Tale of Tales
Based in Ghent, Belgium
12 December, 2012
DescriptionBientôt l’été is a videogame for two players. Two players who pretend to be lovers. They pretend to be lovers separated from each other by lightyears of deep space. They have lonely walks along the shore of a simulated ocean, thinking wistful thoughts of each other. Thoughts from ancient Earth literature by Marguerite Duras. The empty beach, the strong wind, the gentle music and a small colony of electric seagulls are their only companions. Yet their heart is full and their mind confused. Walk along the shore, until they meet the emptiness. When it all becomes too much, they run towards each other. Enabled by intergalactic networks, they touch each other’s holographic bodies in cyberspace. A surreal game of chess becomes the apparatus through which they, man and woman, can talk. The words they have were given to them, as they have always been to lovers everywhere. The sea remains, tugging at their hearts when not at their hairs and clothes, as it itself is tugged by the virtual moon. And as great as the desire for the other may be, they cannot stay away from the wind and the waves and the sand. Every time they find a new treasure. An abandoned tennis field. An heap of coal. A dead dog. Ordinary. Absurd. Meaningless. Yet comforting. Enter a café, exit a villa, enter a casino, exit the ruin of an ancient colonial mansion. We know this is not real. So it doesn’t surprise us. Nothing surprises us. It doesn’t matter when you feel the pain of love. Of being in love, of falling in love, of leaving in love. There is no such thing as time. There is only love. And it never stops. No matter how much it hurts.
HistoryEver since 1999 when Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn met each other in cyberspace, they have had a romantic fondness for online connections. The situation in Bientôt l'été of holodecks on remote space stations is a thinly veiled metaphor for the internet we all know. We choose to see the electronic universe as an ocean of love, much as Marguerite Duras saw love: as a force that permeates everything and that sometimes brings delight to individuals and other times sorrow. Many elements in the game refer to novels and films by Duras but only people intimately familiar with her work will recognize these. Not to worry, though, because even in her work, they are mysterious. Michael grew up near the seaside of a Western oriented country. Not far from the Trouville-sur-Mer in the North of France where Duras lived a good part of her life, living in a stately building on the beach. Auriea and Michael spent a few days there to prepare for the production of Beintôt l'été.
- Smoke, drink, play music.
- play Chess™
- speak French (to others!)
- walk along an Earth sea shore and discover its strangely absurd and picturesque secrets.
Awards & Recognition
- "IGF Nomination, Nuovo Category" SF, 2012
- "IndieCade International Festival election" Los Angeles, October 4-7, 2012
- "Bientôt l’été resonates like an accomplished painting or a good piece of music."
- Kyle VanHemert, Fast company
- "Finally, a video game as artistic and hard to understand as French films."
- Andrew Webster, The Verge
- "Of course, basing a computer game set in the distant future on an examination of the quiet desperation of bourgeois French womanhood in the 1950s is, itself, going to look like non-linear art game weirdness. But there is a plan."
- Daniel Nye Griffiths, Forbes
- "Bientôt l’été's obscure combination of ideas and atmospheric presentation result in a memorable journey of wonder and mystery that must be experienced firsthand to truly grasp the game’s many emotions and imagery."
- Travis Huinker, Gaming Nexus
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About Tale of Tales
Tale of Tales is a wife and husband team of artists working out of their home in Ghent, Belgium. They have released 8 videogames in the past 12 years: The Endless Forest, The Graveyard, The Path, Fatale:Exploring Salomé, Vanitas, Bientôt l'été, Luxuria Superbia and Sunset. Tale of Tale's games are known for their unique style and unusual gameplay ideas which have had an impact on Indie Games history and their players. Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn have devoted their lives to the exploration of computer technology as an artistic medium. They are currently working on Cathedral-in-the-Clouds, a VR and cross media project, an attempt to offer spiritual contemplation to the digital age, inspired by Old Master art and Christian mythology.
More information on Tale of Tales, our logo & relevant media are available here.
Bientôt l'été Credits
Laura Raines Smith