Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Choicest VGM - VGM #75 - Quest for Glory 2 - The Dervish

This track plays when you visit the Dervish who lives at an oasis in the Shapeiran Desert. The Dervish speaks in analogies and puzzles (sounds a bit like a certain Royksopp song). What he says doesn't make much sense when you first listen, however it always has an element of truth to it. One such gem is

"Hero business is like eating peanuts. Once you start, it is very hard to stop.

Perfect opportunity for a Pringles ad there surely?

Thanks to Sierra On-Line and Quest Studios for providing these memorable tracks.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Choicest VGM - VGM #74 - Quest for Glory 2 - Honest Ali's Saurus Lot

This track plays when you visit Honest Ali's Saurus Lot just outside the entrance to Shapeir. The fact that Ali Fakir looks a lot like Groucho Marx, is probably no coincidence - hence the comedic style to the music. Anyway, Ali is important since he sells to you a saurus which is the Shapeiran equivalent of a horse - very useful when traversing the desert. You'll also learn later in the game that the saurus you happen to get is no ordinary saurus...

Thanks to Sierra On-Line and Quest Studios for providing these memorable tracks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Played games in the 90s? Check out these Kickstarters

While I think I've backed my fair share of Kickstarter projects already, I've decided to back two more today which I think are worth it for anyone who grew up on PC games in the 90s.

The first project is actually by a gaming industry veteran, Tom Hall. Tom is the man who has worked on so many classic games that I have to put them in a bulleted list to emphasise the number of quality titles he's worked on:

  • Commander Keen
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Spear of Destiny
  • Doom
  • Rise of the Triad
  • Terminal Velocity
  • Duke Nukem II
  • Duke Nukem 3D
  • Prey
  • Anachronox
  • Deus Ex

He is also responsible for the lovable and well remembered Dopefish.

The project is actually expected to deliver two products: one is Worlds of Wander which will be a platformer game creation tool, which should immediately appeal to those novice game developers who want to give a shot at making their own game quickly. The second product is Secret Spaceship Club which will be a game developed using the aforementioned tool and also a spiritual successor to Commander Keen!

Surprisingly, the project has only managed to get 10% funding so far and there are 9 days left for the project to reach its funding goal. I'm still hopeful that there will be a big push at the end since this is Tom Hall we're talking about people! :)

The second project I've backed isn't being made by a gaming veteran of the same calibre as Tom Hall, but these guys are not n00bs to the game development scene either. Himalaya Studios are responsible for not one but four AGD Interactive Sierra remakes, so if someone knows how to make a Sierra-style adventure game, it'd be them - and that is exactly what they're proposing to do with their Kickstarter project.

Mage's Initiation is to be an Adventure/RPG hybrid that will hopefully make Lori and Corey Cole proud, as it's heavily influenced by the Quest for Glory series. Consequently, there will be multiple classes to pick from (different mage classes I believe, since this is Mage's Initiation after all) and as a result, increased replay.

Mage's Initiation has a modest goal of $65,000 and even though they've just started, they're already sitting at just shy of $30,000.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Choicest VGM - VGM #73 - Quest for Glory 2 - Abu Al Njun (The Astrologer)

This track plays when you visit the Sultan's Astrologer Abu Al Njun. The astrologer is often cryptic with his responses although this is probably not dissimilar to actual astrologer forecasts. The music evokes a sense of mystical wonder - you could almost imagine you're out on a lonely hill staring up at the night sky with the stars twinkling in time with the music.

Thanks to Sierra On-Line and Quest Studios for providing these memorable tracks.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Creator of Police Quest announces Kickstarter

Jim Walls, creator of the classic Sierra adventure series, Police Quest, was interviewed today by Chris Pope, Executive Producer of Guys from Andromeda LLC (the company involved in developing SpaceVenture). The biggest news to come out of the interview is that Jim Walls is planning to join all his other ex-Sierra colleagues in starting a Kickstarter project with the hopes of receiving enough funding for a Police Quest-like game (like most of the Sierra Kickstarters, Activision owns the rights to the IP, with the exception of Leisure Suit Larry). It's still early days and there's a lot of work that needs to be done, so Jim Walls is asking for anyone who wants to help to contact him via his website, however he intends on seeking Kickstarter funding this year. So keep an eye out for a Police Quest Kickstarter in 2013 :).

Some interesting bits of trivia that were revealed during the course of the interview:

What is Jim Walls doing nowadays?

Jim Walls is currently retired and has been for the last 10 years. He currently resides south of Oakhurst, California in a town called Coarsegold.

How many years did Jim Walls serve as a police officer?

About 15 years

How did Jim Walls end up working at Sierra On-Line?

Ken Williams, founder of Sierra-Online was actually a client of Jim's wife who was a hairdresser. Ken Williams mentioned he wanted to make a police game and to have an actual police officer involved in its development.

Where did Jim Walls get the name Lytton from?

Jim was looking at a map of North America and just randomly picked a tiny hamlet in Canada (its population according to Wikipedia is 228)

How long did Jim Walls work at Sierra On-Line?

From 1986 - 1991

The incident with the chicken dancing about in the lieutenant's office in Police Quest 1...

Really happened!

Is the bar in Police Quest called the Blue Room a homage to the Blue Oyster in the Police Academy films?

No it's just a coincidence.

Was the "Death Angel" (Jessie Bains) in the Police Quest games based on an real person?

Yes he was. Jim Walls was actually involved in a shootout with this criminal and he was eventually apprehended. While in his holding cell he told another person who was arrested for drink driving that when he got out he was going to get revenge and kill Jim's family. He actually managed to escape but fortunately no harm came to Jim or his family (although he admits he was paranoid for a time afterwards).

Was Jim Walls involved on the development of Westwood Studios's Blade Runner?

Yes. Jim was hired as a consultant to work for Lead Designer, David Leary. He added a degree of authenticity to the parts of the game involving police.

Does Jim Walls share the same birthday as Ken Williams?

Yes. Not the same birth year though.