If you left were wanting more information about developer Spry Fox’s Road Not Taken, get ready because today we got an overabundance of details about the upcoming roguelike-puzzler. Chief Creative Officer Daniel Cook took to the Official PlayStation Blog to deliver not only a brand-new trailer, but a wealth of interesting details regarding the games unique mechanics.
In Road Not Taken you play as an village outcast who has found solitude in an enchanted forest. It is in this frigid forest where you attempt to come to the aid of children – using your very own special abilities. You’re able to pick up adjacent objects, carry them throw them; whether they be tree or beast – “they all float at your command.” Heed caution however, while you may be powerful, there is indeed a limit to your abilities. While you carry things you also drain stamina, once your stamina has run dry – you become a victim to the forest. “No checkpoints, no reloads. It’s over.”
According to Cook the Road Not Take is a game that relies heavily on the environment to be the catalyst of the entire experience. Furthermore there are no definite ways in or out of the forest, and as if that coupled with your draining stamina were not enough to ratchet up the anxiety; the exits to each area is blocked off.
You unlock the exits to a section of the forest by organizing the chaos with your powers. Say, for example, that you’ve got an exit blocked by rocks, and you notice that it requires five trees to open.” Cook said. “You look over the map and spot a bunch of trees blocked behind various rocks and creatures. Being incredibly smart, you start moving things around and eventually collect the trees together into a single, connected set. Voila! The exit rumbles open” he concluded.
Road Not Taken employs a rather vibrant and childlike artstyle, and one could be forgiven for believing that the puzzles as being perhaps a bit simple, but in truth “Organizing the chaos is trickier than it looks.“. Where it is possible that you could end up carrying trees to their position, you would quickly find yourself face down in snow due to a lack of stamina. Furthermore you have to deal with the ever present threat of “unique creatures and objects” that stand before you and your objective – “each of which has its own unexpected ways of moving, combining, and/or draining your stamina.”
Learning to deal with these variations is how players will improve. By learning how each element in the world of Road Not Taken works will allow players to survive the harsh wilderness.
“For example, moles burrow under things. That doesn’t seem very useful until you figure out that this lets you shift otherwise-immoveable stones around.” began Cook. “Forest spirits hurt you if you walk into them, then they vanish. But spirits can also help you… if you learn to unlock their secrets.” he explained.
But since in the world of Road Not Taken knowledge (about the world) is power, don’t expect for everything to be explained in detail; “Some objects magically combine into new objects that restore your stamina or serve as powerful tools for you. Other objects seem totally useless until you discover the context that makes them helpful” The unique-behaviors in Road Not Taken are thanks to “component based architecture” which runs behind the scenes during gameplay. This tool allows the developers flexibility in regards to combining the combination of behaviors.
While the behevior system allows the developer an impressive amount of control over the experience, a lot of what makes a roguelike interesting is the infusion of a random element; and Road Not Taken is no exception. The playfields themselves are proceedurally generated, meaning that while you can learn how to respond to the behaviors of each animal or object – you cannot simply memorize the solution. “Playing Road Not Taken is more like improv jazz than repetitive practice”
All these elements form to create a rather difficult experience, and you will have to rely on your mental fortitude in order to reap its rewards.;
“The first time you’re forced to abandon a child because you know you can’t reach them without passing out, you probably won’t feel so great.” Cook says with warning. “But eventually, with a lot of cleverness, you’ll master the forest. You’ll rescue all the children. And then you need to deal with the rest of your life, which as it turns out isn’t so easy”
Road Not Taken is set to release for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4.
Watch the new trailer below: