Jane Jensen’s Next Game Is Moebius

By John Walker on April 16th, 2012 at 6:30 pm.

Venice, the Venice of Venice.

And still they come. Jane Jensen’s Kickstarter has been going for over a week now, and is steadily bringing in the cash. She’s after $300,000, and has almost reached $173,000 with a month to go. It seems pretty likely she’ll hit it, but what is it going to be? Well, a cannily released email has finally made me take notice by saying it’s a “spiritual successor” to Gabriel Knight, and it’s called Moebius.

I’m just going to be nice and assume she means GK1 and 2, and not the skyscraper of excrement that was Gabriel Knight 3. The recently formed Pinkerton Road studio has been created for the project, and bizarrely people were giving money to the KickStarter before it was even decided what game was being made – something that made more sense when it was “a Tim Schafer comedy”, perhaps. However, via the voting of early backers, the game is decided. It’s Moebius.

Which is a “metaphysical sci-fi thriller in the vein of Fringe”, as well as influenced by Jensen’s own novel, Dante’s Equation and the Gab Knight games, and is of course a point and click adventure. It’s to be about an antiquities dealer, Malachi Rector, who has a knack for “sensing the soul of an object”. Brrr. After his shop is burned down, he takes on a job from a millionaire wanting him to travel the world and investigate a series of events, documenting them as he goes.

“The first event is the death of a young woman in Venice, who was found hanging from a bridge. As Rector investigates her life, he soon realizes that this beautiful and talented young woman — and the interrupted path of her life — had great hidden significance. It appears that Amber Dexter and his associates are playing with the fabric of life in a way Rector never imagined possible. Even he, Rector himself, is part of a larger pattern. Malachi Rector must figure out who is doing what — and whether their intentions are for good or ill — before he can decide whether to play his pre-scripted role or try to change the outcome.”

They’re aiming to have the game finished by March next year, should the funding be raised, and of course the KickStarter page will be endlessly updated. Although good grief, the main video slightly forgets the most important rule of getting people’s money: bloody well tell them what it’s about within the first, say, million hours?

But to cut to the chase for you, they’re attempting something called CSG, which stands for Community Supported Gaming. The plan is, if you pledge $50 up front, you’ll get all the games they’ll make in a year. Which this year doesn’t seem a great deal, with there being only one game planned. But they hope to become a bigger studio, making multiple projects at a time. Here’s the Moebius announcement:

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57 Comments »

  1. Flint says:

    not the skyscraper of excrement that was Gabriel Knight 3.

    Wait, what? Outside the cat moustache puzzle GK3 was brilliant, IMO the best of the series.

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      Bluerps says:

      I haven’t played the first two games, but I agree: Gabriel Knight 3 was great.

      • sidhellfire says:

        As I loved first two Gabriel Knights, despite both being very different, I just couldn’t find anything thrilling, amusing or intriguing in GK3, and I just couldn’t finish it because of lack of any motivation or even logic in actions character had planned to do. In short it was very shitty adventure game, and I say it as enthusiast.
        While first Gabriel Knight was ridiculous, and second was cheesy and had awful interface, both provided great atmosphere (both very different) to pass you even greater story. I don’t know, maybe on very late stage GK3 turns into a good game – never managed to reach that moment. Silly puzzles and pure bullshit couldn’t hold me that long.

    • Khemm says:

      Some people hate it “BECAUSE GRAPHICS”, which I didn’t mind at all, the visuals weren’t top notch at the time, but I don’t think they look terrible even today. I might be in the minority here.
      GK3 had awesome map puzzles, I LOVED those.

      The only thing I didn’t like was how the story unfolded, it really got stupid as soon as those “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” influences kicked in. I hated that bullshit.

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        Rikard Peterson says:

        Well, it is ugly, and I say that as someone who didn’t mind Simon the Sorcerer 3 (IMHO a better game than its predecessors), but I have only played the demo. I should get round to playing the game some time, as GK2 is one of my all time favourites.

      • malkav11 says:

        Ugly, and the interface is horribly clunky. But other than that and the cat mustache puzzle, it is a brilliant game.

    • Berto says:

      I guess i love excrement and didn’t know… jeez John why do you hurt my feelings like that? =( <3 GK3

    • Acorino says:

      Gabriel Knight 3 was…well, there was lots of good in it, and lots of bad. I don’t know how else to put it. Sometimes it was awesome (Le Serpent Rouge), sometimes it was excrement indeed (cat hair mustache).
      It had one of the toughest openings I can remember. I had to play the first two installments before I mustered the patience to stick with it. I was somewhat rewarded, but it’s extremely rough around the edges.
      Just like Gray Matter, basically, but I liked that more.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      I agree (except with the “best of the series” bit). I don’t understand why game journalists like to use such outrageous hyperbole as though it were solid fact all the time. Sure, GK3 wasn’t as good as the first two games, but it wasn’t pure shit by any stretch of the imagination.

  2. lhzr says:

    This Moebius thing sounds good and all, but Malachi Rector and Amber Dexter? Is this a metaphysical sci-fi thriller or a parody of one?

  3. xfxian says:

    Oh no, I expected Jean Giraud when I read the title :(

  4. Khemm says:

    I was really torn between Gray Matter 2 and Moebius when choosing. I’d have been happy with either game winning. The premise of Moebius sounds veery Gabriel Knighty, that’s for sure, no wonder it got the most votes.

    • nyarlathotep-88 says:

      I sat there for about 1/2hr reading the pdf file about the games and trying to choose which one to pick :) I thought all 3 sounded like really good adventure games.

  5. noodlecake says:

    Named after the phenomenally talented French illustrator?

  6. wccrawford says:

    Did she just call her mom “Jane”? lol … Ohh, Step-mother. Still feels really weird.

    I loved Gabriel Knight, but I think I was too young at the time, and I never finished it. (It’s not the only game that I didn’t finish until years later… Really should get around to it.)

  7. Squirrelfanatic says:

    Instead of throwing 50$ into the dark I’d rather spend 25$ or less for one of the games they’ll be making that I might be interested in and for which I can read reviews before buying.

    • Khemm says:

      Be a Tau for once.
      FOR THE GREATER GOOD.

      • Squirrelfanatic says:

        I’d rather be an Orc: Dakka dakka overly ambitious people asking for my money before I get to see any of the work done.

      • Phantoon says:

        Greater Good is such garbage. The Tau are just as backwards and evil as everyone else. Don’t want to be a part of the Caste you’re born into? TOO BAD! Aren’t a Tau? Expect to be sterilized.

        They may all answer to the Ethereals, but the Fire Caste does all the combat planning.

    • malkav11 says:

      They’re not asking $50 for just the one game – you can back for the lowest ($16) tier for that. $50 gets you multiple games if they get funded enough to produce more than one game this year (which admittedly isn’t looking terribly likely) and some additional swag, etc.

      • Squirrelfanatic says:

        I was relying on the information in the title which missed the 16$ part.

        Also, I didn’t say that they would be charging 50$ for a single game but that I’d rather select that one game (from the several (?) they are planning to make) specifically and buy it at a lower price point AFTER a review than buy a bunch of games upfront without knowing how good they’ll be or if they even cater to my taste.

  8. Khemm says:

    By the way, only $174.000 has been raised so far… What the hell, PC gamers? Man up and pony up.

    • celozzip says:

      it’s a kickstarter for a jane jenson game, what do you expect??

      anyway, remember that guy who helped make toonstruck was asking for people to declare their interest in a sequel last year before the kickstarter thing became big? he didn’t even ask for money, he just said “if theres enough interest we’ll do it” he really needs to get a move on and make a kickstarter page.

      • Khemm says:

        I’d totally support Toonstruck 2 – holy hell I love the original and the cliffhanger is equally painful as the one in Monkey Island 2.

      • Sic says:

        Holy bananas, how could I forget about that?

        Someone needs to call that guy up. Now.

    • Terragot says:

      Too many kickstarters appearing for all the wrong reasons. And to be honest the kind of games these guys want to make shouldn’t require all that money. They’ve got the big farm, they’ve obviously got a computer and between them they have the talent. Plod on like the rest of us and make a game on a shoe string I say.

      Dare I suggest that baby-boomers have found themselves another bubble?

      • fov says:

        The $300k they’re asking isn’t the whole budget. Jane and her husband are putting in some money too.

  9. Enzo says:

    Gray Matter was a terrible, awful game.

    • Acorino says:

      Wrong! Wrong wrong wrong!!!

      Just finished it today, started it Saturdays for the Kickstarter vote. I liked it surprisingly much considering all the bad things I heard about it. The story was up to the quality you expect from Jane Jensen. I cared about the characters, the mystery and I was satisfied by the end.

      BUT! It was extremely flawed. Basically every other element of the production was botched up. There are so many small niggling flaws all over the place, it feels like the game is merely beta quality! Especially bad was a moment I managed to trigger out of order. Still, despite all the flaws, annoyances and frustrations, the story always was there and captivated me. That happens rarely enough in games, and Gray Matter managed it. So it can’t be too bad I guess. People manage to excuse a lot about Grim Fandango because it has a great story too, so I guess I do the same with Gray Matter here.

    • clonestyle says:

      Grey Matter was a complete letdown after all the hype of the return of a Jane Jensen game. The majority of the game just consisted of you trying to talk to every single person available multiple times until something clicked and the game let you progress. It had nowhere near the gameplay of Gabriel Knight 1, 2, OR 3.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Yachmenev says:

    I´m guessing that the RPS writers lack of excitement for this is down to them not playing Gray Matter? :) A shame, everyone interested in point&click adventures should play that. I beat it earlier this year, and after that I felt that literaly any game from Jane Jensen would be worth kickstarting.

    “Gray Matter was a terrible, awful game.”

    It had terrible 3d models, stiff animations and a UI that needed improvements. And still managed to be amazing. The flaws caused by the troubled development could not hide that.

    Point&click fans that are ok with kickstarter projects in general but doesn´t support this are shooting themselves in the foot.

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      RedViv says:

      Great game, botched program, I would say. It’s probably my favourite adventure of the last years from anywhere outside of the Germany.

  11. Acorino says:

    The recently formed Pinkerton Road studio has been created for the project, and bizarrely people were giving money to the KickStarter before it was even decided what game was being made – something that made more sense when it was “a Tim Schafer comedy”, perhaps.

    I wouldn’t know how. We didn’t know a thing about Double Fine Adventure, but we knew Tim would be involved. Jane’s Kickstarter actually revealed more concrete concepts of the kinds of games she planned to make, so there was already more to go on. And in the end, the chosen concept doesn’t matter too much, because just like with Tim, we know what to expect from Jane.

    Honestly, why is RPS so grumpy and in an overall bad mood in the last few weeks? All this snarky writing starts to go on my nerves. Maybe I should look for a more up-beat place online. A shame.

    • Premium User Badge

      Yachmenev says:

      There does seem to be some kind of strange mood swings going on in some of their articles lately yes, hope it´s just phase. Still love RPS regardless of that. Can offer them a hug if that´s what they need.

      *hugs computer*

      There you go. All fixed!

    • Ysellian says:

      “Honestly, why is RPS so grumpy and in an overall bad mood in the last few weeks? All this snarky writing starts to go on my nerves. Maybe I should look for a more up-beat place online. A shame.”

      I blame the weather! It’s colder than winter at the moment XD

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Nah, they’ve just never seemed to like Jane Jensen for some reason. So I’m kind of shocked they bothered posting on her kickstarter at all.

  12. Pazguato says:

    “Although good grief, the main video slightly forgets the most important rule of getting people’s money: bloody well tell them what it’s about within the first, say, million hours?”

    Bad writing. I’m a bit concerned because adventure games are all about writing, aren’t they?

    “It’s to be about an antiquities dealer, Malachi Rector, who has a knack for “sensing the soul of an object”. Brrr.”

    Brrr indeed!

    • Paroxysm says:

      That was exactly my reaction. If they can’t even produce a well written pitch (or perform it well) I’m not really going to jump at throwing money at them especially when Jensen hasn’t worked on a game with solid gameplay in a long time so writing is all she has to sell us on.

      PS. Gabriel Knight 3 despite the engine is a pretty awesome adventure game.

  13. pilouuuu says:

    If it doesn’t include moustaches maybe then it’ll be good.

  14. codename_bloodfist says:

    Da Vinci Code… Serious Novel… Da Vinci Code… Serious Novel… That was supposed to be funny, right? Right, guys?

  15. Premium User Badge

    phlebas says:

    Hmm. Is that top image edited to miss out the interesting bit?
    Gr[ae]y Matter was flawed, but enjoyable. All three GK games were excellent, one famously dodgy puzzle notwithstanding. Malachi Rector is the bastard child of Gabriel Knight and Lovejoy, and he should do fine.

  16. Raziel_Alex says:

    No Gray Matter 2… sad face.

  17. Skabooga says:

    Woo, that’s some pretty countryside. And some nice music to boot, which bodes well for the game to be made.

  18. Jams O'Donnell says:

    And here I was hoping it would be a videogame tribute to recently-deceased Moebius.

    • cptgone says:

      +1
      came here to post: “i hope they change the name. this one is taken.”

  19. Risingson says:

    Two things:

    - GK3 is very good. Terrible graphics, some puzzles that do not match the enviroment or the storytelling (but demonized because of that bullshit article from Old Man Murray that forgot that the Babel Fish puzzle is one of the most brilliant ones in the story of adventures), but excellent storytelling and story.

    - Gray Matter is just the opposite. Uninspired, boring, clumpsy, extremely mediocre. When you release a game with the “Jane Jensen” name behind and it turns out to be much worse than the Black Mirror sequels (which at the same time are clearly inspired by the GK games), there’s a lot to be worried about.

  20. longleggedbeastie says:

    I wouldn’t know why John decided to omit the fact they were obviously hoping to release two games the next year.

    I also wouldn’t know how one could have complaints about the most funny pitch video on the kickstarter ever.

    And I totally wouldn’t mind knowing why the heck people don’t recognise intriguing story devoid of cliche even when it bites them on the arse. And why do people dislike GM ingoring the fact that it’s a bloody brilliance not only story-wise but also graphical design-wise. I could understant complaints about difficulty but since when the mere technical part concernes the adventure game lovers in any way?
    It’s almost as if there was a thriller you could enjoy without vomiting your brain out since the GK3 and before the GM :[
    It’s almost as if there were more than two adventure games per year that weren’t made by humorless boring drones like Cole Phelps from LA Noire.

    • Acorino says:

      I dunno. Gray Matter is something of a beautiful mess. It definitely sticked with me and remains on my mind. I’m listening to its soundtrack at the moment.
      It touched me more than To the Moon. But that’s the thing: if you didn’t form any emotional connections to the characters, then there is not much interest in it as a game. I wouldn’t say it’s entirely devoid of cliches, and it pays some tribute to pop culture, but the same is true for the Gabriel Knight games. Honestly, I wonder what made them so much better in the eyes of many people…

      GK3 was somewhat of a mess, too. Jane Jensen certainly hasn’t much luck with her projects. Oh well.

  21. Turin Turambar says:

    GK3 was great! Plot and character development, the big super puzzle, the real time dynamics… lots of well done stuff. Don’t let 3-4 bad 90s style puzzles sour the game on you.