Road Not Taken Interview: A Game About Life’s Surprises

David Edery talks about the upcoming rogue like puzzle game, Road Not Taken.

Posted By | On 31st, Jul. 2014 Under Article, Interviews | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


GamingBolt recently got in touch with David Edery who is currently working on the upcoming rogue like puzzle game, Road Not Taken. The game is due for the PlayStation 4 next week and will launch on the PS Vita sometime later this year. The developer states that the game is about life’s surprises, both positive and negative, and takes place across a mysterious forest.

We asked David a number of questions ranging from the game’s main theme to the gameplay mechanics. Check out his response below.

Rashid Sayed: Road Not Taken is a pretty unique take on puzzle solving. What was the inspiration behind developing such a kind of game?

David Edery: Our puzzle game, Triple Town, is very popular, but one thing that has always bugged us about it is that the core design is not easy to expand upon. We kept trying to find ways to make it a bigger game, or to increase the variety of the existing game, and kept hitting walls. The core design is very tight and just doesn’t want to be expanded. So Road Not Taken was, in part, an attempt to come up with an infinitely extensible puzzle mechanic: one you can literally build whole worlds around if you want to.

road not taken

"There are dozens of creatures and objects that can spawn in the world once you get past the first few easy missions, so in combination, you’re pretty much guaranteed to never see two procedurally-generated missions that look alike"

Rashid Sayed: What were the design inspirations behind the main character? He does look pretty similar to Orko from the He-Man cartoons.

David Edery: Brent, our lead artist, was inspired by Journey and Zelda, among other games. He wrote an entire blog post on this subject that you can find here.

Rashid Sayed: So, tell us a bit about the puzzles in the game. How will each experience be unique each time?

David Edery: There are dozens of creatures and objects that can spawn in the world once you get past the first few easy missions, so in combination, you’re pretty much guaranteed to never see two procedurally-generated missions that look alike. I’ve personally played the game for over 100 hours at this point and I’m still discovering unusual new interactions between objects and creatures that I’ve never seen before. 🙂

Rashid Sayed: You are using a Behaviour system. Can you please talk about the same?

David Edery: I’m not sure what you’re referring to, let me take a guess. Objects and creatures in the game often have unique behaviors. For example, a crow, when thrown at another object, will pick up and fly away with that object. A wisp will seek out and steal children. We rarely explain this stuff in the game; you just have to experiment and discover things for yourself. There’s also a crafting component to the game; there are dozens of recipes you can create by combining the various objects you find in the forest. Some of these objects have powerful behaviors, like magical potions and tools. For example, you can create a fear potion that causes things to run away from you and a duplicate potion that can duplicate anything in the game (including monsters.)

Rashid Sayed: Can you tell us how long the game will last and whether it will have any multiplayer component?

David Edery: We’re guessing that the average person will need about 25 hours to reach the final mission of the game. But this is a roguelike, so even if you reach the end of the final mission, it doesn’t mean the game is over. At that point you can start over and try to improve your previous performance.

Rashid Sayed: Are there any plans to make it cross buy between the PS4 and PS Vita?

David Edery: We’re still working on the Vita version of the game; it won’t be released until this fall at the earliest. We haven’t made any business decisions about it yet.

Rashid Sayed: Road Not Taken is one of the many indie games that are not coming on the Xbox One. Why is that indies are still a bit speculative about bringing their games on the Xbox One?

David Edery: Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program didn’t exist when we started working on Road Not Taken. Now that the program exists and seems to be pretty cool, we’re certainly considering bringing games to the Xbox One.

road not taken

"We’re guessing that the average person will need about 25 hours to reach the final mission of the game. But this is a roguelike, so even if you reach the end of the final mission, it doesn’t mean the game is over."

Rashid Sayed: Road Not Taken does not seem to be a resource heavy game, so is it safe to assume that it will run at 1080p and 60fps?

David Edery: 1080p, 30fps. For a game of this sort, there is no perceivable difference between 30 and 60 fps.

Rashid Sayed: From your perspective, what is important, 30 fps or 60fps?

David Edery: Is the game fun? Does it look great? These are the questions that matter. Who cares what arbitrary number is attached to what random specification?

Rashid Sayed: What are your thoughts on the PlayStation 4 hardware? Did you faced any issue while coding the game using the system’s API?

David Edery: No issues. PS4 was fun to work on.

Rashid Sayed: Given the lack of AAA games, there are claims that the PS4 is more of an indie console now. What are your thoughts on this?

David Edery: Anyone who paid attention to Sony’s E3 press conference knows that there’s no shortage of AAA content coming to the PS4. The sign of a healthy games platform is both lots of indie content and lots of AAA content. Seems like the PS4 is there.

Rashid Sayed: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers before we take off?

David Edery: We’ve written a lot of detailed blog posts about Road Not Taken and it’s development. If you’re curious, check them out here!


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