What is it?
Journey is a hauntingly beautiful indie game released in 2012. It was made by Thatgamecompany for the PS3 and produced by Robin Hunicke. The concept for the game was incredibly experimental and different from other games being released at the time and won several “game of the year” awards.
The player controls a robed figure in a post-apocalyptic desert, choosing to interact with other players or travelling alone in a journey towards a distant mountain. Along the way, you encounter remnants of the former civilisation in the form of ancient automatons. The story is told through the player’s experiences in the changing environment, interaction with other players and cutscenes.
The player walks through the game and can jump and control the camera angle. When another player is encountered online, you interact through a chime sound rather than speech or text, and they remain anonymous to you. No text is shown on the screen at all throughout the game, except for the opening and closing credits.
Women and the Game
Before joining Thatgamecompany to work on Journey, Robin Hunicke began her career at Maxis studio working on The Sims 2 and quickly rose through the ranks. In 2013, she co-founded independent games studio Funomena with Martin Middleton and now frequently teaches and lectures on game design.
Robin has been hailed as one of the most influential game designers in the US and her work on Journey was critically acclaimed for its unique take on storytelling, focussing on emotion and experience rather than following traditional notions of gameplay and narrative structure. Robin’s approach to game design is to begin with an emotion she wishes to evoke in the player and build the mechanics and dynamics from there.
Check out a walkthrough of Journey here.
Interview with Robin Hunicke by Game Careers on YouTube
Interview with Robin Hunicke by Game/Show on YouTube
Interview with Robin Hunicke by The Guardian