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Developer Diary: The Inspiration for Erica Reed - Destructoid

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Established in 2004 and previously known as 'Phoenix Freeware Online', Phoenix Online Studios began as a fan group of King's Quest fans coming together to create an unofficial sequel to the series.



Their first project, The Silver Lining, got the attention from publications such as PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, GameInformer, Edge Magazine, GamesTM, Kotaku, Mtv News and Joystiq. Today, we've been granted an IP license by Activision to publish all 5 episodes free to play.



Phoenix Online Studios is currently working on their first commercial endeavors - Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, recently released Episode 1 last October, and Episode 2 is about to be released Jan 30th, 2013. The game follows a Boston FBI agent, who lost her brother years ago to a serial killer who was never caught. With post-cognition abilities, Erica Reed is able to see the past of the objects just by touching it, adding a twist in this paranormal adventure game.

More information about Phoenix Online Studios or any of our projects can be found at www.postudios.com
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From Designer Cesar Bittar, a little insight into the creation and development of Erica Reed:

I get the question a lot of who inspired me for Erica Reed. Erica ended up being a little bit more foul-mouthed than my original source of inspiration for her, but to this day, every time I see Olivia Dunham in Fringe, I tend to smile. She’s gorgeous and Anna Torv is a really gifted actress, and she makes Fringe one of my favorite shows in our current TV spectrum.


TOTAL coincidence!


Jane once told me that Erica didn’t seem much like an FBI Agent. The Erica she was seeing is the Erica that opens up the game in the cemetery. The thought stuck in my mind, and I wanted to have Erica seem more like an FBI Agent. Dana Scully from the X-Files came to mind, but she was too “formal” for our likings. Debra Morgan, from Dexter, also didn’t do it for me and she really wasn’t FBI — although Erica’s bad language certainly comes from Deb!

And then there was Olivia Dunham. I started googling for pictures of her and I came across a few. There was a particular one that really set it for me. If you spot any similarities, it’s a complete coincidence. Really. Walter Bishop is my alibi!

If you'd like to know more about Cognition, feel free to visit the Phoenix Online Studios Homepage :)

Gonçalo Gonçalves
Social Media Intern, Phoenix Online



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