When Indie developer Tale Of Tales announced that it would be closing its virtual doors, it sounded fairly permanent:

We really did our best with Sunset, our very best. And we failed.”

Founders Michaël Samyn and Auriea Harvey certainly weren’t mincing words this previous June, which is understandable. It’s difficult to be optimistic about the future when their last game, the revolutionary/housemaid simulator Sunset sold a mere 4,000 copies at the height of its release.

But with today’s announcement that Tale of Tales has begun developing a new experience, the avant-garde Cathedral In The Clouds, a resurrection might be on its way. To be fair, this new project appears to be more of a sensory experience than a gaming one. In an announcement today, Tale of Tales described this new endeavor:

“Cathedral-in-the-Clouds…still uses game technology, but for an entirely different kind of amusement. The idea is to create virtual dioramas for the purpose of contemplation. Inspired by Gothic and Renaissance art, many of these dioramas will depict religious scenes. Each piece presents a life-size body encased in a box. The only action is scrolling around to see different parts of the scene.”

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With plans for VR capability as well as handheld devices in the works, Cathedral will be offering every piece of art and architecture that it designs for free. Whether or not this will entice a sizable portion of game and/or art lovers to visit Tale of Tales latest release remains to be seen. But it does seem clear that this is a step on a very different path for the developer–one that looks at its customers in a different way:

“We are artists,” founder Michaël Samyn said in today’s press release, “not merchants. We want to organize a more optimal way in which we can do our work. By offering the voluntary opportunity to support us, we hope to create a friendlier and more respectful relationship with the people who appreciate our art. Commerce just made us think of our audience as numbers. We don’t want to do that anymore.”

No specifics have been announced about any sort of full release: only that each diorama or piece of artwork will be made available as it is completed.

About The Author

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Phil Keeling is a writer, comedian, gin-drinker, and author of the gaming blog "Notes From The Conquistadork" and YouTube gaming channel "Conquistadork". His favorite beetle is the Bombardier Beetle, which can fire a noxious, explosive spray to ward off predators. His favorite Beatle is George Harrison, who cannot.

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