View Full Version : New Jane Jensen game
05-13-2003, 06:59 AM
From the press release:
The Adventure Company to Work with Legendary Game-Storyteller, Jane Jensen
World-Renowned Writer to Guest at E3
Toronto, Ontario, May 13th 2003 – The Adventure Company today announced it has an agreement with Jane Jensen and the company she co-founded, Odyssey Digital Entertainment, to write and produce an exclusive new title. Terms of
the deal were not discussed.
Jane Jensen has made a massive name for herself amongst gamers, especially the legions of fans that adored her Gabriel Knight Mystery Series. Renowned for writing some of the most story-intensive games of all time, Jane has the ability to capture the gamer’s imagination.
“I’m truly delighted to be working with Jane, we’re all massive fans here,’ commented CEO, Richard Wah Kan. “She brings an amazing level of intensity to adventure games.”
Jane is currently in the midst of the design process of this next game, and although untitled, ‘Project Jane-J’ will be a mystery that takes the paranormal very seriously. Based on mind-altering experiments of a reclusive doctor, the story throws a young female student deep into a world telepathy and clairvoyance, where nothing is as it seems. Like CSI’s use of forensic science, the game and story-line will be based on real neurobiology and psi research.
The game-play will be a combination of investigative, third-person adventure game play, Myst-style logic puzzles interspersed with some arcade-style sequences. The title is expected to be on shelves in Q4 2004.
05-13-2003, 07:42 AM
Fabulous! Just what I was waiting to hear about! Now I won't have to keep bothering poor Robert Coffey about it. :D
05-13-2003, 08:02 AM
I can't wait to tackle some great new JJ puzzles! (http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/78.html)
05-13-2003, 08:22 AM
Now when you get stuck you're expected to literally read her mind.
05-13-2003, 09:44 AM
Tough crowd! :wink: *practices dodging flying pots and pans*
I really liked GK2: The Beast within. The story was campy but fun, the filmed locales were interesting, and Grace was funny. The puzzles were too easy, but outside of that, it resides in my fav adventure game list right up there with The Last Express, Broken Sword 1, and Tex Murphy's UAKM and Pandora Directive. :D
TAC is distributing Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon too, come this fall...
05-13-2003, 09:47 AM
I'm just kidding* ;-) The first two Gabriel games are among my favourite PC games ever made, and I spent far too much time sniffing around Munich and Neuschwanstein when I went to Bavaria a couple of years later.
(* Apart from the Infamous Cat Puzzle and the Not So Infamous But Still Insane Cuckoo Clock Puzzle)
05-13-2003, 09:49 AM
Pssst... The infamous cat moustache puzzle was from GK3, a different kettle of fish with that 3D engine and Tim Curry's fake southern accent...
05-13-2003, 09:52 AM
There was no Gabriel Knight III. Do you hear? There was no Gabriel Knight III. If just a thousand cats dream it, they can change the world....
05-13-2003, 10:22 AM
I generally enjoy adventure games, but I couldn't get into the GK series. I played the first one up until the cop/mime puzzle, when I quit in disgust. I thought the story up to that point was interesting but not amazing. I didn't play 2 (which I think everyone says was the best one). I played 3 up to the cat-hair puzzle and then quit in disgust. I thought the story in 3 was actually taking a cool turn, but the puzzles were terrible (not just the cat one, although it was by far the worst).
05-13-2003, 10:45 AM
Long ago and far away, I struggled through the babel fish puzzle in Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. As a satire of ridiculous adventure puzzles, it was a work of genius. As a new gold standard for future works, it was ludicrous...
Some of you guys willingly put yourselves through puzzles like this and then you kvetch about obscure graphical differences between ATI and NVidia graphics cards. Can you feel the cognitive dissonance?
05-13-2003, 12:42 PM
Worst puzzle ever: King's Quest 4, figuring out how to bring the unicorn to the evil witch.
HGttG was easy in comparison. Even with the babel fish puzzle, you at least knew you had to use your inventory items on various things in the room and it just took time figuring out which items went where. Plus it was fun in a goofy and very stupid way.
In KQ4, you are simply given NO CLUES AT ALL to one vital part of the unicorn puzzle. I had to literally resort to using the MS-DOS command DEBUG to dump the contents of my computer's RAM and read the text messages for the various screens in KQ4 before I even had the slighest clue about how I was supposed to get one of the items needed.
Nothing in any Infocom game came close to making me that frustrated. Hell, nothing in KQ5 was that bad, and I sure don't like KQ5 either.
05-13-2003, 01:14 PM
Worst puzzle ever: King's Quest 4, figuring out how to bring the unicorn to the evil witch.
You know, I've thought a bit about why people willingly and enthusiastically put up with shit puzzles back in Roberta's "good old days." I think I finally came to the conclusion that we were simply too stupid to realize that what was being delivered was crap.
This happens pretty often in human society. People put up with a very poor quality service for a LONG time and everybody basically thinks they have it pretty good. But eventually, somebody comes along with something better and of course the first thing that everybody does is to compare the new thing with the old thing.
Most of the time the old thing isn't going to look very good in comparison.
You can see this with a lot of things--especially technology--because the time it takes to move from the crap to something that is exponentially better than crap is very short.
Just think...people put up with riding on horses or in horse-drawn carts and carriages for a long time before the first cars came along. And even when cars were first developed, it took a long time for them to become reliable, efficient, and comfortable. These things didn't even take place within one lifetime!
But when you look at the Kings Quest games (which, don't get me wrong, I loved to pieces when I was 14) vs. something like Half Life...well...there's just no comparison. The graphics in KQ2 look like you could make them on a Lite-Brite for goodness sakes. Today's graphics are starting to look almost as good as what you would expect in the Pixar movies. And that's in just 10 years...1988 to 1998!
I guess it's not really surprising that there are some one-trick ponies out there that are still creating games the way they created them back in the "good old days." Eventually nobody will be willing to hire them anymore or they'll learn some new tricks!
05-13-2003, 01:41 PM
I swore off parser games after Infocom's Spellbreaker. Ballbreaker is more like it. I mean, all hail Infocom and Lebling, etc, etc, but damn did that game make me feel stupid.
I really liked Enchanter and Sorcerer, but buying Spellbreaker was like paying $40 for someone to smash me in the face with a clawhammer.
I never cared much for the King's Quest series. Eye candy back in the day, but nothing special.
05-13-2003, 02:09 PM
Some of the puzzles in the early days essentially substituted math for actual gameplay. I think that was because the computer geeks knew about math but didn't know about gameplay.
So...if you're a math whiz you probably thought the puzzles were easy. Most people thought they were devilish though.
05-13-2003, 02:31 PM
Based on mind-altering experiments of a reclusive doctor, the story throws a young female student deep into a world telepathy and clairvoyance, where nothing is as it seems.>>>>>
And her name is Gabrielle Nite......... :shock:
05-13-2003, 02:34 PM
I have to say that I'm not a big fan of psycho-thriller type games regardless of who designs them.
05-13-2003, 07:19 PM
Jane Jensen can be a good storyteller, depending on the game. I have faith. 8)
I played all the KQs up through 7, but I never cared for any of them. (Hey, back in those days, there just wasn't much out there for computer games, ya know?) That crazy "have the goat spin around three times while you play your magic flute" junk drove me crazy. I dislike puzzles that aren't at least somewhat logical as well as being inventive.
But as far as Roberta Williams goes, Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest rocked in its day. Five minutes into the story, everybody had a motive for killing everybody else. Five minutes later, bodies were dropping like flies (including Laura's). Of course, half an hour later my Tandy TL2 1000 286 was dropping out the window due to the frustration of those anal text parser conversations, but... Those were the days for adventure games. :wink:
05-13-2003, 08:42 PM
I freely admit that GKIII's cat-moustache puzzle was probably the worst puzzle ever in an adventure game. I am not sure what fraction of gamers were dissuaded by the rather crappy puzzles overall in that game.
It's unfortunate b/c GK III had one of the best stories ever in an adventure game. The way Jensen combined local, classical and medieval history was awesome and some of the sequences of story were really strong. The Grace stuff in the middle and end was particularly great.
I've been thinking about Jane Jensen a lot lately b/c of the success of some novels by writer Dan Brown. He wrote a book Angels and Demons about a professor of symbology who is on a quest to find the secret fortress of the illuminati in Rome, using architectural clues from a famous Rennaissance sculptor. The book combines puzzle solving, lots of history and lore, some action, some dialogue and a lot of religious/mythic musing. It reminded me VERY much of GK II. As I read it, I kept thinking "Man this could be a quality adventure game".
Dan Brown just came out with The DaVinci Code which features the same professor of symbology deciphering the art of DaVinci in a quest for the Holy Grail - which is associated with the bloodline of Christ, descent from Mary Magdelene, etc. This book reminded me a LOT of GK III, although Jane's take on the grail/holy bloodline theme was a lot cooler than Brown's.
Now it sounds like Jensen is returning the favor to Brown b/c she is coming out with a book called The Dante Equations. I can only assume it will mix history, myth and puzzle solving like the Dan Brown books :0.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to both the book and the game, horrible cat puzzle be damned!
05-13-2003, 10:04 PM
I really enjoyed how the Gabriel Knight games blended history with fantasy. Especially with GK2 and GK3. GK3 even added conspiracy theory to the mix.
I was really hoping for a Gabriel Knight 4.
edited for clarity
05-13-2003, 10:11 PM
It's always seemed to me that the best puzzles first confront one with an inexplicable mess of clues. And by the time you've figured it all out, the solution is so self-evident that you want to smack yourself in the head for not seeing it from the get-go.
I've read a lot of authors (especially mystery authors) who have pulled that off with style. I have yet to see an adventure game do that to me. I don't think it's a limitation of the technology, but rather a limitation of the designers.
Just my two cents
I talked to Steve Meretzky and Brian Moriarty (of Infocom fame) about some of this stuff, and got two different perspectives.
I asked Steve why there was always one solution to a problem. The old question of why I'm standing outside a door, and the only way in is through some bizarre sequence of events, instead of my just finding a rock and bashing the door open or something. I had thought the answer would be combinatorial explosion or something (because now the designers have to deal with the case of the door being broken, and my not having set the various triggers that I would set if I did it the "right" way).
He said that wasn't it--it was just a way of stretching out the game; the more ways you have to solve a problem, the faster you'll finish the game, and you won't feel like you got your money's worth.
While I was working with Brian, he mentioned that Infocom at one time commissioned a survey to find out what people liked best about their games. They had thought that people liked the impossible-to-solve puzzles, and loved being stumped, but it turned out that people actually preferred finishing the game to being stumped for a long time. (I know, it seems obvious, but Brian said it was a huge surprise to them). My guess is that the KQ designers had the same idea.
05-14-2003, 07:30 AM
They had thought that people liked the impossible-to-solve puzzles, and loved being stumped, but it turned out that people actually preferred finishing the game to being stumped for a long time. (I know, it seems obvious, but Brian said it was a huge surprise to them).
HA! I was right! This completely confirms (at least in this one case...although these guys were BIG in the day) my claim in the Sims 2 thread that game designers probably don't know half the time what the heck it is people even liked about the game!
This story doesn't surprise me one single bit. I know that working on business type IT projects that you can get this kind of tunnel-vision where you just don't have any idea anymore what it is that your customers like about your product.
The part about how the designers only put in one way to open the door is just what I would expect from old-school game developers. This is bullshit. And even if it's not, it's just a crappy excuse. There's a reason why adventure games are basically an extinct breed and it's because an adventure game today has to be awesome in every way to get anybody to put up with the stupid and artificial constraints. That's probably why the Last Express is so well regarded...the constraints make some sense in the context of a moving train.
Probably in another ten years we'll all wonder why Half-Life was so awesome and we'll bitch about how many stupid constraints it had. Then the designers will give interviews and suggest some dumb crap and we can make fun of them.
05-12-2010, 01:04 AM
Is it OK to raise a thread from oblivion after 7 fricking long years?
Because Gray Matter is coming out this year (finally!) and is looking good: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/gray-matter-preview
Classic adventuring with a touch of magic and the same composer as for the GK games. Woohoo! Erm... I mean. I'm rather pleased by the news. :)
05-12-2010, 01:10 AM
Probably the most daring thread necro I ever saw. Oh, and yes, I am looking forward to this.
05-12-2010, 06:23 AM
Yay! Shattenjaggers forever!
05-12-2010, 06:47 AM
The game-play will be a combination of investigative, third-person adventure game play, Myst-style logic puzzles interspersed with some arcade-style sequences.
That's too bad.
05-12-2010, 07:08 AM
That's too bad.
That was 7 years ago.
The Eurogamer preview (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/gray-matter-preview) I linked says:
What's surprising about Gray Matter is how comfortable the game is not only with well-honed adventure mechanics but the uncompromising use of simple static backdrops and images for its locations and cut-scenes. This strict adherence to the pre-3D style favoured by the classic LucasArts, Sierra, Westwood and Revolution during the genre's heyday gives Gray Matter a reassuringly 'lived-in' look and feel. For many, booting it up for the first time will be like putting on an old pair of slippers.
The understated, static location backdrops and non-animated cut-scenes are beautiful and admirable in their own way, with a deft attention to detail and an intricate, crafted style which promises to make exploring the game's many atmospheric locales an absorbing experience in its own right.
The game employs a new Progress Bar system within each chapter too, revealing how far towards solving a specific problem you are and detailing how many 'bonus actions' you've managed to solve along the way. Although not necessary to advance the plot, bonus actions allow you to discover more detail about the back-story. (They also reward you with those inexplicably tempting Gamerscore morsels on Xbox 360.)
It goes without saying that puzzles will be a major focus of the gameplay, and although you do combine objects in traditional style, players can expect a heavy emphasis on magic tricks from the third chapter onwards as well.
05-12-2010, 12:04 PM
This is great news! :)
05-12-2010, 12:19 PM
I had no idea this has been in the works for 7 years. But Jane Jensen gets on the short list of creators whose work I will give a crack at without waiting for reviews, so I'm anxiously awaiting her newest point-n-click adventure. Though these days I anxiously await most point-n-click adventures.
05-12-2010, 12:41 PM
That was 7 years ago
Seemed like today to me!
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