Gray Matter 2 A Possibility As Jane Jensen Forms New Studio

Thanks to Tim Schafer’s recent record-smashing drive to secure backing for a return to his adventure roots, it seems that Kickstarter funding has permeated into more mainstream gaming consciousness, with new campaigns springing up faster than Gene Simmons’… personality at a sorority party.  Schafer’s bid for support is nothing new though, as the oft-ignored adventure genre has been relying on this ‘group funding’ source of income for their projects for some time, with it being perfectly suited for indie ventures and niche genre developers.

So, when we at GLHQ heard about yet another campaign, we sighed at the thought of the Kickstarter well being drained dry by bigger, bandwagon-leaping fish, leaving precious little for the small developers and lone stars who rely on the gaming public goodwill – goodwill which risks being worn thin.  However, when we read Jane Jensen’s name and found out just what the campaign was, we just about cricked our necks in a double take – Jensen, of course, being the master of adventure storytelling, responsible for one of the most famous genre series in the shape of Gabriel Knight, and who nearly smacked our gobs into our chipped Scooby Doo mugs last year with the gorgeous and well penned Gray Matter.

Jane Jensen has started up her own studio: Pinkerton Road, with her hubby, Robert Holmes (of the Scarlet Furies who provided the standout vocal pieces for Gray Matter), and is seeking CSG (community supported gaming) funding to the tune of $300,000.  She is currently working on three ideas (with a whiteboard full of others, by all accounts), all of which are listed on the Kickstarter page, but one, however, snatched our attention more than the others:  Gray Matter 2. Yes, our point and click adventure devotees here at GLHQ were over the moon at that nugget and could barely be corralled into reading the rest of the page properly.

With over half the funding target already met, Jensen and co. have until May 19th to secure the rest before work can begin on one of the projects, but which one?  Anyone who pledges over $16 or more will have the chance to vote on one of the three game concepts and the winning one will glide into production.  Just supporting a fledgling studio and helping fund an upcoming game in a genre that is struggling valiantly towards a renaissance may seem like enough, but in the true spirit of Kickstarter campaigns, backers will be getting a whole lot more.  Depending on just how much you throw into the hat, you will receive a number of sexy goodies, from beta access, limited edition artwork, and even the chance to have your own game character designed or for the Scarlet Furies fly to your event for a live performance.  There are nine funding tiers and, although backers are free to pledge any amount they wish, most will likely be hitting one of the allotted donation tiers to secure some of the treats on offer.

Concepts being presented are as follows:

Gray Matter 2 -  This follow up to the 2011 success sees reclusive scientist Dr David Styles and his ballsy magician assistant, Sam Everett investigate the genesis of the devastating and strange powers that led to the death of a student in the first game.  Their journey leads them to her insular hometown, which, seemingly, has secrets to hide.  Nothing about it yet reminds us of Laura, but we’re sure that it will (in joke – go play Gray Matter, FFS).

Moebius -  Described as a ‘metaphysical thriller’, Moebius focuses on an antiquities dealer, Malachi Rector, who is hired by a millionaire (aren’t they just the laziest bastards?) to investigate and document a series of events which turn out to have greater significance than our protagonist had anticipated.

Anglophile Adventure -  This charming sounding adventure places you in the shoes of Evangeline who, upon the death of her father, takes the job of a Governess at the local estate in order to save the family farm and to investigate the contents of a threatening letter sent to her pappy from the Viscountess of the estate.  The game promises sex, scandal, ghosts, and, in all probability, mysteries.  We’re sold.  You had us at sex, to be honest, but the beautiful screens also helped.

So, if you want to help give the adventure genre a boost and show your support for Pinkerton Road’s new venture, or, like us, you just want a sequel to Gray Matter, then pitch in.  If the target is met, then the chosen game is expected to be released March 2013.  However, if funding ends up being double the target amount at a whopping $600,000, two games from the three will be produced.  Whether you are a genre fan, an adventure virgin, or a returning ex-pat, this is a worthy campaign, promising high quality releases from a genre veteran and storyteller who could put John Hurt’s twinkle-eyed fire-hogger to shame.

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