My son's video game FEZ is out today, Friday the 13th.
It's been five years in the making. A very difficult five years. His travails are chronicled in the 2012 Sundance award winning "Indie Game - The Movie" (showing next month in NYC.)
It won an Independent Games Festival award in its prototype form in 2008 and won the grand prize, the Seumas McNally Award earlier this year. And just about everywhere it's been shown during the past year. The game has been bathed in controversy - my son is an outspoken and very opinionated young man - but has since received glowing reviews for its art direction, its originality and the depth of its puzzles. Edge, Wired, Kotaku, GiantBomb, Joystiq... it has taken all gaming media by storm. It looks like it's going to be an all-time indie bestseller. I'm not making this up!
The amazing thing is that the game is the work of two guys in a garage, my son the designer and his programmer friend, Renaud Bédard. From scratch and against incredible odds - technological, human and financial. If you are so inclined, Renaud's IGF conference (a very entertaining PDF) on the technical underpinnings of the game will give you an idea of the depth and complexity of this strange puzzler.
Why is the game so special - other than being my son's =) ?
This review of the game can explain its peculiarity and it's look and feel better than my words ever would:
Can it get more amazing? Incredibly, yes.
The cover art was designed by Brian Lee O'Malley, creator of the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim - geeks will know who that is - the best character animators in the indie scene have collaborated and the soundtrack is designed by chiptune celeb Richard Vreeland. The pre-order of the official FEZ soundtrack has been a top seller on Bandcamp since it's been out this past Tuesday!
Let me finish with this Game Informer review:
Whether it’s the subtle shifts in lighting during the day and night cycle of a level, translating seemingly meaningless symbols into meaningful clues, or even paying attention to the specific vibrations of your controller, Fez challenges players to think and see in new ways. It’s a puzzle game with genuine moments of revelation and subtlety, and deserves all the acclaim it will undoubtedly receive.
And this from USA Today:
In a video game world that seems littered with sequels and online passes, it's wonderful to see developers still embrace originality and creativity through games like Fez.
Developer: Polytron Corporation
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Rating: E for Everyone
Release Date: April 13
Score: 3.5 stars (out of 4)
This is the new trailer released this morning:
Cool, I hope the game does well. The letters FEZ are mesmerizing.
I will tell my sons! Congratulations, Michel.
Thnx - but I really didn't have much to do with this other than sitting him on my lap when he was 2 and a half to play on my Vic 20 and a bit later with our 8-bit Nintendo.
It's all him. What I'm most proud of is that he was able to make himself.
I congratulate you because he is your kid, and you feel proud of his accomplishment. Of course it's all him.
Tu peux être fière de notre rejeton ! Je lui envoi ca !
Phil Fish?? Haha! :-)
Félicitations a toi ausssi, Martine! :-)
This is way cool!
3d, no less. wish i had a fez!