Our focus with the game has shifted, from building the game, to promoting it.
That said, there is still A LOT of work going on in development, particularly with respect to virtual reality (VR). We released the game on the Quest 2 with two different means of moving around in the world. One of the methods, which we called “comfort mode” was created by Roberta and was an attempt to reduce the motion sickness that can be felt in VR. Her method was a step forward, but didn’t quite get us where we want to be. We’re working hard behind the scenes on a third movement method that will be in the upcoming release of our SteamVR (PC VR) and Playstation VR 2 (PSVR2) game. We hope it will completely remove the motion sickness feeling that is inherent in VR for most people. We also completely re-engineered our inventory system, and are using our enhanced graphics. Best of all Steam PC owners will be receiving the VR version of the game free! We made the decision to consolidate under one purchase the PC, Mac, Steam Deck and Steam VR versions. Buy one, get them all!
We haven’t forgotten the non-VR versions. In addition to the inevitable bug fixes, we’ve been refining some of the play where players were getting stuck and needed a little extra guidance.
And, we’ve been hard at work on a documentary about the history of Colossal Cave. Most people think of the names Crowther & Woods in connection with the game, however there is an adventurous and famous young lady behind the scenes who played a key role in the evolution of the game. There’s also a connection not just to the birth of gaming, but to the birth of the internet! When we say Colossal Cave is a historic game, we mean it, and are producing a documentary that helps tell the story. We’re simultaneously working on a video with tips and strategy for playing the game. With a little luck, you’ll see both in the next week or two.
Finally, something special to report!
Roberta and I were fortunate enough to visit with Danny and Arin from GameGrumps, a 5.4 million subscriber YouTube channel. Roberta and Danny chit chatted while Arin played the game. They had a hilarious time, and their YouTube video has already been viewed nearly 200,000 times in just the first 12 hours after it was released, attracting over 1,200 comments! I linked it below and it is worth not only watching, but scanning the comments. A fun time was had by all.
In this edition…
Part II of Roberta’s story “Why Colossal Cave?”
Roberta plays Colossal Cave and offers commentary live on video!
Roberta appears on GameGrumps.
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How your reviews help us.
Thank you for reading.
In our last ReAction, Roberta talked about how she came to find Colossal Cave, and how it affected her and ultimately changed the course of her life.
I found myself thinking and planning a game of my own in bed at night and became so excited by the idea that I drove to a local art store and bought oversize pieces of thick white paper. I brought them home and sat down at the proverbial ‘kitchen table’ to start sketching and doodling out a game map of my idea. In my mind, I was calling itMystery House because I based it on the board game ‘Clue’ and a story much like an Agatha Christie novel. It was an impulsive thing to do, but I found myself compelled, and just knew that I was on to something! I convinced Ken to work with me on it, and together we created the first computer game with graphics – for the Apple II computer. So, how did Colossal CaveAdventure manage to change my world in such a profound way? It did it by reaching deep into my soul, my very brain. Though I was ‘spelunking’ in the Colossal Cave game, Colossal Cave itself had entered into the tunnels and crevices of my own grey matter and dug out my forgotten urges of fun, adventure, creating, and storytelling. In actuality, I had never really lost those, but had locked them deep inside and tossed aside the key. Colossal Cave found that key for me!
This recounting explains, “Why Colossal Cave.” I owe it so much; it gave me this life I now lead. Without it, I honestly don’t know what I would have been doing all of these years! (And our company, Sierra On-Line, would never have existed.) So that’s my motive, the reason to bring it back to today’s gameplayers. In my grateful mind, I want to share it, and to hope that it can inspire others as it did for me. It gave me my life’s career and weirdly taught me ‘how’ to design adventure games. But that’s really not a huge leap as I’ve always loved to tell stories – as a child to my friends, to my younger brother, to my parents, to my cousins. I used to put together little plays or skits as well — and, of course, I would play the main character while my brother, friends, or cousins would be the other characters. We would perform them for my parents, or for my aunts and uncles. I feel honor and passion about bringing Colossal Cave back to modern players because, in my mind, it worked absolute ‘magic’ for me, and I can’t understand why it wouldn’t for others.
But maybe, that’s just me; it’s how I think!
As a computer game designer, I love being able to create immersive ‘worlds’ for people, not just simply to devise a linear story. I want to create a fantasy world where the players truly are the protagonists and can decide within it where they wish to go, get totally immersed in that world, and feel like they’re ‘in charge.’ I want them to sense danger, or experience exhilaration upon finding something important — and leave it to them to figure out how to get past an obstacle, solve a puzzle, and successfully reach a goal. Discovery is important! And I experienced all of those emotions when first playing the text-based Colossal Cave. Those game attributes are still there, and I honestly can’t believe that people have changed so much that they are not able to feel the same sense of wonder, exploration, and discovery that a game like this can impart. So, here’s my motive: to re-introduce Colossal Cave to modern gameplayers, partially to validate for myself that people truly haven’t changed that much. But nagging questions do remain: Can modern players spawn the patience for a slower, more methodical exploration through a fantasy cave – a serene, cerebral enjoyment? Or are they only capable of experiencing high-tension, and on-the-edge excitement? I am curious about that, and time will tell who the modern gameplayers really are. I hope that they can enjoy both! But, I admit, I do have some worries; I fear that many of today’s gameplayers have become addicted – and I do use that term advisedly – to the high-action and constant-adrenaline tension of today’s third-person, action-oriented games. Though today’s action-adventures do tell a story — as did the prior adventure games of the 80’s and 90’s – they tend to move players quickly toward precise spots because of pre-determined game plots, the game focus usually being combat. But traditional adventure games not only had a story to tell, but players were – and still are — enjoying those games at their own speed and whims. All in all, I’m optimistic that there is still a sizable group of tried-and-true adventure players, as well as those who would permit themselves to explore a quieter, more personal world of traditional adventure gaming.
And along these lines, I would like to take a moment to kindly request that if you have played our newly revived Colossal Cave and enjoyed it, I would be so appreciative if you could review it. That would help us pass along the word – but more specifically to aid the preservation of Colossal Cave as the historical computer game icon it truly is!
Thank you! Roberta Williams
A Very Special Episode
Roberta meets Dan & Arin from Game Grumps, and takes them on a guided tour of Colossal Cave!
Watch Roberta play Colossal Caveright here, with her commentary as she moves about the cave, and tells you about her favorite puzzle in the game!
Your reviews help us greatly.
They not only let other players know about your experience with the game, but they help promote the games visibility in the stores where it’s available. Our goal is to preserve this loved and special game for a further 50 years. The best recommendation is your recommendation. We greatly appreciate everyone who takes the time out to support the game.
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