Stress The Abstract: Fract Beta

By Jim Rossignol on January 7th, 2011 at 11:00 pm.


Fract is a first-person puzzle game. We like those. We also like things that look insanely awesome, which this does. The beta is out – not quite complete, as is the way of the beta – and quite playable. Well, I say playable, I can’t much past the first puzzle, when the world is revealed to be some kind of exploded musical Darwinia. Creator Richard E Flanagan says: “The player is let loose into an abstract world built on sound and structures inspired by electronic music. It’s up to the player to resurrect and revive the long forgotten machinery of this musical world, in order to unlock its’ inner workings!”

So you should probably do that. Here’s the beta. And there’s a video of it in action below.

FRACT – Indie Adventure Game from Richard Flanagan on Vimeo.

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32 Comments »

  1. Anarki says:

    This is awesome. I got stuck on the first puzzle jumping around in that little room for like 5 minutes because I’m a retard but then a wealth of wonders was opened to me.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    Oh!

    /eagerly follows link

    “very much in the vein of the classic Myst titles”

    Welp :/

  3. Hypocee says:

    And Jon Blow just got some competition. Nothing wrong with that, this is definitely for me.

  4. bill says:

    Sounds awesome.

    PS/ You know that right now every comment in the “Respond to our gibber” section is spam, right?

  5. Rettich says:

    It isnt that hard actually.
    Got in about 20min.

    But I solved one puzzle on accident I think.
    The one in front of the tower.
    And I needed pen and paper.

    The end is great!!

  6. Samonite says:

    I love the music-player-remix-thing :D
    Completed “level 1″ so far (the four colored lights)

    I found a small bug in the game.. One of the “block’s” sounds is offset compared to its rotation (if that makes sense)
    This is the setting to make it silent:
    http://www.imageupload.org/?di=812944508004

    • Bioluminescence says:

      Unfortunately it seems that the ‘offset’ problem creeps in over time and use of the tumblers – by the time I thought I had put the solution in, I had at least 6 tumblers offset by 1, 2 or even 3 rotations. I gave up at that point, alas. Betas, eh? Lovely, though, and nice to see Unity getting some love.

    • Andy`` says:

      It’s an artifact of clicking really quickly on the tumblers – if spam the mouse button on one and watch carefully, you’ll see it doesn’t animate after you click, but the game knows you clicked it and still changes the underlying state, so the graphics end up out of synch. To get around it just spam until you see it miss a rotation then stop clicking, and click slowly to set it to all blanks – keep going until it’s actually silent when set to all blanks.

      Then click slowly to set it to what you want so the bug doesn’t come back :)

      Now, POSSIBLE SPOILERS, ok?

      That was a lovely little game. The visuals were pretty amazing. Loving how it ended up as a small journey of discovery for me – passing some visuals or music and dismissing it as a nice touch, or a weird quirk (like being able to backtrack – initially I assumed that was an eccentric design choice for no real purpose other than to go back and look around the first area again), then exploring a little further to find it’s part of a puzzle, or several puzzles, and the answer was right in front of your face the whole time :)

      I want to see what else this guy can come up with, because what I’ve seen so far is awesome. Was half expecting to see some kind of secret in the binary sequences the music player uses though, didn’t notice anything particularly obvious there though.

  7. Samonite says:

    doublepost

  8. DigitalSignalX says:

    Interesting, but eh. Could use a little bit more of want to know where to solve a puzzle? type of art direction. Otherwise I felt like I was wandering around inside the bowels of a TRON player.

  9. DigitalSignalX says:

    dupe woops

  10. TomSmizzle says:

    This is what the new tron movie should have looked like.

    • Urael says:

      Totally. This kind of abstract-world experience was totally removed from the new film, making it a much less interesting world in a visual sense. A shame.

  11. Bhazor says:

    I avoid Betas partly for fear they’ll damage my computer in some way but mainly because I don’t want to spoil the finished game for myself.

    That said this is very tempting.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Virtualisation can help you with the damaging part. And usually, you only play the very first levels in a beta. But OK, sometimes they are the most important ones.

  12. Pantsman says:

    This looks spectacular!

  13. forsaken1111 says:

    Okay, maybe I’m just dense. I have 3 of the lights lit and no idea where the fourth comes from or how to get into the giant spinning tower. Any help is appreciated.

  14. Urael says:

    More Tron than Tron. Coming from a Tron fan that’s possibly the best compliment I can pay it. Ok, the puzzles aren’t too taxing at this stage but their implementation is just fantastic. Can’t wait for the full release of this one!

  15. HardClumping says:

    I’m having trouble with the first bit – i have the lights on the control panel linked up with the patterns on the ceiling, but then I press the pink button and nothing happens. Oh my god is it a bug

    e: oh wait never mind this rules

    e: ed: oh my god this game was made for me. someone give this man a billion zillion dollars to make this a full-length title.

  16. richardeflanagan says:

    Hello everyone!

    The developer here. First, thank you all for the kind words and fantastic feedback. This was a learning project for me and I’m blown away by the response so far. Keep the feedback coming: the more I get, the better the game can become!

    An updated version is coming shortly. I almost uploaded it this evening, but discovered a really nasty bug that makes it very difficult to finish the game. I nicked a few other little bugs that have popped up thanks to your keen eyes and have other resolutions (lower and 4:3 support) along with the much requested invert mouse option integrated. I hope to have it up by Monday.

    Keep an eye on my twitter feed for updates : http://www.twitter.com/phosfiend

    YOU ALL ROCK, THANK YOU!

  17. Sagan says:

    Amazing. Loved it.

  18. richardeflanagan says:

    Hello everyone!

    Just wanted to let you know that FRACT has been updated. Fixes some of the bugs you all have noticed.

    CHECK IT OUT HERE: http://richardeflanagan.com/lab/10-fract-beta-come-and-play

  19. Pani says:

    Reminds me of Darwinia, which is a good thing.

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