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 Post subject: Re: Sierra or Lucasarts
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Unfortunately, King's Quest IV was the first computer game ever to support a sound card.

iMuse is a great development but I still only really see it as an evolution of Sierra's SCI sound system (used in KQ5 before the superior iMuse system in MI2).

As for CD audio soundtracks. Yeah, I think LA did that first. But I don't think it was something Sierra shied away from anyway. Granted, some of their sub-companies had CD audio soundtracks early on like Dynamix (Stellar 7) among others.

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 Post subject: Re: Sierra or Lucasarts
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:20 pm 
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Lucasfilm games also never had CD audio in the original releases of any games during that time. They only had CD audio and sometimes voiceovers in the CD-Rom re-releases.
Also, LucasArts only had a few adventure game series (Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Maniac Mansion), and most of these early titles were designed by one of two people: Ron Gilbert or Tim Schafer. These two men were in their 20's at the time, and their intelligent, non-forced, distinctive and irreverent humor (that also always had the feeling of having been written by young, non-socially mainstream males) is the hallmark of these early games. That (not Steve Purcell's art nor even the catchy Monkey Island theme) is what most made these games distinctive. Without their humor, most of the Lucasfilm adventure games would not be remembered today. It's the intelligent humor that brings in new fans to this day.
Many of Sierra's designers were older, and that affected the tone of their games. Scott Murphy was an exception.

I also always found the design of the Lucasfilm games to be a bit chintzy. What I mean is that the designers seemed to put little focus on the exploration aspect of the games. You couldn't explore very much in the simplistic, extremely linear Lucasfilm games like you could in Sierra adventures. In a Lucasfilm game, if you came across something like a floating piece of driftwood, clicking on the wood (*IF* the game even highlighted the item to let you click on it) would do nothing but make your character bob its head robotically and say something inane like, "Yep, looks like a log." In most Sierra titles you could examine almost everything on the screen to learn as much or as little detail as you wanted or needed, and this helped make the worlds seem more alive. I recently replayed Sierra's Leisure Suit Larry 3, and I have to say that this game is brilliant and far more ambitious and creative than almost all the Lucasfilm titles. No detail was overlooked.

I have also been surprised and a little disappointed to see the way some in the development team of the new "special edition" Monkey Island have been talking about the orginal MI game. In their "behind the scenes" video, one team member says that the success of the adventure game genre during that time was largely the result of Secret of Monkey Island. The truth is that Sierra was the major player in this genre, which it created, and its competitors (including LucasArts) were reacting to Sierra's successes. Even the original Maniac Mansion didn't come until 1987 (and the upgraded PC version not until 1988). Another "special edition" Monkey Island team member claims that this amount of humor was unprecedented (hmm... Leisure Suit Larry? Space Quest?), as was the non-fantasy, non-sci fi Caribbean setting (hmm... LSL? Police Quest? Gold Rush? Codename: Iceman? Laura Bow?). The idea that Secret of Monkey Island is special because it broke new ground is just wrong.

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Unfortunately, King's Quest IV was the first computer game ever to support a sound card.

iMuse is a great development but I still only really see it as an evolution of Sierra's SCI sound system (used in KQ5 before the superior iMuse system in MI2).

As for CD audio soundtracks. Yeah, I think LA did that first. But I don't think it was something Sierra shied away from anyway. Granted, some of their sub-companies had CD audio soundtracks early on like Dynamix (Stellar 7) among others.


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 Post subject: Re: Sierra or Lucasarts
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:28 am 
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What also made LA games so memorable was that they were "easier to play." In that everything was point & click, the verbs were all right there (didn't have to second-guess the parser), there were very very few dead ends, and (with the exception of Indy and 1 or 2 earlier games) it was impossible to die. This sticks out in the minds of average computer game players in that era whereas Sierra games were often complicated and strewn with dead ends and deaths and could have been seen as more of a difficulty curve than LA games.

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 Post subject: Re: Sierra or Lucasarts
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:10 am 
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I think the first games I saw with the Adlib (which I bought because of sierra, and later a CM-32L which was like the MT-32) was King's Quest IV with Space Quest III right behind. Those were actually the first two PC games I owned.

I remember that KQ4 was the biggest game ever made at 2.3 meg I believe. 4 3.5 floppies or 7 5.25 floppies.

Wiki backs me up on this :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_Lib,_Inc.

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 Post subject: Re: Sierra or Lucasarts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:19 am 
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Granted I haven't played near as many Lucas Arts games as Sierra, I think I prefer Sierra games. The Quest for Glory series are probably my favorite games of all time.
It's kind of like comparing apples and oranges though.
It seems like Sierra games were more serious or had a balance of seriousness and humor, while Lucas Arts games were overall more humorous (which is great if you like that sort of thing, but personally I prefer a good mixture). If only Lucas Arts had followed through with the Loom sequels they had planned on making...

I actually love all the Sierra deaths. On the one hand it can be kind of a pain if you didn't save your game beforehand, but on the other its just funny all the creative ways that you CAN die (like the classic QFG picking your nose with a lock-pick and getting a brain hemorrhage). And while the many death messages are all very humorous, its sometimes nice to play a game in which you cannot die...

Overall though, Sierra has my vote. (They may be apples and oranges, but Sierra is the apple of my eye =3)

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