Just a little reminder for any FRACT fans out in Paris (anyone?)- there’s four days left of the exhibit at La Gaîté Lyrique, La carte blanche à kokoromi et TAG. It finishes this Sunday, November 13, so check it out while you still have the chance! Other games featured as part of exhibit include Trauma (Krystian Majewski), Child of Eden (Tetsuya Mizuguchi, of Rez fame), superHYPERCUBE (kokoromi), and Johann Sebastian Joust (Copenhagen Game Collective). There’s also a recent article out (in French) interviewing Lynn Hughes, one of the co-founders of TAG (Technoculture, Art and Games), who was one of the organizers of this exhibit.
So once again, we’ve gotten delinquent on our blog posts – but in our defence, we’ve been working hard at trying to get the FRACT OSC1 release ready for early 2012 as promised, as well as getting the new build submitted to this year’s IGF (yeah, we’ve got our sights on the main competition this year). Some of you may be wondering what the difference is between last year’s FRACT beta (which, to be fair, was not really a true beta, more of a proof of concept) and FRACT OSC1. We’ll be putting up details and insight into the new FRACT build in the coming days, so don’t you worry.
Besides working hard on the game, we’ve also had our hands full with lots of exciting events and exhibits, including last weekend’s J.E.U.X at Eastern Bloc, an interesting panel discussion during J.E.U.X, Fantastic Arcade, Montreal’s own Prince of Arcade, and some great news at the Canadian Talent Awards – but more to come on that! So it’s been a super busy month, and doesn’t look like it will let up much – but we’re excited to share the new FRACT OSC1 with everyone.
A really quick example of how some of the simpler sounds are made for the game. I like to use percussive samples (as I typically write music from the rhythm up) as they provide a snappy feeling to interaction. This one is a bit rough (no effects, virtually no mixing) but is on the right track.
More complex (and spoiler-worthy) sounds are composed using VSTs, fancier sequencing, and maybe an analog synth or two if they’re lucky. A lot of our in-game sound aren’t sample based at all; more on that later.
More great FRACT news – we’re honoured to be part of an upcoming exhibit, Carte blanche à kokoromi et TAG, which is taking place at la Gaîté lyrique in Paris, France. The exhibit is being curated by Lynn Hughes (Technoculture, Art and Games research center, TAG), Heather Kelley (kokoromi collective) and Cindy Poremba (kokoromi et TAG), representing two fantastic Montreal-based experimental game groups. So for those of you that might be in the Paris area, be sure to check it out, it runs from September 30 until November 13. We’re super excited to be part of such an awesome event, and will be sure to post images of it when we get ’em!
On Tuesday night the whole Phosfiend crew headed out to Casa del Popolo for “research” and checked out the awesomeness that is Com Truise. Com Truise, otherwise known as Seth Haley, is a producer and designer out of New Jersey, and makes what he calls “mid-fi synth-wave, slow-motion funk." We’ve been listening to his current album, Galactic Melt, pretty regularly these days, and it’s serving as a big source of inspiration for the current world we’re working on. It shares a similar vibe as another one of our inspirations, Boards of Canada, while still being distinct (and awesome). The album’s been on repeat for the past couple of weeks, then we just happened to find out that he was in town for a show – kismet, perhaps? Seth was also a graphic designer before he quit his job to pursue his passion (sound familiar?). Maybe it’s a bit strange, but I can’t help but feel a kinship with the guy, especially since we share a lot of common sources of inspiration: analog synths, 80s sci-fi, retro-futurism, graphic design, among others. In any case, there’s no doubt in my mind that Com Truise will have plenty of success in the future, and it was great to get a chance to see him live. For those of you who missed it, he’s supposed to be back in October 19th at La Sala Rossa with Neon Indian, so don’t miss out – it’ll be worth it.
It’s official, FRACT is going to be at the Fantastic Arcade at Fantastic Fest! Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action from all around the world. It’s taking place between September 22-29, 2011 in Austin, Texas. For the arcade, there will be more than 20 indie games on display at this year’s edition, which was curated by Brandon Boyer, Mike Plante and Eddo Stern. We’re more than thrilled to be a part of the event!
For those in the area, be sure to check out Fantastic Arcade, where you’ll be able to play FRACT in a one-of-a-kind arcade experience with other independent games from the last couple of years. It’s free and open to the general public at Austin, TX’s Highball Lounge on South Lamar Blvd.
Here’s a sneak peek of the artwork for the FRACT arcade cab:
Awesome arcade news, it looks like Montreal is going to get its very own arcade cab, thanks to the dedicated and ever-good-looking fellas at the Mount Royal Game Society. They’re currently accepting submissions, so if you’re a Montreal dev with an party-ready game (because really, what’s better than an arcade party?) that can be suitable stuffed into a four-player arcade cab, get in touch with them ASAP. Looking forward to seeing some of the fantastic local indie talent showcased, arcade stylezzz!
Wow. It’s hard to believe that the summer is already over and we’re already well into September. Sorry we haven’t been super-diligent about updates, it’s been a hectic summer! Now that we’ve (more-or-less) hit fall, and are hunkering down, we’ll definitely try to be better about regular posts.
Given our sporadic track record with updates, here are a few highlights from the past few months:
As we previously mentioned, we spent July and August at the Montreal Games Incubator, which culminated in an awesome closing party/playtest at the end of August.
FRACT was featured at the FILE (Electronic Language International Festival) festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The festival, which ran from July 18 to August 21, has a special emphasis in collective creativity, Internet media language experimentation and interactivity, artistic games and installations.
FRACT is also going to be shown at GameCity/Nerdlab, a one-day traveling festival in the Netherlands about art, technology and science. It’s taking place between September 17 to November 6.
Adrift in the Phase: some quick audio & environment tests. Not much to see here, just seems to bring a smile to my face. New stuff to follow soon.
Last night was the closing party for the Montreal Games Incubator – and I think it’s safe to say everyone had an awesome time. All of the teams gave great presentations on their games, process, and how the incubator helped them get to where they are (us, very much included). We’ve managed to convince them to let us stick around for another 2 weeks, so we’ll be leveraging their resources a little while longer (and air-conditioning).
Here’s a rundown of some of the other games that where being made in the lab:
COMMANDER (Ephemere Games)
Jodi’s game is a pretty badassed hybrid of tower defense and twin stick shooter, with a few tricks up it’s sleeve. He’s got a version kicking around the Xbox Live Indie marketplace – but is working hard on a XBox Live Arcade version, and it looks (and plays) awesome. He’s aiming to have it out in about 6 months (don’t quote me on that), I can’t wait to pick it up. Bonus: Same system co-op capable!
CUBE (Not So Indie Games)
Tyler, Mat and Nate’s game Cube is a cool take on the classic slide-puzzle genre. Not only are solving slide-puzzles on multiple (up to all 6) sides of a cube, but they’ve included some really devious mechanics to evolve the puzzles from basic to quite bondoncular. They’re pushing hard for release on iPad, but are looking at other platforms as well.
DAMNATUS (Majestic Moose Games)
Team Majestic Moose have been working incredibly hard on their very ambitious, DOTA-esque game Damnatus. With five incubator members; Denko, Laurence, Kyle, Ricardo and John, and another posse of outside help, they look to have muscle to pull it off. They’re looking to launch on PC (within the next 6-8 months I think) with a free to play model. Can’t wait guys!
We’re still waiting on some photos of the event, but will post them up once we have ’em!