Archive for the 'Development' Category

Bugfixing is boring

January 15th, 2009 by Michael

So we play the game and make the list of bugs longer and then we open the editor and make the list shorter again. Etcetera. Endlessly. It’s easy. You know exactly what needs to be done. None of that vague artistic stuff that is never really finished anyway. No. Now it’s about finding the error and correcting it. It’s binary. It’s either solved or not.

I never cared much for perfection. I’m more interested in potential, in places where things can happen. Rationally I know that The Path should be as bug-free and stable as possible. But emotionally I can’t say I care much. I don’t mind when things go wrong once in a while. As long as the broad strokes are strong. But I’m afraid not everybody enjoys the aesthetics of the unfinished.

On the beta path

January 12th, 2009 by Michael

So far beta-testing has been easy. We’re continuously finding new errors, some rather serious but all fairly easy to solve. But we are still waiting for the final version of the Quest3D game engine before we can invite other people to test the game on their machine. Running the game on different machines operated by different people will probably introduce a whole new string of bugs. Not looking forward to it, but we are determined to make this game as stable as it can be.

Introducing the new logo of The Path!

January 7th, 2009 by Auriea

We are thrilled to today unveil our brand new logomark, hand-crafted by celebrated graphic designer Marian Bantjes. It was fabulous to have the opportunity to work with her and we’re still surprised she said she’d work with us. The end result is something we’re very proud of. In our opinion the new look says more about what The Path is and meshes beautifully with the overall aesthetic of the game.

There are 2 new desktop wallpapers in the downloads section for you to admire her handiwork more closely.

And here is a look at the animated version of the logo we are using in the game itself.

The Path – Logo animation from Tale of Tales on Vimeo.


December 31st, 2008 by Michael

Yesterday night, right on schedule, we have achieved the one but greatest mile stone of this production: beta stage! This means that as of now, we consider The Path to be finished. The only thing we’re allowed to do anymore is fix errors. Nothing new will be added to the game, no systems will be tweaked anymore. Now it’s just about making sure that everything works -even if some things are not as perfect or complete as we would wish for.

This is a great way to end the year! :)

Let go…

December 29th, 2008 by Michael

The control mechanism to make your avatar interact with something in The Path is a little bit peculiar. Rather than clicking or pressing a button or a key, you simply need to let go of the controls and allow the character decide on her own.

It’s an attitude that I like to adopt as a designer as well. Rather than controlling everything in the game, I prefer to create little systems that do things on their own and then sit back and see what happens between them. Of course, often things happen that are not desirable or interesting or that are plain wrong. But personally I feel that the potential for surprises outweighs the risk of failure.

Of course we’re not just making The Path for ourselves. So a lot of things are much more tightly controlled by the game than would be our personal preference. Just so that the player has a better chance at understanding what we’re trying to say. But there’s still quite a few things that are variable and unpredictable. I hope people will appreciate these.

Interactivity and horror

December 22nd, 2008 by Michael

Interactive horror is interesting. Because -at least in the way that we design games- it gaves you the freedom to tune the degree of the scariness to some extent. In a way that is fully compatible with the narrative (unlike turning the sound off on a horror movie, e.g.). There’s certain things in The Path that you can do for that extra thrill (or avoid to soothe your nerves).

Fixing is breaking

December 18th, 2008 by Michael

Now if I could only stop breaking things when fixing other things, perhaps we’d see the end of it. One thing is certain: the beta-testers will have a lot of work to do next month!

Time and work at the end

December 17th, 2008 by Michael

Funny sensation we find at the end of this production. There’s lots of things that we would like to add/improve/correct in the game but which are too much work or too risky to get into at this point. And most of the other things seem too trivial to even bother with. I guess it’s just a matter of finishing up now. Because a few things really are unfinished. Let’s just get it done.


December 16th, 2008 by Michael

A German publisher once refused to work with us because our production relies on Auriea and I too much. We were not expendable and that was a liability. Of course, making anything artistic relies on the vision, presence and activity of an artist, a person, an individual. Unwillingness to take the risk to rely on an individual, basically amounts to unwillingness to produce anything artistic.

That doesn’t mean that the risk is not real. There is always a finite amount of money available. Money that mostly serves the purpose of keeping the staff nourished and sheltered. If said staff works on the production in the mean time, all is well. But what if a staff member falls sick? They still need to be nourished and sheltered. So the money still flows out. But they don’t contribute to the production anymore. Problem.

That dreaded moment has arrived now. I have a bit of a flu. So far, it isn’t bad yet. I’m hoping that it doesn’t get worse. But if it does, well, we will have a serious problem. Our schedule is very tight. Especially now. We can’t afford to not work on the game.

The last pieces of lead

December 14th, 2008 by Michael

There’s a saying in Dutch that roughly translates to “the last pieces of lead way the most”. It means that last part of any job is the hardest. And man is it true! We are working so hard to get the game as well as it can be by the end of the month, when we have to stop production and switch our attention to bugfixing and marketing. We’re constantly thinking of a million things simultaneously. We hardly have any time to talk to each other (let alone for other more intimate moments…). We’re constantly hovering on the edge of complete depression. Through lack of sleep and excess of nerves. The fast approaching deadline makes for a very rough ride. But it also lights up the end of the tunnel. Two more weeks to go. And then it’s done! :)