Sierra On-Line (CINDYV@sierra.com)
Wed, 3 Apr 1996 02:47:29 -0800 (PST)

Sierra On-Line E-News Issue 1.1, April 1996

Welcome to the first ever Sierra On-Line electronic newsletter! It's informative, it's free, and it doesn't kill any trees. In each issue, you'll find information on new releases, behind-the-scenes peeks at products in development, great bargains you won't be find anywhere else, and possibly even a hint or two. Look for the following departments (and make sure to check the end of this newsletter for a chance to win five free Sierra games!):

*Headlines (news so hot, we had to mention it first)
*Games (there's always an adventure in store at Sierra)
*Home Productivity (great stuff for the home system)
*Kidstuff (products even a mother will love)
*The Virtual Store (hot deals and bargain prices)
*Web News (what's new with Sierra's website)
*Technical Support (don't blow up that computer!)

You're getting this newsletter because you clicked one of the "yes, I'd like more information" boxes when you registered on our website. Assuming that we aren't kidnapped by Martians (always a danger), you'll find one of these virtual newsletters in your mailbox about once a month. If you'd like to unsubscribe for whatever reason (too much mail already, allergic to newsletter electrons, gave up computer games so you'd have more time for macrame), all you need to do is mail us at UNSUBSCRIBE@SIERRA.COM, with your e-mail address as the Subject: line. If you later regret the decision and would like to re-subscribe, just send a note to SUBSCRIBE@SIERRA.COM. And now, with the administrative stuff out of the way, let's go on to the interesting bits:

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New Member of the Sierra Family
The big news here is Sierra's acquisition of Papyrus, maker of the top-selling Indy Car and NASCAR racing simulations. And with games as incredible as those, who wouldn't want to buy the company? Well, apparently the Software Publishers Association shares our opinion, since Indy Car II just won no less than two Codie awards, one for Best Sports Software and the other for Best Simulation Software Program. If you haven't seen Indy Car II, you may want to check it out. After all, if your last name's not Unser or Andretti, this may be your only chance to win!


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Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Have you ever had one of those days when you're sitting at your desk, looking at everybody else's emergencies spilling out of your in-box, and think to yourself, "You know, if I were king of all these idiots, I'd feed `em to the crocodiles"? Well, your chance at imperialist expansion is on the way. We've just put the finishing touches on The Rise and Rule of Ancient Empires. Imagine the opportunity not only to carve your own empire out of untamed wilderness (or out of the ruins of your enemies' cities), but also to stomp your friends and co-workers along the way! Rise and Rule has everything going for it: full modem and network support, a wide range of cultures to choose from, a great CD-audio soundtrack, lots of fully-rendered cut-scenes, even different architectural graphics depending on which culture you're playing. If you liked Caesar II, then this game is the next step forward. Our Technical Support department has been playing a lot of it after-hours, and I think!
t's safe to say that we're hooked. Bottom line: this is definitely THE game for anyone with a taste for global conquest.


News From The Officers' Club
If it's contemporary warfare that you're after, then you'll definitely want to check out Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer 2. This is one kicking, white-knuckled, joystick-killing ride. Even the critics are raving: PC Gamer says that Silent Thunder has "the best terrain graphics ever seen in a flight sim" and Strategy Plus says that it includes "incredible terrain graphics and all the best features of the original A-10 game, pushed to current cutting edge levels." My cousin says that it's an absolute nuisance, since now he can't get his wife off the computer. If you're a fan of the original A-10 Tank Killer, or of combat flight simulations in general, you'll find a lot to like in this game. And, since it is just a game, the best part is that even if you crash into the ground in a ball of flames and twisted metal, the worst thing that might actually happen is that you'll spill your drink into the keyboard when smashing both fists into the computer table.


Surface To Air
If you prefer futuristic combat, then perhaps you're ready to fight that final desperate battle against Cybrid world domination. In the newly-released EarthSiege 2, that war will turn about as vicious as a mother rhino protecting her young. All-new HERCs with all-new weaponry maximize the possibility for destructive fun. And if you ever found yourself playing the original EarthSiege and saying, "You know, I could take that bad boy out in three seconds if this thing could only FLY," you're in luck; one of the new HERCs is an airborne combat monster. So sign on for another tour of duty, and this time we'll promise you the dream of every HERC pilot ... bigger guns.


Desktop Athletes Battle It Out Online
On the interactive end of things, the results are in from the first-ever "Sierra Bowl". If you're not a CompuServe or America Online user, you may have missed out on hearing about this, but it was an absolute blast! The champion of AOL's Front Page Sports: Football Pro league faced off against CompuServe's champion in a winner-take-all game held just before the real Super Bowl. We ran the game right here at Sierra on a copy of FPS: Football Pro `96, and simul-cast all the action live on both AOL and CompuServe. (Hey, none of us had tickets to the real Super Bowl, so we had to make our own!) The winner was CompuServe's Chris Muller (representing Dallas), who took home a plethora of nifty prizes including a color TV, 10 hours of free online time on both AOL and Compuserve, a Barry Sanders autographed football, a Football Pro Design Team T-shirt, and, of course, the coveted Sierra Bowl trophy.


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Kudos For "Lost Mind Of Dr. Brain"
Bragging time: one of my favorite Sierra programs just won the Software Publishers Association's Codie award for Best Home Learning Program for Adolescents. And if you think that The Lost Mind Of Dr. Brain is only for kids, then you're in for a surprise the first time you find yourself trying desperately to get past the Synaptic Cleft puzzle just ONE LAST TIME ... at three in the morning. I speak from experience. Don't say I didn't warn you.


"Playtoons" `Toons In
If you've got kids, then you're probably very familiar with Saturday morning cartoons. Kids and `toons go together like peanut butter and jelly (or, in my cousin's house, peanut butter and waffles ... bleah). Now you can give your kids the tools to create their very own cartoons on your home PC or Mac. Sierra's new Playtoons series gives kids a chance to write, direct, edit, record, and play a nearly limitless set of animated sequences in a variety of absurd and fun situations. Educators would say that it "promotes creative thinking." This is true, but personally what I would say is that it keeps them off the TV so you can watch reruns of "The Dukes of Hazzard". (Two great reasons to pick up a copy!) Look for no less than four new Playtoons titles in the near future.

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If it's been a while since the last time you logged onto our website, there's a few good reasons to go take another look. One I think you'll particularly like is our new Chat area. (Right now, this area is open to Netscape 2.0 users only, but we're working on it!) We'll be using the Chat forum to host regular conferences with game designers and developers. To start it off, we hosted a discussion on Friday, March 15th, with the designers of the upcoming Front Page Sports: Baseball `96. And to celebrate the fact that we signed last season's Cy Young award winner Randy Johnson to help us out with this new game, we even gave away free Sierra products during the chat session. Sound cool? Then be there for the next one!


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Never got around to dogfighting those German aces? Somehow neglected to find time to build that worldwide automobile manufacturing empire? Spent the last two years sitting on your butt instead of getting out there and saving the environment? GREAT! It's always nice to meet a fellow procrastinator, so we'd like to reward your tardiness with fabulous prices on the games you missed out on. We call them the SierraOriginals, and we're selling them for dirt-cheap. $14.95 will get you any of these titles on CD-ROM: Red Baron (plus a free copy of A-10 Tank Killer), Detroit, EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus, The Even More Incredible Machine, Quest for Glory IV, King's Quest VI, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (and this isn't the old type-`til-you-bleed version either, but the updated point-and-click interface), Gobliiins, Gobliins 2 (yes, the preceding two titles do indeed contain the correct number of "i"s), my personal favorite (for sheer mayhem value), T!
Incredible Toon Machine, or just a mess of other titles. You can find them in your local software store, or order them directly from our website's online store or from the legion of telephone customer service representatives at 1-800-SIERRA5. Then you can tell that third-grade teacher who used to lecture you about punctuality that you paid about thirty bucks less per game than she did.


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If you're anything like me, the one thing better than dirt-cheap games is free games, so I'll throw a few of those in here as well. I just so happen to have a big batch of SierraOriginals titles sitting at my desk (got them through the departmental budget by calling them "research materials") and I'm holding a contest to give `em away. And since I hate random drawings (since they involve no thought) and essay contests (since I'd have to read all your entries, and I do have somewhere I need to go this year), we're going to do this a little bit differently. One of the SierraOriginals is "Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards." There are a lot of letters in that game title, and if they were in a different order, it stands to reason that they'd make other words and sentences. What I'm looking for is the most creative sentence which can be made from the letters in the game title. You don't have to use all of the letters, but each letter can only be used once !
here's only one "g" in the title, so there'd better only be one "g" in the sentence). You may use as much punctuation as you need. Send your sentences to PRIZE@SIERRA.COM. Whichever entry I think is the coolest (that's right, just me, no panel of impartial judges, sorry) wins your choice of any FIVE SierraOriginals games. That should keep you busy for a while.

And that's about everything I can fit into one issue. Fun info next month on Betrayal In Antara and the Mac version of Space Quest 6, so stay tuned, and happy gaming!

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