Fez Creator Says Comics And Games Can Expand Your Brains

"Hi, I'm Phil Fish and I'm here to talk about Japanese games." Referencing the controversy over his recent remarks, the Fez designer's opening line during the Indie Soapbox got big laughs.

But, his remarks at the GDC 2012 session actually dealt with comic books, a medium that originated in America, and the conceptual connection between how comics and video games work.

In individual panels, comics take snapshots of distinct moments of time, Fish said, letting you see across all of time at once. Film strings multiple still images together very rapidly adding another dimension to the viewing, he added, but you're subjected to a linear experience.

But, if you extrude a comics page into a cloud of images and introduce interactivity, you expand the dimensions of the experience. Even more, interacting with a game changes how you look at time and can fire up a sort of fractal thinking in the people who play them. While you look at one cube/image/panel in a game, you're already thinking about another. Stand on one platform and you immediately start to plan about reaching the next one. Your perceptions change.

Fez is all about pivoting a gameworld on an axis, a hook that instantly communicates a different way of looking at the world on a screen. Fish's talk gave let listeners glimpse how the creator of a game that's all about changing perspective. It's more fascinating that he tied his thoughts back to an older, analogue medium.


    He's not wrong. This is a similar view expressed by the legendary Alan Moore. With a comic, the reader get's to decide the pace at which they experience the world being presented to them, whether they rush from panel to panel, devouring the story, or step back and examine each panel for every tiny bit of information.

    It's a strength of the medium for which very few writers (Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison) take advantage.

    I refuse to give this guy any credence at all. I don't care how many awards his game has won, it hasn't been released and until it has been, I can't assign any real value to what he says as a designer.

    Why are people praising this person? He hasn't released his game yet he criticises people like he is hot shit.

      Agreed, if anything he should be spit on.

    the game reminds me of echochrome...the pivot perspective thing isnt new

      To be fair, Fez was announced at about the same time as Echpchrome which presumably means the two games were in development for a while without any knowledge of each other.

      Gives you an idea of how damn long Fez has been in development.

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