Sorry it’s been awhile since the last post. Since the beginning of July, we’ve actually been working out of the Montreal Games Incubator, a pilot project launched in collaboration with Concordia University and Dawson College. As such, we’re sharing space with 3 other talented teams, all of which are working on developing a game/prototype at the end of the 8-week program. It’s been a great experience thus far, we’ve gotten some valuable feedback from industry mentors, some of which has made us rethink our approach (for the better!).
We’ve rejigged our development path, and have spent some serious time tackling a major technical challenge or two (news to come on this soon, trust me). Henk and Paul have been making a really powerful set of tools to build good sounding puzzles quickly. We’re very happy with the momentum and direction we’re headed, having developed more puzzles in the last week than exist in the entirety of the FRACT beta! (some of them do suck, but the turnover is allowing us to focus on better mechanic interactions). Below are a few shots from the incubator, and be sure to check out the videos on the Tag/Hexagram Youtube Channel
Even the tests are pretty:
Testing communication ideas:
Things are getting done! We’ve got a hell of a lot to build yet, but we’ve having fun making bits of this weird little world work.
First up is Henk’s much more badass approach to sequencing sound reliably (my attempt in the ‘beta’ was quite crap). In the example above, even with the game running at a terribly low framerate, the sequecing still runs super tight and should be scalable for just about any tempo one could need (Speedcore fans, we can talk if you really need 250bpm +).
Also, we’ve been experimenting with real-time synthesis in the game. It’s no guarantee that it will be implemented, but it’s something we’re seriously looking into and considering for some puzzles and
XXXXXXXXX‘s. Here’s a photo of something I don’t understand, but I know I got very excited about when it happened!
And finally, a handful of more pretty things:
I’m a huge fan of glitches and collect them obsessively. Here are a few Unity import errors that resulted in some truly magical madness. The game doesn’t quite look like this. Also, I’ve put together a pack of 1920×1200 wallpapers including the below images and a few other goodies
right here (12MB).
We’ve officially started production of FRACT (or something that loosely resembles production)! This past week, we brought on our newest and thirdest team member into the fold – Henk Boom (the badassery of his given name only pales in comparison to his skills). Henk is going to be acting as technical director/code wizard to help bring the technical magic and the design input needed to make FRACT the best it can be.
Here are a few shots from the week, and don’t forget to check out Henk’s work on his site.
Well, as some of you may have deduced from the images in the previous post, FRACT did in fact win the award for Best Student Game at the Independent Games Festival Awards Ceremony. No one was more surprised than us, as many who were there can attest to (evidenced by a very shocked and emotional acceptance speech). It was already an honour to be among such an amazing group of games and developers, and this is certainly the icing on the cake! A special shoutout to the fellow nominees, you guys rock and are super inspiring. Here’s a video of the awards ceremony (check it out at 5:10 to see Richard get choked up onstage).
What a week. It was a whirlwind of a visit – thankfully we had been to SF before, because we weren’t able to see much of it this time around. Our first GDC experience was great, there were so many awesome, friendly people that we got to meet and that made it a truly memorable experience. Here are a few highlights from the week:
Laying down tile for the PAINT by PIXELS art installation
Chowing down spicy ramen at Katana-Ya
Our ad-hoc producer shilling for Minecraft (or possibly covert-napping) – absolutely brilliant giveaway.
Killer grub at Chez Panisse
FRACT tunnel vision
The lusciously bearded chairman of the IGF, Brandon Boyer, starting up the awards ceremony
Table 11, yeah!
It’s real! Fun fact: all the awards were Made in Canada. Coincidence?
Awesome times and fun peeps at the Scandinavian Kill Screen party – man-satchels and glasses mandatory. Seriously, there were a LOT of man-satchels. Other fun fact: taking shots of aquavit may cause permanent brain damage.
Rock-solid indies at the Sony mixer – it was tough getting in, but worth it to chill with these awesome and talented dudes.
After an intense week on the show floor we managed to catch our breath and capture a few moments on the last day.
Overall, the GDC was an incredible experience with inspiring talks, people and ideas. We were blown away by the openness and collaborative nature of the Indie Community and look forward to meeting these awesome people again.
Here are a few moments from the final day at the GDC, with an emphasis on our fellow student showcase winners:
Christoffer Hedborg and support crew from Toys.
Christian Niemand from Tiny and Big telling us how it is.
Sebastian Schulz looking on as a passerby tries getting those pants!
Dan Rosas from DIgipen looking cheerful at the Solace booth.
The Harmonix guys playing FRACT!
Ryan O’Donnell & the Area5 crew came by for a quick interview, guerilla style.
Jonas Richner (aka the towering 18 year old that made the awesome e7) and I.
And of course, cannot forget the awesome and expansive Octodad crew: Phil Tibitoski representing the group of the most talented tentacled cephalopods around.
FRACTgame.com website is now live (well, mostly). We’ll be adding content over the next couple of days, and some more stuff in the coming weeks. We hope to also check in regularly with the fun that we’ll be having at the GDC, where we’ll be presenting FRACT at the expo (drop by and say hi!). There might even be some FRACT goodies to pick up.
For any questions, comments, suggestions, feel free to shoot us an email at fractgame[at]gmail.com.