Fez's technical postmortem directly before a screening of Indie Game: The Movie offered a jilted experience, one from developer Renaud Bedard, who presents the game's pitfalls in its most practical terms, and the other from a dramatic 15-foot projection of Phil Fish's muttonchops, who assure us that re-re-creating Fez was and continues to be a truly personal, life-altering experience.
Fez has been in development for almost five years and is now officially undergoing Microsoft certification -- the most the public (or press) has played is in demo form, yet Fez has been widely anticipated since its IGF win in 2008, a scenario that Indie Game: The Movie explores on a deeply human level. Bedard explains it in more technical terms. Way more technical terms.
Bedard and Fish created their own editor for Fez, called the Fezzer, and designed what they deemed "trixels," blocks like voxels but at 16x16x16, or as Bedard described it, four 2D views creating one 3D world. Instead of a standard 2D tile set, Bedard built 3D "triles" -- 302 of them -- in 17 trile sets. Fez will have 157 isolated levels, and these triles make up all of them.
Fez stars Gomez, a 2D character wandering a 3D world, and it also features a 4D character, Dot the tesseract. Dot is a 4D hypercube fairy that Bedard created using faux 4D to 3D projections with 96 vertices and 144 triangles, lending her the feeling that she knows more about the Fez universe as a whole, which she does.
Both Bedard and on-screen Fish agree that Fez has been a long time coming.
"The fact that Fez was such a long project means that we kept upgrading," Bedard said. "Fez is our first game, our first project. It's hard to manage the fact that you want the game to be perfect."