Hello everyone. We have some exciting news from all of us here at DigixArt: Road 96 is coming to PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on April 14! choose your own road adventure.
In this road trip adventure, you play as different teenagers fleeing a fictional country called Petria. Things inside the country have gone off the rails and – as you scan the map – you’ll come across a very strange mix of people; some will help you in your escape, some will not.
When we started working on Road 96 in 2018, we wanted to create a procedural game with a story that would be different for every player. Our mantra was “nobody’s road is the same”. We worked on various prototypes, designing a workable system that creates a unique and captivating story that would suit a player’s personal tastes. That’s why the game starts by asking you some questions.
The AI uses these parameters to determine your starting position, abilities, money, and (yes) a hidden element of karma as well. At the end of this first sequence, you then choose how you want to leave. And, as you’ll discover, it’s not a linear branching system, but rather a pool of sequences that the AI will select and modify, based on your journey.
There are different modes of transport. If walking is your thing, it will obviously take longer to reach the border. As time does not stand still in the summer of 96, after a few trips (between 6 and 15) you will trigger one of many endings, the nature of which will depend on your various choices and your behavior during your travels.
If we look closely at the routes on the map, we can see that they are never the same for each character; that’s the beauty of a procedurally generated system. And it’s almost mathematically impossible to have the same path between each of your characters (which makes us really happy).
And we’re really happy that with the different settings it’s mathematically almost impossible for you to have the same path as another player. With a lot of simplification and without taking into account all the possible variations inside each sequence, the number of different variations would be 60 x 59 x 58…
As each sequence can take place either in the deserts of the south or in the mountains further north, we had to create different graphics for each environment – as well as a day and night setting – creating 4 times the work of the film. artistic team; they did an amazing (and massive) job.
The music also varies if the sequence is set at the start of the summer trip or closer to the end, when tension is building across the country.
Even if it brought a lot of complexity, it was necessary to create the feeling of a real freedom by being on the road.
The design and narrative writing was totally different from a more traditional, even branched, linear experience. We never knew when or where events would trigger, so many parameters had to be tested to see if any characters had been met before, if you knew their backstories, and how more about them might be revealed – without revealing things too soon. or too late. It was really fun to see the reaction of the players when they understood these big revelations.
So – yes – all the decisions you make are crucial and will define what will happen to you and – therefore – to everyone you may meet; you have an influence on their life trajectory just as they have an influence on yours. It’s an experience that raises questions, sometimes deep ones, and we like to explore the things that can impact people’s lives and (maybe) try to make the world a little better.