Just a couple of Videos

As part of the SQ7.org project’s history, we created two video trailers for the project, showing off progress.

They were designed to give an impression of where we were, and to help in recruiting more people to the project.

The first one was particularly difficult to put together.
Chris Geibler put together a lot of the Roger footage especially for the trailer.
Scott M put together the flying Mallard, and Troels wrote the music.

This second trailer was put together years later.

The primary reason was because we had been discussing ideas internally about how to show off some more work.
Some people on non-SQ had wondered if we were actually creating anything, or just some sort of weird social art experiment.

The VSB people released a teaser-trailer with only a few bits of information in it, if I recall.
I figured it’d be fun to take the opportunity to respond to them, release more info, and reference the “Adult Swim” bumpers while doing it.

I created this trailer in an evening, which is why it’s not nearly as nice as the one above. It used existing screenshots we had sent to Vivendi, and music Danny had created for us.

I rescued each of these videos, and threw them on Youtube.

Something to keep in mind- When we first launched SQ7 and made these videos, Youtube wasn’t a thing yet.

The Many Logos of SQ7

When projects get started, everyone is fresh and full of energy.

They want to make a big contribution that’s felt right away

One of the ways people often jump into that is by submitting a new Logo for project.
Maybe it just meant our existing logo was pretty bad ūüėČ

Self Made

Sq7logo
This was the first logo that I ever tried to make for the project, back when we were getting started in 2001. We needed something quick and dirty to go up on our nascent mailing list.

Wordlogo
This comes from about the same period. I don’t think we ever used this one.

Outsourced

SQ7 org Tribute by Akril15
Akril made this one a few years ago.

After the project started growing a bit, I decided we needed something at a least a Little better. Since I wasn’t a good artist, and I didn’t want to waste the time of the real artists on the project, I did a paid contest at a site a lot like 99designs. As you can see in some of the designs, they’re back from 2004.


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I really liked these three. In retrospect, they might be more fun than the one I used.

They have sort of a retro-future look, like the Venture Bros.

At the time, I was worried they looked TOO hokey, even for SQ.

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Sq7 1

Sq7 2

SQ7 01

Sq7 3

Sq7

Sq7two

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This was the one we ended up using. I still like it.
It’s clever, because the top-right bracket becomes the 7, as well as being a structural element.

Still one of my favorite logos.

In project

LOGO

LedHead, one of our later 3d artists, made this one. I really like the in-your-faceness of it, but I think the logo itself is too direct, too straightforward.

DeeLogo
I believe Danny Bloks made this logo, as part of a Flyer we made to try to attract some additional help at a bunch of local schools.

Weblogo
Pstonie made this logo, as part of redesign he did of SQ7.org. He made the awesome Space Quest logo with the Space Background, I may have awkwardly pasted on the 7.

It’s a bit derivative of Sierra’s designs, but they were so great that it makes sense to emulate them, where legally possible

Logo
We used this logo as part of the website, when we were doing an in-game driven UI. This followed the trend of trying to get away from using the name “Space Quest” as much as we could.

TopLogo

This one one of my early favorites, and the one we used in our promotional trailer.

RogerWi1

Art Style

3 Rogers, an early test of visual style

When we were first starting out with Space Quest 7, we looked at quite a few art styles, trying to find the right fit, both for what we knew how to do, and for Space Quest.

In 2001, 3D games still left much to be desired, and I wanted to avoid Space Quest regressing in visual quality. I’d seen too many games make the move to 3d because it was the cool thing to do, rather than because it made the game look any better; I wanted to avoid this mistake with SQ7. We made the decision to go with rendered 3d images to allow us to generate the required angles, but to pre-render them, to ensure we could deliver higher-quality than computers allowed at the time

Once we had made the decision to use 3d, the next question was, how do we make it look “Right”? Toon rendering was still somewhat immature, and there were a lot of dials to try to tweak when it comes to contrast, and the overall feel. For instance, should we try to make images realistically, or with a more cartoonish bent?

I have to say that Scott Mazukiewiez, the first real artist to work with us, was more patient with me than I deserved, and we did quite a few tests working out the right feel for the project.

The original Aluminum Mallard from SQ3
Scott’s original rendering of the Mallard
The “High Contrast”, more cartoony Mallard
Toon Roger, inside the Mallard
An early 3d Roger Wilco
The Roger on the right was the way I preferred it- Pixelated, with nearly flat coloring. It felt like home.

We did the tests both inside and outside of the Mallard, since it was one of the earliest models we had finished.

The Mallard
The Mallard from Below. I love those Jets
The toon Mallard
The toon Mallard, with 2d texturing. This is one of my favorite SQ7 images. I’d love to do a whole SQ comic in this style

Eventually we agreed on a compromise, between the overly cartoon toon-renderings, and the more realistic style. We’d use a purposefully curvy and cartoonish modeling, with a more traditional renderer.

The Maintenance bay in the DS86

“Look Jerry.”

One of the things I’ve always loved about adventure games is that they force you to think.
Novels are fun because you can imagine, movies are fun because you can experience, but I always loved Adventure games because they forced me to think my way out of a problem.

I first played Space Quest on a monochrome monitor, sitting by my father at the Apple //C, and trying to figure out how to escape a self-destructing ship. It was frustrating, and the text parser, when combined with my 11 year old vocabulary made it even harder- But that was the fun of it. The frustration and difficulty of thinking how to escape the ship made it all the more rewarding when we finally found all the steps which let Roger survive.

Playing adventure games felt like an accomplishment- You weren’t just getting to the next level; You were¬†out thinking¬†the puzzles, and figuring out a way to go forward. ¬†It was addicting, and being able to see more of the story made it even better.

My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Reilly, rewarded us for good behavior. She had a little box of prizes that we could choose from- Getting an A on a quiz might earn you a pencil topper, or perfect attendance for a month might earn you a snap bracelet. Each of her students could earn points for their work, and exchange them for something fun. I could see past the gilded trinkets, however, to the true prize in her magic box.

15 minutes of computer time, while everyone else was in class.

I coveted the computer time mercilessly.  My favorite memory of her class was saving up my points and convincing her to let me buy two glorious hours of game-time at once. While the rest of the class was learning about cross multiplication, I was able to cross the chasms of Kerona, fighting the deadly Spider Droids.

A few years later, when I found Space Quest ]I[ in a¬†bargain¬†bin at KB Toys, I was amazed- “They made more of these?!”. I had never finished the original game- We had a pirated copy of the game, and it crashed near the end every time.. But finding another Space Quest game.. A new Space Quest game, meant that I could continue the adventures of Roger Wilco, and better still, have more of the dastardly puzzles to solve.

10 years later, long since having played and finished each of the Space Quest games, I started searching the internet for mentions of it, on a lark. I had real Troel’s FAQ a few years prior, and I was amazed to discover that there were entire websites set up about Space Quest, with people who had enjoyed the games just as much as I had.

I read that there was a Space Quest 7 under development, although it was still very early, and the team was still working on other projects. I was hooked. I checked the website every few days looking for any news or leaks about the new game. I even emailed Leslie one weekend, asking about some feature and if it might be in the game.

She was kind enough to reply, and I excitedly forwarded the result to Jess, owner of the premier Space Quest website of the day- About an hour later, I emailed Jess again, my better judgement taking over as I realized that Leslie probably hadn’t intended her comments to be public.

A few months later, Leslie posted the following open letter.

To the Friends and Fans of Space Quest:
As you all know, the path to Space Quest 7 has been long and bumpy, and we were never sure what we would find at the end of the road. The decision has been made, after much soul-searching and agonizing, to put Space Quest 7 on hold indefinitely.
The joy for the team has been in the journey. We’ve made many friends out there, and it has been quite heartening to know that Roger Wilco has so many fans. I look forward to continuing the friendships I’ve developed over the last year. But Sierra is in the process of many changes, and we had to take a hard look at whether a Space Quest 7 project made sense. Unfortunately for those of us who love Roger and his stupid antics, other projects just have more to offer both to the company and to our customers in general at this time.
Please don’t worry about the team. We will all move to other projects at Sierra On-Line. Many of us will go over to the Babylon 5 space combat game, which will be coming out in Holiday 1998. Others will go over to the B5 adventure game, which will also come out in 1999. Both of these products will reflect Sierra’s commitment to excellence in space games, and I hope you’ll consider playing them if you have the opportunity.
I am sending this email to those of you who have sent me mail lately. Please pass the information on to any Space Quest fans I inadvertently omitted.
Finally, don’t be sad for Roger. Just think of him as weary from making us laugh for all these years, ready for a break from his adventures. He and la Wankmeister want to settle down, raise a family. And perhaps as we look up in the sky, a distant star will remind us that somewhere, in a distant galaxy, Roger Wilco is probably getting pantsed.
Thanks again for all your support,
The Space Quest Team
-Leslie Balfour
-Scott Murphy
I was frustrated, hurt and disappointed. There was a campaign to try to save SQ7, and it was even mentioned in InterAction magazine, but ultimately, the new owners of Sierra weren’t interested anymore. The game was dead.
I stopped following Space Quest online for a few years.. There was nothing more to follow, really. The series, as fun as it had been, was over.  As much as I enjoyed the game, there was no more news. Space Quest was no more.