Posts Tagged ‘Phosfiend Systems’

Wot I Think: FRACT OSC

By Marsh Davies on April 29th, 2014.

Part first-person puzzler, part synthesiser, FRACT OSC has evolved from the mysterious musical toy that won the IGF’s Best Student Game in 2011. It’s now a paid Steam release with a more formal puzzle-game structure in which you explore a vast cave system of disconcerting geometries, full of exotic polyhedral shapes and pulsing neon tubes. Work out how to revive this world and its strange machines, and it throbs with sound and rhythm, unlocking components for a full-fledged music sequencer that you lets you compose and export your tunes. Alec found the whole experience a little austere. Here’s wot I think.

Puzzles are about epiphany, about the joy of understanding something new and achieving mastery of it. It’s what makes a puzzle different from a problem: a problem doesn’t want you to solve it. The best puzzle games need either escalation or variety to carry that sense of epiphany onwards and upwards. They prevent wonder subsiding into routine. And in that sense, FRACT falls short – the more you explore its puzzles, the less interesting they become – but the first few hours in FRACT’s alarmingly alien world may hold wonder enough to buoy you through.

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Wait For The Drop: Fract OSC To Release In April

By Graham Smith on March 12th, 2014.

Fract OSC is being released! The first-person puzzle game in which you explore the innards of a manipulable, functioning synthesizer is finally breaking out into breakbeats in April. This is good news, if you’ve ever wanted to solve puzzles in a Daft Punk-meets-Myst world, and if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to use real synthesizers but were stopped in your tracks by your inability to inhabit a synthesizer it and control it as all-encompassing machinery.

There’s a new teaser trailer below.

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FRACT Should Finally Be With Us In The Next Few Months

By John Walker on February 6th, 2014.

FRACT has been in development awhile. We’ve been writing about it since early 2011, and are excited to finally get our hands on the “musical exploration game”. Developers Phosfiend Systems have got in touch to let us know that finally, finally, it’s, er, months away. But months, not years! They are coming in to land. And to mark this occasion, they’ve released a new trailer, apparently narrated by Agent Coulson.

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Indie Fund Ensures Fract OSC’s Final Synthesis

By Jim Rossignol on July 5th, 2013.


It’s been over a year since we had cause to mention first-person music synthesizing game Fract OSC, but I saw the team talk at GDC in March, and it was clear a lot had been happening in that time. Not all of it good. The takeaway message from their presentation, however, was that while they had experienced all kinds of difficulties in the months following their IGF successes, they were finally back on track. That seems to have more than empty rhetoric, too, because Indie Fund, who have been steadily backing many of the most interesting and successful indie projects out there, have announced they are helping bring Fract OSC to neony fruition: “…when Phosfiend Systems sent out the signal that they needed help getting it across the finish line, we jumped at the opportunity to make that happen for them!”

A feast of light and sound await in the most recent trailer, below.
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Fract OSC Trailer Is Quite The Thing

By Jim Rossignol on April 17th, 2013.


One of the most heartfelt talks I saw at GDC this year was the Fract session, which basically underlined how much time, effort, and ARGH OH GOD can go into making a commercial version of a game that had already won an award at the IGF. The prototype might have captured the imagination of judges, but the concept for the full game was still very much up for grabs, and the Fract team ending up causing themselves all kinds of heartache by building, scrapping, and rebuilding the game they wanted it to be. Now though the synthesizing world of light and music is on the final straight, and they’re expecting to release in 2013. The music the following trailer was composed in-game, by playing with the game’s tools. Marvelous stuff.
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Fract Got Pretty: Light + Sound = Win

By John Walker on May 15th, 2012.

I'm waiting for a puzzle game driven by grammar.

Since we last caught up with it, the extraordinary-looking (and sounding) Fract OSC has released a bundle of new screenshots, and they’re a bit pretty. Described as Myst meets Rez meets Tron, a first-person puzzle adventure in an abstract world, designed around electronic music. The game, they say, is inspired by synthesisers, in a world that “literally runs on sound”. Previous footage has been remarkably interesting, but arguably not that pretty. However, that’s beginning to change, thanks to some new atmospheric art, and some extremely effective lighting. Take a look.

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