Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 11, 2011.

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A supernatural adventure game featuring FBI Agent Erica Reed on the hunt for a serial killer who knows her secret: post-cognition.

Update: Stretch Goal of $32,000!

Thank you for helping us hit our goal $25,000 goal!! It's truly amazing and so are all of you! 

We've got a new stretch goal set: to hit $32,000 by the end of the Kickstarter run (Dec. 11th), in honor of Cesar's 32nd birthday! And what happens if we do? Besides our eternal thanks, if we hit 32K, we'll set up an exclusive backers-only stream of the demo of Cognition before its public release! You'll get to see a sneak peek of the gameplay, the graphics, the voices, the music, you name it, before anyone else, no matter what level you donate at! We'll also be doing commentary and running a chat with the developers during the stream. 

We've got 13 days left and we're only a little over $4000 away from the stretch goal. Let's keep pushing and we know we can get there!

A Dream Ten Years in the Making

Phoenix Online Studios first came together almost ten years ago as a group of adventure game fans who wanted to recapture and recreate the magic of the games we played when we were kids. Since that time, it's been our passion and labor of love to create our freeware King's Quest fangame, The Silver Lining, and now we're taking the next big step! What has long seemed like an intangible pipe dream is, after years of hard work and dedication, finally within our reach. We've partnered with Khaeon Gamestudio, and will be working Jane Jensen as our Story Consultant--truly, an indie dream team!--to bring you our first commercial game Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller

Who's Erica Reed and what's Cognition about?

An episodic story in the spirit of Dexter and Heavy Rain, Cognition stars Erica Reed, an FBI agent in Boston, Massachusetts, who lost her brother years ago to a serial killer who was never caught. In the high-stress hunt to save him, she began developing the strange and uncontrolled power of post-cognition: by touching an object, she can see its past, events that happened on, to, or around it. Though it’s undeniably useful in her line of work, her unease with this power has caused her both personal and professional problems. And every serial killer case that comes to the bureau leaves her wondering if this one is the man who killed her brother. When she comes across a crime scene that has clues that were left specifically for someone with her abilities, a new hunt is on. Who knows her secret? How? And what do they want from her?

Who's developing the game?

Phoenix Online Studios are the creators of the hit King's Quest fangame, The Silver Lining. Almost ten years ago, we were just a bunch of adventure game fans looking to recapture the magic, and knew nothing at all about how to make a computer game! Our learning experience with TSL has not only taught us what to do and how to do it well, but also shaped our goal of creating modern, compelling, and innovative adventure games for today's audience. We love a great story, we love telling a great story, and we know Cognition is a really great story!

To bring you this game, we're joining forces with Khaeon Gamestudio, an independent studio based in the Netherlands. After playing The Silver Lining, Khaeon approached Phoenix Online to develop Cognition, a project originally conceived by Art Director Romano Molenaar, well-known for his works in the comics industry on titles including X-Men, Witchblade, and Tomb Raider. With Romano leading the art team, we're excited to expand on the graphic novel look and feel of Cognition into a fully and interactive experience.

And last but far from least, Jane Jensen is our Story Consultant! A lot of us at Phoenix have been huge fans of Jane's work since her early days at Sierra, through to her latest release of Gray Matter this past year. To have the creator of Gabriel Knight, one of the first and most influential supernatural investigator adventure games, acting as a guiding hand on our story is a dream come true--we're honored and, let's face it, really lucky to have her on board! 

What are donations going to be used for?

Currently in pre-production, Cognition has a long way to go, and with your help, we can get it there that much faster. As we all know, money is what makes a business work, and that's what brings us to Kickstarter. The funds raised through this campaign will be used in the following ways to get the development of Cognition off the ground:

  • Unity engine licenses
  • Employee salaries
  • Dedicated servers
  • Marketing costs
  • Legal fees
  • ESRB ratings

Any cool rewards?

Heck yeah there are! We've always greatly loved how dedicated our fans are, so we designed our rewards to give you a chance to get an inside look at the development of Cognition while it's in progress! Some of the highlights of our FBI Rankings rewards list include:

  • Signed copies of the Cognition soundtrack
  • A signed Cognition comic by Romano Molenaar
  • Pages of the design doc signed by Jane Jensen
  • Free copy of the game upon the release of each episode
  • Beta-testing access to the game
  • Exclusive monthly updates on the progress of the game during development
  • Have your name appear in the game
  • Have a character in Cognition crafted to look like you
  • Become a game developer for all four episodes! 

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to come to our Kickstarter page and learn about us and Cognition, and thank you for any donations! Every little bit helps, and even just a $1 donation will get your name in the Special Thanks section of our credits. And keep an eye out for Cognition in 2012!

FAQ

  • We will definitely be releasing for PC & Mac platforms, and we anticipate releasing for XBox Live and iOS, although those releases may not be simultaneous with the initial releases. We also plan to put the game up on Steam.

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    SUPPORTER: Your name will appear in the Special Thanks section of the credits!

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    EYE WITNESS: An exclusive digital Cognition image, a digital copy of the soundtrack, plus your name in the Special Thanks section of the credits!

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    PROBATIONARY AGENT: The previous prizes, plus a full copy of each episode of the game upon their release, and a subscription to the exclusive monthly newsletter! You'll hear about our progress each month and get access to exclusive images, soundclips, songs and more!

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    INVESTIGATOR: The previous prizes, plus a hard copy of the game and of the soundtrack!

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    SPECIAL AGENT: The previous prizes, plus the Special Edition of Cognition! This includes a signed hard copy of the soundtrack, a hard copy of the game, a Cognition poster, and a copy of the Cognition prequel comic, written by the designers and illustrated by Romano Molenaar!

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    SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT: A signed hard copy of the soundtrack, a hard copy of the game, a Cognition poster, a signed copy of the comic, beta-testing access to the first Episode, plus we’ll put your name somewhere in the game—on an FBI Agent’s ID card, a name in the newspaper, a street name, whatever it may be, you’ll be able to see it! ***You must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and adhere to the rules of Phoenix Online and Khaeon Gamestudio.

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    AGENT IN CHARGE: You’ll received signed hard copies of the soundtrack, game, poster, and comic, plus beta-testing access to all Episodes of the game! But wait there’s more! You’ll get an inside look at our development process! Receive special access to a members-only area with a range of exclusive game development assets such as art concepts, pictures of our 3D models, the game design document, music, voices, and more! You will also have the opportunity to become one of the betatesters of the game. ***Disclaimer: 1) This membership will last only through the development of the first episode of the game. 2) You must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and adhere to the rules of Phoenix Online and Khaeon Gamestudio.

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    ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: (limited supply) Signed hard copies of the game, soundtrack, poster and comic, and a batch of homemade cookies of your choice, made with love, in heart-shapes! Plus get an inside look at our development process by becoming a Team Member and getting signed on to the team’s mailing list, where you will see the team’s interaction process of making the game! Get into special scheduled skype sessions with the developers as they discuss different aspects of the games -- you could be in a session with the writing team discussing the plot and then in another with the director and composer discussing the music! This is a great opportunity to learn how games are developed, as you see how we take the game from concept to its final build! You will also have the opportunity to become a betatester. ***Disclaimer: 1) This membership will last only through the development of the first episode of the game. 2) You must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and adhere to the rules of Phoenix Online and Khaeon Gamestudio.

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    DEPUTY DIRECTOR #2: Not only do you get signed copies of the game, soundtrack, and exclusive Cognition comic, and beta-testing access to all Episodes, and delicious cookies! Plus, become a Game Developer for the full 4 episodes of the game! Get an inside look at our development process by becoming a Team Member and getting signed on to the team’s mailing list, where you will see the team’s interaction process of making the game! Get into special scheduled skype sessions with the developers as they discuss different aspects of the games -- you could be in a session with the writing team discussing the plot and then in another with the director and composer discussing the music! This is a great opportunity to learn how games are developed, as you see how we take the game from concept to its final build! You will also have the opportunity to become a betatester. ***Disclaimer: 1) We will always consider your feedback, but we will have the last word on development. 2) Direct contact with some developers may be difficult but you’ll definitely get to chat with the team behind The Silver Lining frequently! 3) You must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and adhere to the rules of Phoenix Online and Khaeon Gamestudio.

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    DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Not only do you get signed copies of the game, soundtrack, and exclusive Cognition comic, and beta-testing access to all Episodes, delicious cookies, we’ll craft a character to look like you! You’ll exist in the Cognition universe! Rejoice! Plus, become a Game Developer for the full 4 episodes of the game! Get an inside look at our development process by becoming a Team Member and getting signed on to the team’s mailing list, where you will see the team’s interaction process of making the game! Get into special scheduled skype sessions with the developers as they discuss different aspects of the games -- you could be in a session with the writing team discussing the plot and then in another with the director and composer discussing the music! This is a great opportunity to learn how games are developed, as you see how we take the game from concept to its final build! You will also have the opportunity to become a betatester. ***Disclaimer: 1) We will always consider your feedback, but we will have the last word on development. 2) Direct contact with some developers may be difficult but you’ll definitely get to chat with the team behind The Silver Lining frequently! 3) You must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and adhere to the rules of Phoenix Online and Khaeon Gamestudio.

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    FBI DIRECTOR: You get access to all previous prizes, plus, you get to name a character that we’ll model AFTER YOU! And cookies, don't forget the cookies. ***Disclaimer: 1) We will always consider your feedback, but we will have the last word on development. 2) Direct contact with some developers may be difficult but you’ll definitely get to chat with the team behind The Silver Lining frequently! 3) You must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and adhere to the rules of Phoenix Online and Khaeon Gamestudio.

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    J. EDGAR HOOVER: Let's face it, at this point we owe you a debt of gratitude we can only ever attempt to make up for! So you, sir or madam, get all the previous prizes, plus you get your name in the opening credits as an Executive Producer. And! A few of us will fly to wherever you are (if you are in the Continental United States), or fly you in to your city of choice (of the hometowns of the Directors) in the Continental United States and meet you there for a truly excellent dinner! Plus, delicious cookies of your choice, baked with love, and mailed directly to you! ***Disclaimer: 1) We will always consider your feedback, but we will have the last word on development. 2) Direct contact with some developers may be difficult but you’ll definitely get to chat with the team behind The Silver Lining frequently! 3) You must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and adhere to the rules of Phoenix Online and Khaeon Gamestudio.

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