King’s Quest – The Legacy Continues
Developed by The Odd Gentlemen, the new King’s Quest™ reimagines all the charm, humor, puzzles, exploration and sense of wonder that made the franchise so magical when it first arrived thirty years ago. Old and grey, King Graham – the hero made legend in the original King’s Quest games – shares the extraordinary stories of his youth with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn, taking players back to the feats that shaped a kingdom.
And so begins an episodic saga that honors the core characters and familiar storylines of King Graham’s early adventures, setting up new chapters tied to – but independent of – the series that helped define Sierra and the adventure genre. Through these tales, a whole new generation can finally experience one of gaming’s most beloved journeys.
— The Odd Gentlemen (@TheOddGentlemen) March 4, 2015
King's Quest is a reimagining of the classic games, but retains the great qualities that made the series so memorable
The Odd Gentlemen are the studio bringing back King's Quest, under the direction of co-founder Matt Korba. The new iteration borrows some old ideas, while at the same time implements some new ones. The game retains the adventure qualities of the classic games, and it relies greatly on exploration and puzzle solving. In King's Quest, story is of great importance, and player choices have great impact to the outcome and progress of the narrative. It will follow the recent trend, of a five episode arc, without necessarily being strictly constricted to a single narrative.
In an interview with Digital Trends, Korba explains:
“The game is really about the stories that old Graham shares with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn. And so each episode focuses on one of those stories. We’re telling stories in between the original games,”
He continues that King's Quest is a reimagining of the original series, but it retains that foundations set by its original designers, Roberta and Ken Williams:
“So we completely reimagined it, it’s a new King’s Quest, everything’s re-thought and it looks similar but different. But we’re keeping the details that were set by Roberta and Ken and sort of elaborating on those.”
Korba notes, that for fans of the originals, there will be a plethora of nods,
“If you’re really a Sierra fan, you’re really a King’s Quest fan, you’re going to catch so many nods,”
“The stories take place in flashback and the choices that you make in that flashback affect the future.”
“It’s still very much an adventure game. There’s inventory, there’s puzzles … you can physically move Graham around the environment,” he explains,
and clarifies that the interface is being redone to accommodate the console controls, with everything being mapped to different buttons with simple pickup and use commands,
“We’ve completely redone the interface to work on consoles, without having to use a mouse [cursor]. So you can run up to things, you can use your inventory items on things, you can solve puzzles like that. Everything’s been boiled down to a contextual button instead of having to select different verbs. And because we’ve made the interface simple and easy to pick up and use, we can make the puzzles more in-depth, more challenging.”
“There’s less choose-your-own branching dialogue adventure type of thing and more puzzles,” Korba explains. “We do have some that are based off of dialogue, but most of them are based off of the way you solve a puzzle versus a multiple choice type of thing. It is a different style of game.”
He quickly adds:
“However it’s still a game where story comes first and story is the driving point for it. We’re excited to see more of these games be successful. I really hope that everyone has success at this because we would like to create games where story is at the center and we get to create these unique, silly worlds that are just fun and charming.”
In a recent interview with Polygon Korba clarified about the unique art style of King's Quest:
"We're actually physically painting them," says Korba. "We print out 3D models on paper, physically paint them and then scan them back in."
It appears that the legacy of King's Quest is in capable hands. The future looks very promising, and it seems that the original mood and atmosphere, that initially made the series so special remains intact. The market for traditional point and click adventures has slowly shifted to a more interactive approach, similar to Telltale's latest offerings, to accommodate a new generation of gamers, and mentalities. Yet modern adventure games still rely on deep narratives that place a great emphasis on delivering special stories combined with a more action oriented gameplay, that makes the player feel more involved.
King's Quest is likely to follow a similar approach, to appeal to today's market, while at the same time retaining some of its classic qualities. I do hope that we get to witness some gameplay footage for ourselves soon, and we will make certain to bring you any information as soon as we get it.
King's Quest, is stated for a Fall 2015 release, for the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 platforms.