FRACT OSC

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elix ¦ вlϊтz Mar 27, 2014 @ 9:13am
FRACT ARG - Peeling back the LAYERs
There's something going on with the teaser trailers, but it's not clear yet exactly what.

This is the first teaser trailer, Moment Layer 1 of 2.

"Zero, one, four, zero."

Right away, we're being given the basic information needed to understand FRACT's number representation system. Or at least the basics of it. Numbers are represented by the number of sides in the shape, with a dotted circle representing zero. A pentagon is 5, a triangle with the bottom face missing is 2, etc.

There may be other clues hidden in this trailer, but it's unclear as of yet.

Watch the bottom center of the screen starting at the 0:15 mark. That's not an accident.

My initial analysis of BASS GEOLAYER 1 of 3:
- At 0:15, we cut to a dolly shot with a "1"
= On-screen for 3 seconds

- At 0:18, we cut to another shot with a pentagon (i.e. a 5) surrounded by three dots, lower right quadrant un-dotted
= On-screen for 3 seconds

- At 0:21, we get a 2 and three dots, lower left quadrant is dotless
= On-screen for 2 seconds

- At 0:23, we get a 3 and three dots, top right dot missing
= On-screen for 1 second

- At 0:24, we get a 4 flanked by two vertical columns of 10 bars each.
= On-screen for 1 second

- At 0:25, 4 with three dots, top right missing
= On-screen for 1 second

- At 0:26, we get a dotted circle, a zero
= On-screen for 1 second

what

Several key details to note:
• There are more trailers to come, so the puzzle is not yet solvable
• Quynh Nguyen, producer of FRACT, has confirmed to me that this is an ARG-lite
• The Layer trailers' cuts change on whole-second intervals, and this may have been a very deliberate decision
• Still don't know why Moment layer 1 has "0140" in it aside from as a way of giving us clues on the numbering

Quynh tweeted on the 25th that she was working with Richard (aka Phosfiend, in these forums) on a new trailer for the Pad area. I can only hope that this new trailer sheds some light on the puzzle, like the significance of the dotted quadrants. At first I thought they might've been representing tens or multiples, but there isn't enough information yet to make any solid conclusions.
Last edited by elix ¦ вlϊтz; Mar 27, 2014 @ 9:15am
<M.o.K>Samurai Jack-ing Off Mar 28, 2014 @ 8:39am
I like your work so far :)

I'm horrid with ARGs, but I love watching the show. I'll grab some popcorn haha.

The only thing I can think of (significance wise) for the 0140 could be release date, or possibly a shoutout to 140bpm and it's significance for electronic music.
elix ¦ вlϊтz Mar 31, 2014 @ 6:09pm

Weird things happening here. The central numbers are 2, 3, and a final 0, nothing special.

But watch the small symbols around the central number. This video introduces the "pause" symbol, and it appears and disappears out of the lower left corner. And we get another appearance of the two vertical strips of 10.

If it wasn't for those vertical strips, I almost would look at this as some form of sequencing or mixing in symbolic form -- if a dot is present, whatever track that represents, play it. However, this still leaves a lot of unresolved and, as of yet, probably unresolvable questions.

We currently have the following generalized configurations of marks around the numbers, in order of appearance in order of trailer release:
- No special marks around the bare number
- Three dots, lower-right quadrant empty (1 appearance)
- Three dots, lower-left quadrant empty (2 appearances)
- Three dots, upper-right quadrant empty (2 appearances)
- Two vertical columns of 10 bars (2 appearances)
- Two dots, lower-left quadrant with a "pause" symbol, upper-right quadrant empty (1)
- Three dots in all quadrants with pause in lower left quadrant (disappears to become a 3+lower left, counted above)

In the case of duplicated patterns, the number in the center is not the same. Some of the cuts in PAD are synchronized with cuts on BASS, others seem to be almost interleaving; between 0:21 and 0:25 in PAD, we're just looking at a 3 with 10-strips, but in BASS we get two numbers, one of which is a 10-strip. Hmm! Maybe the numbers count if the outer symbols match up, like a slot machine (only matches pay out, ignore the rest).

Really hard to tell where these threads are supposed to touch without more of the picture, but I hope I'm digging in the right directions. There are probably musical implications for the sequencing of these trailers once the number puzzle is worked out, but I'm not worrying about trying to mix audio until I've got the clues gathered together, i.e. when we've got the trailers.

P.S. Phosfiend devs, thank you so much for your hard work!
E102_Gamma Apr 1, 2014 @ 5:25pm
When I looked at the first trailer, I figured that the numbers 0-1-4-0 was the numbers of days before official release. I made this note on the facebook page that I saw it as 140 days till release based on the day the video was posted. My original theory was that release was going to happen on April 22, 2014.

The funny thing is... I correctly guessed the Month, but I was told the date was alittle off.

As for the rest of the released videos to date of this posting, I'm trying to understand it myself, but without more information I can't make a full assessment. I hope that someone will blow the lid off of it. I'm itching to play this game.
elix ¦ вlϊтz Apr 2, 2014 @ 11:36am
The Layer trailers aren't the only places we've seen those numbers.

Right at the beginning of the "What is FRACT?" trailer, we get the tricolor FRACT triangle, and then a dotted circle and an undotted circle.

0 and 10? Or nothing? Hard to tell.

There's also a picture of the FRACT game map on the official Flickr with the spoilers removed, and it contains the numbers, but they're (probably) just the different puzzle stations, enumerated.

The "Moment" trailer is still unanswered with its twin, too, so there's more on the way.
E102_Gamma Apr 2, 2014 @ 6:36pm
Originally posted by elix ¦ вlϊтz:
The Layer trailers aren't the only places we've seen those numbers.

Right at the beginning of the "What is FRACT?" trailer, we get the tricolor FRACT triangle, and then a dotted circle and an undotted circle.

0 and 10? Or nothing? Hard to tell.

If I understand how the number system works, u could be correct on that manner.

I went ahead and sum of the numbers found in the Geolayer videos so far presented as of this post, which would be a summary of what you saw and posted earlier.

In order of shown:
Bass: 1-5-2-3-4-4-0

Im having trouble seeing the "Slot Machine" Theory since there were fewer numbers shown in the Pad video than the Bass. Perhaps the last Geolayer video might help put this together.

By the way... does it sound like a musical piece put together when you sync of the videos together at once?
elix ¦ вlϊтz Apr 2, 2014 @ 10:32pm
Originally posted by E102_Gamma:
If I understand how the number system works, u could be correct on that manner.

I went ahead and sum of the numbers found in the Geolayer videos so far presented as of this post, which would be a summary of what you saw and posted earlier.

In order of shown:
Bass: 1-5-2-3-4-4-0

Im having trouble seeing the "Slot Machine" Theory since there were fewer numbers shown in the Pad video than the Bass. Perhaps the last Geolayer video might help put this together.

By the way... does it sound like a musical piece put together when you sync of the videos together at once?

Well, the videos don't begin with the numbers, so if you began from 0:00, once the numbers began, you'd have a running timeline. In the slot machine hypothetical puzzle solution, we'd identify the scheme for what tracks are played and not played. If there is no matching Pad number when a Bass transition comes up, maintain the existing Pad state until you hit a transition. Just let the timeline ride until a transition in the numbers happens.

I'm totally throwing darts in the darkness here, because I really don't have enough information to allow me to build a coherent interpretation of the symbols that has a better probability of being correct over any other interpretation. The bars of 10 are an enigma still.

I haven't bothered to mess with mashing up the videos or their audio tracks yet. I thought about mashing Pad and Bass together, but I'm actually kind of saving that experience for when I can take both of those and throw Lead in. I'm sure that we're going to be merging the videos together in some way before we get to the bottom of this, but I'm not so sure that they'll even be linear merges (as seen in the slot machine theory).
elix ¦ вlϊтz Apr 2, 2014 @ 11:04pm
WAIT A SECOND WAIT A SECOND WAIT A SECOND

BASS:
FRACT tricolour rotates counterclockwise during the intro through 330 degrees, almost a complete turn
First number appears at: 0:15
Ending 0 appears at 0:26

FRACT tricolour rotates clockwise during the intro through 420 degrees, more than one complete rotation
First number appears at: 0:12
Ending 0 appears at 0:25

I noted that the cuts aren't synchronized. They aren't.

They're sequenced.

I took a look at the intro logos for the other number-bearing videos again.

"Moment" begins with the tricolour making a 120-degree spin counter-clockwise, moving bass from top to lower left corner.

"What is FRACT?" - tricolour is spinning counter-clockwise when it fades in; when it comes to a stop, the two circles (dot and no-dot) emerge from it to either side. The first frames as it fades in indicate that its starting position was with the blue (bass) triangle pointing straight down, which means it makes a 330 degree CCW rotation, like the BASS trailer does.

I don't know that it's at all relevant, but I get an "alpha and omega" vibe off that moment in the "What is" trailer when the tricolour stops spinning. That, and trying to figure out the significance of the dot, is what made me think it's representing 0 and 10, or something of that nature.
E102_Gamma Apr 2, 2014 @ 11:57pm
It seems that more questions are being thrown into the mix. Perhaps the last GEOLAYER video yet to be release will provide the key to solving this puzzle. I just hope we aren't over-complexing this lol. Like I said, I think we need the final GEOLAYER video as it might be the doorway into putting the pieces into place... unless there is more videos afterwards.
elix ¦ вlϊтz Apr 3, 2014 @ 12:23am
330 Hz is an E4. But 420 Hz isn't anything on the pentatonic scale (415 Hz is G#4), so I think that's probably a red herring.

Also, the PAD trailer is longer than BASS by a few seconds.

I also don't quite know what to make of this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fractgame/9401939398/sizes/o/

Circle with and without a middle fill make their return. It's hard to guess their significance without knowing what is at those locations in-game. The above is the synth locations.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fractgame/9409210518/sizes/o/
This more extensive map is labeled "voice control". There are more counting systems going on with this one (number of dots, seemingly per station, in addition to the normal number system and roman numerals). The duplication of numbers is, on this map without any explanations and the legend censored, baffling to me.
Last edited by elix ¦ вlϊтz; Apr 3, 2014 @ 12:47am
E102_Gamma Apr 3, 2014 @ 10:52am
I also don't quite know what to make of this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fractgame/9401939398/sizes/o/
Well from first look its the map of the levels presented within FRACT. I do believe this could be seen as sublayers of levels, perhaps level of difficulty? It would also be connected areas that are needed. Also this map shows us the number 6 which we haven't seen in any of the GEOLAYER videos yet.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fractgame/9409210518/sizes/o/
This more extensive map is labeled "voice control". There are more counting systems going on with this one (number of dots, seemingly per station, in addition to the normal number system and roman numerals). The duplication of numbers is, on this map without any explanations and the legend censored, baffling to me.
That legend Table seems to be scrambled... something tells me Photoshop is gonna be needed. Also this is rather a more detailed information of the map with more symbols and more numbers as you have stated. So this could mean anything from layers of influence, subsections, ect.
Last edited by E102_Gamma; Apr 3, 2014 @ 10:56am
elix ¦ вlϊтz Apr 3, 2014 @ 12:27pm
The legend table has been distorted by a Photoshop (or similar) filter that is not reversible, so we're not really going to be able to decipher what it says unless the devs show it to us, or we work it out ourselves after the game launches by comparing the features on the map with their in-game conditions.
E102_Gamma Apr 3, 2014 @ 12:40pm
I'm not sure if the legend table is reversible or not, but it would be worth a try to see. Still, it is interesting to see of its a legend of the different tools for the Studio
elix ¦ вlϊтz Apr 3, 2014 @ 1:05pm
I have a hunch that the multiple layers of numbering on the Voice Control map are for structure planning by the devs. e.g. THIS circle in the pad area is linked to THIS ONE over HERE in pad because the machine in pad reaches across that whole space in the actual in-game environment, or something. A way for them to visualize the internal geography of the game itself from an abstract level. I'm probably wrong about exactly what information it's meant to convey, I'm sure, but I don't know that the map's numbering is particularly meaningful except to indicate grouping.

And given that the title of the map is "voice control" I would not be surprised if what the map is actually doing is marking down where each particular category of FRACT's synth components is placed. This, this, and this over here are X, this and this are Y, this big area here is Z.

I think the wide and thin-lined octogon marks are the placement of the Big Machines that the main puzzles in FRACT are designed to rebuild and restart. They're placed fairly appropriately.

The roman numerals on the map are each centered on a semi-transparent circle that overlays the map. These circles are of different sizes (bass's 4 is the whole zone). I don't know how this is important, but it likely means something.

Also, what's with those circles just hanging out in empty space in the top left corner beside pad and bass?

I'm pretty sure that the text legend on the map has been mangled using the mosaic filter, and some other combination of filter passes, and a mosaic filter or blur is by design data-lossy. It actively destroys image data and replaces it with a heavily-distorted, lower-resolution blend of fragments of the original data. It's a one-way thing. They didn't want us reading that. Now, we still see the approximate length of words and the shape of sentences, so we could begin to make educated guesses on individual words and entries once we get our hands on the game and correlate the map with in-game.

But let's not get too distracted by the map. I'm pretty sure it isn't part of this puzzle, and I only linked it because it's an example of filled and unfilled circles coexisting in the same space with an ordinary number count of 1-6. It's interesting and kind of confusing in its own right, but it's probably just a distraction here.
E102_Gamma Apr 3, 2014 @ 1:37pm
You may be right about the map, but perhaps it could be consider a supplement of knowledge that could help gaps to be filled within the ARG puzzle itself

Other than that I do agree with you in regards of the map's structure that you subscribed too
Texel Apr 4, 2014 @ 9:04am
New Moment Layer video up:

Numbers are 2 4 2 2.

Overlaid it with the first Moment video, and they form a number sequence:

2 0 1 4 0 4 2 2

I think we have a release date :D