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Embracing failure: We're all losers and that's OK photo
Embracing failure: We're all losers and that's OK
by Steven Hansen

As I was knee deep in the glorious Persona 4: Golden, something curious happened. A heavy 50 hours into the game after something resembling a climax, the game ended. It was an ending that felt hollow, strangely devoid of resolution. Something was off. After being treated to a bleak cutscene, everything was over, with little fanfare. It didn't seem right and so I took to the internet to find I had received a bad ending. One of them. Nowhere near the worst one -- I didn't mess up that badly -- but a wholly unsatisfactory one. I reloaded my save, corrected my slight error, and, as it turns out, there were another 30 hours of gameplay waiting for me. That's a lot.

I couldn't help but wonder how many people might have gotten to one of the early alternate endings and thought that was that. Surely everyone would have that drive to figure out what was really going down with so many plot threads left limp, right? That moment was a little sobering. The game was putting the impetus on me. I had to be paying attention. Close attention, it turns out, because there were a few more unwanted endings I could wind up going down if I didn't do some careful detective work.

Failure is fantastic.

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2:45 PM on 04.18.2013

Journey Collector's Edition makes its way to Europe

Journey was the little game that could -- the indie David that took on the triple-A blockbuster Goliaths of the gaming world...and won. It was critically acclaimed, won a plethora of awards, and perhaps most importa...

Raz Rauf

1:30 PM on 04.01.2013

Journey devs cave with 'Rocket Death Match' DLC

On this fine April day, Journey developer thatgamecompany has uploaded an announcement video for a new add-on that seeks to please everyone who didn't enjoy the experimental game. Too little gameplay, you say? Not enough fig...

Jordan Devore

10:00 PM on 03.29.2013

Phantom Pain, Destiny, & A Total Eclipse of Battlefield 4

Holy moly, you guys, it's been a long week, and we had lots of news out of GDC to cover on today's Destructoid Show. For starters, EA showed off seventeen full minutes of Battlefield 4, which looks very pretty, albeit exactl...

Max Scoville



Journey inspired by World of Warcraft, loneliness  photo
Journey inspired by World of Warcraft, loneliness
by Steven Hansen

thatgamecompany founder Jenova Chen delivered a talk on Journey, right on the heels of a sweep of the Game Developer’s Choice Awards the night prior. Naturally, the room was packed full, and Chen received a lovely standing ovation at the end. Some people in the audience even went misty-eyed as Chen rounded out his presentation with some fan mail from a young girl who wrote about playing Journey with her father before she died of cancer.

When considering the state of online multiplayer games, Chen felt there was something missing. He talked about being busy with school and having no social life, instead turning to gaming as a substitute. While in the throes of World of Warcraft in 2006, before forming thatgamecompany, he noted: “The more I played this game, the more people I encountered, the more I realized I had no connection with any of these people. They just reminded me I’m a lonely person.” Just the humble and sincere delivery of that last line made me want to give Chen a hug. 

Chen found the existent system of multiplayer and connectivity failed his search for emotion and relationship building, often due to design conflicts. Item and armor created visible, often times impenetrable hierarchies. The need for resources, like loot, led to in-fighting and competition rather than cooperative play. “Another thing I got annoyed was that people would always check if you’re a guy or a girl in these online games,” Chen added. “I wanted to see a world where everyone is the same.”

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9:30 AM on 03.28.2013

Journey kills at the Game Developers Choice Awards

Game of the Year, Innovation Award, Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game. That’s 6 out of 11 total awards, and the game was ineligible for two of them (and I’m still not sure why ...

Steven Hansen



BioShock Infinite and my mom don't get along photo
BioShock Infinite and my mom don't get along
by Allistair Pinsof

It’s ironic that I once wanted games to be validated by my mom so badly, since now I give her worrisome glances as she cycles through her reality TV programming. I think we all have that one game that we think will be the game which shows our moms how glorious, beautiful, and life-altering our hobby is. There will be curbstomps that speak to the soul like Camus and rocket launchers that set fire to the heart like Stendhal. We all have those moments, and it’s unfortunate that we don’t all move past them.

Even grown journalists, in their 30s and beyond type embarrassing flowery dedications to games like Journey or Proteus, throwing a temper tantrum for their parents’ attention and affection through garish prose. I won’t name names, but you don’t have to look far for these examples -- I have no doubt we may have run a few on this website.

With all of this mind, I sat my mom down with me as I played through the first two hours of BioShock Infinite. The goal wasn’t to usher my mother into the world of “meaningful” (ugh) videogames, but to see where games stand with her now and what my feelings are toward her feelings.

As it turns out, BioShock Infinite isn’t a 10/10 in my mother’s eyes, but I can hardly care.

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4:45 PM on 03.06.2013

Journey wins big at the BAFTA Game Awards

Looks like the folks at thatgamecompany might need a new trophy cabinet after Journey picked up five BAFTA Game Awards last night at the ceremony in London. The PlayStation Network title won awards for Artistic Achievement, A...

Alasdair Duncan

9:30 PM on 03.04.2013

Journey composer shares a text commentary on his score

Leave annotations on for this one, folks. Journey composer Austin Wintory uploaded the entire Journey score filled with official and unofficial art, all with text based commentary popping up throughout this hour long listen....

Hamza CTZ Aziz

6:00 PM on 03.02.2013

Journey art director opens new studio, Giant Squid

Ask people the first thing they like about thatgamecompany's Flower and Journey and they'll likely respond: the art direction. But, maybe not anymore. Thatgamecompany art director Matt Nava left the acclaimed studio and forme...

Allistair Pinsof

7:45 PM on 02.19.2013

Latest Sony retrospective video is all about the games

The latest and perhaps final video in Sony's Evolution of PlayStation series is specifically about games rather than the hardware they were designed to run on. Hitting on the divide between games being viewed as toys and gam...

Jordan Devore

10:45 AM on 02.13.2013

New GDC talks on Dishonored, Journey, and...NASA?

This year's Game Developer's Conference, which takes place in late March in San Francisco, keeps filling up with more interesting talks and sessions. New ones announced this week are all interesting enough that I'm already tr...

Dale North

7:00 PM on 02.12.2013

David Cage is right: Violence is not essential

Earlier this week, Allistair suggested that violence is integral to immersion, that it could draw us into games that lack it even more. This was in response to a presentation given by serial pompous twit and occasio...

Fraser Brown

10:30 PM on 02.08.2013

Half-Life & Portal Movies? Rayman Delayed? What MADNESS!

What a bunch of wacky news today about the video games! There's the ongoing Rayman Legends debacle, with it being delayed for a multi-platform release, causeing devs and fans to speak out. Meanwhile, J.J. Abrahms a...

Max Scoville

6:11 PM on 02.07.2013

Journey: Chen wanted emotional connections from MMOs

Jenova Chen admitted to being "a nerdy guy that likes to stay at home" during his D.I.C.E. Summit 2013 talk on Journey, but he still wanted to connect with others, and hoped he could do so in MMOs like World of Warcraft. But ...

Dale North



Journey took thatgamecompany into bankruptcy photo
Journey took thatgamecompany into bankruptcy
by Dale North

Jenova Chen's D.I.C.E. Summit talk on my favorite game of last year, Journey, was moving for many reasons, but I was particularly moved when I heard that his team, thatgamecompany, went bankrupt in the struggle to finish the game.

After the allotted two years in development, Journey still wasn't there. It wasn't meeting the emotional peaks and valleys they had hoped to hit. This left them with a rough choice -- ship the game as is, or go back into it to make it as emotionally moving as they had originally hoped it would be.

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