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O'Reilly: FreeSCI: Rebuilding Sierra's Classic Quests

Feb 08, 2003, 07:00 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Howard Wen)


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"In the mid- to late 1980s, game developer Sierra On-Line (known today as Sierra Entertainment) was renowned for its adventure titles. These games typically featured animated characters moving against static background images (such as a castle or space station). The player interacted with the on-screen characters with the keyboard or, in later titles, the mouse. This gameplay mechanic was formulaic, but the company cranked out blockbuster hits like King's Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry, all of which spawned numerous sequels.

"Sierra On-Line built these and other games upon its own SCI ('SCript Interpreter' or 'Sierra Creative Interpreter') engine. Each game was comprised of scripts, graphics, and sound files that were compiled and controlled by SCI.

"For the past few years, programming-capable adventure fans have been developing FreeSCI, an open source SCI clone. Their goals are to port SCI games to other platforms, to add new features to the original games, to provide an engine upon which other hobbyists can create new Sierra-style games, and simply to have fun..."

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