The Path Anniversary: last words

Thus ends our celebration of The Path’s one year anniversary and 11 years of collaboration. Here’s a summary, in case you missed something.

We published The Path postmortem chronicling the making of the game. This was a great way for us to look back on the history of the project, even if it is impossible to describe 3 years of development in a summary fashion!

On The Path blog there were 10 days of posts written from a very personal perspective to supplement the grand postmortem essay. These stories were full of insights about the Red Girls and their Wolves. And we uploaded tons of work in progress imagery, drawings and screenshots covering the entire development, on Flickr on The Path Archive. So if you are curious about the making of the game, have a look at all the Anniversary posts listed there.

We had a very fine sale where all our games were available at 50% off. Even if you missed it you will find everything we’ve made reasonably priced for download.

The Path translations patch for windows received an upgrade. And these translations are now available for our Steam players as well.

We published 2 new interviews with artists that we consider inspirational and whom we wanted more people to know about.

And we announced the coming of The Path Soundtrack which will be available next month!

So, now, we move on.
To those who celebrated with us, we thank you!!

The Endless Forest: ABIOGENESIS for the Red Girls

Nothing like a little party to end our anniversary celebration of The Path. And there is nothing like an ABIOGENESIS party in The Endless Forest! So please accept this last minute invitation to join us in the forest which has been shrouded in mist. Let’s bring some color back! If you don’t feel like running with the deer just open up the game and follow us in ABIOGENESIS Camera mode by hitting CTRL-W. It’ll be wild! We’ll probably crash the server! But it’s not a TEF party till SOMEONE crashes the server!

Download The Endless Forest for free here!

The Path Soundtrack is coming in April

The life of a working musician is even busier and crazier than that of a game developer! (^_^)
Jarboe and Kris Force have been working on extended versions of songs that they made for The Path off and on for a year. All the while Jarboe has been touring practically non-stop and Kris has been balancing sound design for commercial productions and playing in her band and other collaborations.

All their work and all your waiting will pay off next month when the waiting will be -over! We are finalizing things so we don’t want to say too much… BUT What we can say is that The Path original soundtrack album will be published by UK label Paradigms Recordings in April 2010. There will be a specially packaged CD and t-shirt to be had. And we will figure out the best way to sell the album digitally, because we know a lot of you want that.

The tracks are named after the Wolves. This will not be your typical game soundtrack album. And it will blow your mind + possibly your speakers.
Needless to say, more details coming soon!

The Path Anniversary: USB Limited Edition & ToT Store Sale extravaganza!

The Path - Anniversary Limited Edition (PC & Mac)

For the one year anniversary of The Path we’ve made a new version of our popular USB stick edition! This time in silver and printed with a picture of Robin. We only have 50, and of those 42 of them are for sale. We will not print this edition again so this is your only chance to get the Robin printed USB drive! This is a whole package too; you also get your choice of poster, a The Path sticker and the 6 Red Girl polaroid cards. You get both Mac and PC versions of the game, and lots of extras! (Yes, different extras than were on the PC only USB stick.) Check out the page in the store for more details!

We are also marking down prices on many of the other store items.

So, if you have been interested in The Path merchandise there has never been a better time to get something! It will be a lot of work for me to put these packages together, I put effort into making each poster unique, but I’m looking forward to it! :)

The store sale runs until March 28th. But the Anniversary Editions will remain available until the last one is sold.

Vanitas, for all.

For various reasons, up til now Vanitas was not downloadable by users of the 1st generation iPod Touch. At first, because we didn’t get a chance to test it on this older hardware. Then after we did, when we tried to update to allow for it, Apple had suddenly, inexplicably, changed their policy on how to specify hardware restrictions. This left many developers scratching their heads how to allow or restrict what hardware their apps can run on. Apple had to fix our AppStore listing by hand to get things straight. Needless to say we are happy to now announce that Vanitas will run on any version of the iThings! iPod or iPhone, regardless of age.

So, 1st gen iPod Touch users, you can now play too!


Also, a few helpful tips for things that may not have been so obvious.

– Use multitouch to levitate up to 3 objects at once.
– Find the authors of the quotes by clicking the url at the top of the info screen.
– It is easier to get a gold star at lower levels so, try your luck with the reset button on the 3rd info screen.


Vanitas. analog.

So we took The Very Broken iPhone. (It was broken when we received it. a gift. made sure it was *really* broken myself, with a very big hammer.)

there was made an octagonal table. Michael spent quite some time making the matching octagonal radiation on the floor.

We created within a physical representation of the contents of the game. A little bird skull, dice, a tarot card, a twig from a tree, a key, dead leaves, a tooth, a shell, etc., and lots and lots of ladybugs. All under glass.

added 4 iPods. and then came the people.

see the whole set here

For all our nervousness it all went quite well. Surprisingly so. I think it created a nice environment for people to view Vanitas. It was exciting and fun to be able to watch so many people interact!

Thanks to:
* Wolfgang Wozniak for the Very Broken iPhone.
* E.K. Huckaby for his kind, indispensable assistance.
* Lord Whimsy for his good advice.
* whoever made the table, we give thanks.

This and all the other games made for The Art History of Games exhibition at Kai Lin Art in Atlanta, GA will be up and playable until March 2nd.

Photo post: Towards an Art History of Games

Various photos of presentations at the symposium. This is a flickr slideshow, if you fullscreen it and choose ‘Show Info’ (top right) you can read context and commentary on each image.

a few personal highlights of the symposium:
* listening to John Romero describe the design choices which lead to the invention of ASWD camera navigation.
* Brenda Brathwaite’s moving confessions of her design process, all that she puts into it and the way game design effects and expresses life.
* And playing her game, Train, at the gallery.
* Jason Rohrer describing how he came to the design of his game “Sleep is Death” and how it grew from a desire to communicate stories that defied telling through words alone.
* Hearing Christiane Paul talk about net artists in the context of art game history.

And finally, yes, there exists a photo of us standing next to John Romero. Amazing!
(yes, we know, we look silly. should have smiled. it was a pretty fun evening though. :))

Our first app… coming soon!


Today we’ve submitted our first app for iPhone/iPod touch to the Apple app store for approval! Excitement!!

It is called Vanitas.

Vanitas has been commissioned for The Art History of Games, a public symposium which is taking place February 4th-6th, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, at the High Museum of Art. Where we will be attending and speaking among good company. We are one of 3 developers selected to make something on occasion of the event. The other two being Jason Rohrer and Eric Zimmerman. All 3 projects will be at a special exhibition at the Kai Lin Gallery during the conference and for a month afterwards. We’re planning something special for the gallery … 😉

Vanitas is not a game. Hopefully the approval process won’t get complicated. It should be available in time for the exhibition opening, then you can find what its all about!

Auriea’s Top 9 Games of the Decade

Decided to take the difficult step of listing what I feel were my most worthwhile gaming experiences of the past 10 years. (Inspired by the top 12 list compiled by Gamasutra)
All the games on this list had to fit several criteria: a) I had to have played it all the way through. Indeed, most of these I’ve played multiple times. b) They had to have changed my life in some way. Either in the “ah, I wish I could make that” inspirational kind of way. Or by virtue of having added some meaning to my existence and stuck with me even though I played them long ago… (games can do that.) So…

10. Neverwinter Nights (played 2002-2004)
The only RPG in 10 years that I’ve played all the way through, multiple times, obsessively. (And all the official expansion packs, plus many adventures that were created in the player community.) I got very involved with this game. I became fascinated by how it was made, the character design, how the authoring tools worked, how its multiplayer worked. I guess this was the first game-with-an-editor I really looked to for insight of how big games are put together. The minimal GUI, that right click radial menu, sweet design decisions. NWN and A Tale in The Desert were big for me in imagining how navigation could work for The Endless Forest.

9. Shadow of Memories (played 2001)
A “choose your own adventure” type story with the character going backwards and forwards through time to figure out his own murder. One of the more complex plots of any game I played the last 10 years, actually. One of the only games I’ve ever played multiple times just to find out what all the alternate endings were. I wish there were more games like THIS… now, today, with contemporary graphics and less cut scenes. sigh.

8. Kessen II (played 2002)
At the time I was totally blown away by the aesthetics of this one. Kind of a cheesy plot (even if it is _based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms) but still, very engaging. I remember that I loved the over the top character design and the magic effects when spellcasting. I wanted to think up a game that needed such elaborate stuff as that! And while it is an RTS, it wasn’t so very much of an RTS to turn me off. I enjoyed winning the game and then starting it over playing from the “bad guy” point of view. But yeah, for me it was all about the particle effects!

7. there is no number 7. I WOULD put The Path here… but that would just be weird 😉 … Gotta admit though, I love it best and the game changed my life more than any other…

6. Silent Hill 3 (played 2003)
SH3 was one of those games I anticipated for months, scouring game sites for screenshots and shaky conference videos. Every time I found something new, it showed me how beautiful game graphics could be. Amazing character design and even the plot worked… maybe a bit too much. The main character of Heather was truly unique. A teenage girl. The soundtrack was absolutely perfect blend of mall pop and creepy Yamaoka standards. I credit this game with, what is for me, the scariest and eeriest put-down-the-controller-and-back-away moment in gaming. (I’m not gonna spoil it for you… have a “Making of” video instead.)

5. Black & White (played 2001-2002)
Peter Molyneux is an idiot for having listened to critics of this game. It is the most amazing game he has ever made. He had such an awe-inspiring team of programers and the freedom to execute some unique ideas! For all the flaws, it’s a work of genius. I lost entire days! Lost in being a god over those little worlds. The zooming in to see the tiny details and then backing out and being the master of all I surveyed! Training my animal to mimic me. Miracles! No other game swept me away like that. And you bet it influenced us a wee bit when making the ABIOGENESIS feature in The Endless Forest. Biggest disappointment of the decade was when Black & White 2 turned out to be completely different and more of an RTS than a god game.

4. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly (played 2004)
ah man… I just love love lovelove love this game <3 <3 <3

3. Animal Crossing (played 2004-ongoing)
The whole family played this game for a solid year on Gamecube. It was the must-have reason I bought a Nintendo DS. We got it for the Wii and it is STILL the only game we play with any regularity. Relaxing, bonding, creative. I admire it for actually trying to trigger nostalgia, and succeeding! Memories of my AC town on a sunny fall afternoon with the cicadas chirping and I, at the waterfall, fishing for Coelacanth… If we ever make a simulation game, this will be the reason why.

2. Silent Hill 2 (played 2001)
I can credit this game as the reason why when Michael suggested we should try our hand at making video games, I said YES absolutely. Before playing SH2 I had no idea a game could get to me like that. SH2 didn’t seem to make any concessions; confusing, ruthless, imperfect. I wanted to make something like that. YES.
This, is my #1 favorite cutscene in any game, ever.

1. Ico (played 2002)
We were working on the scenario of 8 and making the first demos. Michael found a news item on some game site about Ico. We were astounded at the description, in that it had a lot in common with our designs for 8. We kept the game on our radar and bought it the day it came out. Like no other game played this decade, with Ico I was moved, I was inspired to tears of joy and sorrow. If you ask me, THIS is Fumito Ueda’s masterpiece. When seeing a character’s idle motion carries with it so much meaning. When I long to go back to the sundrenched grassy knoll just to chase the birds. To hold Yorda’s hand, listen to the waterfall and stare at the view. When I cannot wait to meet the “boss” because I know it is the coolest moment in the game. It has to be my favorite game of the decade.

Now look at this list.
Isn’t it odd that the games I loved most were all in the years 2001-2004. And nothing after 2004.
I guess the “Next Gen” has been a total disaster for the gamer in me. There has not been one game that’s really done it for me since 2004! A few have tried to worm their way under my skin. I could list the short stint I did in Guild Wars or the myriad DS games I played (like the Phoenix Wright series or Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!) that I thoroughly enjoyed. I regret that I couldn’t play Portal… I bet I would have liked that one. I’ve played some great indie games lately too. And on PS3 there’s been smaller games like flOw and Flower, and my Game of The Year is Noby Noby Boy. That one, yes, I found it refreshing!

Perhaps I’ve gotten harder to please as I get more analytical about what goes on in the industry or maybe it’s, as Michael believes, that creativity has lost ground to technology and pandering for cash. I have gotten older, my interests have changed, I am busier maybe. Loads of reasons why I have not found the joy in many games lately…. still its too bad. I miss the good old days.

Six of these years we’ve been making games, hardly a surprise that I had more fun with games before it became my “job” so to speak. I guess because I could take things more for granted, and everything seemed so much more like magic. I’m of course hoping that in this shiny new decade I will find games that have that certain something, and I can game, once again, like its 2002.

Tale of Tales is 6!

That means discounts! :)

Six years ago, on a freezing snowy day like today (at least that’s how I remember it), the document that founded “Tale of Tales BVBA” was officially published. To celebrate our anniversary, we’re discounting our three commercially available downloads for the week. As a lucky coincidence, this means you can still get a quick and cheap and very original Christmas gift for your loved ones! :)

From now until next Saturday, you can get The Path for 6.66 US Dollars (30% off).
Available from the regular page.

Plus, The Graveyard and FATALE are bundled together for 6 US Dollars (50% off!).
Available only through these links:
FATALE/The Graveyard bundle for 6$ PC version
FATALE/The Graveyard bundle for 6$ Mac version

These offers are valid until 26 December.