Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert are quite rightly loved for classics like The Secret of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango but LucasArts weren’t the only ones putting out great adventure games in the days of yore. I am of course talking about Sierra On-Line who brought us the likes of Space Quest, Police Quest, Lothario Que- um, Leisure Suit Larry, and King’s Quest. LucasArts’ adventure output is more fondly remembered however for not arbitrarily killing you if you ate an important puzzle item: I’m talking to you King’s Quest 5 and your thrice-damned pie/yeti puzzle! Leisure Suit Larry aside Sierra’s output was aimed more towards adults and one of the most spectacular examples of that was Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers by Jane Jensen, one of my favourite adventure games of all time.
Jane Jensen is now the latest adventure game veteran to turn to Kickstarter with the goal of raising $300,000 to develop one of three adventure games from her new studio Pinkerton Road. Having been inspired by farming of all things Jane and family have taken the concept of Community Supported Agriculture – where customers “subscribe” to a farm and get a basket of delicious crops every week – and applied it to gaming, so if you pledge $50 Yankeebucks to Pinkerton Road you get all the games they produce for one whole year. Jane has three adventure game concepts she wants to realise: a sequel to her 2010 adventure game Gray Matter, a game set in the time of Jane Austen and other such writers called Anglophile Adventure, and my personal favourite Moebius – a 3rd person point-and-click adventure with a 2D graphic novel style in the vein of Gabriel Knight 1. Fans who donate $16 or more will get to decide which of these three concepts gets made first.
It’s easy to feel a sense of “Kickstarter fatigue” about news like this with so many developers exploring its viability as a funding platform but not all of them have the pedigree of Schafer, Fargo or Jensen. Pinkerton Road have set their goal at modest $300,000, the same sum Schafer initially proposed for Double Fine Adventure (the other $100,000 was for the behind-the-scenes documentary), and with 43 days to go they’ve already amassed over $65,000 of that. We won’t be getting a fully-fledged Gabriel Knight sequel – the rights to it are tied up elsewhere – but the idea of a spiritual successor to that dark urban gothic adventure about voodoo murders in New Orleans is right up my dingy French Quarter alley.
You can learn more on Pinkerton Road’s Kickstarter page or by watching their pitch video below.