As Co-Founder of thatgamecompany, flOw was our first game under our fresh-off-the-press 3-game deal with Sony Computer Entertainment to develop original titles for the new PlayStation Network, only available on PlayStation 3. For our first title, we decided to create a “feature” version of Jenova Chen and Nick Clark’s (Jenova Chen being my co-founder, and Nick Clark joining us as Lead Designer) Flash student project. John Edwards joined as our Lead Engineer, shortly followed by Martin Middleton, which would make our core team of about 4 people on the project. (Jenova went to work on Spore during development).
We discovered there are reasons commercial game developers don’t take you as seriously until you’ve released something into the commercial marketplace, and especially on console. As many other independent developers learn, you don’t understand the meaning of a “deadline” until you try and make something for commercial distribution to the public. There was some hair loss, a lot of Pepto-Bismol, and a steady diet of saltine crackers. We learned a lot about how to make effective decisions (because we didn’t do this at all), scheduling, and working with a giant Publisher such as Sony.
Initially an MFA thesis, flOw is a game about piloting an aquatic organism through a surreal biosphere where players consume other organisms, evolve, and dive into the abyss. With an embedded design of DDA (dynamic difficulty adjustment), players with differing skills levels can intuitively customize their game experience and enjoy the game at their own pace.
In flOw for the PLAYSTATION3 you can play as one of 5 creatures, each in a unique environment. Lose yourself in the crisp “deep blue” in full HD at 1080p and 5.1 Surround Sound. Use the SIXAXIS wireless controller for an organic experience that will allow you to glide, flit, and flOw though the universe.