Journey almost got a 13+ rating because of the red splinters of the fabric — and other details from the art director of the game

Journey almost got a 13+ rating because of the red splinters of the fabric — and other details from

Ten years ago, on March 13, 2012, the light saw a vision of Journey's adventure from thatgamecompany. On the occasion of the anniversary, Matt Nava, the project's art director, published in his Twitter talk about how the game changed throughout its development.

  • In the picture below, different versions of the playable character. According to Nava, each version was an important step towards final design.
  • The scene in the desert is the final version, the drawing, and the 3D prototype. Nava wanted to bring a bright blue sky to the end, which was to be the reward for playing the game. So in this episode, the artist painted the sky green.
  • The concept of a stone arch and it's from a sand surfing site.
  • This is how the surf level looked in the developers' editor. As Nava remembers, it was one of the most difficult locations: the art director spent a lot of time setting the angle, location, and shapes of each springboard and falls.
  • In Journey, there is no automatic system of shadows -- Nava drew everything by hand. The texture of the shadows was not done in a high resolution. To illustrate the clear shadows in the famous scene with the columns, the art director combined the shadows with the pixel grid of the texture.
  • The creeping of the ruins in the canyon is a pencil sketch, a painted concept, and a screen shot from the game.
  • At one stage of production, the Journey Canyon and the open desert were part of the same level.
  • The inconvenient subterranean area, the final version, 3D-machine, and the concept. Because of this episode, "Travel" was almost rated Teen (13+), the commission accepted the fabric wrinkles as blood levels. To give the game a rating of Everyone (for all ages), the developers made some red particles less bright.
  • At a later stage, the player rises to the ceremony tower, and the concepts were carried out in cold tones, but later the artist switched to warm colors. This was required for visual narrative: the player had to feel warm before going to the cold mountains.
  • The way to the mountains is a shot of the game and 3D mackerels to test the color palette.
  • In early prototypes, villains were snake-like dragons, and the game at the beginning of the development was code-named Dragon.
  • The art director tells us that this location was magically assembled "at the last minute." First, the studio produced a "rail" level, but it was abandoned because it did not give the right feeling. To improve the final stage, thatgamecompany took more time.
  • The last stage of Journey and the concept art that Nava created in one of the first days of the game, a few years before the release of the game, the artist did not yet know what the ending would look like.

Matt Nava is currently working at the Giant Squid studio, where he was the creative director of ABZ and The Pathless, two more games where you don't want to get into the plot and the complex mechanics, but to explore beautiful worlds.