Author Topic: 25th anniversary of the fan communities  (Read 2219 times)

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Offline Kawa

Re: 25th anniversary of the fan communities
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2023, 01:34:54 PM »
That's okay. I am stupid.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: 25th anniversary of the fan communities
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2023, 04:36:16 AM »
Lol dude we've been trying to get a hold of any content from Mega-Tokyo for more than a decade. Please share!

You must have forgotten about it  ;D

Seems that you were as excited back then as you are now  ;)

Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: 25th anniversary of the fan communities
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2023, 01:49:39 AM »
Well I guess we know who's actually really stupid.  :-[  ;D
Brass Lantern Prop Competition

Offline Kawa

Re: 25th anniversary of the fan communities
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2023, 07:45:04 AM »
It's me. I'm the really stupid one.

Otherwise off topic, but it wasn't until yesterday that I learned SCI Companion has the ability to change where a cel is drawn in a background image, and at what priority, all along.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: 25th anniversary of the fan communities
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2023, 08:49:00 PM »
I have been somewhat distracted working on the book that I mentioned at the start of the year. I actually spent most of my spare time over January, February and March working on it. Unfortunately I'm moving country, yet again, so I have had to put it on hold for a few months while I organise things for the move.

I've discovered some really interesting things about the history of Sierra as part of the research I've been doing, most of it between 1980 and 1984, so the early years before they were working on the 3D animated adventure games. I find the whole thing fascinating, and I know it is slightly off topic from my original goal of a book about AGI, but I wanted to delve into what happened before AGI to see how things lead into AGI.

As part of looking into that, I found this video that Ken Williams put on Youtube recently:

It's amazing that something like this has survived. I mean, it was from Ken and Roberta's personal collection, so that explains how it survived. Great to see what they looked like back then, what the offices looked like, what the programmers looked like, what Oakhurst itself looked like, what Ken and Roberta's house looked like while it was being built.

If you check the comments, you can see that I commented a couple of times and got a response back from Ken on both occasions. Someone had asked Ken if he could remember the names of the programmers in the video and Ken said he couldn't. I then replied to that thread saying that I think I'd spotted Jeff Stephenson in there, to which Ken replied that it was indeed Jeff. So it was great to get a short, early days clip of Jeff working away at an IBM PC. This would have been before both AGI and SCI were a thing.

Through my own research, I've dated the video to around September 1982. Ken has put 1983 in the video title but there are several reasons why it must instead be in autumn 1982. The first of these is that Bob Heitman said the film crew visited before he started at Sierra, which was October 1982, and the Steven Levy book "Hackers" actually mentions this film crew visiting the Sierra offices, and within the context of what the book is talking about at that point in the book, it must be sometime from August 1982, but within autumn. So September 1982 is the best guess.

One very cool thing is that Steven Levy himself is also in this video. You can see my comment in the same thread on youtube regarding that, and Ken once again confirmed that it was Levy. I have managed to identify maybe half of the programmers shown in this film, but none of them, other than Jeff, are people we know from the AGI/SCI days.

My current thinking is that the room showing the programmers in it is the office space at the back of the Ponderosa Printing building where Sierra were initially based in after Ken & Roberta started taking on employees. In June 1982, they moved into the two story building on Golden Oak Drive, which became their HQ for two years after that. The old office behind the Ponderosa Printing building then became an office solely for the in-house programmers. They didn't move into the redwood building on Victoria Lane until some time in the second half of 1984.

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