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Kena: Bridge of Spirits devs “pleasantly surprised” at photo mode usage

Ember Lab talk to us after the game's release about the creativity fans have shown with Kena: Bridge of Spirits' photo mode

Kena stands next to a villager as the camera prepares to take a photo in the photo mode.

Photo Modes are all the rage these days, with communities flocking to share their best snaps in-game with like-minded individuals. Kena: Bridge of Spirits has been no different with the community sharing some breath-taking images since the game’s release last month.

These screenshots cover almost everything – there are close-ups of the game’s characters, perfectly framed landscape images, and, of course, lots of photos of The Rot. However, while the community has certainly embraced the feature, the developer has been left bewildered by the creativity of its community.

“We hoped people would enjoy this function, but we were pleasantly surprised at how many have dived headfirst into this feature,” Ember Lab’s chief of creative Michael Grier and producer Thomas Varga tell The Loadout. “Some players have even mentioned how they’ve spent as much time in Photo Mode as they have playing through the main story.”

You can tell photo mode was a labour of love for the team, something Grier and Varga reaffirm during our interview, calling its inclusion as something “really special”.

This is likely in part due to the fact that the characters in Kena respond to players capturing pictures. This includes the fuzzy Rot companions who were actually designed to be evil and shaped more like goo early on in development.

With support for Kena: Bridge of Spirits continuing, Ember Lab is “still focused on post-release for Kena”, but the studio has started incubating its next project, which Grier and Varga say they will create using the lessons learned from Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ development.