First posted on 16 July 2006. Last updated on 13 March 2008.
No adventure game designer had ever achieved the level of success as Roberta Heuer Williams (Roberta Williams) had. Born in 1953, she and her husband Ken Williams co-founded On-Line Systems, which later became Sierra On-Line, when she was only 26. Mystery House, which she wrote in 1979, was the first graphic adventure game ever created for the PC. Her portfolio of games, spanning over nearly 20…
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I didn't know she was hot.
Thank you for writing this article and for interviewing Roberta Williams. It was great to hear from her after all this time. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a programmer so I wrote to Roberta Williams to ask her what I should do. I received a nice letter back and even though my career path changed, I still cherish the fact that she wrote me back.
Excellent article! Roberta is very hard to track down and that is one woman that knows what she is doing. I'm in love with her :) She doesn't know how amazing she is. The King's Quest series is easily one of the best games ever made.
Oustanding interview, she´s a eternal icon of adventure. My favorite series from her of all is Phantasmagoria.
I remember being a fan of all the Sierra games in the 80's, and constantly dialing up to their BBS to get the game hints...Much to the dismay of my parents who had to pay the phone bills! I think for about 5-6 years, we only bought Sierra games. I remember we used to subscribe to their magazine too. Oh man, I loved those games!
Great story, Carlos.
Do you remember when the Sierra games displayed a message: "Oops... you have tried something we couldn't foresee". My friend sent a letter to Sierra back in the days when email wasnt in our lives, asking about this strange message and months after he got a letter from Roberta Williams saying "oops... you have asked something we couldn't foresee". He might have it already somewhere!
I, too, grew up playing Sierra games. It is good to see the devoted fan-base reunited in a way that was impossible back then.
Kings Quest was so great! I missed the old days when companies would make a new engine around a story instead of vice versa...
Well I'll be damned..
Looks to me , after reading the interview, as tho Roberta Williams is credited the creator of the chief Sierra games, She has no idea how or who came up with the most essential and key element which distinguished those games... facing situations that have multiple outcomes.
The designers were the real authors, then ?