I created Leisure Suit Larry and many other games during my 16 years with Sierra. I've recently come out of retirement to remake the original Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. Check out our Kickstarter

My friends Paul Trowe and Josh Mandel are lurking around here somewhere (restraining orders notwithstanding!). I’m sure they’ll add to my comments and correct me when I’m wrong. Proof

I want to answer as many questions as I can, so let’s do it. And by that, I mean: AMA!


Okay, guys, that's a wrap! I've had a ball answering questions tonight and hope you were as entertained as I was! I've laughed, smiled, and even wet myself just a little. Thanks again! And please help put us over the top over on Kickstarter! We need your help. Spread the word via social media whenever you can!

Good night. And good Larrying!

Comments: 1642 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

Chuckles712493 karma

Part of Leisure Suit Larry's appeal in 1987 was its novelty: The adult jokes and saucy environment in a computer game. How do you hope to make Larry stand out in 2012 where we have the shock humor of South Park on cable TV and raunch by simply typing "boobs" into a Google Image search?

allowe724 karma

Isn't it obvious? We'll be dirtier than anything on the Internet!

You can type "boobs" into Google?

PS. I love your use of the word "saucy"!

Stadius1446 karma

Wow. Hi.

The first titties i ever saw had one pixel nipples. I've been addicted to digital porn ever since. Thanks Al!

allowe496 karma

We all do what we can.

LarryLaffer415 karma

Hi dad. How's mom doing?

allowe273 karma

Hi, Larry! How's it hangin.... uh, what's new?

tenchuu007391 karma

How much did Larry 1 through 3 cost when they were new? I'm trying to figure out how much I owe you from when I was a broke, underaged kid. Figured I'd add it to the kickstart.

allowe356 karma

List price? $29.99, $39.99 and $49.99. (It was obviously a time of high inflation!) Looks like you're going to get quite the reward level from your pledge.

Carl_S386 karma

Hey! This guy just bought a non-lubed candy-cane striped mint flavored extra small condom !!!

allowe421 karma


stanker4315 karma

Is larry meant to resemble a real person? If so, who?

allowe905 karma

Larry was modeled after a salesman for Sierra that shall remain nameless. He would return from sales trip and brag to us about how much ass he had gotten. Those of us sitting there coding hated him.

foooelz214 karma

How did you go about programming all of the commands in the first LSL? At the time, it seemed like there were endless things you can request from Larry. Did you ever at any point think, 'I wonder if they'll know what to do here?'.

I am big fan of the game, as a nine year old at the time I always looked at it as the adult 'choose your own adventure'.

allowe521 karma

It was the first game we beta tested at Sierra. I wrote a module that recorded what you were doing when you asked a question the game didn't understand. The beta testers collected the text file created and mailed them to me on a floppy disk by horse back. I then sorted them and made sure the game had some sort of answer for everything they asked. So the games owes its intelligence to the beta testers.

Irishmile206 karma

Barry Manilow was nominated for a grammy in 2010 for a new album, did Larry feel vindicated?

allowe194 karma


nffDionysos205 karma

How do you think the point-and-click adventure genre can be revitalized?

allowe479 karma

I think touch screens will be the saving grace for point and clicks. When you can actually point at things, instead of mousing around, you'll find the game much more responsive. I also look forward to using motion sensing in some new and creative ways. (Read into that what you will!)

crimson117183 karma

Favorite Sierra game not made by you?

allowe423 karma

Space Quest!

cheddarben175 karma

Yes... I did masturbate once or twice to your video games in the very early 90s. 386 style. No questions.... just a comment.

allowe381 karma

Yes. I know.

Carl_S173 karma

One of the things I remember the most about some of the old Sierra games was finding yourself in a situation where you forgot to pick up an item a long way back in the game and essentially being stuck at that point and not able to go back. Being stuck in the cage without the magic marker comes to mind. This required you to load an early game save (assuming you had one far enough back), acquire said item, and replay a lot of the story. Sadly, that wasn't always the most enjoyable thing to do. Some adventure games that came later sort of obsoleted the "never being able to go back" issue using several methods. How do you plan to handle this issue in the LSL re-makes? Old school or New school?

allowe312 karma

New School. I learned as i went along. There were no classes in how to do this. We all guessed and learned from each other. But i promise you'll never get stuck without needed inventory again. No more dead ends.

[deleted]160 karma

What was your inspiration when you came up with the original Leisure Suit Larry?

allowe258 karma

I went for a laugh. Ken Williams asked me how out of date "Softporn Adevnture" was. I said, it should be wearing a leisure suit. He laughed and that's how it got started.

Tanis_Nikana151 karma

Hi Al! Cyberjoke3000 is amazing, just wanted to say that.

Also, why do I have to be like 45 to see boobies in Leisure Suit Larry?

allowe439 karma

Because 45 is when you are old enough for "ultra porn"!

144Odd139 karma

Hi Al, Josh and Paul,

Al you have be "enlightening" my mind since I was around 12 years old, my question is , what is it like to come out of retirement after such a long while out of industry and how much has that industry’s changed since you have been out?

Also if you up for a second question why did Sierra not want to make a LSL8 because sales would have not been a problem, seeing as LSL7 was the best selling in the original Larry series?

allowe282 karma

Sierra went through a dramatic management of people at that time. Ken was the victim of a hostile takeover by one of his board members who proceeded to run the company into the ground. It was new management's decision to stop developing adventure games and instead chase current market trends. Instead of a leader they turned themselves into just another follower.

phaseswitch123 karma

"Ken sent me."

allowe105 karma

That's only available at the $10,000 reward level! :)

nasalgoat92 karma

Just wanted to say, thanks for the original Larry. I played the Atari ST version and it was one of the most hilarious things I ever played. I've already signed up to the Kickstarter and I'm looking forward to playing it again. Anyway, my question.

Was there anything that you came up with that you decided was just too racy to include, or that the management asked you to remove?

allowe145 karma

Management? Ken Williams was the only manager i had. He wanted it really dirty at first, but then the closer we got to shipping the more conservative he got. Actually, my wife Margaret was my best editor. Whenever i told her an idea and she stuck up her nose i knew i had gone too far.

p1r47389 karma


allowe115 karma

Neil Ross? I hope so. Easter eggs? Of course! Age test? You bet! Cyber sniff? difficult to handle with downloads.

ElwoodDowd84 karma

More like "I am Al Lowe, creator of Torin's Passage. AMA!"

I loved that game and thank you! (I loved the secret ending with the bagpipes)

Question: To what would you credit your sense of humor?

allowe147 karma

I was always afraid of getting into fights in school and quickly learned that if I made people laugh, I wouldn't get beat up nearly as much!

lntrn73 karma

So my girlfriend just confessed to me that she played your games when she was much younger in the mid 90s. She's surpassed me as a gamer now.

Thanks for ruining my relationship!

allowe141 karma

You're welcome. Yours is not the first relationship I've ruined!

emrikol70 karma

Wow, I think this is the first time I've ever really been excited about an AmA!

Al, I've been a huge fan ever since I got my 8088. I have no question--I just want to say thank you so much. Alright, maybe one question. Other than the new LSL, do you have any more secret plans or projects going on in retirement?

allowe65 karma

You're welcome!

But if I told you, would they still be secret? <grin>

jonathanfrisby69 karma

Hey Al, Josh & Paul!

I've always been curious about the inclusion of actual cartoon nudity in LSL7 (I guess it was mostly just in the easter eggs). I may be wrong, but I think it was the first time in the series when it was actually possible to see something. I was wondering if there were any stories about how you talked Ken into allowing this, reflections on whether it was necessary or if you fell it changed the tone at all, and whether you plan on pushing the levels of stuff you can include or if you plan on sticking to the ultra-unfulfilled-teasing of the early games? Also, any idea how that sort of thing would fly if you submitted it to the Apple's app store (with their family friendly policies)? Thanks!!

allowe128 karma

To me cartoon nudity is not nudity. I think Apple is way too conservative. I love Easter eggs and you should expect some in all the games from Replay Games. But i still think teasing is funnier than showing.

jslepicka66 karma

I always preferred the typing interface over point-and-click. (How) do the different interfaces affect game design and which do you prefer?

allowe113 karma

We designers were all surprised by how easy our first point and click adventure was. We had to add a lot more puzzles when you no longer had to type in your command. We didn't realize just how much difficulty guessing the right words added to the game. I far "prefer point and click" to "guess which word the designer was thinking of."

Dingojingo61 karma

I loved this game and played it from an inappropriately young age (I must have been around 8 or 9 when I started). We had memorised the answers at the start of the game to prove how old we were.

And I learnt so much from this game: about sexually transmitted diseases, how to play poker etc.

I am having wonderful flashbacks - The dancing at the disco! The gorgeous room at the hotel!

Yay for you :)

allowe217 karma

Thanks, man. Which prison are you writing from?

androz53 karma


JoshMandel39 karma

Yes, he is!

allowe59 karma

Paul who? :D

Irishmile48 karma

If you get to make Larry 8 (a real one) will he be older and still swinging in the present day or would you still have him in the 80s or 90s? Imagine Larry on internet dating sites ... could be hilarious.

allowe81 karma

That would mean he's now 65 and still looking for chicks? That's just creepy! No, he's a character of the 80s who's stuck in the 70s for sure.

weekend_special45 karma

"Be sure to join us next time when we hear Bobby Bitternut ask, 'MOM'LL NEVER FIND OUT!' "

This. Torin's Passage is so full of awesome. Mr. Lowe, THANK YOU!! I see many others are asking about a possible sequel to TP - please for the love of GOD tell us there's a possibility!

allowe70 karma

OMG! A Bitternut reference!! You've made my day.

I would have loved to do Torin's 2 through 5 as planned. But...

Minifig8145 karma

I'm probably really, really late, but..

AL! I grew up on Sierra games. Your games, combined with Ken and Roberta Williams, and Corey Cole & Lori Ann Coles games meant the world to me. I just wanted to say THANK YOU, for such a wonderful youth and ask you three simple questions: Are you sad to see the direction your precious Larry has gone in the terms of video games and is that why you're remaking the first one? And: What direction would you have taken the franchise? Finally: What is your favorite joke in the whole franchise? Once again, thank you so much for such a wonderful youth.

allowe58 karma

You're welcome!

  1. Yes. But that's not why. I want the chance to contaminate a whole new generation of hardware.

  2. Not the way Larry Lovage went!

  3. Not THE but one fave of mine: Ken at the bar in Lefty's telling you just the punch lines to the dirtiest jokes i knew.

Gearwhine35 karma

I got grounded for playing LSL...my parents said it was pornography. I was young and forgot to close the game before they went to the computer. Your game taught me to scour the computer heavily before I ever left it out of my site. No one has ever found my stash since that event.

Oh yeah...my friend sent it to me. I didn't pay for it. Apparently I got what I deserved.

allowe70 karma

Here's your chance to get redemption, my son. Head over to Kickstarter and your sins will be forgiven!

Atario31 karma

Hi, Al. I was once coworkers with your co-programmer on the original Leisure Suit Larry game: Carlos Escobar (international drug lord nonpareil!).

Was he as much of a cheerfully abrasive bastard when you worked with him as when I did? Because that guy was legendary around our offices.

allowe56 karma

Cheerfully abrasive is a perfect description. There was an entire program called "Carlos Says" that dispensed his "wisdom". But he and I shared a lot of long hours together and he taught me one phrase that I still use often: "That's AN idea!" which you use when someone has said something so stupid it deserves no further thought. I miss you, old friend.

BearPunchCC29 karma

When it comes to the future of Leisure Suit Larry, where do you see it going from here? What I mean is, lets say LSL1 gets the required funds (it damn well better!), what then? Do you continue remaking the them in order 2 through 7? Would you want to ever officially make a real Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies? Or the never made Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space?

I'm just curious where you, and the rest of Replay hope for Larry to go from here.

allowe48 karma

I would like to remake them in order but not ruin the Larry 4 joke. I would love to make Lust in Space.

allowe43 karma

What I really want is to see our Kickstarter campaign go over the top and for people to like the game we do. That means we'll be able to more games in the future. It's in your hands, folks!

HomeHeatingTips26 karma

Sierra adventure games were my childhood. I just want to say thanks Al for so many great memories. I still have copies of LSL, Police Quest, and Space Quest games sitting right here next to me. Point and Click adventure gaming is coming back, and I can't wait for your new game.

allowe24 karma

You're welcome. It truly was our pleasure. Please share with your friends on social media the link to our KS campaign!

chipturner26 karma

LSL is one of my favorite game series of all time, particularly since I somehow managed to begin playing them when I was pretty young (~13)! How do you feel about video game ratings and age limits? How aware were you at the time about kids playing LSL, and did it worry you?

allowe59 karma

Im all in favor of rating system and in fact Sierra developed the rating system at first. And I'm all for freedom of speech and being able to express yourself. But im also a parent. The grading system lets a parent govern their child instead of a rule governing us all.

Enchilada_McMustang25 karma

Saludos desde Uruguay!!!

Larry was extremely popular here when I was kid in the early 90's. You rock!

allowe45 karma

And yet, I never got a single royalty check!

watercolorchild24 karma

My boyfriend and I played through the Larry games this past week and we have "Larry"...or is it "Al Lowe" on the brain. What is your favorite gag in the games and why?

allowe53 karma

Its that one in Leisure Suit Larry 4 where you.... Ah you know. Its famous!

Seriously, I loved the P.A. announcer in LSL7 because at first you think he is just funny but then as you get stuck you realize he is giving you clues to help you solve the current puzzle. I'm not sure how many people realize that.

PendingSente23 karma

You, sir, are awesome.

I may love you a little bit.

allowe29 karma

And I may love you a little bit back.

doomtech21 karma

Al Lowe is the friendliest looking fellow i have ever seen

allowe37 karma

what a shitty thing to say! <grin>

Sulku21 karma

Will the remake have a LSL7-styled text parser?

allowe32 karma

Probably not, but if the KS campaign is successful enough, anything goes.

Now go raise your reward level! <grin>

MrOslo20 karma

If you get to remake all the Larry games, which one are you looking most forward to working on?

allowe57 karma

Larry 2 because it had the most wrong with it. There is a lot of stuff to be fixed and i know i can make it better. There were dead ends and design flaws that im not proud of. It will be great to eliminate the defects and enhance the rest.

andbond19 karma

How hard was it to do it the first time?

PS:link to Kickstarter not working...

allowe29 karma

You never forget your first time! But games are different; when it takes you months to finish, no one thinks it's hard!

dbenzhuser19 karma

Why am I still awake? ... its 3 am here. Oh and thanks for CyberJoke 3000™, makes me smile every morning at work :)

allowe47 karma

Because you have no life and you are alone and you are going to die that way. :D

Seriously what better do you have to do? Im having fun, aren't you?

theaceoffire18 karma

What are the challenges that a developer face when making an action game that has such a famous legacy today?

Will you be making this for consoles or Linux too?

Did you have jokes the publishers told you to cut, or other censorship issues?

Do some of the older jokes not work with today's culture?

If you had unlimited resources and time, what story have you been wishing to turn into a game? Larry mmorpg or some new idea all together?

What are your current top 5 games now? Or do you even have time for them?

If you could erase one Larry game, which one and why?

Any great stories behind the scenes? Inside jokes hidden in the games that no one found?

What was the first game you tried?

What tricks did you use to guide the player subtly? I think valve complained that users "never look up". Any similar issues in adventure games?

Will you be selling plush dolls from the game?

Did you do something neat while retired? Model trains or the like?

How did you hear of kick starter?

Any great movies you love that you feel are not watched enough today?

allowe56 karma

y,n,n,y,maybe,y,sort of, n ,wy,. h,w.a,$

Lavaburst16 karma

Despite oversight and censorship, you still managed to create game that were borderline pervasive. First of all, thank you for that. Second of all, seriously, thank you for that.

That being said, do you feel that developers today are over-hyping or over-stylizing the role sex and sexy can play in video games? If so, what do you think could be done to bridge the gap between insinuated and flagrant sexuality? If not, do you feel there IS (or SHOULD BE, as the case may be) a line that shouldn't be crossed?

allowe37 karma

Do you mean pervasive or perversive? You're welcome. Seriously, you're welcome.

Let's just say there's a line that I won't cross and leave it at that. Not because it's too dirty but because it ceases to be funny!

jimbodan15 karma

What is your favorite adventure game of all time?

allowe75 karma

I totally loved "Loom" but that's probably because I'm a musician and a helpless romantic. If you've never played that game, you should try to find it. A classic!