Press kit — A Mortician's Tale
A Mortician's Tale is a narrative-driven death positive video game where you play as a mortician tasked with running a funeral home. Take on the role of recent funeral direction graduate Charlie as she learns the ropes of the business and industry. Prepare the cadavers of the deceased (via embalming or cremation), attend their funerals and listen to their loved ones' stories, and interact with Charlie's coworkers, clients, and bosses. A Mortician's Tale is an informative, honest, and sometimes humorous look at the current state of and the future of the western death industry.
Laundry Bear's debut game and current project, A Mortician's Tale is greatly inspired by the works of Caitlin Doughty, The Order of the Good Death, and the death positive movement. After reading Caitlin's book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, A Mortician's Tale designer and artist Gabby DaRienzo (Graceful Explosion Machine, Celeste, Parkitect) was inspired to make a game about the western death industry. She originally created a simple pixel art prototype using PICO-8 that she called Mortuary Simulator, but after receiving a large amount of interest in the game and genuine questions about the death industry, Gabby decided to team up with game developer Andrew Carvalho (Soundshapes, LOUD On Planet X) to make it a full 3D game. They have since collaborated with musician Halina Heron (Moon Hunters, The Beginner's Guide, The Yawhg), illustrator Jacquelin de Leon (The Sirens of San Francisco), sound designer Jen Costa (Fate Tectonics), writer Kaitlin Tremblay (Ain't No Place for a Hero, Those Who Make Us, Say When), and audio programmer Robby Duguay (Graceful Explosion Machine, We Are Doomed) to bring A Mortician's Tale to life. A Mortician's Tale is made possible with support by Ontario Arts Council.
- Explore the colorful world of Rose and Daughters Funeral Home — from the morgue itself to the viewing room where funerals take place
- Prepare 8 different cadavers using realistic tools and procedures involved with traditional burials and cremations
- Talk to the deceased's loved ones, discover their stories, and learn how each of them mourns in different ways
- Follow Charlie's journey at Rose and Daughters Funeral Home as it transitions from a family-run business to being bought and owned by a massive funeral conglomerate and beyond
- Discover some real life truths about the current state of and future of the western funeral industry
A Mortician's Tale Teaser Trailer (YouTube)
Awards and Recognition
- "Official Selection, Double Fine's Day of the Devs" San Francisco, Fall 2016
- "Official Selection, Different Games Toronto" Toronto, Spring 2017
- "...It's rare for a game to feature death that actually feels real, that helps you understand the losses we will all inevitably face. A Mortician's Tale is trying to go there, by mixing a serious subject (dealing with dead bodies) with a crazy, cute art style and satisfying game mechanics."
— Rachel Weber, Rolling Stone (Glixel) — 'A Mortician's Tale': Inside a Death-Positive Video Game
- "This is a quietly understated and oddly beautiful tale of what happens when we die and what a mortician has to do to make sure the funeral process goes as smoothly as possible. It might seem an odd subject, but this is a labour of love on behalf of an industry that rarely gets much."
— Louise Blain, GameMaster Magazine — IndieMaster: The Best of the Indie Scene
- "It’s got an original soundtrack and pastel purple art that drives home its non-emo approach to death."
— Cecilia D'Anastasio, Kotaku — You Are A Mortician In This Upcoming Game About Death
- "So I’m quite interested in A Mortician’s Tale... an upcoming game about running a funeral home. Prepare cadavers, comfort the bereaved, keep the business running… if I can 100% it, would a mortuary school accept that as class credit?"
— Alice O'Connor, Rock Paper Shotgun — A Mortician’s Tale starts handling heavy business soon
- "The game is ultimately a way to learn, engage and empathize, bridging the gap between our thanatophobic society and a more death positive future."
— Sophie Turner, Unwinnable Monthly — A Good Death: An autopsy of dying in videogames
- “Although the game’s theme is quite serious, its pretty purple art pops and reinforces the game’s Death Positive philosophies”
— Mill Yoshimura, Famitsu — 人生最後の旅立ちに、せめてひと筋の潤いを。“おくりびと”系アドベンチャー『A Mortician's Tale』【Day of the Devs】
- "After being immersed in [A Mortician's Tale] for several hours of gameplay [players] might emerge slightly more prepared for their own permadeath."
— Jennings Brown, Vocativ — You Can Embalm Dead Bodies In This Funeral Home Video Game
- "[A Mortician's Tale] is a type of moving on: one that takes us from a world where artifice and obfuscation preside to one where the grave — whatever shape it holds — is no longer a dirty word."
— Sonya Vatomsky, Haute Macabre — A Mortician's Tale: Death Positive Gaming
- "Although the topic is quite sensitive, this game which carefully and positively depicts death will quietly shake emotions, even here in Japan with a different funerary culture."
— Ryuki Ishii, AUTOMATON — ゴシック系葬儀ウーマンの日常を通じて故人の死と遺族のグリーフに触れる『A Mortician’s Tale』が開発中
- "“People are slowly becoming more interested in talking about death” and particularly alternative ways of dealing with it; there’s more interest now in natural burials, home funerals, and spending time with the body of a loved one after their death. And while A Mortician’s Tale could be seen as bleak, DaRienzo promises that it ends on a hopeful note. It’s looking toward “a more honest future, a greener future, and a loving future.”"
— Christine Ro, Inverse — Everyone Dies and This Video Game Can Help You Dea
About Laundry Bear
Laundry Bear Games is a small independent game studio founded in 2016 by Andrew Carvalho and Gabby DaRienzo. We love collaborating with friends to make strange and colourful video games.
More information on Laundry Bear Games, our logo & relevant media are available here.