Monday, May 12, 2014
Blips: Family Synthesis
Source: Making Fract as a family
Author: Charlie Hall
We all know making video games is hard work, but how about making video games, building a company, and starting a family all at the same time? That's exactly what Richard Flanagan and Quynh Nguyen did, founding Phosfiend Systems to create the virtual synthesizer game Fract OSC, all while raising their infant daughter. In a lovingly captured profile over at Polygon, writer Charlie Hall tells the story of Fract from this trio of perspectives, and how Flanagan and Nguyen managed the chaos. At times heartbreaking, and uplifting at others; give it a look.
Having recently played and reviewed Fract OSC, I think all of that effort was worth the final result. As someone who loves electronic music, that there would be a game centered around synthesized audio production, wrapped up in a Myst-like world of music-inspired puzzles sounds like my perfect game. Ultimately Fract isn't perfect, but it does so many unique, stylish things that I'd still consider it a must-play. The game seems squarely aimed at someone like me, but it seems like plenty of folks who are less invested in electronic music have been digging it too. The one thing I'll recommend is that if you're coming from more a music interest than a games one, you might want to keep a guide handy or occasionally ask someone else who's played the game where to go, since many of the exploration systems can be indecipherable to players not in the know.