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Wilco's Domain Interviews Ken Williams
Sierra Founder and Former CEO

This interview originally appeared at the now-defunct Wilco's Domain and appears here courtesy of the Domain's former webmaster and Freelance Space Quest Historian, Troels Pleimert. The original interview was conducted in 1997.

Wilco's Domain: Tell me about the first time you ever heard of Space Quest. What did you think about it at the time?

       Ken Williams: When Scott and Mark first presented the idea, I didn't take it seriously, and kind of blew them off. Rather than back off they decided to program a prototype to show me. They worked on their own time to put together a small sampling of what the game would be. [This turned out to be the first four rooms of "The Sarien Encounter". -ed] I fell in love immediately, and started a project going.

WD: When you saw that Space Quest was destined to become a success, why has the series been brought to a halt now?

       KW: The Two Guys from Andromeda split up about 6 years ago when one of them, Mark Crowe, elected to move to Eugene, Oregon to work for our Dynamix subsidiary. The magic was the interaction of Scott [Murphy] and Mark [Crowe] -- Scott without Mark wasn't quite the same, and it changed the game. Scott has also had some personal medical problems that have made it tough at times for him to really commit to a game. I would love to do another Space Quest, but new designers have new ideas -- they really don't want to go back and extend Scott/Mark's series. I know that sooner or later we will do another Space Quest, but don't know yet who will do it -- maybe Scott -- maybe Mark -- maybe someone else. It's not clear.

WD: It seems that since you told Jess [Morrissette] that SQ7 wasn't going to happen, you've changed your mind. What convinced you to try and bring SQ back anyway?

       KW: I don't know that I said it wouldn't happen -- just not anytime soon. I loved the series and want another. It will just take time to get another project going. Right now, our whole adventure game strategy is unclear. Look for the next issue of InterAction [Sierra's monthly published gaming magazine, -ed] -- I talk about this a bunch -- the short story is that I think we need revolution, not evolution, within adventure games. We need some radical new thinking to send us some exciting new direction. I don't exactly know how to define this more clearly than that. Roberta [Williams] is going a new direction with 3D, and maybe this is the future -- I'm not sure yet, and not sure how many projects I want to send this direction until I am confident it is the right direction. I just know I am ready for something new.

WD: I'm gonna ask you for your own, personal opinion, and please be honest ... Do you think we'll ever see SQ7?

       KW: Absolutely. Whether we will be grandparents or not at the time is the critical issue.

WD: Thanks. Say hi to Rosella, Alexander and all the others in Daventry from me.

       KW: Will do!

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