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Journey PS4 photo
Journey PS4

Journey, The Unfinished Swan announced for PS4


Finally!
Aug 12
// Kyle MacGregor
After months of whispers, rumors and leaks, Journey and The Unfinished Swan are officially confirmed for PlayStation 4, thatgamecompany and Giant Sparrow revealed today. The enhanced versions are being handled by developers Tricky Pixels and Armature Studio, respectively. Journey and The Unfinished Swan Coming to PS4 [PlayStation Blog]
thatgamecompany photo
thatgamecompany

thatgamecompany raises $7M for next game


Investment to 'scale up development efforts' and more
May 27
// Jordan Devore
Hearing stories about the development of Journey, we're fortunate thatgamecompany was able to pull through and finish the game given its financing woes. At least for the time being, the studio is set -- an additional $7 milli...
Smithsonian photo
Smithsonian

Smithsonian adds Flower and Halo 2600 to its collection


These are two wildly different titles added to the collection
Dec 17
// Alasdair Duncan
The Smithsonian American Art Museum has added another two videogames to its ever- expanding collection: thatgamecompany's Flower and Halo 2600, developed by Ed Fries. Whilst Flower had already been showcased at the 2012's Art...

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flOw releasing on PlayStation 4 next week


Into the blue again; into the silent water
Dec 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
flOw, the first PS3 game released by thatgamecompany, will soon be making its appearance on PlayStation 4. In a post to the PlayStation Blog, Sony Santa Monica producer Eric Fong announced that the title will be available on ...
Flower out now on Vita photo
Flower out now on Vita

Flower out now on PS Vita with cross-buy for PS3, PS4


thatgamecompany's tour de force glides to new platforms
Nov 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Flower has taken root on PlayStation Vita in North America and is now available for $6.99 via the PlayStation Store. The transcendent environmentalist adventure supports cross-buy across all platforms, and will arri...
PS4 photo
PS4

Journey, Unfinished Swan might be coming to PS4 (Update)


Sony Santa Monica creative director teases potential releases
Nov 03
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: "Lots of people asking so I'll clarify. Was nostalgic playing the PS4 versions of the games so I busted out the PS3 to replay some others," Gary said in a follow-up on Twitter, adding he believes Journ...
PS4 photo
PS4

Flower and Sound Shapes are PS4 launch titles


With Escape Plan and flOw to follow soon after
Oct 16
// Jordan Devore
Joining thatgamecompany's zen game Flower on PlayStation 4 -- which will run at a smooth 60 frames per second, in 1080p -- is the studio's earlier work, flOw; Queasy Games' musical platformer Sound Shapes; and one of the earl...
PS4 photo
PS4

Flower on PlayStation 4 runs at 1080p, 60 FPS


Extra grass detail! Guys!
Oct 04
// Jordan Devore
Did you know that Flower was coming to PlayStation 4? I guess I did, technically, but I've since completely forgotten -- until now. Sony Santa Monica director of technology Tim Moss has been tweeting about the new version and...
TGC photo
TGC

'No one is doing what we're doing,' says thatgamecompany


Co-founder is both 'proud' of and 'worried' about new game
Aug 06
// Jordan Devore
In a New Yorker piece covering Journey, Flower, and Flow developer thatgamecompany, the publication got a few more tidbits out of co-founder Jenova Chen regarding the team's next game. In line with his prior comments about it...
thatgamecompany photo
thatgamecompany

New thatgamecompany title will relate to a wider audience


'It's a natural evolution of everything we are doing'
Jul 01
// Jordan Devore
Ah, Journey. I thought I was a total latecomer, having picked it up during a holiday sale late last year -- but thatgamecompany's thoughtful PlayStation 3 game continues to sell well. "We made the money back last year, the...
thatgamecompany photo
thatgamecompany

thatgamecompany on post-Journey problems & the future


Company co-founder Jenova Chen dishes out some details
Jun 21
// Steven Hansen
The practically perfect Journey has received no shortage of compliments, awards and cold, hard sales. The latter, one might expect, should have ensured smooth sailing going forward at thatgamecompany, but according to thatgam...
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Sup Holmes welcomes that game developer Kellee Santiago


Get to know the people that make great videogames
Jun 16
// Jonathan Holmes
Today on Sup Holmes we are joined by Kellee Santiago, formerly of thatgamecompany and current head of developer relations for Ouya. We'll be talking to Kellee about how she got into development, the formation of thatgamecompa...
Keita Takahashi photo
Keita Takahashi

Katamari creator goes indie, joins former Journey devs


Keita Takahashi working on game with San Francisco-based indie devs
Jun 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Kamatari creator Keita Takahashi is working a new game with Funomena, a fledgling indie studio founded earlier this year by former thatgamecompany developers. Announced at the Horizon conference in Los Angeles yesterday, the ...
Journey CE photo
Journey CE

Journey Collector's Edition makes its way to Europe


Europe gets some delayed love from Sony
Apr 18
// Raz Rauf
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...
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thatgamecompany's new game will 'change the industry'


Says former studio member
Apr 08
// Dale North
Asher Vollmer blogged about how he had a hard time leaving thatgamecompany to make his own games. I imagine it couldn't have been easy to step away from such a great game making team, especially after the wild succe...
Journey photo
Journey

Journey devs cave with 'Rocket Death Match' DLC


'A whole new journey'
Apr 01
// Jordan Devore
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...

Journey inspired by World of Warcraft, loneliness

Mar 29 // Steven Hansen
“Three minutes is a good amount of time to walk to your death” Designing this new idea from ground up, then, was a highly iterative process. While prototyping with co-op play, “Sony kept telling us the game could have great multiplayer, but it needs to have single-player.” Concepts were thrown together in 2D to explore how to deal with cooperative play, many of which failed to translate into 3D. Initially, the multiplayer could include up to four players, but play testing showed that caused pairing schisms; or, worse, three players leaving the fourth out.  Early concept art for Journey is decidedly more intricate than the final result, but much of the game’s framework was set down immediately. The issue was pacing. After the second year of development, the game was effectively done. The trailer from that milestone would closely reflect the final trailer, but the entire last third of the game needed to be reworked to provide appropriate catharsis. An entirely new set of animations was created for the last third of the game in an effort to convey its message more accurately.  Initially, Journey’s playable avatars were entirely humanoid, looking more like ninjas or as if they were students going to kendo practice. This was eventually pared down, as were much of the game’s systems. Matchmaking was removed so people wouldn't get irritated they couldn't chat with their friends. Soon after release, people would post messages to their unknown companions on the forum, apologizing for disconnects or thanking them for making the journey with them.  When he met the man who drove the first lunar rover, Chen asked him about the experience. The reply was, “On the moon there is nothing. There is no sound because there’s no air. And the earth is so small…you’re on this strange place where there’s nothing and no sound. You can’t stop but thinking ‘Why?’ ‘Why are we here?’” Journey allows you to share that pensive isolation with another, though it also works perfectly well as an offline, single-player journey. It captures the same widespread isolation and sense of existential curiosity so well.  Chen opened the talk explaining how other mediums define their genres based on the feeling a piece evokes, whereas games, in a holdover from the more simplistic past, define genres based purely on mechanical systems. He also noted how he tired of power fantasy games as he grew up, noting “if there are a variety of feelings in entertainment, it will make gaming a more healthy medium,” all of which I agree with. The larger part of the industry is heavily skewed toward escapism and power fantasy, less concerned with emotion than re-skinning the same tried and true mechanics.  Toward the end of the talk Chen puzzlingly pondered whether or not the extra year of development, which marked the second time they pushed the game back, was worth it. If you remember, the team eventually had to put up its own money to finally get Journey out. Yet, with all the (well-deserved) awards and critical acclaim, I think the answer is evident. Perhaps it was a rhetorical or perhaps it was the result of Chen’s humble, affecting personality.  Anyway, at the end I stood in applause.
Chen speaks, you listen photo
Some notes and tidbits from Jenova Chens insightful GDC talk on Journey
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 stand...

Game of the Year et al. photo
Game of the Year et al.

Journey kills at the Game Developers Choice Awards


More than half of the awards, including Game of the Year
Mar 28
// Steven Hansen
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 ...
Awards photo
Awards

Journey wins big at the BAFTA Game Awards


The Walking Dead and Unfinished Swan win two awards each
Mar 06
// Alasdair Duncan
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...
Journey  photo
Journey

Journey composer shares a text commentary on his score


Grammy-nominated Austin Wintory
Mar 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
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....
A brand new indie studio photo
A brand new indie studio

Journey art director opens new studio, Giant Squid


'We believe that video games can be more than a pastime'
Mar 02
// Allistair Pinsof
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...
PlayStation evolution photo
PlayStation evolution

Latest Sony retrospective video is all about the games


Evolution of PlayStation
Feb 19
// Jordan Devore
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...
thatgamecompany photo
thatgamecompany

Journey's Jenova Chen investigating free-to-play, mobile


Calls F2P 'exciting and also really dangerous'
Feb 15
// Jordan Devore
Expanding his thoughts on wanting the studio's next game to be more commercially viable, thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen spoke with Games Industry International about free-to-play gaming and Kickstarter. "[Mobile and f...
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Journey dev: Touch control the 'most universal' interface


thatgamecompany looking for controls that appeal to the widest audience
Feb 12
// Jim Sterling
thatgamecompany boss Jenova Chen believes touchscreens are becoming an increasing part of our gaming lives, and its presence in phones, tablets, consoles and PCs makes it a truly universal interface. As some gamers still rail...
thatgamecompany photo
thatgamecompany

Journey dev hints at next game, wants 'financial success'


Jenova Chen: 'My resolution is to create a big financial success'
Feb 11
// Jordan Devore
At the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit, thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen spoke at length about creating Journey, revealing that the studio ran out of money after significant delays which ultimately resulted in the game many of us ...
Dtoid Show photo
Dtoid Show

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


Also: The Destructoid Show is being weird and stupid again
Feb 08
// Max Scoville
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...
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Journey: Chen wanted emotional connections from MMOs


WoW player looking for more
Feb 07
// Dale North
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 ...

Journey took thatgamecompany into bankruptcy

Feb 07 // Dale North
[SPOILER ALERT] Chen told a story about how one play tester had the game freeze on them at the end, where your character dies. While the game's ending was not testing well at the end of the second year, this particular player was moved as ending it all before ascending the summit made for the perfect tragedy ending. This got Chen and his team thinking about how they could dig down deeper to make the final emotional wave -- from depth to climax -- more moving. They approached Sony to ask for another year to reach the emotional bandwidth they knew they could it, but even with that extension granted, the work went even beyond this third year. Chen said that in the last half year some staffers worked unpaid. They dipped into their own funds to finish, taking them to bankruptcy in the last year.  But the time they spent that last year really made Journey. They did so much work in making sure the player went through every emotion. For example, near the end on the mountain, in the snow, they created new animations for the journey to show a struggle, making the player feel weaker and less capable. They added new areas in the mountain section, and worked in the stone serpent to heighten the experience. The summit, the game's glorious ending section, was originally on rails in earlier versions. They switched it to be free-roaming, added surfing from the beginning, and made sure that players had total freedom to walk toward the light.  Chen said three of the 25 testers of the final version cried at completion.
Struggles of Journey photo
Went one year over budget
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 ...

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Try not to cry from reading this Journey fan mail


*sniffle*
Feb 07
// Dale North
thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen shared this fan letter during his D.I.C.E. Summit 2013 presentation today on his team's journey making Journey. Your game practically changed my life. It was the most fun I had with him since he...
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Journey, Dishonored top Game Developers Choice Awards


Nominees announced
Jan 24
// Dale North
The nominees for the 2013 Game Developers Choice Awards are in, and it looks like Journey, Dishonored and The Walking Dead are leading. Hey, those were our favorite games too. Journey took six nominations as the top favorite,...

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