from the how-many-copies-of-each-will-he-sell? dept.
Al Lowe, one of Sierra On-Line's seminal game creators and programmers, has been sitting on a pile of his original games' source code files for over 30 years, fully convinced that they are worthless.
Gallery: Taking a look back at some choice Sierra gaming moments"I’m 72 years old, and none of my kids want this junk!" Lowe said in an interview with YouTube personality MetalJesusRocks (aka Jason Lindsey, himself an ex-Sierra developer and a friend of Ars). "Does anybody?"
Lowe is about to find out, as the developer has begun posting eBay listings for his entire source-code collection. (You read that correctly. The whole shebang.) The sale's opening has been accompanied by a MetalJesusRocks video (embedded below), which offers a 12-minute tour of backed-up files, original game boxes, original hint books, and more.
As of press time, Lowe has listed auctions for the first two Leisure Suit Larry games' source code, with bids already climbing (both well above the $400 mark after they went live). Lowe indicated to Lindsey that more games' code will follow on eBay, and this will likely include a stunning treasure trove: Lowe's other Leisure Suit Larry games, King's Quest III, Police Quest I, and Lowe's games based on Disney franchises Winnie The Pooh and Black Cauldron.A truly graphic adventure: the 25-year rise and fall of a beloved genre
What's more, Lowe also has original backups of his complete programming pipeline, including the Sierra utilities that converted plain-text, ASCII commands to interpreted code. When pressed about how curious users could peruse these disks' files, Lowe plainly responds, "It's a text file! Put it in Notepad."
[...] Lowe's listings clarify a few things: first, he has not tested any of these disks, and second, owning these disks is not the same as owning the legal rights to freely or commercially distribute their contents. "Realize that, while you’ll have my data as of the day of Larry 1’s creation, you will not own the intellectual property rights to the game, the code, the art, or anything else," Lowe says in the LSL1 listing. "Nor do I. The IP rights were sold over and over again, until they are now owned by a German game company."