Good game w inconsistent rules

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Scott (Spry Fox Support) 5 years ago.

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    First, let me say that myself and my fiancee LOVE this game. She plays it for hours on end on our PS4. Great job! The only thing that turns me off about this game are the inconsistent rules the game does and doesn’t follow. Here is some feedback on things I found inconsistent with the game:

    • I banned the large immovable stone tablets. Encountered a puzzle room full of stone tablets in the same year. This room should’ve been banned.
    • The red/blue stones do not exhibit consistent behavior. Sometimes when I throw them, they change color. Sometimes they don’t. Directionality doesn’t seem to have any factor.
    • (important) There was a puzzle room with a LOT of Angry Spirits, Beehives, and Angry Bees all surrounding a child. I managed to get a rock eater in there to clear some stone tablets out of the way. Then the Angry Spirits started pouring out. I threw a blue-fire mortar at the Angry Spirit to make Angry Stew, as I had done so before many times, but it didn’t work. All the Angry Spirits in that room were immune to the blue-fire mortar, so I died.
    • (important) Tossing a Fear Potion onto an angry raccoon did NOT make it afraid of me. It followed me and did damage. When I threw the angry raccoon into the next room out of desperation, the raccoon did seem to exhibit some signs of fear in the next room.
    • The Follow potion does not get used on a sleeping child despite being thrown at a sleeping child.
    • The Pick-Up-Anything potion does not work on the honeybear statues.

    There is more but those are just the ones I can remember from today and yesterday. When the game suddenly decides to not obey the conventions that you have to painstakingly learn yourself, you feel betrayed and that your cunning was all for nothing. It turns a good experience into a bad one. I know issuing patches on the PSN platform can be pricey, but maybe Sony will make an exception for you because it’s such a prominent game. Try getting ahold of John T Drake ( ) and maybe ask him about that.

    Lastly, and this is a request, but I wish the game had a front-end menu that I could exit to, with the “Start New Game” option along with three different save files. This is because my fiancee wants “her own game” to play from scratch. I, too, sometimes wish I could just start over from scratch.



    Glad you’re enjoying the game! :-)

    RE: banning — the text in the game doesn’t explain this well at all. Basically, when you ban an object, it will never show up in a procedurally generated room. But it can still show up in our handcrafted puzzles.

    RE: red/blue stones — actually, their behavior is 100% consistent, and directionality *does* matter. Not gonna give you any spoilers; you’ll just have to figure it out. :-)

    RE: mortar / angry spirit — sounds like that might be a bug; we’ll look into it!

    RE: fear potion — things that you have used a fear potion on can still attack you if you get too close to them. We have mixed feelings on that and may change it.

    RE: follow and pickup potions – those might be bugs; we’ll investigate.



    Thanks for the quick reply David. I’m glad you guys are looking into those bugs, and I’ll have to examine the red/blue stone stuff more carefully. That said, I fundamentally–in my own humble opinion–disagree with the banning behavior and potion behavior that you addressed. They are probably arguments you’ve heard before, but I’ll do my best to back up why:

    • First and foremost, my interpretation of this game is that knowledge is the most powerful thing that you lead you to the winning condition. You have to trust that once you learn something once, it will be true in all conditions. If the game won’t explain itself, then it has to at least be utterly neutral and consistent with the rules.

    • When a player bans an object, they are effectively saying, “I don’t like this object. I hate it. I hate dealing with it. There are other objects I could ban, but I’m banning THIS one because by not having to deal with it, I think I stand a better chance of surviving.” To this end, if a player bans an object, the game should apply the same ban to puzzle rooms involving those objects. I feel cheated out of a ban when I encounter a puzzle room with banned objects.

    • The fear potion should instill fear behavior in all objects. If a player uses a fear potion on a tree, the tree moves away. If they use it on a wolf, the wolf moves away. If they use it on an angry raccoon? Maintains its up-down pattern and will chase after you if close enough. This is a life-ending mistake that any player could make all because the game betrayed its principles.

    Anyways. I noticed you guys are based in Seattle where I happen to live. If you want to grab a beer sometime and discuss it further I’d love to.


    Cassidy Liston


    We are actually planning to revise the behavior of banning and as I mentioned, we might change the fear potion behavior as well. :-)



    I got the ability to ban angry bees. I banned them and went into the forest. Threw a honeycomb and out popped an angry bee. Grr.

    Minor quibble. I love this game.



    Oh, and this also makes me wonder if I should bother banning things like the magnetic balls. I can’t really see those showing up anywhere other than hand-crafted rooms, and I actually really LIKED the one that I’ve encountered.



    “• (important) There was a puzzle room with a LOT of Angry Spirits, Beehives, and Angry Bees all surrounding a child. I managed to get a rock eater in there to clear some stone tablets out of the way. Then the Angry Spirits started pouring out. I threw a blue-fire mortar at the Angry Spirit to make Angry Stew, as I had done so before many times, but it didn’t work. All the Angry Spirits in that room were immune to the blue-fire mortar, so I died.”

    Can confirm this bug, however some of the ghosts were immune and some not. I think it does not work properly if there are more than one angry spirits near the mortar.


    @unitsixteen @n1ghtmaster The behavior you observed with the Ancient Mortar not working on groups of Angry Spirits is not currently a bug. Each recipe ingredient has both a “minimum required” and a “maximum allowed”, and the recipe won’t work if you use quantities outside these bounds. (The Book of Secrets only shows the minimum required, however.) The recipe for Fearsome Stew requires a minimum of 1 Angry Spirit and also allows a maximum of 1 Angry Spirit–this is why you couldn’t transform the Angry Spirits if they was more than one grouped with the Ancient Mortar. (For what it’s worth, we are discussing possibly changing this particular recipe in the future.)

    In addition to cases like this where the maximum equals the minimum, there are some recipe ingredients where the maximum is not equal to the minimum, and some where the maximum is so high as to not really matter at all (you’d never be able to fit enough objects into the room to exceed the maximum).

    Note that these maximums and minimums are different for each recipe ingredient. E.g., just because you need an exact number of ingredient #1 doesn’t necessarily mean that you need an exact number for all the others ingredients in the same recipe.

    Note also that the minimums and maximums are recipe-specific. For example, an Axe can only be crafted with exactly 3 Red Spirits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all other recipes involving Red Spirits will require exact numbers of them.

    Discovering which recipe ingredients have which maximums is left to the player, but so far as we know the behavior is consistent. E.g., once you discover that an Axe requires exactly 3 Red Spirits, you can be confident that this is always the case.



    I managed to solve the angry spirits room without a scratch. And they were REALLY angry spirits. It used a combination of ice and moles to split off spirits from the crowd, at which point I could turn them into some tasty eatin’.

    Disregard the remark I made about the magnetic balls. Of course I found out as I progressed that they’ll show up constantly. And boy can their power to magnetize objects be downright maddening. Unfortunately, even with the extra ban, I couldn’t ban them. I had to focus my bans on will-o-wisps, spiders and thorn trees. I especially hate the thorn trees/bushes because you are required to hurt yourself to move them to make a door open. That’s kind of not cool to me and I groan when I see thorn bushes show up. The trees are even worse because they take up so much space. At least with the bushes, you can craft extra ones into food.



    Still coming across this issue: The Pick-Up-Anything potion does not work on the Honeybear statue, despite being used.


    (Note: I’m going to talk about some properties that we have recently exposed in our modding update on Steam. If I mention a flag, I’m talking about such a property. Folks with the Steam version of the game could change all of these behaviors if they so choose and if they properly set the flags.)

    In this game there are several reason an object might be immovable. Some objects can’t be moved because you’re not strong enough–wearing the Trousers of Strength will let you move these. Others won’t move no matter how strong you are but can be made movable with a potion or weapon. The bear statue is a third case; it’s generally movable, but has a “grab_if_not_touching” flag that makes it immobile when it is adjacent to most other objects. Neither strength nor potions/weapons will override the magic that makes the bear statue immovable, but moving away the other objects will make the bear statue movable.

    Also, regarding the Follow Potion that wouldn’t work on a sleeping child, the Kid object has its “cant_be_potioned” flag intentionally set to true, so that’s not a bug either. Several other objects also can’t be potioned, including the Ranger and Ninja Bears. (For you modders out there, some hilarious behaviors result when the Ranger can be potioned. You can use a block of Ice to get a potion applied to yourself, if you turn off the “cant_be_potioned” flag.)

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