PlayStation 3

The Inspiration And Goal Behind thatgamecompany’s Journey


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.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.