[DAW] Developers Appreciation Week: Jane Jensen

Scary has been hosting/ encouraging a week of appreciation for the developers, storytellers, artists and coders who create the games and gameworlds into which we players sink so much of our free time.

My game of choice right now is SWTOR, and I give huge props to Bioware for having made a game that I still thoroughly enjoy playing well after the usual 3-month mark. But I’m winging my developer appreciation this week in a different direction.


Ah for the heady days of old school adventure games, where the best of the bunch featured solid research, cool characters, and totally hatstand puzzles. Syp, in timely fashion, has been indulging in some nostalgia and describing his experiences playing Gabriel Knight for the first time. The screenshot here is from Gabriel Knight 2, in which our hero goes to Munich, hangs out with werewolves, and searches for mysteries hidden in Wagner’s operas and Schloss Neuschwanstein. I also seem to remember a scene where one of the sinister yet strangely compelling male alpha  werewolves comes on to your (male) main character, or maybe I imagined that part.

Yeah, imagine that in today’s gaming world. A story that hinges on classic opera. And some batshit puzzles – although not quite as crazed as those featuring in Gabriel Knight 3 which Old Man Murray argues convincingly helped to kill the adventure gaming genre. I have fond memories of playing GK2 with my boyfriend, who had just come back from working in Munich, and was impressed at the attention to detail in aspects like the map of the metro system.

The author behind these classics is Jane Jensen, who has continued to work in the field as well as publishing some GK novels. She’s the developer I’m picking to admire this week because she succeeded in telling the sorts of exciting dark fantasy stories in her games that have made it into gaming history, made a name for herself as a female developer in a field which was still mostly male dominated, and is one of the few old school game designers who was particularly known as a  writer who could be easily named by fans.

She also has a kickstarter up at the moment to produce more story based adventure games, so if you like what you see then go support them.

5 thoughts on “[DAW] Developers Appreciation Week: Jane Jensen

  1. Pingback: #DAW Developer Appreciation Week: Well… That’s a Wrap | Scary Worlds

  2. Jane Jensen has been one of my heroes since the original Gabriel Knight. I love her work. And GK2 was the game that really made me want to visit Germany. She’s one of those writers who can bring the setting up to almost another character in the story, I think. I actually just finished her most recent adventure game, Gray Matter, a week or two ago, and I found it really engaging.

  3. I always liked her work. Also GK2 incorporated the movie sequences into the game like Phantasmagoria. GK3 puzzles were some of the hardest ever. back then it turned people off. Maybe with the internet and solutions posted a day after a game comes out it wouldn’t matter as much. But then you sometimes had to wait weeks before you found a clue, or were forced to pay $1.99 per minute to call a clue tip hotline.

  4. Gabriel Knight 2 was one of my favourite sierra games, back when they were a genre unto themselves.

    But I also bought Gabriel Knight 3 and…yeah.

  5. Pingback: Non-MMO Weekend: Gray Matter | Random Waypoint

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