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The Unfinished Swan Is Finished, Out Today On PSN

Ian Dallas's Avatar + Posted by Ian Dallas on Oct 23, 2012 // Creative Director, Giant Sparrow

The Unfinished Swan is now finished and I think it’s a pretty amazing game. You probably shouldn’t take my word for it though.

See, making a game is like having a baby. You put a lot of yourself into it, there’s a mad scramble to push it out at the end, and once it’s out there’s no way you can ever be objective about it. So I’m not the best judge of whether this game is any good.

What I can say though is that it’s definitely the game we wanted to make.

We set out to create a game about a sense of wonder, about what it feels like to discover astonishing new things. We wanted to create an experience where as soon as players started getting the hang of something the game would shift and they’d be on to something new. I’m still surprised we managed to pull it off because making a game like that is crazy.

In contrast, most games take a few core gameplay mechanics and then spend their whole time exploring how those mechanics work together and separately. Coming up with interesting mechanics is hard so there’s a lot of creative and financial incentive to keep a game focused on just a few of them. The result is that most games are about developing a sense of mastery, of what it feels like to become an expert.

The Unfinished Swan isn’t about being an expert. It’s about how it feels to be a child discovering a brand new world.

Having just finished our very first game, that’s a feeling all of us at Giant Sparrow can sympathize with. Like the game itself the process of making it was messy and full of surprises.

And we never would have finished it without the incredible support we’ve gotten from Sony. We also want to thank thatgamecompany, who are the reason that support exists. Their fantastic work proves what a small team can do with a bit of time and encouragement.

Most of all, we want to thank the PSN community for being so supportive of strange new experiences. Your enthusiasm for games of all kinds — even games that are unlike anything you’ve ever played before — is why Sony is able to keep taking chances on unusual games like Journey and The Unfinished Swan.

Thanks, everybody!

//Add Your Own

30 Comments   15 Replies

1

+ Wozman23 on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:16 am said:

Loved the game! It’s simplicity at its finest. The clever, ever-changing mechanics, and the accompanying art direction, were all very satisfying. Sadly, the experience ended long before I wanted it to. I can’t wait to see what you guys concoct up next.


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 3:42 pm said:

    Ian’s out sick, but wanted to thank you for playing the game and for the kind words!


2

+ blackiemist88 on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:16 am said:

now just update the store lol


3

+ cowboy828 on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:18 am said:

Good to hear this now when are the rest of the psp game coming to the psn for my psp go


4

+ onslaughtree on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:25 am said:

C’Mon now. Could we please see some in game gameplay ? The video and all the kind word mean littte to me. Please publishers, show some gameplay for people like me that would like to see what the game is all about. Thanks.


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 3:48 pm said:

    I hear ya, and while there is definately a lot of gameplay video on the internet, it would be nice to have something more official on our website. Keep checking back – we might have something that fits the bill soon.


6

+ Berae on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:28 am said:

Really enjoyed the game! Keep bringing new experiences!


7

+ bobbydharrell on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:45 am said:

Will you be making a PS Vita version of this, it looks amazing but I do not have a PS3.


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 3:53 pm said:

    A VITA version is not currently planned, but anything is possible. Perhaps The Unfinished Swan (and the other games available only on the PS3) will be a good reason to pick one up this holiday? Thanks again for your support!


8

+ Earthling_8 on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:52 am said:

This game looks so obscure. I think I’ll check it out.


9

+ DION3TO on October 23rd, 2012 at 9:56 am said:

I was able to play this game since last week and I have to say I had fun playing it. It’s short, but entertaining and calming!

Loved even more the fact I was able to support an indie studio and its great game, just like I did with thatgamecompany and a few others.


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 3:54 pm said:

    Thanks for the support – it’s the reason we get to make great and innovative games!


10

+ Ryumoau on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:07 am said:

Will there still not be a demo?


11

+ GhostMachine1 on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:25 am said:

@10 You don’t need a demo. This game is awesome!


12

+ boxmyth on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:30 am said:

Best $15 I’ve spent all year. It was wonderful. I finished it this past Sunday and it easily ranks near the top of my favorite download-only games. I even enjoyed it more than Journey.
I really hope this is only the tip of the iceberg for what we can expect from future Giant Sparrow games.


13

+ PainOfSarrow on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:34 am said:

saw gameplay on youtube. such ah over rated looking game. journey was one thing but this hereee . SMH


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 4:11 pm said:

    Glad you liked Journey – it’s the only game that’s made me feel… melancholy (other games have made me feel sad or happy, but usually rather heavy handedly – Journey was unique in its subtlety). If you’re into that, I think you might want to take a second look at The Unfinished Swan.


14

+ Ryumoau on October 23rd, 2012 at 11:05 am said:

@11 $15 for a 2 hour game (according to most of the reviews). Yeah i need a demo.


15

+ MakoSOLIDER on October 23rd, 2012 at 11:05 am said:

Remind me, are you under a 3 game deal with SONY?


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 4:12 pm said:

    Yup – Giant Sparrow is under a 3 game deal.


16

+ bouncingsoul217 on October 23rd, 2012 at 11:19 am said:

Looks really interesting but at $15 I’d like to try a demo first


17

+ NashTheSlash on October 23rd, 2012 at 11:23 am said:

This game is amazing. Fun to play with the Move. It’s definitely more of an “experience” rather than a game. This felt spiritually similar to Journey.


18

+ BanzaiHeil on October 23rd, 2012 at 11:33 am said:

Like any great bedtime story, this game kept me awake way later than I should have been last Tuesday night. Really enjoyed it!


19

+ polentaface on October 23rd, 2012 at 12:58 pm said:

@Ryumoau: funny thing, when you buy the game you get the demo + unlock key. so, why there isn’t a demo available right away, I have no idea…

the game’s great, btw! it’s short, unfortunately, especially because the later puzzles seemed so great, I wish there were more of them!


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 4:27 pm said:

    Long story that I’d rather not get into… (THANKS, BRENT!..)

    I can’t speak for Ian, but what I really liked about moving from mechanic to mechanic was that moment when I said to myself “dang… I really want more of this…” and then I realized “ahhh… I see what you did there…” The game, like art, is about evoking emotions – so not only does the game switch mechanics, but it switches emotions: one minute you’re feeling uncomfortable because you don’t know if the game is even running yet, then the next you’re being surprised with each splat, then the next you find yourself lingering in areas trying to savor them. But again, that’s just my interpretation – I’d love to hear yours.


20

+ plaztiksyke on October 23rd, 2012 at 1:37 pm said:

For any doubters, let me say that this game is well worth your time and money. It delivers on the unique, high-quality experience that I have only ever gotten on PS3. The closest I’ve seen to a decent execution of this mechanic is Blind World on iPhone, and that’s just 2D and has no story.

Some people say the game is “short” — I prefer to say that it doesn’t wear out its welcome. There is an arc to the experience, and adding in a bunch of filler would detract from the gravity of that arc. In the same way that Journey, Flower, Stacking, and Costume Quest are all just about the perfect length.

I personally believe that this kind of highly innovative content is worth supporting, hence I vote with my dollars. Not everyone believes that, and that’s fine. I do hope that a demo gets released before Thanksgiving, as I think people playing the first 10-15 minutes will convince a lot of people on the fence to purchase.


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 5:36 pm said:

    Thank you for the kind words and thank you for your “vote” ;)


21

+ MaNuVmD on October 23rd, 2012 at 3:06 pm said:

men i need medal of honor warfighter please update the store!!!!


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 4:28 pm said:

    This went up, right?


22

+ Elvick_ on October 23rd, 2012 at 4:53 pm said:

@4: They have shown gameplay… a lot. Look it up if you actually care.


23

+ Matthew60two on October 23rd, 2012 at 11:15 pm said:

Hey Ian Dallas, you may want to change the misleading headline a bit because The Unfinished Swan has been available to the public (PS+ Members) since last week (10/16/12) and I have already 100% this unique game as well. So, yeah The Unfinished Swan has been “finished” and approved by Sony because otherwise the game wouldn’t have been released last week lol. Unless you already finished the game yourself Mr. Dallas? Anyways just had to comment since the headline made me confused for a bit lol and how come PS+ Members get no discount from this game? Same thing occurred with Retro City Rampage, Payback and several others, etc.


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 4:30 pm said:

    Think of the headline as more of a “Grand Opening” as opposed to a “Soft Opening” ;)

    The 23rd is the official release date.


24

+ Earthling_8 on October 24th, 2012 at 8:41 am said:

Just started playing this game yesterday and I got to say I like the music. This game sort of comes off like a children’s book and I mean that with know disrespect. All that white is tough to take in but whatever.


25

+ BAMRABBITWAYNE on October 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am said:

the Psn not open after this update in Brazil
:(


26

+ BAMRABBITWAYNE on October 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am said:

4:30


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 4:32 pm said:

    So the store in Brazil is down? Or you don’t see The Unfinished Swan on the store after the update?


27

+ TSTina on October 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am said:

Too much WHITE!

No thanks.


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 4:35 pm said:

    That’s kind of the point – you NEED contrast in the game (as is with life) to appreciate and be able to navigate the world around you.

    Also, the white space is only the first chapter of the game ;)


28

+ Elvick_ on October 24th, 2012 at 5:55 pm said:

@27: Only in the first chapter. Look up more of the game, but letting chapter 3 and 4 be a surprise is better.


29

+ FinalTalos on October 24th, 2012 at 6:27 pm said:

Greece here and I can’t download it because it’s only for plus, even after the update :-C


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 6:35 pm said:

    You guys should be getting your update later this afternoon. Please let us know what you think of the game :)


30

+ ForeverGreen2652 on October 24th, 2012 at 8:34 pm said:

This game looks simply wonderful. I’ve been looking forward to it since it was first announced. The only reason I didnt get it yet is because I had to take advantage of the Halloween sale. I love when developers make games like this. Thats why I love Indie games so much. Other developers make the same thing over and over again, most of the time at least. Look on the Indie side and you get things like this. A brand new unique and creative game. Something that we’ve never seen before and hasnt been done 100 times over. Congrats on the release of this masterpiece. I cannot wait to experience it first hand. Picking it up next week as soon as I get another psn card. Keep up the fantastic work!!!


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    + Eric Fong on October 24th, 2012 at 11:13 pm said:

    Yeah, there are a lot of great games coming out this holiday season. We really do hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it. Please let us know what you think of the game after you’very had a chance to play it.


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