Journey

Speak your mind, or lack thereof. There may occasionally be on-topic discussions.
User avatar
Green Gibbon!
BUTT CHEESE
Posts: 4648
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 11:39 am
Now Playing: Bit Trip Complete
Location: A far eastern land across the sea
Contact:

Re: Journey

Post by Green Gibbon! »

I think there's an overcompensating reaction here to the arty airhead praise this game apparently gets - and that is completely understandable (though no less ridiculous) - but I don't agree with the notion that a game needs the possibility failure to be compelling. Journey isn't a puzzle game. I think its unpredictability made it completely compelling. I really couldn't predict what I was going to encounter next and was eager to find out. What's around the next corner? What do these glowing runes do? Oh, my scarf is longer so what does that do? Oh, I can jump longer. Where am I supposed to go here? Oh, if I touch these banners, it builds pieces of the bridge. These aren't puzzles, but it's it's like a box of mysteries.

Not everyone will enjoy it, of course, but complaining that "it's not like all these other games" is a pretty weak criticism. The one serious problem is that it is so expendable. You really can only play it once. Granted, I almost never play a game more than once anyway no matter how much I enjoy it, but I mean this is like two hours at best. It's an awesome two hours, but it's only two hours. Ever.

User avatar
Crisis
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:15 pm

Re: Journey

Post by Crisis »

I think expendability is built into the game's design, though. Any longer and they would have had to pad things out, or create artificial incentives to play more than once. Compare and contrast to Dear Esther, which expects you to complete it multiple times in order to catch maybe 30 seconds of unique, forgettable dialogue per 30 minutes of play through.

User avatar
Green Gibbon!
BUTT CHEESE
Posts: 4648
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 11:39 am
Now Playing: Bit Trip Complete
Location: A far eastern land across the sea
Contact:

Re: Journey

Post by Green Gibbon! »

I've actually been debating with myself whether or not that's a flaw or to what extent it is. Obviously Journey is based on discovery, and you can only "discover" anything once, but it's still a really awesome once that there's no other way to emulate.

I do think it could've been longer - much longer - but that would've required a budget I'm sure they didn't have.

User avatar
Cuckooguy
LEGEND
Posts: 757
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 12:27 am
Now Playing: Sonic Generations 3DS, Asura's Wrath
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: Journey

Post by Cuckooguy »

I just finished Journey, I thought it was a lovely experience. It's mostly about discovery and braving the unknown, and with braving that unknown you're treated to some very lovely setpieces.

User avatar
Crisis
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:15 pm

Re: Journey

Post by Crisis »

Jenova Chen explains how and why he created Journey. (Contains spoilers)

I was pleased to discover that the inspiration for the game mostly came from MMOs. Throughout this thread, people have speculated that the game's primary theme was "discovery". I really didn't like that idea, for two reasons: firstly because discovery isn't a very interesting theme by itself, and secondly because it's been explored to death in other games. I mostly kept my mouth shut, though, because it seemed very plausible that it really was the core experience of the game, and the multiplayer was an afterthought.

From the sounds of the talk, however, the opposite was true - most of the development time went into the multiplayer, while the solo experience was more or less complete relatively early on. The thrill of discovery does come up, but as part of a broader theme about spirituality and the unknown. I'm not a very spiritual person, but on reflection, Journey does seem to emulate a spiritual experience, with long sections that are clearly deliberate and meaningful but without any explanation as to what the meaning is.

It was also interesting to hear that the last 2 levels were by far the hardest sections to develop, taking over a year in total. Jenova's closing points are bittersweet - the game's extensive development brought the company to the brink of financial ruin and several key members were forced to leave, but it's obvious that he has no regrets.

Post Reply