Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen is teaming up with Phoenix Online Studios for an episodic crime thriller called Cognition.

Jane Jensen [not to be confused with Jan Jansen] is pretty well known to gamers of a certain class and vintage. She got her start in the game industry at Sierra Online, eventually co-designing King’s Quest VI with Roberta Williams before finally getting the chance to fly solo with Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. It was a darker game than Sierra was generally known for but became a big hit anyway, eventually spawning two sequels. In more recent years, she’s been designing casual online games for Oberon Media and writing novels.

But now she’s poised to return to the genre that made her famous with Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, “an episodic story in the spirit of Dexter and Heavy Rain.” Erica Reed is an FBI agent with the power of post-cognition: by simply touching an object, she can see it’s past, what happened to it and what happened around it. But now she’s on a case with clues that appear deliberately left to be found by someone with her talent. Does someone know her secret? And what do they want from her?

Jensen is working as the “story consultant” on the game, which is being made by Phoenix Online Studios, better known as the team behind the King’s Quest “fangame” The Silver Lining, and Netherlands-based indie Khaeon Gamestudio. Khaeon actually approached Phoenix Online with the idea for Cognition after playing The Silver Lining.

Cognition is currently in pre-production and the team has a Kickstarter campaign going to help cover the costs. For a buck, you get your name in the credits; for $10,000 or more, you can be the Executive Director on the project and actually take part in the development process. There are plenty of intermediate options too, for those who want to do a little more than the minimum but haven’t won any lotteries recently. No release date is set, but Cognition is expected to come out sometime in 2012.

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