Journey: The Power of Focus | Farlands In Focus

Journey: The Power of Focus | Farlands In Focus

Whenever somebody talks about Journey, it’s
usually in the context of how the game utilizes the Hero’s Journey paradigm. I myself have written an article about that
years ago, the link is in the video description. However, what people often don’t talk about,
is how the game lives and breathes with the Hero’s Journey paradigm in ALL its aspects,
not just the narrative part. The game is very focused. There’s level design which changes elevation
and the amount of free space to move around in to correspond with different steps of the
Hero’s Journey and their emotional highs or lows. There’s the movement mechanics: the game
gives free, limited, or constricted movement, again depending on what part of the Hero’s
Journey you’re at. The visual palette changes in relation to
which particular emotion the game wants you to feel at, that’s right, each particular
step of the Hero’s Journey. The soundtrack is a single leitmotif that
has different variations for each step of the Hero’s Journey. And even the actual track titles mirror the,
yes you guessed it, the names of different steps as described in Joseph Campbell’s
The Hero With A Thousand Faces. I purposefully mention ‘The Hero’s Journey’
practically every sentence, to show just how important that concept is for the game. And don’t get me wrong, when Journey started
its development, the original concepts and prototypes were not based with this paradigm
in mind. But once thatGameCompany has found in their
creative process the concept of a Hero’s Journey and decided to use it as the core
of their game direction, they did everything they could to build the
whole game and all its parts holistically around that core. And the lesson to take from here is not that
every game needs a core vision so tight that you can barely deviate from it. It’s not necessarily bad to sometimes go
a bit off-topic so to speak. The lesson to take from Journey is about the
power of focus and a consistent vision, and how building everything holistically around
the core you believe in, even with some deviations, can create resonating and memorable experiences
for players.


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