Journey Looks to Broaden Gamers’ Emotional Palette

October 12, 2010Written by Mike Hartnett

Thatgamecompany truly set the bar for artistic, genre defining gaming when it released Flower on the PSN back in early 2009, and now their looking to do it again with their upcoming title Journey, through a mix of awe inspiring, unique visuals, and gameplay elements never before seen in an online-enabled title.

So far, little is known about Journey, other than that players will traverse across monumental landscapes designed to make the player feel small and nearly insignificant in comparison to the beauty that surrounds them. And oh yeah, in case you haven’t heard, the online play is something to behold as well. The folks over at Gamasutra managed to capture developers Jenova Chen and Robin Hunicke’s discussion during Saturday’s Indiecade,

Developers have made it quite clear that Journey will not be a strictly co-op experience. In fact, co-op is one term that  shouldn’t be expected in the final product, as players will have the ability to jump in and out of the mode at will, and aren’t forced to rely on each other to perform tasks that would normally require two individuals. This is the norm nowadays with online multiplayer games, yet somehow thatgamecompany has managed to break the mold.

Chen Stated the following:

“Most co-op games are forced collaborations. You have no choice. …Journey is not like that. Journey is not a co-op game or a two-player game. It’s a game you play together or by yourself.”

To which Hunicke added:

“The game must allow you to maintain your own identity; we need to offer the possibility to engage or disengage from shared activities. This way collaboration will be truly genuine.”

Additionally, and more-so intriguingly, those who choose to play online will not have the, often taken for granted, voice chat feature, but will instead have to find other ways to communicate, such as “shouting out” via the in-game character. This, however, is still being worked on, so the form of communication is subject to change.

“The feeling of seeing each other from great distances is very cool, but also very hard to do in a game. It’s way too easy to lose track of each other.”

Developers were also considering a reward/gifting system that had been strongly supported by Sony, but decided to scrap it, citing possible exploitation. Instead, they decided to instill a more organic system where players experience true karma based on their actions. These are just a few of the groundbreaking new concepts that thatgamecompany are looking to implement in Journey when it hits the PSN sometime in 2011. Be sure to stay tuned to PlayStation LifeStyle, as we’ll be sure to bring you all the latest news on Journey the second it breaks.