The first thing I bought when I finally acquired a shiny PS3 back in 2008 was Flower by That Game Company. When I first saw the footage for Flower as PS3 launch promo, I was blown away by the art over entertainment values that rarely show up in the console space.
Flower is designed to simply immerse the player in a beautiful world, with minimal controls (only the tiling of a controller and a single button) giving the sense of free motion and flight.
Months ago a friend showed me the below footage of TGC’s next PS3 title, Journey:
Journey is the epitome of show-not-tell interactive story telling. This is something that I like to call Narrative Mechanics, where the camera, controls, aesthetics, and game design all work in harmony to create the story, instead of heavily overacted cut scenes, or pieces of text and dialogue. In fact the entire experience has no actual speech save for the title screen, the story is entirely conveyed through narrative mechanics and a few non verbal cutscenes that use glyphs.
The entire Journey experience will span just a few hours, which for me is a bonus (I miss out on a regular basis with games requiring 10 – 40 hrs to complete, I simply don’t have the time these days).
As the divide deepens between Angry Birds and Modern Warfare, I hope we see more rich 15$ console experiences like this emerge.
Games are better for the work of TGC.