The Unfinished Swan is Coming to PSN

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The Unfinished Swan is Coming to PSN
The Unfinished Swan is Coming to PSN

If you’ve ever heard of The Unfinished Swan before I’d like to start by saying I’m sorry.

Back in 2008, when we posted videos of the prototype online, a lot of people got really excited. And then a few years went by without another word. So if you’ve been wondering “whatever happened to that weird black and white painting game?” thanks for waiting!

If this is all new to you, here’s the gist: The Unfinished Swan is a first-person painting game that begins in a totally white space. You throw globs of paint to explore the world around you. In the game you’re a boy named Monroe who’s chasing after a swan. The swan stepped out of a painting and has wandered off into a surreal, unfinished world. Here’s what it looks like:

The Unfinished Swan for PS3

So what have we been doing these last few years? Judging from our blog, mostly we’ve been having team lunches and then posing for photos. Which is partly true. But also we started a company called Giant Sparrow and then signed a deal with Sony to make The Unfinished Swan for PSN.

For those of you familiar with Sony’s relationship with thatgamecompany, it’s the same kind of thing. Sony calls it an “incubation deal.” In addition to giving us funding they also provide office space, equipment and advice (often in the form of this cheerful graphics programmer from the God of War team). The best part is that we get to focus all of our energies on just making a game.

The Unfinished Swan for PS3

That’s great because it turns out that making a game is hard. But it’s almost done and we’re super excited to start talking about it.

One of the biggest challenges we had was figuring out what the game was going to be about. The idea of painting a white world is pretty abstract. You could make all kinds of different games about that. A lot of people who saw it a few years ago assumed it was going to be a horror game. And it totally could have been. But after splatting stuff for a few months we realized what we liked most about it was the sense of wonder it created. We liked not knowing what was out there.

So we made a game about creating a sense of wonder. Our goal is to give players strange and beautiful experiences they’ve never had before. We want to give people genuine surprises and then keep on surprising them the whole game. The painting a white world stuff is actually just the first 15 minutes. After that, things get really weird.

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  • socksandshoes22

    LOVE games like this. Can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like, best of luck fellows!

  • if this is coming to vita it would be awesome

  • Ian…THANK YOU! You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to hear some more news about this. After seeing the trailer and reading your words on the world, it certainly seems this would lend itself well to the PlayStation Move. I don’t know if you’re ready to talk specifics, but it sure would be nice to know if this is planned for Move support, optional or otherwise.

    Either way, I can’t wait to dive in and explore.

    • You’re in luck! Our game absolutely supports the PlayStation Move.

      You can play with a DualShock, a Move, or a Move + Navigational Controller. Whatever you’re into.

  • This game looks amazing! Any chance we’ll be able to try it out at E3?

  • Excellent! I was hoping this would be re-announced soon and that the art style would evolve beyond walls and city blocks. I love the creatures and sprinklings of gold.

  • The premise seems really intriguing, with an art direction and style that’s practically inimitable. I’m really looking forward to this game. Definitely purchasing it the moment it comes out!

  • Define Coming Soon. I here it all the time here, but sometimes it takes forever, LOL. I hope by soon you mean within the next 2-3 months!

  • I was intrigued by the tech demo(RSS fed didn’t show the trailer) then I saw the trailer and was blown away, this looks like a really neat Idea. for a second I thought it was that one wii game Saddness and it had been picked up by Sony (PICK IT UP GUYS PLEASE)

  • I may end up purchasing both a Vita & PS3 version- make it happen, please!

  • I would like to know game be compatible on the Ps Vita?
    I’d really want to experience the unfinished world, but I don’t have a PS3.
    Ps Vita owners miss out on a lot of great psn games like Skullgirls and awesomenauts.

  • Amazing trailer. I can’t wait.

    I need a release date.

  • This will be BLINDING on my LED TV haha. I like the concept though. It’d be a little better though if instead of “popping” out paint balls, it was more of throwing them out or something because it can look like you are peeing darkness all over the place.

  • This looks breath taking. Again Sony goes above and beyond to bring new fresh experiences to the industry. <3 Sony. Guys, you pretty much got me hook line and sinker on this one. Great job and keep up the hard work!

  • Just need a price and a release date and I’m set because I already have a Move and an Eye.

  • Congrats for the collaboration with Sony, Ian! I was really looking forward to this game since I saw the prototype footage. Move support makes this announcement all the sweeter :)

    BTW, does the game also feature stereoscopic 3D support?


  • Can’t say I’m not a bit disappointed it’s not a horror game. I don’t even like horror games, but the original idea and teaser/trailer/demo had me. I was wanting that to scare the pants off me. It’s one thing to hear things in the dark, but it was amazing to hear things that are white. In an all white world. You can’t see anything without splashing paint on it first… awesome.

    That said, this still looks awesome and I’m glad that the recent rumors/speculation about it returning were true. Can’t wait!

  • WOW this game looks so beautiful & original, I can’t wait to get my hands on this!!!

  • my god. psn has come of age. from everyday shooter, to pixeljunk eden, eufloria+, closure, journey, datura and now this.
    clap clap.and take my money sony!

    had always seen this as a horror game.. you “shoot” paint, and then you see a monstor… now RUN!.
    but now i am more intrigued. exploration and puzzles to tell a great story.
    what made MUST and PORTAL so great.

  • Great job Santa Monica on yet again outdoing yourself :) First GoW:Ascension and now The Unfinshed Swan Keep up the fantastic work!

  • HOLY CARP YES. I would absolutely love to play this game. I saw the prototype video years ago and I have waited semi-patiently for any news to come up. The fact that it’s coming to PSN as an exclusive is the best news that I could possible hope for!

    …3D support?

  • What? This is a game?? Looks very interesting and I like the trailer! can’t wait to see more. Swan FTW. Will it release unfinished? ;)

  • sounds and looks pretty lame.

  • im so freakin sleepy and tired but i just had to log-in and say this game is why i play a lot on my ps3.
    we need more of this types of games on VIta.
    To the haters: go back to your shoot to kill games.

  • I’m just feeling joy at seeing a game out there like this. Looking forward to it.

  • The_Spider_King

    Looks promising , very unique and stylish , thanks to sony for supporting ideas and games like this . good luck ian

  • Looks like another amazing different sort of game, PSN Exclusive game :P

  • Classiest game ever? Really happy Sony signed you guys up :)

    Glad to hear about Move support since I just got one.

  • MP_is_for_Chumps

    what about multiplayer maps? …you cant make a game in today’s market with multiplayer you know.

  • MP_is_for_Chumps


  • This looks awesome sony. Thank you for bring so many new games and exclusives to the platform.

  • nice concept, move support I’m sold…

  • I support psn exclusive. After all they’re great games to own.

  • I bet there’s a trophy for getting through an area without using any paint! ;)

    Move+NavCon will be my chosen method of control.

  • Have I really been waiting for this game for almost four years now? It doesn’t seem possible!

    The new trailer looks great.

  • A thought.

    A collaboration between Giant Sparrow, Team Plastic and Quantic Dream.

    Just saying, could be worth a 15 minute conversation between the three.

  • @22, great constructive insite! You must be highlight of any party w/ that attitude! 8/

  • I was sold the second I saw the original tech demo. Glad to hear concrete confirmation of it’s impending release.

  • Looks great!

    The only worry I have is that the FOV looks a little too narrow for me. If the FOV is too narrow I get motion or simulation sickness. :(

  • FIRST PERSON VIEWWW ? that kind of put me off, motion sicknes once again. the movement dont look to fast though so maybe it wont effect me as bad. the game itself actualy looks pretty good and unique. i hope its 5 hours or more to beat. i just may actualy have to buy this one, looks interesting enough.

  • These are the games that are more what I consider to be art. I’d like to have more games like this, keep the exclusives coming please. I’ll buy most of them since I know I can’t play it anywhere else..

  • I have a feeling that this is going to be amazing. Awesome concept so far. Cant wait to see more :D

  • I’m not surprised to learn this will be a Move enabled game. I like the idea of flicking paint at the screen in this context. I do hope it’s a flick rather than a point and shoot, though I can think of reasons why it may not work. I also like the idea of it using traditional FPS controls on a controller. So that’s good, either way.

  • LOVE IT!

  • It’s looking pretty rad. PSN is on fire.

  • Wow! Amazing, Creative, Beautiful Game! Me wants :D

  • wow this looks very good, nice idea and something different from all the shooting and other mainstream games around. My list of wanted DL games is Journey (yea i still haven’t bought it), This and Awesomenauts got me interested, looks like fun.

  • This downloadable games are getting better and better, in most cases probable better than a 60 dollar games. Games like Flower, Journey, Escape Plan and this one among many others are so unique and fun. Keep doing a good work, as it obviously seen you guys are doing with this trailer.

  • very daring……. it’s a good thing as long as it’s not done for the sake of being so. I like the 2 last words for the post the most, and I hope that’s the case, but again, if it only came naturally from the team and not force ti just for the sake of being “very weird”.

    QUESTION: Will what get painted in front of you be random or be related to HOW, WHEN, or WHAT brush or item you use (if there are different ones)? OR will it rather be the same for everyone, kind of liek a story in a modern SP game is the same for everyone?

    Please, … and answer :)

  • Looks cool hope theres a demo so we can try it out

  • love this game keep it up. a vita version would be great !!!!!!!!!!

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