flOw

flOw, PlayStation Network

Project Details

Company: thatgamecompany

Platform: PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3

Genre: Life Simulation

Release Date: February 22, 2007

Roles: Producer; Company Co-founder

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Project Description

The debut game from thatgamecompany, flOw is a downloadable title for the PlayStation 3, noted for its simplicity of gameplay set in a rich audio and visual experience. 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. Using the SIXAXIS wireless controller flOw creates an organic experience that will allow you to glide, flit, and flOw though the universe.

One of flOw’s greatest strengths is its presentation and just how smoothly everything works together.

–Chris Roper, IGN

flOw Screenshot 1

Graduating From An MFA

The PlayStation 3 version of flOw features enhanced visuals and three additional playable organisms: one that can move with a short burst of speed, one that can paralyze other creatures, and one that lunges toward its prey’s weak point. The worm creature from the original game was given the ability to move faster, while the jellyfish may now create a vortex to attract small creatures. flOw is unique in that it features no death, points, or levels in the “traditional” sense and even melds the menu inside its gameplay format. Taking the best of the original Flash game and creating a full “art house” experience, flOw is a calming, interactive experience now available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita.

Results And Successes

flOw was the first game in a 3 game deal with Sony Computer Entertainment to create original titles exclusively for the PlayStation 3 (PS3). Featuring a core team of only 4 developers this project showed I could learn how to succeed in a new environment (digital console games) with new business models (commercial distribution through a giant publisher like SCE). Following the success of the original Flash game, the PS3 version was the most downloaded game on the PlayStation Network in 2007. Its unique design, aesthetics, and aural experience garnered it multiple nominations and wins in several industry awards competitions culminating in being selected as one of only 80 games to be showcased in a 2012 exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

flOw Screenshot 2

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