Remake KQ8 project

edited March 2013 in Discuss
Would anyone like to start up or help me out with a project with the goal of remaking KQ8? The idea is to bring the game in line with Roberta's vision of the game and make it the epic KQ8 it could've been. Many have noted that while the final product is generally something Roberta approved, there's also a lot of other voices drowning hers out.

There were so many changes done to the game, so much stuff cut or quickly cut and pasted together. The original game was much larger, but also much more concise.

A lot of stuff had to be junked (two whole levels, Daventry was supposed to be completely different, etc) and nixed mostly because the technology of the time wasn't able to keep up with Roberta's ideas, and because of budget constraints and problems coordinating development between the various teams working on the game, and with a change in management and video game demographics, the question of how much action should be in the game became important. Roberta wanted action, but said action might've only been limited to Bosses had the pressures of changing times not been on her.

I'd just love to do something that could make Mask of Eternity into the classic game it had the potential to be, as close as possible to what Roberta originally envisioned before others began tampering with her ideas, or before what she wanted got sidelined by technological barriers and demographics concerns.
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Comments

  • edited February 2013
    I assume then, that you have some mind-reading ability so as to be able to know exactly what her "original vision" was?

    Or do you mean that you want to remake KQ8 in a more traditional point-and-click style, which certainly would be more palatable to long-time series fans, but was absolutely the opposite of where she wanted to take the game.

    What makes you even think her "original vision" would have been good? The design choices in the last few King's Quest games were terrible, and directly made those games worse than what had come before.

    This idea that staying true to "Roberta's vision" would have magically made KQ8 a great game is ludicrous. The woman had been becoming increasingly out of touch with what fans of her games actually liked for quite a while before KQ8 was even made.

    Anyway, that said--how much will you pay me?
  • edited February 2013
    Lambonius wrote: »
    I assume then, that you have some mind-reading ability so as to be able to know exactly what her "original vision" was?

    Or do you mean that you want to remake KQ8 in a more traditional point-and-click style, which certainly would be more palatable to long-time series fans, but was absolutely the opposite of where she wanted to take the game.

    What makes you even think her "original vision" would have been good? The design choices in the last few King's Quest games were terrible, and directly made those games worse than what had come before.

    This idea that staying true to "Roberta's vision" would have magically made KQ8 a great game is ludicrous. The woman had been becoming increasingly out of touch with what fans of her games actually liked for quite a while before KQ8 was even made.

    Anyway, that said--how much will you pay me?

    If you read the wiki on KQ8's devleopment, you can get a good idea of what she originally invisioned, what was cut and why, etc.. Reading through her released design documents should fill in the gaps. At least two levels--an Underwater Level and an Air level (separate from the Realm of the Sun) were cut. Daventry was supposed to be a HUGE, brightly lit kingdom and it was to look just as it did in the previous games (there's even an early screenshot ofo Connor standing next to the famous Well from KQ1), but the engine couldn't handle the brightness and so that's the only reason why we got the dark, desolate, small Daventry that we did.

    And she had two former ideas about KQ8's protagonist, which I thought was interesting. One was the idea of Conor being a statue turned to life, whilst all else is turned to stone. In the end, as reward for saving the Kingdom, he'd become a person, ala Pinocchio. The other had Connor as the son of a fisherman, touched by a piece of the Mask at birth.

    There's a lot of other ideas that were dropped that just seem like it would've been epic. There was to be a Green Man, A Leprechaun, part of the Underwater level would've been exploring a sunken ship which had been en route to raid Daventry, in a treasure hunt. There was to be an "Island King" and a Harbor town bordering Daventry. Daventry itself was to be HUGE--You would've been able to go, without loading, through the entire Kingdom, from the City of Daventry (cut), to forests (cut), to a the aforementioned Harbor Town (cut), to Conor's Village (which made it into the final game). There was to be moving living characters to interact with, a puzzle involving a Phoenix egg (and thus possibly a Phoenix). The Swamp Witch was to have a big role, and the action was to be limited to Boss characters. Just a ton of stuff.

    As to Roberta being "out of touch" with what fans wanted...Well, KQ5 is beloved, and that's the last game that Roberta totally spearheaded without any help or collaboration. KQ6 she co-produced with Jensen and that's a beloved entry. KQ7 wasn't Roberta's game at all outside of basic ideas (Lorelei Shannon is listed as the sole writer, first on the list of Designers, and first on the list of Directors of the game; KQ7 is basically a Lorelei Shannon game based on characters and ideas by Roberta). KQ8 went from being in her hands to having a bunch of other people put their own ideas in.
  • edited February 2013
    SHe had three totally essentially unrelated visions for the story direction of the game... They all started from very different parts of the kingdom.

    It would be impossible to 'merge' those, and have "Roberta's vision".

    It might be cool to have three different player characters, who somehow come together help each other out, based on the three original character ideas... But it would still not be Roberta's vision.

    The Leprichaun and the Redcap goblin for example were the same character. She couldn't decide which one to use...

    They went with the Boss Spriggan Boss instead, which in some ways better fit better with the Spriggans that were taking over, and gave them a 'leader'. Although it might have been more interesting if it had dialogue (or if another character made reference to the spriggan menace and their leader)... But none of the spriggans have any dialogue...
    from the City of Daventry (cut), to forests (cut),

    Do you have proof that the city of Daventry or that forests were cut? I know of no screenshots of such things. I've never read anything about the "city of daventry" being in the game (or rather a separate city), actually Connor's village is named 'Daventry', so its actually in the game.

    Do you mean that little square with 2-3 buildings that is shown in the 1996 video? It's a town in Daventry, not necessarily given a name. It might even be a prototype to the village as it is seen in the final game. Or it might be the 'harbor town'... Who knows.

    There is an unused part of the overworld map that is a forest, but that's not a proof that level in a forest was designed. Besides that map looks like it was added late in the game, during the final story development. I think it was drawn by the later artist.

    There are a few woodsy trees near a road, which seems to be the same map as the one with the little town square, and possible the same as the ocean side with the hydra. Calling it a 'forest' might be a bit of an exaggeration.
    the action was to be limited to Boss characters

    No proof of this, and I have never come across anything like that in my research. The only thing that might have been different is boss characters might have involved more puzzle solving than regular enemies. Some of that is actually kept in the game (Basilisk, Black Dragonwyrm, Two-Headed Dragon, Lucreto, all require a bit of puzzle solving to be able to defeat).
    Daventry was supposed to be a HUGE, brightly lit kingdom and it was to look just as it did in the previous games (there's even an early screenshot ofo Connor standing next to the famous Well from KQ1),

    THere is absolutely no proof that that is the famous well from KQ1, infact it doesn't even look like the well from KQ1 (other than being the same type of generic covered well)... It's also inside of a farm, where such wells are generally found...
  • edited February 2013
    Or you could do what Roberta generally did... She often had more ideas that she could use... KQ2 for example is made up of many ideas that she couldn't include in KQ1 wrapped into a new story...

    So it might be more interesting to make a series of new games, based loosely on the other two character ideas. But with original stories, that somehow incorporate unused characters and ideas/puzzles into new original stories...
  • exoexo
    edited February 2013
    Aside from all that - what game credits do you have Anakin? Or do you expect someone else to do all the heavy lifting while you just inform them of what Roberta's "original vision" was?
  • edited February 2013
    exo wrote: »
    Aside from all that - what game credits do you have Anakin? Or do you expect someone else to do all the heavy lifting while you just inform them of what Roberta's "original vision" was?

    I know you're trying my threads, but I'll dignify this one with a response.
    Ideally, I'd work with a team, using Roberta's released design documents to see what the first design document for KQ8 had in terms of the story, puzzles, etc. Seek her advice as to what exactly she intended for certain points and general guidance. Work with a team. I'm not very good with a computer or programming but in terms of helping to craft the story, plot points/puzzles, general direction, art direction/design, music direction, I could be of use.
  • edited February 2013
    ... in terms of helping to craft the story, plot points/puzzles, general direction, art direction/design, music direction, I could be of use.

    If legal concerns weren't an issue, I would definitely support/buy/financially back (e.g. on Kickstarter) such a project. I would feel especially good knowing that an extremely knowledgable KQ fan like you is involved. You care about the series and are a true fan of the originals, so I think it would be in good hands.

    Sigh, I wish I had artistic, musical or technical/programming skills. I am jealous of all you talented artists! :-p
  • edited February 2013
    The first design document were mainly world ideas few or no puzzles and combat discussion. The first test world was apparently a version of Daventry kingdom itself.

    Puzzles mostly came later, after they had general combat figured out. I'd guess probably a few months into actual development.

    I've been looking through kQ8 staff resumes and they seem to suggest actual programming and initial level design started about November through December 1996 give or take.

    Any ideas before that must have been very rough story treatments but no puzzle concepts. This is not surprising as Roberta has said in some cases she worked on stories and came up wih puzzles later in development once the worlds and characters were put in place.

    For sense of perspective remember having a story does not mean you have puzzles to progress the story.

    One of the things Seibert explained in that test Daventry was having Connor run around to places hey wanted to place puzzles, but they saw how much unused space there was between. Keep in mind many of those early maps were even larger than the final maps and had more unused and mostly flat space. On the wiki I have an image of an early map of the swamp as an example.


    Earlier version of the Swamp;
    Swmap3.jpg

    Final version of the Swamp;
    Theswamp.JPG

    So because of the wide open space they added idea of combat. Now the finalized maps made space a bit more closed in and varied, and kinda pushes you towards bottle necks and canyons where enemies are placed. This also helped to lead the player towards relevant locations, so you are less likely to get lost or overlook relevant locations, and puzzles.
  • edited March 2013
    What I would like to see is someone design a program that can open the *.pbm files, or any other files that contain KQ8's graphics assests (UI, maps, etc). There are are even some BMP files that modern graphics programs don't like to open, but may contain interesting character, or item textures. Being able to open these may open up access to unused material, that may offer an idea of what was cut from the game.

    It would be fascinating if there was any code or files left in the files of any of the prototype level designs.
  • edited March 2013
    Personally, I think first draft design documents are abandoned for a reason.
  • edited March 2013
    Ya, pretty sure the earliest, as in "pinnochio" was abandoned and decidedly ignored. Nothing came of it, not even sure there are any concept art, just story treatments.

    The moment they started programming the test level, they had already switched the story towards Connor instead.
  • edited March 2013
    First draft of anything rarely is gold and I suspect the case to be the same with KQ8. The first draft it just a starting point that is refined into the final product.
  • edited March 2013
    Personally, I think first draft design documents are abandoned for a reason.

    KQ must stay dead forever because AGDI and IA were denied the license! Butthurt abounds!
  • edited March 2013
    BagginsKQ wrote: »
    Ya, pretty sure the earliest, as in "pinnochio" was abandoned and decidedly ignored. Nothing came of it, not even sure there are any concept art, just story treatments.

    The moment they started programming the test level, they had already switched the story towards Connor instead.

    Any remake would have Connor, of course.
    I'm not referring to the earliest draft, story treatments.
    I'm referring to the actual first design phase, which went beyond story treatments and produced those first videos and screenshots shown in '96.
  • edited March 2013
    That was the level and early combat design period. Not much of anything for puzzles according to Roberta and Seibert. Though the story concepts and characters were probably already thought of by then.

    Puzzles were decided late in the game, one of the reasons some level material didn't make it in because not all ideas for puzzles had been fully thought out or no puzzle concepts had been designed to place into those levels, before the budget and time issues came up.

    The interesting thing is if fan remake was made they'd pretty much be able to be fully original as far as puzzles. You might luck out and find some cut puzzle concepts that we're created near the final stretch of he development that might inspire ideas. Although by then the story had changed in yet a third direction.
  • edited March 2013
    KQ must stay dead forever because AGDI and IA were denied the license! Butthurt abounds!

    I don't know about AGDI; I can't speak for them. IA was never denied the license - we never pursued it. In my discussion with colleagues in the Industry, I came to know of the terms of a KQ license, and it was something we could not afford.

    And now that I have had quite a long time to think about it, I'm absolutely fine with King's Quest remaining dormant. Like I've stated 1,000 times - somethings are just meant to stop. King's Quest had a good run, and when you get to 8 sequels - the quality is going to decline. I'm not one much for reboots of things, either - we're in a period in the creative world where it's reboots and sequels - and honestly, I'm more interested in new ideas.

    I don't need a new King's Quest, or particularly want one at this juncture. Not unless it was really handled with care. If one came along, had a great team behind it - I'd be interested in it. Right now - there's no one, or nothing. I don't know what Activision's plans are, but TellTale isn't going to be making King's Quest. For now, I'm fine with it being on a shelf.


    Bt
  • edited March 2013
    I'm fine with it being on a shelf...

    Bt

    Sadly, you miss a big point regarding the game reboots. The hi res reboots (e.g.,Larry Reloaded, Monkey Island) are not a result of a lack of creativity; they are made, in part, to introduce classic series to a whole new set of fans. Many younger gamers would never consider playing a game with blocky graphics nor one which requires DOSbox to run. And remember that the classic series stay alive, in a sense, only so far as new players are continuing to discover and play them. I suppose you are also against reprinting classic novels for new generations to enjoy? New KQ and other rebooted games won't just be played by the same handful of people that you are used to communicating with in various online KQ forums, don't forget. How sad that you want the series to stay "shelved", essentially putting a cap on the number of people who will ever enjoy the series.

    Your suggestion that game reboots or sequels somehow prevent others from supporting or creating new series is also a little silly. We can do both: celebrate/relive the classics AND also enjoy and produce new series. This is good for adventure gaming as a whole.
    I don't need a new King's Quest, or particularly want one at this juncture...

    Bt

    Not everything is about "you" or what "you" need. Look at the bigger picture.

    The KQ series has something special and is a lot of fun. It had many sequels and was a HUGE seller because people loved the games! I would be thrilled to see a new non-Telltale KQ game with the same special, fun spirit of the originals. I say, unleash the classics! Give life to a new KQ adventure! Let a new generation experience the fun and create new fans in the process.
  • edited March 2013
    I am speaking for me, Mtn. Peak. It IS about what I want and what I need.

    As with film, I want the younger generation to watch "Citizen Kane", not a remake or a reboot. I want them to see "The Wizard of Oz", not a remake or a reboot.

    If they don't play some blocky old game, it's their loss.


    Bt
  • edited March 2013
    Blackthorne if a company decides to reboot a classic series or make remakes or new sequels, you aren't forced to watch it the original series will always be their unchanged.

    I'm glad that places like GoG are makimg it easier to access them for new generation of gamers or even old who lost or sold their original copies. Its a digital archive with access to all as long as they can continue to sell them.
  • edited March 2013
    I know I'm not forced to watch them, but some things just shouldn't be done. King's Quest shouldn't have a sequel tacked on to it or be rebooted just to make a buck - or somehow "continue" the trend. Yes, the original series will be unchanged - that's great. I'd just hate to see a crappy game come out with a King's Quest name slapped on it.


    Bt
  • edited March 2013
    Mtn Peak and Anakin, I'm selling these fine magic beans. If you plant them, they'll grow a new King's Quest game. My kickstarter funding goal is just a paltry $500,000.
  • edited March 2013
    Stories and legends are meant to be told again and again. That's why there's so many adaptations of Shakespeare or Greek myths. Every generation spins their own versions of tales, be it Hamlet or tales of gods. There are many things I consider that won't need re-telling, but I have no doubt that at some point those stories will be retold either well or badly from my POW. This is now happening with games as well. There's a lot of old games, that are ripe for a retelling, old fans either like them or not, but the re-tellings aren't really done for the old fans, but to new people. If old fans like them that's just a bonus.
  • edited March 2013
    Yes, but they called a modern adaptation of Hamlet "The Lion King", not Hamlet.

    I mean, we can all start quoting Joseph Cambell, and talk about how the Hero's Journey is the same damn story every time. It is. There are only so many basic stories to be told.

    Throwing the King's Quest name on a new story... lame. Merely branding worship.


    Bt
  • edited March 2013
    Merely branding worship.

    B-b-but...Roberta's vision!
  • edited March 2013
    Yes, but they called a modern adaptation of Hamlet "The Lion King", not Hamlet.

    I mean, we can all start quoting Joseph Cambell, and talk about how the Hero's Journey is the same damn story every time. It is. There are only so many basic stories to be told.

    Throwing the King's Quest name on a new story... lame. Merely branding worship.


    Bt

    So, any "new" story, even if it is literally a direct continuation of the series from KQ7, is somehow "branding worship"? Even if the story, characters, etc all are related to and are respectful of the previous entries?

    Like, if a KQ9 was made wherein Graham was the protagonist and was on a quest to save the life of another member of the Royal Family, it would never be a King's Quest game, merely ''branding worship''?
  • edited March 2013
    So, any "new" story, even if it is literally a direct continuation of the series from KQ7, is somehow "branding worship"? Even if the story, characters, etc all are related to and are respectful of the previous entries?

    Like, if a KQ9 was made wherein Graham was the protagonist and was on a quest to save the life of another member of the Royal Family, it would never be a King's Quest game, merely ''branding worship''?

    The story doesn't matter.
  • edited March 2013
    Lambonius wrote: »
    The story doesn't matter.

    Ok, I'll be more clear:
    If a game called King's Quest IX was made wherein Graham was the protagonist, and he had to save the life of a member of the Royal Family, in a pure adventure game format with an interface little more than a modernized version of the KQ5-KQ6 interface, with a tone similar to that of King's Quest V or VI, it would not be a King's Quest?
  • edited March 2013
    Ok, I'll be more clear:
    If a game called King's Quest IX was made wherein Graham was the protagonist, and he had to save the life of a member of the Royal Family, in a pure adventure game format with an interface little more than a modernized version of the KQ5-KQ6 interface, with a tone similar to that of King's Quest V or VI, it would not be a King's Quest?

    Sure, I'd play that. Never gonna happen though. ;)
  • edited March 2013
    Lambonius wrote: »
    Sure, I'd play that. Never gonna happen though. ;)

    It will someday, despite what you want.
  • edited March 2013
    It will someday, despite what you want.

    Did I mention I was selling these magic beans?
  • edited March 2013
    Lambonius wrote: »
    Did I mention I was selling these magic beans?

    Why do you stick around if you're just going to troll? Don't understand it. You hate KQ, you're over it, you want to ensure it stays dead forever, you hate TT or the idea of TT making a KQ game...Why stick around here?
  • edited March 2013
    Why do you stick around if you're just going to troll? Don't understand it. You hate KQ, you're over it, you want to ensure it stays dead forever, you hate TT or the idea of TT making a KQ game...Why stick around here?

    I enjoy the stimulating conversation. And I never said I hated KQ. I hate the idea of a new, poorly conceived KQ that besmirches the name of the originals.
  • edited March 2013
    Lambonius wrote: »
    I enjoy the stimulating conversation.

    Basically, you're just a troll at this point, and enjoy pissing on the enthusiasm of anyone who doesn't feel that KQ must remain dead forever.
  • edited March 2013
    Basically, you're just a troll at this point, and enjoy pissing on the enthusiasm of anyone who doesn't feel that KQ must remain dead forever.

    Let's just imagine for a moment that this magical new King's Quest gets made. And it turns out to be terrible. Just awful. The writing of TSL meets the exploratory depth and puzzle quality of Telltale.

    You'd really want that?
  • edited March 2013
    Lambonius wrote: »
    Let's just imagine for a moment that this magical new King's Quest gets made. And it turns out to be terrible. Just awful. The writing of TSL meets the exploratory depth and puzzle quality of Telltale.

    You'd really want that?

    Sure. At this point, I'd love it come out just to see your reaction to it.
  • edited March 2013
    Sure. At this point, I'd love it come out just to see your reaction to it.

    Hahaha...me too.
  • edited March 2013
    KQ must stay dead forever because AGDI and IA were denied the license! Butthurt abounds!

    We weren't denied, actually. AGDI had the license to make the remakes, that's just all we wanted to do. IA never even looked for it to begin with. Your logic is flawed here.
    I am speaking for me, Mtn. Peak. It IS about what I want and what I need.

    As with film, I want the younger generation to watch "Citizen Kane", not a remake or a reboot. I want them to see "The Wizard of Oz", not a remake or a reboot.

    If they don't play some blocky old game, it's their loss.


    Bt

    Hear hear! That was very well put. We shouldn't be trying to pretty up the "ugly" from the older games. It's a waste of time and disrespectful to say the least. After all, these games were the cream of the crop in their day. Seeing remade graphics is cool for those of us nostalgic enough to spot the differences/similarities or enhancements/detractions, but beyond that it doesn't really serve a purpose as newer players don't really play remakes anyway, in my experience. I don't think anybody truly considers the Sierra remakes or the AGDI or IA remakes as "better" than the originals. They're fun, of course, and neat to see. But they don't serve much of a purpose otherwise as I see it. AGDI's KQ2 and KQ3 remakes changed enough of the plot that they were almost different games, lesser so with KQ3, but they are not the originals and never pretended to be.
    It will someday, despite what you want.

    You can't possibly believe that. There will never be another King's Quest game with the same feel as King's Quest V. Because there already is a King's Quest V. The same level of greatness? The magic formula of the same group of people in the same place in the same era at the same level of technology with the same ideals of game design and the same target audience ready to receive it is gone. That will never come again.

    At the very least, you can't possibly know that. If it happened I'd totally be on-board, though. I just think you're being a little naive.
  • edited March 2013
    I know I'm not forced to watch them, but some things just shouldn't be done. King's Quest shouldn't have a sequel tacked on to it or be rebooted just to make a buck - or somehow "continue" the trend.

    Why shouldn't it be done? Because a stick in the mud wet blanket said he didn't need a new game? You repeat blah cliches like "just to make a buck" and "don't touch the originals" so much, but it seems like you never give any kind of thought to anything you say.

    Remaking the games in hi res is more than just prettying them up, by the way. As I said, many younger players will never even touch a game with blocky graphics or which needs DOSbox to run. Aren't you happy that more gamers can now experience the original Monkey Island games? You would have rather the "Special Edition" games weren't made? Look, I played those new games on my iPhone, and I think that's pretty damn cool. That couldn't have happened without the "remake" effort. I think of it as translating classic novels from their original languages into other languages so more people can experience them. I think you would say, in your usual shallow, knee jerk, don't-give-anything-any-thought way, that people should just learn Greek or Latin or Hebrew or whatever the novel was originally written in if they want to read the original novel.

    I agree with Anakin. Some of you are acting like wet blankets, repeatedly telling us all what KQ forum-weary veterans you are and pissing on others' enthusiasm. If you are "through" with KQ and don't want another KQ and have to tell us all how you're rolling your eyes whenever new KQ threads are created, then why even come and participate. I don't know what kind of seniority some people think they have or what respect they think it entitles them, but let's just say this KQ fan isn't impressed just because someone has been around awhile.

    I would never suggest anyone not participate, however. I welcome all contributors, and I am happy to see the lively discussion.
  • edited March 2013
    You can't possibly believe that. There will never be another King's Quest game with the same feel as King's Quest V. Because there already is a King's Quest V. The same level of greatness? The magic formula of the same group of people in the same place in the same era at the same level of technology with the same ideals of game design and the same target audience ready to receive it is gone. That will never come again.

    A new King's Quest not only has the potential to be of the same level of greatness.... no, it could be even greater!!

    The best is yet to come.
  • edited March 2013
    There's also the ever-present ebay.
    MtnPeak wrote: »
    A new King's Quest not only has the potential to be of the same level of greatness.... no, it could be even greater!!

    The best is yet to come.

    Your optimistic, I'll give you that. I'm just being realistic. The likelihood is that it won't happen. But we all need something to believe in I guess. If it makes you happy, go ahead and believe it. But don't condemn those who choose to believe otherwise :p....especially when there's no evidence to the contrary. In fact, all the evidence points the other way if you're open enough to read between the lines. Ah, but that's a "matter of opinion"...
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