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King's Quest Fan Project The Silver Lining Is Back

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the every-cloud-has-something-something dept.

PC Games (Games) 61

LoTonah writes "After eight years of development and a Cease & Desist from Vivendi, King's Quest fan project The Silver Lining is back in action. From the website: 'We are extremely happy to announce that our project, The Silver Lining, will definitely see the light of day! In a wonderful turn of events, Activision reached out to the Phoenix Online team a few months ago with a desire to revisit their decision regarding The Silver Lining. After negotiations, the C&D has been officially rescinded, and Phoenix Online has been granted a non-commercial license to release The Silver Lining! Our team is ecstatic about this, and as hard as we've worked for eight years, it's the tireless belief and support of you, our fans, that has made this possible.' The first episode of the project is due to be released on July 10."

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TROLL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32722340)

LOL!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but... (2, Informative)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722364)

Good on Vivendi. It's good to see they realized they made a mistake, that this wasn't hurting them (Quite the opposite, probably), and correcting the issue.

One company (on one issue) down, a few million more to go!

Re:I can't believe I'm saying this, but... (4, Informative)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723496)

If I remember right, It wasn't Vivendi that had a problem with the fan remakes/sequels, it was Activision after the Vivendi (merger? purchase?). It's still nice to see Activision (finally) honoring agreements made before the acquisition, though.

do something original (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32722386)

Do something original you whiney asshats

Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722420)

So why is it that it's bad that EA or Activision makes constant sequels and remakes to games but then everyone has these orgasms over fan-made games that are just remaking and rehashing old games?

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722486)

Probably a combination of not having to pay for the fan-made remake, nostalgia from when we played these games as children, and delight at seeing a long-dead game formula we loved revived. Try getting a good adventure game like the old Lucasarts point-and-click adventures. It's not EA or Activision stepping in to give us what we want. It's the indies. That's why people love indies.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722528)

And yet if Activision were to have made the exact same game as what these fans are making you would be whining about how they were just milking the franchise.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722560)

No I wouldn't. People only whine about franchise milking when they're secretly not getting what they wanted. Nobody complains about getting what they want. The "franchise milk" people are the ones who are pissed off because they didn't get what they wanted, can't put their finger on why, and want something to bitch about.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32722578)

If they were to do so for a commercial gain, yes. If they were to release it for free, no.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722704)

Are people here up in arms about new Mario games, or new Final Fantasy titles?

Honestly, the PC adventure genre is all but non-existant these days. If Activision were going to release a classic PC adventure, it might make the Slashdot crowd squeal with delight. However, Activision would probably screw it all up, and try to turn it into more of a 3D action title.

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32727308)

Actually, it is starting to look like there is a bit of a revival for adventure games.
New Monkey Islands, new Sam & Max-es, etc.
Even a few new franchises.
Things are looking up :)

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32722864)

It is not that this is a remake by an indie vs major label. Major label makes sequels every year of the games they did last year. They are not doing a remake of donkey kong. And most of the time when the major label remakes a game, the game is nothing like the original (i.e. X-Com).

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722890)

And yet if Activision were to have made the exact same game as what these fans are making you would be whining about how they were just milking the franchise.

Yes, because Activision would certainly charge money for a project which is a labor of love for the fans.

There's a fundamental, qualitative difference between a game for $49 and the exact same game for free. There's also a significant difference between a game made by a huge corporation and one made by a bunch of geeks. Even if the results are identical.

If someone gave you a cold beer on a hot day, you might well appreciate it more than the same beer for $12 at an overpriced restaurant.

Re:Hmm... (5, Informative)

MagicM (85041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722730)

Try getting a good adventure game like the old Lucasarts point-and-click adventures.

As you or others may not be aware, Tales of Monkey Island [telltalegames.com] is thoroughly enjoyable. Telltale Games is doing a good job on this "long-dead" game formula with other games like the Sam & Max franchise as well.

Re:Hmm... (3, Informative)

Achra (846023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723588)

Don't forget Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People! http://www.telltalegames.com/strongbad [telltalegames.com]

Re:Hmm... (2, Informative)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32727636)

Try getting a good adventure game like the old Lucasarts point-and-click adventures

There are actually more new point-and-click adventure games released than you probably think. Their biggest difference from the 2D classics are that most of them are rendered with beautiful 3D graphics even though they often have a fixed camera position to emulate the 2D-adventure style of play.

Try browsing around at Adventuregamers [adventuregamers.com] or MobyGames [mobygames.com] for a while.

Some examples:

Also don't forget that with ScummVM [scummvm.org] you can play LOTS of those classic 2D adventures that you never had a chance to play when you were younger. :)

Re:Hmm... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32722514)

So why is it that it's bad that EA or Activision makes constant sequels and remakes to games but then everyone has these orgasms over fan-made games that are just remaking and rehashing old games?

Because, it's clearly out of love that a fanmade project is finished. Fans are rabid and serious about doing a sequel justice.

When big companies often make remakes and sequels, it's { often } just a cash grab. You can feel that the title is lifeless. I could give you a long list if you were really interested.
 

Re:Hmm... (1)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722632)

Sequels aren't a problem at all (and I personally haven't heard any complaining about remakes). The problem is cheap sequels that don't add anything substantial, but which just try to make you pay twice (trice, ...) for the same damn game.

Re:Hmm... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32722668)

It's not JUST that they're made by fans (although that's part of it - see below). It's the style of the actual original game.

These kinds of old adventure games actually came up with new, innovative, refreshing, and comedic CHARACTER INTERACTION (i.e. STORIES).

"Aliens are invading, and you must kill them or all mankind is lost" gets kind of old after the 5th... no make that the 1st, iteration.

As to why fan-made remakes are often better:

Because they are made by fans, and fans often understand the lore, storylines, plots, and nuances of the series better than any one individual developer or project manager at the company even does.
If you don't believe me, go find some die-hard Star Trek fans...

Re:Hmm... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723240)

So why is it that it's bad that EA or Activision makes constant sequels and remakes to games but then everyone has these orgasms over fan-made games that are just remaking and rehashing old games?

You don't have the gray matter to work out a reasonable answer?

Okay, fine, I'll give you a little hint: A reason exists, it's obvious, and it's not hypocritical. Can you find a good answer or are you dependent on somebody feeding you an answer that you're just going to argue with anyway?

Re:Hmm... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32723910)

FYI,

You might have had a practical joker playing with your sig.

Re:Hmm... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723954)

Appreciated. But, no, that's a quote from a real comment I made that was modded as +5 insightful. :)

Re:Hmm... (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32726718)

Appreciated. But, no, that's a quote from a real comment I made that was modded as +5 insightful. :)

Looks like it was modded +5 Informative...

Re:Hmm... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32723578)

Thank you, moderators, for realizing that this post was not insightful or interesting.

There is a particular brand of posting that frequently gets moderated up. These posts can be identified by the way that they appear to show hypocrisy in a group; often along the lines of "So, do we hate X today or love it?" or "Y is good sometimes, and bad sometimes. Got it."

I can never be sure if the poster is being serious (and is thus simply not very good at logical arguments) or trollish (and is thus simply an asshole).

To those of you in the former group, here is why this is not (always) hypocrisy: the world is more complex than you seem to understand. It is probably not a good idea to take a stand on something and then never budge. Simple-minded people do admire this, but it's a terrible way to go through life. The present topic has been discussed by other posters, but let's take another example. Google does something good/bad, and is praised/condemned. Someone like the OP says "So we like/hate Google today?" Here's the thing: it's entirely possible to like Google's tools but be wary of their privacy issues, for example. Thus when something cool comes out, it's OK to appreciate it, the same way it's OK to criticize Google when they do something you don't like. You are not required to take a position such as "Google is always good" or "always bad". Substitute Apple, Microsoft, etc. for Google as you like. Feel free to apply this elsewhere. It works great in politics, where you might learn that disagreeing with somebody on a particular topic doesn't mean you're mortal enemies who oppose each other at all turns.

To those of you in the latter group, go fuck yourselves.

Peasant's Quest (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32722576)

Peasant's Quest [homestarrunner.com]

Re:Peasant's Quest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32739100)

that game is hilarious- dongalev, lol

I, for one, welcome our new Lords (1)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722604)

Hail to the King's Quest !

Protecting IP (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722670)

In the early days of the web, Fox was trying to threaten every X-Files fan page for violating their trademark. Lucas threatened to sue every Star Wars page out there. Companies felt it was their duty to protect the IP. They didn't realize these fan pages weren't stealing money from them, but rather were adding value to their brands.

Fan pages and fan projects are free advertising. Any company who sues a non-commercial fan project is idiotic at best, and doesn't like receiving money from their customers.

Re:Protecting IP (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723138)

Not quite what we have here but wasn't it Tommy Hilfiger, when asked how he felt about people shoplifting his clothing said something like "he didn't care as it was free advertising every time someone wore one of those stolen clothing items".

Re:Protecting IP (1)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 4 years ago | (#32724414)

Don't know if I'd call that free. He did pay to have those clothes made, didn't he? And what about all the people who pay for the privilege of advertising his brand?

Re:Protecting IP (3, Insightful)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32724634)

Don't know if I'd call that free. He did pay to have those clothes made, didn't he?
 
Does he sell retail? (I have no idea.) If not, then he's not the one bearing the cost of the shoplifted item -- the retailer is.

Re:Protecting IP (1)

madbox (187860) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723522)

... Any company who sues a non-commercial fan project is idiotic at best, and doesn't like receiving money from their customers.

Years ago someone here on Slashdot (props, whoever you are, I don't remember) explained the seemingly psychotic behavior of television executives choking the life out of or outright canceling wildly popular TV shows:

It's all about power and control - money is, at best, a secondary concern.

Once you realize that this applies to most entertainment companies, it all makes sense, like a kind of nightmare logic.

Re:Protecting IP (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723876)

I read a post like that here last year, something to do with the execs wanting to make a name for themselves so they cancel their predecessor's project and start their own. Can't remember why the jobs have such a high turnover rate - either these people get promoted or just want to move on for some other reason..

Re:Protecting IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32723792)

Isn't it also the case that if it can be shown that a company doesn't defend its brand strongly enough, it can suffer in court in a more serious case?

Re:Protecting IP (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32728744)

Definitely. IP must be protected - including engaging in seemingly-overkill legal actions against small parties - otherwise the courts may deem that the company doesn't care enough about said IP to retain it. Various trade marks have entered the public domain this way.

Re:Protecting IP (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723962)

Well, the old-school trademark|copyright|patent enforcement meant that if you didn't have complete control of "intellectual property", you will lose control. The music and movie industries still by and large operate under this ethos, as evidenced by their continued efforts to try to intimidate ordinary Internet users. It's also the same ethos that compels record labels to force new artists to sign away all their copyrights, and movie studios to use crafty accounting to avoid paying movie casts and crews their fair share of the box office/DVD take.

So far, the most proactive of the major media industries in not only allowing, but actually embracing, fan content, are game developers. Blizzard* is at least encouraging fans using their artwork, albeit in a controlled fashion, to promote their upcoming games in a more organic fashion, and I don't think I've seen a game company quite so permissive* about letting users create new content for their games than Valve.

Unfortunately, copyright law still needs both a shorter term and stronger protection of affirmative defenses like fair use, for, IMO, the desire for the media industry to retain control over their works is still quite powerful. We shouldn't have to fear ASCAP if they should hear us listening to the radio loudly without a broadcast license, nor should we fear SoundExchange when they try to collect for a non-RIAA member artist.

* Of course, try to emulate an old-school Battle.net server and Blizzard sends the hounds-- er, lawyers. And just because Valve allows fans to build on what they made, doesn't mean that they necessarily always made it easy-- case in point, the I Hate Mountains' installation readme contains a few rants about how Valve didn't make it very easy for them to mod Left 4 Dead. Perhaps Valve could say that heavy modification on that level wasn't one of the intended purposes of custom maps for Left 4 Dead...

Protecting Sex. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32725174)

"Fan pages and fan projects are free advertising."

Indeed, so how does depicting Spock and Kirk as a love interest help Paramount sell more Star Trek?

Re:Protecting Sex. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744392)

You only care about Spock and Kirk having sex if you care about Star Trek. When you post that slash-fic, you're keeping Star Trek alive in the minds of other fans. Perpetuating the brand does add value to the brand.

Re:Protecting IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32727660)

You need to pay 4x100€ fee now mentioning four IP in that post. Please expect to get a call from us to give you our bank account or we sue you!

Can Star Control Be Next!?! (2, Interesting)

Lythrdskynrd (1823332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722674)

http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

OH MY GOD!! So excited!

http://sc2.sourceforge.net/petition/petition.php

I love Activision right now. Would that they let TFB have access to Star Control license ...

Re:Can Star Control Be Next!?! (1)

Lythrdskynrd (1823332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722710)

The petition to get a new Star Control made has generated quite a bit of response, but more can be done. I would like to direct your attention to a cunning plan that Alex Ness from Toys for Bob has come up with. In his own words (from the Toys for Bob website):

First We Hit Them With Letters, Next Arts and Crafts.

After that, they won't know what hit 'em. Activision, I mean. As part of my multi-pronged strategy to convince Activision to insist that our next project be a Star Control one, I have come up with idea to harness the powers of arts and crafts as well as fans everywhere.

What I want to do is this: Make a giant map of the Earth. Maybe I should just buy one. I'm not map maker. If I were, I'd probably be instantly fired for my alternative spelling of the nation known as Uruguay as well as the fabrication of non-existent countries like Nutsack Kingdom and Nutsack Kingdom II. As a matter of fact, I have already been fired from previous jobs for these exact same reasons, even though none of those jobs involved making a map. So anyway, I'm going to buy a map. A real big one. Then I'm going to prominently display it somewhere in our office. Phase one of my plan will then be complete.

Phase two is where I once again, ask you wonderful community of fans for support. What I want is to put pictures of you guys up on this map. Not everybody but at least one from every country. This may be a problem for the magical isle of Greenland but who knows? There couldn't be all that much to do in Greenland, especially if you're unemployed like Andre the Giant's character in the Princess Bride used to be, so maybe someone who lives there has played a little Star Control. Anyway, what I'll do then is post your picture up over the respective country you live in. The idea being to show the fan base all over the globe. Will this help convince Activision to let us do another Star Control? I can't predict the future but I can tell you that if it's big and displayed prominently, it will help remind them every time they come to visit and be a real conversation piece. Plus it will just generally brighten our spirits. In Paul's case, this could lead to a level of congeniality rarely exhibited by man or machine. He's quite a bubbly figure, in case you don't know.

So if you've got the notion and a camera, can you send me a picture of yourself either playing SCII or at least standing near something SCII-related? Just send it right to old alexness@toysforbob.com. Or, if you really want the picture to get there extra fast, use my new other email address: nutsack@toysforbob.com. Somehow just the word "nutsack" does make things faster and better.

Thanks,

Alex

If only Square/Enix would do this... (3, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722764)

Although really, they'd rather release shitty new games and duplicates of their old games on different systems.

Gotta keep killing those fan games. You can't really ruin a good video game franchise with fans jumping in there and making better stuff.

Re:If only Square/Enix would do this... (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32725218)

Gotta keep killing those fan games. You can't really ruin a good video game franchise with fans jumping in there and making better stuff.

No joke. The "partnership" with Square killed Supreme Commander 2. I never saw a game drop fro 59.99 to 7.50 (Discount off Stream) in under 3 months.

It just seems that these company's can't balance good game play WITH a wider audience. A RTS game is incredibly difficult to get the mainstream to play, but dumbing down the system for faster game play won't make it sell more.

Hell, I don't think I have seen a main stream developer make an adventure game in the last 5 years.

Space Quest? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722826)

Wasn't there a Space Quest project in pretty much the same situation? Can it be bailed out too?

Re:Space Quest? (1)

calethix (537786) | more than 4 years ago | (#32725020)

yup, this one [sq7.org] . I'd really like to see it finished as SQ was my favorite series but I think there were some different circumstances.
There have been a couple other fan made games linked over at spacequest.net [spacequest.net] and a remake of SQ2 in the works at IA [infamous-adventures.com]

linux (2, Interesting)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722880)

will there be a linux version?

Re:linux (1)

triso (67491) | more than 4 years ago | (#32733840)

will there be a linux version?

Probably not but it will work fine with WINE.

Quest for Glory was better.... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 4 years ago | (#32722960)

Man, I miss that game.

Re:Quest for Glory was better.... (1)

Omniscientist (806841) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723226)

Damn straight, I loved that game. I remember the first (and only the first) game in that series (actually, it was a remake of the first) was available for the Macintosh, which was all I was using back then. The rest of the series was only available for Windows.

I'm not sure why that was the case, but that pretty much caused me to dump the Mac for Windows 95 as soon as I could.

Re:Quest for Glory was better.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32723562)

The first one was truly awesome. Sorta went downhill from there, though--the second one seemed too hard to get the timing right without multiple play-throughs, and that's frustrating.

Re:Quest for Glory was better.... (1)

Amonnil (874821) | more than 4 years ago | (#32726344)

I agree. I've been replaying that series recently, since I came across http://www.dosbox.com/ [dosbox.com] which makes them playable again. It even fixes that crashing bug in the swamp of Quest for Glory IV.

I guess Activision can't be 100% all the time (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723186)

And I thought they were the essence of evil. There, got my on-topic statement in. Now to be slightly off-topic for people who want to get some ideas to get their adventure game fix [adventuregamers.com] before this thing gets released.

Like being happy of getting tax rebate (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723346)

Sorry, but this seems sort of like people who get happy over a tax rebate. IP is an unjust usurping of what you can do with your own real, physical property. In this case, the fan team simply gets to do what they should have been able to do in the first place.

Let's not forget some other unsung heroes. (2, Informative)

The Altruist (1448701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32723784)

You guys are going to love this.

http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/games.html [agdinteractive.com]

Not sure how these guys pulled it off (probably got permission before Vivendi ate Sierra), but they've been doing Sierra remakes for a long time.

Yuo fail 1t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32724122)

Lets hope this apples to Space Quest 7 also (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#32725640)

Lets hope Activision will allow the fan-made Space Quest sequel Space Quest 7 to continue as well, its another fan-made follow-on to a Sierra adventure game that was shut down by Vivendi.

And in a totally unrelated old gamer query (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32727360)

Does anyone remeber GAC on the Amiga(i think it was on Amiga(so many old computers, so many memories(I can still play strek on my PDP-11!))).

congratulations... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32727564)

Congrats to the team for receiving the license.. It does show however that you shouldn't just start a fan-based game without having the proper licenses (I think they had aproval before the takeover, but I'm not certain).

Reboots please (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32727708)

We're allowed reboots with movies and comics, why not games?

It is not a bad thing to reboot a series, nor is it a bad thing to remake a game for updated technology.

The reason old games (Sierra and Lucasarts Point and Click games) keep being remade and revived is because the companies who made them prematurely terminated the series (eg Sierra selling out, Origin selling out, I'm not even sure why lucasarts stopped making games they had rights to.)

Look at other fan projects that have been crushed (Zelda games, Chrono trigger games, Final Fantasy games) these are current IP... well Chrono Trigger isn't anymore, and square barely recognizes the potential for remakes. They have remade the games ever so slightly so they run on newer equipment and add a bit to it, but they've only remade FF3 and FF4 to date using different technology. (FF1 and 2 don't count as they're barely more than a graphic and music update.)

It would make more sense for the IP holders to embrace the fan community a little more. We're sick of crappy licensed games... why not let the fan communities make their own games with some strict guidelines like "You can not call the game an official sequel, and can not use title the game using *name-of-ip-here*" and then, if any of those fan games pick up popularity, offer to distribute the game for DLC along side the official games.

Nintendo should reboot Mario, not replace the existing Mario series with a new Mario, but actually release a storyline version of Mario with with new character designs and self-consistent plot between episodes. I like Mario, but for once I'd like to see a game that explains how Mario wound up in the Mushroom Kingdom, and only rescuing Princess Peach once. SMW2 and Paper Mario/Mario+Luigi series have only established that there are multiple "kingdoms" all with food themes, yet Peach, Daisy and Rosetta/Rosalina are the only humanoid people in all of these kingdoms.

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