We made a new game!

The Graveyard-song2

We have just released The Graveyard, a very short game that we’ve been working on in secret. Its about an old lady who visits a graveyard. She walks on a path, she sits on a bench, she listens. That’s it. Except that in the full version (only $5!), she can die.

Here‘s the press release.

Download the trial now!

And support your indie game developer! 😉

read a preview/review of The Graveyard on Rock, Paper, Shotgun!

Note: the Mac version is now a Universal Binary (meaning it will run on PPC processors in addition to Intel.)

26 thoughts on “We made a new game!”

  1. This is certainly different. Loved the atmosphere of it. I won’t say much for spoiling it for those yet to see it, but what I will say is that I loved all the 3D models, especially the old Woman.

  2. So this is what you’ve been cooking with Unity.

    Absolutely astonishing work. The wrinkles, the atmospheric sounds, the shifting shadows, the way she limps, the overlays. And the song! I love that it’s in Flemish. Not that I speak a word of it, but anyway.

  3. Wow. That WAS a surprise…

    Will download next time I can swipe my parents’ credit card. Don’t want to ruin it with the free version.

  4. I have just bought it and it’s fuckin’ amazing. Please guys, continue doing art like this!!! I like all that you do *.*
    Can’t wait for The Path!!!!!!!!!!
    Hopes the best from Argentina 😀

  5. Thank you! Emol :)

    and for all you PPC Mac users out there we’ve recompiled so the Mac version will now run on your machine. Enjoy!

  6. I didn’t think this piece was entirely successful, but I hope these criticisms come across with their intended value, which is to be constructive.

    It’s a shame that a lot of comments on more traditional gaming sites like Rock Paper Shotgun have completely missed the point in judging it by contemporary game standards. Because that distracts from the more substantive issues.

    It says on your site that your mission statement is “to explore the potential of interactive media”. I don’t think The Graveyard actually advances that goal. In fact the interactivity undermines what you’re trying to get across with it. The vast majority of players spend the first minute or so of play learning the controls and exploring the limited freedom they have, before getting on to the “intended” path.

    A more specific example: I can walk a bit up the path, turn sideways and walk ahead, and I’ll start sliding in place as I hit the edge of the path. The average gamer criticism of that would be “oh, look, sliding walk animation is bad”. But actually there’s a deeper question behind it: the piece gives me the ability to do that, but what does it add?

    Interactivity doesn’t need to be deep or broad for a piece to be successful. However the verbs that are there should enhance the idea behind the piece rather than dilute or distract from it.

    Imagine if the piece were a CG short film. Instead of walking the lady down the path by holding down a key, you’d watch her hobble along for quite a while. The animation would look better (it could be animated straight through instead of being cycle-based) and the feebleness of her age would really have time to sink in (players miss many details when they’re busy controlling). You’d also lose that moment of confusion when players fumble for the “sit down” control and realize they’re giving up control to the cinematic. The way the camera reacts when you veer off the path feels like more of a non sequitur than an intentional statement, an inelegant way of handling an undesired behavior.

    Understand what I’m saying, it’s not a bad thing at all to make CG shorts. I constantly have ideas that occur to me first as games, but then I realize they’d be better off as comics, short films, pieces of music, paintings, whatever.

    Regardless of what motivates you and how you think as an artist, if you’re working in this medium, particularly at such a nascent stage, you must always have a satisfying answer to the question “why is this interactive?”. Otherwise you could be expressing what you want much more effectively in another medium.

    And strictly from the standpoint of evangelizing Interactive Art, you’re not winning many converts by being so shaky on the interactive front. It’s similar to the saying “you need to master the rules before you break them”. The interactivity comes off as “token”, perfunctory and amateurish compared to the nice environment art.

  7. Thanks for the comment, JP. I admit that there are some things that are a bit clumsy in The Graveyard’s interaction. This is more the result of trying to finish a nice piece within limited time and budget, than a conscious design decision. There’s many things we would have liked to improve, but we chose to make something rather than nothing. We hope that what is there is sufficient to make players forgive us for what is lacking.

    I think we have a different purpose with interactivity than most designers. For us it is a means to an end (that end being immersion, I guess). Some people in the audience appreciate this, others don’t. Whether The Graveyard advances anything depends entirely on one’s vision of the future of this medium. Ours is probably different than yours.

    There is a movie on YouTube of somebody playing The Graveyard, if you prefer you can look at that instead of playing the trial. :)

  8. I did watch the YouTube video actually, and that’s what got me thinking along these lines.

    The stuff that comes down to simple development constraints, I understand and sympathize completely. I don’t want to sound like I’m picking on minor flaws.

    If it wasn’t clear, I am in agreement about interactivity being a means to an end:

    the verbs that are there should enhance the idea behind the piece rather than dilute or distract from it.

    That is, in effect, any piece’s implicit answer to the question, “why was this interactive”? I’d be curious as to what you feel The Graveyard’s answer to that question is.

  9. Many people have already answered this. The Graveyard’s interactivity helps people feel like they are an old lady in a cemetery, rather than merely looking at the scene (and perhaps empathizing). How well this works probably depends in part of the individual player. And on their willingness to “play the part”, perhaps.

  10. I’m interested to see where you go with this. It may be that storytelling and interactivity will forever be irreconcilable. Only one way to find out, though, and that’s to try it, so bravo to you guys. I quite liked the art as well.

  11. Funny, while walking around I thought to myself, this feels like the endless forest. And, ha, it is the same artists. I must say, I really love this (I have a thing for graveyards, they are the most peaceful places!).

    Congrats on another great idea for a game!

  12. Thank God someone is finally putting effort into the artistry of interactive media. Now I finally have something other to do than play Myst over and over again :-)

    Is one of you a Samuel Beckett fan? The similarity to his work seems striking, even if accidental.

    Off to give you my $5, although, I’ll admit I felt safe playing the trial, knowing she wasn’t going to drop dead.

Comments are closed.