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Road Not Taken inspired by unexpected turns in developer's journey

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When game developers are asked about the things that inspire their work, they generally offer up the games of their childhood, the Zeldas, the Quakes, the Ultimas. Or they talk vaguely about the majesty of play and adventure.

They rarely talk about the personal challenges that they have met, or the current disappointments that they face.

In an unusually frank post on the PlayStation Blog, Daniel Cook talks about his work on Spry Fox's Road Not Taken, and how he brings his sense of being an outsider to the game.

"There is a repeated theme in Road Not Taken. The characters in our little northern town have all lived their lives according to the same plan: first you go to school, then you get a job, then you fall in love and finally you start a family," he wrote. "But life doesn't always work out that way.

"I grew up expecting to live a very traditional Norman Rockwell-style life. We had a little house on a lovely winding road in rural Maine. I did well in school; checked all the official checkboxes. Then upon entering the real world, things fell apart."

Cook detailed a varied career, and a life mode that is not the one he expected, even though he is happy.

"A surprising number of people I know are in a similar place. Their current life is not quite the simple arc they imagined. Real arcs buckle and twist. I hope we are all richer for it.

"Road Not Taken is a game that puts you in the shoes of a person who has fallen off the standard path. You live alone, outside the village, and every season a new storm arrives. The people of the village need you. There are tragedies and small delights. There are unexpected events and decisions.

"As you play the game, you'll meet and develop connections with a variety of people. Like everything else in Road Not Taken, this will involve making choices and living with the results, some of which will be predictable, and some of which won't."

The rogue-like puzzle game is due for release on PlayStation 4 and Vita in 2014.