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Gent, Belgium, 20 December 2010
Inspired by the success of the pay-what-you-wish sale around Day of the Dead, Tale of Tales have bundled their three most important games again.
This time you pay-what-they-wish: a 50% discount during the Holidays period (from 20 December through 3 January). The bundle is available for Mac or PC and includes a Steam activation key.
The ToT bundle can be purchased here, for $10.99:
The same bundle can also be purchased from Steam directly, at the same discount price.
"Yesterday was the seventh birthday of our company, " reminisce Tale of Tales directors Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn. We have published 5 games in those seven years. And we are still around, and going strong.
So this new bundle is a sort of birthday present. Maybe it will become a permanent offer. We don't know yet."
Despite only releasing one new game and working mostly behind the scenes on three new projects, 2010 has been a turbulent year for Tale of Tales.
It started in January when registrations for their multiplayer game The Endless Forest had exhausted the number of unique pictograms that serve as the avatars' names (there is no text in The Endless Forest). A new generation was released on 5 January.
On 4 February, Tale of Tales' first iPhone game, Vanitas, was released at the occasion of the Art History of Games symposium in Atlanta. At this symposium, they also gave their seminal "Over Games" performance, which marks the official start of the Notgames initiative. Notgames is a platform for developers and artists to share ideas about the creation of interactive entertainment and art beyond the limitations imposed by the format of rules-based games. Notable members include Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), Jeroen Stout (Dinner Date), Erik Sved?ng (Blueberry Garden, Kometen), Thomas Grip (Penumbra, Amnesia), Erik Loyer (Ruben and Lullaby, Strange Rain) and Krystian Majewski (Trauma).
In March, a production experiment started with the dual prototyping of two new games codenamed Cncntrc and The Book of 8. To extend the time available to work on these two projects, Tale of Tales decided to work on both simultaneously, alternating between the two every month.
"During the development of The Path, we had learned that time pressure, while often a great motivator, can lead to driving on automatic pilot."
explain the designers. "The problem was not so much that there wasn't enough time to work on the project -there never is, it's a reality of game development that we have come to accept. But that there wasn't enough time to _not work on it. Being able to take some distance once in a while, to step back and not think about a production so intensely or purposefully, allows us to get a much clearer view of our work. We feel that such distance and clarity is crucial for making the right design decisions. So while we are working on one project, we allow ideas for the other one to develop slowly, at their own pace."
In April, after celebrating the first birthday of the release of their main title The Path, Tale of Tales closed its blog. The blog had been a successful provocateur of conventional thinking about video games for three years. But it was time to move on.
In June, the long anticipated soundtrack of The Path by Jarboe and Kris Force was released by Paradigms Recordings on CD and iTunes.
And in the Summer of 2010, the Japanese version of The Path was released and a free version of Vanitas for the web.
Then, after having been finalists and nominees in countless competitions and festivals over the years, Tale of Tales suddenly received its first three awards. The Path won Best Sound and Best Design at the h?PLAY International Video Game Festival in Bilbao in September and the Advancement Prize for Innovative Game Design at the European Innovative Games Award in Frankfurt in October.
In November The Flanders Audiovisual Fund decided to fund a new production, to be started in Fall next year. That same month, Game Developer Magazine nominated Tale of Tales in the Game Developer 50 for Evangelism.
2010 Was also a year of presentations all around Europe: Clash of Realities in Cologne, Far Game in Bologna, Festival of Games in Utrecht, Fantoche in Baden, Spellbound and Y.1 in Amsterdam and ARCO in Madrid.
"We're especially pleased with our presentation at the Festival of Games in Utrecht," say Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn. "It was called "Let's make art with games!" and it served as a response to both Roger Ebert's renewed rejection of the artistic potential of video games and to many of the misunderstanding caused by our presentation at the Art History of Games symposium in Atlanta. In this presentation we explain why we chose video games as a medium for our art, and how the video games industry can adapt to make room for more artistic development."
The slides of "Let's make art with games!" are available here: