Journey Dev Says Industry Can "Go Deeper on Emotion"

Journey Dev Says Industry Can "Go Deeper on Emotion"

Thatgamecompany is working on another game, and developer Jenova Chen thinks as the industry gets older, games will become more sophisticated.

Co-founder of thatgamecompany, Jenova Chen, charted new territory with games like Flow, Flower, and most recently Journey. In a market of many other games published by Sony, thatgamecompany explores the subtleties and complexities of emotions. In an interview with [ a ] list, Chen said the greatest opportunity for game designers is the ability to explore emotions.

"That feeling of killing someone used to be some pixel changed color, now it's some guy's guts are falling out," he said. "Other emotions can go a lot deeper...The new emotion that was not possible in the past should be possible in the future. What is the equivalent in a video game of a romantic film? A documentary? A drama?"

Chen remarks that to find an audience, his company relies on the game itself. Thatgamecompany wants to spark interest in their games by fostering an emotional, personal connection between the game and the player. "If people are truly moved, they will share it with other people," Chen said. He looks forward to when directing a game is similar to directing a movie, including an importance on animation, music, people, and all of the emotions involved in telling a story.

Games have changed greatly, but the industry is still young. With the company's contract with Sony finished, thatgamecompany will self-publish their next game. There are still many seas to explore in what he calls the "blue ocean" of gaming markets.

Source: [ a ] list


All I can hear is David Cage going "Emotions" over and over and over and over.....

This guy's just like David Cage ... except that he's not full of crap.

I guess you could complain about the "gameplay" elements of Journey, but I definitely rank several moments in that game as the most interesting I've ever had. Both involved other players and one would involve spoilers. The non-spoiler moment was when another more experienced player sort of "took a bullet" for me.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what comes next from Jenova Chen. I think he's out of his Sony contract now, so hopefully that will be on the PC as well as all the consoles.

EDIT: Ha, I wrote this before seeing the comment above.

That's very optimistic of this Chen person. Well, I hope to see more interesting games from him and his company, so good luck with that.

Obligatory "must go deeper" reference.

Other than that, I want this to happene. More than that, I'll finally be able to play some of thatgamecompany's games, since I don't have a playstation. I sorely ache to have missed Journey.

I like the cut of this guy's jib. Nicely optimistic without sounding like an excuse or pretentious drivel.

Wait a minute. Jenova Chen? Is that his real name or were his parent just massive FFVII fans?

All I can hear is David Cage going "Emotions" over and over and over and over.....

Same here... thanks Jim...

OT: I agree, and many of my favourite games are those that have tried to harness an emotion other than "rage". Although I am beginning to see the negative aspects of this as well. People are starting to criticise specific games for not being deep or complex, even if the developers have made no pretence of intending them to be so.

Deeper games with more emotional stories is something I'd like, but many people seem to expect all games to follow suit, much in the same way that linearity started to become a dirty word in gaming. Games that focus on enjoyable game-play over a strong story are being directly compared alongside other games that are trying to be something completely different, and are unfairly being criticised for it.

With films you wouldn't compare Pacific Rim to Schindlers List after all, but for some reason with gaming that kind of comparison seems to be commonplace.

Emotion is the new immersion, i really hope publishers starts writing about it in the bulletpoints on the back of the box: Contains 10+ Emotions, Rage, Anger, Profound Sadness and many many more!
It needs to stop...

I've been thinking a lot about storytelling in games, i even spent most of my years on the university studying it, but by now i'm kinda reaching the conclusion that the medium has ir's limitations. You can tell an involving story, but games are much better at involving gameplay and i really think the story tends to get in the way of that and most often it just ends up feeling clunky. I've had enough of half-life style walking around and people talking while i try to concentrate on playing the actual game. Then there's the cutscene, which kinda works, but yeah... you know... Story works best for me when it's just a matter of characters and subtle world building through level design.

Story works best for me when it's just a matter of characters and subtle world building through level design.

That is what Journey is basically. Nobodies speaking overhead, and you can divert from the trail (which nests upgrades and back-story in hieroglyph form ).

I can honestly say I loved how the game can get by without saying or telling you anything. You are given three instructions, analog stick to walk sixasis (or right analog stick) to turn camera and X to jump. Doesn't say; go here, talk to this person, jump here, do that, blah, blah, blah. Every indication of the way you're supposed to be going is indicated in the level design.


Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
Register for a free account here