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Flower – A Chat with Creative Director Jenova Chen

Chris Morell's Avatar + Posted by Chris Morell on Jan 27, 2009 // Senior Social Media Specialist

On Friday, I sat down with Flower creative director Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany to talk about his studio’s upcoming game for PS3 available on PSN February 12. As you’ll see, Jenova’s quite a talented and intelligent guy — a film student and first-generation graduate of USC’s video-game design program, you can tell just how passionate he is about games and the emotions they bring out.

Jenova provides some great insight into the basics of Flower, the concept of game genres (and if Flower is creating a new relaxing style of gaming) and the inspiration behind the game’s extraordinary beauty. Plus, he drops a few hints about custom soundtracks, a secret ending and more. Take a look…

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108 Comments   4 Replies

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1

+ KUSHman666 on January 27th, 2009 at 3:38 pm said:

omg this looks awesome :D


2

+ Jake5678 on January 27th, 2009 at 3:51 pm said:

Flower looks absolutely beautiful! I cant wait so actually play it…


3

+ ATALAVERA on January 27th, 2009 at 3:52 pm said:

Can not wait to try this out! I love trying new types of content.


4

+ ThinMoon on January 27th, 2009 at 3:52 pm said:

This looks like an amazing game, but i’m not sure if i’ll get it…

As for the video…what’s up with all the cuts? The coughing (it’s probably not his fault)? Chris didn’t seem too relaxed at the beginning either…

Yeah i’m critical, but the game does look amazing


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    + Chris Morell on January 27th, 2009 at 4:02 pm said:

    Haha, yeah, Jenova was sick and coughing all over the place. Too hard to cut 50 coughs, so we just have to deal with some of it :-)


5

+ Atmospheres on January 27th, 2009 at 3:53 pm said:

Sounds great ill be keeping an eye out for this one for sure.


6

+ Vergil3690 on January 27th, 2009 at 3:58 pm said:

JENOVA!? As in the Calamity from the Skies?!?

:O

I kid; also, Flower looks sweet.


7

+ DeforMAKulizer on January 27th, 2009 at 4:03 pm said:

I must say that this game is on my top 2009 game list!
An awesome addition to an awesome lineup! =D
Can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Thanks Jenova, and Sony!


8

+ Ehahneli-13 on January 27th, 2009 at 4:09 pm said:

I’ve really been looking forward to this game. Should be a nice change of pace from a lot of the other games currently on the market.


9

+ BZKlint on January 27th, 2009 at 4:10 pm said:

Games looking pretty good so far. If the reviews are ood enough, I’ll try and download a copy :)

Nice shirt btw :P
Kind of reminds me of ATHF though there’s no Meatwad (unless you count the hot dog since he sometimes shape-shifts into one)


10

+ D-Squad3 on January 27th, 2009 at 4:11 pm said:

Will there be demo? And will there be custom soundtracks?!! I think that all PSN games should have custom soundtracks.


11

+ Neil on January 27th, 2009 at 4:13 pm said:

This is my number 1 most wanted game this year. Also everyone should check out their site:

thatgamecompany.com


12

+ sam_i_jam on January 27th, 2009 at 4:15 pm said:

Can’t wait for this game. Flow was one of the first PSN titles I purchased and to date creates a great escape from the story-centric “epic” titles.


13

+ skynidas on January 27th, 2009 at 4:16 pm said:

Looks REALLY awesome! Great interview Chris!


14

+ the_culture on January 27th, 2009 at 4:18 pm said:

Talk about creating an amazing aesthetic. These guys are on the cutting edge of game design. And leave it to Sony to bring these types of games out. Just make sure to keep thatgamecompany happy and exclusive!

This is a day-one purchase for me, no question. I just wish this was available in stores too. I’d love to get a poster or some artwork; it’s absolutely gorgeous.

-Alex


15

+ KazeEternal on January 27th, 2009 at 4:21 pm said:

Nice to see you getting out there Chris, you’ll be a Jeff2 in no time hehe.


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    + Jeff Rubenstein on January 27th, 2009 at 8:37 pm said:

    Don\’t knock a guy down, Kaze ;-) Chris is pretty experienced at this kind of thing, and you can expect to see plenty of both of us in 09.


16

+ Carl-G on January 27th, 2009 at 4:23 pm said:

Looks cool ;)


17

+ jipmg on January 27th, 2009 at 4:27 pm said:

This is the definition of innovation, so yes im getting the game.

No matter what, I love new experiences, which the ps3 is full of.


18

+ JonL13 on January 27th, 2009 at 4:38 pm said:

I still don’t fully understand this game. Anyone care to explain it to me?


19

+ Incubuster on January 27th, 2009 at 4:42 pm said:

Haha he sounded very surprised and very grateful that Sony gave the go ahead for Flower. I’m very grateful as well, I’m really eager to try it out, I just bought a PSN card for this, Noby Noby Boy, and Fat Princess. Any idea when we will hear more about the latter?


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    + Chris Morell on January 27th, 2009 at 4:50 pm said:

    Looks like we\’re probably going to get Mr. Takahashi on the blog soon to talk Noby Noby Boy…but he\’s been tough to get a hold of lately. And definitely more to come on Fat Princess soon!


20

+ DJ_DTM on January 27th, 2009 at 4:43 pm said:

I would love a demo.


21

+ DJ_DTM on January 27th, 2009 at 4:45 pm said:

as in playable demo,..


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    + Chris Morell on January 27th, 2009 at 4:54 pm said:

    No news or updates on a demo yet, but I told Jenova that everyone is wanting one, so he certainly knows.


22

+ LouVelvet on January 27th, 2009 at 4:48 pm said:

@18
check out the previous PSblog post on flower, it gives some additional insight as far as gameplay. but as they discussed in this video and past posts, it is a unique “soothingly cool” experience you’ll just have to try for yourself. since there is no other game like it, it’s very hard to describe in words. Although one of the game’s designers i believe compared it (albeit loosely) to flOw, if you ever played that.

personally, i can’t wait for this title!


23

+ Midgetguy on January 27th, 2009 at 4:53 pm said:

I’m definately, 100% going to get this game THE SECOND IT COMES OUT!!!!

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a LONG time, and no matter who you are, there’s no denying that this game is beautiful!


24

+ stlthriot on January 27th, 2009 at 4:53 pm said:

Extremely excited about Flower! Looks absolutely amazing, makes me truly excited already for his next game! Maybe something with rain/water and/or lightning. :D

Also, I think they should work on a visualization for the PS3, a Flower one or something just as amazing as it. :)


25

+ Capt-Fury- on January 27th, 2009 at 5:02 pm said:

the perfect valentine present

:)


26

+ Ocelot420 on January 27th, 2009 at 5:04 pm said:

i wish i could get this game, but iam banned by sony, so, sucks to be me.


27

+ maxxy209 on January 27th, 2009 at 5:08 pm said:

@26 why were you banned by sony ?.

Also looks like a cool game hopefully ill get a ps3 by the time , I get SF4.


28

+ starblinky01 on January 27th, 2009 at 5:15 pm said:

I don’t know if it needs a demo. Flow didnt need one.

I am 100% for sure buying this game, I was excited from when they first announced this game.


29

+ Dave18901 on January 27th, 2009 at 5:26 pm said:

I hope I win the Home cafe naming contest, then I’ll be able to get this game


30

+ CRONIC_GAMER on January 27th, 2009 at 5:28 pm said:

This game look great but were’s the next flow expantion I dont know how many more times i can play this one :)


31

+ Gumbydunzeeto on January 27th, 2009 at 5:31 pm said:

I’d like to know when the UMD version is coming.


32

+ reson8er on January 27th, 2009 at 5:34 pm said:

Awesome Avatar Chris! I love Radiohead :)

Flower is looking great, thank goodness for free thinkers in the game industry like Jenova Chen!


33

+ illegalprelude on January 27th, 2009 at 5:36 pm said:

Im super excited for this game. I own a ton of PSN games, from Flow, to Blast Factor (plus expansions) to PJ Monster/Eden and Super Rub a Duck and more so I cant wait to get my hands on Flower.


34

+ JordanBlack68 on January 27th, 2009 at 5:37 pm said:

You seem nervous for a socialist guy ;P Chris


35

+ somethingatt on January 27th, 2009 at 5:38 pm said:

No offence and it was a good interview but it was hard to watch…Maybe next time just re-schedule to near future when he doesn’t cough as many times? :)

I’m 50/50 on purchasing this game at the moment.
Lots of variables (financial, how I feel about it, if I’m playing lots of games or not etc) will factor in on me buying it or not.


36

+ the_Hedgehog on January 27th, 2009 at 5:40 pm said:

I can’t wait for this game! Are there any plans for any sort of co-op down the road? My friends and I had some fun in flOw. I do appreciate that you guys focused on getting the single-player game perfect though.


37

+ Jeigh on January 27th, 2009 at 5:43 pm said:

@31
You realize that this is a PS3 game, right?

This game is looking really beautiful… February 12 cannot come quickly enough…

On a side-note, I’d just like to let it be known that my brother will be using his tax refund this year to get a PS3, but if by that time there is no patch for backward compatibility he’s going to be getting a used 60GB off of Amazon. He, individually, may be inconsequential, but I have to imagine there are many, many others stsnding in similar positions. May want to consider releasing such a patch, even if it is at a price…


38

+ .Seiven. on January 27th, 2009 at 5:45 pm said:

I LOVE niche games and this is one more to add to my collection…Linger in Shadows, Flow, etc. I love anything that can authentically be called “new” and “fresh”


39

+ Axecution on January 27th, 2009 at 5:47 pm said:

Im assuming there will be custom soundtracks considering you asked it. Haha, his comment on it didn’t make any sense though. :D Obviously not that good at English. That’s fine.

By the way, i love how he is all dressed up, and Chris is in a yellow food shirt that says “Hot Dog!” on it. xD


40

+ PullusPardusUS on January 27th, 2009 at 5:53 pm said:

i said it before, but …
This jenova want to restore the earth rather than destroy it like someone i know.


41

+ Chaos_Bladez on January 27th, 2009 at 5:55 pm said:

Ah Chris! I recognize you! You were on the Bonus Round one time huh?
I recognized your face immediately! :P

Where did you work before here? Was is Gamepro? Sorry I don’t remember! :D


42

+ GGCAN on January 27th, 2009 at 6:06 pm said:

Thanks Chris and Jenova, looks to be a promising game.

It kind of reminds me of flow and a bit like Linger in the Shadows.


43

+ nokedimyo on January 27th, 2009 at 6:34 pm said:

I had a lot of fun with flow, so I am sure that flower will also be entertaining.


44

+ unstablefears on January 27th, 2009 at 6:35 pm said:

Can’t wait for flower, will buy it once it’s released :)


45

+ WretchedBass on January 27th, 2009 at 6:42 pm said:

I might just try this out.


46

+ GenerationEx on January 27th, 2009 at 6:58 pm said:

the interviewer seems very bored…


47

+ SpyDudeFX on January 27th, 2009 at 7:15 pm said:

It’s going to be $9.99 according to Joystiq, which is a steal for this title. Flower looks amazing, I can’t wait to experience it on 2/12. As far as a demo goes, who cares? It’s $10! lol


48

+ Jim777 on January 27th, 2009 at 7:25 pm said:

looks very cool ill be sure to download it


49

+ jimmy903 on January 27th, 2009 at 7:27 pm said:

Day one for me. At $9.99 I’m in. I have been looking forward to flower for a while now.


50

+ ThAGriZZ45 on January 27th, 2009 at 7:30 pm said:

QUESTION: What’s the price for this game?
Just wondering even though it won’t matter since I’m still gonna buy it. lol
It looks great. This looks artistically fun and graphically amazing! haha


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