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2000 European Promotion Cup for Men

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2000 European Promotion Cup
Tournament details
Host nation Andorra
Dates6–10 June
(in 1 host city)
Champions Andorra
(2nd title)
Official website
2002 >

The 2000 European Promotion Cup for Men was the 7th edition of this tournament. It was hosted in Andorra la Vella, Andorra and Andorra retained its title after winning all its five games.

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  • ✪ WE WORKED AT SIERRA! - The Rise, Fall & SCANDAL of Sierra On-Line
  • ✪ Zinedine Zidane part 1
  • ✪ Zinedine Zidane part 2


- Hey, guys. Metal Jesus here and I am back again with-- - Drunken Master Paul. - That's right. And today, we're gonna do a video that I've been wanting to do for a long time. - And a lot of people have actually been asking for off and on over the years because we keep mentioning that we used to work at Sierra together and that's how we met. - Yep. - And then we get people saying, well, you know, how did you meet and how did you get started at Sierra and what was it like? - [Jason] What happened to Sierra? All that stuff. - Yeah, so we decided we're just gonna hang out here in the Metal Jesus Man Cave, drink a couple of beers, and just talk about those glory days. - All right, let's take a look. (upbeat metal music) - Whew, Sierra. - People always ask about how we got started at Sierra because I think it just seems like this big mystical thing, right? It's like, how did that happen? How do people get a job at a game studio? And I think both of our stories are completely not the norm. Or maybe they are. - I don't know. That was normal for us back in the day. - Right, right. - But getting a job back at a game company back then, you know, way different than now. You gotta remember that back then, that was in 1995, that's when I started at Sierra. And you started a few years before, right? - Yeah, I think '93, technically. - Okay, so this is when - Yeah. - You know, video games were just kind of coming into their own and so it wasn't, I don't think you could get a degree, at the time, in video games. - No. As a matter of fact, my story, my back story is that I went to school for computer science, learned how to program. - Okay. - And back then, in 1989, 1990, Excel wasn't really a thing. - Right, it was Lotus 1-2-3 at the time. - Yeah, and so actually, when you went to program and you actually wanted to make money and perhaps put food on the table, you learned to program for accounting software. - Right. - So I went for eight hours a day and one to two hours every single day was doing accounting. - Oh my god, I just cannot imagine that. - Yeah, and you know, I'm not great with numbers, but I was like shocked, because the game industry was, you know, it was there but it wasn't like something that professionals did. - Right. - And so for me, I guess we'll get into how I got started, was I was sitting around with my roommate and, you know, I had kind of odd jobs. I worked as a bar back and stuff like that. But I knew how to program. Anyways, I opened up the Seattle Times and there is-- - That was a newspaper thingy, right? A nice little physical... - Yes, made out of paper. Yes, analog. - Analog, yeah. (laughs) - Yeah, they didn't have to reboot those very often. - No, no, no, they're pretty sturdy, actually. And so there was an ad for Sierra On-Line and an accounting position. - Okay. - And I was just like, well, uh, I know who Sierra is because I was a big gamer, obviously. I was like, well, I can do accounting. So basically, that's what it, I basically also, at the time, I had a full color scanner and printer, which was kind of unusual at the time. - No kidding. - So I scanned their logo. - Okay. - And then I printed off my resume but I had the Sierra logo on my resume as though it was, as if it was branded. - Okay. - And also, I color-printed the envelope that went in the mail with their logo on it. I got a call back less than 24 hours later. - Wow. - And they're like, who are you? Do you wanna come work for us? And so that was how I got in the door. I basically did accounts receivable. And at the time, the history of Sierra is that Sierra is an old, I mean, they basically got their start in Oakhurst, California. - Right. - Coarsegold. Very small towns in northern California. And they were having problems hiring people. You know, basically, they were the biggest employer at the time and so they were having a problem. Like, they're growing and they needed more developers, more marketing people. So they basically moved up where Microsoft was. - Okay, yeah. - And they basically had heard about the Pacific Northwest so they were moving their corporate headquarters over but they weren't, they were just starting that process and the accounting department was the first to go. So they bought that building, over in Bellevue, Washington. And there was like three or four of us, plus an IT guy named Jeff. - (laughs) That Jeff Bianchi? - Yes. - Oh my god. (laughs) - And so the whole building was empty. - Really? - There was no furniture. There was no, there was nothing. And there was only the accounting department in a corner of like the third or fourth floor. - I didn't even know they owned that whole building 'cause we were just on the third floor when I was there. - Yeah. - But they had the whole thing. - Yeah, and so-- - Well, third and second floor, really. - And so yeah, it was us doing accounting and then slowly, Jeff built out all the networking that was needed for the time and they started moving people up, hiring people, and so I remember one day going down the hallway and it's just like, oh my god, there's all these people here. You know, there's like tech support and marketing and there's Bright Star and then there's, you know, all these different developers down there like Al Lowe's team was on-- - Right, right. - I think the second floor or something like that. - [Paul] Yeah, yeah, the developers were a floor down. - Yeah. Anyways, so that's how I got my start is in accounting. But I knew that I was gonna wanna go somewhere else, somewhere more fun. - Okay. - And I started seeing these tech support, customer service reps going, man, these guys have got action figures on their desk. They got long hair. They're wearing rock T-shirts like I am, 'cause I was wearing, I was the only guy in accounting who basically had a full tan, long hair-- - [Paul] I was gonna ask if you still had if you had the hair at the time or if you had to crop it. - [Jason] I did until I got a girlfriend who made me cut it. (laughs) - [Paul] Oh, the things we'll do for love. - I know, I know. But and then I'd wear rock T-shirts everyday. I'd listen to metal at my desk, you know, and that's how I got my job at Sierra. But and that's kind of where about the time you came in. - Right, right. Now, you knew about Sierra when you applied. - Yes. - You were a gamer. Well, for me, I had known about Sierra but I had no clue it was there. - Right, yeah. - 'Cause I had been playing, I played one game, and it's actually this one that you happen to have right here, Space Quest IV. Now, I had gotten this, it was on 5 1/4 floppies. - [Jason] Right. - And I was playing it. It might have been (coughs), which I never do. I don't condone piracy in any way whatsoever, unless you're drunk and would rather spend your money on a beer. And then I was working in Bellevue driving an espresso truck called A Van Go Espresso. It was a small van. Go espresso. - [Jason] Yeah. - So I was going around to the different industrial parks and, you know, slinging espresso in the mornings, and I was going to Eastgate Park with Sierra. And people would come out and I started hearing, you know, Sierra, like, the game company? And he'd go, yeah. I'd go, get the hell out of town, man! I had no clue Sierra was up here. - Yeah. - And that was in the summer of '95. And so I started sucking up to the tech support manager, Doug, and kept feeding him free coffee so he would like me and kept saying that, you know, if there's ever an opening, and tech support was always hiring, so that's how I got my foot in the door, as it were, with the feeding espresso to the manager. - And the the thing about Seattle, especially back then is that you know how you hear those stories about like the ice cream man when you're younger, like you'd hear the little bell down the street and all the kids would run out? - Yeah. - Same thing, except where it's office dones, right? That like, ooh, I think the mocha guy is here. You know? - Yeah! Espresso guy's here! - Oh, my espresso guy! You know, they'd just run downstairs and get, you know, that 10 o'clock espresso. - Oh, yeah. I had to be on time, too, because if I wasn't, there's people that are going. - Yeah, I got a meeting. I got a meeting. (laughs) - Where were you? I was staying longer. Lines out the door. In fact, a funny side story is after I got the job there at Sierra, a few months later, I mean, the espresso truck was still coming by, so I actually trained the guy that took over. And we had, I think it was a fire drill or something, or the fire alarm went off and so we had to evacuate the building, right as he showed up. And so suddenly, there's 300 people out there and they're all in line. The line was miles and the curvature of the earth, you couldn't see the end of the line. - Oh, I bet. - And he was freaking out. So I actually jumped back in the van-- - Oh, really? Just start slinging mochas. - And started slinging mochas again for him. - Oh my god. - I actually stayed out there for a little bit to get that knocked out. But yeah, that's how I started. I sucked up to the tech support manager and that's, I mean, that's kind of how you got in in those days. - Yeah. - There wasn't a LinkedIn. There wasn't-- - Monster. - Anything like that. - There was nothing like that. So you had to be clever. And I love the fact that you put the logo on the envelope. - Yeah. - Because, I mean, back then, I don't even think there was email. You couldn't send an email in at the time. - It would be very new. I don't think I personally had email, you know? - I didn't have email until after I started at Sierra. - That's true 'cause I remember at Sierra, I do remember distinctly someone showed me like an IRC chat that had the first MP3s. - Yes! - But they were, MP3s were so big that they literally would break them out into multiple files for one MP3! (laughs) - Right, right. They were like listed sections. - Yeah. - Yeah, yeah. - Although, that reminds me. At Sierra, I think we had the first, that was the first time I ever had a network at a job. You know? - Yeah. - It was new, you know? - Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. - And as a matter of fact, to tell a little story here, I think it's so funny. The internet at your desktop was brand new. You know, having a network that you could do email and things like that was brand new. And of course comes with that is the person that doesn't quite get that you shouldn't surf porn at work. - Yeah. - Remember that? - Oh, yes. We're not naming names, here. - We're not naming names, but... - No, but there were a few. - One day, he wasn't there. He was fired. And yeah. - It's so new and exciting. Look what came up! - Your IT guy can always tell what you're doing at work, always. - Oh, I got a story on myself on that. (laughs) Because I was having fun learning Photoshop, which also came on a floppy disk, one floppy disk back then. - Okay. - Amazing. - Wow. - And so I was having fun playing. Actually, you have it here as well, Leisure Suit 7. - Okay. - [Paul] And so I was taking some of the pictures. 'Cause in the Larry series, if you did certain missions, you would get, you know, Easter eggs of basically naked chicks. - [Jason] Yeah, yeah. - [Paul] And so I was photoshopping them into different poses and stuff and I don't know if I was stupid enough to send it out via email or something, but I got it out to, kind of anonymously, to several people that I thought would-- - [Jason] Wait, was this in the naughty versions of-- - Yes. - Okay. - [Paul] Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Yeah. (laughs) - Yeah. So I fired that out and the next thing I know, the IT guy was at my desk looking over my shoulder. He goes, did you send that out? (Jason laughs) And I just... You know, I total, total Academy Award mode. - I don't know what you're talking about, sir. - Yeah, totally, no, what are you talking about? Well, somebody sent that out and it had a power bar in the shot from a laptop. And he knew I had a laptop 'cause I had just bought my Toshiba, which I still have. - Okay. - And fortunately, I had just turned that off. - Oh. - I didn't want the battery thing showing anymore so I'd switched that off, but I hadn't when I took the screen shot. And so that went around. But he, that put the fear of IT in me, forever and ever, to this day. I remembered how, oh, that will be funny. Hey, Paul. (Jason laughs) Yeah? You send that out? And then he kind of gave me that look. - Yeah. - It was like he knows. - Oh, yeah. - I know he knows. And he knows I know he knows. And so it was just kind of like, this was your warning shot, buddy. - Yeah, yeah. Everybody gets those, eventually. - But it was Larry! Come on, I wasn't, like... - Well, yeah. - Looking at porn. - At least it was, you know, yeah. Exactly. - It's something we published. - Yeah. - Come on. - So one of the things I always try to tell people that's kind of also a little bit unique about Sierra at the time was that, yes, we were in customer service, tech support, but we ended up doing a bunch of random stuff and that was what was really fun about it. So I mean, like, you wrote for interactive, Interaction Magazine. - [Paul] Yep. - [Jason] Not necessarily this issue, right? - [Paul] No, not in that one. I thought I did. I thought I did Earthsiege. I played Earthsiege to death. It was one of my favorites. But no, I wrote a bunch of articles for that. And also, we were the testing-- - Yeah. - Department. Yeah, we tested the betas. We wrote the documents on it. - Yeah. - On all the specs and everything on all the games. - Yeah. - Because we were a team of, you know, up to 70 people at some point. - Yeah. - And then they would just use us 'cause they probably thought we weren't doing anything. They're just answering phones. - Yeah, and so the way that our department worked was it was broken up into different specialties. So for example, I was in the sim queue. - Right. - Which covered baseball, FrontPage Sports Football, which I hated, NASCAR, which I loved, but then it also included a lot of the Dynamix games, almost all of them. - Right. - [Jason] So the Earthsiege games, the Starsiege, A-10 Tank Killer, Red Baron I and II. I also, I didn't get the Willy Beamish 'cause that was you, right? You were the adventure queue. - Um, no, actually, I started, of course, the entry level queue. - Okay. - The ELTs. - Which I didn't have to do. - You didn't have to do. - I moved right above it. - Right to the top. (Jason laughs) - Well the entry level queue was interesting 'cause that's where the new hires would go. - Yeah. - And it was actually a system that I used up into my last job as a client services guy 'cause it was brilliant. You basically have a bunch of people. You hire 'em new and they answer the phone and then they get a great big thick book and everything, every basic question is in there. And so hi, Sierra, how can I help you? I've got a problem with this game. - Yeah. - Open to that game. What's the problem? Go down the list. If it's there, here's the answer. If not, let me get you to an expert. Boom, boom, boom. - Yeah, right. Okay. - It was a great system just to knock down the easy ones. - You called it the sneeze guard. - Yes, we were the sneeze guard-- - Yes. - For the rest of the company. - Which I thought was so funny. - Yeah. - Yeah. - And we'd take care of all that snot so you guys didn't get hit by it. - Yeah. - And the callers didn't appreciate that as much as maybe they could have, and that was primarily because we did not have an 800 number. - Oh. - People called had to pay for that call. - However, though, we did have an ace in our pocket and that was that Sierra, at the time, I still can't believe this, to this day, would give you your money back, no matter what. - That was brilliant. That saved my ass so many times. - You could go buy the game at CompUSA and if you took it home and couldn't get it to work or whatever reason. - You didn't like it. - If you just didn't like it, you could send it back and they would give you a refund. And so every couple weeks or a month, we would get shipments from customer returns. - Right. - And literally, it'd just be this box, boxes and boxes of every game you ever wanted. - Right. - And so we had them all. - The vulture bin. - Yeah, that's right. (laughs) - The vulture bin. - And what I would use it for is for trades. You did, too. - Oh, I did. - So the brilliant thing is that you would have six copies of Outpost or, you know, Space Quest IV or whatever, Leisure Suit Larry, King's Quest. And then what we do is we would call or email Activision, - Yes. - EA, LucasArts, and go dude, hey, I, you know, I'm Jason from Sierra. What do you got, you know? And then we would do massive, you were the master of the trades. - I was, I was. Because not only was it game companies, I was in with Thrustmaster. - Oh, that's right. You had the good stuff. - Oh my god. Yeah, the Thrustmaster joystick company, they were out of Beaverton, Oregon. I mean, I know Thrustmaster-- - Oh, really? Were they? - Out of Beaverton. (Jason laughs) Thrustmaster in Beaverton, yes. - I didn't realize they're so-- - It's a joke that writes itself. - So local. - Oh, yeah. - That's cool. - They tried to hire me. - Oh, really? - Yeah. - Huh. - So I got, and it was easy 'cause we're tech support guys, right? So we would just call tech support. - Yeah. - You know, or email tech support and say, hi, I'm Paul with Sierra, you know, do some trading, got a bunch of stuff. What do you got? And so we were talking to our people. - And the cool thing about Thrustmaster and doing that kind of trade is that, you know, we're talking back when they had flight sticks, and these things were designed to be bulletproof. They were serious controllers. - [Paul] Yes. - And also, too, more to that point, there was a huge revolution of controllers going on at the time. You'd have flight sticks and Gravis joysticks, the force feedbacks, all that stuff. And they were not cheap. And so yeah, you were getting boxes of, you were just giving it away. - Oh, yeah. That was crazy. After I, 'cause I started in the entry level queue. Where'd I go after that? I didn't go to the adventure queue. I went to the education queue. - Okay. - Education queue first and then I did the adventure queue a little bit. I didn't wanna do the adventure queue. - You didn't? - No, I didn't because it was all about walkthroughs and solving puzzles. - Yeah, I know and-- - It was a pain in the ass. - [Jason] And everyone who calls that thinks that the game is broken, when really, they just can't figure out the puzzle. - [Paul] Yeah. - [Jason] You know? They're frustrated. And because of that, they think it's broken. - [Paul] Yeah, and it's not. - No. - It's, and, (sighs) Sierra said we can't give hints on that because they had a 1-900 hint line. - Right. - That they made money off of. And so you'd tell people that and they'd get pissed. - [Jason] Yeah. - [Paul] It's like or you can fax-- - [Jason] Right. - And get, or you can pay $9 for a hint guide kind of thing. So it was a little dodgy there. - Yeah. - I mean, that would never fly now with the internet. And you don't need it anymore because, you know, you guys have a community out there on some-- - Yeah. - Board or Facebook. I can type in anything and get the answer I need. - But it was really nice to be able to tell people, hey, if you're really unhappy with this, send it back to us. - Right, right. - That was always the ace in our hole. Like, if you got somebody really pissed, like, hey, so sorry, send it back. And often, they'd be like, oh, oh, uh-- - Yeah. - No, no, no, I don't wanna send it back. - I really wanna get this working. - Okay, then listen to me. - Yeah. I'm trying, too. Believe me, I don't want my call times to go up. But it was brilliant to be able to do that for exactly that reason. - Yeah. - It was amazing way to de-escalate. - Also, you mentioned QA. I'll never forget the developer came to me with a burn of it was either Earthsiege or Earthsiege 2. I forget which one. But it was a, he basically was like, okay, I think we're pretty close to shipping this. You know, give us one more pass over. And I'll never forget this. He's like, uh, how much RAM does your computer have? I was like, four megs. He was like, ooh. He's like, well, this is gonna need 16. I was like, megs, 16 megs? - Megs. - I was like, I've never talked to a person who has 16 megs. Like, that exists? (laughs) But nobody has it. And so I remember his face. He's like, really? I'm like, yeah. This needs to be like support four megs, eight at the most. - [Paul] Yes. - [Jason] 16 if you're rich, you know? And I just remember he's like-- - [Paul] It was $100 a meg. - Well, it was, yeah! It was like, I mean, the other thing, too, about Sierra, which I really appreciated at the time, do you remember that they had that program where you could buy a Micron computer, remember? - Right. - Through Sierra. - Right. - So Sierra wanted everyone to have a gaming PC and in order to do that, because these were $3000 computers, Sierra would basically buy it and then you would take the computer home but they would pull money out of your paycheck every month. - Yep, ding your paycheck, yeah. That's how I got my laptop. - That's how I got my first Pentium 100, right? - Ooh! - Which was an expensive computer. - Yes. - And it's really funny 'cause I remember sitting in my apartment. My bed is a mattress on the floor. - Yeah. - I have no furniture. My car is a piece of crap that I have to push through intersections 'cause it dies all the time. But I had a $3000 computer and I loved it. (laughs) And it took me years to pay it off, of course, you know. - Oh my god. - But yeah, but even that, it was like, that was a top of the line. And at the time, again, being that QA department, just kind of like, it was really wild. Like, I could barely get the game to work and they were trying to go gold in two weeks. It was shocking. - It was one of the really interesting things about that time, and something that there are other things you think about now, but back at that time and place, computers were just coming into their own and games were just coming into their own. - Oh, absolutely. - Which means that computers weren't being designed for games but games were driving the computer industry. - Yeah. - Because you didn't have to upgrade to 16 megabytes of RAM. - To run... - To run Word. - Yeah. (laughs) - Yeah, to not even run Photoshop or anything like that. But in order to run the next NASCAR, remember when NASCAR 2 came out? - Yeah. - You had to have, you know, the video card, and you had to have enough RAM. - Yeah, CD audio. - And you had to have all this stuff. - And all this stuff. - I even remember somebody, and I wasn't in the sim queue, but I don't think it was you. It was somebody else that was telling me that they had somebody on the phone before NASCAR 2 had come out. He had bought the machine to play it. - Yeah. - And at that time, it was like a $4000 or $5000 machine. - Right. - Just to play NASCAR 2. - NASCAR fans are hardcore. - Yeah. - Even today, I mean, that's probably no surprise. - Yeah. But back then, even with the game. - Yeah, people would drop thousands of dollars to play that one game. So let's talk about some of our favorite games of the era. - Okay. - 'Cause I think that a lot of people love to know what those are. - Okay. - So just like, off the top of your head. We do have a pile here, we've got some over there. - You see a bunch of stuff over here. I'm reminiscing in my head. Well, for me, the Earthsiege series. - Okay, good answer. - Yeah, that was the one that, I mean, other than the Roger Wilco games, which I started loving at Sierra. It's how I heard about the company. And honestly, after Space Quest IV, I didn't really care for them. - Yeah, I agree. - They kind of (raspberry). - I agree. - Kind of tanked. But the Earthsiege series. Earthsiege 1, I actually couldn't get to run on my computer. - Yeah, that's pretty rough. - [Paul] For the life of me, I couldn't get enough RAM. Oh, boot disk. - [Jason] Yeah. - [Paul] So Earthsiege 2, though, I played through multiple times at work. You know, in between calls, - Yeah. - I would play it. On a keyboard, too. - [Jason] Yeah. - So I didn't have a joystick at my desk at the time. - What? - It was all-- - All these trades. - It was all keyboards. Well, this was pre-trade. - Oh, okay. - This is when early on, I hadn't taken over, yet. - Yeah. - But when I got my Thrustmaster trade and I got the throttle on one side... - By the way, we have a fly flying around here, so... - Yeah, I'm planning on snacking on him later. - Yeah. - Yeah, we'll see if my ninja skills can get it. Trying to stay focused here. - Sorry. - I know what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna blast a beer across the room. - I know. - But once I got my Thrustmaster set up with the throttle and everything-- - Oh, yeah. - That was a ton of fun. - Yeah. - And then that one and the Aces series, - Oh. - Aces Over the Pacific. - Yes. - And Aces Over Europe. - [Jason] You're absolutely right. I loved those. - My favorites. Favorites. - [Jason] Dynamix made, and I know I've said this before, but I really do think that Dynamix made some of the best games for Sierra. - They're pretty great. - They were consistently so good, and even when they got into the adventure series, with like the Willy Beamish, The Rise of the Dragon. They've just made so many great games. That's why it sucks that they're not around. - [Paul] Yeah. - You know? But yeah, for me, too, it's like Earthsiege games, I absolutely loved. And also, too, I think people forget that the Earthsiege series is like, I mean, it's like a world. Because they had Earthsiege, Earthsiege 2, Starsiege. - [Paul] Starsiege, which I've got stories on that as well. - [Jason] Hunter Hunted was part of that world, officially. - [Paul] Yeah, it was, wasn't it? And so was Tribes. - [Jason] Tribes and also CyberStorm, because Command and Conquer was a big thing. - [Paul] Right. - [Jason] So Sierra's like, we gotta make a real time strategy game. - Yes. - Or a turn-based strategy game, and so that's what, and Outpost. - Outpost. - Not one of my favorites. But, you know. - No, but Outpost 2. - Yeah, yeah. - You know, Outpost, (laughs) Outpost is such a wonderful story at Sierra. Outpatch, we called it. (Jason laughs) It's the game that you could never finish. - Yeah. - Out of the box, you, it was kind of a sim, simulation. - Yeah. - And you couldn't finish it. It had a bug in it and they, did they ever fix it? - I believe so. - I know they never-- - Oh, that's right. - Had the monorails. - They did because there was an Outpost 2.0. - Well, Outpost 1 couldn't finish. Outpost 2, you could. - Oh, yes, yes. I'm sorry. - Yeah, yeah. - I thought you were talking about Outpost 1. - No, no, Outpost 1, yeah. I believe they finally patched to the point where you could finish it. - And what was really-- - But they kept promising monorails, that was a thing. - I know, and what was really embarrassing, actually, that was not a good year for Sierra 'cause we're starting to ship things because we needed to make quarterly profits or whatever. - Yeah. - And so Outpost was unfortunately, at least from what I heard, is one of those games where it was shipped because of that reason. But the reason why it bit us in the butt is because all the artwork was on the CD and so customers got this game, it wasn't finished. - Yeah. - And then they're looking on the disk going, well, you guys were so close. Like, it's right here. - Right. - What are you doing, you know? And it didn't help our case. (laughs) - No. - That was a rough one. - Yeah, that was really tough, working at Sierra, especially doing support for the holidays because nothing. It'd be a ghost town in there right up until Christmas Eve. - Yeah. - [Paul] And then Christmas day, we all worked Christmas day because the phones lit up. - Yeah. - Why? 'Cause everybody got a new computer and they got games for Christmas. - [Jason] And of course it was the era no one can get them to work. - [Paul] Yep. - So, you know, little Johnny is so disappointed he's crying, you know? And I remember we had a meeting and Doug, our boss was like, sorry guys, like, enjoy Christmas Eve, but you're here tomorrow. - Yes, and for the-- - And we were pissed. (laughs) - And for that entire week. - Yeah, yeah. No sick time, no nothing. If you had a doctor's appointment, it doesn't matter. You gotta be in there, it was... - Yep. - Yeah, but, you know, I mean... - It's the way it was. - It was the way it was, you know? - Yeah, to give you an idea of how busy it was, I think our team had 30 or 40 people. Actually, about 50, including the, 'cause we brought in extra people for the entry level. We had 70 lines, seven zero lines coming in. We had a two-hour wait and all the lines were busy. - Wow, I didn't know that. - People were getting busy signals on that. - Yeah. (laughs) - And so you would wait, by the way, you're paying for this if you're calling long distance. - Yeah, that's true. - Paying to be on hold for an hour and a half to get to the entry level who would tell you they can't solve that problem and turn to the next, sure we can give you your money back. Yes. (laughter) - Yeah. But that also illustrates just how popular Sierra was at the time. - I think we were the biggest game company on the planet at the time. - We were, and so, I mean, literally, I've seen the statistics. We were bigger than Electronic Arts because Electronic Arts, while it was popular on consoles, they had almost nothing going on, necessarily, on the PC side like we did. - Right. - Plus we not only, like you mentioned, we had productivity software, we had education software. And it, like Bright Star, the Castle of Dr. Brain series. - All the kids games. - Kids typing and all that stuff. You know, we had, what was the landscaping one? - [Paul] LandDesigner? - [Jason] Yeah, and then we had PrintArtist. - [Paul] Yeah, PrintArtist, that'd been around forever. It was a-- - I think we bought them. It's Davidson or something like that. - We did, yeah. - Right? - [Paul] Yeah, and that was okay. Very, very low level printing. - [Jason] Right. - [Paul] Desktop publishing kind of thing. - [Jason] Yeah. - Yeah, I think the LandDesigner series and all that came in towards the end. I don't think, had CUC bought us... - I'm not-- - Before then? But that was the time they were trying to branch out and they were becoming very, very corporate. - Yeah. - And that's the time when they were really pushing, especially for the holidays, to get stuff out the door for the holiday rush. - Yeah. - And would ship broken shit. - Yeah. And we experienced that quite a bit. Another one is King's Quest 7. - Oh my god, yeah. - You know? A game that basically-- - Missed him. - (laughs) Basically shipped, it was playable but it was very, very buggy. - Yes. - And it had a patch, I believe, on a floppy disk. So the game came on a CD. - [Paul] (sighs) But shipped with a patch. - [Jason] Yeah, shipped with a patch and hopefully you still had your floppy drive. (laughs) - [Paul] Yeah. - You took a call, didn't you once, where someone calls up and they're like, hey, I've got your CD, but there's something weird on it? - Yep. Yep, I've got two stories on that. But the one you're talking about is I think it was NASCAR. And I wasn't in the sim queue. Anyway, a call on a game and... They, I'm talking to them. They say, okay, every time I load the game, Windows starts up. - (laughs) And immediately-- - Windows 95. - And immediately, you're probably thinking, uh-huh, sir, put down the bong. - Yeah, yeah, no kidding. It's like, you're doing something different. So yeah, put in your game. Okay, I walk him through the steps. Okay, put it in the drive. Okay, close the drive. Okay, great. Now, no, it just came up again. He said, it says, do you want to load Windows 95? Like, do you have Windows 95? And he goes, no, I got Windows 3.1. (Jason laughs) Okay. And I tried everything I could to fool him. - Yeah, yeah. - And go, what are you trying to do here. Okay, tell you what, can you send me that disk? And sure enough, it was our game but it had Windows 95 on it. So the duplicator had screwed up somehow and switched something. - I so wish we had a copy of this. - I know. - Could you imagine? - I so wish I'd kept that. - Oh my god. - But I think they took it away from me to go to the duplicator and say... - Yeah, I'm sure. Yeah. And by the way, how many of these are actually out there that we need to worry about? - Right. - Right? - Right. - We shipped a full version of Windows for $39.95. - That's right. It was a good story. And of course, I not only took that back but I comped him a game, you know, for his trouble. - Yeah, oh, sure. Yeah. - Yeah. We got so many weird calls like that in support. - Yeah, we did. - And, you know, you hear the urban legend stories about, you know, the cup holder, right? - Oh, well, yeah, back then, yeah, yeah. They were kind of new but yes. - Yeah, so I broke the cup holder or whatever. Well, Shannon took that call. - Oh, she did? - Yeah, she took that one, the cup holder call. They put it on and broke it. One of the stories that I love telling is a guy called with one of the kids games. I think it was Incredible Machine. - Okay. - And he's trying to play it with his daughter and it doesn't work. It won't load. It says disk is screwed up. Or the game is screwed up, blah, blah, blah. And he's being kind of snippy with me. And I said, oh, well, can you look at the disk? The disk is fine. I put it in there, blah, blah, blah. So finally, I got him to open the drive and I said, could you just please check the disk for scratches. And there's this pause and he goes, there's peanut butter on it. (Jason laughs) And I go, what? And so what had happened is his daughter was gonna play games and she had an open-faced peanut butter sandwich and she got the disk to put it in, she slipped and put it on, dropped it right on the sandwich. (Jason laughs) And she was so embarrassed, she just quickly put it in the computer and hoped nobody would notice. - (laughs) And meanwhile, you're like, what is going on here? - Yeah. - You know? - Yeah, and he's, you know, I'm telling him what the problem is and he's, no, it can't be that because he had just played this, et cetera, et cetera. And his daughter was so embarrassed that she thought well she's gonna get in big trouble. So he had to clean up. His CD drive was completely shot 'cause it was full of peanut butter. - I'm sure. But again, people don't realize that while Sierra was a big company, it wasn't really internally. Like, it didn't feel like it, you know? 'Cause we-- - No! - It was just like running by the, you know, hair on fire by the seat of our pants. - Oh, yeah. - Always, you know? - Oh, yeah. Well it was a conglomeration of really creative people. - Yeah. - You know, just like Dynamix and the Andromeda guys. - Yeah. - They would get really creative people. And Al Lowe! - Yeah. - You know, so they were bringing in these super creative people that would not work in a corporate environment, just letting 'em go. And then doing their best to kind of get that out the door. - Well, that's how I ended up in a game, and you as well. Oh, you gonna kill the fly? - That is not a fly. That's a big honking beetle. It's a beetle the size of Montana. This is how a horror movie starts, by the way. - I'd turn the camera to you but-- (Paul exclaims) - I'm hung up on cables. Clean up your cables. - I could just flick it. - [Paul] Yeah, that's not the first time you've said that to me. I'm gonna just catch it here and throw it outside. Got it. - He's like a ninja. That's why I keep him around. Yay. - [Paul] Yay! - Did I mention that we're just doing this off the cuff? (laughter) - [Paul] And I'm wearing pants. You can tell. - Yes. - God damn, that was a big beetle. - I know. - I think it ate your dog on the way out. - There's some good stuff in here. - The thing about being on the phones is, you know, you were there before me. - Yeah. - And so I was learning and everything. And something I loved about Jason was by the time I got there, he didn't give a (horn honking). - (laughs) Really? - No. He didn't, he was, you were my role model because everyone else would like stay after work and do extra things or play Quake with the boss because they were sucking up to get a better position. He, five o'clock, boom, he was out the (horn honking) door. (Jason laughs) I'm done, boom. And he just didn't take shit from anyone on the phone, either. Nope, nope, that's the way it is, sir. Sorry, too bad. - Well... - He did it in a good way but-- - I have a way of telling people, and I've accepted this now, is that I can tell people bad news and they don't get, necessarily, like, they don't take it personal. - No. - I'm not picking on them. I'm just being matter-of-fact. - Yeah, very Jack Webb, very that's the facts, ma'am. - Yeah, and you know, when it comes to PCs, it's not personal. The Compaq Presario doesn't hate you, you know? - Compaq hates you but the machine doesn't. - Yeah, Compaq may and it may be a piece of crap machine, but yeah, absolutely, it just, these are the facts. I'm so sorry, you know what I mean? - Yeah, and I remember more than once Doug hinting that, you know, the way to get along with this company is you stay after work and do unpaid work, you know, stay here till 5:30 and do documents and stuff. - That's right. They expected us to stay after work. - Yeah. - And not get paid. It was just like-- - And people would who do that are the ones that are gonna get the promotions. I'm like, that, no. - That's, oh my god. - But I did anyway because I didn't know any better and-- - But I, it's funny that you mentioned that because I do remember one of my bosses going, wow, at 5:01, you're halfway down the, you know, out the parking lot and out the, and I was like, yeah, 'cause that's my time. - Yeah. - You know what I mean? - Yeah, yeah. And I remember you saying exactly that. - Yeah, like I love you guys. This is a great, you know, I love all the stuff we do here. But you're cutting into my time, you know? (laughs) - You're my total hero. You're my total here. - I forgot about that, yeah. - 'Cause I was a young suck-up at the time and so I'd just stay and do stuff and trying to get the next thing. - Huh, yeah. - The cool thing about tech support, though, because we were the cool people and we were available and we were willing to do stuff like that, which is how we got into some video games. - Yes, that's true, I know. So an email came and they were looking for someone who plays guitar and has long hair and I was like, I'm, that's me. (laughs) - [Paul] I had long hair at the time but I didn't play guitar. - That's right. You did, that's right. And then basically, they asked us to come in on a Saturday, unpaid, of course. - Of course. - Of course. - They didn't pay for any of that. - But, you know, it was-- - We barely got paid for our job. - Dude, I found my W-2 last night. - I saw that! I saw you posted it. Oh my god. - I found all of them, actually. All of my W-2s, I just kept them. - Wow. - And my first one is, the company, the address is not Bellevue, it's actually Oakhurst. - Wow. - So yeah, it's pretty crazy. - Okay, start your bidding. - Yeah, I... (laughs) - Metal Jesus' first W-2. - I have proof I worked there so yeah. - Yes, I saw you blurred out your-- - Yeah, my social security number and-- - Yeah. - Yeah, yeah. And I didn't make very much and it's right there on the W-2. But anyways so I showed up on a Saturday afternoon. They picked a marketing person to play keyboards, you know, and a couple other people to fill out the band. We didn't even know each other. Hopped into a van and drove out into the middle of eastern Washington. - [Paul] Yeah, that's a horror movie starting right there. - Oh, I know, I was just like, on the way there, it was awkward, too, 'cause you don't know any, you know, 'cause we weren't part of the same group at work. And we're supposed to be this band. It was awkward. It was, we sucked it up and we basically went out there and did kind of like Beatles-esque stuff where you kind of walk in sequence and yeah, you pose. - Pose, yeah. - And the whole premise is it's a horror game and the band plays music video that give the player clues. - Right, that was Shivers II. - Shivers II. - And the band was, give me a second. Trip Cyclone! - Trip Cyclone. - Trip Cyclone, right. - (laughs) Yeah. And it was just one of those things where if they needed people to help out, you, you know, you take from within. You also were the voice of me. - Yes, I was gonna say, do you remember your character's name? - Uh, only 'cause it's in the Wikipedia article. It's Doug-- - Nope. - Oh, I don't know. - Dave. - Dave, oh. - I don't remember, Dave Laughten, is it? - Yeah, something like that. - Because I did his voice. - Yep. - And I didn't know it at the time. I was doing some voiceover work and I was in another game, I was in Phantas 2. - Oh, you were? - I was in Phantasmagoria 2. - Oh, that's right, in an actual on-screen role. - Yes. And so they needed voiceover work so I just went into the booth and I recorded a voice for an answering machine message. And I had no clue, we had no clue what the characters were. - Wow, that's so weird. - And I didn't know until, gosh, maybe 10, 15 years ago when I was looking at IMDB and found my name and looked it up and Shivers 2 and there's Dave and then there's Jason with the same credit and I go, what the-- - [Jason] They didn't even ask me, it's so weird. It's just like-- - No! You were just, I was just the voice. - Yeah, yeah. - You were just the face. And so-- - And Rebecca's van is in the game-- - Oh, that's right. - In 3D and also our dog at the time, Fletcher. - [Paul] Yeah. - [Jason] Yeah. - [Paul] So that was just so weird the way that all came out. We worked together and I was his voice. - Also, we just had, as a side note here, we had some serious characters working at Sierra. I was just thinking of our department. We had a guy, Steve. - Steve Hitt, yeah. - Who would walk around with his fingernails filed and carry the Satanic Bible with him. - [Paul] Yes, he would. - And I'll never forget one time, we were riding down the elevator and Ken Williams is in there and he's just looking over at Steve like... You know, he's trying to-- - Like, do you work for me? - Yeah, he's like, do you work for me or did you just wander in off the street? Like (laughs) should I fire him if he is working for me? It was just like, another funny thing about Steve is that we should probably say is I live fairly close to Sierra. I live literally in Bellevue as well. And so every couple of months, I always liked to have a party at my house. - Yes. - And on a Friday, I'd be like, hey, everyone's invited. Come on over, hang out at my house, we'll have music, drinking, partying, whatever. And Steve Hitt, inevitably, one, he might get there before me and he'd already be drunk. - Yes. - He'd be at my door, drunk. Like, dude, it's been 20 minutes. - [Paul] Right. Leave work at 5:00, he'd be there immediately. - Yeah. - Hammered. - [Jason] And then he's so, then he'll pass out and then as, you know, five to six o'clock rolls around, people are stepping over him to come into my house. - [Paul] I remember that, yeah. I remember he's at the door just leaning back with his shades on. - Yeah. - [Paul] Which is how he did tech support, by the way. - [Jason] Yeah. - We'd walk by in the morning and he'd be in his cube and he'd have his shades on and he'd either be like this or with his head on the-- - Oh, he was always hungover. - Yeah. - Always messed up. - And still doing the job. - Yeah, yeah. - You'd listen to him and it's like you couldn't tell, from the customer's perspective that - No, a true pro. - This guy is rat hammered. Yeah, no kidding. - Yeah. - [Paul] In his DNA. - [Jason] The epic parties-- - Now, something-- - They were pretty legendary. - Yeah, something I was gonna do for this video and I didn't make him do this is this rat bastard would show up and any new person to the party had to do the line of death, which was seven shots? - Yes. - So he then-- - I'm not really sure why I thought of this idea, but it, you know. (laughter) - Youth. - It was a thing. - We were made of magic and rubber back then. - I know. - So he would line up seven shots and they were gnarly, like Tequila and-- - [Jason] Well, no, no, no, it alternated between peppermint and... And spearmint schnapps or something like that. - [Paul] Oh my god. - [Jason] So it was fire and ice. - [Paul] Oh, so it wasn't just random. - [Jason] No, no, no, it was alternating. So you get a little bit of the cinnamon and a little bit of the-- - Oh my god. - [Jason] Yeah, and it's seven of them. - And the reason I don't know this is stealthily avoided the line of death. - Yeah, oh my god. And again, seven of them as you're walking into my house. - Yeah, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. - But it pretty much guaranteed a pretty good party, though. - Oh, yeah. - Although a couple times, to be fair (laughs) oh my god, I'll never forget this, a very small guy-- - That would be Doug. - That'd be Doug. - Yes. If you're still alive, Doug. - Yeah, good on you because you almost died that night. He comes in the door, probably weighs 90 pounds. - Oh, no kidding, yeah. - And he did the line of death straight off the gate. Real trooper, more power to him. Later on, somebody comes to me 'cause it's my house of course and they're like, hey, you might wanna check on Doug. Really, why, what? Oh, he's in the bathroom and he's curled up and he's shivering and he doesn't look very good. I'm like, okay. So I go up to the bathroom. Sure enough, yeah, he's wrapped around the toilet, sweating and he may or may not have puked, I don't remember, and we couldn't get him to move. He was messed up. - Yeah. One bathroom. Pee around him. - And that's what people did. - Yeah. - So the whole night, girls, boys, whatever, you walked in there, you did your business, you just, right there in front of him. And then what was hilarious was that hours later, like at one o'clock in the morning, he just comes out, hey, good party, and leaves. (laughs) I'm like okay, see you. See you, dude. See you Monday. - So I think he actually he died and his soul left and then like the devil took over when he's out. - I know. - [Paul] Doing something now. Or he's watching this video right now and suddenly he's gonna have like a telethon flashback. Ah, you bastards! - Those parties were epic. - Yeah. - They were good parties. - Another character we worked with, though not in our department but one of the writers for the games was Lorelei. - Oh, Lorelei Shannon. - Lorelei Shannon, yeah. - So very famous who she, I think she originally started off either on the Laura Bow or also one of the early King's Quest games. - Yeah, yeah. Laura Bow, I think. What's the other one? - I know, I should probably know this, but she-- - We probably should have looked this up before the video but, pfft, preparation. - Yeah, please. - But she wrote Phantasmagoria 2. - Yeah. - And was into horror and all that stuff. She had a great sign on her door that said, every day is Halloween in Lorelei's office. - And this is actually pretty cool because Phantasmagoria, the very first one, was a Roberta Williams adventure game. And the reason why that was, it was significant for many ways. So Roberta Williams created the King's Quest series, which is a very family friendly, you know, it's just like Disney. - Yep. - But she wanted to do something that was truly adult. - Yes. - And this was also at a time when full motion video games were really starting to come into our own. So Sierra went all in on the original Phantasmagoria. I mean, it's a traditional gothic style horror game. - Right. - And it's got some really cool deaths and stuff like that. But the reason why I'm bringing it back to Lorelei is because Lorelei is much more, if like, if Roberta Williams is Stephen King, she's like Clive Barker. - Yes. - [Jason] Very much more disturbing, way more creepy. - Yeah. - [Jason] Way more kind of twisted, quote, end quote. And so I really got excited about Phantasmagoria 2. - Yes. - Because I knew it was gonna be something interesting, scary, weird, bizarre, and it was. - [Paul] Yeah, it was. She did a really great job. - [Jason] Yeah, she really did. - [Paul] And one thing about Phantasmagoria, the first one, is that it was super edgy for the time. - Yeah. - They came on seven CDs. - Yes. - So that was a tech support nightmare. - Yeah. - [Paul] But the complaint about it was you could finish it too quickly. There wasn't a lot of playtime in it. - Right. - I mean, I think people were finishing it in like 20 hours 'cause the problem with that with the Sierra return policy-- - [Jason] Oh, right. - [Paul] Was people would play it and then return it. - [Jason] We had a ton of returns. And there was, I even think there was an alternate ending. I mean, the ending on it is kind of rushed anyways, if you remember. - Yeah. - [Jason] It's not great, but yeah. There's no reason to keep it. - [Paul] Yeah, not at all. And so we-- - We had tons of those. - To the point where we had stacks of these things. We were taking like a fork and destroying them. - Yeah, that's right. - So we'd just throw 'em in the trash and be good games. But yeah, do you want another Phantasmagoria? No, I don't. - No! - Now, I'd love to have one. - I know. - 'Cause I don't have a copy anymore and you do. - I do, I do, yeah. - And then I was in the second one. That's the other game I was in. - Which they shot on location, at least that part, at the Weathered Wall, which is a club in Seattle. - [Paul] Yeah, yeah, down on 5th. It's not there anymore, but-- - [Jason] I saw some cool, I got really drunk at that club once. (laughs) - [Paul] I think everybody did at some point. - [Jason] Yeah, it was a good club. - [Paul] But they shot that as a movie. You know, I've done some TV and movie stuff since then and so yeah, it was a set. They had a director. They had, you know, camera people. They had sound people, you know, effects, the whole thing. It was really cool. - [Jason] Yeah. (upbeat music) - Um, excuse me. Would you tell me, um... - (growls) Wanna play? I could make you scream with pleasure. - No thanks. - [Jason] Aww. - Amateurs. - So let's talk a little bit about everybody wants to know what happened to Sierra. - Well, (sighs) for me, I started there right at the heyday. - Yep, me too. - And then, soon after, Ken Williams sold the company. - Yeah. - He sold it to a company called CUC. - Right, for, according to the Wikipedia article, - [Paul] According to Wikipedia like $1.5 billion, with a B. - Yeah. - So they sold it and that kind of started the downward spiral. - Yeah, 'cause he was only there for about a year after. - Yeah, as the CEO or the COO or whatever position. - Whatever. - Kind of guiding it. And then he was done. - Yeah. - 'Cause it was CUC, then they changed it to Cendant. - Yeah, so Cendant, so CUC merged with another conglomerate or, you know, conglomerate, is that the word? - Yeah. - Okay. - Got it right the first try. - Yeah, which basically created this massive corporation that had Sierra in it but it also had Seagram's, the drink. - Oh, right, yeah. It was the parent company of Seagram's, right. - We also had in there hotel chains. I don't know if it was the Hilton, but it was somebody like that - Yeah, and the entertainment book was in there somewhere, too. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those big thick entertainment books. It was all under the umbrella and Sierra was just a slice of that. - Right. - But the reason why this is really important, and it seems crazy today. But you gotta remember, back in the late '90s, this was the thing to do. AOL merges with Time Warner. You're thinking, what does that have to do with it? Sony buys movie studios and music studios. And in the late '90s, when software and video games was new, that's the next entertainment medium, and so all these big companies wanted to have a big part of that. - Right. - They wanted to control it. So there's all these sort of power shifting going on. And so that's what happened is that they're like, well, Sierra's the biggest. - Yeah, let's snap that one up. - We got $1.5 billion dollars. Let's just do it, right? - Right. - And then merge with this other company and now we're like this massive thing. - Yeah, and that's, I mean, you hear about the dot com bubble. That was a huge part of it is the whole acquisition part of it, is a company would just, like, acquire, acquire, acquire. - Yeah. - And they'd try to make something out of it and realize they just spent a lot of money for not a whole lot of substance. - Yeah. - Now, with us, there was a lot of substance, but they tried to make that a lot more corporate. They tried to make it into a money machine as opposed to a game company. - Yeah. - And that's where a lot of the problems came in with the games. - Yeah. - Is trying to get 'em out the door before they were done. - Also, too, Sierra, in my opinion, really struggled with 3D, so... - Yeah. - We were kind of caught with our pants down a little bit because you had games like Quake coming out. We did, thankfully, publish the very first Half-Life, which is a great game. - Yes. - But our adventure games, our bread and butter, just didn't really work very well in 3D. We didn't know how to program for it. We tried. - Right. - [Jason] Gabriel Knight 3 is a 3D game. King's Quest 8 is a 3D game. - Right. - And they're generally considered terrible. (laughs) - Yeah. - Because-- - Red Baron 3D. - Well... - Shoot me. - Yeah. I kind of liked that one. But see, Dynamix, though knew 3D because they'd - Right. - Been doing it for awhile. But our adventure games and some of these other things just didn't work, you know? - Yeah. - And they were kind of falling out of vogue, you know? So what really brought down Sierra, - Yes. - Unfortunately, was that this new mega corporation called Cendant, it was announced like a year later, in 1998 or something like that, that they were cooking the books. So they are a publicly traded company. - Yep. - And they were lying about their accounting. - Yep. - [Jason] And I think, I don't really remember the details, but basically, I'm sure it was probably like they were saying, you know, they made a big profit but they actually lost a lot or something like that. Either way, you can't cook the books-- - No. - When you're a public company. - No, and yeah, that was the beginning of the end. - Yeah, it was the beginning of the end. They basically started liquidating everything. - Yep. - They fired the people down in, Sierra still had development down in California. - Right, near Yosemite. - Dynamix, Dynamix is down in Eugene, Oregon. - [Paul] Yep. - [Jason] And they slowly just started letting it go. I mean, the corporation just kind of fell apart. - [Paul] Yeah, and it's, again, that's kind of what happened to a lot of companies in the late '90s, was people would show up and the doors would be closed. - [Jason] Right. - [Paul] And that's what happened down in, was it Yosemite? That's the name of the company. - [Jason] That was the name of the company but it was either Coarsegold or Oakhurst. - Yeah, yeah. - There are two very small towns that are very, they're like really close to each other. - Right. - So I think that's why they get used interchangeably. - Yeah, and we talked about The Realm, which was the first online multiplayer, you know, 3D, or, not really 3D, but graphic game. - Yeah, graphic, yeah. - [Paul] And that had a small but very passionate following. - Yeah. - And it was-- - [Jason] People paying all the time to play it. - [Paul] Yeah, we had, I think, 20,000 people in there paying their $10 a month. Well, that's not chicken feed. - [Jason] Yeah, yeah. - And so when they closed Oakhurst, they just locked the doors. And that's where the servers were. And because at the time, I'd gone to OneNet, which was their spinoff online thing, which became Flipside through one of these mergers. I'm wearing my Flipside shirt today. - Oh, there you go. - And so I get a call from one of the moderators, 'cause I was running the online community at OneNet, so the moderators all knew each other. I get a call, actually a phone call, saying, uh, I can't get in. 'Cause she was remote, couldn't get into the servers. - Oh. - 'Cause they just went in and they shut the power off. - Of course. Hey, if you fire people and you're not paying them. - Yeah. - Okay. - So I told my boss at the time, John Williams, who was running, Ken, his brother, working at OneNet, said, uh, they shut down The Realm. And he's like, what? 'Cause he knew, and so I was on the next flight down there. - Oh, you were? - I had to fly down there, get them to unlock the doors. - Oh, really? - Yeah. Get the people who were running it, call them, get them back on the payroll. - Of course. - To go in, light these servers back up, and get that running and so that's how I wound up taking over running The Realm for a few months until we sold it to Codemasters. Yeah, it's a classic example of a company buying something they don't understand. - Right. - [Paul] And they were just buying stuff that was cool at the time and not understanding how it works. - Yeah. - [Paul] And then when things go terribly, they can just, they can go away. And it's just not that simple. - And it was a real bummer for me, although to be fair, I saw the writing, well, I shouldn't say I saw the writing on the wall. I left (laughs) before then. Because at the time, the tech industry was definitely doing really well so there was lots of opportunity out there. But of course, you know, I loved the stuff that I did. I loved my time there, it was fun. - Oh, you and me both, man. - Yeah. You know, the funny thing, looking back, it was, it feels like high school or college, you know? - It really does. - Like, it was was work. We didn't have any money. It was hard sometimes but you met awesome people. We had great parties. - [Paul] Oh, holy shit, man. We can go and for hours and hours and hours about this, reminiscing. - It's true. It's true. - You know? Unless you guys are drinking, too, this might get. Talk amongst yourselves. We'll just keep talking about Sierra. But man, it was a great time and I-- - Yeah. - And I look back at Sierra as kind of when I, my first career when I first started working. 'Cause I had jobs before that. - Right. - But that was the first time I was, like, with a company - Yeah. - And had met my people. - That's true. It was my first, quote, end quote, you know, corporate job. - Yeah, and I don't keep in touch with anyone from my previous jobs. - No, no, not really. Not like that, you know? I feel like we grew up. We were in the trenches together, you know? - Yeah, yeah. It was a super good time. - Yeah, but also, too, though, I mean, to be fair, Sierra, the name, continues on. - Yeah, it does. - And I think that's why it confuses people like, what happened to Sierra? Well, everyone that we know and love that worked there, unfortunately, was let go. - [Paul] Yeah. - [Jason] But they sold the name. They sold intellectual property and all that sort of stuff and that's why you occasionally see it today. But really, it was owned by a French company and then it was owned by, Havas or whatever. - [Paul] Oh, yeah, Havas and then Vivendi. - [Jason] Right. and then now, I think Activision owns it, as of today. - [Paul] I think so. - [Jason] But, you know-- - [Paul] And who owns Activision? Who knows? So many conglomerations. - [Jason] Right, right. - You might, it might be the Metal Jesus Corporation owns everything now and you're just not telling me about it. - We should buy it back. - Yeah, we should. - Kickstart it. Let's Kickstart it! - Hang on a second. I think I got a buck and a half here. - Yeah. (laughs) - But yeah, it became a publishing house and the name carries on, so that's cool that it's still there. - Yeah, yeah. - And actually, King's Quest is available on Xbox 360. - Well, they just remade it with the blessing, or not remade it, sorry, they rebooted it. - Yeah. - With the blessing of Ken and Roberta Williams. So that's pretty cool. - [Paul] Yeah, and I'm really hoping to see more uses of those games because they would lend themselves so well to the iPad. - [Jason] Yeah. - In fact, when I was with OneNet, with the French company who, of course, were in Europe, they were talking a lot about us building games. And this is the crazy thought, because people are going to be playing games on their phones. We should start building small games that would work on people's phones. And this was in '99. - Really? - Yeah. - Way, way early. - So we were way ahead of the curve. - Yeah. - It's just that they didn't know how to manage a company. So we could have been Apple. - Yeah, hmm. - But... Oh, well. - Yeah. Well, we could definitely go on and on about our stories. - Yes. - We've only just touched these, you mentioned InterAction Magazine. We could do a whole episode on that. And many, many more of our kind of memories of specific games and stuff. - And I'm only one beer in here, dude. I mean, we could chat another, at least, six pack or more. - So we'd love to know what you guys thought of this video. And if you guys would like us to do another series of these. Also, too, another thought he had was bringing on other people. - [Paul] Yeah, a lot of the people that were there at Sierra, we could bring them in and we can all talk. - [Jason] Probably really embarrassing stories about me or you or... - Oh, yeah. - You know? I did the line of death, too. - [Paul] Oh, yes. - So awkward. - All right, guys. Thanks for reminiscing with us about Sierra and we'll talk about it again sometime. - All right, take it easy. - Cheers. - [Jason] I wanna give a huge shout out to my bud, Drunken Master Paul, for helping me do this video. He remembers so much more about all the details than I do, so it was awesome having him on this episode. Also, a huge shout out to my wife, Rebecca. I didn't get to talk bout her in this video, but we met there. It was pretty awesome and she's got some great stories, too. Also, I wanna give a shout out to Pushing Up Roses. I'm using a bunch of her footage in this video and I really appreciate her letting me do that. You guys should definitely check out her channel as she is a huge Sierra fan. All right, guys, thanks for watching.


Pos Team Pld W L PF PA PD Pts Andorra San Marino Scotland Wales Malta Gibraltar
1  Andorra (H, C) 5 5 0 394 333 +61 10 74–72 82–59
2  San Marino 5 4 1 375 303 +72 9 61–69 74–55 86–51
3  Scotland 5 2 3 366 341 +25 7 76–79 64–81 58–66
4  Wales 5 2 3 354 343 +11 7 64–73 86–64
5  Malta 5 2 3 338 368 −30 7 65–90 61–71 74–66
6  Gibraltar 5 0 5 295 434 −139 5 54–97 67–83
Source: FIBA Europe
(C) Champion; (H) Host.

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