FOC/US (Felix Park)


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Rating: 4.2/5 (65 votes)
| Comments (11) | Views (780)

FOC/US

DoraFelix Park's FOC/US is one of those odd little games you can only really call "an experience", because anything else feels either restrictive or flat-out inaccurate. It takes place in a single small room, and all you're told is that you had a strange dream. Use [WASD] to walk around, and the mouse to look and interact... and hey, maybe you should see about snagging that camera off the table. Once you do, you'll be able to zoom in on things with [E] and zoom back out with [Q] (press [R] to quickly reset your view). You'll be surprised with what you can find... and you might want to start with that odd blue dot where your camera was resting. All you need to do to play is to follow the directions you're given to find each tiny little secret, one to the next, and listen to what you find. Some of it might be weird. Silly. Even a little uncomfortable. But that's what happens when you put things under a microscope... or, I guess in this instance, a really good camera lens.

FOC/USThe game's biggest flaw might simply be that its navigation feels a little awkward... not movement so much as how narrow your focus is when you're zoomed in, which makes finding some of those itty-bitty specks when you're only given vague directions and won't show up until you're right on top of them a bit of a chore. But where it succeeds is in creating an experience that feels at once both intimate and personal, as well as easy to relate to no matter who you are. FOC/US showcases all those weird little quirks that make us up, the embarrassing stuff and the mundane, from navel gazing to anxiety to, well... ranting on the internet. It's the things we don't want to admit we do or worry about, the stuff that we let isolate and paralyze us. I was surprised at how much of myself I recognised in it, and to me, that's the mark of a good piece of art, whether it resonates with everyone else or just a few people. It's a short and arguably simple game, almost more of an interactive art piece, but Felix still manages to make it engrossing and atmospheric nonetheless, and it lasts just as long as it needs to.

Play FOC/US

11 Comments

Not gonna lie, that ending made my heart jump!

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This is a great game, and the characters speak for themselves. But for help finding the little guys if you REALLY need it:

Character locations:

[Note: As soon as you get the camera you can look at any of the later characters out of order and they will produce a single line of text, but go no further until you reach them in order.]
1

"?" (unnamed) is blue, and is directly under the camera on the table when you pick it up.

2

Cecil is red, and is in the back corner of the garbage can.

3

Marcelo is pale purple, and is on the far edge of the windowsill, right of center.

4

Milly is brown, and was in the front left corner of the 3rd shelf from the top.

However, Milly is now left of center on the edge of the top shelf.

5

Peter is gray, and is under the bedside edge of the pillow, right of center.

6

Heath is green, and is on the keyboard, on the key in the 6th column and 2nd row.

7

Elise is dark gray, and is on the near corner of the right mouse button.

8

Jackie is dark orange, and is in the front right corner of the 2nd shelf from the top.

9

June is olive green, and is on the front right corner of the door handle's faceplate.

10

Amos is pale blue, and is on the top edge of the guitar case.

11

Benny is yellow, and is on the edge of the ceiling lamp facing the window, just left of center.

(The background light may occlude Benny's text; make sure you zoom in enough so this doesn't happen.)

end

After talking to Benny, zoom out completely, then look out the window.

(The ending may be slightly surprising.)

Lastly, make sure you don't miss

the notes, forming a continuous message between Milly's past and present locations.

[I highly suggest setting mouse sensitivity to low from the escape menu. Sensitivity being too high is a frequent issue with Unity games; this author added an option to lower it.]

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It didn't bother me, but you might want to add a language warning!!

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Hi cluffy. This game was already rated accordingly. You can read more about our ratings here: http://jayisgames.com/about/game-ratings

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I wish I'd known about being able to change the mouse sensitivity before I played but it wasn't a big problem. I didn't have any trouble finding the little people luckily. I'm with Dora on this one in that it also resonated with me which can be hard for a game to do.

Some games, for example, have the protagonist being stuck in a dead end office job with a wife who doesn't love him any more (or a similarly styled premise) and I can't relate at all. Here however I think there's a little bit of everyone.

I must admit I did giggle at

PENIS PENIS PENIS (something I never thought I'd write in a JIG comment) and I think I still had that in mind when talking to the guy on the guitar. It was a few seconds before I realised that mime wasn't what I thought it was. Yes, my maturity level isn't as high as it should be... sorry.

VUH-GINA!

Please don't ban me. :S

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Oh. My. God.

That ending...

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This was great!

I've related to some of the characters, and oh, shivers on the end :D

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dandy, thanks to your comment, I now realized why the game's title is written like it is. :P

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i don't get the end
what ws the thing i saw at the end?

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The end is

a huge camera lens looking at you through the window, examining you the way you have been examining others.

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Here's what I think it's about, and what the end means:

You observe all these little individuals, which seem to be caricatures of certain personality traits, and then you turn around and see that you are also being observed.

I think this is meant to convey that you are looking at yourself. When you looked at the little characters, if you frequently felt "hey, this is how I feel sometimes" then you're right on, because they are you, except you're literally focusing (with a camera) on single aspects each time. They may not directly correlate to "traits" or "emotions" but perhaps "states of mind".

But when you look out the window at the end, you realize that you (inside, looking at the people) were really observing yourself (outside, looking in) the whole time. You see other people in the little caricatures, because they act like other people do (and they even have names and relationships); but you see yourself in them too.

Maybe not everyone will be able to relate to the people, but it's supposed to be, and the dialogue was definitely written the way it was to be, relatable to the kind of people in its audience. In addition you are definitely supposed to feel like you actually are the person inside the room looking into the lives of these characters; a friend of mine said he didn't quite get that meaning because he felt a disconnect between himself and the camera-holding main character.

All in all I think it's a great little game/experience/minor discussion piece/interactive art thing.

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