Below is a list of frequently asked questions and Kimmie’s answers to them about this website. Please note that this site is not in any way affiliated with Sierra, Activision, Vivendi, The Odd Gentlemen, or any other company. All opinions belong to their respective authors.
Q: Why did Sierra Planet move from .com to .net?
A: There are a few reasons. The .com site was hacked repeatedly and the old webhost, Bluehost, extorted $250 for a cleanup. The site was NOT completely cleaned and they corrupted all the downloads (patches, manuals, game music, UHS hints.) Kat no longer trusted them and moved to a new webhost. The new domain helped slightly, as well as cut down on the spam Kat was getting by email. Finally, although Kimmie gave up Sierra Planet over 10 years ago, she refused to give up the domain name and Kat needed to be able to control the domain for security reasons.
Q: What happened in 2015?
A: Kat thought Sierra Planet was long overdue for a Web 2.0 update that would make it much easier for her to update the site (especially with the new King’s Quest game coming from The Odd Gentlemen), as well as modernize it by using newer coding standards that had been implemented since Kimmie wrote the site. Kat’s design philosophy is much more minimalist and revolves around usability and making the information easily accessible.
Q: What happened to Kimmie?
A: In 2006 Kimmie retired from Sierra Planet and gave it to Kat, who now runs and maintains it.
Q: What happened to all the demos and goodie files you had?
A: Unfortunately, Kimmie lost them. If you have something you’d like to share, please send it our way! E-mail Kat.
Q: What does Sierra Planet run on?
A: Sierra Planet runs on WordPress. The site is hosted by VeeroTech.
Q: How can I help support Sierra Planet?
A: There are a few ways! First, you can contribute to the site, whether it’s submitting fanart or commenting on the blog posts or in the forums. Secondly, you can use our Amazon link to buy anything on Amazon.com. We will get a small commission and it won’t cost you anything extra. Full disclosure: Sierra Planet does use affiliate links to Amazon and the iTunes App Store. The community here appreciates your support.
Q: What is the history of Sierra Planet?
A: Sierra Planet was originally Kimmie’s Roberta Williams Anthology Homepage. It opened in January 1999 at GeoCities, but the 11 MB server space (that was how much you got then for a free site) was soon running out. The website was then moved to the Xoom servers since they offered unlimited webspace. That would be where the website would stay for over 2.5 years. Templeton joined to help build the website when it moved over to Xoom, and he has helped out ever since. Kat would join the website a year or so later to help out on the forums. The Roberta Williams Anthology Homepage was created because, at the time, there were only two other known websites dedicated to those games, and I (Kimmie) felt there should have been more dedicated to the great game designer! I had all these ideas and knowledge about the games bottled up inside me, and a website seemed to be a good learning project.
Q: What happened to Kimmie’s Roberta Williams Anthology Homepage?
A: For well over a year, Xoom/NBCi had ongoing problems maintaining the servers for their member websites. The servers would be slow to load or would not load at all, which had started becoming the normal occurence instead of the exception. After a while, I (Kimmie) got really tired of it and bought the Sierra Planet domain and got a different server host. In July 2001, NBCi finally pulled the plug, and told all its members that their member websites would be shutting down before the end of the summer. Either way, the Roberta Williams Anthology Homepage would be no more. The website finally got closed down in late September 2001 by NBCi.
A: Sierra Planet is still essentially the Roberta Williams Anthology Homepage in that Roberta Williams games will continue to be the main focus and theme of the website. All the old sections on the original website will be transferred over to Sierra Planet. None of it was lost. Even the layout and graphics are the same since I like them. However, much as expanded since Sierra Planet will eventually branch out to cover other Sierra games.
Q: What about games like Space Quest or Leisure Suit Larry? Will Sierra Planet cover those?
A: No, other popular game series like Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Gabriel Knight, Quest for Glory, etc. will not be covered since there are tons of fansites that are already dedicated to them. Sierra Planet wants to focus more on the underrated and less popular games that do not seem to have many fansites dedicated to them. Sierra has many rare games that people just know their titles and nothing more or have never heard of at all. Those are the poor, forgotten games that need a home. grin
A: Unless they are game demos, they will not be offered here. While Sierra has made tons of games, and many of them can be considered “antiques” in the gaming world, that does not mean they are automatically freeware, even if they are no longer being sold. Sierra still owns the legal copyrights to them since they are the property of the company. The only full games that have become freeware are: Mystery House, Betrayal at Krondor, Red Baron, Caesar, and the Johnny Castaway Screensaver.
Q: If Sierra is no longer producing them and they are not freeware, then how can I purchase a copy?
A: You can do what I do — search through the wonderful worlds of auction and game trading sites at places like: www.amazon.com, www.ebay.com, www.gametz.com, www.cdaccess.com, www.yahoo.com, etc. There are usually people with old copies of the games who put them up for trade or auction. I would say that 60% of my Sierra game collection was off eBay alone. Just remember that almost all of Sierra’s classic adventure games are old and long out-of-print, so the first time you do a search, you may not find anything. Certain versions or certain game titles are harder to find than others. Just be vigilant and search constantly because it is essentially a treasure hunt. Luckily, King’s Quest games are pretty common and rather easy to find.
Q: I looked at some of the websites like eBay. If the games are so old, why are they so expensive?
Depending on the game’s rarity, condition, completeness (i.e. does it have the box, documentation, flyers, etc.), and popularity http://www.sierraplanet.net. some games may reach high prices due to avid collectors wanting them. Just to give you perspective http://www.sierraplanet.net. a complete boxed copy of the Roberta Williams Anthology can easily get $100 or higher with some reaching $150 because it is really sought after by collectors and game fans. An original Apple II diskette of Mystery House — no folder, info sheet, nothing else — can get at least $250. And the disk may or may not even work! Of course, sometimes you can get lucky and get a really rare item that should cost a ton for a couple dollars. I am still jealous of the person who got a boxed copy of EcoQuest 2 for $3 when I had to pay $60.
Q: What are some things I should know before buying old or used Sierra games?
A: Decide whether or not you want that nifty original game box or all the little catalogs, brochures, flyers, etc. Those things increase the value of the game. If you really don’t care, a seller who just offers the CD-ROM or diskettes should be a better bargain. Just make sure all the diskettes are offered. Decide if you want the multimedia CD-ROM version of the game (if available) or just the floppy diskette version. Depending on the game, one verson may be easier or cheaper to find. Despite where you buy the game — online, used store, garage sale — make sure the game comes with a manual! Many of Sierra’s popular games have copyright propection. Without manual information, you cannot start or finish certain Sierra games. Here are some games for which you definitely need manuals: KQ3 (spells), KQ4 (passwords), KQ5 floppy (spell symbols), KQ6 (logic cliffs, catacombs), LB1 (fingerprints), LB2 floppy (Egyptian gods). The manual is not always the generic little CD booklet that is in the CD jewelcase, so be careful. King’s Quest 6’s manual is called the Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles. Do not buy these games without making sure the seller offers that precious manual or you will be wasting money!
Q: Can I still get a Sierra game manual if my game didn’t come with one or I lost it?
A: If you have a very recent Sierra game, you can contact Sierra’s customer service to obtain a new manual. Sierra, however, can no longer provide game manuals for any of Roberta Williams’ games other than Mask of Eternity, and those copies are quickly diminishing as well.
Q: Where can I find a copy of a Sierra book listed at Ali’s bookstore? Can I buy them off this website?
A: All the books listed at Ali’s bookstore are just for reference purposes only. Think of it as a book database or catalog. It is not a real bookstore in the fact that the items you see listed are on sale., but there are links to the products’ listings on Amazon. The games may not be in stock there, but they might be offered by third-party sellers on Amazon. It took me years to search and collect those books, and I only have one copy of each book — not a whole inventory stock of them. Not to sound greedy or anything, but they are mine! Mine! Hehe! >:-) Just remember that all the books are old and long out-of-print, so the first time you do a search, you may not find anything. Some books took me months, even a year or two to finally track down. Just be vigilant and search constantly because it is essentially a treasure hunt.