Thatgamecompany boss: touch is “the most universal” input

By Brenna Hillier
12 February 2013 07:16 GMT

Whatever platform thatgamecompany boss Jenova Chen’s new game is on, it’s likely going to have some kind of touch interface.

Speaking with IGN, Chen said he wants his next game to be as accessible as possible, and that means stripping the controls back even further than the very simple inputs used in Journey and Flower.

“Right now I’m looking at the touch interface. Pretty much all the new PCs, phones, tablets, and consoles have touch in some way,” he said.

“The Wii U, for example. Who knows what the PS4 might have? The PS Vita has touch. And what about the 360?”

Chen said kids like playing on tablets, and would rather play on something immediately accessible than have to go switch on the TV and work through menus. And it’s not just younger generations that find touch accessible, either.

“My mom came to my laptop and tried to touch my web page, because she’s been using an iPad,” Chen added.

“I think it’s more natural as an interface. It definitely doesn’t have the feel of a joystick. All this tactile feedback is gone. But since we’re considering multiplatform, touch seems to be the most universal method at this point.”

Chen said he also wants to make accessing content more agreeable and simple.

“How many steps you need to go through to get to the PSN, to start an account, and to type in your name and e-mail through that terrible interface just to get everything set up. There are so many steps. You should just turn it on and you get the experience. You see the game, click on it, pay for it, it’s there,” he said.

“I wrote a long e-mail with like 20 points on how to improve the PSN store. I’m not able to change it. But now we can do that because we’re independent. I could control the entire experience, from how you learn about the game to how you get the game to how you play the game. I’m excited about that. I could make the whole experience streamlined.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Chen spoke further on his reasons for wanting to go multiplatform after years of Sony exclusivity.

Thatgamecompany has produced four game – Cloud, flOw, Flower and Journey. Journey picked up eight DICE Awards this year.

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