Beloved Puzzle Game Fez Adds Speedrun Mode on PC Three Years After Release

This is intended to be the last ever update for the game.

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Now Playing: Video Review - Fez

Fez originally launched back in 2012 for Xbox 360 and in 2013 for PC, and it went on to become a very popular and acclaimed puzzle game. But even though it's been a long time since its release, Fez on PC has received a huge update that improves performance, eliminates bugs, and even adds a speedrun mode.

Writing in the patch notes on the game's Steam page, programmer Renaud Bedard--who now works at Square Enix Montreal--explained that Fez 1.12 is a substantial patch that brings a lot of desired fixes. It also includes a speedrunning mode, something that's been several months in development.

It's not been easy for Bedard to make this update, though. He essentially works on Fez as a hobby project, his full-time job being at Square Enix. He also stated that this will be the last update for the game. He wrote, "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 full-time 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."

You can see the list of features added to the game at the bottom of this article, and you can find the full suite of bug fixes on the Steam page.

Fez developer Polytron is now working as a publisher following founder Phil Fish's dramatic exit from the public sphere. Polytron is currently collaborating with Kokoromi to create Superhypercube, a psychedelic puzzle game for virtual reality headsets.

You can check out our original review of Fez here.

Patch Notes

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

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