Italian interview about Fatale

Not that we’re able to reveal a lot yet (if only because were still working very hard crunch crunch, trying to get as much stuff in as possible while keeping an eye on that damned framerate ) but it was fun talking about our new project with Claudio Todeschini. The interview has been translated into Italian. Part one is here. Part two here. Buona lettura!

GEE loves the indies

Get your hands on the September issue of Germany’s GEE Magazine! There’s a unique feature story, that we are particularly happy to be a part of. It is documentation of a Skype audioconference that took place between Jason Rohrer, Kellie Santiago (thatgamecompany), Aleksey and Nikolai (Ice-Pick Lodge) and us, Michael and Auriea (Tale of Tales) where we all discussed art, life, each other’s work, and game design philosophy. It was a very honest and frank discussion between developers in drastically different circumstances and with overlapping/contrasting motivations. Should prove insightful to anyone curious about “why do we do it?”

GEE Magazine, Sept. 2009

GEE Magazine, Sept. 2009

Critique of The Path

Red is the colour of blood, and therefore signifies both life and death. We never see the mother at the beginning of the story, but in a sense she is there nevertheless, because the red room from which all the girls start their journey can be interpreted as a womb-symbol.

British writer Edward Picot, well known to us for his wonderful exploration of computer games as art, has published an in-depth review of The Path both on Furtherfield and The Hyperliterature Exchange.

It’s a remarkable article because it goes a lot further in analyzing the content of the game than most reviews have so far. There’s quite a bit of fair criticism as well, which only contributes to the article’s much appreciated sincerity.

Why I don’t play games

When Lewis Denby asked me to write an answer to the question “Why I play games” for a three part feature in his excellent Resolution magazine, I wasn’t planning to participate. Because I don’t play games. I try often enough. But videogames just don’t amuse me any more. Then I realized that this hasn’t always been the case and I started wondering what has changed. So I ended up writing an answer to the question “Why I don’t play games”. And they published it. :)

Have a read and let me know what you think. Am I crazy? Do you feel the same? Is there still hope? Or should we just move on to something else? Or are the other writers right? Are their reasons for playing games more pertinent than mine not to? Oddly, it seems that several of them feel the same about the scarcity of really good games and the lack of evolution, but this does not lead them to stop playing as it does me.

People don’t stop talking about The Path

We may have been a bit quiet lately about The Path, but that doesn’t mean that other people don’t talk about it anymore. Most of the time to share their joy and attempt to express why they think The Path is interesting. The only really negative reviews are passionate expressions of hatred and disgust and disapproval that sadly don’t contribute much to anything -apart perhaps from being amusing in their own right, for some. So please forgive us if we skip those.

This first quote is actually from a comment on an early review of The Path. But we thought it very poignant.

The Path reminds us of how innocent and hopeful most video games are. Look, say, at Doom. Man with shotgun takes on the Devil and destroys Hell. That’s optimism. Unrealistic, but a nice thought to keep you warm at night when things aren’t going well.
Real life is a variable experience where you learn things, have some enjoyable experiences, some nasty ones, and then… you die. That’s The Path.

comment by sagesource

The experience of the journey is what The Path is about. What you find in the forest, who you meet, and your girl’s eventual fate intertwine into an experience that’s almost certainly not a game in the classic sense, but does bring to mind the awesome power of interactive experiences in a way many games simply don’t do.

Matt “Steerpike” Sakey on Tap Repeatedly

There is no doubt that Tale of Tales is showing the gaming world exactly what it needs to see: that there is more to this new medium than what we are familiar with, that video games can be emotionally evocative in their own right, and most importantly that we, as gamers, should expect more from developers than overused conventions.

C.T. Hutt on Press Pause To Reflect

Der Wald kann Spiegel eurer Psyche sein, sofern ihr es zulasst. Es gibt keinen Lösungsweg, keine vorgekauten Richtungen. Ihr selbst seid Teil des Spiels, müsst euch aber darauf einlassen können.

Markus Grunow on The Gamer’s Base

O objetivo de cada uma das irmãs não é chegar sã e salva à casa da vovozinha. Na verdade, o que cada uma delas busca é encontrar o seu próprio lobo mau na forma humana. Enfrentar esta tendência pode ser tão denso e visceral que faz com que ser devorada viva pareça um final feliz.


What if the wolves you meet are not furry creatures with sharp teeth, but rather metaphoric wolves constructed from your past experiences, fears, and future desires that you need to understand and confront in order to be ready to cross the threshold into grandmother’s house?

Michael on VGBlogger

The music and ambiance of the game is the one that will really mess with you. Not only is it suitably haunting, which leaves you feeling a bit unsettled like something is out there watching you (guess what you’re right!), but the sound effects that are playing, while random, always seem to be happening right when your nerves are frayed from the music.

Josh Martin on netGameRadio

What if ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ was not simply a cautionary tale, but a metaphor for life instead?

Brad Cook on

A The Path egy olyan bizarr mese, mely teljesen új megvilágításba helyezi gyerekkorunk egyik meghatározó, mindenki által jól ismert, “happy enddel” végződő történetét. Egy metaforikus költemény, melyben mindennek mondandója van, minden utal valamire, amit vagy megért a játékos, vagy nem. Döntéseinknek súlya van, rajtunk áll mikor és mit csinálunk, és hogy mindezt hogyan éljük meg.

Horváth Tamás on

The Path in c't

Obwohl kein Blut fließt, wirkt “The Path” ausgesprochen
verstörend und unheimlich.

Nico Nowarra in c’t magazine #13

The Path in Power Unlimited

Iedereen die geïnteresseerd is wat er allemaal mogelijk is met games en de manier waarop men op interactieve wijze verhalen kan vertellen, is het aan zichzelf verplicht dit grimmige sprookje te gaan spelen.

Jan in Power Unlimited magazine #186

The Path, while minimalistic, provides a magical setting in which the player’s mind blooms with imagination as they discover the beauty and terror that encircles the safety of the beaten path.

iPawn on Subjective (t)ruth

Indie game developer Tale of Tales’ The Path pulls off the virtually impossible: to create a new genre of video games that is not only addictive in its replayability, but more psychologically challenging, haunting, and disturbing than the average horror game, all at a fraction of the developmental cost and manpower of the average title.

aybendito on Ay, Bendito… UFF DA!

The last article also calls The Path “The Blair Witch Project of video games” which is enormously flattering but sadly incorrect giving the discrepancy between the two in terms sales figures. At least, so far… So don’t stop talking about The Path! :)

Del Toro sees a better future for games

Unfortunately, I’ve found in my videogame experience that the big companies are just as conservative as the [Hollywood] studios. I was disappointed with the first Hellboy game. I’m very impressed with the sandbox of Grand Theft Auto. You can get lost in that world. But we’re using it just to shoot people and run over old ladies. We could be doing so much more.

Guillermo del Toro in an interview with Wired

The rest of the article refers to games in the typical broad strokes of an executive -as opposed to somebody who has actually created software- but I was happy to read that some film directors share the dream of the potential of this medium (and don’t fall into the trap that Spielberg and Cameron are falling into: embracing videogames as if the current fare is all there is to them).

We all know what del Toro is talking about. I’ll be interested to see if somebody with such economic (and cultural) power will be able to pull it off. It’s doubtful, since he seems to be thinking BIG, but at least he is trying. Which is more than can be said about most people within the games industry.

And I wish more film directors would stand up and speak out against the game adaptations of their work. So many great opportunities have been lost in the process of making cheap commercial games out of movies. It really shows the embarrassing contrast between an industry manufacturing product and a creative industry which at least pretends to respect creative vision and artistic expression. We shouldn’t let Hollywood out-art us!

Thank you, Alice, for pointing this out. Though I wouldn’t have called del Toro “extremely arty”…

New developers save videogames from boredom

Indie games in mainstream press

Christian Schiffer expresses his hopes for the future of videogames in German mainstream newspaper Die Welt, focussing on yours truly and ignoring that we may not be all that representative of the indie scene. His optimism sure is contagious and confirms my belief that Europe is currently the best place in the world for innovation and exploration of the medium (partially because we’re running behind in market terms).

The article is also available online (in German, of course).

Interview in Dutch

Michel Musters interviewed us for about The Path, its production process and the games industry in general. Good thing none of you can read Dutch. 😉

De retoriek is goed: iedereen zoekt naar manieren om games vernieuwend en toegankelijk voor een groot publiek te maken. Maar de realiteit is dat er weinig games gemaakt worden die buiten de nauwe genres vallen. We willen dat verschil tussen de retoriek en de realiteit verkleinen. En we willen ontwikkelaars aanmoedigen om onafhankelijk te werken en te denken, niet koste wat het kost deel uit te willen maken van deze industrie.