Written by Katie Hallahan from Phoenix Online Studios
Hello and welcome to the first developer diary entry from Phoenix Online! We’re very excited to be posting this on HarryBalls.com, and thank you very much to the site admins for this opportunity!
Every few weeks, we’ll be bringing you news on the progress of our upcoming adventure game, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller! Beginning with our experience and current progress with our Kickstarter campaign (78% of the way to our goal!). But first, who the heck are we?
Phoenix Online Studios is an indie game studio that was formed from a team of King’s Quest fans almost ten years ago—we loved the KQ series in our youth, but felt it had a very lacking conclusion. With Sierra a defunct company, our volunteer team worked to create an unofficial freeware sequel, offering our own take on what might’ve happened next. For a group of people who knew nothing about how to make a computer game, we’ve come a long way! After two C&Ds, our amazing fans rallied to save the game, and brought us back twice! We recently released the 4th episode of The Silver Lining, our fully 3D point & click adventure game, and only one episode yet remains to conclude the journey.
Cognition is our first step into the realm of commercial games, meaning it’s a big dream come true for us. And what’s making it even bigger is that we get to work with such an amazing team of people! We’re partnering with Khaeon Gamestudio, we have a great graphic novel look coming from comics artist Romano Molenaar (X-Men, Witchblade, The Darkness), and renowned game designer Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter), herself once an employee of Sierra, is our story consultant! Basically, we’re still pinching ourselves every morning here.
Cognition point & click adventure of the supernatural investigator genre. Erica Reed is a Boston FBI Agent, hunting down serial killers and always wondering if she’ll ever catch the one that got away after he killed her brother three years ago. Erica has an ability called post-cognition: with just a touch, she can see past events that have happened on or near an object. Useful, given her job, but she can’t fully control it, so it’s caused her problems both professionally and personally. But now Erica’s starting to find clues that seem to be left specifically for her, things only she can find and pick up on. Who knows her secret, and what do they want?
Currently in pre-production (meaning we’re still in the early stages of scriptwriting, concept art, etc.), we’ve also started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund development costs for Cognition. Kickstarter lets you set up funding pages for creative projects, and in exchange for funding pledges, backers can get some fun rewards! Our rewards include pre-orders of the game, copies of the soundtrack, Jane Jensen signed pages of the design doc, a prequel comic signed by Romano Molenaar, even a chance to get your name to appear in the game itself, or become a part of the development team! If we meet our goal of $25,000 before Dec. 11th, then our project will guaranteed that funding; if not, then no one is charged anything, and the project goes unfunded. So if Cognition sounds up your alley, check out the reward and pledge to support us, and get some great rewards for it!
Next time: Running a Kickstarter Campaign!