Journey’s Desert Setting was Selected so Players Could Connect on a ‘Human Level’

ThatGameCompany give insights on why they

Journey's vast, open deserts were chosen as the game's setting in a bid to make players connect with each other on a "human level" the title's lead engineer has revealed.

ThatGameCompany's John Edwards, speaking at a Games Developer Conference panel entitled 'Sand Rendering in Journey', explained how the developers wanted to create a game which invoked the experience of finding someone of a hiking trail. 

"There's this desire to connect with them in some way," Edwards commented. "To say hello. You want to acknowledge them on a human level, which is somehow strangely uncommon in a lot of online videogames… We thought the best environment for this would be a vast and barren desert."

In order to examine the look and feel of sand before recreating it in Journey the entire ThatGameCompany team visited Pismo Beach in California and this outing formed the basis of the team's references for making replicating sand in the game though photos were later used.

The most obvious influences of this trip can be seen near Journey's end when the desert shimmers in the light, "When you go to the dunes [you'll notice] just how sparkly it is. Pictures do not do it justice," Edwards finished. 

At the Game Developers Choice Awards this week Journey picked up six awards – every one it had been nominated for – including the awards for Best Downloadable Game, Best Game Design and the Innovation Award. 

Last year ThatGameCompany announced they would no longer be making games exclusively for PlayStation platforms saying they wanted to bring their games "to a bigger audience". 

Source: Polygon