GRAY MATTER: Igromania interviews Jane Jensen
Translation graciously provided by r.
Igromania: Hello, Jane. As far as we know, the game you and Tonuzaba Entertainment are working on was announced way back in 2003, under the code-name Project Jane-J. It's practically been 4 years since that announcement - it's not a short time, during which you undoubtedly made changes to the script. Tell us how much different Gray Matter is from Project Jane-J from 2003.
Jane: The design and concept of the game haven’t changed much. In 2003 we already had a fully finished script, but the production was at the time stopped and we were forced to freeze the project. Today I don't see a necessity to change anything. It's a great story! Four years ago we had nothing: no art, no technology, no coding. Today we already have models, and an engine. The idea and concept remained the same, only work has finally started.
Igromania: Gray Matter indeed seems to be your most serious and scientific game. Gabriel Knight, besides aiming to entertain, was educational, too. How are you getting on with that in your new project?
Jane: The script has a place for metaphysics. We are using real locations of the Oxford University. But there will be no heavy/difficult, serious science. I don't plan to quote philosophical works or load the game with finesses of neurobiology. Rather, I utilize popular-scientific information to give the game a somewhat realistic background.
Igromania: By the way, about the locations you mentioned. How extensive is the geography of Gray Matter? Will the story take place in David's house and in Oxford, or are we headed for around-the-world adventures Broken Sword-style?
Jane: We have the Dread Hill House estate, where David conducts his experiments. Apart from that we've modeled environments in Oxford. A London visit is planned near the end.
Igromania: How about characters? You always describe them in detail. And is there a lot of dialogue in Gray Matter?
Jane: We haven't finished all dialogue yet, but there will be approximately as much as in Gabriel Knight. That is, the script has about 800 pages. There's more than 50 characters in Gray Matter, but important story-wise - about 20.
Igromania: OK. Some more about the story. In what way are mysterious forces and neurobiological research portrayed? What role does the unexplored potential of the human brain play?
Jane: If I tell you that, it will reveal the basic plot-line of the story! But you are thinking in the right direction - the human brain and its possibilities play an important role in the script. But to know in what way exactly, you'll have to play the game.
Igromania: Is there anything in common between Gabriel Knight and Gray Matter?
Jane: First of all, the game mechanics, and, maybe, the mood and atmosphere. But the story, characters, scientific basis are entirely different. Although I suspect that if you launch Gray Matter, your first association will be with Gabriel Knight.
Igromania: Are you planning to write Gray Matter books in the future, as you did with Gabriel Knight?
Jane: I don't have such plans right now. I hope that right after finishing the first episode, we will begin working on the next one in the series. On the other hand, if all goes as planned, I'm not ruling out the possibility.
Igromania: And the last question. How much does the story of Gray Matter distance itself from Gabriel Knight? Will there be any allusions to the adventures of Gabriel and Grace in the game? Something like a wink at the veterans of the genre?
Jane: Oh, experienced gamers acquainted with my games will find many interesting things. Keep your eyes open and pay attention!