Word: This Q&A has been edited for each readability and size.
WIRED: What was your unique pitch for Bridge of Spirits?
Mike Grier: In some ways, the unique pitch has remained intact all through improvement. We got down to make a story-focused, action-adventure recreation in a smaller however AAA high quality package deal. We pitched an expertise that was digestible—one thing you might full in a weekend however with high-quality visuals and actually enjoyable gameplay.
As we crafted recreation mechanics, examined animation, reviewed character designs, and developed the story, every course of influenced the opposite, resulting in thrilling transformations. We by no means knew precisely the place this journey would possibly lead! Initially, the Rot have been really the antagonists thwarting Kena on her journey, however we quickly discovered that making them her teammates was the best way to go.
Equally, early on we have been centered on telling a coming of age story a couple of pretty younger spirit information. Quickly, we started to ask ourselves how her ability degree affected gameplay and story. So, fight design triggered story discussions about how far she had gone in her coaching, how a lot info she knew, and the way a lot real-world expertise she might have.
WIRED: How would you describe Kena’s character and the place she suits in her world?
MG: Kena nonetheless has lots to study, however at the beginning of her journey, she units out—positive of her duties as a spirit information and one who understands the sacred rituals wanted to help misplaced spirits. Earlier in improvement, Kena was extra not sure, harmless, and a real novice, however the Kena you meet in Bridge Of Spirits is impartial, self-reliant, and is aware of what she’s doing. On the identical time, she is aware of learn how to have some enjoyable with the village kids and her little Rot buddies.
Upon assembly the inhabitants of the village, Kena discovers they’ve totally different traditions than people who her father taught her, however she shortly understands that they’ve the identical mission. Maybe the worth of Kena’s youth reveals itself in her personal capacity to just accept and adapt to new views and other ways of attaining the identical targets.
WIRED: How does Kena and her journey in Bridge Of Spirits counter stereotypes and differ from different portrayals of loss and forgiveness?
Josh Grier: We worth the presentation of all kinds of views in storytelling, particularly tales that discover much less generally depicted experiences. Kena’s undivided deal with her obligation and utilizing her data and experience to assist these round her marks a key departure from a number of the extra frequent feminine stereotypes or tropes inside gaming. Kena will not be a damsel in misery, an unlikely feminine hero, or a fragile protagonist in want of help. As a substitute, the characters our hero encounters acknowledge her as a extremely succesful and efficient spirit information.
However, Kena nonetheless meets many challenges. As a substitute of taking over a extra auxiliary or passive function, she grapples along with her surroundings, makes use of her ingenuity, and delves right into a deeper understanding of the grief and lack of even her biggest foes—to assist them forgive, let go, and transfer on.
WIRED: What impressed the crew to make use of this mission to deal with themes of steadiness and restoration and our personal human want to reconcile our errors?
JG: Like many artists, our crew feels the drive to research our human expertise and replicate on these discoveries via our medium. In our private lives, we’ve felt the pressure of fixed publicity to stimuli, polarization, and battle on the earth proper now. Issues really feel out of steadiness.
Within the early phases of improvement, all of us discovered solace within the restorative ideas of discovering our pure equilibrium. This impressed us to discover themes of restoration and reconciliation with our errors via our new medium of video video games. We hope that gamers have a enjoyable expertise enjoying Bridge of Spirits, however we additionally hope that these extra contemplative questions encourage self-reflection, and possibly even some steadiness.