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 Post subject: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts? Game coming this fall!!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:29 pm 
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What do you all think of this (final?) version of the game box art for Jane Jensen's Gray Matter?

The game looks quite interesting ( http://www.graymatter-game.com/ ), and I can't wait to play it, but I'm not sure I love the cover art. Because I love these kinds of games and want to see more of them, I really hope Gray Matter does well... but I worry that the cover art is too indistinctive. (Nothing against the artist... I'm talking more about what the art conveys to me rather than knocking the skill of an obviously talented artist.) I think that, if I knew nothing about the game and only saw the box, at first glance I'd think the game was some kind of low-budget poker casino simulation set in the future. The art reminds me of those backlit illustrations on pinball machines above where the scores are displayed. Unless you really scrutinize its details, the cover doesn't give a clear idea that the game is a dramatic psychological suspense (the woman's generic upbeat facial expression and hand positions make her look a bit like a carnival barker beckoning you to try your hand at some poker), which could be ok if the box were really intriguing and distinctive (thus making someone want to find out what the heck the game is all about), but it's not.
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Last edited by pbpb33 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:18 am 
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The coloring is nice, as well as the details, but the composition, mood, and lights and shadows detract from it overall. It doesn't convey what the story seems like it will be about based on the information available. The best part about it is the man on the top-left corner, with the faded ghostly face of the woman next to him. I would have placed the main character not so dead center, and moved her back just a bit in the distance. I like the title though, with the spade for an "a".

Overall, it's not what I'd have expected from the box cover based on everything else I've seen from this project. I have high hopes for the actual game at least, as I'm a big fan of Gabriel Knight.


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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:54 am 
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I have no idea what this game is about, and the box does nothing to entice or inform me.


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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:21 am 
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There should be a picture or a likeness of a brain there at least...

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:31 pm 
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Blackthorne519 wrote:
I have no idea what this game is about...

The game's from Jane Jensen and it's a spiritual successor of sorts to Gabriel Knight. Do you actually need more than that?

For me, the new box art really doesn't appeal, but that's aesthetics more than anything. I will admit that I'm not a big fan of Sam's new style on the cover.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:33 pm 
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In short;

it's fUGLY!

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:26 pm 
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Brainiac wrote:
Blackthorne519 wrote:
I have no idea what this game is about...

The game's from Jane Jensen and it's a spiritual successor of sorts to Gabriel Knight. Do you actually need more than that?


Yes. Yes I do. I've never played Gabriel Knight, and I, personally, would need more information. I know a lot of people in the adventure game community worship at the altar of Ms. Jensen, but I really don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:28 pm 
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This game seems like the highest profile new adventure game in years that isn't based on an existing series or franchise, and it's also designed by one of the best known adventure game writers. If this game doesn't do well, then I worry that other companies will be less likely to take chances with new adventure game ideas. I have the feeling that a lot is riding on this game... and I want to see it do well! I was reading on one of the Grey Matter forums that the publisher DTP has a history of insufficiently marketing their games, particularly in the US, where in the past some games weren't marketed at all and couldn't be found in major software stores. Hopefully this won't be the case with Grey Matter! Jane Jensen's Sierra games were presented so well by the marketing masters at Sierra... let's hope this new game of hers also makes a big splash.


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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:10 am 
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Heavy Rain, Ceville, Al Emmo and Dreamfall all come to mind from the past 4 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Blackthorne519 wrote:
I've never played Gabriel Knight,...


:eek . Ok, I don't worship Jane Jensen either, but Gabriel Knight was one heck of a great game. You owe it to yourself to play it if you call yourself a Sierra or adventure fan in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:42 pm 
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eek!

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:35 am 
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Quest For Glory Fan wrote:
Heavy Rain, Ceville, Al Emmo and Dreamfall all come to mind from the past 4 years.


I don't mean to take anything away from other games when I talk about what I see as the importance of Grey Matter. Yes, I had totally forgotten about Heavy Rain!! I remember reading about how there was a lot of excitement over the amazing graphics and how it was selling well. Hopefully its success will be attributed to more than just the graphics. Still, story-driven games are few and far between, so any high profile games of this sort will be watched closely. We need a few high profile smash hits so it can really be shown that these games are commercially viable!


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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:18 am 
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I think Telltale Games have done the most to keep the adventure genre afloat in recent years. However, their weak point (for lack of a better term) is that they're not working on original stories and IP. It's great that they're bringing new attention to old game franchises, but at the same time, I can't help but see this as partially being a financially safe decision, sticking with the tried and true products that they know will sell and make a profit. But without taking the risk to produce brand new content, the genre, in some way, still seems stifled in the past.

I think adventure game developers who take the greater risk to create original content and new stories, characters etc. are ultimately the ones that will revive the genre on a larger scale and take it in new directions. By rehashing past titles, developers like TellTale are pretty much catering to the same fan-base over and over, but I'm not sure how many new converts they're gaining. That's why I think Gray Matter is a title that so many people have their eye on. Jane Jensen is a talented writer and masterful storyteller, and this is her first original adventure game since Gabriel Knight (admittedly, GK1 is my second favorite Sierra game).

For this reason, I also concur that the box doesn't seem to do the importance of this title justice. I mean, to be completely honest, Gray Matter's setting and lead character don't personally appeal to me, but I'd be interested in checking the game out, simply because I know it's a Jane Jensen title. If I didn't, then the cover would indeed look like some Casino game at a cursory glance (which is all I would give it, unless it really stood out and looked different). I love any kind of hand-painted box artwork from the 80's and 90's (Conquests of Camelot, Doom 2) and I think that style is far more fitting for adventure game cover artwork than the stale and smooth CGI-esque artwork that adorns most game covers these days. Is this game about a series of murders like Gabriel Knight? If so, I would personally make the box cover more representative of that, in the same way the GK1 box was (prominent corpse hanging from a tree, voodoo ritual practitioners etc).


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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:07 pm 
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personally that Phantom mask in the top left is enough to throw me off.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Yeah, I've never played Gabriel Knight, either... and I'm pretty decent Sierra geek as well!

I went over to Good Old Games and got it too. $5.99. I haven't played it much, but hopefully I'll get some time this week.

I loved Heart of China, too. Those Dynamix games were pretty cool. I also loved the Blade Runner feel to Rise of the Dragon.

I have no idea what Gray Matter is about, anyway. What IS it all about?

Bt

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:13 pm 
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I agree with everything AGD2 said.

From what I remember about the premise that was released years and years ago, it's something about a character who solves mysteries and has some psychic ability? She likened it to X-Files in some ways. That's all I really know.

BTW, that Lost Horizon game does look nice!

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:42 pm 
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Some of you may have been put off by the original US box art. Apparently, according to insiders at CORT-X, the game's fansite, the UK boxart has been changed to all territories. Behold!

Image

There's also a new preview on Adventure Gamers just posted today that again puts the release date in the month of All Hallow's Eve. Enjoy.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Ok, so they used a different version of the girl in the middle....that's all? Admittedly, it does look better than the first one, though. The other version of the girl looked retarded.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:09 pm 
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Hey, at least without the "Work in Progress" bar, you can now see that there is indeed a brain image on the cover, MI.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:31 am 
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Brainiac wrote:
Hey, at least without the "Work in Progress" bar, you can now see that there is indeed a brain image on the cover, MI.


annnnd I just got the title.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:02 pm 
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Quest For Glory Fan wrote:
Brainiac wrote:
Hey, at least without the "Work in Progress" bar, you can now see that there is indeed a brain image on the cover, MI.


annnnd I just got the title.


See? That's a bad sign. It's supposed to be obvious. Especially since the main character is supposed to have some psychic ability or something?

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:43 am 
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This new version is definitely an improvement, but I wonder if it's still lacking in some small ways.

1) Let's face it: the breasts are an effective focal point in terms of this game cover's ability to gain attention and generate interest. Now it has some sex appeal, but not in a raunchy or tasteless way. It definitely doesn't come across like crass objectivication, and I think we all know that Jane Jensen will have fleshed out an intelligent, strong female character who is not defined in the game by her sex appeal.

2) The spooky castle house thing in the upper right seems more in focus now with the cool burning skull card (a nice, unexpected, eerie touch) drawing your attention there.

3) The character's new, intriguing expression actually looks human now, and her eyes connect with you nicely when you look at it. Her style also looks cool and modern now. The hand on the hip and her overall stance convey more strength and personality than before. In this sense, she's sexy and alluring in a way that guys would like, but also looks edgy and strong enough (hardly a helpless damsel or "bimbo," to use a term mentioned in another thread) to appeal to female fans. The previous cover art above reminded me too much of this character from the old cartoon, "The Littles."
Image

With just these changes to the character's looks, the cover is much stronger, with a bit of a more mysterious vibe now. However, if I hadn't known anything about the game before seeing the art, I still might think (at least on first glance) that it was some kind of computer card game. Part of the problem seems to be the lack of any "action" on the cover; what I mean is, there is no sense of real danger, excitement or adventure. The part with the bodies on their backs (from some neurological experiment?) at the bottom of the cover is good, but it's not enough.

For comparison, Gabriel Knights 1 and 2 have effective covers hinting at danger, but GK3's cover stinks HORRIBLY in this regard. Also, both the Laura Bow titles have great, eye-catching, memorable covers (see below) with a strong hint of danger and mystery that's missing in Gray Matter's cover. Granted, the Laura Bow games are murder mysteries, but I think that to create any suggestion of suspense, even in cover art, it helps to have some sense of danger. Also, I think the simpler look of the Colonel's Bequest and GK2 art is most striking. Grey Matter's cover is a bit busy.
Image Image ImageImageImage

Still, I enjoyed the Adventure Gamers preview and I can't wait for the game! The scenes look very atmospheric, believable and detailed. Check this out below. The lighting effects are beautiful. Look at the shadows at the bottom and the reflection on the ground to the left. Very nice. Are those Medusa heads on the wall to the left? Cool! I can smell the pool chlorine and can imagine the echoed sounds of voices and water splashing when looking at the scene below.

Image

This is now the new adventure game I'm looking forward to playing more than any other! The website is also excellent with some really effective, original, moody music by Gabriel Knight composer Robert Holmes! http://www.graymatter-game.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:34 pm 
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MusicallyInspired wrote:
See? That's a bad sign. It's supposed to be obvious. Especially since the main character is supposed to have some psychic ability or something?

Nope. Samantha is a street magician and Dr. Styles is a neurobiologist.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts? Game coming this fall!!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:52 pm 
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Well then. Things have really changed since I first heard about it, then. When Jane first announced this years ago she described it as a sort of psychic detective/x-files-ish type game.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Matter Cover Art. Thoughts? Game coming this fall!!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:57 pm 
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I couldn't be less interested.

Himalaya, hurry up and make a new game, will ya? And please don't feature some Goth chick or some lame "dark" story, because I'm so sick of dark. Dark doesn't not equal mature and/or unique.


Bt

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