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For its games developments, the RMN has forged a successful partnership with a
company which specialises in this area, Cryo.
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Following Versailles, Cryo Interactive
Entertainment
in conjunction with RMN and the Palace of Versailles developed the
second part of this historical adventure, entitled Versailles II, The Testimony of the King.
This game takes the player to the Palace of Versailles and the court of King Louis XIV
during the most important event of his reign: the inheritance of the throne of Spain.The
game story presents the two possible successors, the French King Louis XIV and the
German Emperor Leopold I, try everything from diplomatic missions to espionage to
accede to the spanish crown.
England and Holland are attempting secretly to make separate arrangements with the
French King. On this vast historical scenery, the young, penniless Charles-Louis de
Faverolles arrives in Paris in 1699. His only treasure is a recommendation letter but his
ambitions are for a diplomatic career at the Court of Spain where he spent his childhood
and fell in love with the noble Elvira. In order to succeed, the young man has to over-
come many plots and obstacles.
An essential characteristic of the game is the historical validation of its content. As one
of the authors of the game, Béatrix Saule, conservator at the Palace of Versailles says, `The
aim of the game is to make the player revive the history.The problem was to conciliate
the game with the real historical facts. In order to solve it, it was necessary to follow the
events describing them with details and trying to find out episodes where incertitude
could be introduced with a high level of authenticity.' In fact, this is the key to producing
a game of this sort: exploiting uncertainty for situations where the player must make
decisions comparable to those in the real historical scenario.
The documentary base of the game is presented in the form of a journal, containing a
vast collection of reference material from the court to refresh the player's knowledge, or
to allow him to learn about this period of history. At the same time, items found in the
journal will be helpful for making correct decisions during the game. Documents are
grouped under five main topics: A Town Within a Town; Princes and Subjects;The Court
Within Its Garden; Public and Private Histories; and Life at Court.The developers
enhanced the sense of authenticity by incorporating among other audio features baroque
music from the period. Help facilities are built into the product.
The game was developed by an eclectic team including some 20 specialists such as
conservators, historians, special effects and game designers, programmers, musicians and
garden and fountain experts.
The game is offered on CD-ROM and DVD for the PC and Mac environments.Two
other collaborations between Cryo and RMN, Egypt and Forbidden City, have already
been adapted for DVD. Programs have been developed to use the DVD-ROM's potential
for storing images, video, sound and animation which was applied in the RMN products
Louvre: a virtual visit and The 20th Century, the latter produced jointly with
Encyclopaedia Universalis
.
Cryo
offers other games oriented to historical periods presenting the history of
(among other places) Egypt, Jerusalem, Pompeii, and China.What makes a noticeable dif-
ference with this particular experience is the careful study of historical setting and the
incorporation of real historical facts into a game.
Games Technology
163
115 http://www.cryo.fr