Author Archive

Honor your Dreams: Open letter to Jane Jensen

by on Apr.14, 2014, under featured

When I was 15 years old, I canada viagra for sale used to daydream about creating my own computer games. I’d tell my friends how one day I’d work at Sierra with Jane Jensen and Roberta Williams. Alas, Sierra is no longer as we knew it, I never got the chance to do that and Roberta is happily retired. One pioneer however kept fighting the good fight to this day. (continue reading…)

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Adventure Gamers 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards

by on Feb.12, 2014, under cognition, face noir

Today Adventure Gamers opened the Reader’s Choice poll, and once again we were lucky enough to make the list, though this time Cognition is accompanied by Face Noir as both games are eligible for nominations. This time around both titles are included in every category with the exception of Best Comedy and Best Console/Handheld Exclusive.

We are all thrilled and humbled to see to see Cognition and Face Noir being nominated among such greats as the Walking Dead and Brothers: A Tale of Two sons.

It’s an honor to be considered in the same group as these titles, so we’d like thank Adventure Gamers and most importantly, thank all of you who have supported us thus far. Finally, good overnight delivery cialis luck to all adventure game designers, you have helped bring about the Adventure Gaming Renaissance.



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Cognition Nominated for Aggie Award!

by on Feb.07, 2014, under cognition, news

Cognition: Episodes 2-4 have been nominated for the Best Gameplay Aggie Award at Adventure Gamers.  Back when Erica herself was nothing more than a draft on a sheet of paper, we didn’t know what to expect, it was going to be Phoenix’ first commercial title! Will it resonate with the community? Or will it be nothing more than an obscure adventure game?

Well, thanks to the amazing support the community have given us Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is still played, mentioned and nominated for awards even a year after its debut launch and it’s all thanks to you!

The Aggie Award winners will be known between February 19-21, keep your fingers crossed everyone!



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Happy Holidays!

by on Dec.23, 2013, under cognition, face noir, store

We here at Phoenix would like to say ‘thank you everyone for a wonderful 2013’, we appreciate the love and support you have given us throughout the year; it’s been nothing but an honor to be able to be part of your day, of your gaming experience and most of all of your trust and kindness.

We’ve already been celebrating the Holidays by teaming up with bundle-in-a-box for the month of December and by creating a special Holiday sale on our own store.

We hope 2014 will be a wonderful year for all, and as always, looking forward to continue to give the best we can give – Happy Holidays in behalf of all of us from Phoenix!

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Loyalty Discount Notification

by on Nov.01, 2013, under cognition, news

As of November 19th, the Steam loyalty discount for Cognition, which allows you to purchase the full season at a discount if you own some of the other episodes, will be no longer available. If you own individual episodes of Cognition and are interested in making full use of the Steam loyalty discount you’ll need to purchase the full season there before November 19th! Please contact with your receipt information from any store to get Steam keys for the episodes you already own.

Of note, we will be continuing to offer discounted Episode Bundles in the Phoenix Store (Episodes 2-4 and Episodes 3-4), and will be happy to provide Steam keys to our customers for both individual episodes and Season Passes.

If you have any questions, please contact us at, and thank you as always for your support!

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MGX Announced: Phoenix Online developing Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father Remake!

by on Oct.08, 2013, under featured, gabriel knight, news

The cat is out of the bag! Or should I say… the wolf?

We are extremely happy to announce that we are working together with Jane Jensen’s studio Pinkerton Road to develop a re-imagining of the groundbreaking game that was Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father.

When I received the call from Jane telling me that she was officially working on a remake of Gabriel Knight, my heart skipped a bit. Although my favorite in the series and what I consider best game ever made is The Beast Within, Sins of the Father is a groundbreaking masterpiece that changed the history of video games and created its own subplot in the Adventure genre. There was nothing like the incredibly rich and well developed characters, the amazing texture of a thriller/horror story told in its many layers through the grandiose locations of New Orleans. Gabriel Knight gained a cult following, and even today we see YouTube videos of people visiting the locations of the game, and rightly so. It was riveting, genre-defining original, and a breathless experience that had me obsessed with it from the time I saw the first ad in Computer Gaming World magazine.

(continue reading…)

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Episode 3: When The Magic Happens

by on May.14, 2013, under cognition, developer diary

The last few days of any game project are hectic. We know it, we have to work hard, and it’ll be long hours. Yet it seems that every time we reach this stage, I feel so overwhelmed by things that I always think that we’ll never make it.

Episode 3: The Oracle

Episode 3: The Oracle is a special one for me. Even though Nick Bryan took more care of the episode than I did, I always wanted to stay close to this episode because I knew it would be my favorite of the bunch. It’s such a critical one because this is the episode to reveal it all, the one where all the story comes together before the frantic ending that will be Episode 4: The Cain Killer.

To me, The Oracle has the better plot twists and some of the most gut-wrenching stuff in the series. It’s the episode that will make you torn about the motives behind the killings, and will make you see that everything is not as black and white as it seems. If we did our job right, by the end of the episode you might feel sympathetic towards characters you never thought you would feel sympathetic for.

So this episode needed the utmost care, and that’s why I never let it drift out of my hands too much. I was there when puzzles were being designed, dropped in the general outline for the episode, designed some of the puzzles myself, and took care of Act 4 (the ending section). I put it the hands of the very capable Nick Bryan, and stepped back to take care of Moebius or some non-fun business stuff that always requires my attention. (continue reading…)

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GDC Adventure Party: These Things Indeed Go Together!

by on Apr.04, 2013, under cognition, developer diary

I often forget how much I really love GDC. Yes, it’s exhausting, yes, by Friday all you want to do is go home and have sometime for yourself. Yes, the driving in and out from San Jose to San Francisco wears you out (Remind me to stay in a hotel in the city at least one day next GDC, I think I said that one last GDC). But, all in all, you get to meet so many interesting people, and rekindle the friendships you’ve made at past conventions. It’s a celebration of all things video games, and because it’s more business oriented than something like E3, it is my kind of place.

This time, Dave Gilbert from Wadjet Eye Games contacted a bunch of us in order to throw a party! It was the first branded “Adventure Game” party, and I wanted to recount a bit of how it went and the great people in it.

Vitek and myself were late to the party because we were stuck in the G.A.N.G Awards, where Cognition’s “The Taking” by Robert and Raleigh Holmes had been nominated for Best Song (Pop) in a Videogame. It was very exciting to see the game get a nomination on a big screen among so many other great songs. Of course, Journey won EVERYTHING (even the stuff it wasn’t nominated for!)

When we arrived the party had already started. The first puzzle: Apparently, even though Dave confirmed twice with the place, somehow GDC rejected our party (we are still scratching our heads about this one) and the booking was off. So we didn’t have a space and we had a bunch of people coming in. How do you fit that many Adventure Gamers in a place taken up by the normal crowd? Easy, you just “Take on the World” a-la Day of the Tentacle. And so, we slowly started to dominate the place. Part of that involved just eating random patrons French Fries. (Oh, you are not in the party? These fries are good, though).

Agustín Cordes and Cesar

We had celebrities! So, the day before Agustin Cordes from Senscape’s Asylum and myself were randomly walking in San Francisco when we bumped into Ron Gilbert (I swear to God I wasn’t stalking him! Maybe). Long story short, we introduced ourselves and felt awkward and so we invited him to the party, and he made it! Which was awesome! I didn’t get much chance to spend with him, but I hope a lot of people came by and said “hi!”

We also had Ragnar Tørnquist in the party. Now, everyone that knows me also knows that I LOVE The Longest Journey and that I was greatly influenced by it when I was

Ragnar Tørnquist and Cesar

writing The Silver Lining. So, my excited self sent an email (or maybe a thousand) to Ragnar a while ago asking if he was going to be at GDC to meet. And out of the blue, the week of GDC, he replied to (one of) the email(s) and asked us to meet over at the Lobby of the W. I have to say I randomly get the chance to meet with such nice developers. Dag Scheve (co-writer of Dreamfall) and Ragnar, are really two of the nicest people I have ever met. Aside from trying to get as many revelations on “Chapters” as possible, we also invited them to the party, and they showed up with all the team that was here for GDC before heading over to the Nordic Party! Ragnar invited me over there, but I had to decline as I was hosting this party. Next time, bud!

I even had the chance to meet some of the people from my own team an the forums. Seeing Kelsey (Rosella from the forums) and Wayne (from our QA team) as well as Gavin (our Production Coordinator) was great. I really felt like part of a big family.

Cesar and Wayne

All in all, it was great to see so many Adventure Game enthusiasts in one place (including the girl who told me she was a big fan of our work and couldn’t wait for Episode 3 of Cognition, Hi!) was a feeling you don’t get too often these days. I call for a repeat for GDC 2014. Bigger, bolder, and with more inventory items.

Thanks to everyone for hosting the party! Wadjet Eye Games, Senscape, Skygoblin, Los Munditos, Irresponsible Games, Grundislav Games, Freebird Games, Floating Hands Studios, Autumn Moon Entertainment, and Emily Morganti!

Kelsey and Cesar

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Developer Diary: The Voices That Matter

by on Mar.19, 2013, under cognition, developer diary

This past Sunday, we wrapped up the recordings for our voice actress for Erica Reed, the extremely talented Raleigh Holmes. After four episodes, I felt a little sad as we wrapped the last few lines of the episode and called it done. For us, we still have to walk this road until we release the episode to all of you, but for Raleigh, today was her last day on the job.

One of the most satisficing aspects about game development for me as a designer is the joy of hearing the lines I wrote take life in someone as talented as Raleigh. Extremely professional and completely dedicated to making things as perfect as possible, in this episode Raleigh just flew through her lines. And although Michael Fortunato, our voice over director, plays a big role in such a great performance, Raleigh was so comfortable by now that you could feel her transformation: She has actually become Erica!

And to bring a character to life through voice overs is not an easy task. Actors normally always have the energy of the stage, the set, or other actors to bounce off from. In voice-overs, they are alone with their microphones in a little booth, and everything happens in their imagination. So kudos to them!

We recorded in two sessions. On Saturday we went through the first two acts and part of act three. We skipped all the sections that would be hard on Raleigh’s voice, such as some of the skin-crawling screams you’ve heard from her in previous episodes, or sections that were so action-oriented they would put a strain on her voice. We saved all of that for Sunday, towards the end of the recording, in case they made Raleigh lose her voice. We have to be very careful in general, as Raleigh’s other passion is singing and she has an upcoming gig at Jane Jensen’s Open House event, so we definitely didn’t want Raleigh to hurt her voice for that! So we took it slow, while Raleigh took sips of her tea to help her keep her voice in check.

Katie joined us as always to make sure Raleigh kept her Bostonian flare. I normally just keep quiet, letting Michael do the direction and sometimes taking over for him when baby Sebastian, his son, needed attention. In those occasions, I would normally ask Raleigh to go to a safer place (such as the inventory lines) because I really prefer Michael to work with Raleigh to get Erica down to the great character we all love. He has such an easy way to get people to read the lines the way they are meant to be written, that I feel nervous that by taking over the more dramatic sessions, we wouldn’t get the best of the best. In those cases, I normally keep to myself unless I feel really strong about how to read a line, or when I need to come in to explain the motivation behind a particular session, behind the character’s thoughts or history that helps the actor understand the characters better. And, sometimes, also as lines are being read, sometimes they don’t feel quite natural once we hear them aloud, so Katie and I are normally there to go over the script and try new lines that feel better for the character or the situation.

To round out the team of people behind the recordings, we had our own Austin Haynes under a different hat, on the technical side, running the recordings in L.A. with Raleigh, and setting everything up so that the rest of us can listen in from our locations in Boston, Montreal, and California. Technology allows us to do this the same way as if we were in the studio with them! Austin especially takes care of things so that the volume doesn’t peak and distort as Raleigh screams or is not too low when she’s whispering, making sure that everything is balanced.

In film, there’s a term called “The Martini Shot” which refers to the last shot done before it’s a wrap . I called it as Raleigh was doing her final screams. I hope (and beg) that we can share many more of those Martini Shots with Raleigh in many productions to come! Talents like hers are rare, and we are very lucky to have her helping make of Erica such a compelling character. Thank you, Raleigh!

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Developer Diary: Moebius Through the Eyes of a Fan

by on Mar.13, 2013, under developer diary, moebius


I’m supposed to be writing about how much I’ve learned from Jane Jensen’s design, which was my original goal, or about the actual production of Moebius as a game. But instead, as I started writing, I got pulled into telling you a bit about what I particularly think of Moebius. I can’t help it, I’m the Producer of Moebius, yes, but more than that, I’m Jane Jensen’s number one fan.

Obviously I cannot reveal much, and I feel that if Jane was reading what I’m writing, she’d give me the killer glare. But let me try…

“Time and Time Again” is the slogan for Moebius, the next masterpiece from the “Queen of Adventure” herself Jane Jensen. Moebius is a metaphysical adventure that finds Malachi Rector in the middle of a mystery surrounded by the “Moebius Theory” which suggests patterns that repeat throughout history.

For those who missed a little bit of the edgy Jane Jensen from Gray Matter, you can definitely welcome her back. But don’t expect Gabriel Knight Redux, Moebius has its own distinct voice, and the character of Malachi is fascinating, analytical, incredibly smart, and can sometimes come off as the biggest asshole you’ve met–but you can’t stop loving every bit of him. It reminds me a lot of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC series, a character that I also adore.

At the same time, whereas Gabriel Knight was very edgy and spooky, I would categorize Moebius as more action oriented and high tech. Now, don’t fear, ye old adventure fans, I’m not talking about action sequences that will test your reflects, I’m talking about punching and kicking and relentless fighting sprinkled here and there in the game through beautifully rendered cutscenes or inserted as the background scenery for some provocative choice-making puzzles. That, together with the very classy, Armani suit-James Bond look of Malachi, his knack for high end toys, and the attention to current economical tendencies in the story, makes the game really feel like a poignant ultra-modern masterpiece.

Malachi travels around the world to many different locations, giving the story a grand and cosmopolitan atmosphere, a dream of globe-hopping travel bunnies like me. From the classical European locales to the modern streets of New York City and even exotic Egypt, Malachi is always on the move. He’s an antiques dealer, and what makes him such a good one is his acute sense to—well, let’s just say that it makes for great gameplay moments in the game.

With Moebius: Empire Rising we find a Jane doing what she does best: Taking historical facts and blending them into fiction in a way where you don’t know where one ends and the other begins. The thing is that the historical facts, in this case, are the center of attention. So with a stage set for one of her best qualities to be the centric element of the story, I’ll let your imagination fly as to how good this one is going to be. In the meanwhile, I’d recommend checking out her novel Dante’s Equation to entertain yourself while you wait.

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