It’s been a while since I’ve talked about FEZ!

This is actually the first FEZ Friday I’m posting since launching the Patreon, so thanks to everyone supporting me there and allowing me to write more of these:

https://www.patreon.com/flibitijibibo

It’s a bit difficult making larger topics for 1.12 like I have in the past, but there are still some things I can show off in the meantime.

There was, of course, the bugfix from a couple weeks ago that I posted on Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/7-small-updates-5152989

But there are still a few things we’re looking at before we start wrapping things up for good - most of which is listed in our public tracker here:

https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/issues

Most of them are bugs, but there are a handful of new features requested too. We’re going to be looking at three of them this week.

CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Let’s look at the first one, which asks about stereoscopic 3D:

https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/issues/94

You get this option in NG++, and while it’s really neat, it doesn’t actually affect gameplay in any real way. By the time you get to this point, you’ve seen the whole game, so you’re really just looking at completed areas with the new rendering mode. Cool, but not terribly convenient.

This option’s availability was determined by whether or not the active save had unlocked it, but there was nothing really stopping us from checking all three saves for the unlock bool. With a little extra work we now check all three saves for the mode, so as long as you can prove you’ve unlocked it before, we’ll give it to you for all saves. So check it out, it’s a cubit in 3D mode!

http://www.flibitijibibo.com/fezfriday/3dcube.png

Next we’ll look at something a little more complicated, which looks a little like this right now:

https://twitter.com/flibitijibibo/status/725170453699002370

This new save menu was inspired by this request:

https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/issues/86

A problem that I’ve even had while playing the game is trying to remember where I actually was in the game. I could “sort of” guess based on the percentages, but it helps to have a visual reference that immediately tells you where you are in the game. The save menu is super basic anyway, so I just moved those options down a little bit and made some room for a preview texture.

Where does the preview texture come from, you ask? Perhaps this additional screenshot will give you a clue…

http://www.flibitijibibo.com/fezfriday/mappreview.png

We’re just using the world map previews! Pretty simple, but without the edge trimming from this and the world map you wouldn’t know right away unless you looked at them side-by-side. When Renaud saw the screenshot he checked to be sure I wasn’t doing something wacky like rendering the map to a texture at runtime... pretty clever way to add “new” graphics without having to add any graphics assets.

For now I’ve just got this in the opening save dialog, but later on I’ll get this into the save management dialogs as well. Same technique, just requires some different spacing/sizing given the extra text in those regions.

Lastly, we’ve got something that is again more complicated but also a lot of fun to mess with. In 1.12 we’re going to be adding an official SpeedRun mode to FEZ:

https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/issues/99

The functionality has changed somewhat since first implementing it: How it works is that you pass ‘--gotta-gomez-fast’ as a launch option, and instead of the save dialog, you instead get a single button that says “SPEEDRUN”. When you mash it, the timer starts the exact moment the game starts running. From there it’s all in real time, with timestamps added for cubes collected, and time is called precisely when the final cutscene starts. It’s remarkably simple to use in-engine (the current API call count is 4, and only one is called per-frame), and we may add more for features like per-room timers. I will likely be referencing FEZMod.Speedrun for a feature set, but the official mode will probably look different on the HUD. At the moment we’re similar to FEZMod in that we’re dumping text to the screen…

https://twitter.com/flibitijibibo/status/725011124500979714

… but as we fix the text and as we consider more data to put on the screen, we’ll be sure to make this nice and pretty for the final release. Game functionality is expected to stay exactly the same except for the requirement of single-threaded loading; this saves lots of frames anyway so you can expect a lot of improved times for 1.12 runners even for similarly executed runs from 1.11.

Even if we don’t add a lot of functionality to the timer there are still a handful of things we’re going to do for the UI; I’ll probably adjust the pause menu to allow easy run resetting, and I may do some work in the save manager to allow switching between runs and saves, making it easier for runners to practice specific spots if they want to take a break from doing full runs.

Speaking of practicing, one of the features we definitely will NOT be implementing is a specialized save manager. Runners like using dedicated saves for practicing, but unfortunately there wouldn’t be anything we could make in the engine that would adequately fit this need. I’ve provided a possible workaround here, if anyone’s interested:

https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/issues/85

Most of our testers aside from flibitQA have been speedrunners, so we should be able to iterate on this feature quite a bit before launching 1.12. That said, if you run this game and haven’t been given access, please let us know!


There are other big things getting fixed, but they’re still too incomplete to discuss. Next time we’ll talk about some things that have actually been slowing the game down, and what we’re doing to get those frames back.
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