned about people who made games from magazines and behind-the-scenes videos as CD-ROMs became available. In hindsight, your games were a key influence that set me on the path to being a game designer.

It was fun to see you and Ken interviewed in the High Score documentary on Netflix. Congrats on your new book; it sounds like a loving basis for a story about fortitude in a difficult time.

     

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