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Platform PSN Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment Developer thatgamecompany Release Date 2012-03-13



Journey review: A capital venture

A crash course on human civilization for an alien race to discover. If NASA asked me today what they should send into deep space for a crash course on video games, I would suggest Journey. Journey is a third-person adventure game. You command a red-robed being who wakes up in the middle of a desert, with no knowledge of how they got there. Buffeted by harsh winds on all sides, there's no choice but to push forward, up a massive sand dune. The summit reveals a sea of headstones scattered in the distance, leading towards a mountain with a powerful light shining from the top of it. Without a word uttered, your goal is clear. That goal should be within reach to anyone who can hold a controller, courtesy of Journey's design. Controls are limited to movement, jumping and...

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Journey dev thatgamecompany raises $7M, begins 'a new phase of development'

Journey developer thatgamecompany raised $7 million in funding from Chinese private equity firm Capital Today and others, studio manager Sunni Pavlovic announced today. According to Pavlovic, the independent developer is looking to distribute, market and self-publish its future endeavors. Its first three games were backed by Sony and released as PlayStation exclusives.  The investment will also allow the studio to "scale up development efforts" on its next game, an unannounced project "in the same spirit as Flow, Flower, and Journey."  "Since finishing Journey, the team has been hard at work to make an emotionally engaging experience centered around human connections for players of all ages and backgrounds," Pavlovic wrote on the studio's official site. "We’re eager to share more...


Jenova Chen: Social games should be about an exchange of emotions, not numbers

A truly social game involves players exchanging emotions, not just helping each other boost stats, according to thatgamecompany's co-founder Jenova Chen. Speaking at the Games for Change Festival in New York this week, Chen said he takes issue with many games that market themselves as being social because he doesn't believe they encourage social behavior at all. "Social means emotional exchange, not number exchange," he said, referring to examples like Zynga's FarmVille to illustrate how most people's idea of being social is helping another player by giving them resources or stat boosts, or World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, where multiplayer matches tend to focus on killing things. "I wanted to see if I could create something that is emotional between people..." "I wanted to see...


RePlay: Symphony of Heroes concert coming to North America

"RePlay: Symphony of Heroes," an audiovisual show featuring music from video games, will make its North American debut this spring, entertainment agency Jason Michael Paul Productions announced today. The next "RePlay" performances are scheduled for March 7 and March 8 in Sydney, and the show will arrive in North America with concerts at the Mahaffey Theater (photo above) in St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 19 and April 20. Then it will travel to Atlanta for a performance at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on June 13, followed by two dates in Canada: Sept. 6 in Toronto's Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and Oct. 4 in Montreal's Place des Arts. "We are thrilled to debut this new concert series at the amazing Mahaffey Theater this spring," said Jason Michael Paul, CEO of Jason...


2014 Games for Change speakers announced

The Games for Change festival today announced its lineup of keynote speakers, including Jenova Chen, Jane McGonigal and Noah Falstein. Taking place from April 22-24, 2014, at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York, the event looks at how games can be used to improve lives. Now in its 11th year, Games for Change will be held as part of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Jenova Chen is best known as one of the designers of Journey at thatgamecompany, and a vocal proponent of video games that use emotional language. Jane McGonigal is a game designer and the author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Noah Falstein is chief game designer at Google. Other speakers will include behaviorist and author Dan Ariely; neuroscientist...


Austin Wintory wants supporters, not just fans

Talking at DICE in Las Vegas yesterday, the musician and scorer of Journey, Monaco and The Banner Saga said, "I don't like the idea of the word 'fan'. If people are fans of a piece of music that is great." But he said he did not want people to buy his music "just because it has a name on it, which is meaningless." Wintory was celebrating the digital culture that allows composers to create and share music in ways that were impossible even a few years ago. He said that the days when composing music was restricted to a highly educated elite are over. He shared an anecdote about the commercial release of the official soundtrack to Journey, and how he had encouraged people to post the whole album on YouTube. For most copyright holders, this would have been anathema, an invitation to lose...


In game design, feelings are worth more than brute force

Speaking at DICE in Las Vegas yesterday, Hunicke argued for a creative approach based on the feelings and emotions of the gamers, rather than on impressive special effects or monetization trickery. "It comes down to heart," she said. "We [the Journey team] spent a lot of time thinking about the people who were going to play the game and the experience they were going to have. It means caring about the way people are going to play. Hunicke now runs game developer Funomena which is working on various games rooted in human and emotional stories. "It means caring about the people playing the game. Instead of thinking of them as eyeballs, you are thinking about them as people, just like you." She said that exercising the "empathy muscle," is a challenge facing game developers. "Value is...

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Submit your experimental gameplay for GDC 2014 now

Submissions for the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at GDC 2014 are now open and will remain so until Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, according to a post on the event's official site. Organizers are looking for "interesting approaches to interactivity that haven't been tried before," a definition they admit is "unavoidably vague." As examples, they cite "generative games" like Flow and Spelunky, the "innovative user interfaces" of the Guitar Hero series and the "novel multiplayer interactions" of Journey. Several notable games have made their debut at the annual Experimental Gameplay Workshop, including Braid, Flow, Katamari Damacy, Portal and World of Goo. It will take place during GDC 2014, which will run from March 17-21, and Polygon will be there to bring you all the news.


Opinion: Are AAA video games destined to get lost at sea?

No, making a game is more like sending a fleet across the world. The ships are supposed to stick together, but each one charts its own course. The captains may work well together or they may hate each other, and one ship — or some of its crew — could stop off anywhere, or turn back or disappear. It's hard to get everyone to work together, but way more important than that, it's hard to agree on the goal: What are we trying to do? The first President Bush called it the "vision thing." And "vision" is a good word for it. The vision isn't some ephemeral staring-off-into-the-distance thing, and it's not an epiphany; in software development, a vision statement is a concrete tool. Typically it's one sentence that tells you exactly what the final product should be. If the final release doesn't...


Sony ships 80 million PS3 units worldwide

Sony Computer Entertainment shipped 80 million PlayStation 3 units since its launch in 2006, the company announced today. The milestone reflects the PS3's "sell-in" figure, which reflects the number of units shipped to distributers and retailers, not the number of units purchased by customers through those distribution channels. In the announcement, Sony touted exclusive games like thatgamecompany's Journey and Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, the Azurite Blue PS3 as well as PlayStation Network and PlayStation Plus as contributing to the console's longevity. Sony's next-gen successor to the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, is set to be released Nov. 15 in North America and Nov. 29 in Europe and Latin America. For more on the next-gen console, be sure to check out Polygon's hands-on...


Jenova Chen planning journeys to new emotions

Jenova Chen, thatgamecompany co-founder and creator of Journey was at the Gaming Insiders conference in San Francisco today to talk about emotion, and how he has spent his career finding new ways for gamers to "feel something new." It has, he said, been a challenge, because games have traditionally restricted themselves to a limited array of emotions. "With action games, the emotion is about empowerment," he said. "That is important to teenage boys, who want to feel like they are free. It's a very small section of the palette of human emotion. It's raw and primal." When Chen began his career, he wanted to find other emotions, he said, but there were few examples for him to follow. "Composers know what to look at when they want a specific emotion. For games it is very difficult," he...

Journey Releases
North America
  • PlayStation Network
    • Released 03/13/2012
    • Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
    • Developer thatgamecompany
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