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 project is being developed in phases. Each of them is influence by the feedbacks from the players, who contribute ideas on the game's forum.
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 MichaÃ�Â«l 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!
What is your background?
We used to be world famous web designers and net.artists! We have made hundreds of projects as Entropy8Zuper!, some commercial commissions, others art pieces.
Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome