Artistic games anyone?


Audiences constantly demand video games fight familiar boundaries. We’re sick of the same old, same old. We want creativity, artistic integrity, elegance and depth–or do we? Do players know what they’re asking for when they look for “more” from games? And if this is really what we want, then what’s with the mixed reception–both cultural and economic–when we get it?

Leigh Alexander asks the question on Kotaku. And she elaborates further while illustrating her points with our little baby The Path. It’s an interesting question and one that we have certainly pondered as well. Ever since we made contact with the games industry we have been wondering about the odd contrast between a strong desire for exploring the medium’s potential and the incredibly small number of fresh games. This is not just about the “dreaded” A word. This is simply about doing something new, something fresh, something that moves people, that touches them. It’s so rare.

Moved servers

Welcome to the new server! is now being hosted by the great people at Ion in Luxemburg (who have been hosting The Endless Forest game server on behalf of Mudam for years now).

Things may be a bit rough in the beginning. Some posts may have gotten lost during the difficult transfer process. Please post a comment if you catch an error.

Nice to see you again! :)

Games I’m looking forward to playing II

Ah, it’s sunday. Nothing better to do than surf the web and look at screenshots and videos of upcoming games. Sitting here I was struck by a few games that I am actually looking forward to and decided to make an addendum to my previous post of games I am looking forward to playing, so here it is…

Top of the list is Bayonetta, of all things.

Yeah, I know, I’m as surprised as you are. Why?
Well… back in the day I had a thing for Devil May Cry 1. Just the first one. I thought the sequels didn’t really take advantage of what a cool character Dante was so with each new DMC game I was bitterly dissapointed. Platinum Games seems to have carried the vision of that game into Bayonetta. SO I am *hoping* it will be finally an action game I can enjoy again. They recently created blog and the character designer and modeler come forth with some of their process. I love it when character artists do that! :)

Mari Shimazaki – The Design of Bayonetta

Bayonetta’s long hair is the source of her power, and she normally wears it around her body as a means of adornment and protection. However, once she enters battle, she can use her hair to summon incredibly powerful demons from hell. When she summons these Infernal Demons, she is using all of her power, so she has no time to control the hair wrapped around her body and thus she ends up in more “comfortable” attire. The exciting way she looks in this state is one of the parts of Bayonetta that I love.


Kenichiro Yoshimura – Modeling Bayonetta

I think the game is looking beautiful… in that next-gen shiny kind of way.

Next stop, Blueberry Garden!

Winner of the grand prize during the IGF. An indie game by Erik Svedäng of the amazing hair and an all around sweet guy.
Cruising through Steam channels this morning I noticed Blueberry Garden will soon be for sale. I had a chance to play the game during the IGF and it’s quite a charming platform game… though not exactly a platformer as it seemed the goal was more whimsy than winning. I love the drawn style and how while playing I was always kept curious to figure out what was going on. I think anyone who reads this blog will really enjoy Blueberry Garden, so once it’s out you should all give it a try!

One game I forgot to mention in my first ‘looking forward’ post is actually a game I’ve been waiting on for years. And that’s Heavy Rain.

When is this game gonna be finished? And why won’t the developers, Quantic Dream, answer our repeated emails requesting an interview with them? hah? We’d love to talk to them about their design philosophy more in depth! I think this game could end up being a big budget example of new ways to tell stories through interaction. Not sure… but maybe… I like that they are at least trying to get out of old forms of gameplay and put the emphasis on the narrative content. Of course, until theres more released about the game, we don’t really know what its gonna be, do we…? :/ Still, given the version of it I make up in my mind, based on what has been released so far, this game is one to look forward to!

I am very excited about Noby Noby Boy multiplayer and getting Girl to Mars!!!

Lastly, there is our own The Path for the Mac… because we’ve been working hard to get the game released on this platform! It’s been received wonderfully on the PC but as a Mac user I think it is going to be a great fit for the game loving Mac audience! Trust me, you guys have never played anything like this! :)


What’s in a game?

not the same
Short article by Tynan Sylvester followed by a heated discussion.

Things haven’t changed much, have they? Except that Mr Sylvester may be wrong. Maybe Hungry Hungry Hippos and Fallout 3 are still too much alike to make his point.

I know what he means, though, by saying that the term “game” does not fit videogames anymore. Except that it does. Even Fallout 3 is still a game underneath. He’s just playing it wrong. But his wrong style of playing is infectious. And at some point, there will be more developers than just us -with bigger budgets- who design explicitly for this play style. It may take another generation, though. A generation of designers who were born after Pac Man and Space Invaders. Looking forward to it!

Continue reading “What’s in a game?”

Images from the ABIOGENESIS

We had some technical difficulties and a lot of you couldn’t view the party last week. We’re sorry about that… Thing is, this aspect of The Endless Forest is in some desperate need of an upgrade. Once the Mac version of The Path is out we should have some time to think about how we can do some fund raising to save The Forest. But, you have to admit, its still a beautiful place, even after all these years.

Indie TV

Dutch television station VPRO has made a documentary about the latest GDC in San Francisco. You can watch it online too. The show is in Dutch but many of the interviewees speak English (it’s subtitled). While the documentary is not about independent games, the program is part of series about trendspotting. So they quickly end up in the IGF pavilion.

We’re in it it too. :)
And so is Robin.

And Jonathan Blow, Kellee Santiago, Phil Fish, Eric Zimmerman, Heather Kelley, Erik Svedäng, Kyle Gabler, etc

The Chien Andalou of games barks again

More press about The Path. Bring the Universal Translator online!

Wonderful things have been written about our game. In some beautiful and strange languages. And in English. Makes us glow with pride! Someone called The Path the “Un Chien Andalou” of computer games. Citizen Kane, move over! 😉 And we’ve heard somewhere that Tale of Tales is to indie games what indie games are to mainstream games. But I forgot where I read that. If you know, please let us know. It’s a great quote. :)

Alright. Let the spectacle commence!


Ve hře najdeme spoustu jednoduše geniálních nápadů, které nenásilným způsobem uvádí hráče do role spolutvůrce vlastního zážitku bez toho, aby musel na něco klikat, nebo cokoliv používat.

Michal Bayerl on Doupe


Det är deras sårbarhet som gör spelet så starkt. Det är här sex flickor, på väg genom barndomen och tonåren, som man möter under en kort stund. På väg genom livet.

Oskar Skog on Loading


The Path er ingen hyggelig opplevelse. Snarere tvert i mot. Det tar for seg noen av de verste temaene du kan tenke deg, og det gjør det på en måte som kan få deg til å føle deg skyldig og skitten.

Joachim Froholt on


The Path ist ein viel subtileres Horrorspiel, ohne Schockmomente, ohne gewalttätige Monster – es geht euch stattdessen viel lieber direkt vom Computerbildschirm unter die Haut.

Benedikt Wager on Gamers Plus


Nie mam co do tego żadnych wątpliwości. „The Path” (ang. ścieżka), autorskie dzieło Auriee Harvey i Michaëla Samyna ze studia Tale of Tales, będzie kiedyś postrzegane przez historyków interaktywnego wideo jako milowy krok w rozwoju tego medium. To, przy zachowaniu proporcji, „Pies andaluzyjski” gier komputerowych – utwór głęboko symboliczny, ekspresyjny, osadzony w poetyce sennych wizji, wykorzystujący nowatorskie techniki narracji.

Olaf Szewczyk in Dziennik



The Path is probably the best independent game ever made. And it’s one of the best adventure games, period, even when compared against the big boys. But it’s also an outstanding piece of non-linearinteractive narrative, which proves again that entertainment can legitimately doubleas art. Playing The Path is as rewarding as reading a literary novel.

Christopher Lim in The Business Times
(bolded by us, hey it’s our blog! ;p )

And English:

The artwork in The Path is exquisite and an example of how subtlety can be more effective than state-of-the-art-graphics.

Daniel Allen in Thirteen 1

Tale of Tales reminds us that we can encounter meaning even when we stray from the path of convention and explore the medium that is more expansive than we often recognize.

Jorge Albor on Experience Points

An interview for those who need to Know:

We never ever set out to make obscure or confusing work. We want our work to be pleasant, to make you feel good. It makes us feel good to play The Path and we know that many people feel the same. But other people are confused and weirded out by the game, sometimes even depressed. We’re a bit disappointed by that.

Interview with Dan Liebman on Dark Zero

And we’re continuing our monthly subscription to Games TM:
from games™ Magazine, Issue #82 games™ Magazine, UK Issues 81 & 82 from games™ Magazine, Issue #81

A Saturday Forest Festival


The Path will have been out for a month this Saturday. Has it really ONLY been one month?? To us it seems much much longer!
To celebrate this birthday, we think it’s time… for a party in The Endless Forest!
Come to The Forest this Saturday, April 18th, 2009 at 19:00 UTC; meet your friends, and the Twin Gods, for a romp.
This party celebrates youth, in honor of the Red Girls. We’ll do our best to make you feel young (again.)

1999 called… it wants it’s back!

We are part of an online exhibition on called:


Alright, now I am going to use some antiquated terminology… try to stay with me….

We once made a “splash page” for this website called Rhizome. It was a website about “” don’tchaknow…

Oh lots of websites had splash pages back then, it was a sort of introduction to the site you were about to experience. Of course, sites were a very different thing in my day….
People used this coding language that was known as “HTML” back then.
YES we just coded that up in your basic “text editor” we didn’t have or need these fancy-schmancy Web 2.0 thingamabobs or CSS or CMS and browser uploaders or whathaveyou… we just coded it up, uploaded the page to the server, and off it flew!
Now, this so-called “” was very very interesting stuff…
And it was ART… well… at least to the Internet of the day it certainly was! We figured a new medium deserved a new kind of artwork. One that was about the medium and FOR the medium! We knew, even then, that this Internet thing was going somewhere! So what if we had to walk in the snow, uphill, without shoes, to get there. We liked it FINE! 😉

So, take this journey to the heart of the turn of the century internet with this selection of pages from our humble selves, then better known as Entropy8Zuper!, and some of the all-time greats!

Artists include: Annie Abrahams, Daniel Garcia Andujar, Ben Benjamin,
heath bunting, Gregory Chatonsky, Shu Lea Cheang, Andrew Childs, Curt
Cloninger, David Crawford, Mark Daggett, Joshua Davis, Entropy8Zuper!,
Andrew Forbes, Valery Grancher, Matthew Hoessli, Olia Lialina, David
Lindeman, jimpunk, JODI, Yael Kanarek, Lucas Kuzma, Antonio Mendoza,
Mouchette, MTAA, Robbin Murphy, Nettmedia, Scott Paterson, Pavu,
Waldemar Pranckiewicz, Reinis, Satellite01, Sigma6, Starry Night,
Eugene Thacker, Jake Tilson, Maciej Wisniewski, Young-Hae Chang Heavy

(url repeated, for that old-school flavor.)

Reviews of The Path continued

Some more reviews, ponderings, daydreams and an interview about The Path.

This is one of the most interesting things you’ll see on a PC this year. […] More artists, and more game developers, should be this brave.

Jim Rossignol in PC Gamer UK

[As] a piece of interactive art – it’s a piece of software truly worth celebrating – and those that play it to the end will find something truly memorable, unlike so many games that are forgotten as soon as the end credits roll.

Alan Martin on AceGamez

Do not even try to fight against the pace, just surrender. If you’d never call a game “beautiful” or “touching”, probably it is too late for you to play The Path. Or maybe you are not ready yet.

Tetelo on Femina Ludens

The joy of it comes not from the way in which the journey ends but rather in the full immersion that one experiences on the way.

Joshua on Mouseandcat

The effort put into The Path is equal to the enjoyment received. Look at the game like a difficult piece of literature that needs to be sampled over and over again. This isn’t John Grisham, it’s Leo Tolstoy.

Aaron Thayer on The Silicon Sasquatch

The Path’s ideas aren’t built around gameplay; its gameplay is built around ideas.

Games TM #81

Blind nach den Grenzen tasten, als Spielfigur erwachsen werden: Keine sehr angenehme Erfahrung, aber eine, wie man sie nur in ganz wenigen Computerspielen macht.

Achim Fehrenbach on Lords of Zock

Mimo prostej z pozoru historii The Path jest bardzo wielowymiarowa i metaforyczna. Na dodatek bardziej babska, niż jakakolwiek inna gra w którą miałam okazję grać. To opowieść o dorastaniu i utracie niewinności. To również historia poznawania świata od jego złej strony.

Kaja Szafrańska on Game Corner

And an interview with Joe Martin on Bit-Tech Net:

Observing art is a playful activity. But its rules are a lot looser than those of most games because art is about the viewer. And video games tend to be a bit too forceful, too insistent on their own meaning and story. There’s not enough room for play in games to allow them to become art.