Ex-Sierra Composer Ken Allen commences Kickstarter

Ken Allen, a game music composer that used to work at good ol' Sierra On-Line has just commenced a Kickstarter project today that is looking to raise $10,000 to fund a new album. This album titled "Under the Half Dome" (referencing the mountain on Sierra's logo) is promised to be a high-definition remake featuring a variety of tracks sampled from Ken's work between 1989 - 1996. The late 80s and early 90s were to me Sierra's hey-day, the true golden age of adventure gaming. Through the music, Sierra's composers managed to imprint the fond memories of these games into our psyche.

I checked out on MobyGames which games Ken Allen were involved with between 1989 and 1996. While this is by no means a completely accurate method (as it doesn't state which individual tracks he worked on, or whether he even participated in the nitty-gritty of composing at all) it gives a rough idea of the variety of soundtracks he worked on:

  • The Colonel's Bequest (1989)
  • Roberta Williams' King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown (1990)
  • Oil's Well (1990)
  • King's Quest V (1990)
  • Fire Hawk: Thexder - The Second Contact (1990)
  • Space Quest IV (1991)
  • Space Quest I - VGA (1991)
  • Roberta Williams' Mixed-Up Mother Goose (1991)
  • Les Manley in: Lost in LA (1991)
  • Jones in the Fast Lane (1991)
  • Conquest of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood (1991)
  • Castle of Dr Brain (1991)
  • WarpSpeed (1992)
  • Wacky Funsters! The Geekwad's Guide to Gaming (1992)
  • Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch (1992)
  • Grand Prix Unlimited (1992)
  • Take a Break! Pinball (1993)
  • Star Trek: Judgment Rites (1993)
  • Protostar (1993)
  • The Geekwad: Games of the Galaxy (1993)
  • Blue Force (1993)
  • Return to Ringworld (1994)
  • Man Enough (1994)
  • Descent (1994)
  • Star Trek: Starfleet Academy - Starship Bridge Simulator (1995)
  • Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster (1995)
  • Mummy: Tomb of the Pharaoh (1996)

So that's a lot of music that could potentially go onto this album! I've made a wishlist below of the ones I would like to see on the album:

  • Oil's Well - Main Theme
  • King's Quest V - Town Music
  • King's Quest V - The Weeping Willow
  • King's Quest V - The Bandit Camp
  • King's Quest V - The Hermit
  • King's Quest V - Mordack's Castle
  • King's Quest V - Battle with Mordack
  • Jones in the Fast Lane - Main Theme
  • Jones in the Fast Lane - Oh What a Weekend!
  • Space Quest I - Main Theme
  • Space Quest I - Skimmer Theme
  • Space Quest I - The Rocket Bar

I particularly think the King's Quest V and Space Quest I soundtracks could benefit greatly with modern composition software and samples. While I find Oil's Well and the Jones in the Fast Lane music, funky, light-hearted and fun, they're probably not going to benefit as much (unless they're performed by a live band or something :) - perhaps a potential stretch goal?).

Oh and here are some of my favourites on YouTube:

At the time of this post, funding is already at the half-way mark and it's only the first day, so it's very likely this project will meet (if not exceed) its target. Still, an extra few backers couldn't hurt ;)

Oh best of all, the tracks are DRM-free.