August 19, 2013
Indie Game Legends: FEZ (Part 1)
Watching Indie Game on Netflix really put Phil Fish’s struggle as an independent developer in perspective for me. In fact, Johnathan Blow and Edmund McMillen also now have a special emotional trophy on my shelf of awesome people. Why am I showing such respect and appraisal for these men? For starters, each of these men holds a title as one of Indie Gaming’s most influential and prominent game developers.
Fish’s role in this group ties to his critically acclaimed independent platformer FEZ — a delightful 8-bit game about a hero that discovers that his world has more dimensions than his people originally thought. But before I let you know about FEZ, let me tell you a bit about Phil Fish. Watching Indie Game: The Movie on Netflix will put it into true perspective for you; Phil Fish is a French Canadian game developer.
He made FEZ all by himself.
The process for getting FEZ made and published took over four years and a consistent amount of issues, both in game and legally, that would threaten the existence of the game. While Fish has a reputation for being very outspoken on controversial gaming topics, including online trolls and Xbox’s terrible arcade release policies, the man single handedly handled the development one of this generations most amazing independent games.
The hardships are in the movie, but the game play is…well….in the game!
FEZ is the tale of Gomez, a ghostly colored figure that can jump and climb his way anywhere he wants in a 2D world, but he soon finds that his world has a third dimension! Until now, his people have interacted with the world by moving in a 2D perspective. After the village elder shows him a wonderful golden cube called the Hexahedron, Gomez is shown how to transcend the different dimensions of his world. The cube suddenly shatters into dozens of tiny pieces before scattering to different corners of the world.
Unfortunately, the cube’s shattering is bringing about a scientific doomsday, so to speak. Without the Hexahedron’s ability to bind the 2D planes in their perfectly perpendicular corners, the world is splitting apart. As the only ass kicker here with 3D transcendence powers, you must save your world!!!
Not to worry. Gomez has the ability to switch the 2D plane of virtually any level or world that he’s in as long as the player can properly understand the rules of switching to two different planes. If you switch at the wrong time at a single point in space from one plane, you might switch to a plane that doesn’t have a ground, which could get you killed! To understand the rules, players will need to comprehend the terrain by playing close attention to the textures and shape of the world; which brings me to the central visual point of FEZ.
But, more on that in the next blog post! Have you picked up FEZ yet? Let me know what you think in the comments below!!!
Image Credit: Polytron Corporation