Flower, PlayStation Network

Flower_Logo

As Co-Founder of thatgamecompany, Flower was our company’s second downloadable title for the PlayStation 3, and the first game created by the team from the initial idea through commercial release (since flOw was based on an existing Flash game). We would grow to a core team of 7 developers, and this project taught me quite a lot about management (through the act of failing so many times at it), collaboration, and communication.

Flower went on to become a record-breaking commercial success on the PlayStation Network, maintaining a spot in the Top 20 Downloads for just over two years. It showed me that Jenova and I weren’t crazy when we thought that gamers could enjoy experiences that are different than many others in the marketplace, and that, in fact, these kinds of experiences are desirable.

Flower expanded the team’s tradition of delivering simple gameplay, accessible controls and a medium to explore emotional chords uncommon in video games. In Flower, the surrounding environment, most often pushed to the background in games, is pulled to the forefront and becomes the primary “character.” The player will journey through a beautifully vivid and changing landscape.

The game exploits the tension between urban bustle and natural serenity. Players accumulate flower petals as the onscreen world swings between the pastoral and the chaotic. Like in the real world, everything you pick up causes the environment to change. And hopefully by the end of the journey, you change a little as well.

The goals and journey in each level vary, but all involve flight, exploration and interaction with the worlds presented to you. Using simple SIXAXIS wireless controls and by pressing any button, the player controls the lead petal and accumulates a swarm of flower petals as he moves at his own pace within the environment, causing the on-screen world to change. Flower’s gameplay offers different experiences, pacing and rhythm to all players. Along the way, the environment will pose challenges to the player’s progress.

Both pastoral and at times chaotic, Flower is a visual, audio and interactive escape on PS3.