A new Jane Jensen game is always cause for celebration. JA recently had the chance to ask Jane just a few questions about her soon-to-be-released new adventure, Moebius: Empire Rising.
Ray: I've always loved the puzzles in your games. Can you share any details of an example puzzle or two that we will need to solve in the new game?
Jane: There are some unique puzzles in Moebius. Playing as Malachi, you have to investigate a woman’s life story and see if certain data points -- for example, she was married at 18 to a much older man -- match the biography of any famous woman in history. By assembling various data points you can get a read on a historical figure she most resembles, which is a clue in the story. You analyze various people and objects in Moebius.
Ray: Whenever I play a Jane Jensen game, I get this delicious feeling that I’m a historical investigator! Will Malachi have any allies that get POV game segments, or will we be playing as Malachi for the whole game?
Jane: Yes, actually. During the course of the game, Malachi hires a security guard, an ex-Special Forces guy named Walker, and you play as him in a few sections.
Ray: History has always been a big element in your games. Can you spill any specifics about which historical periods and topics will be mined for the story?
Jane: The game is contemporary, of course, but the story of Moebius: Empire Rising has to do a little with ancient Rome and also with a few significant historical figures throughout time. There is definitely as much or more of that element in Moebius than there was in the Gabriel Knight series or Gray Matter.
Ray: Why iOS and no Android? [sobs]
Jane: Moebius will be on iOS and Android. Those will come out shortly after the PC/Mac release.
Ray: Glad to hear I was wrong about that! How Storytelling is Back: Mobile and Desktop Devices.
Jane: I’m excited about tablets for adventure games because it’s a good demographic for story-based gaming. A lot of people buy tablets in order to read ebooks, so there’s a good base of ‘story consumers’ there, and casual games have also taken off on tablet. I hope to see a strong market for true adventure games grow and help the ‘rebirth’ of adventure games.
Ray: I could not agree with you more regarding tablets and adventure games. Would you care to comment on why current and rising game design stars are going Indie?
Jane: Game development is very expensive, and it can be difficult to get a publisher interested in your pet project. And often, if they do agree to fund it, they take IP rights and have a lot of creative say. Going indie, especially with crowd-funding, allows creatives to do the games they want to do and keep control of them. And it gives the gaming public a chance to ‘vote’ on the games they want to see get made.
Ray: We’d also love to hear your thoughts on the perennial question of Women in Games.
Jane: I started out at Sierra in 1991 and that studio was pretty open to female designers. They already had Roberta Williams, Christy Marx and Lori Cole. Adventure games are a fairly ‘female friendly’ game type for both players and designers, I think. The casual game market is also quite open to female designers. I think the hardcore shooter/RPG/platform market would be a harder field for a female designer to break into, but I’m a strong believer in following your passion no matter what it is.
Ray: Thanks, Jane! We are certainly looking forward to getting our hands on Moebius: Empire Rising!