The Graveyard post mortem, part 3

The third part of the article about making The Graveyard is online. This time we talk a bit about the production itself, how the project evolved and what went right and what went wrong. Plus some revealing pictures of the process and an intriguing sound clip.

The Graveyard: Making the game

10 thoughts on “The Graveyard post mortem, part 3”

  1. I have several hundred questions. Is that a good thing? O.O

    1. Did you take the kids to Izegem?

    2. How old exactly and what class/ethnicity is the old lady, exactly? I couldn’t see/wasn’t paying attention…

    3. Your grandma’s still alive? WOW.

    4. I noticed the birds and gravestones from the Forest; the behaviour as well. That isn’t a question, but never mind.

    5. What do the words on your proposal’s cover mean?

    6. How have you not yet completed a game about being, without rules or goals? That sounds like the Forest to me…

    7. YOU’LL GO BANKRUPT IF THE PATH DOESN’T SELL? What’ll happen then? Will they chuck you out of your house and force you to roam the streets of wherever-you-live-in-Belgium?

    8. How has video art gone? (I don’t think I was alive for that.) And that’s quite mean of Steam…it can’t cost them that much to host games (or at least, I assume so), and it’s parent company, Valve, boasts about having “the industry’s best artists” on its team…in which case they should recognise that games are still a medium in infancy (or even gestation), and that it will never become otherwise if the audience does not change. So whether or not games are appealing to their audience shouldn’t bother them.

    9. You have 8 went rights and only 6 went wrongs. So this went well, overall?

  2. 1. No. They’re only with us in the weekend.

    2. We didn’t define this clearly. I think she’s a bit in between different ethnicities and classes. But she’s undoubtedly old.

    5. Fence/gate, bench, chapel, path. It’s almost the same as in English.

    6. That depends on how you play The Endless Forest. I guess what I meant was a game that was less “playful”. I think the Graveyard is just more extreme. More of a challenge to the game-playing audience.

    7. What makes you think The Path won’t sell?
    Worse things might happen, though: they might force us to get a job!

    8. Video art mostly found a place in galleries and museums, despite of the highly distributable nature of its medium. So rather than become a new form of film (or television!), video art turned into some kind of sculpting or installation-building.

    I think it is good that Steam is discerning. It keeps their shop interesting. You must understand that most games publishers, and certainly Valve, are still very much focussed on “games” (as in “toys”). And they have no problem with that, being a long time games developer themselves. Not many people share our vision of electronic entertainment. And even within that, I think our work is on the avant-garde side.

    But, the Steam people do take our work seriously. And when the time comes when we produce something to satisfies their desires as well as ours, they will publish it.

    9. That depends on how strongly one feels about each of them. The “no break-even” could mean the failure of the project for some, e.g. But we do feel good about this project. We’re quite happy with the result and with how production went.

  3. “But there is no real distribution channel for these kinds of small games.”

    What about WiiWare? I, for one, am much more comfortable buying tiny games for Wii than I would be for PC.

  4. We like WiiWare a lot. And it is indeed fun (and cheap) to buy games through it. We have requested to become licensed developers (twice) but haven’t heard from Nintendo yet. And that was months ago. Maybe we’re not good enough for them. :(

    There’s also a few small experimental games on Playstation Network. And we actually hope to work on one soon. So you’re right. There may be an opportunity in the online channels of the consoles.

    But developing for consoles is difficult (both technically and in terms of bureaucracy). So I think if we really want a channel for artistic expression, it’ll need to be on PC/Mac.

  5. Well, i hope that if you make a game for console, you will make it for PC too, i’ll be darn sad to miss one of your games…

  6. 1. How come? (Or is it private?)

    2. Oh right. And yes, I would be slightly disconcerted if you said she was a spring chicken of 21…

    5. …Really? I was expecting it to say “The Graveyard”, with the date at the bottom, or similar.

    6.? I still don’t understand…

    7. Nothing. That was why there was an “if”. 😉 In fact I think it WILL sell pretty well, but it isn’t something I’d stake my life on.


    8. OH. That makes sense.

    I support Steam not accepting any old Flash thing that comes their way, but I still feel like they should try to take things which aren’t a sure-fire hit with their audience. But, at least they’ll publish you eventually.

    9. Good. =)

  7. 1. Yes, it’s private. But not very exotic. I separated from their mother a long time ago. During the week they stay with her. During the weekends, they stay with me.

    6. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe The Endless Forest is not that different. I think the biggest difference is that it’s multiplayer, which in and of itself provides for a form of entertainment.

  8. 1. =( That must be hard…I just always assumed that their mother was Auriea.

    6. You’re right there. Multiplayer games are played in an entirely different way to single player.

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