Inspired by movies like Winnie the Pooh, The Dark Crystal, The Secret of Nimh, Disney’s Robin Hood and games like Zelda, Ico and Dark Souls, Ghost of a Tale is intended to be a “small yet beautiful game” with stylized characters and environments that look like movie sets, but that retains “a certain simplicity and immediacy” of gameplay. What’s all that mean? In short, it’s a fantasy adventure game starring a mouse, who undertakes a perilous journey to the Island of Periclave, a place rumored to abound with treasure – and be haunted by monsters!
Developer Lionel Gallat (aka Seith), formerly of famed animation studio Dreamworks, and who most recently served as the animation director on Despicable Me and The Lorax for Universal Pictures, says Ghost of a Tale will not be an open-world game but will instead follow a specific, linear plot. Even so, you’ll get to explore the island, read journals, find clues and uncover secrets, and of course run, jump and do battle with all sorts of nasty creatures. His long-term hope, if the game is a success, is to expand upon the tale with future releases, making this just the beginning of a much larger story arc.
The brief clips that have been released so far don’t show off much in the way of gameplay, but they look absolutely fantastic, and the idea of playing as a tiny mouse bard (so I’m assuming based on the little mandolin he carries) wandering through a world of undead rats and warrior frogs is borderline irresistible. Gallat says he’s aiming to have Ghost of a Tale done in the first half of 2014, but acknowledges that it may not be ready until the end of that year. Either way, he said closed beta testing should begin by the end of 2013.
The Ghost of a Tale Indiegogo campaign is seeking €45,000 – that’s about $59,000. And at a little less than halfway to that goal with two weeks left, success is well within striking distance. Given how good it looks even at this early stage, I really hope it makes it over the top.