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Fedge (or Fez, I am not really sure about their name change) is an upcoming indie game for Xbox 360 Live Arcade. If you look at the video below it is easy to tag it: retro and platforms. However, the exciting thing about this independent release lies in the fulfillment of its premise: “Gomez is a 2D man on a voyage of discovery into the mysterious 3rd dimension”.

The game uses perspective shifts between 2D classic views and the 3D “real-world” view. Despite Super Paper Mario similar perspective changes, the innovation in Fez is turning the “view shifts” into a central piece of the gameplay. To succeed, the player has to solve visual 2D/3D projection puzzles and become a gamer version of M.C. Escher.

Looking at the video, you can’t stop feeling captivated by such a simple game. And why? Because it is remarkably different from anything we seen, but at the same as familiar as The Beatles. Personally, it makes me wonder about the development of such games. It’s not a surprise that creativity is more abundant in the indie games community, when compared to commercial games. After all, there are less restrictions in deadlines and the hunger for profit: it’s more craft than industry.

But this little example makes me thing that game design and development in indie games might actually offer bigger challenges, and therefore better innovation opportunities, than in commercial games. I risk saying that imagining, designing and building from scratch a 2D/3D puzzle world for Fedge might be more difficult (and rewarding) that yet another map for another version of the Call of Duty more than stable game engine.


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