Tale of Tales, the game design duo behind The Graveyard, Vanitas, and Fatale, are working on a new game for autumn 2012. The project, Bientôt l’été, is an abstract multiplayer game inspired by French writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras.
Like their earlier work, Bientôt l’été won’t be about mastering skill systems or competing. It will be a multiplayer game where two players sit next to one another and communicate in the “awkward-yet-precise style of Duras’ dialogue,” while also staring into the distance at the seashore. Players will build up to the point where they fall into an impossible love with another through their abstract verbal and visual interactions.
The design team provoked some debate about what the essential core of a game really ought to be with their 2009 game The Path. The game won awards at the Independent Game Festival and Spain’s hóPLAY International Videogame Festival. Elsewhere, Steve Poole called it “deeply flawed” and said it “suggests a general truth about many ‘art games’: they would be better as art if they were better as games.”
Writing on the company’s website, Tales’ Michaël Samyn was hopeful that works like Journey and Dear Esther have helped change expectations about videogames and that “it will be interesting to release something in a world that is not aggressively hostile towards the idea of using videogames for artistic expression without relying on the comforting conventions of rules and rewards.”
Tale of Tales is working on presenting the game at this year’s IndieCade in October. They have also started a Tumblr posting inspirational material for the game, including the 1978 short film directed by Duras, Les Mains Négatives (above).
[via Tale of Tales]