Welcome to another issue of Attic Diving, where we interview interesting people to help us jump into their Mental Attics to see what we find!
Today’s guests are once again Phoenix Online Studios, this time about the Gabriel Knight remake, currently in development and due to release later this year.
I want to thank Phoenix Online Studios’ Katie Hallahan, PR Head, for once again taking time to reply to these questions of mine.
How excited were you when you knew you were going to be working on a remake for Gabriel Knight?
Extremely! It’s one of the favorite classic series for a lot of us on the team, we’re all psyched to be working on it. It’s definitely one of those things where we have to pinch ourselves sometimes.
How far along is Gabriel Knight 20thAnniversary Edition?
Still in alpha. The whole game is playable, technically, but there’s plenty more to be added. We’re still adding animations, updating some art, and so forth.
Is it a direct remake or will it have new features? (Story elements, puzzles, etc.)
It is mostly a direct remake, though a few small adjustments or additions have been made here and there. Nothing major, though, the plot and flow of the game are still the same.
Gabriel Knight had a classic interface, with multiple, and very specific cursors. Is that something you’re keeping in GK20?
Some streamlining has happened with the interface.
What about the “Total Score”, will it be in the game? Sins of the Fathers and its sequels had a Scoring system, and getting the high score meant finding everything worth finding and interacting.
Yes! There will still be a scoring system; as some of those puzzles have changed, the total will be different from the original, but you can still shoot for getting a perfect score!
Will you be re-casting all voices for the game or using the originals? If the former, I’d like to vote for Raleigh Holmes as Grace.
Using the same voice cast wasn’t really an option, for a number of reasons, so the roles have all been recast. Who’s playing who hasn’t been announced yet, but the recordings were done with Bay Area Sound, the same studio who did Moebius and does all the Telltale Games, including the Walking Dead. They’re great and have a very talented pool of actors!
Are there any plans to re-make the rest of the series?
Not at this time. As Jane’s said recently, the real hope is that this remake will do well and, fingers crossed, pave the way for her to be able to make a new GK game! She has two ideas for what GK4 would be about. I’ve heard and read about both of them, and it really would be fantastic. Here’s hoping!
Will you update Gabriel and New Orleans to the 21st century, or will it remain in the 1990s?
It will still be set in 1993, with all the old, familiar trappings thereof!
(This is for the whole team, if possible) If you could remake any game, which would it be?
We had a variety of responses! For myself, I’d love to remake The Black Cauldron, which was my first Sierra game and first adventure game, but rather than follow the Disney movie’s plot, I’d want to stick to the book series it was based on, The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander. That game got me into both those books and adventure games, and I would love to see it done justice!
“Tough question! It is hard for me to pick just one game. I am thinking Shadowgate an old point and click adventure on the nes and early PC. Actraiser for the SNES or Ultima 6 The False Prophet.”
“It’s not the most adventure game-studio response I could think of, but my ideal remake project would be Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Despite the game’s excellent world building and allowance of a great variety of play styles, it was obviously rushed to retail and suffered from a litany of bugs and half-formed design decisions. Would love to take this thing from the assets up and polish it to an HD, fully realized mirror shine.”
“My personal pick since it’s been floating in my mind is Battletoads. Slick power set, variety of stages, but it was 8-bit and super hard. I’d like the difficulty toned down or at least optionalized so that players can choose. Online multiplayer. Allow all 3 toads to play together. Also keep the sidescrolling aspect intact ala Double Dragon Neon. At least 2.5D, like the latest Street Fighters have done. Actually that way, we can have the giant hand attacks animated closeup with literally high-impact.
“Adventure-game-wise, I’d like to see Loom get remade. It had so much potential in its use of music as spellwork. I can imagine more crafting via composing, more notes and chords, but that may mean more of a sequel or expansion than a straight remake. The simplicity of playing forwards and backwards to achieve opposite effects may be hindered if spells are made too complicated. So any remake of the original should probably keep the spell system simply as-is but pretty up the graphics and sound for the current generation.”
“ It’s a tossup between Dreamweb and Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender. Dreamweb had a hypnotic and somber atmosphere, but could be lightly redesigned to allow for all the depth of story and character the the tone is so evocative of.
I also love Rex Nebular, but there’s an entire middle section where I really thought it was going to intelligently subvert gender roles, and do so in an interactive way. The game either sidesteps this issue, or didn’t realize its own potential. Either way, the game still has a wonderful conceit that could be better fleshed out and honed in a remake.”
“Final Fantasy 7.”
I want to once again thank Katie for taking the time to answer yet another set of questions for us. Be sure to keep an eye out on Phoenix Online Studios (twitter @postudios) and Pinkerton Road Studio (Jane Jensen’s twitter: @jensen_jane) for more information on this upcoming remake of a classic.