From floppy disks to the crowdfunding revolution, adventure RPG pioneers Lori and Corey Cole have seen it all

The first two Quest for Glory games enjoyed the doubled-up input options of a text parser as well as a rudimentary point-and-click interface. You could right-click on a tree or a moose head to examine it, and sometimes be rewarded with a paragraph of pun-soaked description. But you could also reach over to your keyboard and start typing CLIMB TREE or GET MOOSE.

Some things could only be handled via text, like conversation. Shortcut keys made this less agonizing to use than it sounds. Ctrl-A was “ask about” so if you wanted to ask a centaur farmer about brigand attacks in the region you’d type “Ctrl-A brigands” and they’d tell you what they knew. Ctrl-T was “tell about”, but people rarely cared what you told them. Most conversational progress was made by asking. There’s probably a lesson there.

(Image credit: Sierra)

The Quest for Glory games were originated by the wife-and-husband duo of Lori and Corey Cole between 1989 and 1998, who returned to videogames in 2018 with Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, followed by the Summer Daze visual novels, all funded via Kickstarter. Over the years they’ve been part of so many innovations in the way games are made and played, I feel like all I need to do is hit Ctrl-A and type “CD-ROM replacing floppy disk” or “transition from dungeon crawls to narrative RPGs” to get a chapter of history out of them.

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