We’ll be working on a review for Road 96, so I got in touch with DigixArt to talk a bit about the game. come check it out!
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us this morning. Could you please help us get going by introducing yourself to our readers and letting them know a bit about yourself?
Hello, my name is Yoan Fanise, and I’ve been making games for the past 20 years, first at Ubisoft and then at my own studio, DigixArt. I’m more famous for Valiant Hearts than other AAA titles, and that’s the smaller type of games we develop at Digixart with my fury band of great developers. We’re also based in the south of France, next to the sea, and this place rocks!
PS4B: Road 96 was showcased by Nintendo back in April as a new adventure game on its way to Nintendo Switch. What can you tell us about this project?
Road 96 is a crazy procedural road-trip adventure game, the discovery of atypical protagonists in a declining world through the player’s path to the border, thousands of miles away in the mountains. Looking for a better future, teenagers from all over the country are increasingly embarking on a road trip to the border.
The game alternates moments of exploration, contemplative melancholy, human encounters, and wacky situations. Players will feel the wide-open road, the nostalgia of being far from home, the vast and peaceful landscapes, the solitary buildings, the unsafety of certain encounters, and a sense of wonder in the ever-changing world around you.
The player is in the role of a different teenager in each game playthrough (which usually lasts between 30 minutes to an hour), you’ll have dozens of choices to make regarding your means of travel, your interactions with the inhabitants, and if you manage, or not, to solve puzzles and stay alive. All the decisions you are making alter your experience, closing options, opening some others. Your choices matter, unveiling more of the stories and secrets of this nation’s troubled past.
PS4B: How long did it take to develop Road 96? Were there any particular hurdles or challenges you had to overcome during development?
The game took three years to develop. The more challenging part was the procedural narrative system that took us more than two years to design and implement. Thanks to it, in Road 96 no one’s road will be the same. That was the whole challenge of the project, making sure that the IA didn’t create nonsense, and that required a lot of prototypes, mainly with just a synopsis for a long time. We then started to narrow down constraints of writing that would guide us to fit this unique structure. The playtests and also computer simulations helped us find a good recipe. When we saw the playtesters’ reactions, we were so happy to have created something very innovative.
PS4B: Since the choices made in the game will alter the overall storyline and the paths that players can take, how many variations are there on the overall arc?
It’s quite impossible to count as every path is different, but there are many consequences to key actions and more than 32 endings, resulting in all small butterfly effects you triggered along the way.
PS4B: Any chance we might get a physical release for Road 96 on a Nintendo Switch cartridge with a manual/making of booklet?
We are studying all the options to publish Road 96 and make it reach the broadest audience possible. I hope to give you good news in that regard in the near future!
PS4B: When can we expect to play Road 96 on Nintendo Switch?
At the moment, we don’t have a confirmed date, but all our plans are aligning for this Summer, so we are talking about a window of 1-2 months maximum.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
We are thrilled by all the fans’ messages and the hype around the game. Maybe this game resonates strongly after a year of confinement everybody wants to escape, literally.