Journey’s producer Robin Hunicke and co-founder of thatgamecompany Jenova Chen have imparted to the EU PS Blog the firm’s reasoning behind a silent, genderless character in the upcoming downloadable title for PSN.
According to Hunicke, when players randomly meet others in the online world, communication will seem a bit limited – at least on the surface.
“As you start the journey, you will realize that you have very few controls, because at thatgamecompany, we really focus on accessibility and we really want people to pick it up and play it,” she said. “So, it’s just a couple of buttons, and as you move through the game and experience [other] people, you can call out to them and you can sing, and they can call back to you. [But] we really want your actions to be the thing you focus on and for you to see another character and think ‘oh, that’s a person there and a real human being behind that player’.
“That’s our focus. No voice chat, no text chat. It’s a totally safe experience.”
One of the reasons for lack of chat in the game, according to Chen, was because the character in the game itself doesn’t have a specific gender, so in order to experience immersion with other players, the ability to communicate gender or age would take away from what the devs were trying to create between players – a simple, yet elegant form of communication without any pitfalls or possible bias.
You can watch the full interview below.
Journey is out sometime this year.