Developer Tales of Tales (ToT) has been nominated for a European Innovative Games Award, for their "tranquil interactive vignette" The Graveyard, released in February (something I've mentioned before, which seemed to get a positive reaction). The title is self-described as "more like an explorable painting than an actual game [...] an experiment with realtime poetry, with storytelling without words." In it, you play an elderly lady who visits a cemetery, walks past its graves, sits on a bench, and listens to a song before heading back out in the same manner. The Graveyard, they say, "creates a pensive atmosphere in which the player is invited to meditate on the subjects of death and old age."
Held in Darmstadt, Germany, the awards ceremony will see the title against some strange competition: Heavenly Sword, Crysis, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008, Wii Fit, and some lesser known titles like "Sharkworld" (by Ranj Serious Games), "Rider Spoke" (by Blast Theory), "Blake White" (by Games Academy), "Somersault" (by Enter-Brain-Ment), "Swinxs" (by Swinxs) and "Remote Impact: Shadowboxing over a Distance" (by Distance Lab).
The following quote is not attributed, but we can assume it was from one of the devs at ToT:
"We must admit that it came as a bit of a shock to see our little game nominated next to these huge productions. But it's interesting that the jury has chosen games from the commercial industry as well as from artistic and academic contexts. It shows that innovation can be found in many different places. We're proud to be on the shortlist. May the best old lady win!"
No offense to these guys at all, but I'm definitely having my doubts they would win. But nevertheless, I think a nomination in itself must be gratifying. That and it's nice to know some folks at Konami and Nintendo will see it!
A trial version of the game can be downloaded from Tale of Tales' website for both PC and Mac. The full version costs 5 USD and only adds a single feature: the possibility that the protagonist can die.
The Graveyard was created with Unity and funded by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund. Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn designed and directed the piece. Laura Raines Smith animated the main character. Kris Force created the sound effects. And Gerry De Mol composed the music in the game.