[NetBehaviour] Interview of Michael Samyn & Auriea Harvey.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Jun 22 11:34:20 CEST 2006
Interview of Michael Samyn & Auriea Harvey.
games + interview.
The Endless Forest is a MMORPG where everyone plays a deer. And no, the
aim is not to shoot other deers. There's no violence, no particular rule
to follow, neither does the game feature any chat-functions. All
communication happens through deer-body-language. You can roar, sniff
other deers, eat mushrooms from the trees, pick up and carry flowers on
your antler, etc. Players do not even get "proper" names, but pictograms
that represent their characters.
The setting is idyllic, the forest is peaceful, you can wander along the
Pond or have a nap by the Old Oak Tree. One of the most recent features
of the game is called Abiogenesis (the generation of life from
non-living matter). It allows the authors of the game, Auriea Harvey and
Michaël Samyn, to play god in their virtual universe by controlling the
weather, and all sorts of flying and non-flying objects and beasts. The
Twin Gods might also invite everyone to come to a certain place at a
given time to enjoy a live spectacle performed by the deities
themselves. In April Phase Two of the game was released: the play space
is much bigger and the amount of possible activities has increased as
well. The most significant addition is the introduction of magical
powers that allow players to transform the appearance of others.
The Endless Forest has been developed by game company Tale of Tales,
founded by former Internet artists Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn. When
i first read about the game last year, i found this idea of a jeu
d'auteur extremely interesting. I had to read in three different sources
that they are from Belgium before believing it (so is the faith i have
in my own country!) Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn were an enigma to me
so i thought i should interview them. I'm not sure i've managed to make
them less mysterious but at least i've tried!
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