Interviewer: Hans Frank
Al Lowe ist der Erschaffer von Leisure Suit Larry, Freddy Pharkas und ein paar anderen Adventures. Er abeitete bei Sierra bis er 1998 während den Arbeiten an Leisure Suit Larry 8 gekündigt wurde. Wie in der Branche üblich, in gegenseitigem Einvernehmen. LSL 8 (eigentlich LSL 7, weil Teil 4 nie erschienen ist) kam über den Arbeitstitel 'Lust in Space' und einen 3D-Prototypen nie hinaus. Heute lebt Al mit Frau und Kindern in der Nähe von Seattle, macht Musik, betreibt eine Website (www.allowe.com) und schreibt ein Buch.
Adventure-Treff: The first adventure I ever played was "Leisure Suit Larry 1." My dad brought it home from his company and it was a pirated copy. Will you sue me now?
Al Lowe: Only if you haven't since bought my games.
A-T: By the way, today I own paid versions of all your games.
Seriously, you published the copy protection of the Larry games and some older Sierra games on your web page. What do you think of software piracy?
Al: I think it is what it is: stealing. I, and many others, worked thousands of hours in the hope that we would get paid a little money by a lot of people. What makes you think that you should not pay for your entertainment? You pay for your food, your beer (and knowing you, your sex! ), why should your games be a charity?
A-T: My first English words ever were "open door." (Really!) How can I thank you?
Al: By opening the door! Quickly! (I have to piss.)
A-T: Many people say that the Larry games are nothing more than a collection of some bad penis jokes glued together with a trivial story written by a weird person who's still in his puberty and never had sex. Now it's your chance to tell them which deep psychological twists lie in your games and what a nice guy you are.
Al: Actually, that description is accurate, except for the sex part. I had to have some, if only as research for my games!
Truthfully, I've been happily married for over a third of a century to a lovely woman. We have two grown children. I pay my debts and keep my word. I try to give more than I take, although I do enjoy taking.
A-T: I once read that many women play your games. Can you explain why?
Al: Sure. They've all dated a jerk like Larry. And because, while my games appear to be misogynistic, the women always are superior to Larry.
A-T: Let's go almost 20 years into the past. How did you come up with Larry? Did Sierra ask you to invent somebody in a white suit who has problems finding a date or was the whole Larry thing your idea?
Al: Of course not. They had a game called Softporn, the only game without graphics that Sierra ever published. Ken Williams wanted me to update it, but when I played it, I told him, "This game is so out of date it should be wearing a leisure suit! The only way I'll update this is if you let me make fun of it." He did. I did. And Larry was born.
A-T: How much are the Larry games autobiographic? And don't deny it!
Al: Actually, after doing several games I realized that I AM in the games, but not as Larry, as the narrator. I'm the smart-ass know-it-all who puts Larry down when he makes a mistake.
A-T: How often have you been asked to explain why there is no Larry 4? Do you regret the decision to skip it now?
That's explained fully on my web site and I encourage your readers to visit it rather than me repeat it in abbreviated form here. www.allowe.com/L-4.htm
A-T: Are you still in contact with some of the other old Sierra veterans like the Williams, the Coles, and the Two Guys from Andromeda?
Al: Of course. I'm having dinner with Ken & Roberta tonight!
A-T: Let's talk about LucasArts. Do you like their adventures?
Al: I used to. The Monkey Island games are some of my all-time favorites. But lately, what they call adventure doesn't sit with what I consider to be adventure.
A-T: What did you think when LucasArts came up with their new philosophy about adventure gaming. You couldn't die and they replaced Sierra's text parser with a verb interface. Did you have discussions with some of the great LucasArts designers about these issues? Did you meet them at all?
Al: Although I have met some of Lucas' designers, I have never had any in-depth discussions with them, although I would love to.
A-T: What do you think about the more recent adventures like Simon 3D, Monkey 4, Grim, The longest Journey? Did you play them?
Al: Yes. They were great, weren't they?
A-T: Is there anything new that you can tell us about the Sierra adventure revival rumors.
No. I can tell you about my most recent meeting with Sierra's president, Mike Ryder. The full story is here: www.allowe.com/L-death.htm
A-T: What would you say if Sierra knocked on your door and asked "Come on, let's do another Larry game!"
Al: I'd say, "Why have you waited all these years!"
A-T: Have you ever been to Germany? If yes, was it fun?
Al: Yes, several times. It was a blast. I think it's my favorite place to visit and I hope to return there soon.
A-T: Do you know how well your games sold in Europe, especially in Germany?
Al: Yes, for some reason, Germans really accepted Larry as one of their own!
A-T: You are the author of a daily joke newsletter. Why do you do this? Is it fun for you or is it just an ingenious promotion campaign for your upcoming joke book?
I have always loved telling jokes. I started collecting them in 1985. When I went online in 1986, everyone started emailing me jokes. I saved about 1 in 20. Still, I have hundreds. So every morning, I send out 2 jokes to about 2,000 people. I hope your readers will sign on, too. Just send a blank email to mailto:CyberJoke3000-subscribe@yahooGroups.com
CyberJoke3000-subscribe@yahooGroups.com[/url] and if you want further information, go to www.allowe.com/cj-main.htm
And, if I ever finish "You've Got Laughs! Al Lowe's Big Book of Internet Humor" I promise that CyberJoke 3000™ members will hear about it first!
A-T: Tell us a joke! Or tell us when or where your joke book will be released. Or do both!
I'll do better than that; I'll tell you over 1,450 jokes! Go to this site
and laugh yourself silly! Oh, and sign up for CyberJoke 3000™ while you think about it!
A-T: Now this is the place to make a shameless plug for your website.
Al: Too late! I've been doing that along!
A-T: Which question do you never ever want to hear in an interview again?
Al: "What happened to Larry 4?"
A-T: Which would you like to tell readers that I didn't ask?
Al: I'd like them to know just how much I appreciate all their support over the years, whether by buying my games, or emailing me, or visiting my web site, or signing my message board, or signing one of the many petitions to "Save Larry!"
I know it sounds hard to believe, but even though I knew that my games had sold millions of copies, I was still surprised when people tell me personally how much they enjoyed them. It was like those of us at Sierra were producing these games that we wanted to play. It's still a pleasure to know that so many others enjoyed playing them too!
A-T: Thanks for the Interview.