DGC Ep 105: King's Quest (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are discussing a pair of very early Sierra adventure games, beginning with 1984's King's Quest: Quest for the Crown. We talk a bit about Sierra and its early contributions to games as a whole and the specific form of the adventure game, setting it in context and discussing taste. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
"About half" of King's Quest

Issues covered: crossing a drawbridge, being top of the game food chain, the rise and fall and rise of adventure games, establishing a formula early on, being unable to get games, hint lines, IBM funding, sweet development deal, four-color video cards, reusable engines, general-purpose machines vs custom machines, leveraging programming work, local-ish company, building a string of franchises, first developers whose names you know, typing in directions, diving into the manual, how to make an adventure game map, the need to restart, lack of direction, number pad, playing with a parser, getting source code for text adventures, verb usability in LucasArts vs Sierra, finding parser edges and the sense of discovery, one-use verbs, having visual feedback in addition to the parser, open world exploration in the parser, different taste in adventures and animation, a brainy game, experimentation, engineers vs pure designers, character mechanics, timing element, hint books, using friends like a hint line, pen and paper similarity, willing suspension of disbelief, blocking off inaccessible areas via art, the wrap-around map, connected world, usability decision?, multi-use puzzles and inventory items, waiting for things, relying on fairy tale lore.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: LucasArts, Day of the Tentacle, Apple ][, Infocom, Wizard and the Princess, Roberta and Ken Williams, Egghead Software, IBM, Out of this World/Another World, Karateka, Dynamix, Vivendi, CUC International, Havas, Andromeda, Zork, ADVENT/Colossal Cave Adventure, Ultima, Tetris, ExciteBike, Marble Madness, Montezuma's Revenge, Commodore 64, Ancient Art of War, Ballblazer, Archon, Lode Runner, Disney, Pixar, Ubisoft, Dark Souls, Felix the Cat, Warner Bros, Ralph Bakshi, Mystery House, Manhole, HyperCard, Cyan, Myst, Enchanter, Lost Treasures of Infocom, Activision, Dungeons and Dragons, Greensleeves, Ultima Underworld, Pac-Man, Lucas Rizoli, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, Daryl Gates.

It might have been more accurate to say source might have been "assembled" rather than "interpreted"

Duncan Fyfe on PQ4, writing for Waypoint

Next time:
Finish King's Quest

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