Hello and welcome to Art Examination, a video series that explores video games as an art form and today, we will be focusing on Thatgamecompany’s Journey.
In the early stages of a film, a colour chart and theory will be constructed. In this process, desired colours will be put together either as a whole or per scene. Do they harmonize or contrast too much together? Are they too vibrant or dull? Colour charts are also used to convey unspoken moods. Blues and cool tones are associated with sadness. Yellows and warms tones are happy and exciting. Much can be said through the use of colour.
This is the strongest component in Journey. It is so minimal in its design that colours are important to its storytelling. It was no mistake that the main character is that shade of red. Throughout the game, that red is never lost in the environment. It is also no mistake that the tonal values are never too harsh. Meaning, no colour leans too close to pure black. This adds a very soft complexion to the overall visual feel of the game.
Colours can be a journey on its own and can convey so much emotion. As the player progresses through the game, they first travel through areas of warm colours of yellow, red and oranges. It encourages exploration and excitement. The player then falls down into the depths of the blues with ominous light streaks. Danger is close by. When free of the cool tones, the player is drenched in warmth once again in an exciting ascent. The final act is almost void of colour which is a sign on its own.
Journey is a fantastic homage to the colour chart and theory. Each area conveys an emotion that is pivotal to the overall story. The player’s adventure is more than just walking through the desert and climbing to the top of the summit. It’s about the colours and how they guide the player through an amazing tale that can be interpreted in many emotional ways.
If you agree with my observations or would like to share your own or would like to make a suggestion for future videos, please leave a comment down below and once again, thank you all for watching and see you next time.