PC Gamer

We probably won't ever see Fez 2, but we can console ourselves, maybe, with this surprise, whopping patch for the original game, which has just been uploaded to Steam, three years after the game launched on PC. Update 1.12 whacks in a speedrun mode, better music streaming, and various other tweaks and fixes, as elaborated in this news post over on Steam.

To access that speedrunning mode, it appears you have to type in "--gotta-gomez-fast" after launching the game, although the post is a bit vague so I could be wrong.

Fez programmer Renaud Bedard began work on the patch over a year ago, an update he sees as the game's last:

" Since I shipped FEZ 1.11 I had little intention of making additional fixes or features to the game because I simply don t have the time with a kid and a fulltime job and working on FEZ is getting old after 9 years. So I did want to address problems that people have with the game, but I don t want to do it for the rest of my life. I had spent enough time away from the game that I was somewhat enthusiastic about coming back to it, especially if it s at my pace, and that it s my last time doing so."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jessica Famularo)

Hey, do you remember Fez [official site]? You know, the clever little platformer where you could rotate your 2D world on a 3D plane to solve puzzles? The PC version may have released all the way back in 2013, but Fez has just this week, quite secretly, gotten its final patch.

… [visit site to read more]

Aug 18
Community Announcements - renaudbedard
Update : there have been additional, smaller updates to FEZ 1.12 since its original release, see changes here : https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/wiki/1.12-Update-Changelog

--------

A bit more than a year ago, work on FEZ 1.12 officially started.

The goal of this large update to the Windows PC/Mac/Linux version of FEZ was the following :
  • Cut dependencies to OpenTK, the platform framework used by FEZ on Windows. I have had problems with it from the start, from sound card detection issues to windowing problems, to VSync and fullscreen issues… I wanted to give SDL 2.0 a shot, to see if it fares better.
  • Have more efficient music streaming. PC + Mac versions of FEZ used a C# Ogg Vorbis decoder called NVorbis, which seemed like a good idea because it would run on all platforms. I also wrote the streaming code that uses NVorbis and OpenAL, and it made its way into the main MonoGame repository! But it’s also very slow, resource-intensive and heavy on disk access. So I wanted to look into a better solution that wouldn’t break music playback in areas like puzzle rooms and the industrial world.
  • Have a single codebase for all PC + Mac versions of FEZ. As it stood with 1.11, there was a slightly modified codebase for Mac and Linux that ran on a weird hybrid of MonoGame and what would become FNA, called MG-SDL2. The PC version ran on my fork of MonoGame ~3.0 which I did not do a great job of keeping up to date with upstream changes, because when I did it usually broke in mysterious ways. This is not great for maintenance, and centralizing everything on a clean FNA back-end, with as little platform-specific code as I could, seemed like a good idea.
  • Make it the Last Update. Since I shipped FEZ 1.11 I had little intention of making additional fixes or features to the game because I simply don’t have the time with a kid and a fulltime job… and working on FEZ is getting old after 9 years. So I did want to address problems that people have with the game, but I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life. I had spent enough time away from the game that I was somewhat enthusiastic about coming back to it, especially if it’s at my pace, and that it’s my last time doing so.
So I didn’t announce anything, I didn’t announce a date, and I slowly chipped away at making this humongous update to FEZ. It’s been in beta-testing with an army of fans, speedrunners and friends since late January 2016 and over 120 bugs have been reported and fixed.

Below is the full change log for the patch. If you want to read more about what went into it, you can read more about it here.

If you have any problem with the game, the most reliable way to make something happen is to log a bug on the GitHub page for it : https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/

Thanks for sticking around, and hope it addresses your issues and motivates you to try the game one more time!

Renaud (@renaudbedard)

-------------

Major Features

- Switched to FNA/SDL2 from MonoGame, which removes dependencies to OpenTK, and should result in better compatibility
- Switched to libvorbisfile (instead of NVorbis) for music decoding, which results in better CPU performance of music decoding
- Music files are precached in RAM instead of streamed from HDD, to avoid disk thrashing which caused cuts and skips
- Game controller remapping has been rehauled and consolidated, now uniquely using SDL2's GameController API
- Native support for any refresh rate, and lower CPU usage when using V-Sync, thereby removing the need for related launch options
- Fully smooth rendering for any refresh rate, by using a mixture of variable timestep (for the camera and some entities) and fixed timestep interpolation (for Gomez)
- Scale mode options (full aspect, pixel-perfect or supersampling from nearest multiple of 720p)
- No more letterboxing or pillarboxing (black bars), unless omitting them would cause an aspect ratio mismatch for the screen/internal resolution combo

Minor Features

- Map previews in save menu
- Speedrun mode (--gotta-gomez-fast)
- OpenGL calls are now done on a single thread to avoid driver-specific issues and crashes during loading
- Added support for hardware geometry instancing for better rendering performance
- Button icons match PS3 and PS4 controller face buttons when connected
- Added PS4 light bar support for Linux
- VSync, lighting, Steamworks support, single-threaded mode, controller deadzone and no-pause-on-lost-focus can be customized from in-game menu instead of launch options
- Clouds fade during rotations in industrial world instead of popping in/out
- Gomez walks to NPCs when talking to them instead of warping at their position
- Talk animation for NPCs does not restart on successive dialogue lines
- Some scenes of the 32-cube end cutscene have received minor polishing touches
- Alt+Enter toggles fullscreen
- MSAA (multisample anti-aliasing) is tentatively supported, but hidden behind the --msaa-option launch option (because it generates some artifacts and blurriness in-game)
- Logger creates a new file for each run of the game, archives day-old (or more) logs to a zip file and cleans up month-old logs
- Change to view rotation limits : there's a limit to how fast you can rotate after 2 successive rotations, but you don't have to wait until the last rotation is completely finished

Bug Fixes

- Scripting fixes in 3D village to avoid a possible soft-lock
- Fix to handling of the waterfall code entry, which should be a lot more consistent now
- Fixes to the behavior of grabbing corner ledges, which prevents Gomez from clipping out of interior rooms
- Finishing the game with all cubes found unlocks all abilities
- Geezer will stand at the right spot in the 2D village no matter how fast you find him
- Glow-bit planes fade out on secret passage doors instead of Gomez clipping through them
- Zoom-through-the-sky level transitions with water are a bit less jarring
- "Solved puzzle" jingle no longer cuts off in the crypt level
- Fixed boiler room double-trigger of the secret resolved sound effect, and the camera becoming unconstrained
- Fixed wall village floating planes, NPCs and art objects
- Fixed that quick pause-unpause stopped music
- Fixed secret passage doors checking for input in the pause menu
- Fixed velocity lingering on as you attach to ladders, which made you attach too high on them
- Fixed that vines made Gomez hug walls while moving (climbing)
- Fixed issues with "impassable vines" where Gomez would clamp to them while trying to jump through vines
- Fixed the DOT dialogue soft-lock when getting the achievement cube in Gomez's house
- Fixed single-frame ground alignment vs. camera follow issue when landing and rotating at the same time
- Ladder and vine grab behavior is now smoother, no more timer that prevented jump-grab-jump movement chains
- Fixed activation of small warpgates, where it would falsely trigger when collecting 8 cube-bits nearby
- Fixed one-frame disappearance of vertically looping levels when rotating
- Changed how NPC rotation is handled so that they can never moonwalk
- Fix to collision tiles for windmill level
- Fixed culling issue with rotating level elements that caused disappearing vines
- Fixed issues with yaw-rotating spinblocks and ledge-grab actions
- Block puzzles no longer auto-solve themselves after changing save slots
- Security question and unfold puzzles will detect the solution without having to rotate one more time
- Removed check to collect cubes while in a warp gate transition to prevent cube duplication
- Fixed that DOT speech doesn't lock the player when she speaks right as you come from a pan-down "continue game" transition
- Nullified horizontal velocity when starting the "lower to straight ledge" action so you can't slide to the side and hold to thin air
- Fixed Gomez alignment when coming out of the sewer pipe
- Fixed the achievement (or map QR) anti-cube from short-circuiting level scripts that spawn and detect collection of anti-cubes based on input codes
- Fixed boiler room out-of-bounds
- Fixed issue with vibrating moving platforms and spawn points which made Gomez fall sometimes in the weightswitch puzzle room
- Slowed down thumbstick movement in world map
- Fixed areas where Gomez could fall forever in looping level
- Removed explosive block that would reappear after reentering mine level
- Fix for visual issue in industrial city star layers
- Fix for crash in world map on Iris Pro GPUs
- Water-level-changing sound now triggers on the first rotation of a water-raising/lowering valve
- Allow stereoscopy on all saves if one save has it
- Fix for ghosts objects (e.g. duplicated moving platforms) when closing the map and after rotations
- Fixes to visual clarity in QUANTUM level (cleaner radius around Gomez)
- Fixed puzzle skip for the tombstone puzzle and the 4-side puzzle
- Fixed chest anticube duplication exploit
- Fixed water height inconsistencies
- Removed floating invisible block in QUANTUM level
- Fixed camera unlocking issue in zu school
- Fixed spacing around numbers in french localization text
- Fixed water first-person transition glitches
- Disabled achievement option if overlay is disabled
- Fixed possible soft-lock when changing to first-person view in front of a tombstone, valve or timeswitch
- Desktop display resolution used on first run instead of imposing 720p
- Sound muted when "pause on lost focus" option is on, and focus is lost
- Fixed alignment of Gomez's sprite when jumping with a bomb
- Fix for falling through platforms in background mode
- Grabbing to push crates no longer allowed when in background mode, since it causes weird visual issues
- Fixed clipping through bombs in background mode
- Entering "tunnels" by pressing up in a tunnel opening can no longer be triggered when Gomez is in background mode
- Fixed a bug on respawn where the player would be appear to float in mid-air after rotating
- Gomez's Z position is now more stable/predictable when he is sandwiched between two walls
- Fixed situtations where Gomez would end up in the background after being adjusted to a ground position when rotating while overlapping a wall in an alcove (that's a mouthful)
- Fixed situations where Gomez could wrap around ledges that weren't visible from the camera
- Fixed respawn glitch that occured when last safe position was a ledge grab, and could cause Gomez to warp behind objects

Known Issues

- Some Intel integrated GPU/drivers have an issue maintaining 60fps when VSync is enabled and might fall back to 30fps after moving from one area to another. The workaround is to disable VSync, or try updating to a newer driver (see : https://github.com/renaudbedard/fez-1.12-issues/issues/113 )
- Since the game now uses SDL 2.0's DESKTOP_FULLSCREEN mode, there is no exclusive fullscreen mode supported and the game always assumes a presentation buffer that matches the screen's native resolution. This means that screenshots and video capture will use the screen's native resolution, whichever internal resolution the game is set to with video settings. (this is more of a "heads-up" than an issue since it will not be addressed)
- PS3 controller not natively supported under Windows, unless you use 3rd party drivers and then you're on your own
Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 80% on FEZ!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Thursday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer

Earlier today, The Witness and Braid creator Jonathan Blow posted an image on Twitter of what appears to be a makeshift catheter and a tub of his own pee. "Here is another thing I helped make, to help finish The Witness," Blow wrote proudly above the image, which has sent social media into overdrive.

Finding a way to urinate without leaving one's seat is an enduring concern for humanity, but few have nailed an adequate solution. Indeed, creating makeshift catheters is something society is more likely to frown upon than celebrate. It's more sensible to buy a professionally made one.

Still, is this merely a tub of apple juice, or is it a stinging indictment on video game development crunch time? Is that the right colour for pee? Does the lighting influence its hue?  

On January 17, Blow posted a Tweet which seems to suggest that if he is using a catheter to pee into during the development of The Witness, he hasn't been doing so for long:

Perhaps Blow's tube supplier had temporarily run out. Maybe he's been peeing into a catheter for many years now. Or maybe, just maybe, he borrowed a tube to make a pee joke on the internet, which he concocted and brewed over a five-day period.

What do you think? Is that really Jonathan Blow's pee? Please advise below.

PC Gamer

Originally released in 2013, Fez is a clever and tremendously popular platformer that, as we noted in our review, suffered from one particular shortcoming: "Being download-only, it's a pity that Fez can't somehow come packed with its most essential peripherals: a notepad and pen." Two and a half years later, that problem has been solved in the Fez Limited Edition—at least for gamers willing to pay the price.

The Fez Limited Edition is pretty much the opposite of a Black Friday deal, costing a whopping $100. For that, you'll get the notebook we wished for, "bound in red canvas with debossed gold foil inlay presented in a matching slipcase," as well as DRM-free copies of Fez for the PC and Mac, and the award-winning Disasterpeace soundtrack. It's physically small, measuring just 5.5" x 5.5" x 1.625", but the images on the Polyshop page really do look lovely. 500 are being made, and each one will be numbered and signed by Fez creator Phil Fish.

This is obviously for serious Fez fans only, but as an aficionado of swanky game boxes, I have to say that I'm impressed. The Fez Limited Edition is available for pre-purchase now, and has an estimated ship date of December 18; unfortunately for anyone looking for a killer holiday gift, Polytron warns that it "is not expected to ship in time for delivery before December 25." And if you'd just like to give Fez a try without all the fancy (and expensive) swag, it's also available for half price on Steam—that's $5/ 4—as part of the Autumn Exploration Sale.

Thanks, Gameranx.

Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 80% on Super Meat Boy!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Thursday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer

The Humble Indie Bundle is back, but this time with a greatest hits collection featuring some of the best games from past bundles. It's an amazing selection for anybody that's new to indie games, or gaming in general. For everyone else, there's a pretty good chance you already own most of what's here.

As usual, the action is split into multiple categories depending on how much you're willing to pay. Whatever you pay, you'll get Super Meat Boy, World of Goo and Dustforce DX. Beat the average (currently $4.78) and you'll also get Dungeon Defenders Collection, Limbo and Braid. Finally, if you pay $1 over the average price (currently $5.78,) you'll get Risk of Rain and Antichamber. Whatever price you settle on, you'll need to pay $1 or more to get Steam keys for the bundled games.

After settling on a price, you can then decide exactly where that money will go. The sliders allow you to set how much of your cash will go to the developers, to Humble and to this bundle's two charities, Child's Play and Watsi.

The bundle will run until next Tuesday, June 16.

Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Super Meat Boy!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Tuesday at 10AM Pacific Time
Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on FEZ!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Tuesday at 10AM Pacific Time
...

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