Posts Tagged ‘Tale of Tales’

Tale Of Tales (Probably) Stopping Making Games

After twelve years in games, it looks like Tale of Tales are calling it quits and looking to new artistic pastures. The duo behind such games as The Endless Forest, The Path, and Luxuria Superbia had hoped their latest, Sunset [official site], would have more mainstream appeal – and financial success. It sold only around 4,000 copies in its first month, not enough to cover costs.

ToT said over the weekend, “we don’t think we will be making videogames after this. And if we do, definitely not commercial ones.” I’d be sorry to see them go.

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Wot I Think: Sunset

Ortega's front room

I like Sunset [official site] for its sense of place, for its lighting, for its drip feed of story, for the emphasis on subtle change and human scale in an event games tend to deal with via guns and power fantasies and super tech. But when it comes to the relationship building which lies at the centre of the game Sunset can stumble. Here’s Wot I Think.

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Ray Of Light: Sunset Gets A Release Date

Empty chairs and empty tables

Peering through telescopes is one of those little in-game activities I enjoy a disproportionate amount; peeking through the viewfinder and switching to a porthole framing previously distant objects and people. The telescope peeking in Sunset [official site] was infused with meaning when I played a preview build and I hope there’s more to come when the game releases in full on 21 May.

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Hands On: Tale Of Tales’ Sunset

The Winter Garden of the house

Sunset‘s [official site] preview showcases a game of guiding and shaping rather than explicit storytelling. It’s about gently influencing a relationship with an unseen person according to your own interests against the backdrop of a South American revolution in the 1970s.

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Red Sky At Night: Tale Of Tales On Sunset

'Another good day for shepherds then,' sighed Angela.

Sunset is the latest game/project from Tale of Tales, creators of Lego Star Wars The Wolf Among Us many artistically minded offerings like The Path and Fatale. It’s already doubled its Kickstarter goal with its promise of a very different perspective on war; not a man with a gun in the field or some faceless general, but a woman with a feather duster in a luxurious apartment, given one hour a day to both make things tidy and make a difference. I spoke to creators Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn to find out more about their subversive take on modern warfare, and the challenges of making a very different kind of experience to their usual projects.

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Viva La Revolución: Tale Of Tales Kickstarting Sunset


For a studio which makes such quiet and contemplative games, Tale of Tales have been bafflingly controversial. Along with the likes of Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow, the team behind Bientôt l’été and The Path have been Two Minutes Hate figures for people incensed that anyone might suggest video games aren’t perfect just the way they are. Tale of Tales have also become more video game-y, though. Luxuria Superbia had scores and all, and now they’re making a “first-person thriller” with influences including such–gasp–video games as Gone Home and Dear Esther.

Sunset is a fascinating idea. It’s set in an apartment in a fictional South American country going through civil war in 1972, playing as an immigrant housekeeper who revisits to clean then gets to know its resident by exploring his stuff. If you’re petulant enough doubt whether it’s a video game, look, it must be: they’re running a Kickstarter.

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Of Mice And Gamepads: The Future Of Controllers

If I’m going to be dull and reductive about it, playing videogames works like this: we tell a game something through an input device – say, a gamepad, motion contoller, touch screen or keyboard – and get a response back in the form of images or sound. It’s like a conversation, but it’s shaped by the devices we use to talk. Without the Wiimote, there is no Wii Sports. Without the touch screen, there is no Fingle or Bloop.

If I don’t own the relevant controller, then I can’t play these games. But what if the controller doesn’t even exist? Many games are impossible to conceive of because we don’t have the hardware to act as muse. Are we living on a junk diet of gamepads and mice – or a rich land of controller plenty?

Let’s have a chat with a few developers and see wot what they think.

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S.EXE: Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn

Many of Tale of Tales’ games have erotic undertones, and you might begin to wonder exactly why that is. You remember I wrote about Tale of Tales‘ FATALE earlier in this column, of course. And after winning the Nuovo Award for Luxuria Superbia at the IGF Awards a few weeks ago, Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn explained in their acceptance speech that they did a lot of ‘research’ together for their award-winning game. Because Luxuria Superbia is about touch, pleasure, and joy, and can make you blush when you play it, you can imagine the sort of research they were referring to.

Well, the erotic undertones are because Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn are married and have confessed they are good at two things: making art, and f**king.

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IGF Factor 2014: Luxuria Superbia

An endless bear in an endless... Oh my.

Every second year, the RPS hivemind startles awake from its eternal slumber. “Hrmm? Oh, we should talk to all the people making PC games who are nominated for this year’s IGF.” And then we do that. And now we’re doing that. First up, the similarly hivemind-ish team from Tale of Tales, Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn. They’re nominated this year for Luxuria Superbia, a “simple game of touch, pleasure and joy made for fingers”, in which you glide through a tunnel and make its walls explode with flowers and marine imagery.
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S.EXE: Tale of Tales’ FATALE (NSFW)

Oscar Wilde-based Orientalism

Shakespeare’s Helena once said ‘Love don’t cost a thing’… Hang on, that wasn’t it.

She said, ‘Love in an elevator, living it up when you’re going down…’ No, that can’t be right. That is somewhat anachronistic.

No, it was ‘Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.’

But what about desire? What about lust? Isn’t lust directed by sight? By the act of looking? Can looking be… dangerous? When someone looks at you in a certain way, is that your power, or theirs? When you behold something, can it manipulate you? Maybe Cupid can’t tell us about that. But the Tale of Tales game FATALE is going to show you. Read the rest of this entry »