We’re happy to announce that FRACT has a new team member – the very promising Zoe Maeda Flanagan, born just this May 27th! As you can expect, we’ll be taking a bit of a hiatus to “train” our new addition, so if you don’t hear from us in the next little while, now you know why! Not to worry though, we’ll be back in action in no time.
Hey everyone – sorry if you’ve had problems downloading the old prototype for Win/Mac in the past day or so – we had migrated the files recently but hadn’t expected the additional bandwidth. Links should work now, sorry for any inconvenience!
Some of you were asking about getting desktop versions of our more recent screenshots, and we aim to please! You can download the high-rez versions here. Keep in mind, as always, that these are development shots, so things may change and look different in the final version of the game. Enjoy!
UPDATE: Sorry about that folks, seems like there were problems with the link – It’s been updated now!
So while we’ve been pretty busy working on FRACTOSC, some of our FRACT team members have also been up to some pretty cool projects on the side. Namely, Henk and Aliceffekt have been working with Renaud Bedard (of Fez fame) on a third-person “twitch, Quake-like game” called Waiting for Horus which has been getting some love in the online press (Verge, Indie Game Mag and Indiegames.com). We’ve had a couple of playtests here aboard the FRACT frigate, and it’s bloody good fun. They host pretty regular playtests on Sundays, so everyone should check it out! News and announcements can be found on the Waiting for Horus Facebook page.
Also, just this past weekend, Henk, Aliceffekt and Renaud teamed up with yet another talented indie, Dominique Ferland under the moniker Les Collegiennes to create yet another awesome game at the Toronto Game Jam. Called ‘Diluvium’, it’s a typing tactics game where you incarnate an animal summoner. Players must type, quickly and intelligently, sequences of animal names to counter and destroy your opponent. Already featured on Indie Game Magazine, looking forward to giving it a try when it’s ready. Spelling and creatures, ahoy!
So, since the last screenshot post we’ve been hard at work connecting bits of the world together. We’re starting to migrate to a more condensed and cohesive world space, much in part due to Aliceffekt’s fine level layout and really awesome lighting. Below are some more shots of the world as it is coming together. Keep in mind these are still very much work-in-process, and while very pretty, will be even prettier in the final version of the game :). A few more shots are on our Flickr Account.
With Aliceffekt on board, we’ve been able to buckle down and focus on a lot of aspects of FRACTOSC. Namely, we’ve got a more defined and cohesive world layout going on, and some of the sections are starting to look really good. Some cool new things are in the works, and we’re excited to share them! Here are some dev shots in the meantime:
Some new (or rather, newer) screenshots are up in the media section (starting the 6th row down, 3rd from left) of FRACTOSC (all the older shots are from the 2011 version) for any of those who are interested!
Update: The newest screenshots (and videos) are now first, thanks to Patrick Paul-Hus!
A quick Screenshot Saturday update today, including some newish areas (some of you may have taken a peek at GDC).
Also, we upgraded to Unity 3.5 recently (we’ve been putting it off for a while). It was a mostly painless migration and as a bonus, the new gizmos we use to visualize our signal path networks now look like star maps!
In other news, we’re super psyched and lucky to have a new member of the FRACTOSC team as of last Friday, the very talented and impressively prolific Aliceffekt. He’ll be bringing in his unique eye as a designer, and we’re already excited at what he’s brought to the table – no doubt it will make FRACTOSC even more awesome.
It’s kind of eerie (in a good way, of course) how everything worked out – we had just been discussing the idea of bringing someone on to make the workload more manageable, and talked about how we’d like to have him on board, when he suddenly became available. Another fortuitous happening was that someone had just recently asked us about whether there was a connection between Aliceffekt and FRACT.
It was in fact Aliceffekt that came into one of Richard’s game design classes back in 2010 and showed off some prototypes he had made in Unity. Impressed with what he was able to achieve, it was because of his demo that Richard decided to use Unity to make the first prototype of FRACT. This evolved into the version he submitted to the IGF in late 2010. So while the core idea of FRACT had long been percolating in his mind and was something he had always wanted to do, without Aliceffekt, Richard may not have ever chosen Unity to make the game – which would have produced a very different beast indeed (he had seriously considered a classic point-and-click adventure format previously). So it really feels like the stars have somehow lined up and led us to Aliceffekt. Needless to say, we’re happy to welcome him to our team!
So far, the undead have proven much more productive than the living
We’re back! For those of you who may (or may not) have noticed, we were away the first couple weeks of March in San Francisco for the Game Developer’s Conference. While we didn’t have a booth this year (which it turns out, made the trip a LOT more relaxing and enjoyable), we got a chance to hear some great talks at the Independent Games Summit, watch some indie friends win some well-deserved awards at the Independent Games Festival & Game Developers Choice Awards (big-ups to Fez, Johann Sebastian Joust, Antichamber and Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery – woot!), and got some awesome feedback on FRACTOSC. Other highlights of the trip included celebrating at the Wild Rumpus/Venus Patrol party, daily picnics at Yerba Buena gardens, scotch tasting at Nihon Whisky Bar, drunken grilled cheese sandwiches at the Killscreen party, amazing SF food, and coming this close (with the esteemed Douglas Wilson) to being part of the winning team of the world Hokra championship (so close!). And of course, the best part of the trip was the chance to meet up with some old friends, and make some new ones :)
It was great to get away – not only in terms of getting away from Montreal, but also good to get away from production and get a bit of perspective on FRACT. We’ve been plugging away non-stop for the past few months and have been pretty focused on just “getting things done”, so might have gotten a bit shortsighted in the process. It was super valuable to have people play the game and get some critical feedback and advice – we could then take a step back and try to figure out what we could do to make the game even better. Coming back to work last Friday, we took some time to absorb and discuss all the feedback and ideas (and inspiration) from GDC week and come up with (the beginnings) of a plan for the future. I think we’re on the right track now – though we want to get the game out as soon as we can, we also want to make sure we take the time to do it right. As Richard says, “let’s try to fix the problem, instead of fixing the solution”. We’re also lucky to have a new team member on board (more on that in the next post), which I think will be a huge advantage moving forward.
In other exciting news – we’ve got a pretty immutable milestone coming up, as we (Richard and Quynh) are having our first baby in May! This should definitely provide some interesting challenges for the project, in terms of time-management, logistics and general sanity, to say the least. We’re going to have to work hard the next couple of months to get as much done as we can before then – and we’re hoping to have builds to test to make the most of when we’re in full-on baby mode (so for those of you who have asked about testing – we haven’t forgotten :) ). So there’s a lot coming up in the next several months, but we’re optimistic that we can still stay on track and (hopefully) have FRACTOSC out sometime in 2012. Fingers crossed!
Enjoying the sun and great company at our daily picnics
Wild Rumpus/Venus Patrol & MEGAGIRP!
So. much. happiness.
A demo of ‘Dog the Wag’ at the IGS folk games talk