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Next up from the chaps behind The Path and inspired by the story of Salomé.


Gent, Belgium, 24 June 2009, Birth of John the Baptist

While their controversial indie horror game The Path is still being enjoyed and discussed by players everywhere, Tale of Tales have started work on a new project. Much smaller in scale -but not in ambition-, "Fatale" (working title) is similar to their 2008 piece The Graveyard: an explorable painting or an interactive vignette more than a goal-oriented quest.

"In fact," point out designers Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn, "Fatale" is inspired directly by paintings. In the 19th century, a favorite theme of romantic and salon painters alike was the "femme fatale": the fatal woman who lures men to their downfall. We wanted to do something with that theme in realtime 3D. And also with the idea of a painting as a frozen moment in time."

"Fatale" is based on the legend of Salomé, who, 2000 years ago, demanded the head of John the Baptist as a reward for dancing for her stepfather, King Herod. Oscar Wilde's 1891 interpretation of Salomé as a young woman in love with the prophet is the main inspiration for the project. In "Fatale" you will be able to explore the scene of this momentous historical event, experiencing the story through the emotions and thoughts of the characters involved.

"We're interested in the idea of a love story that ends in death," muse Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn, "but we also want to include other elements of the tale. The fact, for instance, that Salomé may have been just an insecure girl who was manipulated by her mother, Queen Herodias -who then ends up becoming the real "femme fatale". We're also very sensitive to the political tension that underlies the tale: a Middle Eastern country -Judea- occupied by Westerners -Romans- at a time of religious unrest -the birth of Christianity. And this girl, Salomé, just has the head chopped off of one of the most important figures of the time. On a whim, apparently, or for unrequited love, changing the course of history."

Tale of Tales have invited previous collaborators to join the

production: Laura Raines Smith will be, once again, animating the characters; Gerry De Mol will compose dance music; while Jarboe and Kris Force take care of the soundscape and voice acting. The characters are being created by an extremely talented and very well known game artist, whose name will remain a secret for now.

Production of "Fatale" is supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund and Villanella. "Fatale" is scheduled to be released on October 5th 2009, the 78th anniversary of the first public performance of Salomé in English. The play had been banned from the British stage for almost 50 years because of its depiction of biblical figures.

Tale of Tales is a small independent studio founded in Belgium by new media artists Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn. They run the online multiplayer screensaver The Endless Forest. And two of their previous creations, The Path and The Graveyard, were selected for the Independent Games Festival (in 2008 and 2009, respectively). "Fatale" is not the first project of the two around a biblical theme. Previously, they have created The Godlove Museum, a series of interactive websites based on the first five books of the Old Testament. And, a commission for the San Francisco Museum of Art in 2001, "Eden.Garden" was one of their first game-like projects. It was based on the theme of the Garden of Eden and featured the designers themselves in the roles of Adam and Eve.

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