Welcome everyone. We’ve got 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 journey adventure.
In this do-it-yourself journey adventure, you play as two different teens who are fleeing a fictional country called Petria. Things within the country have gone off the rails – and as you journey across the map – you’ll meet a very strange mix of people; Some will help you escape, and some will not.
When we started working on Road 96 in 2018, we wanted to create a procedural game with a different story for each player. Our motto was “No one’s path is the same”. We worked on various prototypes, to design a viable system that creates a unique and engaging story that matches the player’s personal taste. This is why the game starts with asking you some questions.
The AI uses these parameters to determine your starting position, abilities, money, and (yes) a hidden karmic element as well. At the end of this first sequence, you then choose how you want to leave. And – as you’ll find out – it’s not a linear branching system, but rather a set of sequences that the AI will pick and adjust, depending on your flight.
There are many means of transportation. If walking is your thing, it will obviously take longer to reach the limits. Since time does not stand still in the summer of 1996, after a few trips (between 6 – 15) you will launch one of the many endings, the nature of which will depend on your various choices and behavior on your travels.
If we look closely at the paths on the map, you can see that they are not the same for every letter; This is 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 glad that with different standards it’s almost mathematically impossible to have the same path as another player. With a great deal of simplification and without taking into account all the possible variations within each sequence, the number of variants would be 60 x 59 x 58…
Since each sequence could take place in either the southern deserts or the mountains in the north, we had to create different graphics for each environment – along with both the day and night setting – creating 4x work for the art team; They did an amazing (and huge) job.
The music also varies if the sequence is at the beginning of the summer trek or closer to the end, when tension builds across the country.
Even if it brought a lot of complexity, it was necessary to create a feeling of true freedom on the road.
The design and writing of the narrative were very different from a traditional linear experience, even if it was branching. We never knew when and where the events would unfold, so many parameters had to be tested to see if the characters were actually encountered, whether you knew their back story and how more of them could be revealed – without revealing things too soon or Too late. It was really funny watching the players’ reaction when they understood this big story unfold.
So – yes – all the decisions you make are crucial and will determine what will happen to you – and as a result – to all the people you may meet; You have an impact on their life path because they have one in your life. It’s an experience that raises questions, sometimes deep questions, and we love exploring things that can have an impact on people’s lives and (maybe) trying to make the world a little better.