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Journey -game design and human behavior

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:35 pm
by darkly
Jenova Chen -creative director and co-founder of thatgamecompany (who made Journey) believes "It's the game designer's job to evoke different sides of humanity"

For our games, we aim to share positive aspects of human nature. This is why we spend a lot of time testing and deciding what we should be emphasizing or avoiding in the design, so that the players behave differently and more positively in the community.

This is what’s interesting about their games. With Journey they made specific changes in the game design based on observations during beta testing to encourage and promote positive behavior. For instance this is the reason why player communication is completely non verbal and done through musical chimes. They wanted the players to create an emotional connection with another player (source

Have you played Journey? If so, did you enjoy playing with another player?

My experience on playing Journey with another player (don't read if you haven't played).
Spoiler: (Highlight to read)
I've had many encounters with other players, if we managed to stay together all the way to the end, someone always draws a heart in the snow

Info on Journey (for those of you who doesn't know what it is)
Journey is a short indie game originally released for PS3 and later for PS4 as well. It's the sort of game that you can finish in one evening.

Find out more here:

Re: Thatgamecompany puts emphasis on player emotions

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:54 pm
by darkly
An excellent analysis of the design of Journey by thatgamecompany:

If you’ve played the game, you know that although it can be played with another player, it isn’t a co-op or a multiplayer game. Playing with someone is optional. But how do you design a game were you don’t need the other player, but you want them? And how do you design a game so as to encourage people to connect on an emotional level?

Typically with co-op or multiplayer games there will be all these different interactions going on. Depending on what kind of game it is, people will start to compete with each other etc. and so the social dynamic changes.

By gradually removing things and changing the way that you can interact with another person and the reason for why you’d want to interact with them (needing them to push that level vs not needing them to proceed in the game), it then becomes more about emotionally connecting to another person.