Warp Drive

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Space Quest: A Greatly Exaggerated Tale of Adventure

If you, like me, were a child of the 1980s and/or 1990s, you may have heard of Sierra On-Line. A software development studio that released such classics as King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and Quest for Glory. In 1986, they released the first of a six chapter saga known as Space Quest. It was led by Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy. They wanted to design a funny science fiction adventure game. One that would lampoon popular film and television series of the time. Think Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and Star Wars. They would go on to develop three sequels together. Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon, and Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers. Following the release of Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers, Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy went their seperate ways. Mark took a job at Dynamix, and was given the green light to design Space Quest V: The Next Mutation from there. For Space Quest VI: The Spinal Frontier, the design duties were handed off to Josh Mandel. When Josh left Sierra, Scott was asked to step in and finish development.

Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

Years passed, and in 1997, Space Quest 7: This Time it's Personal was announced. It was accompanied by a snazzy teaser trailer, and to this very day, that teaser trailer is the only working version of Space Quest 7. Sierra had recently changed management hands, and things were not looking good. In fact, much of the design staff was laid off on February 22nd, 1999. Scott Murphy termed this day "Chainsaw Monday." The outlook for a new Space Quest game was suddenly incredibly grim. Sure, a few fan made Space Quest games would appear over the next few years, but the prospect of an official continuation seemed entirely out of the question. Sierra, now nothing more than a brand name, would continue to change owners over the next decade. Going from CUC International/Cendant Corporation to Havas Interactive to Vivendi Universal to Activision. It is quite nausea inducing, really.

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

It would take a miracle to revive Space Quest, let alone bring Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy back for a new adventure game. Miracles, it would seem, do happen. It was announced in April of 2012 that they would indeed be collaborating on a new game. A funny science fiction adventure game in the same vein as Space Quest, no less. This time, they would be free of management woes. Instead, turning to crowd-funding site Kickstarter. They need to raise $500,000 by June 12th. As of this writing, they have collected 50% of that. We can do this! If you are a fan of Space Quest, or if you grew up playing adventure games, donate a dollar or ten. For 15 dollars, you secure access to the new game, DRM-free, and for $30, you will be entered into their beta testing program. Every time that another $100,000 is reached, a new piece of living concept art will be released!

Do it now! If I take the time to explain, we are both parking lot pizza!

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