They were just like the Beatles...
August 7, 2003 1:49 PM   Subscribe

In their day, Trilobyte was at the height of the computer gaming world. Their first title, 7th Guest, made them an instant success, and their follow-ups, 11th Hour and Clandestiny, were equally well-received. But as the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Haunted Glory, from the GameSpot archives, documents the rise and fall of Trilobyte.
posted by ewagoner (18 comments total)
7th Guest was a success? Harumph.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:54 PM on August 7, 2003

...and your counterpoint is?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:18 PM on August 7, 2003

I thought it was Myst that really started selling CD-ROM drives.

And I dunno about programmers going all - "We can't possibly run a game off a CD-ROM, yadda yadda yadda" Even at 1x CDs read faster than floppies...
posted by Veritron at 2:37 PM on August 7, 2003

The data rate required to stream even small amounts of video swamps a 1xCD. You would never even have considered streaming anything larger than level data off of a floppy.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:41 PM on August 7, 2003

As well as streaming the data, the 7 year old PC's also had to decompress that and display it full screen. Pretty impressive stuff.
And... That was a fantastic link.
posted by seanyboy at 2:45 PM on August 7, 2003

11th Hour and Clandestiny were well-received???

Even the linked article reminds us that 11th Hour flopped and who's even played Clandestiny? 7th Guest may have done well, but I would hardly say that Trilobyte ever became a big company. Yeah 7th Guest made a bit of money, but it cost a lot to begin with...

Trilobyte history is pretty much irrelevant, especially considering the loads of other game companies that didn't blow it badly and that survived to have more than one decent game.
posted by crazy finger at 2:48 PM on August 7, 2003

Trilobyte history is pretty much irrelevant

I don't think so. It was foreshadowing.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:11 PM on August 7, 2003

The games were shit though. 7th guest was always considered a game for people who didn't play games. Even more so than Myst (which I will actually expend effort to defend).
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:23 PM on August 7, 2003

Porn sold more CD-ROM drives than Myst, I'm sure.
posted by robbie01 at 3:54 PM on August 7, 2003

Have any of you played 7th guest? as a child that game gave me nightmares. The puzzles were incredible took a good deal of thinking. Also i learned how to play the scary orchestra music on piano from one of the puzzles. Its a really easy repeating bar. At a later date i was at my friends house, James Lent, and i showed him the bar. He proceeded to take it from haunted house themed music all the way through classical jazz on his steinway in his living room. Granted most people haven't had this kind of personal relationship with the game, but i still think about it several times a year. Not to mention the nightmares with which i was visited as a child after staying up late trying to escape Stauf's evil schemes. Who knows though it might have just been me as a child getting a kick out of hearing Stauf's maniacal voice saying "Robin said you always shot blanks"
posted by sourbrew at 4:38 PM on August 7, 2003

Hey! Stop dissing The 7th Guest or I'll... um...

...make you solve a puzzle! Yeah, a really hard one!
posted by Stauf at 4:44 PM on August 7, 2003

For inpHilltr8r:

Sid Meier's Pirates
Original Civ
Sam & Max Freelance Police
Original X-Wing
Alone in the Dark

All from the same era.

My housemates and I all solved 7th Guest in less than
12 hours of game play (independantly) and I was bored
with it all the way along. I just kept hoping it would
get interesting.

I still rue it, because I associate 7th Guest with the
ascendancy of Eye Candy over Gameplay that began then and
has continued ever since.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:26 PM on August 7, 2003

All better games than 7th Guest, however, none of this refutes the fact the 7th Guest was a commercial success. It could even be considered to be a gaming success, as it got people playing games, who wouldn't otherwise.

Anway, I'm sure you'd love to know that there are gameplay luddites that consider the introduction of graphics into adventure games to be the beginning of the end, which would count against Sam and Max.

Besides, what's wrong with a little eye candy?

Myself of 8 years ago just rang and asked me what the fuck I'm doing defending 7th Guest, so I'll just shut up now....
posted by inpHilltr8r at 7:33 PM on August 7, 2003

It's eye candy at the expense of gameplay that I'm down on. Nothing wrong with nice graphics as a bonus, but not as an end in itself.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:50 PM on August 7, 2003

Did you people hear that Lucasarts has halted production on the long-awaited sequel to Full Throttle? Dammit. Y'know, back in the day, it was publish or perish. Hmph.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:46 PM on August 7, 2003

>Porn sold more CD-ROM drives than Myst, I'm sure.

I seriously doubt porn was nearly as important to CD-ROM's as it has been to DVD and the internet in general. Porn CD-ROM titles were pretty... anti-climactic.
posted by McBain at 4:59 AM on August 8, 2003

It's eye candy at the expense of gameplay that I'm down on. Nothing wrong with nice graphics as a bonus, but not as an end in itself.

Yeah, sorry, I see that, and generally agree. I've just heard the "it's the end of gaming" rant too many times to take it seriously.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:16 AM on August 8, 2003

Eh, the gaming industry continues. It's just not making games that _I_ like to play so much anymore. FPS doesn't flip my wig and I much prefer turn based to RTS. I'm an old skool play by (snail) mail gamer, so it's not much of a surprise.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:42 PM on August 8, 2003

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