Plenty of adventure game developers have recently reunited to create new games, usually funded via Kickstarter. At first glance, Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe are no different. The two men created the classic Space Quest PC games, and eventually parted ways. Now, they're on Kickstarter raising money for a new game called Two Guys from Andromeda: SpaceVenture.
But the story of their estrangement and eventual reunion is a truly heartwarming one — two men who found success in their partnership but who fell apart due to the stresses of the gaming industry, only to finally swallow their past hurt and let one another back in.
This great article at Gamasutra tells Murphy and Crowe's story, from the first Space Quest up until the 1991 game Space Quest IV, after which the two parted ways. At the time, Murphy publicly bashed Sierra for mistreating its employees, and said that he wouldn't want to work with Crowe again.
All these years later, Crowe recognised that there was a desire for their games out there, that despite their public falling out, enough time had passed that the two should bury the hatchet. Murphy reflects on Crowe's decision to reach out:
"Mark had the guts to reach out to somebody who he had no reason to feel might welcome him — me," Murphy says quietly. "I give him all the credit for that. I know it took him a little time before he felt, 'I'm going to go ahead and hit send on this email,' because I was so harsh, and sadly it is a personality flaw with me that I sometimes over-express myself."
"Looking back, I realise I was a dick," he laughs.
Despite the cynicism that already surrounds Kickstarter, it's really nice to see two guys team back up like this, to overcome their differences with a real shot at recreating the thing that made them famous. And I mean... look at this picture!