Jane Elizabeth Smith
January 28, 1963
Palmerton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Known for||Gabriel Knight series|
Jane Jensen (born Jane Elizabeth Smith; January 28, 1963 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania) is an American video game designer and author. She is mostly known as the creator of the Gabriel Knight series of adventure games, and also co-founded Oberon Media and Pinkerton Road video game development companies. Jensen also writes under the name Eli Easton.
Jane Jensen was born Jane Elizabeth Smith, the youngest of seven children. She received a BA in computer science from Anderson University in Indiana and worked as a systems programmer for Hewlett-Packard.
Her love of both computers and creative writing eventually led her to the computer gaming industry and Sierra OnLine where she worked as a writer on Police Quest III: The Kindred and EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus. After co-designing King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow with veteran game designer Roberta Williams, Jensen designed her first solo game: Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, which was released in 1993. The dark, supernatural mystery was a departure for Sierra but the game was enthusiastically received, with the strength of Jensen's writing, along with the game's horror and gothic sensibilities coming in for particular praise from the gaming press and earning the Computer Gaming World's "Adventure Game of the Year" award.
Jensen followed up Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers with two sequels: The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery in 1995 and Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned in 1999. Somewhat unusually for an adventure game series, each Gabriel Knight title was produced in an entirely different format to the others. Whereas the original was a traditional 2D animated game, the sequels were realised through full motion video and a custom built 3D engine, respectively. Despite further acclaim for Jensen's design in both cases (The Beast Within too was Computer Gaming World's "Game of the Year"), the large expenses associated with making the sequels, coupled with the declining marketability of adventure games (especially within Sierra) meant that a fourth in the series was not commissioned.
In 1997, Jensen published a novelization of the first Gabriel Knight game. A second Gabriel Knight novelization followed in 1998. In 1999, Jensen published her first non-adapted novel, Millennium Rising (later retitled Judgment Day). Her fourth book, Dante's Equation was published in 2003 and was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award.
Jensen has been involved in designing casual online games at Oberon Media, of which she is a co-founder. Her work in the hidden object/light adventure category can partially be credited with moving casual games in the direction of full adventure games in puzzle and story sophistication. Some of her more notable recent games include Deadtime Stories (2009) and Dying for Daylight (2010). After leaving Oberon in 2011, she briefly worked at Zynga.
Jensen's next big adventure game Gray Matter was developed by Wizarbox and published by dtp entertainment in 2010. The game, originally intended to be developed by Hungarian software house Tonuzaba, switched to another developer, French company Wizarbox in 2008: as a result, the tentative release was changed and shifted to 2010. Jensen was also a story consultant on Phoenix Online Studios' 2012 adventure game Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller.
On April 5, 2012, Jensen and her husband Robert Holmes announced the formation of Pinkerton Road, a new game development studio to be headquartered on their Lancaster, Pennsylvania farm. With this announcement, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to raise funds for the studio's first year of game development. In 2014, Pinkerton released their first games, Moebius: Empire Rising and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition.
Since 2013, Jensen has written gay romance fiction under the pen name "Eli Easton". The Lion and the Crow was written for the Goodreads M/M Romance event "Love has No Boundaries" in 2013, and later expanded and rereleased as a second edition in e-book and audiobook.
Jensen owns a farm in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband, composer Robert Holmes, who composed the music for the Gabriel Knight series and Gray Matter.
- EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus (1991) (writer)
- Police Quest III: The Kindred (1991) (writer)
- King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (1992) (co-designer, co-writer)
- Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (1992) (CD-ROM version) (voice actor)
- The Dagger of Amon Ra (1993) (CD-ROM version) (voice actor)
- Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993) (designer, director, writer)
- Pepper's Adventures in Time (1993) (designer)
- The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (1995) (designer, writer)
- Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (1999) (designer, writer)
- Inspector Parker (2003) (designer)
- BeTrapped! (2004) (designer)
- Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile (2007) (designer, director)
- Agatha Christie: Peril at End House (2007) (designer, director)
- Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet (2007) (designer, director)
- Dr. Lynch: Grave Secrets (2008) (designer, director)
- Women's Murder Club: A Darker Shade of Grey (2008) (designer, director)
- Agatha Christie: Dead Man's Folly (2009) (creative director)
- Women's Murder Club: Twice in a Blue Moon (2009) (designer, director)
- Deadtime Stories (2009) (creator, designer, director)
- Gray Matter (2010) (designer, writer)
- Dying for Daylight (2011) (designer, director)
- Hidden Chronicles (2012) (co-writer)
- Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller (2012–13) (story consultant)
- Moebius: Empire Rising (2014) (creator, designer, director, writer)
- Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition (2014) (creative director, designer)
- Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (Roc, 1997)
- The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (Roc, 1998)
- Millennium Rising (Judgment Day) (Del Rey, 1999)
- Dante's Equation (Del Rey, 2003)
- Kingdom Come - An Elizabeth Harris Novel (Berkley, 2016)
- In the Land of Milk and Honey - An Elizabeth Harris Novel (Berkley, 2016)
- Gabriel Knight: The Temptation (Phoenix Online Publishing, 2014–15)
As Eli Easton
- "A Kiss in the Dark" (2013) (a novella part of Closet Capers anthology)
- Before I Wake (2013)
- The Lion and the Crow (2013)
- Superhero (2013)
- The Trouble with Tony (2013)
- Puzzle Me This (2013)
- "Caress" (2013) (a novella part of Steamed Up anthology)
- Blame it on the Mistletoe (2013)
- A Prairie Dog’s Love Song (2013)
- The Enlightenment of Daniel (2013)
- "Reparation" (2014) (a novella part of Stitch anthology)
- Heaven Can't Wait (2014)
- The Mating of Michael (2014)
- "The Bird" (2014) (a novella part of Bones anthology)
- Unwrapping Hank (2014)
- A Midwinter Night's Dream (2015)
- "Among the Dead" (2015) (a novella part of Spirit anthology)
- The Stolen Suitor (2016)
- A Second Harvest (2016)
- Falling Down (2016)
- Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles (2016)
- How to Howl at the Moon (2015)
- How to Walk Like a Man (2015)
- How to Wish Upon a Star (2016)
- How to Save a Life (2017)
- A Second Harvest (2016)
- Tender Mercies (2017)
- Desperately Seeking Santa (2017)
- Five Dares (2017)
- Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride (2018)
- Boy Shattered (2018)
- Family Camp (2019)
- How to Run With the Wolves (2019)
- Angels Sing (2019)
- Christmas Angel (2019)
- The Redemption of River (2020)
- One Trick Pony (2021)
- Betting on his BF (co-written by Tara Lain) (2021)
- The Best Gift (2021)
- Hot Seat (co-written by Tara Lain) (2022)
- Teitelbaum, Ilana (May 14, 2014). "Moebius: Empire Rising a Great Start to Jane Jensen's New Series". The Huffington Post. AOL. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- Ross, Heather Elizabeth. "Celebrating Computing Women Part IX". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- Gabriel Knight 1 reviews from JaneJensen.com.
- Jane Jensen developer bio at MobyGames.
- Salter, Anastasia. Jane Jensen : Gabriel Knight, adventure games, hidden objects. New York. ISBN 9781501327452. OCLC 960905790.
- Jane Jensen interview from Gamasutra.
- Jensen, Jane (May 13, 2012). "I am Jane Jensen, creator of Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter and Pinkerton Road game studio. Ask me anything". Reddit. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine
- "INTERVIEW – In Conversation With Jane Jensen (Game Designer, Gabriel Knight Trilogy/Gray Matter)". Alternative Magazine Online. April 29, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- "Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller by Phoenix Online Studios". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "Pinkerton Road website". Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- "Pinkerton Road Kickstarter campaign". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- Jensen, Jane (October 22, 2014). "Out". elieaston.com. Archived from the original on December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton". Goodreads. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- "The Lion and the Crow Is A Light In The Darkest Hours". The Novel Approach. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- Ingrid Heyn (Adventure Classic Gaming) (2006). "The music and the mystery of Robert Holmes". Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- "Before I Wake by Eli Easton". Goodreads. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- Pinkerton Road, Jane Jensen's studio at the Wayback Machine (archived September 29, 2019)
- Official website of Eli Easton, Jane Jensen's pen name
- Jane Jensen on Facebook
- Jane Jensen on Twitter
- Jane Jensen at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Jane Jensen at IGDB.com
- Alternative Magazine Online Interviews Jane Jensen on Gray Matter, 2011
- Alternative Magazine Online interviews Jane Jensen on Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary Remake, 2013
- Jane Jensen interview with GameSpot, 2007
- Jane Jensen interview on adventure games at Adventure Classic Gaming, 2003
- AdventureGamers interview