Every journey begins with a single step


The award-winning sensation is finally available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

highway 96 is a crazy beautiful road trip where you discover exciting places and unusual people on your own personal journey to freedom. Here’s a conversation with DigixArt Entertainment CEO Yoan Fanise about this ever-evolving story-driven adventure inspired by Tarantino, The Coen Brothers, and Bong Joon-ho, created by the award-winning creators of Valiant Hearts and Memories Retold.

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Why did you choose this background for an adventure game?
We wanted to talk about a serious topic in highway 96, about our life choices as teenagers, but in a colorful and immersive adventure. We wanted to create a road trip that highlighted issues in society, but not a specific one in particular. We mixed a lot of references, from all political systems, and created the authoritarian nation of “Petria” from that. Sometimes it could resemble American deserts, European mountains, Korean buildings, this is intentional because the issues raised exist in many societies. Road 96 is fun to play and experience, but it might make players think, beyond entertainment, what would you do?

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Was he trying to shed light on hot topics that aren’t normally addressed in games?

Yes! We want to talk about topics that are underrepresented in video games (dictators, escapes, etc.), broaden the scope of these topics, try (on our part at least) to evolve this art. We are really happy that it is resonating with the players.

Why a road trip?
Personally, I’ve always wanted to create a road trip story. To create a system where your choices actually change the next step in your journey, a metaphor for life choices. You know, these moments when you make a decision that will mark the rest of your life, and at that moment in life you don’t even know it yet, I think it’s fabulous! Our life is full of butterfly effects when you look back. In a game you have the opportunity to do it, over and over again, it’s a second chance, it’s magic.

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Was it difficult to write such an open game?
The system that we developed with the team was very complex and the fact that we never know when and where a sequence will happen is scary. Our prototypes helped us understand the limitations it would have on storytelling, but after extensive rewriting and testing, we adopted this framework, the inability to talk about the time of day, how close the border is, and all those variables: Do you know Fanny already? Was that what she was on that trip? Does she already know your character? In the end it was a joy to master the system, to make those thousands of dialogues and situations work in each and every case.

What was the biggest challenge?
It was mastering the unknown. When you have “hundreds of script blocks” that can be combined in any order, the mathematical result of the combination is so large that we have to accept that there might be some weird transitions. But we did our best to limit those cases, and from player reactions, it looks like we did a good job.

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If you had a message for the audience, what would it be?
No one’s path is the same in this adventure, hit the road to discover your own path, it will be fun, it will be sad, it will be scary, it can make you think of problems that you have never thought of before, and we hope You will enjoy playing and be proud of your final.

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Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, Yoan. Road 96 is available now on the Xbox Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

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highway 96

Ravenscourt Games


17

$19.99

Road 96 is a crazy beautiful road trip. Discovering exciting places and unusual people on your own personal journey to freedom. An adventure based on a constantly evolving story inspired by Tarantino, the Coen brothers and Bong Joon-ho. Made by the award-winning creators of Valiant Hearts and Memories Retold. Moments of action, exploration, contemplative melancholy, human encounters and crazy situations. Set against a background of authoritarian rule and oppression. A stunning visual style, a soundtrack full of 90’s hits, and a thousand routes through the game combine to allow each player to create their own unique stories in Road 96.