ENTREVISTA COM JANE JENSEN PARA ADVENTURE COLLECTIVE:::
Jane Jensen is the designer of the
Gabriel Knight [GK] series. Both Gabriel Knight: Sins of the
Fathers and The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery [The Beast
Within] had won numerous praises from fans and critics. Her latest
effort, Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned
[Gabriel Knight 3], is near completion and has been followed by
the mainstream gaming media with much interest. Despite her
success in adventure game design, Jensen considers herself, at
heart, a writer and a novelist. The following is an interview
where Jensen discussed her work on the GK series:
[A.C.]: When did you join Sierra and what was your first project?
Jane Jensen [J.J.]: I joined them
in Feb. of '91. My first project was to do the doc and text of
Police Quest 3 and then to co-design EcoQuest: Search for Cetus.
inspired you to write the first GK game?
J.J.: I wanted to do a mystery
series because I thought that kind of story translated very well
to interactivity. And I wanted to add in supernatural/horror
because I'm interested in it. As I worked on it over time it
evolved into GK.
did you come up with the dark images such as voodoo murders and
J.J.: Usually I pick up a book
and get interested in a subject and that makes me want to write
about it. It was that way with Voodoo. As far as werewolves go, in
that case it was more a result of what I knew I wanted to test
about the character -- werewolves fit what I thought was Gabriel's
Around the time when The Beast Within was in production, a lot of
FMV (Full Motion Video) games were released but received many
negative reviews. Were you worry that people would view The Beast
Within as another FMV clone and not buy the game?
J.J.: I was very excited about
doing FMV and it was great to see live actors, sets, etc. do my
material. I knew a lot of FMV games sucked, but I was confident
that GK wouldn't. Most FMV games had been done by non-gamers. As
for whether or not people would buy it -- I thought they would
when they saw how great it looked.
played The Beast Within and found the story to be very intriguing.
How long did you spend on writing the story? I heard that you
traveled to Germany to do research on Ludwig?
J.J.: I worked 5 months on the
initial plot outline plus another 9 months on the script. Yes, I
traveled to Germany for research.
prompted you to make another sequel?
J.J.: I feel the GK series could
go on for quite some time and I really enjoy working with it. It's
a great vehicle for my interests. I took a year off from GK and
did a non-GK book called Millennium Rising, and then I felt I
wanted to come back to GK.
did you come up with the idea of using 3D characters in Gabriel
J.J.: It was Sierra's idea.
did people respond to the use of 3D in Gabriel Knight 3? Did they
all want to see Dean Erickson and Joanne Takahashi back in this
J.J.: Yes, there's been a lot of
'oh no!'. I can't say I blame people, because I felt that way too
at first. But the world in 3D is *so* much more interactive and
explorable it's converted me. I think most people will see the
what I've heard, GK fans are obviously not pleased with the use of
3D characters. Have you ever thought of moving Gabriel Knight 3
back to FMV?
J.J.: It's just not going to
happen. If you look at what products are in development all over
the industry (like at E3) there just isn't FMV anymore. It's too
expensive and too limiting on interactivity.
do you think that makes GK games different from other adventure
J.J.: I think the story and
characters have made GK different.
think that GK has the potential to become a blockbuster movie.
Have you ever thought of it?
J.J.: Yes, I'd like to see
something done with it. There's nibbles from Hollywood from time
to time, but Sierra holds the copyright and they're notoriously
difficult to deal with for licenses. It may or may not ever
Finally, thanks very much for your time?
J.J.: YOU'RE WELCOME!
Jane Jensen is
the designer of the Gabriel Knight series.
Jane Jensen is the ultimate
story-teller. She breathes life into her newborn plot; invents
her characters' ideas and thoughts, creates the time and the
place for the adventure, and decides the destiny of her
characters. Jensen revels in creating her story, and in
watching it come to life.
She considers herself, at heart,
a writer -- a novelist. Her main literary influences are
Stephen King and Anne Rice. She is also a researcher, putting
hundreds of hours into the depth of her stories. For The Beast
Within, the second Gabriel Knight mystery, Jensen traveled to
Germany, the site of the story, to conduct historical
research. She believes this research truly creates the feel
for the story, and gives depth to its realism.
Jensen's technical background
began with a degree in Computer Science from Anderson
University in Indiana. Later, she became an engineer for
Hewlett-Packard, and was employed there for six years. Her
career in interactive entertainment began at Sierra On-Line in
1991. Since then, she has had the opportunity to work on such
hit titles as Police Quest 3; Gabriel Knight- Sins of the
Fathers; Ecoquest; King's Quest VI and Pepper's Adventures In
Time. As designer of Gabriel Knight - Sins of the Fathers,
Jensen was honored when the game won Computer Gaming World's
Adventure Game of the Year and also Best of Show at CES. This
accolade was actually surpassed with her next Gabriel Knight
adventure, The Beast Within, which netted Jane the top honor
that Computer Gaming World can bestow: overall Game of the
Year! (source: Sierra Studios)
Article is courtesy of Sierra News One.