Fez (video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fez
This cover art with a cool color palette shows a cartoonish Gomez hopping between two purple platforms lined with grass. The black, angled Fez logo is in the foreground, and various parts of Fez, including animals, the multicolored guide, a lighthouse, and the sea show in the background.
Fez artwork by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Developer(s) Polytron Corporation
Publisher(s)
Designer(s) Phil Fish
Programmer(s) Renaud Bédard
Composer(s) Rich Vreeland (Disasterpeace)
Engine Trixel
Platform(s) Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Arcade), Windows (Steam), Linux, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Puzzle, platform
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Download

Fez (stylized as FEZ) is a 2012 indie puzzle platform game developed by Polytron Corporation and published by Polytron, Trapdoor, and Microsoft Studios. Its puzzles are built around a game mechanic where the player rotates the viewable two-dimensional world 90 degrees left or right about four sides of a cube. The objects in the three-dimensional environment realign between rotations to reveal new paths through the two-dimensional levels. The object of the game is to collect cube fragments and restore order to the universe.

The game was an "underdog darling of the indie game scene"[2] during its high-profile and protracted five-year development cycle. Fez designer and Polytron founder Phil Fish gained celebrity for his outspoken public persona[3][4] and prominence in the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie, which included Fez's final stages of development and Polytron's related legal issues. Fez was released as a yearlong Xbox Live Arcade exclusive on April 13, 2012, to critical acclaim, and was later ported to other platforms.

Fez won several awards, including the 2012 Independent Games Festival's Grand Prize, 2011 Indiecade's Best in Show and Best Story/World Design, and 2008 Independent Games Festival's Excellence in Visual Art. It was Eurogamer's 2012 Game of the Year. Fez had sold one million copies by the end of 2013. A sequel was planned, but was later canceled as Fish abruptly left the industry.

Gameplay[edit]

Fez trial gameplay, demonstrating the rotation mechanic and game objectives

Fez is a two-dimensional platform game set in a three-dimensional world. The player-character Gomez lives a peaceful, two-dimensional life until he witnesses a giant golden hexahedron splinter that tears the fabric of spacetime. Upon receiving a red fez hat, he discovers that his world has three dimensions, and the game subsequently appears to glitch and reset. After it reboots,[5] the player can rotate the viewable 2D world 90 degrees left or right about four sides of a 3D cube-like space.[2][6] Fez's puzzles are built around how the rotation mechanic reveals new paths and connects otherwise inaccessible platforms.[7] For example, floating platforms become a solid road, discontinuous ladders become whole, and platforms that move along a track stay on course.[8] The object of the game is to collect cubes and cube fragments,[5] which accrete to restore order to the universe.[7][note 1] In search of these cubes, Gomez traverses the game environment by jumping between ledges.[2] The platforming elements change with the setting: forest platforms are tree branches and factory platforms include pistons that launch Gomez airborne. Other platforming elements include crates that activate switches, bombs that reveal passages, platforms that collapse,[8] and climbable ivy.[9]

The basic idea for the 2D/3D aesthetic really just started with the Trixel idea. I figured that if we built our entire game world from these little cubes, all perfectly aligned on a 3D grid, we'd get this "3D Pixel" look.

Fez designer Phil Fish, 2007 Gamasutra interview[10]

Progression through Fez's puzzles reveals hidden warp gates, enigmatic obelisks,[7] Tetris tetrominos, invisible platforms, puns,[5] pixelated hieroglyphics, a decipherable alphabet,[11] QR codes,[8] treasure maps,[12] and treasure chests with keys and artifacts that factor into later puzzles.[7] The game does not depend on item collection and an inventory,[12] but vague hints.[11] Its puzzles can be solved soon after their discovery.[12] Fez presents false signals alongside decipherable codes that the player can either choose to interpret or ignore.[2] One of the game's recurring themes is an ancient civilization that attempted to make sense of their dimension.[5]

The game has no enemies, bosses, or punishments for failure,[6] and the player-character quickly respawns upon falling to his death.[2] Fez emphasizes puzzle-solving and patience over traditional platforming dexterity[11][12]—the game's developer described Fez as a "'stop and smell the flowers' kind of game".[6] It features a pixelated art style and a limited color palette[2] that harkens back to the 8-bit era.[7] Its homage includes Tetris tetrominos inscribed on the walls and in the sky, The Legend of Zelda treasure chest animations, Super Mario Bros. mushroom levels, travel by pipe, and floating platforms.[13] It also features Nintendo Entertainment System-style sound effects, the navigational aide Dot (who says, "Hey! Listen!"),[14] and sewer levels presented in the style of a Game Boy display.[11] Other environments include lighthouses, libraries, water towers, and alleyways with neon signs.[8] Fez's New Game Plus mode imports previous game progress as Gomez collects "anti-cubes" for the harder puzzles towards the 64-cube goal,[5] and adds another perspective-based feature.[7] This second half of the game is more challenging and focuses on code cracking.[15]

Three white towers with greenery. Abundant sky blue in the negative space. Gomez stands on a ledge, and vine-like trees grow from the top of the towers.
A dark forest level with light peeking through the offscreen foliage. Gomez climbs greenery on the side of a central tree-like tower. A tree to the left extends off both the top and bottom of the screen. The platforms are lined with grass.
Gomez stands atop an anthropomorphized, purple structure with water falling from its orifices, as if it were crying. Trees grow atop the structure, grass lines the platforms, and the background is a deep yellow to orange gradient of a sunset. A bomb sits alone on the left side of the screen.
Screenshots of gameplay

Development[edit]

Fish wears his medium-long hair off his face, some stubble facial hair, 3D glasses, a white dress shirt with loosened black tie under a black vest and a blue cardigan while holding a red drink at a party.
Bédard is holding an obfuscated controller while looking down and left at a computer screen. He has short, dark hair, medium-sized glasses, and wears a black t-shirt. The image has a warm palette and is grainy from the low light conditions.
Fez designer Phil Fish and
programmer Renaud Bédard
Main article: Development of Fez

Fez's five-year[16] development cycle is known for its protracted length and amount of public exposure.[2] Nathan Grayson of VG247 likened its rocky history to "an indie Duke Nukem Forever",[17] and Polygon reviewer Arthur Gies noted its standing reputation as an "underdog darling of the indie game scene".[2] Its designer, Phil Fish, became renowned in a way unusual for game developers due to his prominence in the 2012 Indie Game: The Movie.[18] While Fez was released to wide acclaim, Fish himself became known for his outspoken and acerbic public persona.[3][4]

The game that became Fez began as Montreal-based Phil Fish and Toronto-based Shawn McGrath[19] collaborated on McGrath's idea for a puzzle game based on 2D views of a 3D space. Though their partnership broke down due to creative differences,[6][note 2] the entirety of Fez's design, lore, and art descends from this game mechanic.[6] Fish continued to work on the project in his spare time[19] and solicited for a programmer on DeviantArt, where he found Renaud Bédard.[6] Fez was first announced in July 2007[20] on The Independent Gaming Source.[21] Fez was nominated for two awards at the 2008 Game Developers Conference (GDC) Independent Games Festival (IGF),[22] and when Fish was not permitted time off from his full-time game development job, he quit—a moment he recalled as "when I became indie".[19] The game won "Excellence in Visual Art", and created a surge of public interest in Fez concurrent to a similar swell of interest in indie game developers. Fish received a Canadian government loan to open Polytron Corporation as a startup company and began full-time work on Fez.[19] In July 2009, Polytron announced that Fez would launch in early 2010[23] as an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive.[note 3] Development continued with a more experimental ethos until the company ran out of money.[24] Fish borrowed from friends and family to keep the company open and considered canceling the project[25] when the nearby Québécois developer-publisher Trapdoor offered to help.[24] Fish felt that partnership rescued the game.[25][note 4]

At times it seemed as though the noise surrounding Fez might drown out the game's own voice ... There were the controversial outbursts from creator Phil Fish in the press; the rumours of vicious infighting during development; the endless delays and, of course, the big-shot movie documenting the struggling creator's days as his life fell apart around the game in painful slow-motion.

Simon Parkin of Eurogamer on their 2012 Game of the Year[15]

Fez won multiple awards in 2011[27][28] and was a "PAX 10" selection at the 2011 Penny Arcade Expo.[29] Fish is shown preparing for Fez's booth at the earlier PAX East 2011 show in the 2012 documentary film Indie Game: The Movie. The film chronicles the stories of several indie developers at various stages of their games' development cycles.[30] As a subplot, the film presents Fish amidst a legal dispute with a former business partner that jeopardizes the game's future.[30][note 5] Game Informer called Fish the film's "most memorable developer",[31] and Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote that Fish is portrayed as theatrical in a way that exacerbates his outspoken public perception.[32] Eurogamer said that the part where Fish resolves to kill himself if he does not release his game is "the film's most startling moment".[30] Near the end of development, Fish told a Gamasutra reporter that he had received positive feedback from Independent Games Festival Chairman Brandon Boyer and Braid designer Jonathan Blow, and that he felt "burnt out".[25] The final game included almost none of the original work from the first two years of development.[33] After several delays,[34] Fez was submitted for certification in February 2012.[35]

Four males from the development team stand with an atom-like trophy with a GDC backdrop. From left to right, Vreeland has long, messy hair, rectangular glasses, a TV static-like sweater, and is unshaven. His arm is around Fish, whose brown hair is combed back. He wears thick black glasses frames and a black shirt underneath a gray cardigan. McCartin has brownish-red hair and a goatee, and wears a Fez logo t-shirt underneath a red zippered hoodie. Bédard is a head taller than the bunch, and has short, brown hair, rectangular glasses, and is unshaven. He wears a black and white checkered dress shirt, a black tie, and a zippered, black hoodie.
Fez development team at the 2012 GDC IGF (from left): composer Rich Vreeland, designer Phil Fish, sound designer Brandon McCartin, programmer Renaud Bédard

Fez was released on April 13, 2012, and sold 200,000 copies in its yearlong exclusivity to the Xbox Live Arcade platform.[36] Fish rebuked their co-publisher, Microsoft Games Studios, for botching its release by way of lackluster publicity.[37] Several months later, Polytron entered a high-profile[38] dispute with Microsoft over the cost of patching the game.[3][note 6] Nearly a year after Fez's launch, Fish announced a PC port for release on May 1, 2013.[36] OS X and Linux ports debuted on September 11, 2013,[40][41] and PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita ports by Blit Software debuted on March 25, 2014.[42][43][note 7] Ouya and iOS ports were also announced.[36] Bédard stayed to port the Windows release before joining Toronto's Capybara Games.[31] He credited their long development cycle to his own inexperience in game development (compounded by the team's small size and difficulty in setting reasonable milestones), the game's scope, and Fish's perfectionism.[46] Fish had hoped that players would discuss Fez's nuances online after its release.[33] Players collaborated online for a week to solve the final "monolith" puzzle by using a cryptanalytic attack known as brute force.[47][48] Ars Technica described the apparent end to Fez's harder puzzles as "anticlimactic",[49] but Fish told Eurogamer in March 2013 that hidden in-game secrets remain to be found.[50]

Design[edit]

McGrath gesticulates with both hands while looking to the left. He wears aviator sunglasses, a black t-shirt with a sunglasses graphic, and has a long, brown beard. He is in an outdoors, camping setting.
Indie developer Shawn McGrath (pictured in 2011) contributed the game's core mechanic, but left early in development

Bédard wrote Fez in Microsoft Visual C# Express and XNA Game Studio Express.[10] He coded the level editor[46] and the game engine, Trixel, which turns 2D tiles ("triles") into sides of a 3D cube pixel.[6] Fish made pixel art in Photoshop for each tiled side of the 3D trixel,[note 8] which Bédard's custom software compiled into 3D trixels. Fish would then design levels in the editor by extruding surfaces,[10] a process he found "overwhelming",[33] but akin to playing with Lego blocks.[10] In their workflow, Fish first proposed ideas that Bédard would implement. The two would then discuss and fine-tune the addition[46]—they worked well together.[6]

The game came to adopt Metroidvania mechanics, with "secret passages, warp gates, and cheat codes".[24] Fish cited Myst as an inspiration and compared its open world, nonlinear narrative, and "obtuse metapuzzles" to Fez's own alphabet, numeric system, and an "almost unfairly hard to get ... second set of collectibles".[33][note 9] He was also inspired by the Nintendo Entertainment System games of his youth (particularly Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda), Hayao Miyazaki's signature "open blue sky", "feel-good" atmosphere,[10] and Fumito Ueda's Ico. Fish sought to emulate Ico's feeling of nostalgic and isolated loneliness, and Ueda's "design by subtraction" philosophy, where the Ico development team removed parts of the game nonessential to their vision. Fish made a personal challenge of designing a game without relying on "established mechanics".[33] As such, Fez was always a peaceful game and its code never contained an antagonist.[33]

Music[edit]

Vreeland's face is close-cropped and bright with a harsh flash. He is in a very dark, indoors setting, and wears a red and black plaid shirt. He is white and has short, dark hair, some stubble, and no glasses.
Composer Rich "Disasterpeace" Vreeland, 2012
"Trail", a medley by Disasterpeace from the Fez soundtrack remix album FZ: Side Z

Rich Vreeland, also known as Disasterpeace, composed the game's chiptune-esque[8] electronic soundtrack. Despite his background in chiptune, Vreeland wanted to distance the score from the genre while borrowing its sounds. He used soft synth pads and reverb to push the score closer to 80s synth sounds. He also reduced reliance on percussion and incorporated distortion techniques like bitcrushing and wow. Vreeland opted for slower passages with varying tempos that could "ebb, flow, and breathe with the player".[52] He left some portions of Fez game without music. Vreeland worked on its soundtrack at night for about 14 months while scoring Shoot Many Robots,[52] and Brandon McCartin of Aquaria contributed its sound effects.[51]

Vreeland's first composition for the game ("Adventure") became the soundtrack's first track. He wrote it after meeting Bédard but before discussing the soundtrack with Fish, and based the composition on Fez's pre-2010 music ideas. Vreeland wanted to use tape recorders in lieu of digital recording for its sound qualities, but decided against it due to potential audio synching issues.[53] He composed some tracks with the intention to imitate other sounds, such as those of bats, thunderstorms,[54] taiko,[55] and water falling from stalactites.[56] Other tracks expanded from improvisations.[57] Portions of the soundtrack dynamically change between several dozen constituent elements and react to the game environment. For example, the "Puzzle" track's elements change musical key based on the in-game time of day.[58] Vreeland was also inspired by the Lord of the Rings Shire theme,[59] 1980s horror media,[60] the soundtrack of demoscene game Jasper's Journeys,[61] the Legend of Zelda dungeon music,[62] the Mass Effect soundtrack, Tangerine Dream,[63] and Steve Reich.[64] "Continuum" is a synthesized rendition of Frédéric Chopin's Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4.[65] Instruments used during the production include the Sonic Charge Synplant,[58] minimoog,[66] "synthetic flute", and Boomwhacker.[67]

The soundtrack was released in a digital format on April 20, 2012.[52] Pre-orders for the soundtrack topped the Bandcamp charts.[68] Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku wrote that Fez's sound effects evoked Jim Guthrie's Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP audio.[52] Joshua Kopstein of The Verge called the work "fantastic" and described it as a cross between a "1980s Vangelis synth odyssey" and a submerged vinyl record from an arcade.[68] Game Informer's Miller wrote that the soundtrack contributed to Fez's "80s nostalgia vibe".[7] Eurogamer described the music as "lush, spooky, and electrifying",[5] and Edge compared it to "Holst put through a Mega Drive".[8] Oli Welsh of Eurogamer wrote that the music matched the game's themes of "hidden depth".[15] Welsh heard influences of 60s English psychedelia (Pink Floyd, Soft Machine), 70s Krautrock (Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk), 80s synth (Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis), and Erik Satie. He added that the soundtrack's contribution to Fez was "incalculable".[15] Damian Kastbauer of Game Developer used Vreeland's soundtrack to exemplify how a retrogaming aesthetic in sound and visuals could be both "futuristic and nostalgic" as the "right 'voice' to support the game's design intentions".[69]

Game Developer listed Vreeland in their 2012 Power 50 for his work on the soundtrack, which they described as "atmospheric, pensive, and maybe even a little bit melancholy".[70] In keeping with Fez's theme of secrets, images visible only through spectrogram were embedded into the soundtrack audio.[71][note 10] Vreeland released a remix album, FZ: Side F, a year later on April 20, 2013. It features tracks from other artists, including Jim Guthrie.[72] He later released another remix album, FZ: Side Z, and all three albums were included in the August 2013 Game Music Bundle 5.[73]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings PC: 94%[75]
PSVITA: 92%[76]
X360: 89%[77]
PS4: 88%[78]
Metacritic PC: 91/100[79]
PSVITA: 91/100[80]
PS4: 90/100[81]
X360: 89/100[82]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 9/10[8]
Eurogamer 10/10[5]
Game Informer 9.25/10[7]
GameSpot 8/10[9]
IGN 9.5/10[14]
Polygon 8/10[2]

The video game review aggregator Metacritic described reviews for the 2012 Xbox 360 Fez as "generally favorable"[82] and those for the 2013 PC version as "universal acclaim".[79] GameRankings ranks Fez as the 73rd highest-rated Xbox 360 game[77] and 15th highest-rated PC game.[75] While in development, Fez had won the 2012 GDC Independent Games Festival's Seumas McNally Grand Prize,[83][note 11] the 2011 Indiecade Best in Show and Best Story/World Design,[28] the 2011 Fantastic Arcade Audience Choice Award,[27] and the 2008 GDC Independent Games Festival's Excellence in Visual Art.[19] Eurogamer gave Fez their highest rating[5] and named the "perfect, wordless sci-fi parable" their 2012 Game of the Year.[15] Digital Spy listed Fez eighth in its Best Games of 2012, ahead of high-budget games like Black Ops 2 and Halo 4.[86][87] Fez was chosen as Diamond Trust of London developer Jason Rohrer and Halo 4 lead game designer Scott Warner's 2012 game of the year.[88] The PC port was Metacritic's tenth best-reviewed video game of 2013.[89]

The New York Times called Fez Fish's "tribute to 1980s gaming ... lovingly, almost excessively, devoted to the golden age of Nintendo".[13] Arthur Gies of Polygon described its aesthetics as "so retro it hurts", citing its pixelated look, chiptune soundtrack, and ways of clueing the player without explicit guidance. Gies felt that though "8-bit nostalgia" was outmoded, Fez showed an understanding of its influences and was the "most authentic" of the style.[2] Jeremy Parish of 1UP.com called its minimalism "admirable" and likened its art style to Cave Story.[12] Kotaku described its nostalgic manner as "the video game aesthetic".[52] Oli Welsh of Eurogamer lamented how "retro pixel art" became an indie game cliché during the length of the game's development, but saw a departure from other indie game stereotypes alongside the game's dedication to the wonderment of early Nintendo titles, noting, "Fish clearly worships the Nintendo of his boyhood". Welsh described Fez as Shigeru Miyamoto's peace-loving 1970s surrealist 2001: A Space Odyssey, and saw its social role as "the darling of a certain indie clique" with "studied hipster cool".[5] Edge described it as "a place built from gaming's history", whose playfulness makes it "an unexpected heir to Super Mario Bros." with levels like well-crafted toys,[8] and IGN's video review said the game "drags the 8-bit era into the future".[14]

Journalists likened Fez's rotation mechanic to the 2D–3D shifts of games like Echochrome, Super Paper Mario,[2][7][12][23] and Crush.[8][35] Early in development, Fish himself said that the idea is "nothing mind-blowing" and that the game could have been made "at any point in the last 15 years".[6] Polygon's Gies wrote that Echochrome did it better, among others,[2] and Tom Mc Shea of GameSpot considered the mechanic a gimmick.[9] Matt Miller of Game Informer thought that Fez fulfilled the idea's potential best of the bunch and commended the puzzle design and pacing up until the endgame. He also compared its story to that of the novella Flatland, where the protagonist similarly discovers the complexities of another dimension.[7] 1UP.com's Parish said that Fez's rotation mechanic was deeper than Super Paper Mario and not as Escher-heavy as Echochrome.[12] Edge felt that the mechanic was "far less self-conscious" and "more harmonious" than in Endochrome and Crush. The magazine wrote that Fez's indoor puzzles were its best.[8] Eurogamer's Welsh compared its "wraparound platforming" to 80s game Nebulus and described the rotation mechanic as among the console generation's "most unusual technical challenges".[5]

Reviewers commended the game's emphasis on discovery and freedom,[5][7][8] but regretted its navigation and endgame's requisite backtracking as tedious.[7][11] Parish of 1UP.com wrote that open-world action games like Metroid Prime all have these issues.[11] Edge compared Fez's esoteric tricks to an older age of game development that packed games with Easter eggs, secrets, and codes, citing titles such as Exile and Jet Set Willy. They also came to appreciate the 3D map in time.[8] IGN's Mitch Dyer contrasted the game's riddles to the Metal Gear Solid codec frequency puzzle.[14][note 12] Jeffrey Matulef of Eurogamer related his experience to the feeling of first playing the 1994 Myst,[15] and The New York Times called Fez "a Finnegans Wake of video games" for its codebreaking that "makes the player feel like John Nash as portrayed by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind".[13] Game Informer recommended Fez for completionists who seek challenges.[7] Polygon's Gies described his uncertainty about the intentionality of technical frame rate issues as having a "certain genius".[2] Other reviewers noted its technical faults: Game Informer as minor,[7] and 1UP.com as "easily the glitchiest game I've played on my 360".[11]

Fez sold 20,000 copies in its first day,[90] 100,000 in less than two months,[91] 200,000 within a year,[92] and after the Humble Bundle, one million by the end of 2013.[93] It was Xbox Live's 13th best-selling Arcade title of 2012.[94] Fez was cited as an inspiration for the 2014 indie puzzle game Monument Valley,[95] and also influenced Secrets of Rætikon.[96]

Sequel[edit]

Fez 2 is cancelled. I am done. I take the money and I run. This is as much as I can stomach. This isn't the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign. You win.

Fez 2 cancellation post on Polytron's website[97]

Fez 2 was announced as "one more thing" at end of the Horizon indie game press conference during the June 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo.[98] The project was cancelled a month later following a Twitter argument between Fish and a video game journalist. In an episode of Marcus Beer's GameTrailers show Invisible Walls, the journalist criticized Fish's response to questions about Microsoft's Xbox One self-publishing policy change. Fish replied on Twitter with condemnation for the industry's negativity, and announced Fez 2's cancellation and his exit from the industry in a final tweet.[97] The news came as a surprise to the rest of his company,[99] which has not commented on upcoming projects other than ports since the sequel's cancellation.[100] Polygon listed Fish in their top 50 newsmakers of 2013 for the social power of his "caustic use of Twitter".[101]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ The final sequence requires a minimum of 32 cubes,[5] which can be either of the game's two types.[7]
  2. ^ Fish wanted to create a platform game. After the split, McGrath made Dyad with his new company, ][ (Left Square Bracket Right Square Bracket).[6]
  3. ^ Fish designed Fez to be played "with a controller on a couch".[24]
  4. ^ Polytron itself became an indie game publisher in June 2014.[26]
  5. ^ The former business partner, believed to be Jason DeGroot, is portrayed negatively and does not participate onscreen.[102] The film's end credits were later corrected to reflect that the partner was not asked for input.[102] An early trailer convinced Jason DeGroot to join the Fez development team as a producer[19] and composer.[10] He worked on Fez as far back as September 2007[103] and released demo tracks in late 2009,[104] although he later left the project.[102] The soundtrack was ultimately composed by Rich "Disasterpeace" Vreeland[52] and the sound effects by Brandon McCartin, who were both on the project in 2010.[51] DeGroot later worked on games including Dyad (with Shawn McGrath) and Sound Shapes.[102]
  6. ^ Polytron had released a fix that resolved many of their technical issues but introduced another that corrupted the saved games for about one percent of users. They withdrew the patch, but found Microsoft's fee for subsequent patch releases unviable, and chose to reinstate the withdrawn patch as their most utilitarian option.[3] Microsoft removed the fee a year later.[39]
  7. ^ The PlayStation releases include cross-console support for "cross-buy" (where one digital purchase allows access across multiple consoles)[44] and "cross-save" (game save sharing between consoles), as well as support for 3D televisions, the DualShock 4 controller's decorative lightbar,[42] and graphical upgrades due to the full port into the C++ programming language.[45]
  8. ^ Fez had three different animators through its development: Paul Robertson of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, who drew animals and some of Gomez's animations,[6] Adam Saltsman of Canabalt,[51] and Graham Lackey, who did some character animations.[10]
  9. ^ Fish originally fought the inclusion of an in-game map and the navigational assistant, Dot, but later changed his mind.[50]
  10. ^ Spectrogram images include portraits of Harry S. Truman and Jesus, and a QR code of a list of years.[71]
  11. ^ Fez was also a finalist in Technical Excellence and an honorable mention in Excellence in Audio at the 2011 Independent Games Festival,[84] as well as a finalist in Best Debut at the 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards in 2013.[85]
  12. ^ The solution to the puzzle was printed on Metal Gear Solid's physical packaging.[14]
References
  1. ^ Reilly, Luke (July 18, 2012). "New Fez Patch Would Cost "a Ton of Money", Broken One Back Online". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Gies, Arthur (April 11, 2012). "Fez review: Living in spin". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Fahey, Rob (July 20, 2012). "Fez, Fish and The Problem with Patching". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Parish, Jeremy (April 12, 2012). "OP-ED: Where Do Gamers Draw the Line Between Creator and Creation?". 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Welsh, Oli (April 12, 2012). "Fez Review". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Phil Fish reveals the trials and tribulations behind indie platformer Fez". GamesTM. Imagine Publishing. June 14, 2011. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Miller, Matt (April 11, 2012). "Fez: Change Your Perspective". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Edge Staff (April 11, 2012). "Fez review". Edge. Future. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Mc Shea, Tom (April 13, 2012). "Fez Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Murphy, Patrick (December 18, 2007). "Road to The IGF: Kokoromi's Multidimensional Fez". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Parish, Jeremy (April 11, 2012). "Fez Review: Defying Your Feeble Human Comprehension of Space and Time". 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Parish, Jeremy (April 11, 2012). "Fez Review: Defying Your Feeble Human Comprehension of Space and Time". 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c Suellentrop, Chris (May 16, 2012). "A New Game Delights in Difficulty". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 8, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Dyer, Mitch (April 11, 2012). "Fez Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f Bramwell, Tom (December 30, 2012). "Eurogamer's Game of the Year 2012". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ Maxwell, Ben (June 1, 2012). "Fez sells 100,000". Edge. Future. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  17. ^ Grayson, Nathan (April 13, 2012). "8-bit wonder: why you should care about Fez". VG247. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  18. ^ LeJacq, Yannick (July 30, 2013). "Angry Twitter spat leads 'Fez' creator to leave game industry". NBC News. NBC. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f Ashcroft, Brian (April 20, 2009). "Going Indie: Fez Creator Phil Fish's Moment Of Clarity". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ Butler, Peter (May 1, 2013). "Fez lands on Windows". Download.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ McCartin, Brandon (July 27, 2007). "Early Preview: Fez". The Independent Gaming Source. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  22. ^ W., Tim (February 22, 2008). "Announcement: IGF 2008 Winners". IndieGames.com. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b Hatfield, Daemon (July 6, 2009). "Fez XBLA Bound". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c d "Phil Fish reveals the trials and tribulations behind indie platformer Fez". GamesTM. Imagine Publishing. June 14, 2011. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c Parkin, Simon (December 12, 2011). "The Making Of Fez, The Breaking Of Phil Fish". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  26. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (June 14, 2014). "Fez Developer Re-Emerges With Polytron Partners". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b Caoili, Eric (September 26, 2011). "Faraway, Fez Take Home Indie Awards At Fantastic Arcade". GameSetWatch. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ a b Mattas, Jeff (October 9, 2011). "IndieCade 2011: Award winners and inventive cooperation". Shacknews. GameFly. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  29. ^ Yoon, Andrew (July 8, 2011). "The PAX 10 for 2011 revealed". Shacknews. GameFly. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  30. ^ a b c Welsh, Oli (June 12, 2012). "Indie Game: The Movie Review". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Hilliard, Kyle (July 5, 2013). "Indie Game: The Movie – Where Are They Now?". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  32. ^ Caldwell, Brendan (June 12, 2012). "Wot I Think – Indie Game: The Movie". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  33. ^ a b c d e f Kumar, Matthew (September 27, 2011). "How Polytron's Fez Was Inspired By Ueda's Ico". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  34. ^ Good, Owen (September 29, 2011). "Oh, by the Way, Fez is Delayed. Again.". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  35. ^ a b Garratt, Patrick (February 24, 2013). "Fez submitted to Microsoft for certification". VG247. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  36. ^ a b c Carmichael, Stephanie (April 17, 2013). "Fez preorders begin April 22 on GOG and Steam". GameZone. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  37. ^ Campbell, Colin (June 27, 2013). "Phil Fish slams Microsoft over lack of support for Fez". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  38. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (January 2, 2013). "XBLA hit Fez goes multiplatform in 2013". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  39. ^ Good, Owen (July 6, 2013). "One Year Later, Fez Will Be Patched". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  40. ^ Carmichael, Stephanie (September 11, 2013). "Fez Mac and Linux versions launch with Humble Indie Bundle 9". GameZone. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  41. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (September 18, 2013). "Fez debuts on Mac and Linux in Humble Indie Bundle 9". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  42. ^ a b Tach, Dave (March 3, 2014). "Fez hits PS3, PS4 and Vita March 25". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  43. ^ Bourdua, Marie-Christine (March 25, 2014). "Dimension-bender FEZ Out Today on PS4, PS3, Vita". Sony Computer Entertainment America. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  44. ^ Corriea, Alexa Ray (March 3, 2014). "Sony discounts new indie titles on PlayStation Store for March". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  45. ^ Liebl, Matt (March 3, 2014). "FEZ release date announced for PS4, PS3, and Vita". GameZone. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  46. ^ a b c "Postscript". Edge (Future) 241: 113. June 2012. 
  47. ^ Kubba, Sinan; Orland, Kyle (April 19, 2012). "Practically impossible: The quest to decipher Fez‘s cryptic final puzzle". Ars Technica. Condé Nast Digital. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  48. ^ Amini, Tina (April 18, 2012). "Ridiculously Obscure "Black Monolith" in Fez Rallies Gamers To A Group Effort". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  49. ^ Kubba, Sinan; Orland, Kyle (April 19, 2012). "Practically impossible: The quest to decipher Fez‘s cryptic final puzzle". Ars Technica. Condé Nast Digital. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  50. ^ a b Matulef, Jeffrey (March 18, 2013). "Fez dated for Steam in early May". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  51. ^ a b c Caoili, Eric (December 20, 2010). "Two Minutes Of Fez's Charming World". GameSetWatch. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  52. ^ a b c d e f Hamilton, Kirk (April 12, 2012). "Fez's Beautiful Soundtrack Lives and Breathes Video Game Dreaminess". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  53. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Adventure | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 28, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  54. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Fear | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  55. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Majesty | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  56. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Formations | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  57. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Nature | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  58. ^ a b Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Puzzle | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  59. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Legend | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  60. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Death | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  61. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Home | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  62. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Nocturne | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  63. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Compass | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  64. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Sync | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  65. ^ Crouch, Henry (July 6, 2012). "Fez's soundtrack inspired by classical music". Kill Screen. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  66. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Love | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  67. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "Flow | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  68. ^ a b Kopstein, Joshua (April 10, 2012). "'Fez' soundtrack pre-orders top Bandcamp charts, full preview now streaming online". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  69. ^ Kastbauer, Damian (September 2012). "Pop Will Eat Itself". Game Developer (UBM TechWeb): 50. 
  70. ^ Gamasutra staff (November 10, 2012). "Game Developer Magazine's Power 50". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  71. ^ a b Good, Owen (April 22, 2012). "Fez's Soundtrack is Full of Mysteries, Too". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  72. ^ Sanchez, David (April 15, 2013). "Fez getting remix soundtrack". GameZone. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  73. ^ Savage, Phil (August 16, 2013). "FTL, Fez and Gunpoint soundtracks among the highlights of Game Music Bundle 5". PC Gamer. Future Publishing. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  74. ^ Vreeland, Rich (April 20, 2012). "FEZ OST | Disasterpeace". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  75. ^ a b "Fez for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  76. ^ "Fez for PS Vita". GameRankings. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  77. ^ a b "Fez for Xbox 360". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  78. ^ "Fez for PlayuStation 4". GameRankings. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  79. ^ a b "Fez Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  80. ^ "Fez Critic Reviews for PlayStation Vita". Metacritic. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  81. ^ "Fez Critic Reviews for PlayStation 4". Metacritic. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  82. ^ a b "Fez Critic Reviews for Xbox 360". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  83. ^ McElroy, Griffin (June 13, 2013). "Fez 2 in development at Polytron". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  84. ^ "Independent Games Festival Announces Finalists". Game Developer (UBM TechWeb): 4. February 2012. 
  85. ^ "The 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards". Game Developer (UBM TechWeb): 11. May 2013. 
  86. ^ Nichols, Scott (March 18, 2013). "'Fez' coming to Ouya, Vita and iOS possible but no 3DS port". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  87. ^ Reynolds, Matthew (December 19, 2012). "Digital Spy's Best Games of 2012 (10-6): Black Ops 2, Journey, Fez". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  88. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (January 1, 2013). "Developers' Games of 2012". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  89. ^ Dietz, Jason (December 30, 2013). "The Best Videogames of 2013". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  90. ^ Grubb, Jeffrey (April 14, 2012). "How Fez’s first-day sales compare to Braid, Limbo, and other XBLA hits". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  91. ^ Dutton, Fred (May 31, 2012). "Fez racks up 100,000 XBLA sales". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  92. ^ Phillips, Tom (April 15, 2013). "Fez sells 200,000 copies in a year on Xbox Live Arcade". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  93. ^ Hing, David (December 10, 2013). "Fez hits 1 million sales". bit-tech. Dennis Publishing. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  94. ^ W., Tim (December 10, 2013). "Trailer: ustwo's Monument Valley". IndieGames.com. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  95. ^ Denton, Jon (April 17, 2014). "Secrets of Raetikon review". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  96. ^ a b Farokhmanesh, Megan (July 27, 2013). "Fez 2 canceled, Phil Fish confirms (updated)". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  97. ^ McElroy, Griffin (June 18, 2013). "Horizon offered a quieter, conversational E3 press conference". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  98. ^ Sarkar, Samit (August 1, 2013). "Polytron producer 'kind of in shock' at Fez 2 cancellation". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  99. ^ Yoon, Andrew (August 20, 2013). "Fez coming to PS4, PS3, and Vita [Update]". Shacknews. GameFly. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  100. ^ Campbell, Colin (January 1, 2014). "The 50 gaming newsmakers who shaped 2013". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  101. ^ a b c d Sarkar, Samit (June 15, 2012). "'Indie Game: The Movie' filmmakers resolve dispute by revising end credits". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  102. ^ Carless, Simon (September 24, 2007). "6955 Gets Some Bonus 'Points', Tokyo Style". GameSetWatch. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  103. ^ Caoili, Eric (December 2, 2009). "Polytron Offering Free Fez Tracks". GameSetWatch. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]