Roberta and Ken Williams were retired for 25 years, mostly living in Mexico, playing golf, and exploring the world on their boat. In 2020 when the covid pandemic struck, Ken and Roberta were locked down like everyone. Ken was bored, and Roberta suggested he write a book about Sierra. The process of writing the book brought back long-forgotten memories resulting in Ken learning Unity and deciding to make a game.
Sierra On-line used an internally developed language called SCI to build their games. Ken wanted to use a game engine and had a choice between Unity and Unreal. Both appeared to be excellent engines, but Unity had extensive online training, and Ken knew he had a lot to learn. Unity is an incredible engine from an amazing company.
Roberta and Ken originally had no interest in starting another company. They were just looking for something fun to build and Roberta had the idea of paying homage to the game that inspired their company and changed their lives, Colossal Cave Adventure.
As they have gotten deeper into developing the game, they now understand why it became such a success. The original game is certainly an adventure game, but also has action elements, humor, engaging characters, is scary in places, has a point system, and is incredibly challenging. It’s a far better game than they first realized! There is far more to it than they would ever have believed when they started.
The initial release will be on Meta Quest 2 (VR), Nintendo Switch, and Epic Games. Additional platforms are currently under consideration.
One of our artists convinced Ken to create a VR version of the game. At first, we thought it would be a simple effort but quickly realized that VR is not as simple as just running the same old game on a new platform. Major design changes were required for VR. The original graphics had to be thrown away, and we started over. Was it worth it? YES! Anyone who plays the VR version will be blown away. It is staggering when you enter the cave.
We are working hard to get the initial release of the game launched (Windows/Mac/Meta Quest 2). As soon as the game launches, we will be exploring other platforms for the game. Other virtual reality options are of great interest to us.
Absolutely! We are still working on arrangements for final distribution, but we are planning for a boxed version to be available on Amazon and at other major retailers. The details are not fully finalized at this time.
Greetings from Ken Williams. I am the publisher of the game – first off, thank you to the overwhelming number of people who are enjoying the game and giving it great ratings. I would like to share a few thoughts on the game that might help anyone considering the game decide if it is right for them or not. – This is a remake of a nearly 50 year old game. If you google the game you will discover that it has an incredible history and is deemed by many as foundational for the industry. We treated the remake as though we are trying to bring this game to a new generation. It’s an incredible game, and the original authors, William Crowther and Don Woods, deserve all the acclaim they have received. They are true heroes of the computer era. – Roberta Williams was heavily involved in this game every step of the way, but was not the designer. The graphics, sound, character designs, are Roberta’s, but the puzzles and dialog are 99% from the original. We forced ourselves not to change the original puzzles. They are challenging, and some arguably make no sense, but hints are easily available on the internet, available on a dial-in hint line, as well as embedded in the game. One should not tamper with a game that has been loved by millions. – The game uses a point n’ click interface. We easily could have done a more conventional controller VR handling, but thought this gave more of a cool retro feel. We didn’t completely want the game to feel modern. You’ll notice that much of the art style is “70s/80s”. We really wanted to do all we could to recreate the feeling of playing the old text adventure game, but fully immersive, in VR (and not with text). We’re extremely happy with how it turned out.
You can use either the keyboard, mouse, or gamepad. Many users use both the keys and mouse. You can select your mode of locomotion in the game from the settings > controls menu.
Try turning VSYNC on
Make sure your controller is connected to your computer securely, and that your operating system recognizes the controller. In windows, you can go to the control panel/settings look for “USB Game Controllers” and make sure it is connected and functioning properly. You can refer to the user manual that came with your controller for more information and support on your game controller device.
Some players experience motion sickness when using a VR headset. It varies from person to person, but if you are prone to motion sickness in automobiles, you may be susceptible.
Pause the game, take off the headset and gain your bearings.
Having the headset positioned on your head properly can alleviate some of the most common motion sickness triggers by making the experience easier to endure. Adjusting your headset fit and the settings ensures you move your eyes as little as possible and goes a long way in preventing dizziness and headaches in VR land.
New versions are still being developed and will be released soon.
Plus, receive special insider information, a look behind the scenes, sneak peeks, and interviews as new versions are released. Don’t worry. We will not spam you, and we will not flood your inbox with too many emails — Ken Williams