Jane Jensen kickstarts Pinkerton Road studio for new adventures

Unique "Community Supported Gaming" campaign offers yearly subscription model

Leave it to Jane Jensen to take a familiar idea and put a creative spin on it. While Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert are promising a Double Fine Adventure, and Chris Jones will soon be reviving Tex Murphy for a new mystery, Jane and her husband Robert Holmes are taking the community-supported funding model to a whole new level as they launch their new independent development studio, Pinkerton Road.

After teasing fans that "something is coming" in advertisements right here on Adventure Gamers the past few days, today the acclaimed designer and master storyteller unveiled the big surprise, and it's not quite what you might expect. The good news right off the bat: She's going to start making adventure games again! That's "games", plural! And as many have speculated, a Kickstarter campaign is involved, but here is where Jane's idea differs from the norm. Rather than simply asking people to contribute to a single project, Pinkerton Road will use a broader "Community Supported Gaming" (CSG) model to help finance production. Based on a similar agricultural model (not coincidentally, as the studio itself is based on Jensen's Pennsylvania farm), the idea is to have backers pledge funds to support the company for an entire year. And what a year they have planned.

According to the Kickstarter page, meeting the target goal of $300,000 will result in two new games. Lola and Lucy's Big Adventure is a kid's ebook/game that's been in production for some time now and is nearly ready for release. Beyond that, however, is the promise of a downloadable "all new original adventure game by Jane in the vein of Gabriel Knight and Gray Matter", due approximately March 2013. Sound good? Well, if you're considering reaching for your wallet, it gets juicier, as reaching a secondary goal of $600,000 will include a second full-scale adventure.

While there's no immediate Gabriel Knight sequel on the horizon (sorry, though you can be sure that Jensen's return to adventure game design will have all the right people taking notice), just some of the concepts under consideration include what Jane describes as "a fun idea" for Gray Matter 2, an "anglophile adventure" (a game set in the period of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy), and Moebius, which Jensen teases as being a game "Gabriel Knight fans will like".

 

 

Which of the proposed projects first gets off the ground will be decided not by Jane Jensen, but by Pinkerton Road supporters. And of course there are many other exclusive rewards as well. These range from a single PC game download and access to Pinkerton Road updates and CSG-only forum for $16 to getting all new games, beta test invitations, and signed pdf "design bibles" for $50. Pledges of $100 include packaged DVD versions of all new games, a T-shirt, and a game music CD, while the upper tiers include goodies like a visit to Pinkerton Road Studio and signed artwork.

If the Kickstarter goal seems modest for a full-fledged new Jane Jensen adventure (or two), that's because Pinkerton Studio isn't totally dependent on community support, though supplemental public funding helps ensure the creative freedom to make "the kinds of games that YOU and WE want to play". In the unlikely event the fundraising campaign does not meet its target, Jensen told Adventure Gamers, "If we don't reach our funding goal on Kickstarter, then the studio will be on a slower boat -- we'll reach out to investors and hope to fund one game that way. And once that game is released it can, hopefully, help fund more games." But raising enough funds using the CSG model is Jensen's preference, so she can maintain more control over her ideas and build a direct relationship with her fans.

So it's official: Jane Jensen is back, ladies and gentlemen! For more about the CSG model, pledge rewards, additional concept art, and an eerily amusing video (also displayed above -- click to view) hosted by Jensen's stepdaughter (and Scarlet Furies lead singer) Raleigh Holmes, visit the Kickstarter campaign for full details.



Screenshots

Game Info

Moebius: Empire Rising

Platform:
Mac, PC, Linux

Genre:
Thriller

Developer:
Pinkerton Road Studios Phoenix Online Studios


Game Page »

Digital April 15 2014 Pinkerton Road Studios

Where To Buy

Moebius: Empire Rising

Get it DRM-free at

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Comments

subbi subbi
Apr 4, 2012

ehhh…I’ll pass! It’s all too “you will get what you will get” style for me.
I need to know upfront what their plan and vision is and not rely too much on the fans to sort it out for you!

Terabin Terabin
Apr 4, 2012

This is a fantastic idea. I will happily (HAPPILY) support the Jensen’s work via a funding model based on CSA. It sounds as if she has many game/story ideas shes excited about (as I imagine any writer-designer would) and I have no qualms about voting driving what she works on immediately. I also appreciated learning on the kickstarter page a little about what made the Sierra on-line days so special and how she hopes to replicate that creative environment. Here’s to you, Pinkerton road studio!

OneFlesh
Apr 4, 2012

I hope this succeeds but I’m gonna have to save my money for the Tex Murphy reboots - at least that one’s bringing back a consistently great franchise.  If it was more Gabriel, I’d be more tempted.

MoonBird MoonBird
Apr 4, 2012

More Gray Matter? No thanks.

franksands
Apr 4, 2012

A cautionary warning, if you help with the lowest tier ($16) you get only one game for that “season”. $50 will get you all games.

SamuelGordon SamuelGordon
Apr 4, 2012

I’m in, i enjoyed Gray Matter and the possibility of more Jane games is pretty rare. I hope she will really pay attention to the feedback. I hope the seasoned players can have a hard option, because lately all puzzles are just too damn easy and not that satisfying. I’ll save it all for feedback:)

Jackal Jackal
Apr 4, 2012

Well, MoonBird, backers get to vote on precisely that issue. Wink

aaroncarney
Apr 4, 2012

Hmmmm not interested. Gray Matter was dull.

Jackal Jackal
Apr 4, 2012

See above. Gray Matter 2 is only one of the options, and it’s the backers that will decide which gets made.

subbi subbi
Apr 4, 2012

I’d sell my right kidney for a new Gabriel Knight, but as for the choices offered, nothing really appeals to me.
We’ve simply gotten our hopes up with that GK video and it really feels we have to settle for less…( a lot less)

Majsan Majsan
Apr 4, 2012

Where is the link to the ‘eerily amusing video’? I just can’t seem to find it… (must be computer-screen blind) ;-)
Have read a little more about everything, and I think I can be intrigued…

Jackal Jackal
Apr 4, 2012

Should be the very first thing you see when you click the Kickstarter link. Big box with Jane’s picture and “Take the Road” written on it. Smile

Jackal Jackal
Apr 4, 2012

Scratch that. I did you one better. Just click the one above. Grin

darthmaul
Apr 4, 2012

Weird that they don’t say if the game downlaods will be DRM free or not.

Grim Realities
Apr 4, 2012

I’m in! I’m not overly keen for another Grey Matter (I still haven’t gotten round to finishing the first) I really want to see what Jane can do with enough funding and freedom.

dekaneas297 dekaneas297
Apr 5, 2012

No thanks

Terabin Terabin
Apr 5, 2012

“The downloadable game will be offered DRM free or via Steam with its native DRM only.”

Via the kickstarter faqs at the bottom of the kickstarter page.

Marduk
Apr 5, 2012

Hmmm… Backing a game is one thing, but backing a company?  I’d much prefer to be an investor and have shares, etc.

Jackal Jackal
Apr 5, 2012

That’s really just semantics. You’re backing a company to make a game. The only practical difference is that depending on how much money is raised, you might be supporting two games instead of just one. (I’m not counting the kids ebook/game.)

Majsan Majsan
Apr 5, 2012

Thanks Jackal!
Absolutely a case of computer-screen blindness, it was waaaay too obvious! :-D

lope
Apr 5, 2012

@ Jackal
Hi Jackal. I am big fan of your guy’s site. I have been coming here for years. I am curious as to why you are not covering the Leisure Suit Larry remake that is on Kick starter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1451923705/make-leisure-suit-larry-come-again now with the original creator Al Lowe. Its needs more support. All the reviews you guys have for the originals are very good yet you seem to be avoiding this great adventure game. I first played Larry in 1990 and since then have played all of the ones by Al Lowe not the 2 latest abominations.  Larry is the reason I love adventure games and have played all the other great ones. I donated to the Double Fine kickstarter and even more to the Larry project. So please show me why your site is great and show Larry the love he deserves but does not always get.

Jackal Jackal
Apr 5, 2012

Several reasons. One, it’s remake and not an original game. Two, the project was already announced last October, which we reported at the time. And most importantly, we’re simply not going to report all fundraising campaigns unless the announcement is newsworthy in its own right. Schafer and Gilbert returning to adventure gaming is news; Tex returning for an all-new original adventure is news; Jensen starting her own studio is news. Al Lowe (and co.) asking for money for a previously announced remake really isn’t news. There’s a fine line between reporting news and becoming nothing more than a promotional vehicle for ambitious developers. It’s nothing personal against LSL. There have actually been plenty of Kickstarter campaigns for adventure games that we passed on as well.

josué monchan
Apr 6, 2012

I’m with Jack. The news of Jane Jensen starting her own studio and announcing 3 possible new games is among the best news that an adventure site can publish. The fact that she is funding it via Kickstarter is secondary.

Btw, I’m in. I really hope it gets funded, ‘cause I’ve still have to learn a lot from her.

RoyMartin
Apr 6, 2012

I’ve supported Jane, she deserves that after giving us the unforgettable GK-series. If this is a success for her, there is a much bigger chance that she’ll get to GK4. My vote will go to Moebius.

This is a chance to get some amazing adventure games, and I hope more people support her.

threerings threerings
Apr 6, 2012

I don’t understand all the negativity about this here.  It seems typical of the increasingly negative attitude of adventure gamers in general.  If you’ve never enjoyed any of Jane Jensen’s games, fair enough, but if she’s made some of your favorite games, then why are you down on this idea?  Personally, I really enjoyed Grey Matter and thought it very reminiscent of GK.  But you may not agree.  That’s fine. 

I still think you would wish the project well and hope for the best result: which is that more good adventure games are funded and created.  Whether someone personally decides to give or not is up to them, but I don’t understand why the haters.

headbanger
Apr 6, 2012

Yes, i think she deserves at least 16$ of your trust if you like AG, common GK the 3 games are like the best mature, dramas of adventure history…
Lets back this projects so we may rise Adventure gaming again… now we can do it, i have been waiting for years for this to happen, schaffer, al lowe, ron gilbert and jane jensen…
And 16$ its such a cheap price for a game… in fact i’m gonna up my pledge to 50$ that’s a fair price

cuchulain
Apr 7, 2012

Can’t believe people are going crazy for a larry remake but not for a new jane jensen game.

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