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Gent, Belgium, 26 April 2006
By far the most striking addition in version 2.0 of The Endless Forest is the ability of players to change the look of the deer avatars. This happens, primarily, by collecting the hidden magic of the forest to cast spells on each other. Next to this, several new activities have been added, from worshipping the Twin Gods to dancing to Gerry De Mol's ocarina. And many new ways for players to express themselves in the chat free world of The Endless Forest.
The Endless Forest is a multiplayer online screensaver in which everyone plays a deer. It is an experiment with non-violent, non-goal-oriented interactivity and new forms of narrativity in realtime 3D. Designed and directed by veteran new media artists Auriea Harvey en Michaël Samyn as a large game that is released in phases. The development of these phases is influenced by the response of the players and opportunities offered by arts organisations.
Phase One was released in September 2005 with a spartan approach to interactivity that stimulated the players to invent new ways of amusing each other with only a small amount of available actions. It featured a mysterious ruin and a graveyard built by visualisation of data generated by an art exhibition that featured the project.
In Phase Two, the play space has become twice as large and the amount of possible activities has increased considerably, many influenced by suggestions from the players themselves. The most significant addition is the introduction of enchantments that allow players to transform the appearance of others. So your avatar does not need to look the same as all the others anymore. Over the course of Phase Two, new guises will be added continuously. Also in this version, the game interface has been translated into French and German in addition to the original English and Dutch.
Phase Two also includes new destinations like a romantic stream and pond and a huge hollow oak. The Abiogenesis system was introduced at the Artefact new media arts festival in February 2006. It allows the authors to play god in their virtual universe by controlling the weather, day and night and all sorts of flying and non-flying objects and creatures. At times terrifying, at others hilarious, the interventions of the Twin Gods never endanger the deer who join the party.
Tale of Tales is a Belgian games development company founded by former internet artists Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn, better known as "Entropy8Zuper!". Their goal is to explore the potential of the games medium as an artistically expressive form of entertainment.
The Endless Forest is supported by Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxemburg, Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, Design Vlaanderen, STUK arts centre in Leuven, and Provinciaal Archeologisch Museum Ename.
The Endless Forest can be downloaded for free from
The Endless Forest has been downloaded over 30.000 times so far and has more than 6.000 registered players. You don't need to register to be able to be play. But registering gives you access to special features.
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