Alexander Angeltveit's Al Lowe Interview

 

  Alex:

We know so much about you, would you tell us a little about the special people in your life, your family?

 

Al Lowe:

   My family is the most important thing in my life. Unlike Leisure Suit Larry, I've been married to the same wonderful woman for over 31 years. Margaret and I have two great children, Brian, 23 and Megan, 16.

 

Alex:

Since you're not working at Sierra anymore, what are you up to now?

 

Al Lowe:  

  I'm working on a new book to come out this fall called, "You've Got Laughs—the Big Book of Internet Humor." It's a compilation of the best of the thousands of humorous emails I've received during the 13 years I've been on-line.

     I'm also working on Al Lowe's Humor Site which I invite all your readers to visit at www.allowe.com . If I can't make you laugh through adventure games, at least I can make you laugh on-line.

     I also have many hobbies: reading, scuba diving, skiing, golf, humor, playing saxophone in a big band, managing my daughter's fast-pitch softball team. In fact, it seems I'm busier now than when I was "working" full time.

 

Alex:  

You have a new book for sale now, "You've Got Laughs." Would you mind telling us about this book and where you got the idea for it.

 

Al Lowe:  

 I first went on-line in 1986, back on CompuServe's old Gamers Forum, looking for beta testers for Leisure Suit Larry 1! And ever since, I've received and swapped humor with my electronic friends. I'd conservatively say I've seen many thousands! I've saved about 10% and of that fraction, I'm putting just the funniest in the book.

 

Alex:

On the Larry Collection CD there is a preview of a book where you talk with Larry. Would you tell us a bit about this book?

 

Al Lowe:

Sure. The book was called The Official Book of Leisure Suit Larry and was written by my friend, Ralph Robert's with a little help from Larry and me. It was available for many years, through at least 5 editions and is still available in the latest version of the Larry collection (the horizontal box, not the vertical box). You can tell if the book's inside—it's heavy!

 

Alex:

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

 

Al Lowe:   

 Enjoying life. Learning. Hugging grandkids. Spending what's left of my Larrybucks!

 

Alex: 

You play the sax and played some in Larry 7. Have you played any "gigs" or is it purely amateur music?

 

Al Lowe:    

Actually, as I'm writing this, I'm getting ready to leave for a jazz club in Seattle where I'm playing with a wonderful big band.

     Talk about longevity? This band has met every Tuesday night for over 30 years to sightread music. They never "practice," only "read." We take every arrangement one time through and that's it. Miss too many notes and you won't get invited back.

     I'm proud to say I've been a regular for the past two years. With hundreds of arrangements, it's going to take a long time to get through everything.

 

Alex:

Why is there no Larry4? What is the real reason that Larry4 never hit the shelves?

 

Al Lowe:

  Actually, I've answered this one on my site, in the most complete manner possible, so I'll just redirect you there:

     www.allowe.com/L-inside-stories.htm and www.allowe.com/Larry4.htm

 

 Alex:

Can we expect any more games from Al Lowe?

 

Al Lowe:   

 Not until the gaming market changes. Adventure games (which is the only type of game I know how to create) just have not been selling well lately, assuming you don't count Myst and Riven, which are a unique phenomena.

     Besides, I create humor, and I just can't figure out how to make a funny First Person Shooter, RPG, or strategy game. Maybe someone else will show me the way, but right now, I love adventures, I'm good at them and I know I can create a good one. If there was only enough buyers!

 

Alex:  

There was once talk about a Larry movie. Why did it never get made?

 

Al Lowe:   

 The movie company wanted Sierra and me to give up everything and in return to give us nothing. Guess why we weren't interested?!

 

Alex:

Has Larry ever been in any commercial or anything like that? If not, have there been offers?

 

Al Lowe:

  No. No.

 

Alex:

On Larry 7 there were a lot of "Easter eggs." Were they made with or without your knowledge?

 

Al Lowe:   

 They were all totally with my approval, even though many were not directly my idea. The animators had a great time coming up with the sequences and everything was completely designed into the game, including the scoring system to track how many points and eggs you found.

 

Alex:

What is your favorite game not made by you?

 

Al Lowe:    

In years? Backgammon. I played a freeware game created for the Macintosh in 1984 until I finally gave up on Macs in 1995. 11 years is a long time for any game, but backgammon is like that.

     As far as "real" computer games go, I spent many months with F-19 Stealth simulator from Microprose back in the Larry 3 development period. I'm sure we would have shipped that game a month earlier if F-19 hadn't come out!

     Lately, Mario 64 absolutely floored me. Unreal. Half-life. Need for Speed. And many others.

 

Alex:   

Last, but not least, is there anything you would like to say to all those Larry fans out there?

Al Lowe:       

 I just want to express my appreciation for all the support you've given me over these past 15 years. Not only through your purchase of my silly games, but the great letters of support and the moving tributes you expressed on roboto, to Sierra, and to me on my web site.

          When we were making these games, we were just trying to create something that we'd enjoy playing ourselves. I was always surprised and humbled by the fact that millions of other people would spend their hard-earned money buying my wacky sense of humor. I never realized that, in the process, we were affecting the lives and careers of so many people

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I hope to find another way to make you laugh real soon now!

And that Concludes this interview, As Al Lowe said, Millions have bought his game, and still. he seems really down to earth and great :), no wonder people love his games!

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