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Jane Jensen video interview interview

Jane Jensen
Jane Jensen

Last week we took you behind the scenes at the Gray Matter recording studio for a first-hand account of a very special day. We were also pleased to include video interviews with Phillipa Alexander (the voice of Samantha Everett, the game's protagonist), and the voice director (and supporting voice actress herself), Lorelei King. It was a great day, a wonderful opportunity to meet the driving forces behind the game and witness some dialogue recording in person, and a pleasure to share it with you afterwards.

And yet... it was a bit of a tease. The article didn't include our three-part video interview with Jane Jensen herself, game design legend and the star attraction to her legion of admirers. We're grateful for your patience as we prepared the video, but we knew you'd understand. If there's one thing the long, anxious wait for Gray Matter has taught us so far, it's patience. What's another week of torturous agony, right?

But wait no longer! For almost twenty minutes, Jane graciously spoke with us at length on a wide variety of topics, beginning, of course, with an overview of Gray Matter and its characters, plus some of the challenges of switching development teams mid-stream.


Community Comments

Latest comments (21 total)

I couldn’t catch the last of her favourite adventure games… the Syberia series and the what series? Overall though, great interview. I particularly love her views on the genre and the idea of exposure, rather than this notion of reinventing as a lot of people seem to deem necessary. After watching this I would definately say Grey Matter is holding #1 on my own personal hype meter Smile Go Jane!

Nov 27, 2009

And yet it may be the closest thing we will ever see to Gabriel Knight. Believe me: no one would be happier than me to know that a fourth game is in production, but we have also to face the fact that Activision is very different from Lucas and that, for Sierra, there isn’t a company like Telltale where the employees are vastly ex-Lucas. Sadly, many x-Sierra employees have retired from the game business (like Ken and Roberta Williams, Al Lowe, Scott Murphy) or moved on to other projects, unrelated to their Sierra efforts (like Gano Haine, Lorelei Shannon or Josh Mandel). Moreover, maybe Gray Matter will be great in its own rights (I surely hope so) and, after a while, it won’t elicit anymore comparisons with Gabriel Knight. All in all, while a GK4 would me more than happy, I think it’s more constructive for us to put it aside for a while and start hoping that Gray Matter could be as successful as Gk was.

Oct 26, 2009

Skipped to the part with THE question: Is there any chance of seeing a sequel in the GK series? and was feeling the hardship that Jane must have of letting that title go.
Well Sam and Max revivaled and even the Monkey Island series came back from the ashes. So I wouldn’t give up on another GK title. Even if she has to pull the “GK is not in the title and the main character isn’t called GK, but gameplay/style are the GK” trick.
GM is not going to be that title i’m afraid.

Oct 25, 2009

Adventuregamers you rock! Thsi interview has been a dream to watch. Jane Jensen is just simply the most interesting adventure writer out there and I am thrilled to hear Gray Matter will be an EPIC LONG adventure game Smile Thank you!

Oct 23, 2009

I think what Jane said about archival games being buried in the basement of huge companies is true. Her example was GK, but it could apply to any number of games.

They need a champion. Maybe she’ll be it for GK. She says she might try it one more time.

But it also reveals the reality of the hypothetical, “what if” that appears so often in the Adventure Forum. Most recently in the “What if TellTale did LSL” thread.

It ain’t going to happen unless ther is a champion with big pockets.

Oct 18, 2009

Thank you for the excellent interview. It shed quite a bit of light on the development of Gray Matter, and it’s always great to hear from Jane herself how things have been done, and I’m more intrigued than ever about the game. I have no doubt it will be well-written and well-designed and beautifully scored and depicted and absolutely worth the wait. I’m especially intrigued by her mention of the unusual puzzles and variety of gameplay when you switch characters.

Also, it’s always great to hear from her that there is still some hope about a revival of Mr. Knight. I’ll probably always count myself as one who will never give up on seeing that happen, which is extra incentive for seeing Gray Matter be as successful as possible.

Oct 17, 2009

Great interview.
I wonder what the casual game is that she said she was currently working on.

Oct 17, 2009

Mature, epic story with dark atmosphere and unusual puzzles! 
*does a happy dance*

Oct 17, 2009

reaching more people… that gave me an idea - i think you guys should really post this on a website like gametrailers.com. a lot of people you could reach there… and if you still want to have the connection to your website, just put a banner on the beginning and end?

Oct 17, 2009

Good interview! I must admit that I strongly disagree with Jane’s view that making an adventure game in true 3D isn’t worth the time and effort. It was probably the right decision for Gray Matter due to budgetary constraints, but if given a huge, AAA budget to work with, I don’t think any adventure game designer would choose 2.5D over 3D.

Oct 17, 2009

She certainly sounds like a veteran. She also strikes me as being pretty old school. This could be a very good thing, but I wonder if Grey Matter isn’t going to wind up being merely a very good iteration of the old formulae and tropes. I should probably trust her a little more, but I’ve perhaps become a bit cynical about attempts to bring back the good old days.

Still, I’d love to see what she comes up with. It’ll be good to see if the game lives up to her expectations, particularly about things like playing time. It sounds very ambitious, at any rate.

Oct 16, 2009

What a pleasure it’s been to watch this interview!

Oct 16, 2009

Forty hours of gameplay!  Bring it on, Jane.

Oct 16, 2009

Good to hear the game will have a decent length.

Oct 16, 2009

Good interview. It raised even more my interest in GM. It’s definitly my most expected adventure for 2010.

Oct 16, 2009

Watched them. Great interviews! I’m looking forward to Gray Matter a lot more now than when I first learnt about it. Shame about the licence issue with Gabriel Knight. I sincerely hope that one day Jane gets a hold of it.

Oct 16, 2009

Definitely worth the wait. Thank you so much for these videos!

Oct 16, 2009

Oooh, Jane Jensen interviews! I’ll watch them later as I wouldn’t be able to concentrate with my sister playing Guitar Hero 3 next to me. ¬_¬

Oct 16, 2009

Personally, I think that what Jane said about “Gabriel Knight” was a bit inspiring. The big companies might not be aware or care about the license, but Jane says it’s probably about time to take another stab at getting the series running again. If it’s Activision/Blizzard that is the big company who owns it (because they own Vivendi which owns Sierra, right?), maybe they’re willing to sell it. Probably for a good six figures, though.

We are at the beginning of what many have called an adventure gaming renaissance, so who knows what could happen.

Oct 16, 2009

Great interview. As always, it’s a pleasure to hear from Jane. Here’s my sincere hope that Gray Matter will be an absolute breakthrough!

Oct 16, 2009

I think I’m close to crying because of the very last part… The idea of GK being “buried deeper and deeper in the basement” is heartbreaking… Tongue Oh well, I’ve kept a desperately-positive attitude so far, a “bit” longer won’t hurt, right?

Anyways, excellent interview, in my opinion just what was needed right now.

Thanks! Smile

Oct 16, 2009
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