Things The ‘Flower’ Team Ditched [GDC 2009]

During the Experimental Gameplay Sessions yesterday, developer Jenova Chen revealed several features that his team tried and then removed from the PS3 downloadable game “Flower.”

They removed:

  • Timers, which they thought might help motivate the player
  • Desert terrain, which would cost any players who flew over it some petals
  • Spells, which were part of a system that allowed the player to gain improved flight abilities
  • Orbs, into which players were going to deposit petals in order to unlock checkpoints

Chen and the rest of the team at ThatGameCompany discovered that these traditional, video-game-style features had their players saying things like “f—” and “s–t” while they played. Those weren’t the reactions he wanted to evoke. So, to ensure the game presented a rare sensation of calm and harmony, the features listed above were removed.

Something happy and gentle prevailed.