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Sierra, Space Quest and Jane Jensen

It was nice to see Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy, the Space Quest team, reunite and get their Kickstarter funding, though it shouldn’t have been such a close call. It’s ridiculous that Jane Jensen had no trouble raising almost as much money for what, her “studio” and she did it with half as many backers.

Crowe and Murphy came to the Kickstarter quest late, when Kickstarter fatigue had already set in. But I can’t help thinking how many space questprojects could have been funded. Corey and Lori Cole could have gotten on board and funded another Quest for Glory game or something like it. There’s no mention on their blog that they’re in any way aware of Kickstarter. But there’s at least one Kickstarter game close to being funded, Quest for Infamy, that looks like a takeoff on the series.

Jane Jensen got in on the ground floor of this and benefited. And her Kickstarter humbly describes her as a “Master Storyteller”. Seriously?

To me, Jane Jensen, doesn’t represent what was good about Sierra, but what happened when it began to go downhill. KQ6 and Gabriel Knight were good, but after that came an FMV sequel, from when Roberta Williams decided the future of adventure games lay with bad actors reciting lines against green screens. Since then she’s done a bunch of “Click to Discover Stuff” games aimed at old ladies. Her new games will probably be more of the same, except crowdfunded, and there’s a ton of these games already. You can’t throw a brick without hitting one.

Here’s Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile, see how fast you can click through to find objects before the clock runs down. It’s as bland and unimaginative as you can imagine. I’m all for crowdfunding nostalgia, but that’s not what this is. It’s crowdfunding the work of a woman who was there when the Sierra ship went down and never really did anything notable in gaming.

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