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Gamasutra Interview: Jenova Chen and ThatGameCompany's Vision of the Future

Gamasutra: Jenova Chen is the chief design mind behind ThatGameCompany's critically and academically lauded titles flOw and Flower, a recent emigrant to Los Angeles from China not a half dozen years ago. Together with fellow USC Interactive Media graduate partner Kellee Santiago, he founded the company with the aim to create games with an emotional tone.

The company seems to have succeeded, as most experimental gameplay summits, academics researching "alternative" games, and notable designers feel obligated to mention the company's works.

During a demo of Flower at last year's E3, prior to the game's launch, I had an experience that encapsulates Chen's unique character (and I should preface this by saying he and I have known each other for several years). He was demoing the game for various people, including myself, and described it this way: "You play as the dream of a flower. Hit any button to go, and see what happens."

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