Comparing Origin Systems with Sierra On-Line

Discussion in 'The Kingdoms of Old' started by Truthveyor, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. Truthveyor

    Truthveyor Avatar

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    I just read couple amazing articles.

    Here is a gripping article called "The Road to V" about Richard Garriott and Origin Systems back in the Ultima IV--Ultima V days: http://www.filfre.net/2016/02/the-road-to-v/

    Do any of you recall a contemporary company called Sierra On-Line back then? Here is an article called "The Unmaking and Remaking of Sierra On-Line" about Sierra On-Line and its founders, Ken and Roberta Williams: http://www.filfre.net/2013/07/the-unmaking-and-remaking-of-sierra-on-line/

    I find it extremely interesting and nostalgic to recall the time period and the games mentioned in the articles, and to compare the two companies, whereas they can be compared, even though it's a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

    Richard Garriott was by far the game purist. You can tell that making the games was its own reward for him. Left to himself, he would make ideal games, and only such an idealist would put something like the Eight Virtues inside his games.

    On the other hand, Ken and Roberta Williams released games after games. Most of them were not very memorable games, but some of them stood out, such as the King's Quest series. You can tell from the article that they were making games not quite for the games themselves but for the opportunity offered by the gaming industry. You get the feeling they were making and releasing games left and right because they could make a quick killing with each game. They DID end up making a lot of money, and I'm not bashing them--in fact, I think they are amazing people who contributed much to computer gaming--but I think you and I agree that Richard Garriott is the one that we respect more in comparison because he delivered better and more memorable games that resonated with us.

    I think we are very lucky to have Richard Garriott with us in Shroud of the Avatar. I believe that if he can, he will make the best game ever. He is that kind of an idealist. That purist in him has not gone away. It is still very much with us. If there is anything that constrains him, it is the lack of money. The current SotA is not the best-game-ever yet, the single player RPG experience that he was famous for is not created yet, but I can tell that the purist in him will drive him to make the best game ever if it is in his power to do so. I think he will not rest until he perfects SotA for both the MMO and the Single Player experience. For that, I'm very grateful to have someone like him, instead of someone else, heading the development of SotA.
     
  2. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

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    Sierra? Kings quest?

    who?

    Oh yea. The company that screwed Richard out of Ultima II profits. Bad people the Williams are.

    I never played kings quest due to Sierra being bad for business and I never will play any of their offshoots being done by other publishers now.
     
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  3. Timmy Vortex

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    I was too young to understand politics or know about alot of gaming news. We didn't have google back then ..but i do fondly remember Space Quest.
     
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  4. Truthveyor

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    Oh, totally, @firesparx! I remembered Space Quest very fondly, too. For a long time, I could hum the Space Quest theme song. I think of Space Quest as the best of the Quest series.

    I know Sierra On-Line didn't treat Richard Garriott very well with Ultima II, but the Space Quest series was a fine series. I am not going to deny that even though I'm more of a fan of Ultima than Space Quest. Had Sierra On-Line really been as ambitious with Space Quest as Origin Systems had been with Ultima, they would have gone far. But, no, they didn't go the extra mile or take the extra risk associated with ambitious projects the way Origin System did.

    This is another thing very respectable about Richard Garriott. He is willing to take risks. He had put himself and his company on the firing line with each Ultima, as he is doing it now with SotA. He is much more mature now though, and he is quite prudent and bold at the same time now with SotA. He is no noob in the game development business now and is pacing along (I read that for a time his programmers used to work 100+ hours per week back in the olden days when production deadlines were looming), and he is beating SotA slowly into shape in front of our eyes. It's a privilege to watch a master like him at work.

    I have a feeling that as long as things are going according to Richard Garriott's plan, SotA will turn out fine. He is just not someone who cuts corners. He is not in it for a quick buck. It probably has something to do with the Virtues he keeps on talking about.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  5. idaniod

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    I was a big fan of Heroes Quest.

    "House of brown... now sit down!"
     
  6. Fister Magee

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    I LOVED King's Quest, but had I been introduced to Ultimas of the age, I probably would have had a much different childhood! I have unfortunately missed my chance at enjoying these older titles (though U7 is something special, and I am working through it, as I find the time).

    That said, the magic and memories these games from the past have instilled in the player base for SOTA makes me think this is going to be the magic I've missed out on for so very long. I love the bold direction Lord British is taking this game.

    It sounds unfortunate Ultima 2 (?) had some issues with Sierra, or however that worked out (googling later..) but that's business I guess, and I'm glad that didn't stop LB from creating more games and bringing us to his newest creation.
     
  7. Cordelayne

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    Great articles @Truthveyor, thanks for sharing. I loved all the Kings Quest and Hero Quest games back in the day, including all the Ultimas, obviously. After reading the article about Origin, I was glad to see that even back then, they weren't the best at giving accurate time frames for release dates, lol. :rolleyes: ;)
     
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  8. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

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    No it didnt't stop Richard. That was the push to found Origins System Inc. Then he saw the money and the feedback coming in. Ultima III was the first Ultima that OSI published.
     
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