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Tale of Tales: Pay what you want for our gameplay prototypes

Tale of Tales: Pay what you want for our gameplay prototypes

December 19, 2013 | By Alex Wawro

December 19, 2013 | By Alex Wawro
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More: Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing

Tale of Tales celebrates its tenth birthday this week, and to mark the occasion the studio is selling prototypes of its unfinished games for whatever you're willing to pay -- as long as it's more than $5.

There are 18 separate unfinished games in the Tale of Tales Experiments & Prototypes bundle, many of which have multiple versions charting the course of their development, and you can pay any amount you wish over the $5 minimum -- Tale of Tales suggests the bundle is worth $15, and claims all proceeds will go towards development of its next game.

The market for digital bundles of games at pay-what-you-want prices is pretty crowded -- organizations like the Humble Bundle, Indie Royale, and the Indie Gala have seen to that -- but this offer is worth paying attention to because it's an opportunity to peek inside the studio's development process and see what didn't make it to market.

There's a lot of interesting projects in the bundle -- Tale of Tales is a Belgian studio run by a pair of developers with a reputation for making somewhat idiosyncratic games, and that reputation shines through in prototypes being sold.

Some of my favorites include The Apartment, in which you "explore an empty apartment at night and interact with objects," the Godlove Museum, which attempts to tell the story of how studio directors Auria Harvey and Michael Samyn met via an epic Biblical metaphor, and the Eden.Garden map for Quake 3, where all the guns are hidden under the floor and the Adam and Eve models are skinned with 3D scans of the directors' naked bodies.

You can also play a few different prototypes of the studio's most recent game, Luxuria Superbia, which is essentially an elaborate metaphor for making love to your device.

The whole deal is very reminiscent of Double Fine's partnership with the Humble Indie Bundle last year to sell prototypes developed during the studio's internal Amnesia Fortnight game jam. Of course, part of the proceeds from that sale went to charity; Tale of Tales says the proceeds from its Experiments & Prototypes bundle will fund further game development, and it will only be available until Christmas.

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