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Interview with Jane Jensen
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned is the culmination of Jensen's stardom. With it, she gave a lesson to all those who used to say that the adventure games and the 3D were incompatible concepts.
JJ: Well, if I do make another game –and I would like too– eventually I would love to work in true VR. But that is quite far down the road. If I were to make a game next year we'd probably still be working in 3D, albeit better 3D. Personally, I think adventure games are more like film than any other kind of game. Does anyone say you shouldn't write a book or make a movie because you can't reread/rewatch it? What does that have to do with anything? How many times do people really spend replaying action games? Especially where there are always another 20 NEW action games released any given month?
With Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within the Pennsylvanian designer excelled herself showing a truly unusual narrative talent. As truly unusual as it was the huge investment done for that game…
JJ: The problem is that the game market expects and demands the latest, hottest technology. It's not just the fans but the media. A game that is not using the latest/slickest "look" will probably get entirely ignored by the media. And yes, it is too expensive to develop an adventure game in that environment. Right now an adventure game vs action game is like an independent film vs a Hollywood action movie. If independent films cost as much to make as, say, Terminator then you wouldn't see any independent movies because they'd never make back that investment. And that is the problem we have with adventure games. They DO cost as much to make as the big action titles. That is a problem we need to solve. Would going to a single engine like the old days of SCI solve it? I do think that's a viable solution. But it would take a company committed to producing adventure games to make that happen and enough of a media venue for these kinds of games to get promoted to their own audience.
JJ: Yes, you can see in the ending of Gabriel Knight 3 that there were plans for a sequel. If I had thought "this is the last" I would have tried to wrap things up more neatly. And yes, my plans for Gabriel Knight 4 at that time involved ghosts and was to be set in England.
JJ: It does seem as though the new management at Sierra is looking once again at Sierra's older properties and wondering what might be done with them. It's an encouraging sign. As for what may happen with Gabriel Knight or any of the other Sierra series, I really don't know at this time.
As Gabriel Knight, Jensen also devotes herself to writing. So much so that no one but she wrote the books of her acclaimed series.
JJ: I have enjoyed the "time off" and wasn't really interested in doing another game right away. But I'm definitely feeling it's time to get back in there. If I get the chance to do something in the gaming world, I will.
JJ: I never know what to say to aspiring designers/writers other than to read and/or play the best stuff and not the crap because what you read/play will effect your own voice; learn what you really are drawn to and love because that's your field and you have to know what that is; and put your energy where your mouth is. Design if you want to be a designer. Write if you want to be a writer. Natural talent has an impact, yes, but just like a star athlete or musician, what counts in the end is the amount of time you are willing to put into practice, practice, practice.
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