Game Design From Outer Space

When you play Luxuria Superbia you learn the importance of slowing down. A lesson we should keep in mind when we enjoy the pleasures of life.

Luxuria Superbia, a Pearl in a Chain

When I saw the nominees for the 2014 Independent Games Festival I knew this time Tale of Tales was going to make it. Game designers Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn had their Luxuria Superbia listed for the IGF Nuovo Award, and they won. The news made me really happy, because I’m a big fan of their works and I truly loved Luxuria Superbia. No surprise, I was convinced they deserved the award.

To be honest, if it was up to me I would have awarded them last year for their Bientôt l’été, a beautiful game I really enjoyed, so when I read what they said about the achieved recognition I couldn’t help but smile wide:

Luxuria Superbia is the fourth Tale of Tales finalist in the IGF and the third in the Nuovo category. The Path was nominated for Excellence in Visual Art in 2008, The Graveyard for Nuovo in 2009 and Bientôt l’été also for Nuovo in 2013.

We were getting quite comfortable with not winning in the IGF. Being nominated feels very rewarding as recognition. But never winning made us feel more dangerous. Which is flattering at our age. That is all over now.

I totally love their style (I told you I’m a big fan of theirs, didn’t I?).

Why Nuovo?

I was super sure Luxuria Superbia was going to be awarded in Nuovo category. Why? Well, simply because – in my opinion – what Tale of Tales did with this very special game is offering the player a new way of experimenting and celebrating sensuality.

You don’t just sit and play being just a sort of “passive Valentine” who can only enjoy what’s going on on the screen. In Luxuria Superbia it’s you, with your fingers and with your loving patience, the one who has to give pleasure. And, by doing so, the one who gets pleasure in return – of course. Sounds like a familiar logic?

A simple game of touch, pleasure and joy

A simple game of touch, pleasure and joy

All in all, Luxuria Superbia is a metaphor for the spirituality of love, for the joy of giving per se, for anything we should enjoy as slow as possible in our life to fully get the pleasure connected to it.

Harvey and Samyn’s game gets to create a very sweet and delicate intimacy with the player, who has to take care of colourful stylised flowers and basically make them blush and do it slowly and patiently, until their pleasure is completely fulfilled.

Beautiful colours, very sensual music, attractive symbols and meaningful words – YES! words, always an important element in Tale of Tales games – keep your fingers, eyes and emotions glued to the display (you can play it on a Pc but the tablet experience is definitely the best, at least for me), making you want to reach the goal in proper time, with no rush.

Life is a pearl in a chain

“Life is a pearl in a chain”

Luxuria Superbia Takes Time

Yes, no rush, for when I first played the game I quickly learnt that I needed to forget about rush if I wanted to succeed. Some would say fast love can be fun – and yes, it’s true indeed – but it’s also true that the deepest joy of sharing needs time, it requires a good amount of empathy and devotion.

Let’s say you can probably get your pleasure secretly swallowing your piece of delicious cake with passionate greed, but wouldn’t it taste oh so more delicious if you shared it with someone you love and dedicated some time to the tasting? Slowly chewing it and savouring all its flavours… Enjoying every bits of it, fully. Doesn’t it sound like a better experience? That’s how I see it.

So, if you ask me, Luxuria Superbia is a pearl offered to us by the independent game development, a joyful precious journey to be experienced with all of your senses, as slow and delicate as possible.