The Graveyard post mortem, part 2

We have finished part 2 of our article about the making of The Graveyard. After part one about how the idea was born, now it’s about getting from idea to realisation: funding and technology. Read all about how we get arts funding for our projects and how we found working with Unity3D for the first time in…

The Graveyard: How to make an idea come to life

TEF on Mac almost, again

There is Yet Another Windows Virtualization software. This time one that does NOT require you to install windows on the machine AT ALL! I tried CrossOver a year or so ago but found it lacked any 3d acceleration or DirectX emulation, but now they have a new product available.
CrossOver Games is a fancy, 3d optimized, re-packaging of Wine software emulation. Thus it works for both Mac and Linux to emulate an environment compatible with many PC video games. Read more about this on Joystiq, thats where I first heard of it.

Anyway, my tests with getting The Endless Forest up and running with it were mixed. The GOOD: It does a really fantastic job of running the game! It speeds along at over 30 FPS on my MacBook Pro. Since it doesn’t require a real Windows installation I had it installed and was playing in a matter of minutes. CrossOver Games is alot less expensive than VMWARE or Parallels and since you aren’t buying windows either its a good emulation solution. The BAD: I couldn’t get a network connection :( which of course renders the multiplayer experience of TEF unusable. I don’t know if the connection problem with TEF is just a problem with my network or my computer though, so if you try it then let me know what your experience was.

On the upside… It runs Guild Wars flawlessly. So maybe that is some consolation.

The Graveyard post mortem

We are in the process of writing an article about the making of The Graveyard. We will be publishing each part as we finish it. Starting with Birth of an idea, about the concept of the game, where it came from and why we think it’s relevant. Next is a chapter about finding funding and technology. After that we will discuss the production itself, what went right and what went wrong. Then we will talk a bit about the important contributions of the character animator, the music composer and the sound designer. And we will conclude with an analysis of the distribution, sales, press and audience response to the game.

But first:

The Graveyard: Birth of an Idea


Enjoying horror…

Playing a small student game called Hush (or at least attempting to do so since I suck at any kind of challenge-based gameplay), made me realize how important the fictional aspect is for the enjoyment of horror.

Hush is a game set in Rwanda during the massacres between Hutus and Tutsis. You play a woman who is trying to silence her crying baby so that the invading soldiers don’t find them.
I have a lot of ethical issues with this game (and “news gaming” in general). And I completely disapprove of the confusion it generates between the emotions caused by the gameplay and those by the narrative. But that’s not the point here.

The soundscape of the game is incredibly effective. It’s frightening, it’s shocking. But because it is real, or pertains to a real event, I can’t seem to get the same enjoyment out of it as I might from a similar scene in an actual horror movie or game. In horror fiction, it’s fun to experience the threat of death and pain, to be overpowered by a massive and mysterious force, to be faced with a bleak and hopeless situation. But only, it would appear, within the context of fiction. Experiencing a life threatening situation in real life is not fun at all. Even imagining experiencing a horrific situation that happened for somebody else, is by no means amusing.

And yet we love horror!

Horror is not really about being frightened, is it? Experiencing real fear is not fun. What we experience in horror fiction is not real fear.
Maybe the emotion triggers the release of some chemicals in our brain that, when confronted with a real threat, help our body to respond appropriately. But when in a comfortable situation, these chemicals act like an amusing drug. Maybe all the things we do for entertainment manipulate the chemical reactions that used to be of vital importance to survival and turn them into a source of fun.

But it’s only fun if it’s fake.

TEF on Mac (sort of)

I tried out the public Beta of VMWARE Fusion 2.0 because they boast it has “experimental support for DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 3D acceleration” (meaning it actually uses the video card, allowing one to play some 3d games!) I was hoping that it would allow me to run The Endless Forest on the Mac, and it does!

Okay, before we all get excited, this is still in the realm of exotic setups. VMWARE is a software that allows you to install Windows (or use a Boot Camp partition) without having to restart your computer. So you _still_ need to have Windows. Also, even on the MacBook Pro which runs TEF like a dream in Boot Camp, in VMWARE I’m getting 7-9 FPS for TEF. This is… not good. Then again, this is a beta of VMWARE maybe the final version will get the frame rate up? It _could happen… right?

Anyway, for you Mac using, dual Booting, tinkerers out there who are curious about TEF, I encourage you to give it a try and let us know how you fare!