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 Post subject: Letters from the Coles
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:45 pm 
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Well, I tend to lurk here looking for news on QFG2VGA, but I thought I'd actually post something for once. Recently I went through a bunch of old boxes and found a number of letters from Lori Ann and Corey Cole. I had written to them back when QFG2 first came out, and they actually sent personal responses. While I don't have copies of the letters I sent them (this was in 1993), anyone interested in seeing what they had to say in response?


Last edited by GuJiaXian on Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Yes, definitely! i would love to see that!

as i recall, i've written to them in the past too and i must have those somewhere.. i'll try to dig them up!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:43 pm 
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Letter #1 (all errors are Lori's):

Postmarked 6 January 1993


POB 297
Oakhurst, CA 93644
December 29, 1992

Dear Chris,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, you discovered the "mystical way of the programmer" for "So You Want To Be A Hero". Practically every Sierra game that goes out has something similar to aid the programmers in putting the game together. Seems like you did a lot of research tracking down all those code numbers. You must be a programmer.

Hope by now you've had a chance to play "Wages of War". It is the most beautiful game of the series. Wages of War is set in an Africa-like land. Your mission will be to prevent war between the Liontaurs of Tarna and the Simbani Warriors against the Leopardmen of the jungle. You know that Demons are behind the war, but can you stop them from causing massive bloodshed and unleashing their own armies of Demons into this world?

We are currently at work developing the long awaited "Shadows of Darkness" game for the series. This takes place in the mysterious and dangerous land of Mordavia. You will need to discover who brought you here and why to this place of too many enemies. This will be a Transilvania-like place of horror movie fame, so be prepared to be scared.

The last game in the Quest for Glory Series will be set in the land of Silmaria. Here you will have the opportunity to meet many of your old friends and acquaintances from the series as you strive to unite the neighboring islands and lands under a single ruler.

Thanks again for the letter. We really enjoy hearing from the people who play our games. It helps us design the games the way the players want to play.

Sincerely,
(signed) Lori Ann Cole


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:59 pm 
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Letter #2 (all errors are Lori's)

Postmarked 10 February 1993


POB 297
Oakhurst, CA 93644
February 8, 1993

Dear Chris,

Thanks for your letter. That bug about changing directories is not one we had ever heard of. Sorry you had to be the one to catch it. We will pass it along to systems and hopefully that bug will get squashed right away.

The quote that Simba gave you was indeed from Pogo. The programmer, Bob Fischbach was a big fan of Pogo's, and he was the one who put the line there. We try to keep the humor on as many levels as possible.

In Wages of War, the thing to try is to use up all your rations (be sure to save first, rations cost cash and money is scarce in this game) and walk for a while around the Savanna hungry. You'll meet a very silly solution to your hunger problem.

We are now hard at work on Shadows of Darkness. We're going to have a game that is heavy on the puzzle-solving. This game will offer the Magic-User and Paladin more spells than any other one in the series. The Thief will have plenty of chances to uses his skills and find the Thieves' Guild. The Fighter will learn a new skill for fighters and learn new ways to build up his muscles. We are also working at improving the interface to allow the player more of the feeling of control.

Shadows of Darkness is set in the land of Mordavia (in this world, Moldavia is next to Transilvania in what used to be Rumania). Here you will find out what happened to Ad Avis, though your character will not enjoy the answer.

The next game we are planning to do is more RPG than adventure. We are trying to get a first-person perspective engine like Ultima Underworld. The game is set in a future where ecological disasters destroyed much of civilization. The player will be head of a special missions group (like Mission: Impossible). The player will design his own character, then choose four other specialists from their Dossiers to go on a routine salvage mission. Only things are not routine at all. This game will be heavy on interaction of the characters on the mission. Leadership skills will be an important part of this. The game will have plenty of suspense and excitement ("Is one of your members a traitor, or just a jerk?"). It should be a fun variation on the standard dungeon crawl.

After that, we will settle back and finish off the Quest for Glory Series. The final game is set in the island states of Mariana. The major city there will be Silmaria. Originally there was only going to be two games in this series, but we added "Wages of War" in order to give players more of what they want.

Then it will be contract negotiation time again for us and Sierra, so who knows how it will go then. We do have come preliminary ideas of what to do with the next "Quest for Whatever" series. Maybe we'll set it in an oriental setting and let the player choose between "Ronin, Monk, and Ninja". (After all, we are taking Taekwondo now.) This one would have a female protagonist (if technology doesn't change enough so that we can offer the player a choice of gender).

In QG3, you can't defeat the Demon Image because it is drawing your life force and health points every time it hits you. The secret to the images defeat is for someone else to fight the mirror image. Therefore, Kreesha defeated Manu's image, Yesufu and Johari fought off one another's image, and they all banded together to take out Kreesha's image.

The things to steal are not in Tarna. That place is too lawful to be any fun for the Thief. You steal the crucial items in the Simbani Village and at the Leopardmen village. Practice your throwing in the Savanna or in the Target area in the Simbani Village. Practice your Acrobatics on the Wrestling Bridge. You can't get to the Liontaur part of the city. It would take far too much art for us to do it right.

Thanks again for the letter. It is so good to hear from those who enjoy the games and care enough to let us know.

Sincerely,
(signed) Lori Ann Cole


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:14 pm 
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Letter #3 (all errors are Lori's)

Postmarked 18 October 1993


P. O. Box 297
Oakhurst, CA 93644
13 Oct. 1993

Dear Chris,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but it's been a hectic year, trying to fit a twelve month project into nine months. Thus, all letters wind up being put off to the last possible momentin order to get the game out. Unfortunately, due to technical problems, Shadows of Darkness has not yet shipped. It is still very much in the testing phase. It is now slated for release in November.

You would not believe how complex it is to design and program a game like Quest for Glory. Every new spell added to the game causes repercussions in each and every room in the game, as well as each new game in the series. If Shadows of Darkness is successful, Sierra will certainly want more in the series. However, the next game in this quintology will be the last for your Hero. We will then start over with a new Hero, new lands, and new adventures, because these games are getting too difficult for Sierra to create because of their complexity.

We are hoping that there will be a Multi-media version of Shadows of Darkness. This will have all text turned into spoken word, and some nifty animation that was too large for the floppy version. You won't miss anything with the disk version, but you'll get more with the CD. That is, if Sierra ever makes a decision to do it.

It's not even clear what Corey and I will be doing for next year. There is supposed to be a release of the first three games on a CD (not Multimedia, but at least a person can play the games in order.) There is also supposed to be a re-release of Wages of War with a new box cover and name change. It seems someone else trademarked the title before Sierra. We may be doing another "Dr. Brain" game, but things are still up in the air.

The "Awful Waffle Walker" was a joke one of the artists made. At Sierra, We call the main character in a game "Ego". This was an Eggo walker instead of the Ego walker. So I incorporated it into the game. Team work really makes the game special.

The Thermo-nuclear Attack is not something your character can get, but it will be used against you by the Demons if you do not defeat them soon enough. You cannot levitate high enough to get away from it.

The throne and the termite hill are just information pieces. The illos in the FECC were the Demon Master face which can be seen in the Gate, and the original design for the Demon Wizard.

In Shadows of Darkness, you will find something from almost every traditional horror movies except Zombies. Unfortunately, they were from a culture too far away to incorporate into Mordavia. We will have plenty of walking undead, though.

Silly Clowns did very little. It was just a silly thing in the game. If it was not set, then you didn't see Harpo Marx running through the alleys.

We read a lot of fantasy and Science Fiction books, and have just sent in two chapters of a Scince Fiction novel to an agent. Game design is an exciting field, and writing is a good way to break in. Programming helps a lot, too. Good luck.

As a reward for your letter, an an apology for taking so long, I am sending  a copy of our Demo. Enjoy it, and thanks for your feedback. We want very much to make out games the most fun we possibly can.

Sincerely,
(signed) Lori Ann Cole


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:29 am 
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Thanks so much for posting.. i gotta find my letters some time soon!

do you have any others?

this was very informative and gave me some insight...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:54 pm 
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I don't have any others, sorry. The first letter is pretty bland, but the second and third not only contain a lot of personal attention, but that reference to the first-person sci-fi RPG is interesting...anyone know anything more about the game? Obviously it never happened...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:44 pm 
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That was the first i had heard of that game.  I think they only got as far as the proposal unfortunately.
it sucks because now you pretty much have to be part of a big company or a small company with backing to get any kind of game released!



thanks again, i have started searching for my letters now...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:17 am 
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Well, write the Coles again and tell them to make another fricking game!

Maybe we all should.... sort of a petition thing.
QFG5 did offer the import option.

Maybe we should go start a vigil on their lawn or something.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:30 pm 
If Coles wrote a letter to Agdi now...

...I bet it would say "When You release the goddamn remake?!"

:rollin


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:38 am 
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I doubt it. We've spoken to the Coles personally and they have more understanding about the pangs of game development than you have.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:40 am 
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Just curious, have they given any comments about the game so far?




Erpy wrote:
I doubt it. We've spoken to the Coles personally and they have more understanding about the pangs of game development than you have.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:14 am 
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They seemed positive by what we showed them and were very encouraging.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:21 am 
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We didn't get to show the Coles much of the remake beyond the Katta's Tail Inn and the first few screens. We met Corey for dinner at a Persian restaurant, aptly enough, and although we had a laptop with us at the time, the environment wasn't very well-suited to demonstrating various aspects of the game to him.

Most of the time we spent with Lori was used touring around Oakhurst, discussing the old days of Sierra, and looking at the awesome QFG design docs. Though we were able to show her a little more of the game.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Lori said she would play the remake though didn't she?

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Calik Status: Hero of Speilburg Has become the Prince of Shapier and a Hero among Tarnans, after freeing the Mordavians from eternal fear he was zapped to the land of Silmaria where an import bug has him trapped between worlds.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:19 pm 
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Hey, if you speak with the Coles again, ask them about this first-person sci-fi RPG. Obviously it was never made, but in their letter to me it sounded like they had it largely thought-out already. Perhaps they can pass along design ideas/documents to AGDI.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:19 am 
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is that address still current?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:44 am 
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Dear GuJiaXian,

Thanks so much for sharing this.

I loved most of the games by the Coles, but when it comes to humor, I like the Space Quest series better.
"With a heavy dash of post-apocalyptic seasoning"
(excerpt from Space Quest IV)
I guess I'm more into black humor and Puck-like pranks than the more innocent humor of the Kings' Quest and QFG series.

--

Kind Regards,

Xyloc

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Am I a man that dreams he's a butterfly, or am I a butterfly who dreams that I am a man?

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