Posts Tagged ‘Fract OSC’

Wot I Think: FRACT OSC

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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A Game And A Chat: FRACT OSC’s Richard Flanagan

FRACT OSC is a musical passion project that’s been strumming light riffs on the backing track of RPS’ Official Exciteosourchestra for years. It’s a first-person explorer set in a pulsating dance floor paradise of smooth synths and devious puzzles. Our kind of thing? You don’t know the half of it. Alec, however, came away feeling slightly let down, so I invited creator Richard Flanagan to defend his design choices. We’ll discuss criticism of FRACT’s bold, beautiful world, music as an integral part of the design process, the personal nature of the game, Myst and other first-person puzzlers, and HEAVY METAL. We’re kicking off at 12 PM PT/8 PM RPS TimeTune in below.

Update: We’re done! Tons of interesting discussion about puzzle design and musical toys and METAL. Watch it all below.

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Wait For The Drop: Fract OSC To Release In April

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

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 »

Indie Fund Ensures Fract OSC’s Final Synthesis

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 Got Pretty: Light + Sound = Win

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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Victory Of The Sonic Muse: Fract

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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