Journey developer reveals how the iconic cape was created in 10th anniversary thread

(Image credit: Thatgamecompany)

Journey art director Matt Nava shared a series of concept art and other tidbits from throughout the game's history, just in time for the game's 10th anniversary. 

Nava posted a lengthy Twitter thread jam-packed with commentary and imagery comparing "early dev images" and "how things shipped." Interestingly enough, Nava shared a few different iterations of the playable character clad in the iconic cape we know and love today, demonstrating how it came to life. 

"Every character here was playable at one point in an early version of the game," Nava wrote. "I went from humanoid to very detailed, and back to minimal as possible. Each iteration was an important step in finding the final design." 

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After working to get the character's cape just right, Nava noted how he saved brighter blue skies for the end of the game as a "reward", instead using a green sky in an earlier scene to temper that excitement. 

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Additionally, Nava revealed how the surfing level looked behind the scenes in the game's editor. He called it one of the "most complex levels to build," which seems quite obvious based onthe intricacies in the image shared from the editor. 

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Nava also revealed Journey's "scary" underground area with a look at the original 3D mockup and concept he created for it. Journey almost snagged a Teen rating because some reviewers believed it contained blood effects, which was not the case (it was meant to be cloth), but the team altered the particle colors to be less red to go for an E rating. 

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Finally, Nava discussed the final moment of the game versus a concept he created years prior. 

"At the time, I didn't know what the ending would really be," he wrote. "I remember the moment at the end when we got the timing just right for this. It made the game!"

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Nava's thread is full of additional insights into how Journey came to be. It remains a massively popular adventure game for players of all stripes, and this tenth anniversary input makes it feel all the more magical. 

Be sure to check out our full Journey review if you still haven't given it a whirl. 

Brittany Vincent