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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By Geoff Harriman • On 17 July 2006 • From Washington, DC
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It's wonderful to hear from Mrs. Williams after she has been out of computer gamers' eye for so many years! For me, reading the interview was like hearing from a long-lost relative. Kudos to ACG for securing the interview.
I still own more than a dozen of Sierra's games from the '80s and '90s (I'm keeping an old Apple IIgs just so I can show the games to my children someday!), and they're cherished pieces of my childhood. It's thrilling to see comments from so many other fans.
It would be wonderful to find a way to access the entirety of Sierra Online's collections from the '80s and '90s. I hope the holders of the copyrights will either release the games into the public domain or release a series of comprehensive DVDs - a kind of Roberta Williams Anthology for all of Sierra's adventure games (Space Quest, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.).
It was fascinating to read about Ms. William's priorities while designing games. Thanks for a fun interview!
Nice to hear Roberta is doing well. Good luck on the Irish project.
Colonel's Bequest was the first computer video game that I purchased. I was thrilled to read this interview and hear that Roberta is doing well. I grew up with her adventure games and they had a great impact on me. I think the adventure genre is still alive and kicking with games like Syberia and Dreamfall.
Very nice interview.. good to hear from Roberta again after all these years.
I'm looking forwards to reading that book when and if it's released.. too bad she won't make any more games though.. I could use a 'real' adventure game with some challenge, something that's sadly lacking these days.
A DVD release of Phantasmagoria would also be awesome but I guess it's doubtful that they still have the original footage?
Anyways, this interview got me all nostalgic.. time to get that Roberta Williams Anthology out of the closet (thank God I bought that collection back when it was first released!) :D
Very nice interview, it filled a few gaps that I had about this incredible game designer. Hats off to the people behind this interview. I look forward to read her novels.
What a MILF! Uhn Uhn Uhn.
Games or no games, Roberta is not only knowlegable about many things but she is a very compassionate and fun. I am very privilaged to know her and she sure looks better then ever.
Great interview, but it's a huge pity that it seems that we'll never see a game from her again.
Excellent interview! It is very nice to hear and see Roberta again in this exclusive interview. All of us at Phoenix Online Studios wish her and Ken the best of luck, in whatever endeavors they choose to persue. We also appreciate their support for our project, The Silver Lining.