Jane Jensen, creator of classic adventure series Gabriel Knight, has formed a new studio called Pinkerton Road with her husband, musician Robert Holmes, and is raising $300,000 on Kickstarter to put toward the development of at least one new adventure game. The studio is based out of the couple's farm in Lancaster County, PA, and the games will be developed by "a small, core team, including Jane and Robert," and two external development teams.
Jensen and Holmes have adopted a "season" model based on the concept of community supported agriculture, which has customers "subscribe" to farms to receive weekly produce. They're calling it "community supported gaming," and this season's backers will receive every game the studio produces for the next year. If the campaign reaches its funding goal, those will include Lola and Lucy's Big Adventure, a self-funded "studio bootstrap" project which is nearly finished, and a brand new adventure game "in the vein of Gabriel Knight and Gray Matter." Backers who contribute at least $16 will be able to vote on which of three ideas should be used for the new game.
If the Kickstarter campaign raises double its $300,000 goal, Jensen plans to release a second original PC adventure during the season. If any of the promised games aren't released within the one year deadline, the season's backers will still receive them regardless of the delay, according to the campaign.
Jensen's reasons for seeking funding through Kickstarter mirror those cited others who have joined in on the recent crowdfunding boom:
"Sierra On-Line created such memorable series because their leadership (Ken and Roberta Williams) believed in promoting their designers as authors and in letting designers follow their vision without second-guessing it. That was a formative atmosphere for Jane to begin her career, and it simply does not exist for designers in today's industry.
"With Pinkerton Road, if we have a long-term vision (beyond surviving the Kickstarter campaign and getting to work on our first season of awesomely diabolical games) it would be to thrive so that we can bring other designers onboard and give them that same opportunity. And that would mean more great games for you!"
Head to the Kickstarter page for details on the potential games and Jensen's plans for the future of Pinkerton Road.