When Tale of Tales’ FATALE was released earlier this year, players were enthralled by the game’s captivating art style. Placed in a setting akin to “Arabian Nights” and “Aladdin”, FATALE dropped players into first century Middle East in the aftermath of John the Baptist’s beheading.
One of the team members behind the game’s enthralling animation is Laura Raines Smith, and I was able to catch up with her at this year’s IndieCade.
“[FATALE} is about an Oscar Wilde play by the name of Salome,” said Smith, in describing the game, “and the general story three is Salome is in love with John the Baptist, but he doesn’t return her love. So she decides to dance the Dance of the Seven Veils for her stepfather, Herod, in exchange for him to grant her any wish. And her wish is to have John the Baptist beheaded so she can kiss him on the mouth.”
Smith was largely responsible for bringing the Dance of the Seven Veils to the game in excruciating detail. Over a three month development process, Tale of Tales sought to create an authentic period piece. A great part of that process involved Smith bringing life to the character designs of Silent Hill artist, Takayoshi Sato. I asked Smith about the animation process and if there was anything she would have done differently in retrospect.
Motion capture? [laughs] We were joking about being the poor man’s motion capture studio. They had a dancer do the entire dance and they filmed it from the front side. They put that video together for me and I basically wrote and scripted the whole dance, it was about 4500 frames and I keyed about every 5 to 10 frames, every pose that she did.
Even after the final animation touches were completed, Tale of Tales still needed to piece together the final product. Smith noted that the studio was happy to accept audience feedback, which in turn led to anticipation for the game’s eventual release.
I think Tale of Tales has done a really good job of just keeping their audience engaged with their forums and the whole design process throughout. There’s a lot of anticipation when their game finally does come out, because they slowly give concepts and design ideas to the audience and engage them along the way.
Players can now try the final product for themselves. FATALE is available for PC and Mac through the game’s official website and through Steam for $7.
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