New Jane Jensen game

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.

Fabulous! Just what I was waiting to hear about! Now I won’t have to keep bothering poor Robert Coffey about it. :D

I can’t wait to tackle some great new JJ puzzles!

Now when you get stuck you’re expected to literally read her mind.

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…

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)

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…

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…

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).

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?

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.

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!

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.

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.

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:

I have to say that I’m not a big fan of psycho-thriller type games regardless of who designs them.

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:

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!


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.

[size=2]edited for clarity[/size]

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