After sweeping the Game Choice Awards last night, thatgamecompany's Jenov Chen discusses the design of the endlessly lauded Journey at the 2013 Game Developers Conference. Check out the highlights and insight below!
Games are like emotional nourishment. While film is mature and diverse, early video games have a smaller emotional pallette. A lot of games are about empowerment, particularly those targeting a young demographic. "In a way, a feeling about freedom really appeals to this age group." But now, with more freedom as Chen grows older, those stories of empowerment are less appealing than emotional experiences.
Back in 2006, Chen already had an idea for Journey. Three years into playing World of Warcraft, he felt connected to other playe…Read more >
Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest and longest-running gaming professionals industry event. The conference contains 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on a comprehensive selection of game development topics taught by leading industry experts. GDC 2013 begins March 25th and lasts March 29th.
This year, Journey will featured in a panel session, focusing on the method acting and interactive storytelling. The summary can be found below. We would like to ask, is there any elements or details of this session that you would be interested in getting more information about? How about any questions that you would like answered? Let us know in the comments: we will be attending this session, and can help g…Read more >
I've seen posts of users discussing what the story of Journey actually means, what the conflict of the story is and why the Traveler is attempting to reach the mountain. I personally think that's looking at it the wrong way. I originally attempted to understand the story in that manner and all the answers I came up with were very vague. Then I thought, "If this is an artistic game, why am I trying to understand it like an episode of "Lost" or a game of "Call of Duty?" I realized I had to think about it in metaphors, rather than a coherent storyline. For example, the ending of the Journey, where the Traveler returns to the beginning of his/her quest. If I were trying to think about it like a storyline, it would make no sense, because that w…Read more >
So if you've played Journey, you've probably had to sit through all those mysterious cutscenes-but what exactly do they mean?
In particular, the ones involving the Ancient Glyphs are incredibly fascinating, because the player is merely shown the images. There is no dialogue, no words, nothing of any kind that shows what eactly is going on in these images. Even the ending is ambiguous- *SPOILER! it seems as though your player (who appears to be the chosen one in the glyphs) walks into a white light...and is reborn. *SPOILER END!*
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's been bothering me a little that I can't figure out what's going on. Does anyone have any theories or ideas as to the backstory and plotline of Journey? Share …Read more >
Gamasutra has interviewed thatgamecompany's Robin Hunicke about the company's approach to development, including Journey. Here's an interesting snippet:
- "Visuals, sound and movement... it all has to come together, and when it doesn't, it's usually obvious," she says, and then laughs: "It's usually painfully obvious."
- Even making small adjustments, such as moving the placement of a light or changing the angle of nearby visual signals to ensure the player's eye is being drawn in the correct direction is important. "This is one of the things that's great about having the time to work on Journey that we've had, and iterate over a longer period of time," she says. "We can make changes to the fundamental mechanics."
- There is something of a risk in o…