The Inspiration And Goal Behind thatgamecompany’s Journey

By Ishaan . January 11, 2011 . 2:27pm

thatgamecompany, the developers of Fl0w and Fl0wer are working on a new PS3 game for the PlayStation Network, titled Journey. If you haven’t been keeping up, Journey is a game about simple exploration, and not much else.


Inspired by the art of Giorgio de Chirico, who was also the inspiration for the Japanese cover of Ico, the unique catch in Journey is that you can explore with other people, online. There are no multiplayer lobbies or matchmaking, but players can enter anyone’s game to cooperate and explore alongside them. Here’s a trailer to give you an idea.


Sid Shuman at Sony Computer Entertainment recently interviewed thatgamecompany founder, Jenova Chen, to ask just what Journey is about. Chen’s reply was:


“You will be…Journey-ing. Moving from point A to point B. [laughter] The problem is, moving is very boring. In World of Warcraft, you’re always moving…and waiting. So in Journey, we have things to spice up the moving. You can surf the sand dunes, collect cloth to fly over larger distances, cooperate with another player to get faster travel…sometimes you can ride things.”


The surfing element was added because the designers felt simply walking wouldn’t be fun enough, and adding a jump button would make players hop instead of walking.


The only two buttons the game uses are for “Calling,” which lets you communicate with other players and collect cloth patches, and another button for flying. Camera control in Journey is handled via the PlayStation controller’s motion-sensors. With Journey, Chen said, thatgamecompany hope to stimulate player’s brains, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

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  • Ereek

    I love ThatGameCompany. They have a way of making seemingly dull ideas interesting.

  • badmoogle

    I’m glad they took some inspiration from a game like Ico instead of a game like COD.:p
    Seriously though the Journey is one of my most awaited games this year and exploration is perhaps my favourite aspect in video game design so i’m sure i’ll enjoy this a lot!

  • Chow

    Giorgio de Chirico? I KNEW IT! ;)

    …but why in the world would anybody want to control the camera with motion controls? Hopefully that doesn’t mean the usual lateral 360 camera viewpoint control, but maybe a more “drunken” swaying camera control?

    • Pesmerga00

      That does seem odd. Maybe it’s something like Lost Odyssey where it’s fixed but you can pan the camera around.

      Either way seems interesting. I looking forward to it. Their games are always so pretty and relaxing. I would like to see a dynamic theme as well.

  • PersonaBull

    This game looks so interesting to me as it does because this is exactly what I do in most any game. Assassin’s Creed? Jump around buildings going in circles. In FFX I’d move around with Tidus by repeatedly mashing the circle button to make him “HOVER-TIDUS!” Portal? Oh look a big open room, let me take about 3 extra hours on this particular level.

    My question is this: can you talk? I feel like it would be a lot more interesting, at least for me, to be able to talk to people as I journeyed with them.

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