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.
RPS has written many fine words about Fract OSC during its development process. We pointed people to its (now unrepresentative) beta when that first appeared almost four years ago. Jim interviewed its creator Richard E. Flanagan in 20011:
I had an initial vision for the world and art direction (see here), and once I had achieved something close enough with Unity (see here), I decided to go for it. My experience with Unity wasn’t without its challenges, again, due to my inexperience with game design workflow and any knowledge of ‘best practices’. Regardless, it was a pleasure overall. It is a testament to Unity’s usability, resources, and very active developer community that I started FRACT with a virtually non-existent programming skillset, yet managed to make a playable beta in about three months of full-time work.
When the game started to grow in scope and ambition, Adam posted a video of its developers demonstrating the way the game would use sound and music as a core part of its puzzle design, even going so far as to include an in-game studio:
In July of last year, we covered when Indie Fund decided to back the project, throwing in some money to help it a long to the finish line. In September, Robert Yang invited Richard Flanagan to be a part of his Level With Me series, assisting in the creation of a collaborative first-person game. Then in November, Dead End Thrills’ Duncan Harris spoke to Flanagan about the game’s sound tech and design.
DET: The sense of scale has dramatically improved, not just in geometry but also effects.
Flanagan: It’s something that’s still causing us challenges from a technical perspective. We’ll get it running well, but having a big world and trying to render everything all the time– But I guess that comes back to this romantic connection I have to the transmission mechanism being honest about what it is. I love hallway shooters, too, but why aren’t we making huge things? There’s no limit to the space we can make, it’s all vector and completely virtual.
There we go. That’s your potted history of the development of Fract OSC. Now join me in rhythmically pulsing till the game gets released.