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Old 11 April 2011, 12:14   #61
StarEye
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So are you saying it's the games itself that's the problem, not that it was badly optimized? I thought you meant that the Sierra games were bad ports on the Amiga.
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Old 11 April 2011, 12:28   #62
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Bad ports mainly, but I'd also say that in general the LucasFilm/Arts adventures felt a bit 'smoother' on any platform. Might just be me though, as I haven't played that many Sierra games on the PC.
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Old 11 April 2011, 12:51   #63
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I see. I agree that the Sierra games lack that extra polish that LucasFilm/Arts games generally had, and that they ran spectacularly well on any platform. The Lucas games seemed to be very optimized for each platform, while the Sierra games felt like they relied on sheer power to run well. Which would explain why AGI games are fast, SCI0 games were slower, while the VGA games just ran horribel. They didn't seem to care to optimize the game for the Amiga. I just don't think the games were really suffering much until the VGA games came out, but I guess that's in the eye of the beholder.

And I have to admit, I was a much bigger fan of LucasFilm/Arts back then, and I still am a bigger fan. But that didn't stop me from absolutely loving some of Sierra's games, like Police Quest 1 and 2, LSL1-3 and a couple of others.
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Old 11 April 2011, 13:04   #64
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I found many of the Sierra games (especially the Kings Quest series) absolutely impossible without a solution. Dying all the time and getting up to a certain stage and realising you'd forgotten to do something or pick something up was also very annoying.

The LucasArts games were much, much better designed and much less frustrating in my opinion.
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Old 11 April 2011, 13:29   #65
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LA's 'not dying' surely helped, but the early adventures (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, and Indy 3) also had their 'what???' moments. The zeppelin action sequence in Indy 3 still puts me off everytime I play that one. The interface was much nicer though and also helped that you could find your way through the game more easily.
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Old 11 April 2011, 14:01   #66
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Sierra's games were certainly designed with an entirely different philosophy - definately different from today's approach to gamedesign.

LucasArts/Lucasfilm had death in some games, even later ones. I'm fairly sure I remember even Full Throttle having death scenes, but I know that Fate of Atlantis had them. Zak McKracken had some horrible dead-ends and deaths. Finding yourself with no money left would leave you stranded and no way to continue.

Sierra had an excessive amount of death scenes though, but at least they made the deaths kinda funny, with every death having their own unique death message.
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Old 11 April 2011, 21:40   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarEye View Post
Sierra's games were certainly designed with an entirely different philosophy - definately different from today's approach to gamedesign.

LucasArts/Lucasfilm had death in some games, even later ones. I'm fairly sure I remember even Full Throttle having death scenes, but I know that Fate of Atlantis had them. Zak McKracken had some horrible dead-ends and deaths. Finding yourself with no money left would leave you stranded and no way to continue.

Sierra had an excessive amount of death scenes though, but at least they made the deaths kinda funny, with every death having their own unique death message.
More accurately:

The only LucasFilms/Arts games that had several death scenes and dead ends in the same way Sierra titles featured them were their first three ones: Maniac Mansion, Zack McKracken & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (just deaths, no dead ends). Even then, more often than not the dead ends were rather fair and easy to understand - for the era, whereas some Sierra titles were impossibly unforgiving; you could easily miss and item you couldn't even see in the beginning and never know you need it till the end (Leisure Suit Larry 2 anyone?). Running out of money in Zack or getting a character killed in Maniac Mansion were obvious indications that you needed to reload; with Sierra you just kept your fingers crossed -and a load of save games-.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis only had a couple of death scenes and you literally needed to beg to be killed to witness them. Full Throttle is not even applicable as we're talking about Amiga ports, but since you mentioned it you could only die in the very final scene (and the game automatically reloaded for you).

Don't get me wrong, I love several Sierra titles. My main beef with them were the lazy Amiga ports. The first titles of their main series (King's Quest, Space Quest, Larry etc.) looked like Commodore 64 games, and the later ones were either extremely ugly (Space Quest IV) or painfully slow (King's Quest V). They just never bothered to learn how to exploit the Amiga to its full potential.
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Old 12 April 2011, 08:09   #68
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I seem to recall that Sierra did not have any in house programmers for programming ports to platforms other than the PC. I still enjoy the early SCI engine games on the Amiga, like Leisure Suit Larry 2, and 3, Space Quest 3, and Quest for Glory 1 and 2. Those weren't too terribly done compared to other platform ports. You think Larry 2 is bad on the Amiga? Check out the AtariST version. It will make you violently ill.
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Old 12 April 2011, 09:22   #69
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Yes I enjoyed the early SCI games as well. But that doesn't mean they were well done graphically. I mean, how weird is that both the original and the enhanced versions of Larry, KQ and SQ all run on an Amiga 500? It just proves that they were perfectly capable of giving us these versions in 1987, and instead they went for the EGA (if I'm not mistaken, early PC hardware is not my strength) graphics.
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Old 12 April 2011, 09:38   #70
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It's not exactly a secret that Sierra's main platform of interest was the PC.

Surely you don't think they should have completely redrawn the graphics for all their Amiga ports.. It would have been nice, but it's a pretty unreasonable expectation.
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Old 12 April 2011, 09:55   #71
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During the late 80s, almost every single game looked better on the Amiga than on the PC or any other machine for that matter. So I reckon that many software houses bothered to draw enhanced graphics for the Amiga, or at least add more colors. What made the expectation so unreasonable? Did LucasArts lose so much by investing on the Amiga at the time? I'm happy that Monkey Island on my machine never looked like this:



Of course I know that Sierra was mainly interested in PCs. I just don't think my wishes were unreasonable.
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Old 12 April 2011, 10:04   #72
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Surely you don't think they should have completely redrawn the graphics for all their Amiga ports.. It would have been nice, but it's a pretty unreasonable expectation.
Hmm, that's what pretty much all companies did (except for those dreaded ST ports /me shakes fist). At least they custom mapped the palette. Main problem is the poor performance of their interpreter on the Amiga, because they didn't bother to optimise it properly. That's most likely due to the dwindling importance of the Amiga for their later games.
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Old 12 April 2011, 10:09   #73
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I'd say that the software companies who had a clue originally drew the graphics for the Amiga and then degraded them for the crappy, less capable computers as necessary.

Monkey Island never looked like that on PC unless you had a CGA graphics card.. In fact the graphics in the VGA version are considerably better than on the Amiga, however the original version was EGA:

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Old 12 April 2011, 14:44   #74
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Nobody mentioned IMPRESSIONS yet?
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Old 12 April 2011, 15:56   #75
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Big grin

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LA's 'not dying' surely helped, but the early adventures (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, and Indy 3) also had their 'what???' moments. The zeppelin action sequence in Indy 3 still puts me off everytime I play that one. The interface was much nicer though and also helped that you could find your way through the game more easily.
I was always curious about that sequence,about the furtherest I recall acheiving was acessing the "maze" in the upper area of the zepplin,(like the one in the catcombs below the musuem early on in the game),but got caught out with too many guards. Always wondered where you were to escape to- presumably a plane like the one at the airport anyway,I assume!
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Old 14 April 2011, 08:45   #76
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Again, Sierra was interested primarily in the PC version, and did not do any re-draw on the graphics for other platforms, even if they were more capable. The Mac was very capable in the late eighties as well, and they got 16 color games just like the Amiga. Since Sierra used the PC as a baseline, they just did direct ports to other platforms. It's pretty clear from reading around and listening to stories from people who worked for Sierra that the vision was the IBM PC compatible was the future, and they based almost all of their designs off that. What is interesting was that they started on the Apple II, so you would think the Macintosh would get preferential treatment, but it didn't. Hell, they continued to release EGA games after VGA cards became affordable in 1990, even though other companies had started doing VGA at that point. Would you still think Sierra was terrible if they did enhanced graphics on the Amiga? Their AGI and SCI engines don't seem to run particularly well on the 68K platforms, as they run slowly on the ST, Amiga, and the Mac. (Takes a 68040@33MHz to match the smoothness I get on my 386-16 for Space Quest VGA remake!!) One thing you can say is this, before SCI V2.0 (VGA) playing a sierra game was a homogenous experience no matter what platform you played it on. The only exception to this was that the Apple IIGS got special music in places.
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Old 14 April 2011, 10:26   #77
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Nathan, we are aware of everything you say. I love Sierra as much as the next adventure gamer but the thread's title is "What's your worst Amiga game Developer?". And as far as Amiga was concerned, whatever their reasons were, justified or not, Sierra was among the worst.
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Old 14 April 2011, 12:41   #78
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Nobody mentioned IMPRESSIONS yet?

Yes, yes I do. The best thing of Impressions was the descriptions of their games on their boxes. Somehow you just wanted to see the little gems in these strategy games (which was my favourite genre as a kid) but they where always terrible.
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Old 14 April 2011, 12:49   #79
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I think people voting for Sierra or Impressions are spoilt You never really played a truly abysmal game it seems

Have a look :
Alpha-1 http://hol.abime.net/3449
Top Banana http://hol.abime.net/1457

And yes, that stuff was actually sold in stores it seems...
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Old 14 April 2011, 12:53   #80
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Oh those graphics are not easy on the eyes
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