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The Unfinished Swan is an unusual game with an unusual history. We wanted to give you an exclusive look into its history before it lands on PSN October 23rd — as well as some secrets you’d never guess. Find out where we came up with the idea, who helped make it happen, and some techniques we used to make the game feel just right.
Virtual reality: The Unfinished Swan started as a student project in the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media program. Originally it was meant to be played with a head-mounted display. Over time, the game eventually became a PS3 exclusive.
At its core, The Unfinished Swan is about the joy of creation and self-discovery. These themes revolve around two central characters: one young, who has dealt with great loss and loneliness, and one old, who must reconcile his current stage of life as well as his fate.
One of the initial conversations I had with Peter Scaturro, music supervisor at the Santa Monica Studio involved using the key components of the score to offset the melancholy of the story. I consciously steered away from anything that felt too sad, stark or desolate. Instead, I focused on crafting a mood that was lush, curious, and warm. We wanted the music to serve as a companion for Monroe and the player as they explored the world of the game.
When you make a game about something unusual like, say, throwing paint in an all-white world, you expect to get a lot of questions. But we were surprised that the question we got asked the most turned out to be “when can I buy it?”
In the meantime, there’s still a lot to learn about the game. You’ve met the King, now get to know us: the team behind it all.
Like a lot of other great artists, our King is a little crazy.
He’s the one who created the entire world that players will be exploring in The Unfinished Swan. And I don’t want to give too much away, but the King built a lot of cool stuff. If you like all-white statue gardens, giant labyrinths, or colossal monuments to the King then you’re in luck.
Unfortunately, most people don’t like those things. At least not in their backyard. Turns out living in the middle of a giant labyrinth is pretty inconvenient, which is why just about everyone in the kingdom eventually moved away. But the King is the sort of guy who goes right on building the stuff he wants no matter what other people think about it. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on your point of view and — like I said — how you feel about giant labyrinths.
Thanks to Jeff, Nick, and Rey, the Blogcast thrived during my absence last week. But I’ve returned from the exotic lands of the East Coast bearing priceless gifts! First, I speak with Ian Dallas, the creative director of upcoming PSN knockout The Unfinished Swan, to learn what really inspired this distinctive game — and why those monochromatic ink-blot levels are only the beginning of what’s in store.
Hey everyone! I’m Ben, a Game Designer at Giant Sparrow. Last Saturday, a bunch of us took a trip down to San Diego for Comic-Con, where we held a panel that focused on the art of The Unfinished Swan. We want to thank everyone who attended — you’re all beautiful people. If you couldn’t make it to the panel, we’ve put together this highlight reel so you can watch all the good parts! The panel was hosted by Morgan Webb, who made sure things went super smooth as we discussed the ups and downs of developing such a unique game.
On stage we had Ian Dallas, Hokyo Lim, Max Geiger, and me. We showed off some never-before-seen concept art, and talked about how we developed the art style for The Unfinished Swan.
It’s that time of year again — Comic-Con International 2012, and we’re here to give you an early look at everything PlayStation this year.
Throughout Comic-Con, the PlayStation booth will be offering demos of the latest content from our upcoming titles for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Come over and check out PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, Sports Champions 2, The Unfinished Swan, LittleBigPlanet Karting, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Papo Y Yo, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and The Expendables 2. Attendees will also be treated to hands-on opportunities with new and upcoming PlayStation Vita titles like Sound Shapes, Retro City Rampage, LittleBigPlanet, Jet Set Radio, Guacamelee, Gravity Rush, Ragnarok Odyssey, and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. There will also be chances to check out cross-play features for PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale and Street Fighter X Tekken.
If you’ve ever heard of The Unfinished Swan before I’d like to start by saying I’m sorry.
Back in 2008, when we posted videos of the prototype online, a lot of people got really excited. And then a few years went by without another word. So if you’ve been wondering “whatever happened to that weird black and white painting game?” thanks for waiting!
If this is all new to you, here’s the gist: The Unfinished Swan is a first-person painting game that begins in a totally white space. You throw globs of paint to explore the world around you. In the game you’re a boy named Monroe who’s chasing after a swan. The swan stepped out of a painting and has wandered off into a surreal, unfinished world. Here’s what it looks like: