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Interview: DigixArt on Road 96: Mile 0

Road 96: Mile 0 is a narrative adventure game developed by DigixArt and published by Ravenscourt. It’s set for release on April 4, 2023, on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch and is a prequel to 2021’s Road 96. I have been playing a preview build of the game that covers Act 1 as we explore four areas within White Sands, Petria, and learn a little about best friends Zoe and Kaito which you can read here. We got to ask some questions of Yoan Fanise, Co-founder of DigixArt and creator of Road 96 about the development process, what players can expect in the game and telling us a bit about the new Musical Rides within Road 96: Mile 0.

How big is the development team at DigixArt and how long did it take to develop both Road 96 and Road 96: Mile 0?

At DigixArt we are 25 developers, and we were 18 at the end of Road 96. The studio exists since 2015, in the sunny south of France, and we a really happy to create our own games, unique and weird.

Was it easier this second time around or are there higher expectations after the success of Road 96?

It was both easier and harder, the technical aspects and the tools we developed on Road 96 were already in place, so we could be more efficient from the beginning, but on the writing side it was more challenging. We had to respect all the existing narrative of Petria’s dystopian world, we didn’t want to make any nonsense, and respect all the choices players have made in Road 96. That’s why making a prequel was a perfect choice, you can develop more the lore without compromising players choices in the previous game. The game is very different in its structure, so the two experiences are not comparable.

Do players need to have played Road 96 first or can they jump straight into Road 96: Mile 0?

We managed to please both audiences, the ones who will discover the world and characters of Petria in Mile 0, that is a perfect “first course” short and sweet. For the Road 96 fans, this is digging mysteries that are unsolved in the first game. Knowing why Zoe left her home, what’s her past, her home. The main challenge of Road 96 was to construct a story that can be delivered in a procedural way, this is what makes the game so unique, the sequences you’ll get depends entirely on the choice you make. We don’t even know what your first sequence will be and who’s gonna die at the end.

What was the most challenging feature to develop in Road 96 and now this prequel?

The most challenging feature to develop in Mile 0 was the Rides parts, where gameplay is very important and fine tuned, those parts requires a lot of tweaking to be fun and hard at the same time. But for those who don’t like difficulty, they can skip it to continue the adventure.

Minigames were a great addition to Road 96, can we expect more of these throughout Mile 0?

Oh yes, we love minigames, and we tried to add more depth to certain of them, you can for example draw on a wall with many tools, this is saved all along the game, and even more with the psychedelic rides, where it is a full gameplay ala Sayonara with scores and leaderboards.

What has been the most rewarding part of developing Road 96 and Road 96: Mile 0?

Seeing players having totally different walkthrough in Road 96 was a blast, seeing them loving our characters so much, with passion, makes us really proud. We built a world that is both funny and serious, that people all over the world relate to, it resonates with the struggles of many countries. On Mile 0 we are proud of the gameplay depth we added with the rides, we don’t want to stick to dialogs choice, that can be boring, we want a mix of emotions and actions that build a strong and memorable story.

What’s next for DigixArt?

So many things, we cannot tell exactly yet but we’re exploring innovative interactions between players, how to create something totally new in the narrative and adventure genre. We did make a breakthrough with the procedural structure of Road; we have to create the next breakthrough now. The team is growing, the ambition of the next games can be growing too.

Is there anything else you would like to mention to new players to Road 96 and Road 96: Mile 0?

Enter the universe of Petria, it is colourful, fun, emotional, crazy and serious at the same time. It makes you laugh, and it makes you think, all in a short and sweet experience. Thanks for this opportunity, I am looking forward to the new game.

Thanks to Plaion ANZ for facilitating this interview and Road 96: Mile 0 will launch on April 4, 2023, on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.


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