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AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!
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Author:  Mitch [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Pretty cool.

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/kings-quest-gt-anthology/55506

Author:  Anonymous Game Creator 2 [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

A $700,000 budget? Holy... crap!

Author:  DrJones [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Maybe it's adjusted for inflation?

Author:  TimoVihola [ Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Very cool featurette. What surprised me was the relatively high budget! I remember seeing some old Finnish magazine ads where the computer prices were much higher compared to current prices. I was born in 1985 so I don't have first hand experience of buying one back then though ;)

Author:  pbpb33 [ Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

You guys can't honestly believe that the budget was actually $700,000 in 1984. That is very obviously a mistake. Perhaps they mistakenly added an extra zero. But, since they did not bother citing their sources, it's hard to know where they got that figure. In the official "Making of KQ6" video, we learn that games' budgets in 1992 were often approaching $1M or more, a fact that is used in the video to show how far computer games had come since the times of KQ1.

Anonymous Game Creator 2 wrote:
A $700,000 budget? Holy... crap!

Author:  Spikey [ Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

It depends on what was calculated into the budget. Investment in hardware, software and all the hours made by all the programmers was relatively spoken enormously expensive.

Author:  Gronagor [ Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Hmmm... that amount could probably include expansion to the company itself?? Since this was really the start of it all...

Author:  Paladinlover [ Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Quote:
You guys can't honestly believe that the budget was actually $700,000 in 1984. That is very obviously a mistake. Perhaps they mistakenly added an extra zero. But, since they did not bother citing their sources, it's hard to know where they got that figure. In the official "Making of KQ6" video, we learn that games' budgets in 1992 were often approaching $1M or more, a fact that is used in the video to show how far computer games had come since the times of KQ1.


I concur, I've seen that video on youtube, too. A 700,000 budget in 1984 would have been preposterous. I would have to say that games were cheaper to make back then since they were mostly one person efforts (Might and Magic 1: The secret of the Inner Sanctum was a MUCH bigger game than KQ1, yet Jon Van Caneghem programmed it single-handed. There were only 5 individuals on the team, and not all of them did much in terms of computer graphics or programming.) It simply couldn't have cost 700K to produce it even if they all paid themselves large salaries.

Till next time stay cool 8))

Author:  goatmeal [ Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

As someone accurately brought up in the comments section of the video link,

Due to inflation over the last 25 years, $700K in 1984 dollars is only about $1.4 million in 2008 dollars. I suppose it's possible that the $700K is an accurate number...

Try the Westegg inflation calculator (based on the Consumer Price Index [1879-2008]) and see for yourself:

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

Author:  pbpb33 [ Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

It appears that the people who made this "GameTrailers" video simply copied and pasted information from the KQ1 Wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Quest:_Quest_for_the_Crown

Virtually all the "facts" mentioned in the video are listed in the KQ1 Wikipedia entry... with wording strikingly similar to what is found in the video. Apparently the video's creators "phoned it in" and didn't spend more than 5 minutes on research. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a single person involved with "GameTrailers" who ever played a minute of KQ1, and also wouldn't be surprised if they just downloaded KQ1 clips on YouTube for content. But who knows... and it's not really important in this discussion...

The origin of the 700K claim may have been the KQ1 Wikipedia page, where the figure is mentioned with *no* citation. I'm surprised you guys are so quick to believe and to try to rationalize an assertion (that flies in the face of common sense) simply because it is presented in a slick, animated featurette or because it's found on Wikipedia. If major computer games in the early 90's (ten years later) had budgets around 1 million dollars, and if these newer games were tremendously more complex requiring dozens more specialists (cinematographers, composers, photographers, animators, costume designers, background artists, sound editors, voice actors, etc.), then doesn't it make sense to conclude that the budgets for these newer games would have been significantly higher than their less technologically advanced predecessors? I don't recall any outside studio Kronos-produced 3D animated intros before gameplay in "Quest for the Crown" (as we saw in KQ6) that could have pushed the budget to such heights in 1984. KQ1 may well have been a huge and ambitious undertaking for the time, but there's no way that it could have had as many people working on it as there were who worked on the "multimedia CD" titles of the early 1990's.

Also, I don't see how the inflation argument adds any credibility to the 700K claim. If anything, it makes the 700K number sound all the more ludicrous for a 1984 game.

For fun, I challenge you all to get out your Laura Bow sleuthing magnifying glasses, find a source that reports the 700K figure, and prove me wrong! I bet you can't. :p

Author:  DrJones [ Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Well, when I said adjusted by inflation I mean that maybe the correct number was 300K$ in 1984, which is equivalent to 700K$ in 2008. Still not likely unless you count as "cost" the money that went straight to Sierra for each copy sold.

Author:  goatmeal [ Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

pbpb33 wrote:
It appears that the people who made this "GameTrailers" video simply copied and pasted information from the KQ1 Wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Quest:_Quest_for_the_Crown

Virtually all the "facts" mentioned in the video are listed in the KQ1 Wikipedia entry... with wording strikingly similar to what is found in the video. Apparently the video's creators "phoned it in" and didn't spend more than 5 minutes on research. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a single person involved with "GameTrailers" who ever played a minute of KQ1, and also wouldn't be surprised if they just downloaded KQ1 clips on YouTube for content. But who knows... and it's not really important in this discussion...

The origin of the 700K claim may have been the KQ1 Wikipedia page, where the figure is mentioned with *no* citation. I'm surprised you guys are so quick to believe and to try to rationalize an assertion (that flies in the face of common sense) simply because it is presented in a slick, animated featurette or because it's found on Wikipedia. If major computer games in the early 90's (ten years later) had budgets around 1 million dollars, and if these newer games were tremendously more complex requiring dozens more specialists (cinematographers, composers, photographers, animators, costume designers, background artists, sound editors, voice actors, etc.), then doesn't it make sense to conclude that the budgets for these newer games would have been significantly higher than their less technologically advanced predecessors? I don't recall any outside studio Kronos-produced 3D animated intros before gameplay in "Quest for the Crown" (as we saw in KQ6) that could have pushed the budget to such heights in 1984. KQ1 may well have been a huge and ambitious undertaking for the time, but there's no way that it could have had as many people working on it as there were who worked on the "multimedia CD" titles of the early 1990's.

Also, I don't see how the inflation argument adds any credibility to the 700K claim. If anything, it makes the 700K number sound all the more ludicrous for a 1984 game.

For fun, I challenge you all to get out your Laura Bow sleuthing magnifying glasses, find a source that reports the 700K figure, and prove me wrong! I bet you can't. :p



6 people, including Roberta Williams, worked on KQ for 18 months. As for the $700K number, here are two links that corroborate that stated cost (with COMPUTE! -- an actual printed publication -- pre-dating Wikipedia by 16 years)...

IBM Personal Computing -- "Inside King's Quest" by Donald B. Trivette
COMPUTE! / Issue 57 / February 1985 / Page 136:

http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/i ... quest.html

AND

RetroGamer -- "Developer Lookback: Sierra Online" (includes contributions from Al Lowe):

http://www.allowe.com/Larry/DeveloperLookback.htm

*****

Oddly enough, a New York Times interview with Roberta Williams on December 20, 1992, has her estimating that KQ6 also cost $700K for 20 people over 14 months:

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/20/busin ... -line.html

Even then, that would be ~$520,000 in 1984 dollars -- and that's without having to create the game engine from scratch that was required for KQ [AGI]...

*****

In an interview from 2005, Mr. Williams estimated that the cost of developing games had escalated to anywhere from $3 million to $10 million for production alone -- and he would know:

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_i ... story=6864

Quote:
''Here's the problem as I see it: Production values have risen to a level that games are starting to cost $3 million to $10 million to produce. Double this amount to get the true cost to a company, by the time they promote and manufacture the product.''


That would be $1.5 million - $5 million in 1984 dollars.

And that's why inflation is important.

Bazinga!

Author:  pbpb33 [ Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Wow, that's incredible!! I stand corrected. However, on the Al Lowe site it says that the $700,000 funding went towards the creation of the Adventure Game Interpreter engine, which was used for many of their 1980's games, so technically one could argue that it doesn't tell the whole story to say that one game had a budget of $700,000 when the costly venture could better be described as the development of a new game engine, which KQ1 was a way to showcase. Also, I don't think inflation is especially relevant here in trying to understand the apparent large budget compared to later games' costs; the key point seems to be IBM's $700,000 investment in Sierra to create a first-of-its-kind game engine that could be used to create games to show off IBM's new technology. Still, the large investment by IBM is impressive even by today's standards, and it really underscores what an influential player Sierra was. It's too bad Ken and Roberta Williams never saw fit to write a book about their experience with Sierra... it would have been a fascinating read and a beneficial undertaking to record firsthand accounts of some important PC software history. They saw upclose and probably influenced a lot of major changes in the industry... for example, I know Al Lowe has said that he believes Sierra did a lot to help popularize early sound cards.

Author:  Spikey [ Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Ahum

I don't think 700k is really a considerable investment by today's standards of information technology, it's about what companies spend per year for measuring their website.

Author:  Quest For Glory Fan [ Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Spikey wrote:
Ahum

I don't think 700k is really a considerable investment by today's standards of information technology, it's about what companies spend per year for measuring their website.


oh thank god he ended that sentence with "website". Really cool video actually even if it is a wiki rip. The amount of money it takes to create a game, especially from scratch, is enormous. Most games cost more to produce than the average movie.

Author:  DrJones [ Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Quest For Glory Fan wrote:
oh thank god he ended that sentence with "website". Really cool video actually even if it is a wiki rip. The amount of money it takes to create a game, especially from scratch, is enormous. Most games cost more to produce than the average movie.
Except that you aren't taking into consideration how much it costed to produce a game back then. Hell, Spain was one of the top game producers in the Spectrum era, and it only took a week and two people to make top selling games. :p

Author:  Spikey [ Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AGDI mentioned in GameTrailers!

Yeah, but then again, people working in the computer technology industry were relatively enormously expensive.

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