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23 Comments

The Silver Lining Development Continues

And the first episode releases mad soon.

The unofficial continuation of the King's Quest franchise is go. A recent post on the developer's blog indicates as much, explaining that after a measure of negotiation, Phoenix Online Studios and Activision have reached a deal allowing the indie dev to distribute The Silver Lining on a non-commercial basis.

"We've been working so hard and for so long on this game, and our goal all along has been releasing it so the fans can finally get to play it after waiting so patiently and after supporting us so completely," co-developer Katie Hallahan tells me via e-mail. "As well, we obviously have wanted to show the world the game we put so much into. The whole team is ecstatic that it's finally going to happen."

This news closes another shaky chapter in the game's eight-year life. Back in 2005, then-IP owner Vivendi shut down the production of the game, only to hash out an agreement in short order to keep the project going--until this February, at least, when new holder Activision blasted a cease and desist in a similar scenario. But once again, after some negotiation, the dev was able to hammer out an agreement.


== TEASER ==It seems like the crucial piece of said agreement was making it so Phoenix Online won't be able to make mad cash money from the project. The Silver Lining will be distributed for free starting on July 10 with the release of the first episode, What Is Decreed Must Be, of the long-awaited fan project.   
  
The fact that Activision has been pummeled a bit by press and enthusiasts of late certainly didn't hurt negotiations to get The Silver Lining in the public's hands. But quality was a factor, too, according to Hallahan.
 
"We can only speculate as to all of the reasons, but I know that when we talked with Activision after the C&D, our goal was to show them that this was a quality game, that we wanted to work with them to make good things happen for both groups, that we could both help the other."

 
 
 
"And I think what they saw that there was indeed opportunity for all of us here--Activision has made strides and statements lately towards supporting indie game developers (they're running an Indie Game Contest, and Bobby Kotick's statements at DICE 2010, for example), and granting us a non-commercial license is clearly a step that supports this. They were great to work with, and we hugely appreciate that they reconsidered their decision and we were able to work this out with them." 
 
From what I'm seeing (which is the same as what you're seeing), this non-official Hero's Quest is looking good. To be honest, I'm just pumped to write about a new King's Quest. It's like I'm in bizarro world right now.
23 Comments
Posted by BradNicholson

The unofficial continuation of the King's Quest franchise is go. A recent post on the developer's blog indicates as much, explaining that after a measure of negotiation, Phoenix Online Studios and Activision have reached a deal allowing the indie dev to distribute The Silver Lining on a non-commercial basis.

"We've been working so hard and for so long on this game, and our goal all along has been releasing it so the fans can finally get to play it after waiting so patiently and after supporting us so completely," co-developer Katie Hallahan tells me via e-mail. "As well, we obviously have wanted to show the world the game we put so much into. The whole team is ecstatic that it's finally going to happen."

This news closes another shaky chapter in the game's eight-year life. Back in 2005, then-IP owner Vivendi shut down the production of the game, only to hash out an agreement in short order to keep the project going--until this February, at least, when new holder Activision blasted a cease and desist in a similar scenario. But once again, after some negotiation, the dev was able to hammer out an agreement.


== TEASER ==It seems like the crucial piece of said agreement was making it so Phoenix Online won't be able to make mad cash money from the project. The Silver Lining will be distributed for free starting on July 10 with the release of the first episode, What Is Decreed Must Be, of the long-awaited fan project.   
  
The fact that Activision has been pummeled a bit by press and enthusiasts of late certainly didn't hurt negotiations to get The Silver Lining in the public's hands. But quality was a factor, too, according to Hallahan.
 
"We can only speculate as to all of the reasons, but I know that when we talked with Activision after the C&D, our goal was to show them that this was a quality game, that we wanted to work with them to make good things happen for both groups, that we could both help the other."

 
 
 
"And I think what they saw that there was indeed opportunity for all of us here--Activision has made strides and statements lately towards supporting indie game developers (they're running an Indie Game Contest, and Bobby Kotick's statements at DICE 2010, for example), and granting us a non-commercial license is clearly a step that supports this. They were great to work with, and we hugely appreciate that they reconsidered their decision and we were able to work this out with them." 
 
From what I'm seeing (which is the same as what you're seeing), this non-official Hero's Quest is looking good. To be honest, I'm just pumped to write about a new King's Quest. It's like I'm in bizarro world right now.
Posted by BrandNameCommercial

King's Quest!

Posted by TheCreamFilling

Oh really?

Posted by xxNBxx

If these pics are taken from the game I don't like the art style.
Posted by Sin4profit

From what i'm seeing this looks like a casual game for girls...

Posted by cikame

It's like each character was made for a different game.

Posted by Ragdrazi

I loved King's Quest when I was a kid. I hold out no hope for this project.

Posted by skrutop
@Ragdrazi said:
" I loved King's Quest when I was a kid."
Me too, but in retrospect those games were not good.  The puzzles made zero sense.
Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Man, I love seeing any news on King's Quest.  Good to see this project getting the go-ahead.

Moderator
Posted by Ragdrazi
@skrutop said:
" @Ragdrazi said:
" I loved King's Quest when I was a kid."
Me too, but in retrospect those games were not good.  The puzzles made zero sense. "
You know, I hear this a lot. But me and my backwoods hick family figured them out just fine, so they couldn't have been too obscure.
Posted by Cybexx

I'm surprised to see Activision didn't push to make a deal with them to have these as paid episodes but I guess there is less legal work this way. That and as a free game there are lower expectations for the quality. It looks like it will be a fun adventure game but the graphics do look a bit dated (not surprising for a game in development in spare time for the last 10 years). But it kind of looks Telltale quality from a few years back and its free so you can't realistically complain about it.

Posted by ashogo

Pretty nice that after so much work they're finally able to release it. I've never played the King's Quest series before, but I can appreciate their dedication.

Posted by PappaDukes

Played the demo years ago and loved it. I am looking forward to the ABSOLUTELY FREE first episode on July 10th!
Posted by Brodehouse

I hope this is good and does well enough that a good publisher hires them to produce an adventure game series.  Maybe Telltale buys a stake, throws them best practices and a franchise  they don't have time for.

Posted by Wiseblood
@skrutop said:
" @Ragdrazi said:
" I loved King's Quest when I was a kid."
Me too, but in retrospect those games were not good.  The puzzles made zero sense. "
Not only that, but Sierra adventure games were notorious for being easy to fuck yourself over and making the game unwinnable.

Posted by Suikoden

Great news!
Posted by colinjw

What. 

Posted by dirtyword

 There's no way to read the second half of this article in the iPhone app I bought from you!    

Posted by TheAdmin

So all episodes are going to be free or just the first episode? It would be a shame that all the episodes would be released free... I mean, they spent 10 years making the game. It would be nice to support the developers. 

Posted by GozerTC

You know I love this kind of story.  I only hope the final result will be worth it!  Now if only someone would just do a reskin of Xcom and Master of Orion 2 I'd be happy. :)

Posted by Ragdrazi
@Wiseblood said:
" @skrutop said:
" @Ragdrazi said:
" I loved King's Quest when I was a kid."
Me too, but in retrospect those games were not good.  The puzzles made zero sense. "
Not only that, but Sierra adventure games were notorious for being easy to fuck yourself over and making the game unwinnable. "
Oi! Earily on that was true, but they figured out they had a problem with that and delt with it.
Posted by MrCellophane
@Ragdrazi said:
" @Wiseblood said:
" @skrutop said:
" @Ragdrazi said:
" I loved King's Quest when I was a kid."
Me too, but in retrospect those games were not good.  The puzzles made zero sense. "
Not only that, but Sierra adventure games were notorious for being easy to fuck yourself over and making the game unwinnable. "
Oi! Earily on that was true, but they figured out they had a problem with that and delt with it. "
Please tell me when that happened. A lot of the old Sierra games (KQ, SQ, PQ and so on) are currently being sold at GOG.com, and I'm really considering buying some, but I remember hating SQ2 for making it so easy to miss important clues and thus never winning the game
Posted by Ragdrazi
@MrCellophane said:
" @Ragdrazi said:
" @Wiseblood said:
" @skrutop said:
" @Ragdrazi said:
" I loved King's Quest when I was a kid."
Me too, but in retrospect those games were not good.  The puzzles made zero sense. "
Not only that, but Sierra adventure games were notorious for being easy to fuck yourself over and making the game unwinnable. "
Oi! Earily on that was true, but they figured out they had a problem with that and delt with it. "
Please tell me when that happened. A lot of the old Sierra games (KQ, SQ, PQ and so on) are currently being sold at GOG.com, and I'm really considering buying some, but I remember hating SQ2 for making it so easy to miss important clues and thus never winning the game "
I don't know exactly. I just remember reading about this very topic in the magazine Sierra published. Yes, they published a big glossy magazine that really was more than an advertisement. The problem is with all Sierra games is that the crazy moon logic they applied said that they never needed to give you clues. The big problem was that the object you needed to win the game was sitting there in plain sight and you just never saw it. I think King's Quest 6 was when they started to get it together. But the thing is, unwinnable situations more or less happened by accidents of game design, and not every one of them had them. If I'm not mistaken, in King's Quest 3, every object had a single purpose. Copying lines under time pressure from the SPELL BOOK the game came packaged with is one of the most awesome experiences I've had in a video game.
 
Really though, you're living in the age of walkthroughs. Just man up and play some King's Quest. It may have been broken and weird but it was awesome.