How “Kena” consulted ‘Feeling Lost in a Forest’
Note: This Q&A has been edited for maximum clarity and length.
WIRED: What was your original tone for Bridge to the Spirits?
Mike Grier: In many ways, the original pitch remained intact throughout the development. We started to create a story-focused, action-adventure game in a smaller but AAA quality package. We’ve made it an immersive experience-something you can complete over the weekend but with high-quality visuals and really fun gameplay.
As we created the game mechanic, tested the animation, reviewed the character plans, and developed the story, each process influenced the other, bringing about interesting changes. We didn’t know what exactly this trip could be! Actually, Rot are the real antagonists holding Kena on his journey, but we soon learn that making them his teammates is the way to go.
Similarly, early on we focused on telling an coming of age story about a relatively young spirit guide. Soon, we started asking ourselves how his skill level affected the gameplay and story. So, the plot of the fight sparked discussions in the story about how much fire he had already made in his training, how much information he knew, and what he could experience in the real world. .
WIRED: How would you describe Kena’s personality and where she fits into her world?
MG: Kena still has a lot to learn, but at the start of her journey, she sets out-sure of her duties as a spirit guide and one who understands the sacred rituals necessary to help lost spirits. Earlier in the development, Kena is uncertain, innocent, and genuinely new, but the Kena you meet Bridge To Spirits independent, self-reliant, and knows what he’s doing. At the same time, he knows how to have fun with the village kids and his little friends Rot.
Upon meeting the villagers, Kena discovers that they have different traditions than the ones her father taught her, but she quickly understands that they have the same mission. Perhaps the value of Kena’s youth reveals his own ability to accept and adapt to new perspectives and different ways of achieving the same goals.
WIRED: How was Kena and her journey to Bridge To Spirits against stereotypes and different from other descriptions of loss and forgiveness?
Josh Grier: We value presenting a variety of storytelling perspectives, especially stories that explore rarely described experiences. Kena’s undivided focus on her role and use of her ingenuity and skill to help those around her marks a significant departure from some of the more common female stereotypes or tropes within the play. Kena is not a girl in distress, an unlikely female hero, or a weak hero in need of help. However, the characters who encountered our hero recognized him as a capable and effective spirit guide.
However, Kena still faced many challenges. Instead of taking on a more helpful or passive role, he struggles around him, uses his ingenuity, and focuses on a deep understanding of the grief and loss of even his greatest enemies – to help them be forgiven. , release, and move on.
WIRED: What inspired the group to use this project to focus on the themes of balance and restoration and our own human desire to reconcile our mistakes?
JG: Like many artists, our team felt the urge to investigate our human experience and reflect on these discoveries through our medium. In our own lives, we have felt the difficulty of constantly being exposed to stimuli, polarization, and conflict in today’s world. Things feel out of balance.
In the early stages of development, we all find comfort in the concepts of restoration in search of natural balance. This has inspired us to explore the themes of restoration and reconciling our errors through our new medium of video games. We ask that players have an enjoyable gaming experience Bridge to the Spirits, but we also hope that these more thoughtful questions encourage self -reflection, and perhaps even some balance.