Jenova Chen has admitted his excitement about the Kinect 2 while talking about his plans for Thatgamecompany.
The studio behind Journey left the shelter of Sony’s Santa Monica Studio last year and secured $5 million in funding to become a truly independent studio, but there has been little word of the team’s next project.
“It’s always been the pattern of ThatGameCompany that we spent 75 per cent of time doing R&D and a smaller portion of time on production. When we go for a particular goal we have to do a lot of trial and error. It can feel like you are reaching out in the fog trying to find something.”
The experimental feel of the studio’s games is a big part of their appeal and Chen is trying to build on that with the next game, which his comments suggest has a similar shared storytelling experience to that of Journey.
“The next game after Journey is like, ok we’ve done it with strangers on the internet, can this also happen among people who know each other?” said Chen.
“It’s a natural evolution of everything we are doing.”
Chen says one thing he’s excited about is the possibilities of Microsoft’s new Kinect.
“A while back someone was asking me what I was looking for and I said ‘I wanted to have an input device that captures the player’s facial expressions and gestures and fingers’,” he related.
“I think the Kinect 2 is finally there.”
Journey already took advantage of the tilt-sensitivity of the Dualshock, but the idea that Thatgamecompany could make an entirely motion-controlled game is quite compelling.
The family appeal of such a game jibes well with Chen’s stated goal.
“Our goal is always to make games that can move people, that are designed for everybody so the whole family should be able to play it together and that bring people together and really move them in a way,” he explained.
“It feels like the history of the studio and everything we do is slowly heading towards that direction."