We were thrilled we got the opportunity to unveil our current PSN project, “Journey” at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, because we hate secrets and are terrible at keeping them. So now we don’t have to worry *quite* as much, although because we are still in development there are some aspects of “Journey” that still remain a mystery to us. We feel very honored to be able to work at pushing the boundaries of video games to see what other experiences it can provide, and I think you’ll see that “Journey” is no exception to this goal.
The inspiration for Journey came from Jenova’s feeling that in the modern world where man has so much power, we have lost an integral aspect of the human experience – awe towards the unknown. And we can see this in our video games as well. But don’t take it from me! Here’s Jenova to talk about it more:
In today’s society, man is powerful – We can travel at 60 mph; we can fly; we can connect with just about anyone, anywhere, at anytime. But on the street, people pass by each other ignoring the wonderful existence of other beings. We are overwhelmed by the attention needed to gain and execute our own power – just like we are in most video games. While we are doing that, we can become isolated and insecure deep inside our mind.
On the contrary, when we are hiking in the wild, we become tiny and weak again. These feelings make every other person we encounter much more important and enjoyable. We greet them, giving them genuine and useful help. We might travel together for a period, learn from and rely on each other. Struggling against the dangerous nature together, somehow, makes us warm and powerful inside. (This doesn’t make any rational sense, but somehow that’s how I feel. And I’m sure many of us do.)
While most video games offer the sense of empowerment in the online gaming experience, we felt the player will pay more attention to the other players if they are less distracted by the power, and the online gaming experience will be quite unique if it carries the feeling of awe towards the unknown. In a world where the majority of the players are distracted by technology, evoking a sense of awe and mystery could be very refreshing and powerful.
To realize these goals, we aimed to create a world that feels vast and somewhat unfamiliar. And so the game begins with a character waking up in a desert, with no clues as to what might have happened before or what will happen later. There’s only a tall mountain in the distance, beckoning the player to set out and explore.
As you travel through the world, you may encounter a stranger who is on his or her own journey. But we don’t want to talk too much about the online experience right now. In part, because we really don’t want to inform your own experience of it; also, because we really enjoy seeing what happens when experiences come without explanation. But there’s plenty of time left for us to talk about it in the future…
One thing is for certain: we love getting to talk about a new project! It means that we can’t just navel-gaze about our own work anymore. It’s out there. You’re responding to it! And it also means we’re that much closer to getting the game into your hands. So we’d like to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone who has already expressed words of encouragement – they really do help!