Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.


‘Fez II’ Announced At E3 Horizon Conference


Fez II was announced by Polytron, at the Horizon indie game conference earlier today.  Very little information on Fez II has been given beyond Polytron’s involvement. It is confirmed that composer, DisasterPeace, who composed the first game, will return for the sequel. No platforms or a release schedule have been announced.  One thing we do know: developer Phil Fish prefers Roman Numerals over numbers.

Fez was originally announced by Phil Fish on July 17, 2007. The game had many delays but was first released on Xbox Live Arcade on April 13, 2012. Earlier this year, Steam and GOG versions were made for Microsoft Windows. In a Reddit AMA, Phil Fish said that Ouya, Mac OSX, and Linux versions were in production with the possibility of PlayStation Vita or console version in the future.

Phil Fish and Fez were featured in the documentary, Indie Game: The Movie created by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot.

Composer of the game DisasterPeace, released two remixes of the soundtrack: FZ: Side F and FZ: Side Z which respectively released before and after the release of Windows version of Fez.

You can purchase Fez for Windows directly from Polytron.


Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Fez II’ Announced At E3 Horizon Conference


‘Indie Game: The Movie’ Now Streaming On Netflix

Indie Game: The Movie

After two successful Kickstarter campaigns, which raised a total of $94,676, James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot released Indie Game: The Movie this past June. The documentary first appeared to the public back in January, at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received notable acclaim and won the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award.

While Indie Game: The Movie has been available to the public since June through Steam (being the first film available through Steam), Amazon, iTunes, the Google Play store, and YouTube, Netflix is the first to offer Indie Game: The Movie through a streaming service.

Indie Game: The Movie documents the struggles of independent game developers Jonathan Blow (Braid), Phil Fish (Fez), and Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy), as they painstakingly developed and anxiously released their respective games.

From over 300 hours of recorded footage, Swirsky and Pajot produced a concise 96 minute documentary which tells the stories of the three developers during various stages of their game’s development.

The soundtrack to Indie Game: The Movie is the work of Jim Guthrie, the composer to Superbrothers: Sword and Swocery EP.

Indie Game: The Movie holds universal high ratings: 8/10 on IMDB, 4/5 on Netflix, 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 9/10 from The New York Times.

Both James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot are at Iceland’s Reykjavik International Film Festival this week. There will be a screening of Indie Game: The Movie, as well as a post-screening Q&A session. The duo will also be participating on panels discussing digitial distribution, and an “extended talk” about the production of the film.

The official website for Indie Game: The Movie is selling pre-orders for physical DVDs and Blu-rays of the documentary, as well as a $9.99 digital download of the documentary.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Indie Game: The Movie’ Now Streaming On Netflix


DigiPen student game Subduction releases Alpha Trailer

The DigiPen student game team “Improbability Drive” has released their newest alpha trailer of their game Subduction just in time for PAX Prime this year.  You’ll be able to play the game yourself at PAX Prime in Seattle later this month.

If you missed our earlier coverage, Subduction follows the journey of a girl through her own thoughts, confronting the twisting corridors of the psyche through their manifestations in a world both familiar and bizarre.  The game shares some game mechanics with Fez since the player is tasked with exploring a three-dimensional world only two dimensions at a time.

You can learn more at the game’s official website:

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – DigiPen student game Subduction releases Alpha Trailer


Save-Devouring ‘Fez’ Patch Returns Unfixed – ‘Blame Microsoft’, Say Devs

Damning words from Team Polytron tonight. The good news: Fez is patched again, and devoid of game-breaking bugs. The bad news: For a small percentage of players already deep into the game, it may devour your save and progress to date. The reason this hasn’t been fixed? Microsoft certification policy, it seems, and the limited resources of a small indie developer.

In this lengthy letter to fans, Polytron spell it out, plain as day. It’s harsh, but I think this is something that really needs to be brought to light. Here’s the important bit:

“We’re bringing the first FEZ patch online.
It’s the same patch.

We’re not going to patch the patch.

Why not? Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.

And because as it turns out, the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. especially when you consider the alternative. Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too!”

This is backed up by statements made by Tim Schafer of Double Fine not long ago, suggesting that the price of certification for even a tiny hotfix patch (the kind of stuff a developer can produce in a day or two, and roll out on Steam in hours) is in the tens of thousands of dollars for a small XBLA release. From what I can gather, Sony do have a vaguely similar certification process, but it’s much cheaper – developers seem far more willing to roll out smaller updates for PS3 games.

Naturally, Steam, Desura and all the other PC equivalents have no such certification fees attached to updates. Bugs can be fixed as and when they surface, and patches rolled out literally within hours of issues being detected, if the developers are fast enough on the draw. There’s a definite note of frustration in the press release here, and no doubt this’ll be burning some bridges between Polytron and Microsoft, but given the resurgence of smaller-scale PC development, that doesn’t seem so bad.

As I write this, Tim Schafer actually chimed in via Twitter, in support of Polytron. Hopefully if enough people make a noise, Microsoft might just consider changing their oppressive policies. It might be a good idea to do it sooner rather than later, as sales of XBLA games have been dropping sharply in recent months, and a lot of this seems to be due to indie developers jumping ship to other, less problematic platforms.

Still, for those who just want to play Fez, this is bittersweet news. While a small percentage of players might lose their progress to date, the game is at least stable and reliable now. I’d been holding off on fully completing it until a new patch was released, so I suppose I’ll have to make do with this one. As much as I should be frustrated at Polytron for letting a bug like this slip through, I can’t help but feel that the ball is firmly in Microsoft’s court on this one – their horrendously expensive certification process somehow missed this bug first time through, and they want to charge full price again so they can just wave it through?

Ah well – the silver lining to this big, unpleasant cloud is that Fez is finally patched. It’s Adventure Time, Gomez! You can buy the game via XBLA for 800 MS Points ($10) or equivalent, and it’s a damn fine game. Such a shame that it’ll be forever tarnished by this sad story.

Update: More support, this time from Team Meat – another studio notoriously burnt when working with Microsoft. And Polytron drop an interesting ray of hope here:

Fez coming to PC? Maybe.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Save-Devouring ‘Fez’ Patch Returns Unfixed – ‘Blame Microsoft’, Say Devs


‘Fez’ Has Sold More Than 100,000 Copies On XBLA


Arguably this year’s most anticipated indie title, and last year’s…and the year before, Polytron has confirmed that their puzzle platformer, Fez, has reached the 100,000 sales mark on Xbox LIVE Arcade.

Interestingly, the announcement over on Facebook celebrates hitting the 100,000 mark but actually says that Fez has sold “more than”, so technically that could mean ANY number over. We’re just going to presume that it’s close to the landmark though. Unsurprisingly, most of the comments in that thread are people asking to see the game on other platforms. People, if that does happen, it’s not going to be for a while yet.

The first patch for Fez should be out soon too. When the game launched it was met with high praise but there were certainly a number of issues; mainly bugs, glitches and framerate lag oddly enough. Polytron have since gathered up all the feedback from players that they can and worked it into this patch, so hopefully everything should be ironed out.

Fez, if you’re unfamiliar, is a sidescrolling puzzle platformer which features Gomez in his pursuit to rectify his 2D world by travelling through a new dimension. The result is a 3D world in which you travel along 2D planes, and with a lovely visual aesthetic, clever puzzles and a beautiful soundtrack from Disasterpeace, Fez has been getting quite a lot of love.

More information on Fez can be found on the game’s official website.


Renaud Bédard Reveals The Reasons Why ‘Fez’ Took Five Years To Make


Renaud Bédard, the sole programmer behind puzzle platformer Fez, spoke to Edge in an interview in which he revealed why the game took so long to develop and why he probably won’t be working with its development company, Polytron, again.

We all knew Fez took at least five years to make and that time was full of anticipation, letdowns and probably praying from some of you – but do you know why it took so long to make? The game’s only programmer, Renuad Bédard, has spoken out about those reasons and has revealed that he “probably won’t” be working at Polytron as soon as post-release development on the game is finished.

“Being a lone programmer is a great experience: you do everything in the game, but you never have anybody to learn from or bounce ideas off”, said Renaud. “There’s the internet and forums, but that’s not the same experience as being part of a proper team, and I think that’s the experience I’m after now.”

He then revealed that it was Fez designer, Phil Fish, and his demands of perfection combined with his inexperience as a programmer that caused the development process to be so long. He also hinted at a lack of organization on their part as a development team that led them to announce release windows that could never have been reached.

“[My] experience was a big part of it. I was the only programmer, it was my first game, and it turned out to be a game of such scope.”

“We also didn’t have a clear methodology that allowed us to set clear goals. We’d always say, ‘OK, it’s coming out in six months,’ but we didn’t really know what that meant.”

“There’s also perfectionism, and that’s down to Phil. If it’s not up to the standards we set outselves, it’s not good enough. At many points, me and other people in the team were like, ‘We need to get this out. Everyone’s complaining. Everyone’s burnt out.’ But that’s Phil, his personality, and his vision of himself: he can’t just say, ‘That’s good enough, and that’s what you’re going to get.’”

It seems that Renuad at least has been left exhausted from the experience but unfortuantely for him his work isn’t done. As we reported just after Fez‘s release on Xbox Live, there were numerous bugs being reported that Polytron are having to work on and fix as soon as possible – it is mainly Renaud who has to sort these out.

You can find out more information on Fez over on its official website, you can check out our review of the game too.

Via Edge


‘Fez’ Was Top Selling XBLA Title Last Week


Polytron’s five year development process for multi-dimensional platformer Fez seems to have paid off as it has been announced as the top seller on Xbox Live Arcade last week.

To be honest, this isn’t too much of a surprise now, is it? There was a lot of anticipation even after five years for Polytron’s Fez and with the spot in Indie Game: The Movie and taking the top prize at this year’s IGF, let’s just say the game wasn’t short of public appearances. It wasn’t without cause though, Fez has been met with great critical appraisal including from us as you can read in our review. Despite the praise, Polytron have had to admit that the game shipped with some “pretty serious” bugs and working out a way to fix them with a patch.

While Fez claimed the top spot in the XBLA charts last week based on full purchases, Spiky Snail’s debut title The Splatters claimed the number 20 spot – we were hoping it was going to do a little better than that after reviewing it and finding it be quite the pleasant experience.

Still, it’s good to know that indie games can still sell on XBLA these days and even beat the bigger titles to the punch on occasion.

Via Major Nelson


Polytron Asking For Help To Track Down “Pretty Serious” Bugs In ‘Fez’


After having released Fez after five years of development, Polytron Corporation are getting a lot of reported bugs in the game which they are deeming “pretty serious” and intend to take action to fix them as soon as they can.

As with most games, bugs are inevitable after any release so this shouldn’t be too much of a shock to anyone. Polytron’s newly released XBLA puzzle platformer, Fez, has caused some people to get in contact with the developers due to bugs but now the number has increased so that they have to deal with them differently. Many of the team at IGM noticed a couple of weird occurrences that we couldn’t replicate and, like just about everyone else, seem to be having a lot of framerate and lag issues. Other than that, we seem to have avoided the worse bugs thankfully and we have enjoyed the experience as it was mean to be, as can be read in our review.

Initially, the bug reports were manageable via Twitter but now Polytron have updated their website asking any ‘game breaking’ bug reports to be emailed to If it’s just a smaller issue then they’re happy to deal with it via Twitter as they say there are simple workarounds for now.

The kind of bugs they want to be emailed are ones that completely prevent you from playing the game, an example they gave follows:

“A small subset of older Xboxes with smaller hard drives can’t run the game at all. The game has trouble running off a USB stick. Crashes are occurring in specific levels or situations. In a rare situation (exiting the game from the “wall village” interiors), the save file becomes unusable. Nasty stuff.”

For now, there’s not a lot they can do – Polytron just need all of your reports to come in and they’ll do with them as soon as they can with an upcoming patch, there’s no estimate on when that will arrive though.

More information on Fez can be found on the game’s official website.


Fez Zeppelin: ‘Fez’ Soundtrack Up For Pre-Order; Receive Six Free Tracks Now


With many an indie gamer counting down the days until Fez‘s April 13th release date, developers Polytron have announced a swish little bonus for the masses to lap up.

Starting from today, the game’s official soundtrack can be pre-ordered through the official Band Camp page of composers Disasterpeace. As if that weren’t enough, six of the 26 tracks can be listened to for free on the same webpage, allowing potential buyers to sample the atmospheric retro-techno beats that’ll be drifting through your speakers in a few days’ time.

The soundtrack will set you back $4.99 and unfortunately won’t be downloadable until April 20th – a full week after the release of the game itself. Then again, Fez has been in the pipeline for around five years now, so you could say that seven days is but a mere drop in the ocean compared to the agonising wait we’ve all been put through.

To read more about this highly anticipated Xbox Live Arcade title, visit its official site.


‘Fez’ Is Coming To XBLA On Friday 13th April


Polytron Corporation’s award winning puzzle platformer, Fez, now has a release date on Xbox Live Arcade.

After nearly five whole years of development, finally, Fez has a release date and it’s for real this time – we’re sure of it. Fez is one of the most highly anticipated indie games at the moment, having picked up the Grand Prize at this year’s IGF Awards.

Some of the journey for Phil Fish, the game’s main designer, was also captured in Indie Game: The Movie, which is being wheeled around around and shown to as many as people as possible. It’s a combination of all these different elements as well as the long development process and the clever design of the game that has caused many people to hold their breath in anticipation.

Fez, the puzzle platformer in which you control a 2D Gomez inside a 3D world, will be coming to Xbox Live Arcade on Friday the 13th of April 2012. It will cost you 800 MSP which transfers in real money to $10.

More information on Fez can be found over on the developer’s official website.