Current videogame developments from
Tale of Tales

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      BUSY. That modern affliction. We had it. It started over a month ago with Auriea going to America for IndieCade East and giving her first keynote speech ever! She then accepted an invitation by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to be Visiting Artist in their department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation. Meanwhile learning, via extensive research, that tall skyscrapers are tall.

Returning to Belgium to gather up Michael they journeyed together back to the USA for the annual GDC (Game Devleopers Conference). We hadn’t been there for many years. But this time we were up for a Nuovo Award in the Independent Games Festival. Which we actually won! Then we found out we were up for another prize from something called the International Mobile Gaming Awards and we won that too! (sort of, an honorable mention, that’s still winning, yes?.)

We got to come home for a week after all that excitement before venturing far north, to Helsinki, Finland. There we were invited to be a part of Aalto University’s Games Now! series of lectures. We awkwardly talked about our work for an epic Hour And a Half, and finally got to find out what reindeer meat tastes like. yum!  

Our wanderings finally brought us back to a city we love, Berlin.  There we participated in the hyperactivity of the AMAZE festival. Luckily, no video was recorded, only audio! You can listen to what we said online, and thats nice.

BUT WE ARE HOME NOW, and staying here, working. And possibly getting a kitten.

      BUSY. That modern affliction. We had it. It started over a month ago with Auriea going to America for IndieCade East and giving her first keynote speech ever! She then accepted an invitation by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to be Visiting Artist in their department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation. Meanwhile learning, via extensive research, that tall skyscrapers are tall.

      Returning to Belgium to gather up Michael they journeyed together back to the USA for the annual GDC (Game Devleopers Conference). We hadn’t been there for many years. But this time we were up for a Nuovo Award in the Independent Games Festival. Which we actually won! Then we found out we were up for another prize from something called the International Mobile Gaming Awards and we won that too! (sort of, an honorable mention, that’s still winning, yes?.)

      We got to come home for a week after all that excitement before venturing far north, to Helsinki, Finland. There we were invited to be a part of Aalto University’s Games Now! series of lectures. We awkwardly talked about our work for an epic Hour And a Half, and finally got to find out what reindeer meat tastes like. yum!

      Our wanderings finally brought us back to a city we love, Berlin. There we participated in the hyperactivity of the AMAZE festival. Luckily, no video was recorded, only audio! You can listen to what we said online, and thats nice.

      BUT WE ARE HOME NOW, and staying here, working. And possibly getting a kitten.

      We are chuffed as chips to be presiding over a MASTERCLASS during the AMAZE. Berlin Festival on April 11th. They call it Masterclass… we think it will be more like the lovely games journalist, Chris Priestman, writer for KILL SCREEN magazine, asking us round after round of impertinitent questions… to which we will do our level best to give impertinent answers. And the gathered audience will sigh and say: ah, VIDEOGAMES! DO attend, if you can!

      We are chuffed as chips to be presiding over a MASTERCLASS during the AMAZE. Berlin Festival on April 11th. They call it Masterclass… we think it will be more like the lovely games journalist, Chris Priestman, writer for KILL SCREEN magazine, asking us round after round of impertinitent questions… to which we will do our level best to give impertinent answers. And the gathered audience will sigh and say: ah, VIDEOGAMES! DO attend, if you can!

      On 7 April we will be giving a lecture in Helsinki and online, part of the Games Now! series of Aalto University. Find slightly more info and links to the video feeds here. We will decide exactly what we will be talking about for an hour and a half. It will be a far-reaching, over-reaching, hopefully helpful to both you and to us, talk on how we (hope to) design stories for videogames.

      On 7 April we will be giving a lecture in Helsinki and online, part of the Games Now! series of Aalto University. Find slightly more info and links to the video feeds here. We will decide exactly what we will be talking about for an hour and a half. It will be a far-reaching, over-reaching, hopefully helpful to both you and to us, talk on how we (hope to) design stories for videogames.

      Luxuria Superbia wins Nuovo at IGF.

      “This year’s Nuovo Award, which honors abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development, was given to Luxuria Superbia, a musically and visually resplendent title that uses the player’s touch to stimulate in-game sensations of pleasure and joy. Absent any characters or underlying narrative, the game is focused entirely on the experience of traveling through a series of tunnels to make them “feel good” and affect their colors and plumage through the player’s tactile inputs.”

      http://igf.com/2014/03/papers_please_takes_the_grand_.html

      But Luxuria Superbia is inspired by “everyday sex”, the sex we all have, as people, with each other. It’s nothing special, but it is. And very importantly, it’s something we all share, across genders, across cultures, across ages, across ideologies. As such it’s extremely important. The world is in desperate need of more connections when many forces are trying to pull us apart.

      We have begun production of a new videogame for PC, Mac and Linux, scheduled for release next year.

      Sunset is a first­-person exploration of a single penthouse apartment in a fictional tropical republic suffering under an oppressive regime. Set in the early 1970’s, the player, a housekeeper, visits week­ by­ week and slowly discovers the role of the apartment’s eccentric occupant in the civil war — and her own role in his life — as the city erupts around them.

      The former philanthropist has been living a secluded life after a military coup had stifled the arts and culture that once aroused his passions. The thoughtful attention of his housekeeper awakens a new love for his country and his people in him. But the ruthless government will not be defeated with a velvet glove. Maybe she can convince him to join the violent resistance movement that terrorizes the capital.

      Against the sunset-lit backdrop of a war-torn metropolis, two hearts meet in a fast-paced thriller. Your investigation of a person’s belongings creates a level of intimacy never far away from romance. It is up to you, however, to decide how the relationship evolves. Will you be a lover? A fighter? A friend or a traitor?

      "It’s like a shooter game where you are not the hero but one of the people in the background. And also that is how it feels to live in the world today, surrounded by the evidence of war but most of us not feeling a part of it. The game contains both empathy and apathy. But also a feeling of being caught up in a struggle bigger than your day to day life."


      Sunset is the second biggest project Tale of Tales has been involved in (after The Path) but is still being produced with a very small team: Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn design, model and program; Kris Force is in charge of sound design; Agency, Leigh Alexander and Ste Curran's new game development consultancy, are advising on the project direction and an anonymous author is helping with the story. Last but not least, Austin Wintory is composing the music for Sunset.

      Partial production funding has been acquired from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, that has supported most of Tale of Tales games in the past.

      In case you’re wondering, next to Sunset, we are preparing two other productions: The Book of 8, a re-imagination of our very first design based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale and An empty World, a collaboration with Jessica Curry and Vicki Wong.

      Both Auriea and Michaël will be available for the curious at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco where we are presenting our Nuovo Award nominated Luxuria Superbia in the Independent Games Festival pavilion and an early prototype for that game in the Experimental Gameplay Workshop.

      More details on http://Tale-of-Tales.com/Sunset.

      At the Experimental Gameplay Workshop during GDC we will present "The Cosmos and The Cave", a playable prototype from 2011, which lead to our (IGF Nuovo Award nominated) videogame release Luxuria Superbia. This prototype was the result of our year-long cncntrc research project into the intersections of sensuality, spirituality and gaming. We hope to make more games based on this research in the coming years.

      We’ve shown some images of this… And if you got the Experiments and Prototypes bundle we offered last December, you have it. But not many have played it, and fewer understand it! So, if you want to go deeper, come and see this session at GDC!