Diverged In A Yellow Wood: The Road Not Taken

By Jim Rossignol on May 14th, 2013 at 10:00 am.


Spry Fox send word that their new game, The Road Not Taken, is now growing in the shady herb garden of esoteric puzzle games. They explain that it is “reminiscent of an evergreen roguelike” and designed by Daniel Cook (who was one of the folks who worked on Steambirds and Realm Of The Mad God). This is some kind of personal odyssey game for Cook, and Spry Fox claim that “Each object, each animation, and each bit of text is a bit of paint on the canvas. Over dozens of playthroughs, a greater theme will be revealed to players.” It apparently takes its name from the 1916 Robert Frost poem, which seems like a faultless way to name games. I totally want to play Girl In A Miniskirt Reading The Bible Outside My Window, by Charles Bukowski.

You might recognise the art-style from sadly doomed MMO Glitch, and that’s because it’s being arted up by Brent “Meowza” Kobayashi, who was the art director on said project.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

Poetry! Bad ass.

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24 Comments »

  1. lifeasclarity says:

    Oh look, they referenced The Road Not Taken. How boring entrance essay of them.

    Actually Frost is a fine poet. I’m just a grumpster who cringes every time I hear/read The Road Not Taken referenced without a hint of irony.

    The art looks adorable, at least.

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      RedViv says:

      Back in the days of school, before the war, before the web was so very popular, I had summed it up as what would equate “tl;dr: don’t make such a big deal out of everything and just bloody GO already” today.
      Being fed up with people repeatedly claiming that it’s all about nonconformist themes or the likes does that.

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        AndrewC says:

        The poem was found scratched into the bark of a tree, deep in some trackless woods, just above a skeleton.

        • lifeasclarity says:

          >Look skeleton_

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            AndrewC says:

            Skeleton has a small, notched knife in its hand and a sad look upon its face.

          • lifeasclarity says:

            >ask skeleton about suicidal ideation_

          • Hanban says:

            >Look North

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            AndrewC says:

            Skeleton does not answer, on account of being dead. You can almost imagine its baleful visage regarding you with pity, but you realise you are merely projecting intention upon inanimate matter, just as we all project meaning onto the ceaseless grinding of mechanistic causation we call life. You sit down heavily and look north. There are only trees, and a squirrel.

          • deadly.by.design says:

            >Get Ye Flask

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            AndrewC says:

            Flask is got without any noticeable problems. Surprised, ye feel things might be looking up. You drink the pleasant damson infusion inside while sitting on the grass. Your bladder is now full. The squirrel watches.

          • Mo6eB says:

            Pee name in snow.

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            AndrewC says:

            You wait for it to snow upon the autumnal woods. You die waiting.

            Thank you for playing. Would you like to play again?

      • Mo6eB says:

        It’s a bit ambiguous. There’s a person walking in a forest. They see two paths and take one, lamenting the fact they can’t go back and take the other. Now, usually you can actually take the other, since you can walk a forest trail as many times as you wish. Obviously, this person has external circumstances acting on them, either forcing them to not return, or impairing their cognition and they only think they can’t return. From this we form two classes of hypotheses:

        1.1) The person is being chased by a forest animal

        1.2) The person is being chased by people

        2.1) The person is drunk

        2.2) The person is high

        Of course, they are not mutually exclusive. Personally, I choose to think the poem is about a person who is high and being chased by the police. The person perceives the police as bears. The person chose the less-travelled path, because they want to avoid meeting other people.

        A more rigorous analysis would use statistics to show which possibility is the most probable one, but given the scarce information in the poem, we might need to also employ social sciences and factor in the author’s personality to give a five-sigma probability to one of the possibilities.

        Sadly, this comment field is too small to contain a full proof.

        • Geen says:

          I’m gonna go ahead and stick this in a text file to save it. You, good sir, are an analytic genius.

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    Skeletor68 says:

    I once tried to make a Twine game out of a nightmarish take on some Robert Frost poetry. It was horrible.

  3. Winged Nazgul says:

    Okay, now I’m depressed again about the wonderful gem that was Glitch. Thanks, Jim. :(

  4. Berzee says:

    Haha. I made a The Road Not Taken Simulator one time, and even posted a thread about it, but discerning minds may be inclined to say that this new game here is the higher-quality Divergent Roads Manager.

    But as for that, the passing there has worn them really about the same.

    It looks neat-o! I like the fluffy aminals.

  5. Radiant says:

    Spry fox are lovely. They retweeted my half drunken twitter post boasting about my Triple Town score. [1.2 million and a triple castle]

  6. Lucas Says says:

    As someone who lives less than two miles from where Robert Frost taught, I have more Robert Frost fatigue than pretty much anyone. But I’m still excited for an attractive roguelike that might have some deeper themes. That sounds pretty cool. This might be pretty cool.

    I’m trying to be optimistic even though I just want to burn Robert Frost down.

  7. joshg says:

    Not cool, Robert Frost!