Ken Allen’s HALFDOME KickStarter is LIVE!

PLEASE pass around the following URL that links directly to the Kickstart:


If you played PC games 2 decades ago, there’s a chance I created its music. I’m making a new album based on some of that music & more.

  • Launched: Jan 22, 2013
  • Funding ends: Feb 21, 2013

Yeah the video is pure corn dog. It was fun to make and edit. But my forte is music (pardon the pun). Thank-you to my patient wife who directed this video.

First some housekeeping.


The Project

I am producing a brand new album based on music I created during my years as a game composer, roughly 1989 – 1996.

What was once music created for vintage era PC sound cards and synth modules will now be freshly recorded for full orchestra with the same sound libraries used by today’s film and TV composers.

The album will feature a lot of work based on pieces I did for Sierra’s games, like Space Quest, King’s Quest, Oilswell, Dr Brain and more, and I’ll add some of my favorite tracks from other games not published by Sierra.

About The Album

As mentioned above, I’ll be producing all-new performances using state-of-the art workstation software and the same instrument libraries used by many of today’s film and TV composers.

The sound libraries are from the Complete Composers Collection, which includes Orchestra, Choir, Fab Four, Stormdrum 2, Pianos, Goliath, and Ministry of Rock, plus a few more.

You can find these on (No, this is not a shameless cross promo plug.)

If this Kickstarter does well, I’ll invite guest musicians and singers to perform on a several of the tracks.

If we raise enough to reach one of my stretch goals I’ll even have the album mixed in 5.1 audio, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Stretch goals will be announced as this campaign makes progress.

The album will be roughly equivalent to an audio double CD, somewhere north of 90 minutes, and will highlight some of my favorite work spanning my game composing career.

I’ve got a couple surprises in the track listing, too, so stay tuned.

Backer Rewards

Outside the US?

Be advised that sending physical goods to backers outside the US will cost extra.

I’ve made estimates for shipping. Check the rewards section for more info. I’ll do my best to keep the costs down. And if it ends up being cheaper, I’ll refund you the difference.


This is the minimum pledge for this project.

At this tier, not only do you get a warm fuzzy feeling from supporting this project, but you get notified when I post updates here and YOU get to leave comments here.

This way, you get to jump in, stay informed, and then increase your pledge later. You can increase your pledge at anytime before the end of this Kickstarter.


For $15, you receive a digital download of this album (in lossless format and MP3) and a PDF of the CD booklet.

You also get access to my backer-only blog, which will even include video and podcasts chronicling my progress on the production of the album as well as the music for the upcoming game SpaceVenture by the Guys From Andromeda.

Go to for more about this game. (Yes, this IS a shameless cross promo plug.)

You also receive a badge based on the album cover, which you can use in online forums and social networks. (Pictured badge not the actual badge.)

Plus everything from the lower tiers.


For just $5 more, you’ll also get a collection of ringtones based on music from this album.


At $30, you take delivery the album in its physical double CD form.

Yes, this is so 1999, but the CD cover is autographed by yours truly and the artist creating the album’s cover art. (See $150 for more about the artist.)

Plus, you get everything else in the lower tiers.


At $50, you receive a digital download of the making-of videos and podcasts from the backer-only blog.

Plus, not only will your name will be listed in the Thank-You section of the CD booklet, I will call you with my personal thanks!

During the call you can ask me about stuff like what it was like to work at Sierra, or the process of creating music, or even how I got interested in composing music in the first place.

We’ll do this as a video call in a Google Hangout and invite several of your friends, or we can just do the call on the phone. Your choice.

This, in addition to all the rewards from the lower tiers.


At $75, not only do you get everything from the lower tiers, but you take delivery of a t-shirt unique to this project.

It features the first page from the conductor’s score of Back To The Sequel, a fully orchestrated recording based on the opening of Space Quest 4, which will be included in this album.


At the $100 level, you get to participate.

You can write up to 250 words for the liner notes on any family friendly topic. Wanna say how playing your first Sierra game blew your mind? Here’s your chance.

Plus you are listed as Associate Producer in the album credits, and you lay claim to all the rewards from the lower tiers.


This summer, some friends and I will make the trek to Yosemite’s Half Dome, the beloved icon of Sierra Online, and we’ll revisit the old Sierra HQ buildings where all this magic took place.

We will film this trek and create a documentary, and then YOU get an invitation to download it.

You also take delivery of a signed and numbered 12 x 12 enlargement of the CD cover created by Sierra artist and illustrator, Rich Powell.

Rich’s website is at and his webcomic can be found here (Shameless plug #2.)

This is in addition to all the rewards from the lower tiers.


For $50 more, you take delivery of a physical DVD of the trek to the old Sierra HQ and Half Dome from the $150 tier, which includes stills and footage not made available in the digital download.

The DVD case will be signed by those who participated in the climb as well as your truly.

You also take delivery of a second copy of the album CD to give to a friend, and a 2nd t-shirt that bares the phrase “A Real Pantload” in the Space Quest font.

All this loot, plus the rewards from lower tier rewards.


Now this next one was suggested by one of the fans.

If you want to perform on one tracks for this album, a pledge of $500 will get you there.

The track is called Space Questin’ and is based on a song performed one of the bands from the Space Bar cantina in Space Quest 1 (VGA remake).

What to hear what your gettin’ yourself into? Here’s a link to a fresh recording of the original song performed by my friend, Brandon Blume. (Shameless plug #3)

Even if you’re not a musician, through the magic of the interwebs and NASA technology, we can record you snapping your fingers, clapping your hands, or even hitting a cowbell. You can even use this track to promote yourself as a recorded musician.

On top of that, to commemorate yourself being a recorded on a track on this album, you get a 3rd t-shirt that reads “Space Questin'” in the Space Quest font. You also get listed in the credits as a performer in the song.

That, plus everything from the lower tiers.


At $750, the rewards reach the true enthusiast level.

Not only do you get everything from the lower tiers, and if you’re keeping track, it’s a LOT, you also receive a keyboard used by me in the production of this album and the SpaceVenture game, which will also be signed by yours truly.

To clarify, I will purchase the keyboard pictured above, use it to make some music for this album and the SpaceVenture game, add my autograph, and then ship it to YOU.


I will compose a song for you.

You tell me the music style and what message you want to convey. You can even suggest lyrics or melody. Or it can just be an instrumental for a family video or home-brew game.

And for your pledge, you also receive a license to use the music for any family friendly purpose of your choosing.

If the song turns out great, I’ll include it in this album!

And if THAT is not enough, you also get everything from the lower pledge tiers.


This is the grand-daddy of tiers for this project (unless you can come up with something even more awesome, which I’m sure you can)!

For a $2,000 pledge, not only do you lay claim to all the rewards from the lower tiers, but I will commission a company to create a customized bobble-head doll set of YOU and ME rocking out together.

Just the thought of this gets me excited. Yes, I’m cereal!


If you’ve got suggestions for rewards at even higher tiers, click the comment link above and then click on “contact project creator”. Let me know your ideas for rewards on this project.

Image Credits

Images used here are through a Creative Commons license, except for the Kickstarter badge at the $15 tier, the image created by Rich Powell used in the $150 tier, the keyboard image at the $750 tier, and the bobblehead image used at the $2000 tier, all of which have been used with the permission of the owners.

Thank you!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Though I will be performing most of this music as I did when I composed the originals, I want some of the tracks to be collaborative with some friends who are also musicians. We would be using the cloud to do this and this will be my first time using a virtual studio.

So, cloud collaboration is part of the plan and among the risks.

As with every Kickstarter project, the rewards and shipping them cost money, and I’ve done a lot of research on this, but there’s always the chance I may have misinterpreted the data from my sources.

If the rubber hits the road and I discover the cost of a reward tier exceeds the pledge amount, I’ll let you know so we can work out a fair alternative.