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<  8  ~  Development of 8 frozen due to bad climate in games industry

Michael
Posted: Fri May 20, 2005 1:02 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
In spite of virtually unanimous positive response to the design of the game from public, press and publishers alike, Tale of Tales has been unsuccessful in acquiring the necessary funding for the production of 8, an quirky title about a little girl who gets trapped in a palace full of sleeping people.

There seem to be three reasons for this failure
- the refusal of games publishers to support games that do not fit in a specific genre
- the worryingly growing trend towards shrinking the PC games market to exclude all people except hardcore gamers
- the gender-biased preference for entertainment that contains violence.

The attempt to squeeze 8 into the adventure game genre didn't quite work because the game's design was much more ambitious than the genre would allow. 8 is specifically designed to appeal to people who are currently not playing games. It tackles the two major obstacles for these people, being the lack of meaningful content and the unforgiving control systems in current games. 8 is explicitly non-violent and favours types of interaction like exploration, emotional involvement and non-goal-oriented forms of play.

Though we were shocked by the lack of professionalism in games publishers (inability to communicate properly, lack of long-term vision, lack of overall seriousness concerning the collaboration with developers, etc), we do not really blame them for what happened. Publishers behave like small shopkeepers because that is what they are. By circumstance, they have been "elevated" into a position where they don't belong and where they themselves feel highly uncomfortable.
The games industry lacks people who are able to see both sides of the equation, people who can perform the vital task of organizing the communication between publishers and developers. People who have a deep understanding of and respect for both sides. Publishers should not be making decisions about who lives and who dies, just like cleaning ladies should not be curating exhibitions in a museum. They may have a lot of experience with art. But by no means are they capable of selecting the best pieces for the show.

Tale of Tales will continue to develop interactive entertainment. And we will continue to do so along the path that was set out by 8: away from traditional gameplay and towards a more mature interactive art form. For this purpose we are developing new business models that do not rely on curatorial expertise within publishers.
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uncleunvoid
Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:55 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 Posts: 1
Hello Auriea and Michael,
unfortunately I have been very very very busy and didnt have time to follow the development so I just found out today about the HALT of production.

A while ago I came across a great paper on alternative production and distribution of computer games, and as time went by a bit there might even be a better chance that the person I am talking about might know ways to get you the money together to finish what you started.
I am talking about :
Greg Costikyan
Greg@costik.com

who's paper/presentation "Death to the games industry" (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.costik.com%2Fpresentations%2FDeath%2520to%2520the%2520Games%2520Industry.ppt&ei=jJpORMSzE4qCRaqG1eoO&sig2=hUJzpXUigyWq4qhvuHdC9A)
was a signal and speech long over due. You got his email, I dont know him, but I bet he will agree with you in many points and hopefully will be the help you need.

marCus

PS. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/8/3
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Michael
Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:12 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Thank you.
Yes, we know about Mr. Costikyan's efforts. I don't think he will be helping the financing of games, though. His focus is on distribution. And as such, a very interesting option indeed, that we will look into as soon as he is ready and we are. Smile

Distribution is one of the biggest problems in the industry because it swallows up half of the money players pay for their games and therefore requires everything to be very commercial. If Mr. Costikyan can provide for an alternative that is more fair towards developers, I can see a very bright future for games indeed. Cool
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sagasky
Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:01 am Reply with quote
Joined: 25 Aug 2006 Posts: 33
wow...i just found this today..and i love the innovation and uniqueness...its sad to hear about what happened though..please..dont add fighting to it. It sounds perfect the way it is, the thing that interests me the most, is the character isnt an avatar and it reacts to what you do, very unique, maybe you could actually make money with just that idea/programming, although i hate seeing good ideas being torn apart to compromise.
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Michael
Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:03 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Some of the ideas from 8 will resurface in 144.
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Wildbluesun
Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:18 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Dec 2006 Posts: 4266 Location: London, Land of Tea and Top Hats
Quote:
8 is specifically designed to appeal to people who are currently not playing games.


...As is the new Nintendo Wii gaming console.

Something to work on? Or would the control method (that odd remote control) kill it?
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Michael
Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:24 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Wildbluesun wrote:
Quote:
8 is specifically designed to appeal to people who are currently not playing games.

...As is the new Nintendo Wii gaming console.

We were first! Wink Not Wii. Wink

Wildbluesun wrote:
Something to work on? Or would the control method (that odd remote control) kill it?

What would kill it is the games industry's corporate structure which is not accomodating for creative people at all. It is extremely unlikely that Nintendo would ever even look at our games. We have tried already without any response. To get to them would be a project for us that would eclipse making the game itself. And we're not prepared to do that. Not as long as we can form our own little community on the internet without middle men telling us or our audience what to do, see, play. Etcetera.
If Nintendo would step down the mountain and invite us, we might consider it. But we have better things to do with our time than kissing up to their sales people until they allow us to make something for their console.
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lilimist
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:25 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 03 Apr 2007 Posts: 1 Location: Australia
First of all, I just stumbled across the tale-of-tales website, via indygamer.blogspot.com, and I'm so very glad I did. I think, in one simple sentence, you've described why I'm finding myself more and more alienated by games these days: "being the lack of meaningful content and the unforgiving control systems in current games." I've been playing games since the early-mid 80s and what you're doing here sounds really inspiring to someone who's become really jaded (so much so she's going back to text-based adventures and Myst, heh...)

Anyway, to be more On Topic, when I read about 8 being put on hold, I found myself wondering whether your country has any sort of Interactive Arts funding, and whether that would not be a more lucrative/rewarding avenue to pursue, since what you're doing seems more like interactive art than 'games' (by the traditional marketing description, anyway.) I think many countries are starting to develop these kinds of funding projects now, albeit slowly.

Anyway, I wish you all the best with your projects, and I look forward to exploring the site a bit more and seeing what you're coming up with in-depth. Thanks for making my afternoon by reminding me there's still creativity out there, and other people doing what I dreamed of in childhood Very Happy
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Michael
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:23 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Thank you. And welcome!

We have been getting some arts funding for 8 and our other projects. But not enough to fund the complete production (the original design of 8 was going to be relatively expensive to produce). We're located in Belgium and the only arts funding we can get is from a branch of the Flemish film fun called "experimental media". This branch only has 250.000 Euros per year for everyone and they tend to prefer to support video artists and art installation builders.
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Krazystyle
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:07 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Jun 2008 Posts: 1
Welcome to the new, and very real world of Gaming. Where the same mindless clones share the limelight, and the best games never get played or released. Confused I wish you the best of luck in finishing this project, and I hope it gets to be experienced in its full glory by many gamers such as the people here, and myself.

Tommy
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Liëka
Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 Posts: 3799
Just a quick ask....
On the 8 website, I assume it's a teaser that there are no scroll bars? I just have to check that it's not my computer.
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Michael
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:10 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Liëka wrote:
Just a quick ask....
On the 8 website, I assume it's a teaser that there are no scroll bars? I just have to check that it's not my computer.


No. The website should work properly. Try another browser?
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Liëka
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:08 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 Posts: 3799
I tried it on another computer, still no scroll bars. :/
Anyone else getting this?
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Wildbluesun
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:12 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Dec 2006 Posts: 4266 Location: London, Land of Tea and Top Hats
Works fine for me?

...Try another browser? I use Firefox.
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Liëka
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 15 Nov 2007 Posts: 3799
I can't get access to another browser. Sad
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