Whoow. There is something huge coming up. A new technique called Trixels to play platform games on 3D-based game engine.

The video shows the gameplay of Fez, a work in progress from the independent game developer Phil Fish. In this game a 3D engine is used to get an original 2D platform game look and feel – but extended in 3 dimensions. Think like a Rubicks cube. Platforming, orientation and puzzle solving will get into very new dimensions and depths. Gaming, level design experience and surprises were not possible in that form before and compared to this, first person perspective games are a failure (at least for platformers).

The technique here was developed/invented by Renaud Bédard (correct me when I am wrong), called Trixels Technology. He writes about it in his blog:

“First, everything is rendered 3D, at all times. The 2D views are just orthographic (a.k.a. isometric) views of the world from a direction or another. Since the Z component disappears, the character considers the whole world as 2D and can go from very far objects to very close objects without distinction.”

“Each visible pixel-art tile that you see while playing the game in 2D view is part of a 3D cube, which we call a trile. Each trile is a 16×16×16 volume which is formed of 4096 potential trixels. Obviously, not all trixels are rendered, else it would be incredibly slow… so only the border trixels are considered. But in the data storage, it’s basically a 3D presence array which tells the renderer if a trixel is present/on, or absent/off.”

I am really wondering how he built the clouds. Fez is still in progress, initially designed by Phil Fish with a very certain taste for colors and cute artworks. He is part of the Kokoromi collective and the gaming experience with the switching perspectives reminds me a little on Zig Zag, but not in isometric but a real 3D view.

Now, I think I am not the only one who waited for such a technique for a long time without knowing. Most of the 1st person 3D games are boring as hell or did not proceed to a good platform gaming experience. Metroid on the 2D: fine, Metroid in 3D: boring. Most of even the fun games (that ones with candy colors and blue skies) really don’t work in the first person perspective. Or until now I did not see any title yet that convinced me. Trixels Technology will be the solution to this.

Fez screenshot with kind permisson from Phil Fish.


Blog - Date published: October 23, 2007 | 4 Comments

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  1. Dave said:

    Not wanting to wee on a really cool looking demo, but isn’t this concept similar to Paper Mario?

  2. meep said:

    Yep, when I saw this Paper Mario came to mind right away.

    It may not be original, but it sure as hell looks fun. GL

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