Archive for February, 2009

tease #4 – the library

February 25th, 2009 by Auriea

End of beta

February 25th, 2009 by Michael

Just fixed the final bugs. Pity it had to end. Just when I was getting good at it. ;)

Now we have thoroughly check our release candidate.
So it’s not quite over yet…

No crunch

February 23rd, 2009 by Michael

These are the last days of bugfixing. On Wednesday we will build the first release candidate. Then bugtesting is really over and the only thing left to do is make sure nothing is wrong with the application before we send it to the distributors.

While there’s a lot of nervousness around here because of all the things that need to be taken care of, we’re not really in a crunch period. We’ve had lots of that leading up to achieving beta status. Now it’s just a matter of making the software run as well as possible. We have a long list of bugs and issues. We know we can’t fix them all anyway. So we do what we can. We’ve prioritized them and are going down the list. The further we get the better. But there’s no extremely problematic things that need to be fixed. Just details, really.

The Path will be released on March 18th!

February 19th, 2009 by Auriea

That’s right.

:D

So, can you help us spread the word about this game? This labour of love? This THING we call The PATH?

YES. there’s something you can do….
We’ve been uploading teaser videos to various online channels.

We started a Youtube page where we’re taleoftalestv (friend us if you’re on there!)
We have them up on our taleoftales Vimeo page.
And also over at my flickr account.

NOW
All you have to do is SHARE these videos as much as you like.
Paste them in your blog, tell your friends to share them on their websites, link to them on web forums.

There are still many people who know nothing of our work here. We want to let them know. It’s gonna be a great game, one which we hope will find the people who will appreciate it. With your help it can happen!

Here are the 3 teasers so far… there will be more.





There are also the shareable video portraits of each of the Red Girls over on the newly launched website grandmothers-house.net. And coming soon, a full gameplay trailer!

If you think you know people who will love the game, tell them about it!

thank you! ;)

Getting there…

February 17th, 2009 by Michael

thepath-steam-localtest

Jarboe & Kris doing what they do best.

February 12th, 2009 by Auriea

THIS is what Jarboe and Kris can do for a live spoken word performance….

that performance has nothing to do with The Path. But I present it to you as it does show Jarboe’s powers of narration!++ We are trying to arrange an event where she reads Red Ridinghood to a frightened, and attentive, audience :)

MEANWHILE
you should download the first song we’ve released from what we hope will become The PATH Original! Soundtrack! Album!

It’s a little track we like to call “Safe Song.”
Listen here…
Download here…

good day.

Interview with Lisa Falzon

February 6th, 2009 by Michael

The design of the characters of The Path was inspired by the work of several artists and illustrators. As a way of paying tribute to these people, we are inviting them for a short interview, conducted by the six Red Girls themselves. We’re also asking them if they can pick one of the characters and make a drawing inspired by her design. As a way of making the circle complete.

We discovered the work of Lisa Falzon very early in the production of The Path. She was making works like these at that time:


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Very inspiring work. I remember asking her if she would want to design the box art for The Path when it was ready. She said yes. :)

As our production got going, Lisa Falzon’s work evolved but continued to inspire. She developed an entirely unique technique. A new form of digital collage that she used to create fascinating images like these:


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Her work is provocative and a little bit naughty while at the same time sexy in a very natural almost unaware fashion. Much like Ginger, the character from The Path that she chose to draw.

ginger_by_lisa_falzon-teaser
CLICK HERE

to read the interview and
see Ginger’s portrait by Lisa Falzon

The Path —— Status Report February 2009

February 6th, 2009 by Michael

When we finished the game by New Year’s eve, we thought the worst was over. We thought we could relax a bit more and get part of our lives back. We promised ourselves not to work after dinner anymore (which already happens late in the evening here), and use that time to chill out. And we managed to keep that rhythm for a week or so. But then the reality of things sunk in. We were not ready yet! There’s a million things waiting to be done. And the deadline is still as immobile as before (as it is defined by a tight budget). Get to work!

It’s a very different kind of stress, though. Production towards the end was a slow and complex process filled with doubts and with an enormous pressure of needing to get a huge amount of work done in a small amount of time. Now the work is easy. Bug fixing is easy. Making websites is easy. Making screenshots is easy. Trailers. Logos. Talking to distributors. Talking to press. Thinking about marketing. Trying to solve technical issues. Organizing a launch event. Two launch events, maybe. Considering retail release. Talking with publishers. Talking with beta-testers. Talking with co-producers. Reading contracts. Designing postcards. Getting offers from the printer. Trying to get funding for that. Trying to get funding for traveling to the Game Developers Conference. Not forgetting to book tickets in time. Talking to people about porting the game to another platform. Etcetera. Etcetera. All extremely easy tasks. But there’s so many of them!

It’s not the pressure anymore of getting things done. It’s more like not knowing where to start. And constantly doubting if you shouldn’t be doing this other thing first. All small things, so it wouldn’t matter. It’s pretty hectic, I assure you. And there is not much time for chilling out. I just hope we find a moment to slow down a bit before we launch. So we’re not shaking like headless chickens when everybody wants to talk to us about our game.

Anyway, this month. What did we do this month? After some holiday down time, we started beta-testing and -fixing. First on our own and then with some carefully selected testers. This process is still going on.
We have also created lots of nice pictures that can be used in press and marketing. We made some videos that we will be releasing one by one.
We even made a rough sketch for the launch trailer. It will be very cool! It’s not what we were planning to do (a traditional narrative trailer) but it’s much more in the style of the game and will neatly divide the audience in people that are interested in what The Path has to offer and people who are not.

We’ve started work on the websites for the game. Yes, plural. We’re crazy like that. We’re keeping the current website as a container for all possible information about the game. But we’re adding two others that we’re calling “box sites”. Since The Path will initially be exclusively distributed digitally, we wanted to make a sort of “digital box” for the game. In the form of a website. I guess the two websites can be seen as two sides of the box. The front will be very simple and straightforward. And the back will be seductive and try to give an impression of the atmosphere of the game, or be complementary to it.

We have also managed to get some previews of the game published in some rather large publications (Game Informer, IGN, and soon Edge and Igromania). And judging by the amount of journalists who have requested to see a preview version, many will follow. We’re curious to see what different people will get out of the game.

Our pseudo-viral campaign with teaser videos also seems to be working, judging by the number of hits on our new website for the game. No, I can’t tell you more about it. That would ruin our stats. ;)

We also have decided on a date for launch. But we need a bit more time before we can be absolutely confident that we can do it, to make sure that no serious technical problems show up in the beta. We’ll announce it in two weeks or so. Stay tuned.

What’s Inside A Girl?

February 5th, 2009 by Auriea

R.I.P. Lux Interior, frontman for The Cramps, who passed on this week at age 60. :(
ah, the music of my youth….

Videogames are pyramids

February 5th, 2009 by Michael

bulding a pyramid...

As people here and there are reporting on their experiences with playing The Path, it strikes me once again how used we are to having videogames, how unsurprised we are by the fact that they get made. Having just gone through the entire production cycle of a 3D game has given me an enormous respect for game developers. The public really has no idea what an incredible achievement the creation of a game is. I think I understand why. It’s because the player is focused on what they do in the game, on their own creative activity of playing. And the better the interaction design, the less the player is going to notice it, because it will feel natural and allow them to be focused on the story, on the atmosphere.

I realize that my own experience of creating a 3d game like The Path with only 2 full time people and a handful of freelancers is on the extreme side of the spectrum. But still, as development teams get bigger and companies more corporate, their products tend to scale up accordingly. So the proportion remains intact. I tell you: the effort is monumental! If you know what goes into the production of these games, from idea development over asset creation, programming and management to marketing and distribution, each videogame is no less than a miracle!

Game developers are insane. That’s the only logical explanation I can come up with. No person in their right mind would do this to their life. Who in hell would say to his friends “Hey! I have an idea! Let’s all get together and drag these enormous rocks to the desert and pile them on top of each other to form a huge geometric shape! And let’s hire some guys to whip us in the process, so we don’t get lazy!”? Insane, I tell you.