Posts Tagged ‘Richard E Flanagan’

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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Sound Garden: The Aural Landscape Of Fract OSC

By Duncan Harris on November 6th, 2013.


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

In the Tron-like synthesiser world of Fract OSC, dead code awaits the healing touch of the user. Towering polygonal geodes hide the tools for making music, and somewhere in each vast structure is a way to power it back up. Bringing it back to life, though, is often the other half of the puzzle. For that you’ll have to compose.

Phosfiend Systems’ first ‘proper’ game comes via an IGF award-winning prototype, backing from the Indie Fund, Steam Greenlight, but most importantly creator Richard Flanagan’s passion for synthpop and its hardware. His background in web and analogue game design doesn’t hurt, either. Indeed, perhaps the most striking thing about Fract OSC is how its synaesthesic interface – text and prompts are swapped for directional lasers and electro power chords – gets equal billing to its puzzling and exploration. Read the rest of this entry »

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Victory Of The Sonic Muse: Fract

By Adam Smith on February 21st, 2012.

welcome to the music machine

Abstract first-person puzzler Fract has been going through some changes. Jim had words with creator Richard E Flanagan over a year ago and the future direction of the project wasn’t entirely clear back then. A new developer diary tells us a little more about the spectacular route this interactive synthesiser of a world has chosen to follow.

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A Chat With Fract Creator, Mr Flanagan

By Jim Rossignol on January 14th, 2011.


The beta test of Fract seems to have gone down rather well. The game is a peculiarly beautiful mix of Tron, Myst, and musical puzzles, and has an atmosphere that is entirely its own. I decided to have a chat with its creator, Richard E Flanagan, and find out what makes him tick.
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Stress The Abstract: Fract Beta

By Jim Rossignol on January 7th, 2011.


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.
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