Train2Game news: How testing changed Journey after leaving producer ‘disappointed in mankind’

Train2Game students who want to see the impact testing can have on a game in development need look no further than PlayStation 3 title Journey.

Why? Because in an interview with Siliconera, Thatgamecompany’s Robin Hunicke reveals Journey previously allowed more physical interaction between players, but it resulted in them trying to kill each other, something that left her ‘disappointed in mankind’

“We were doing play tests, where we invited players to come in and play the game. However, instead of cooperating and building a relationship each other, the players just kept attacking each other and pushing each other into the pit.” said Hunicke.

“At the time, I was very disappointed in mankind; we designed all the settings so they will help each other, but they still just kill each other, as if they don’t have any morality at all.”

The Journey produced added that she spoke to a child psychologist about the issue.

“When these guys enter the game, it’s a virtual space–reality does continue into it. When that happens, they become kids, and don’t know what they’re doing is bad. In that situation, the best way to handle that isn’t to shout or hit them, but to offer feedback.”  she told her.

So Hunicke decided to remove physics from Journey to encourage players to co-operate rather than hinder each other.

“So when I went back to the prototype, we removed the physics so they couldn’t push each other into the pit.” she said.

The Train2Game Blog has previously reported on Thatgamecompany’s views that testing is an integral part of game development. You can also get an insight into life at the studio and the development of Journey in this developer diary.

So, what are your thoughts on the impact playtesting had on Journey? Is it something you often do with your own games?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

3 thoughts on “Train2Game news: How testing changed Journey after leaving producer ‘disappointed in mankind’

  1. flower is one of the best experience i had in years.. i thought it will be really hard to top that but as soon i start playing journey… i just couldnt stop..

    thanks for the wonderful experience…


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