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Interview with Al Lowe

High school ex-teacher, designer, programmer, saxophonist and, what's even more important, creator of funniest adventure games such as Freddy Pharkas or Torin's Passage and father of brilliant Larry Laffer. Great Al Lowe chatted away with us about his personal philosophy, his games and his views of the industry

# By Paco García |

Interview with Al Lowe

AyC: In the same publishing, we've read that the new president of the company, Mike Ryder, has begun to move, contacting the old creative people from the firm, including, of course, Al Lowe. The last PC Gamer Magazine carries some words of yours, in which you claimed that you had some meetings with Mike, about another possible sequel to Leisure Suit Larry, which made us very happy. We're anxious to know more details. How was the meeting? What are the conditions you set up (if you set any) and what did he set, regarding the prototype of Larry 8? And most important, there's any hopes to see it?

AL: I had a short meeting with Sierra's current president, Mike Ryder, on Feb. 1st. He said he was interested in "reviving the franchises that made Sierra," including Larry. I was ready, but skeptical. There were many details to consider. We agreed to work via email that very week and get together again soon.

After hearing nothing from him for the next month, I emailed him to see what had happened. After a month, he emailed back, saying that he was really busy and would get to me soon. That was two months ago. I've heard nothing. Even an optimist like me would agree: the interest level at Sierra is non-existent.

Add to that the recent news that Sierra has no copies of any Larry games left in the warehouse and they don't intend to reprint. "It's too expensive to print the large quantities necessary to get a volume discount," says their production manager. Let's see: they have no cost of development, no marketing, no advertising, no sales commissions, a near-empty warehouse that's already paid for, etc., etc., but can't afford to keep a backlist. <sigh> You may wonder how book publishers stay in business

AyC: Mike Ryder claimed that he's not about reviving only Mr. Laffer but also the Space Quest, Gabriel Knight and King's Quest series, some of the most representative franchises of the Sierra of the '80 and the '90. We know that you are greatly in touch with your ex colleagues. Do you know if the president of Sierra has contacted any of them? Imagine you are the person in charge to persuade them to get back to the company, what would you tell them?

AL: I have heard that there is another Space Quest game in development, done by people who have never spoken with the original "Two Guys from Andromeda." A King's Quest game was started, then dropped.

What would I say? I'd make them an offer they couldn't refuse!


AyC:To end the interview, the question that we made to anybody we interview, what would you like to say to all those fans that want to become a substitute of Al Lowe?

AL: I'd tell them to overeat for many years, pull out all their hair, grown a gray beard and learn to love life, because I do! I'd also tell them to drop by www.allowe.com immediately and look at all the great stuff I've posted there. Then I'd make them take a turn at mailing out free daily jokes every day like I do with CyberJoke 3000™, which I encourage all of your readers to sign up for immediately!

Seriously, I want to thank each and every one of you (well, not you pirates! <grin>) and tell you how much I enjoy reading your messages. Drop by AlLowe.com and post a message on my board or email me. You're the best!

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