Jane Jensen and Silver Lining devs reveal new adventure game, Cognition

Here's some awesome news for adventure fans: Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen is working on another project, with King's Quest: The Silver Lining dev Phoenix Online Studios, along with Titan Quest developer Khaeon Gamestudio and comic artist Roman Molenaar! Even better news: Phoenix's new game won't use any IP that Activision owns!

Cognition is an episodic detective adventure about an FBI agent who gains the power to see past events related to any object she touches. Agent Erica Reed uses these abilities – and, hopefully, some traditional investigative methods as well – to hunt down a serial killer, and attempt to solve the murder of her brother. It's coming to PC, with mobile and console versions "also under consideration."

Phoenix plans to release four episodes of Cognition, but needs your help to fund development. It's set up a Kickstarter seeking $25,000 for initial development costs. As always, there are bonuses associated with various Kickstarter tears, not the least of which is this game actually happening.
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Announcing Cognition, an Episodic Crime Thriller from Phoenix Online Studios and Khaeon Gamestudio
Collaborators include renowned game designer Jane Jensen and graphic novel artist Romano Molenaar

SAN JOSE, Calif. - October 31, 2011 - Phoenix Online Studios, the team behind the episodic King's Quest revival The Silver Lining, and Khaeon Gamestudio, an independent game developer based in the Netherlands, will combine their creative forces in Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. An episodic detective game, Cognition will have a supernatural storyline developed with help from renowned designer Jane Jensen, and graphic novel style visuals created by comic book artist Roman Molenaar. With today's announcement, Phoenix and Khaeon have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the series' initial development costs: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/postudios/cognition-an-erica-reed-thriller

Three years ago, FBI agent Erica Reed lost her brother to a serial killer who was never caught. During this desperate investigation, she developed the strange and unpredictable power of post-cognition: by touching an object, she can see its past and the events that happened on, to, or around it. Though undeniably useful in her line of work, this skill makes her uneasy and has caused her problems professionally and personally. Now a new serial killer is on the move-one who leaves behind clues perfectly suited to Agent Reed's unique abilities. Has someone learned her secret? What do they want from her? More importantly: by working this case, will Erica finally uncover enough evidence to bring her brother's killer to justice?

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller will release as a series of four episodes, a format Phoenix knows well from their work on the ambitious freeware game The Silver Lining (http://www.tsl-game.com). After playing The Silver Lining, Khaeon representatives approached Phoenix to develop Cognition, a project originally conceived by Khaeon's art director Romano Molenaar. The game's design team will work closely with story consultant Jane Jensen on Cognition's plot and investigative gameplay.

"I'm very impressed by Phoenix's work on The Silver Lining -- this is a talented team who has shown incredible dedication to a fan game. Now they're a young company moving into commercial production and I'm happy to be involved. I hope to help them make their first project a success," says Jensen, creator of the acclaimed Gabriel Knight adventure game series. "Cognition is a perfect fit, too, with its supernatural storyline and graphic novel style."

Via Kickstarter, Phoenix and Khaeon hope to raise $25,000 to help fund the game's initial development. Funds raised will be used for software licenses, development resources, and other start-up production costs. Prizes for backers include free downloadable copies of the finished game, signed hard copies, and rare opportunities to appear in the game, name characters, and participate "behind the scenes" in its development.

"Phoenix Online Studios would never have come this far if not for the dedication of our fans. They encouraged us to stick with it, they had our backs when we ran into copyright issues, and they helped us show the world that there's still a huge audience for games like The Silver Lining and Cognition," says CEO Cesar Bittar. "Now we're hoping they'll join us on this next step in our company's adventure, and in return we're looking forward to including the fans in Cognition's development process as much as we can."

Cognition will be developed for PC, with versions for mobile platforms and connected consoles also under consideration. The four episode series is planned to debut in 2012. To learn more about Cognition and view the game's trailer and concept art, visit the official website at http://www.cognitiongame.com. To help with funding, visit the Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/postudios/cognition-an-erica-reed-thriller.

About Phoenix Online Studios
Established in 2004, Phoenix Online Studios began as a group of King's Quest fans coming together to create an unofficial sequel to the series. The resulting project, The Silver Lining, has been called one of the most ambitious fan projects ever made and has garnered attention from numerous high-profile publications including CNN, PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, Game Informer, Edge, GamesTM, Kotaku, and Joystiq. The fourth of five Silver Lining episodes will release in November, 2011. As the series draws to a close, the team is shifting their focus to commercial projects, starting with Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller to debut in 2012. More information about Phoenix Online Studios can be found on the company's website, http://www.postudios.com.

About Khaeon Gamestudio
Khaeon Gamestudio (www.khaeon.com) is an independent game development studio based in the Netherlands. With proven multiplatform experience spanning the entire spectrum from consoles to smart phones, Khaeon Gamestudio has been successfully developing high quality games for the worldwide market since 1999.

About Jane Jensen
A 20-year veteran of the gaming industry, Jane Jensen is an internationally renowned game designer. Her Gabriel Knight PC adventure games won numerous industry awards and continue to be fan favorites in the adventure community. In 2003, Jane co-founded Oberon Media and went on to design best-selling casual games such as Deadtime Stories, Women's Murder Club, and the recent hit Dying for Daylight. Her newest adventure game, Gray Matter, came out in November 2010 to great anticipation and praise. She has also written four novels.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.