Journey playtesters kept offing each other

Tuesday, 20 March 2012 23:19 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Thatgamecompany’s Robin Hunicke got very down on humanity while prototyping co-operative adventure Journey.

In one early build of Journey, players could shove each other around more than in the final version.

“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,” Hunicke told Siliconera.

“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 producer ran into a child psychologist who told her that in a virtual space, where everything is new, players “become kids, and don’t know what they’re doing is bad”. The psychologist advised Hunicke to avoid negative feedback but find some way to show players it was wrong.

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

Journey is available now via the PlayStation Network. It’s officially splendid.