Fatale 1.01 released

We’ve released a minor update to FATALE. People who purchase FATALE now, will get the new version automatically. People who have purchased it before and want to upgrade, can download it again (contact us if the download link is expired). Note that this update is not essential. It only concerns details.

The most notable -and least important- change is the option to use conventional first person navigation (mouse to look around, keyboard to move). We personally feel that the default control system is ideal for the experience, but some people seem so comfortable with game conventions that any deviation ruins things for them. We hope it improves their enjoyment of FATALE. But we don’t recommend using this option to anybody else.

There’s a full list of things that have changed behind the cut.

  • – added Mouse Look + WASD navigation for the convenience of hardcore gamers
  • – made facial expressions smoother
  • – corrected error with Guard not coming with lower Quality settings (thank you, Doris!)
  • – corrected eyes display error in Epilogue
  • – corrected flag poles animation in Scene 2
  • – corrected some errors in models and textures

25 thoughts on “Fatale 1.01 released”

  1. mouse movement?? you sold out!! D:

    (joking :D)

    interestingly, my game saturated dreamers was mentioned on the something awful forums and someone said ‘that mouse movement you have in the videos where the ship follows the mouse looks awkward, can’t you just add normal wasd movement?’

  2. Frankly, I thought the control scheme you originally implemented was more disorienting than mouselook. I’m not quite so extreme as to necessitate “wasda” controls, but – and I suppose this results from my tendency to look around in one place in real life – it really frustrated me to only be able to change my direction while already moving.

  3. Really? WASD + mouselook for me is like scratching my head and rubbing my tummy at the same time. It feels robotic walking around like that. The way FATALE did it felt smooth and natural.

    To each his own, everyone got what they want with this patch at least. I’m glad you fixed the eye bug, it was annoying and I had no clue it was a bug, I was fascinated by the dance more so than her face anyways.

  4. I will buy this game (Bank account balance isn’t being very friendly at the moment, so sadly I have no firsthand experience yet) and I suspect that I will use WASD, because years of the evolution of the medium of video games have established that WASD and Mouse are the most natural and intuitive way to control a character. Now, I will feel like i’m being judged, because I’m just not artistic enough to use the “real” way. Maybe the established way will end up being easier, and I will use it instead. Maybe yes, the control scheme you have is more appropriate for the game. If so, great. I’m glad that you found an innovation. But I’m a little upset that the way you give us this news is worded in such a way as to actively and purposefully alienate people who like video games already. I am no less capable of appreciating this art because I play video games. I dare say I just might be more capable then average. And I certainly hope that which buttons you press is not the crux of the artistic merit here. I love your games, and I love what you feel the medium is capable of, but this isn’t the first time its felt like the work ToT assumes that people who like video games are less capable then a normal human being of having an emotional experience, or assume that conventions established by others in the video game industry can’t apply here, because there a bunch of mindless, soulless drones. WASD does not carry some vile taint of dreaded popular games any more then a brand of paint will establish the quality of a painting. You guys are way to awesome for me to be able to stand seeing you fall victim to coming across as pretentious.

  5. adam, i disagree with this part: “because years of the evolution of the medium of video games have established that WASD and Mouse are the most natural and intuitive way to control a character”

    the reason i disagree is that it’s just the current standard. other times have had other standards. other countries have other standards. japan likes arrow keys and z and x keys. early pc games had other standards. what makes the current standard any better than those foreign or historic standards? they were used just as much, if not more.

    sometimes people all do the same thing because it’s the right thing to do. and sometimes people all do the same thing because it’s the easiest thing to do. everyone doing the same thing doesn’t always mean it’s the best way to do it.

    also, i feel that the innovation of the controls are the best part of fatale (as i wrote about on playthisthing, where i said the interesting controls alone are worth the $7). it still wasn’t as fluid and polished as i’d like controls to be, and i can see ways of improvement, and maybe it’s even a “dead end” and will go nowhere, but it’s great to see new control schemes in a game, versus thousands of games that don’t vary it.

  6. Well, I think there’s a reason why it is the current standard. It is very intuitive, and it is a very good scheme. It’s very possible that this game’s control scheme is better for this game, but reading this news post, it sounds like the idea of useing WASD was thrown out because it was too low class. I’m saying that just because a game mechanic is in a mainstream game doesn’t mean that a more artistically oriented game can’t benefit from the evolution of other game experiences. I fear that the design process for this game may have involved not only re-inventing the wheel, but also assuming that round would be a bad shape to use, because its what everyone else has done. I am not going to judge the existing scheme positively or negatively, because i’m not in a position to do so just yet. I’m saying that you’re more likely to come up with an interesting new control scheme if you are able to acknowledge the strengths of an old one.

  7. In addition, I will concede that WASD is not necessarily the “Best” in every situation. I shouldn’t have implied that, certainly new ideas can be tried, and that experimentation should be encouraged. But I do think that there is a very solid reason for this trend, and fear that the reasons were dismissed too hastily. Adding an option which allows more people to interact with the game in a more meaningful way makes the game better then it was before, and worse without it. It is a sign of a better design, not selling out or conceding to the evils of mainstream gaming.

    Also, I’m critical because I know that even if it bugs me, I would appreciate criticism more then praise. Regardless of what I say, I absolutely adore ToT, and am waiting impatiently for my paycheck to clear so I can buy Fatale.

  8. Usually conventions exist for the sole reason that they exist. The current WASD convention causes nausea in many people. So we’re trying to find an alternative.

    Plus, control mechanisms are not neutral. We design controls carefully to add to the emotional experience. WASD is very suitable for first person shooters because it expresses complete control and power over one’s environment. But this is not an emotion we thought appropriate for FATALE.

  9. The controls are a design choice, and one that I am quite glad they made. I really don’t see how WASD+Mouselook makes the game gives players to interact in a more meaningful way. It’s just what people prefer..

    I think you misunderstood what Michael was saying about the new scheme, he said nothing of selling out or conceding to evils (?) of mainstream gaming he just said that people are so accustomed to the way things usually are in FPS games than this would hamper their experience.

    It’s also odd that you have yet to play Fatale. Perhaps you should give it a chance before you knock it. eh?

  10. I would like to see controllers like the 3d connexion space navigator make it’s way into gaming, since with one controller you could control forward and backward ,side to side, and rotational movement as well as looking in all directions: all from one controller. Then the mouse could be freed up to control a “hand.”

    This is what I want, a controller for the body, and the mouse as a hand: being able to reach out and grab things/ interact with the environment, etc.

  11. I myself enjoy the typical “WASD” control scheme. I don’t play first person shooters too often, but the setup itself – for me – is very smooth. I would find it easier to be immersed in this with controls I find to be fluid. It is always good to have the option.

    I haven’t tried this yet, but I will be buying it soon. Of course, I will try both control setups.

  12. @Allen: Correct, we obviously don’t think WASD is ideal for FATALE-otherwise we would have implemented it in the first place. But if our control design makes it difficult for some people to enjoy the game, we’re perfectly willing to give them a design that they can appreciate. They won’t get the ideal experience out of FATALE. But at least they’ll get more than when they’re constantly annoyed by our control design.

    @Ben: that’s a great idea! Pity people don’t generally have that device.

    @Nick Q: please let us know how you feel about the two systems after you’ve played!

  13. Just got my paycheck cleared, so I’m going to get it now.

    I fully expect that the control scheme will be unique and innovative. I have high hopes for it even being good. That’s not my problem. My problem is that it sounds like WASD was dismissed because it’s the realm of those inferior gamers who can’t think past the copy-paste FPS games. That being comfortable with 4 keys makes you less capable of appreciating art. I fully understand that a different control scheme could be great for the purposes of this game, possibly better then defaulting on WASD. I hope so. But for designers who have, in the past, made a huge deal about, “Accessibility”, providing accessibility for gamers certainly feels like pulling teeth while subtly judging. Maybe accessibility is not a goal for Fatale. I am just concerned that ToT is dismissing from there toolkit any mechanics that smack of other games, because popular doesn’t automatically mean bad, and assuming that it does just smacks of pretention. If all that was said was that WASD is not the experience they originally intended, I would not have said anything. Games need to evolve, and that process is going to involve gamers who need not be alienated.

  14. I’m tired of gamers being so defensive about their hobby. If games are so great, why does everyone get upset when somebody says something bad about them? If games are so great, surely my opinion is irrelevant!

    Anyway, as stated on the home page of the project, and mentioned in these comments as well, the man reason why we are interested in alternative controls is because the conventional ones make people physically sick. And we don’t want our work to make people sick.

    Thank you for buying Fatale. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. :)

  15. I’m, “Defensive”, because I think that games have the potential to be the definitive art form of this century. I want to see games develop and mature into something more then power fantasies. And I think that the two ways to prevent this from happening would be refusing to experiment and innovate, and refusing to learn and adapt techniques from other games. The reason why I am upset by you saying bad things about gamers is because you do amazing work, work which the burgeoning art form need. If you think that most mainstream games are shallow, and therefore gamers are worth saying bad things about, then surely you can see why I would be upset by developers who could break that cycle, trying to dissociate themselves from the medium as much as possible. Believe me, any criticism I give is out of respect. If I didn’t respect your work, I would just leave and not buy your game, and maybe say some bad things in private. End of the day, I know I’m just some random loser posting a comment on your blog, hoping that maybe some of my random rantings will prove to be good food for thought. If not, I’m sure I will still love Fatale, and whatever future projects you decide do.

  16. @Michaël Samyn
    It is too bad! They are so inexpensive as well, practically as much as a XBOX360 controller and yet so far more advanced!
    I was hoping that since you make niche games anyway, maybe you could add this support (hint hint, haha.)

    Mostly my thoughts lately on games is that WASD+mouse DOES inhibit immersion for one main reason. You are always looking down the barrel of a gun (if not literally, metaphorically.) It forces the character into tunnel vision, which is okay in a high action environment, but what if I want to look around? What if I want to feel like I can grab a door handle without staring at the doorknob? Imagine real life with WASD+mouse controls. How absurdly tedious! And it is tedious! Though it comes natural to me, and many “gamers” we forget how we have actually developed a skill to be able to think in WASD terms. Throw any one else entirely unfamiliar with the setup into a game and they blanche, it’s not a way a “normal” person thinks.
    Anyway, tying my view to my hands is an odd experience with games. I’d like their to be in a game a wall of picture frames that I can walk up to, examine, and then select a frame from a wall with my hand: without having to stare at each individual frame (for example). I feel like as games develop, breaking down one by one these conventions that we follow even though they prevent an immersive experience would truly break free this medium.
    By the way I still need to play Fatale. I never finished The Path (because I have an incredibly short attention span) but I highly enjoyed a different take on the genre. Particularly a model that truly made you feel weak and helpless at times.

  17. Thank you for explaining, Adam. I think I understand what you mean and respect it. We just get impatient with games, I guess, and the lack of self-criticism that’s so dominant in the games culture, while, so clearly, there’s a lot of work to be done before games can be something for humanity to be proud of.

    So, it’s probably a pendulum thing: our negative reactions are extreme because the stubbornness and self-congratulations (or excuses) on the other side are equally extreme. I’m sure if games culture would be more modest and admit, e.g., that it is a niche hobby with a lower cultural status than comic strips, we’d be all over it with encouraging pats on the back. 😀

  18. I agree, Ben. We, gamers, often forget that what we hold for easy and intuitive, is indeed in fact a learned skill. I still remember the first time I saw my father use a mouse. It just didn’t make sense for him to move his hand in one place and look at the cursor in another. Or the moment when my friend tried playing Ico, and had the hardest time wielding the controller. Not to mention, of course, how 2 minutes of Max Payne made my wife sick for half a day…

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