Happy As Larry: Al Lowe On Remaking His Classic Game

By John Walker on April 10th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Mr Lowe, still making Larry after all these years.

As infamous adventure creator Al Lowe puts it, the Kickstarter craze kicked off by Tim Schafer has, for many, been a lot like getting the band back together. So many names most famous for their games released in the 80s and early 90s are reappearing, some even coming out of retirement, with the promise of crowd-sourced funding. Many, stung by their experiences with publishers in the past, are being wooed back in, and not least among them is Al Lowe. Creator of Leisure Suit Larry, and a programmer on many of the classic Sierra adventures, Lowe hasn’t released a game since 1996, purported to have been in retirement since ’98. He’s popped up here and there since, and continues to send out jokes every day to his loyal mailing list, but at 65 years old he’s officially back, and there’s a Kickstarter to prove it. We spoke to Lowe, and colleague Paul Trowe, a man who began his gaming career at 12, play-testing for Sierra, to find out why they think now is the time to remake the Larry games.

RPS: Some people were surprised by the KickStarter announcement, when the game was announced last October. What’s the overall tone of the comments been?

Paul: They’re all positive. A lot of people want to ask about foreign language versions and Linux versions. A lot of people are saying ‘Hey, you announced this in October, why are you doing Kickstarter now?’ I’ve tried to address that in the FAQ, but we’re still getting a lot of comments on it.

RPS: So what have you been doing between October and now?

Paul: We put a business plan together, and those don’t happen overnight, and it took a while to get the advisory board agreements in place and investor shares over to Al and everybody, and get all our legal ducks in a row. We started asking for investment last month, actually in January is when we officially went out there, and the reply has been rather embarrassing actually. They don’t want to back a company that has Leisure Suit Larry involved in it.

RPS: Do you think that’s in reaction to the Leisure Suit Larry that you made, or do you think it’s a reaction to the utterly awful games that have come out in the last few years?

Al: Personally I think I poisoned the waters, but Vivendi was brilliant to come back with a totally inept game to show people the right way to do it. Was that too sarcastic?

RPS: Are people afraid of, as in, the Larry that we know and love or are they afraid of the Larry that it’s become, Larry’s nephew I suppose?

Al: My belief would be, and this is merely a guess, mere conjecture on the part of the witness, but I think that a lot of people who are involved in decision making at this point just see the last thing that came out and y’know. Thirty years ago, Ken Williams told me ‘You’re only as good as your last game’. And I took that to heart, and I really tried to make each of my games better than the last one. That didn’t happen with the Larry franchise after I left it. The two games got progressively worse and so, I think there is a lot of residual. I don’t know, people are unimpressed with the two games that were recently done, so that could be a possibility. But what we’ve seen is, on the Kickstarter campaign is that the people who remember my games know the difference, and are excited about seeing them come back to life.

RPS: Looking at the Kickstarter it looks as if it’s going well, it looks right now as if it’s going to make it. How’re you feeling about it?

Al: Well I definitely think we’re going to make it, I have no doubts about it.

[At the time of publishing the Kickstarter is just over half way, with 22 days to go.]

RPS: So how did you go from looking for investors so recently to going for a Kickstarter? I guess I have two questions, one is ‘how did you make that decision?’ and the other is ‘what would you have done without Kickstarter, what would have been happening right now?’

Al: (laughs) Paul, I should let you answer this, but I think Tim Shafer made the decision for us didn’t he? (laughs)

Paul: Yeah, we were asked by Geoff Keighley of Spike TV to come to DICE and do an interview, and so when I met Al and brought him up the escalators, Tim and Al saw each other, hugged, and I told Al about Tim’s campaign on Kickstarter, and Tim said ‘Y’know, you guys should do that with Leisure Suit Larry’, and Al said ‘Y’know, that’s a great idea’.

RPS: So where do you think things would be without that, would you be continuing to look for investment or do you think you would have had to abandon the project?

Al: No, I don’t ever give up, so we would have found the investment even if Kickstarter wasn’t around.

RPS: So why’s it so important to you, Paul, to remake the original Larry game?

Paul: I’ve been trying to remake the Sierra classics since they’ve been lost in the hands of various companies like Vivendi and Havas and Universal, and now Activision. So I approached Activision to do remakes of all the games, and I wanted to acquire rights to Leisure Suit Larry, King’s Quest, Police Quest and Space Quest, games I grew up beta testing. And Activision actually told me that they didn’t have the rights to Leisure Suit Larry and that it was in the hands of Codemasters. And I said ‘oh really…’. So the next call I made was to my friend, the CEO of Codemasters, Rod Cousens, and Rod said, ‘Sure, we could do a deal for Leisure Suit Larry.’

RPS: So Al obviously, it must be in some way strange to go back to the beginning rather than do something brand new. How does that feel?

Al: Well, it feels wonderful in a way because it’s a chance for a game design that I believe is solid and a game itself that’s funny, interesting and a little different from what’s out there on the market to suddenly be placed in a much better environment on devices that are really capable of showing it off to the best extent possible. You’ve got to remember, when I originally wrote this game it was too big to fit on one 360k floppy. To go from two 360k discs to, wow, what have we got now, hundreds of megabytes [sic] of storage, it’s a huge thrill. And so for the game to actually realise its potential… We’re not looking to reinvent the game, we think that the gameplay is solid. It’s like a classic film or something else, you can redo it, make it look better, but I think the script and the game design are still playable and funny and interesting today.

RPS: Do you remember the frustrations you had in ‘86 and ‘87 as you were making it and do you have things that you wish you could have done then?

Al: Yeah! There are a few things that I promise will not be in the new version. Things that I realised after we shipped it that I should have fixed, that weren’t a good idea at the time. But you’ve got to understand, this was the first game that Sierra ever beta tested after being in business for ten years. They had never sent a game out of house to be tested, merely they ran it through to see if it was buggy and would crash, but as far as beta testing and getting additional input from outsiders, Larry was the first one to do that. And I think that was one of the reasons that it was successful because we had a dozen really great game players beta test that, and what I did was record all their responses that didn’t have an intelligent answer, and then I put all those answers in the game, and I think that really made a huge difference because the game understood a lot more and seemed more intelligent, although it really wasn’t.

RPS: Can you name a couple of those examples of things you won’t be putting in the remake?

Al: Not yet, but I will.

RPS: It wasn’t a long game, was it?

Al: It was not a broad game, it was a game that used a few locations but it used them over and over again so that you had to retrace your steps, and part of that was because of the limitations of the storage. We just couldn’t do unlimited space because we just didn’t have the room on the discs back then. So you’ve got to remember, a lot of people played this game off two floppy discs. In fact Paul, I’ve got to tell you this, somebody sent me an email last night that said ‘Gosh, every time I get in the taxi will I have to insert disc two?’ (laughs) We should add that to the game, that should be part of it.

RPS: I remember doing that on my Atari ST.

Paul: I remember having to create a play disc. Do you remember that Al?

Al: Oh yeah.

Paul: Oh my god. John, I don’t know if you remember this or not but when you got the original game, you couldn’t just play the game off a DOS, you had to copy disc number one, and that disc number one would be your play disc, and then once you ran the game you had to then reinsert the original disc one to make sure it wasn’t pirated, and then put your play disc back in the machine. And because it had to copy file by file, you had to keep taking one disc out and putting the other one back in, and then taking it back out, because most computers only had one floppy drive, so you were switching these discs for I think thirty minutes. People were really motivated to play this game. (laughs)

RPS: Hey, at least it was only two discs, not like twelve or fifteen.

Al: Well we got better with Larry 2. It went to six discs but I designed the game so that it was each area of the game, each level, was contained on one floppy, so it was purposefully designed to fit on those floppies so you didn’t have to shuffle those discs back and forth. But still, if you wanted to save a game, you still had to put in your save game disc…hard drives are a hell of a lot better.

RPS: Yes they are. And presumably we won’t have to put in our IRQ and DMA settings, to get the sound working…

Al: Ohh, Config.Sys, Exec.bat, oh my god…. I’m so glad we don’t have those. Although, I’m bitching here, but the first games I played were on cassette tape, so it’s a hell of a lot better than that.

RPS: So you’re re-doing everything except for the script, is that right? You’re sticking to the original script but starting everything else from scratch?

Paul: Well actually, I think if we break past our goal, we’re actually going to be adding dialogue as well, so that’s something to look out for.

RPS: Al, will that be stuff that you originally had in mind or will this be brand new content like you’re writing right now?

Al: It would be new content, it will be additional materials, I guess that’s the way to say it.

RPS: So it’s not like there’s anything you wish you could have put in originally but you didn’t have space for, that you’ve gone back to.

Al: No, but there are things that over 25 years I have wished that I’d put in, and those will get in.

RPS: Do you think it’s going to be slightly more difficult to sell? I mean Larry’s very much a product of the 80s, all his spoofing is very much of the 80s. Do you think it’s harder to bring that across now?

Al: It’s an interesting question. I just read an article in the New York Times last week that said the biggest, hottest thing in Hollywood now are films about the 80s. So I think ‘Hey, I’m right in the mark, man’ (laughs). So I hope that’s true. I think part of it is the fact that a lot of the people who played my games at a, how can I say this, at a tender age, are now at the point when they can afford tablets and iPhones and things, and also afford to actually buy the product instead of stealing it like a lot of people did. I think we’re going to see a lot of support from people who remember the game fondly but maybe never finished it, because it was a difficult game to finish without a hit book or the internet.

RPS: Yeah. So you mentioned Tim Schafer and I think it’s interesting back in those days, maybe slightly later than the original Larry, but the rivalry between Sierra and LucasArts, a lot of it came down to deaths in games, what are you going to do about that?

Al: Y’know, there was never any rivalry between the game designers or the companies. I think there might have been a perceived rivalry from the point of the fans. I’d always look forward to whenever Lucas would ship a new game because it gave me something new to play. We swapped games back and forth all the time back then. I think you’re right about the death part, part of Larry, especially the first Larry, part of that is the dying part, although we got rid of that in later games. I think by Larry 3 it was difficult to die, by Larry 5 it was impossible, and 6 and 7, I don’t think there were any death scenes. It’s a different way of playing and we can work around it.

RPS: But of course with Larry and many other Sierra games it was pressing the wrong arrow key and falling off a cliff. I think that was probably fairly widely recognised as frustrating. Is that going to still be in there, are you going to have those deaths be possible?

Al: I will say some of them, we’re going to go on a case by case basis, but a lot of the deaths were just a way of telling people ‘you can’t really do that here, we don’t have any way of handling you walking forward into the camera because if you walk out into that street you’re going to get hit by the taxi every time, because there ‘aint no game over there’ (laughs). And the same way with the dark alleys, I could have put up a fence and had Larry just go walk up to a fence, and that was the end of it, but to me it was more fun to have him walk over and get beat up and then it’s like ‘oh yeah, well that’s funny, I guess I won’t do that any more’.

RPS: So what is it about Larry that you love so much?

Al: What I love is that he’s the alter-ego that I never had. My part in the game is, I’m the narrator. That voice, that god-like, all-knowing voice and stuff, the guy who always gets the last line is me, and Larry is this buffoon that I get to mock and make fun of, and what’s not to like?

RPS: So he’s obviously stuck with you, and when I spoke to you a couple of years ago we talked about how sad it was to watch what was happening to the licence. So can you talk about the moment when you realised you could have him back?

Al: Well, yeah, Paul contacted me and I said ‘Are you serious, you really think you can do it?’ and he said ‘Yeah, I think so.’ And then, Paul, how long did it take? It was like another six months or something or a year. It took forever to finally get it through the lawyers and get things done and I have to hand it to him, Paul really hung in there. He’s tenacious and he stuck with it until he got what he wanted, and here we are.

RPS: You worked on a bunch of other Sierra games, I know you worked on the Police Quest games, did lots of programming and dialogue for those. Do you have any ambition to bring… In your Kickstarter you’ve talked about wanting to bring back all those classic series, but is there any in particular that you have a real passion for, that you’d really like to give another chance to?

Al: In my book, the number one would be Space Quest because I just love Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe, I thought that humour was just… I thought it was better than mine, y’know (laughs). I really liked it a lot, I thought it was just that wonderful sardonic and creative and wry humour, I just loved it. I just love stuff like ‘Thanks for playing, you’ve been a real pantload’. That was one of my favourite lines in all games.

RPS: Would that be difficult to bring back because, I don’t want to get into personal issues, but those guys certainly had a falling out – I can’t remember how it all worked – I know there’s been some sort of torrid history there. Do you think that would be a game you could bring back and get them on board with?

Al: I’ll leave that one to Paul. Do you think you could get Mark and Scott to come back into the fold?

Paul: I already spoke to Scott. Scott’s down for Space Quest. Mark works for Pipeworks, which is a Foundation 9 company. Foundation 9 is a very large independent studio and Mark said that that would be a direct conflict of interest for him, but if you recall in the last Space Quest, which was Space Quest 6, it was all Scott and Josh.

Al: Josh Mandel. And Josh is in on board here.

Paul: Josh was already on board, so in my opinion Space Quest 6 was one of the funniest ones out of all of them, so I think to make either Space Quest 7 or to reboot Space Quest 1-6, it’s more of a legal right than anything else. I’ve been friends with Scott ever since they closed Sierra, and once we announced that we were doing Leisure Suit Larry, I called Scott immediately and I said ‘If we get the rights to Space Quest, will you hop on board and do this with us?’ and he said ‘Absolutely, yes.’

Al: That’s good news.

RPS: Although remaking the original Space Quest wouldn’t take long, it’s only about an hour and a half long I think! So Paul, something like the licence for Space Quest, which I believe is currently in the hands of Activision, who obviously don’t have any intention of doing anything with it, how difficult is that process to start?

Paul: What you’re saying is actually not true. It’s been licensed out already, and we’re in negotiations with the company that has it licensed out. And I want to say it’s looking good, but right now I’d give us 50/50.

RPS: Oh okay, that’s really interesting. I’m really surprised it’s been licensed out because it’s been dormant for what, twenty years?

Paul: Activision told us that they wanted $500,000 up front, and greater than 50% revenue share for those properties. I told them ‘good luck on getting that’, because I don’t think anybody’s going to pay that fee. I can tell you that they changed their tune about six months after that.

RPS: So also with King’s Quest, they’ve been uncharacteristically generous in allowing fan projects. Have you seen the project the Silver Lining?

Paul: The Silver Lining wasn’t available for sale…

RPS: That’s right, yes.

Paul:And in addition it wasn’t really a King’s Quest. In my opinion they did an injustice to the King’s Quest franchise.

RPS: That’s interesting, why do you think that?

Paul: I just don’t think it held true to Roberta’s vision, just like I don’t think the Leisure Suit Larrys that have come out after Al wasn’t involved held true to Al’s vision. And that’s why I refuse to work on a Leisure Suit Larry game if Al wasn’t involved. I refuse to work on a King’s Quest game if Roberta’s not involved.

RPS: Would Roberta be willing to be involved, she’s been out of the industry for a while hasn’t she?

Paul: I can’t speak for Roberta, but I can tell you that we’re currently talking to her and Ken.

RPS: It’s like getting the old gang back together.

Al: We’re putting the band back together!

RPS: One last gig!

Paul: I’m doing the best I can.

RPS: So obviously these games are really important to both of you, and we all know that the adventure genre is thriving and doing well. Are there any modern adventures that you play now?

Al: When I left the field I left games behind, so I have to admit I’m out of touch.

RPS: Do you think that’s a disadvantage or an advantage when you come back to remaking Larry?

Al: I think it’s both, I think it’s something I’ve got to work around, and I’ve got to grow over, but in a way there are some advantages too because I still remember how we did things and what people liked and didn’t like, and I’m sure that we will stay true to that original code, and if that’s what people are looking for, which it seems to be by the response to our Kickstarter campaign, then I think they’ll be pleased.

RPS: So I’m interested to know, why when, as you say, you left games, you left games – why was that? You were gaming from cassettes, so why did you move away from it?

Al: Well it’s interesting, in that when you cross over and instead of it being a hobby it becomes a job, suddenly it takes the joy out of gameplay because first of all, you’re really busy, I mean we worked our asses off at Sierra in the old days, and you didn’t really have time to play games just for your own fun. So you would play games, but you were always looking at them, studying them and trying to figure out what they were doing differently, so it became much more of work instead of play. You were analysing and trying to make sense of what the other game designers were doing, what they changed, get ideas from them, and things that they had done better than what we were doing, and so forth. So when it came to playing games it became much less fun and much more work. But, when I retired, suddenly all the games that I had loved to play, which were particularly adventure games, and humorous adventure games, vanished, and my alternatives were Halo and Warcraft. It was just like ‘Jeez, there’s nothing here that interests me.’ I played the occasional adventures over the years but it just became a thing of, ‘well, I think they’ve moved away from where I want to be.’

RPS: You’re trying to bring them back I guess, back to where you want them to be.

Al: Exactly.

RPS: Thank you for your time.

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55 Comments »

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  1. Dozer says:

    You didn’t thank him for his time! What is this?

    Otherwise, great interview! I missed LSL because I was too busy being born in the 1980s but I’ll look forward to the remake!

  2. Phantoon says:

    Al Lowe is like George Lucas!

    … If Lucas was competent, or understood his medium, or had any interest in telling a story rather than making a million billion dollars.

    They both have beards.

  3. V. Profane says:

    Would have preferred a ‘new’ Larry game; the original has already been re-done once.

    • bslinger says:

      They have said that if the remake does well they will be looking to do a new Larry game – I was disappointed that it was just a remake as well and so have only pledged the minimum, but we should be getting the word out so that hopefully we can get some new games from Larry and other classic Sierra franchises.

      • Khemm says:

        The reason I just supported this project merely minutes ago – there’s a chance for new games if this remake proves to be successful.

    • sqparadox says:

      From the FAQ on their Kickstarter page:

      We would LOVE to make a new version of Leisure Suit Larry!! We thought about making LSL 4 (the missing floppies) or 8, or even 69!! The problem is, when we licensed the title from Codemasters back in October (you guys probably saw our big press release), we only licensed the re-makes. So we’re doing that to fulfill our obligation. What we REALLY want to do is to make Leisure Suit Larry 8. To do that, though, it costs a hell of a lot more money than $500,000. To put it in perspective, LSL 7 cost about $2mm back in 1996 which is about $3mm today. The reason why we’re re-making the original 7 versions is so we can bring them up to date, up to speed, and make enough money to build Leisure Suit Larry 8 (maybe even 4 but Al is a bit reluctant on #4). We really want to hit #8 out of the ball park so being 100% honest here, that means we have to save up enough money from the sales of 1-7 to make #8 which we see costing roughly $5 – $8 million dollars.

  4. jonfitt says:

    I’m not sure what he means by The Silver Lining being “an injustice to the King’s Quest franchise”. My wife played all the KQ games and somewhat enjoyed TSL. I never heard her say “this is an injustice!”

    • ankh says:

      Maybe she didn’t tell you? Please organise an interview on RPS with your wife straight away!

    • Was Neurotic says:

      “somewhat enjoyed” is damnation by faint praise. ;)

    • jonfitt says:

      Ok, I have an update: She actually did like it a lot, but thought that the amateur nature showed through in places, and was frustrated by the long undefined wait between episodes.
      .
      She also had some good info that apparently one of the fan team had lunch with Ken Williams who had some complimentary things to say about TSL, and Roberta Williams has played EP1 and said:

      “…I am deeply honored that a group of devoted fans have dedicated themselves to reviving the characters, lands and quests of my adventure game series, King’s Quest. Without the bravery and persistence of these volunteers – and it should be stressed that this game was developed by fans over ten long years without pay and in their own free time — it is almost certain that King’s Quest would have been relegated to a forgotten obscurity – its story left untold. Now, there is a chance that many can truly find out what happens to the royal family of the Kingdom of Daventry.

      This game is very true to the original series and features many of the storylines and characters, especially, of King’s Quest VI. I found it beautiful and fun to play. I, too, like many other fans, would like to see how this story unfolds!

      http://www.postudios.com/blog/forum/index.php?topic=8877.0
      .
      Also Jane Jensen has played it and said:

      “It was cool to be reminded of the ‘land of the green isles’ again and some of those old characters. It is an impressive thing to achieve with volunteer workers and little to no budget. Good work.”

      http://www.postudios.com/blog/?p=993
      .
      Seems like some positive feedback.

    • Cerius says:

      Trowe might be a little alone there in his opinion.

    • cassus says:

      Maybe it’s like how I am in regards to Indiana Jones bla bla crystal skull. That movie is not good, but I still loved it, because IT’S F’ING INDIANA JONES! When old time favourites that make your heart flutter get remakes or spiritual successors, most of your rational thinking goes down the crapper. Injustice schminjustice, I just wanted to see Indy again.

  5. Scrofa says:

    I don’t need a remake of a perfect game that I already beat dozens of times. A proper Space Quest sequel on the other hand is one of my dearest dreams.

  6. S Jay says:

    Never liked Larry, but I would back it if it were a new game.

  7. cHeal says:

    Somebody e-mail Geoff Crammond and get him back in the game!!!

    • terry says:

      To a time when polygons were polygons and rubber banding was something you did to parcels…

  8. HoosTrax says:

    The position of his monitor looks exceedingly precarious…

    • Lemming says:

      I think that’s a TV…sitting on top of an old floppy drive, which is in turn sitting on an Amiga. I don’t think I even want to know how he’s hooked all that up.

      • harmlos says:

        That’s not an Amiga, that’s an Apple II (and comparing with pictures on Wikipedia, it look like it’s a II, not a II+ or IIe).

    • PJMendes says:

      Relax, the center of mass of a CRT lies well near the front.

      Kids these days never hauled CRTs back and forth for LANs…

      • LionsPhil says:

        Still remember the guy who lugged his high-20s-inch CRT to LAN parties.

        It made the most spectacular TWANG when powered on.

  9. Premium User Badge

    fredcadete says:

    So so is the best word to start a question with?

    STYLE NAZI

    Edit: sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

  10. tgoat says:

    For the love of god, someone please prop up the back end of that TV!

    • LionsPhil says:

      But the back half is all plastic case and circuit board! The centre of mass is probably comfortably over the precarious tower. 100% totally safe.

      (Needs more wire with frayed insulation hanging out the back.)

  11. Mordsung says:

    I dream of a gaming future where the corpses of the large publishers are piled on top of each other with a giant “Kickstarter” flag shoved through them.

    Imagine if Kickstarter’s recent surge of success started to bleed into other artistic mediums like music, movies, TV etc. We could end up with REAL ART again. Music made for the sake of music, not money.

    The future still looks dark most of the time, but at least sun breaks through the clouds occasionally.

  12. Jahandar says:

    I was never really big on these games, but he seemed like a cool guy when he was on TWiT’s Game On show Sunday.

  13. Fumarole says:

    Here’s hoping they include a nod to the fantastic age-verification system. When the original came out I was twelve years old, and was usually unable to answer questions about who Sgt. Pepper was and why he was so lonely, making the times my friends and I did manage to get through the check all the more sweet.

    • AdventureGamer83 says:

      Al has stated some sort of nod to the age verification system(or perhaps even an updated one) will be in the updated LSL1. But not the Alt-X shortcut! ;-)

  14. LionsPhil says:

    Al: Ohh, Config.Sys, Exec.bat, oh my god…. I’m so glad we don’t have those. Although, I’m bitching here, but the first games I played were on cassette tape, so it’s a hell of a lot better than that.

    Well, y’know, pedantically we have the bastard IBM PC to thank for all that mess. Back in the cassette era, the technically weaker C64s and Beebs and Speccies and Atari XLs never had to deal with that nonsense. Nor did the the powerhouse 16-from-512-colour multi-channel-sound STs and Amigas. (LSL1: 1987. Atari ST: 1985. The PC was crap.)

  15. LionsPhil says:

    Y’know, I like Al and all, but why would I want a remake of a game that looks visually worse than the previous remake of it? I know it’s got more pixels, but the art it this is just hideous compared to the VGA version. (And frankly I prefer the less goofy EGA Larry, but hey.)

    Now, Freddy Pharkas, we might be talking. If only because last I looked getting hold of a talkie copy was infeasibly rare. (Even the abandonware crowd only had floppy versions or something.)

    • terry says:

      This is my issue too, the artstyle is completely unappealing on any level to me.

      • AdventureGamer83 says:

        As I said below, the art will look a million times better when it’s done.

        According to posts on the Replay Games forum(see here: http://forums.replaygamesinc.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12&start=20#p248) from the developers, the artwork and animation in the Kickstarter video is preliminary, done on a VERY tight budget, and nowhere close to the final product.

        You’re going to have to have some faith that the guys doing this at Replay(all of them ex-Sierra, with Al Lowe at the helm) know what they’re doing, and that what you’ve seen so far is just a very, *very* early taste of things to come. Give them some credit; they aren’t amateurs and they aren’t green behind the ears.

        ALSO, see this screenshot(http://forums.replaygamesinc.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=24&sid=e74618a9d0935c79bb8007b639c35128#p250) posted by the developers. The detail this game will be packing is STUNNING. Like I said, it’s being redone from the bones up – there’s nothing left to rebuild – Sierra’s archive is GONE.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Showing crap preliminary art while talking about graphical quality during the Kickstarter was a huge marketing blunder, then, especially when talking about a remake whose main claimed improvement over the original is updated graphics.

          • AdventureGamer83 says:

            They used what they were able to put together with limited time and a limited budget. They’re already showing screenshots of the improved work-in-progress, and are going above and beyond to communicate with the fan base. The potential for this game is huge.

            Check out forums.replaygamesinc.com – they’re communicating all over the place. There’s an Reddit AMA with Al Lowe in the works, hopefully happening later in the week.

            And for anyone questioning the price tag(500K), Al Lowe states in the video update on the Kickstarter page that LSL 7: Love For Sail cost over 1.5 million dollars to make, and that was in 1997. So 500K for a completely(and again, let me reiterate: *completely*) overhauled LSL 1 is more than realistic, especially considering voice talent, music talent, etc.

  16. AdventureGamer83 says:

    Guys, guys, guys…..

    Go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1451923705/make-leisure-suit-larry-come-again and read the FAQ. It answers most of your questions. They’re remaking Leisure Suit Larry 1 because that’s what Codemasters requires of them before they’ll let them develop any NEW games with the license.

    And frankly, it’s not just a new coat of paint and some highlights. Al said in this interview(http://vimeo.com/40046424 – starts at 6:00) from yesterday that they literally have to rebuild Leisure Suit Larry from the ground up, because when Sierra was absorbed into Vivendi, their entire archive was “flushed” – source code, hand drawn art work, everything. And I willing to bet the final product will look far better than the very early promo animation we’ve seen here. I’d almost guarantee it.

    Paul Trowe, Al Lowe and Replay want nothing more than to make a new Leisure Suit Larry game. But they have to start here. So, PLEASE, if you want to see Larry Laffer don his leisure suit again, go to the Kickstarter link above, and pledge a few bucks. We’re already over 1/2 way to the goal. Thanks!

    As far as Space Quest goes, Telltale Games has the rights to both it and King’s Quest. Supposedly Replay is trying to get Telltale to let them do Space Quest(with Scott Murphy, as they stated in the interview above). I believe Telltale is already working on a new King’s Quest.

    • LionsPhil says:

      when Sierra was absorbed into Vivendi, their entire archive was “flushed” – source code, hand drawn art work, everything

      That’s absolutely criminal. At least when the BBC wiped the tapes of some of their classic shows they had the excuse that storing them was costly.

      Telltale

      That’s almost worse than them being remade as FPSes. At least that might make the publisher consider them worthless enough to pass back to the original devs when they inevitably flop.

      • AdventureGamer83 says:

        I’ve played Telltale’s ‘Back To The Future’ game, and I found it to be enjoyable and well done. I’d take the position that if any was going to get their hands on those IP’s, Telltale’s not bad choice – and there are far, far worse.

  17. Navagon says:

    I wish Mr Lowe all the best with this one. It looks like it’s got every chance of making it. But I’ll have to be an observer rather than a backer this time around. I put down rather a lot on Shadowrun’s (proper) return and really can’t justify backing any more unless it’s for a proper remake of… oh, wait, we’re getting that too.

    It’s definitely shaping up to be a good time to be a gamer.

  18. Premium User Badge

    quietone says:

    All these “returns” leave me with a bittersweet taste. As an old gamer, it is great seeing so many games of yonder coming back, but at the same time I feel that there is a sense of serious dip in creativity when most movies are based on superheroes from old comics, remakes of classic movies/games.

    Other than that, I am really happy about this one.

    Now, if somebody would also resurrect Mail Order Monsters I’d die a happy man.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Think of it this way, at least with these particular game remakes, you won’t have Michael Bay coming along saying that Larry isn’t a “Lounge Lizard” anymore but is now a “Lounge Alien.”

  19. Grey_Ghost says:

    I didn’t much care for SQ6, and he thought it was the best one… 8(

    • AdventureGamer83 says:

      Well, Scott Murphy agrees with you, thankfully. He dislikes 5(sadly, but he had nothing to do with it) and 6(which he inherited after Mark Crowe bailed). Read Scott’s interview with Classic Adventure Gaming HERE: http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/234/

      Oh, and support the Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter. If we can get this game off the ground and made…good things will come. For more than just the LSL series.

      • Grey_Ghost says:

        Yeah that split between Murphy & Crowe must have been pretty bitter. I greatly enjoyed Space Quest 1-4, but SQ5 was the highlight of the series for me. Even though Crowe himself thought that SQ4 was the best one, and that SQ5 was weak for relying too much on spoofing Star Trek. I’m a big Star Trek fan, so maybe that’s why SQ5 appealed the most to me.

        I thought Josh Mandell was the one who bailed on SQ6 leaving Murphy in the lurch?

        • AdventureGamer83 says:

          My mistake. Josh Mandel designed the majority of SQVI, with Scott Murphy on board as a creative consultant. Mandel left due after the internal tension at Sierra became untenable; Sierra then dropped the game in Murphy’s lap and said “Finish it!”

          Neither Mandel nor Murphy were pleased with the end result. Mandel was particularly unhappy that an inventory gag he devised – a comic book CD in Nigel’s room – was cut. This inventory item contained all the hints for the Datacorder puzzle. Because they cut that item(which, according to Mandel, was completed and in the process of having artwork done), they had to put the Datacorder hints in the manual. This made it look like a copy protection scheme, which disturbed Mandel, because it was the furthest thing from what he intended.

          Regadless, if Larry succeeds, we’ll hopefully get to see the two of them(Mandel & Murphy) develop a new Space Quest in a less toxic environment.

  20. FataMorganaPseudonym says:

    Yeah, there were death scenes in LSL6.

    • AdventureGamer83 says:

      Wow, I need to replay LSL6. That “gone blind while playing with himself” failure state is the best game over in the series, possibly. Right behind the the “Oops, you didn’t use a condom with the hooker? Time for a little Safe Sex PSA *balls explode*”.

  21. AltF4 says:

    poo space quest 6 sucked, SQ5 was much better

  22. pilouuuu says:

    Wow, I never been such a fan of Sierra, being much more a fan of Lucasarts games, although I totally loved Space Quest V and this seems like exciting times for all those good games we enjoyed and can’t get in this industry obsessed with 3d and Call of Duty.

    • AdventureGamer83 says:

      Can’t deny LucasArts made some great adventure games(Full Throttle, anyone?).

      If you want to see Space Quest take flight again, support the Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter. If Replay successfully reboots Larry, that will go a long way to getting Telltale Games to license Space Quest to them. With Scott Murphy coming back on board, Roger Wilco could rise again – but we need to get Larry off the ground first.

  23. Melf_Himself says:

    Are those super-cartoony screenshots how the game is going to look? That “new-look” Larry really turns me off what is an awesome franchise.

    • AdventureGamer83 says:

      As I posted above in response to earlier comments, the developers have posted on Replay’s forum that the screenshots and animation seen are very, *very* early tests and demos. And while the reflect the general direction the game will go in, they don’t reflect the final project. If the screenshot the developer posted in the forum (there’s a link in one of my comments on the first page) is any indication, LSL 1: Reloaded is going to look terrific!

  24. Sue de Nimes says:

    Seriously, Al Lowe can you go?