Tale of Tales' 'Graveyard' Postmortem

Gamasutra has a fabulous postmortem up — easily one of the best I've read — on Tale of Tales' The Graveyard.

Considering the creators describe it as "more like an explorable painting than an actual game," this is no mean feat. They cover all the typical stuff (what went wrong, what went right), as well as download statistics, appendices featuring the people behind the game, and a section on reviews:

Overall, the reactions to the game (gathered from the articles, their comments sections and personal messages), fall into three categories.

Of course there is the expected response of the typical gamers whose desire for zombies whenever they see a cemetery is apparently insatiable. They tended to describe The Graveyard as "boring". Of course.

A little bit up the ladder of human civilisation, we find the people who were turned on by the idea but turned off by the actual experience. They were "disappointed". From what we can see, this was either caused by a failure on our part to maximize the qualities of the game or by certain expectations coming from the player.

Despite the fact that games are supposed to be interactive, many gamers still seem to be incredibly passive when it comes to the meaning of their entertainment. They expect to be spoonfed and don't seem to have any experience with literature, modern theater or fine art (or even art films) which require active participation, not just of thumbs and index fingers but also of heart and brain.

A final type of response was the simply "delighted" one. These people really enjoyed the game. And/or they were happy to see the experimentation that we're doing with the medium.

Ok, they sound a touch bitter at times, but it's a really nice piece on an interesting game — and worth wading through to read.

Postmortem: Tale of Tales' The Graveyard [Gamasutra]