Journey has been out for a while now and if you haven’t played it then you should go do so right now.
Edge Magazine has an interview with one of the designers behind Journey and they talk about the design of the game itself. The interview covers going from 2D to 3D and how that cascades down into basic design choices. It’s worth a read.
How important is it to enforce the integrity of your fiction like that? Some gamers take a delight in breaking it, after all – an example being the ability to exploit Skyrim’s AI by placing buckets over people’s heads and stealing from them.
Because the system is not compelling enough for them to behave within its rules. For example, if Journey’s characters could chat they would be talking shit online all the time. But we create a compelling system so that they don’t want to break it. The character doesn’t have arms or a mouth – the fact that we remove all those things means the players use the shouts to communicate and play under the world’s rules. We want them to accept that, without noticing that they’ve accepted it. If someone wants to break the rules, it means the world is not well designed. I played Skyrim, but I never used the buckets because I enjoyed what it was offering me. After I finished the main quest, then I started gaming the system. But I’m not really there, I’m just having fun with this interactive thing.