"I downloaded the Kindle sample on Saturday and liked it so much that I bought the Kindle version. I couldn’t wait for the printed copy I’ve got on order. I’m just over halfway through the book already. [...] It's nice to get some insight into your thought processes, the reason you made certain decisions, etc. [...] I’m looking forward to the rest, both excited and sad because I know how it ends having followed Sierra in real life through everything that happened."
"Just finished the book, Ken. An amazing story!"
"I read the first half of the PDF this weekend. I really like your approach to life - get somewhere, build your skills, and move ahead. No wonder you did so well. I’ve seen that “pyramid of performance” as well. You definitely had drive - and attention to detail and doing/getting things right. I sincerely hope your book does extremely well. I’ve been giving your links to Lulu/Amazon to quite a few people too."
"Purchased and read. Some interesting reading that’s for sure."
"I've read the book, and it's pretty great! Just a fascinating deep dive into the classic era of Sierra, and the philosophies that made it so different from everyone else."
Highly recommend to my fellow r/sierra denizens!
"I finished your book! [...] I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I can tell you that you gave me what I wanted, which was lots and lots of answers. I feel like I understand more about what made Sierra special as well. The company really did come off to me as Disney like. In fact, for years I have always told people that Sierra was the Disney of the gaming industry during it's golden years. [...] I really like the feel of the paper on the cover and am glad you didn't go with the traditional glossy feel that lots of authors go with. My only complaint is I would love it to be in hardback. [...] The pictures in the book were fantastic and I already told you I loved the interludes and am glad you didn't toss them at the end of the book. There was lots of wisdom to be gleaned from some of the sections there and other nuggets of history that you threw in that I had no idea about. From a fan perspective, one of the coolest parts of the book was getting to learn more about you and your thought processes as you navigated the software industry during it's growing times. Something that was very important to me was your self deprecating honesty. Fans reading your book I feel can empathize with some of the difficult situations you were in, even though probably none of us have run multi million dollar companies.
Another thing that I think hardcore Sierra fans will appreciate is your explanation on why you needed to leave Oakhurst in order to improve the company. A lot of fans out there believe that the downfall of Sierra began when that happened. Clearly that was the right move after reading what you wrote on the subject. I didn't realize how much growth Sierra experienced after the move but your book helps solidify how all that played out. I guess the only argument for that being the downfall was all the success that occurred which made the company look even better in the eyes of other public companies such as CUC. Something else I really enjoyed was learning more about Roberta. I always knew she had to be a strong woman in order to produce the magical worlds she created, but your book paints the picture of an even more incredible (not to mention feisty) woman than I imagined. If you can, please pass along a thank you from me. Amongst her other games, King Quest was such a HUGE part of growing up for me. Countless hours were spent playing her games and I enjoyed every single one of them. There will never be another game developer like Roberta Williams! So what did I not like about the book? That's a tough question. I guess I wish it were longer lol. But that is just my thirst for more knowledge about the past. The main thing for me though that I wanted out of your book was to understand the downfall and I got that. I don't believe anyone but you could give me the closure that I've wanted all these years. So again, thank you for that. I feel I won't be the only person that appreciates that I'll bet."
Thanks for reading this wall of text I wrote lol. I hope something from it was helpful in regards to seeing what a Sierra fan thought of your book."
Pulls back the curtain on my childhood - 10/3/2020
"Like many people my age, Sierra was a huge part of my childhood. As a kid, I had always wondered what made that "Sierra magic" work. While other companies certainly had hits, Sierra's offerings seemed to have a charm that everyone else lacked, at least for me.
This book reveals the broad strokes and philosophies behind Sierra's vision, and it's got that same Sierra charm. If you're a huge Sierra fan, this one's going to be a hit, and it's actually got quite a bit of insight about leadership as well."
Finally, the real story.
In this book Mr. Williams spends some time talking about the publishing of Phantasmagoria, Sierra's excellent horror game and how horror wasn't a fit with their other games at the time and it's great foreshadowing for the last third of the book. For those of us who weren't employees but instead kids who grew up on the Sierra games of old, the demise of the company in the late 90s was an absolute mystery. Years of customer focused marketing made us Quest Kids feel like part of the show and lifelong fans - so how did THE pioneering company of computer gaming die it's ugly death.
Spoiler Alert: It's a horror story, but one that is good to finally read and understand. And it's nice to finally hear it in the same voice and spirit that helped us grow to love the games.
This book is a must read for Sierra fans of old and as would be expected, stories and insights that have never been told before about the greatest game company ever were there for the taking, as could only be told by the guy who ran the show. The personal insights and philosophy on management, specifically engineering management, were a great unexpected bonus.
A solid purchase and a nice way to tie a bow on the memory of Sierra. Thanks for writing the book.
Ken sent me - 10/3/2020
"Amazing, Required reading for everyone who lived and played Sierra games at their prime. And for everyone interested in the dark details of behind the scenes boardroom deals."
Clinton D. Smith
A must-read for anyone who played '80s-'90s adventure games - 10/2/2020
"Ken Williams, half of the amazing Ken and Roberta team that launched the PC adventure game phenomenon of the '80s and '90s, tells the story of the company's rise, heyday, and eventual fall. If you played King's Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, Quest for Glory, or any of the other dozens of games that sierra designed and published, then you will find this book impossible to put down. Long live Sierra On-Line!"
Andrew Byron Jones
Heartbreaking trip down memory lane - 10/3/2020
"Ken rattles his way through an impressive list of industry firsts and incredible successes. The eventual fall of this industry giant provides a valuable account for hopeful entrepreneurs.
Ken's personal advice about software engineering, work ethic and higher education alone are worth the asking price."
Manish M. Shah
Great look into computer history - 10/3/2020
"Awesome book Ken. Been a fan of Sierra and what you have done. Love how it goes into the business and beyond."