Greetings! This week has actually been fairly quiet for me development wise – there are a lot of minor quality of life adjustments and not to shocking bugs to deal with. There has also been a lot of business development going on in the background – some very important things are slowly coming too completion, which is very exciting (for me) but doesn’t make for too much of an interesting development blog post. Some weeks are a lot less exciting than others alas.
So, I thought I’d take some time to answer some of the more bizarre questions I’ve been asked about Fringe Planet. I’m quite the open developer and encourage people to ask me questions by email/Discord or via Twitter – which results in both some very awesome discussions and some strange ones.
Why is it called Fringe Planet and not Fringe Island?
I’ve been asked this a lot, the floating island is a very iconic look for a game, and clearly The Void is anything but a terrestrial body. Nothing too complex here, I just thought it was a better name. Island doesn’t really cover the scale I’m trying to achieve with the game. Fringe was inspired by the thought of fringe science – the mixing of technology and magic which is a theme which is repeated often in the game.
Is Satan in this game?
In a word: No.
In several words: there are a lot of different mythological/occult themes in the game – satanic influences are very much not part of this. I know some folks will believe that anything occult wise is satanic (which is a completely valid belief, ofc) – but it isn’t my belief and isn’t something which is reflected in the game. At the end of the day, it’s a theme for a game. I am quite sure playing it won’t end up causing demonic possession. If anything, a lot of the themes actually pre-date Christianity – and the forces of evil in Fringe Planet are older than humanity itself!
Can peons be LGBT?
At the moment, the peons are mostly focused on survival rather than having relationships. I do want to include relationships in the game – including LGBT relationships, as well as others. However this is, along with the results (babies, sleeping together, jealousy, loneliness) is an incredibly complicated subject matter – not just to code but also to design in a way which makes it fun and engaging. The first release of Fringe Planet won’t include relationships at all – but it is something which is very much on the roadmap.
Do you have umbrellas in Fringe Planet?
I’ve actually been asked this by two separate people – so for the umbrella-curious, I have to say, no. There aren’t any plans to including umbrellas in Fringe Planet, but I’m sure it can be modded in at some point!
Is this a Minecraft mod?
If you are reading this, then you probably know the answer to this! Minecraft and Fringe Planet are two very different games – and Fringe Planet is certainly not a mod for Minecraft!
Do peons have genitalia?
One which has been asked a few times as well (?). No they don’t – and as hilarious as it would be to include them, I’m not sure it would add too much to the game.
What about excrement/peons using the toilet?
This is actually a question I don’t have the answer to yet. As crude as it sounds, waste management can bring some fascinating gameplay mechanics into the simulation. Waste products themselves can be used effectively for all sorts of things. But I need to decide about a way to “tastefully” handle this – both from the simulation point of view as well as graphically. But I am very much moving towards saying that this will be a thing at some point. I’ve been asked about this a few times (including one question which included references to yellow snow!).
Is this a multiplayer game?
Not so much a bizarre question, but one I’m asked a lot. No it isn’t. There are potentially some online interactions that can occur between folks playing the game, but there will be no direct interaction between two players.
Are there butterflies?
Currently there are no plans to include butterflies in Fringe Planet. Sorry about that lepidopterologists.
Will you be releasing the game for the BBC Microcomputer?
Alas, I’m not sure the Beeb would handle the game as is – and I can’t find the Unity flag to produce usable BASIC. However, I do actually want to release a version written in BASIC for the Beeb/emulators, though it will be a very different looking/playing game I would imagine. This will probably be the result of a gamejam when I actually get round to doing one.
Can peons get drunk?
Yes they can. Alcohol (both production and drinking) is simulated. Be warned though, as hilarious as drunk peons can be alcohol does have it’s draw backs. There is a fairly detailed blog post about alcohol here: https://fringeplanetgame.com/blog/2019/03/08/the-joys-and-woes-of-alcohol-dev-blog-36/.
Does tea feature in the game?
Alas, currently it does not. As a tea lover, it is something I really want to add. Nothing better than after a stressful day trying to survive in an eldritch nightmare dimension than a cup of tea. It is on the roadmap, but isn’t that high of a priority.
Does coffee feature in the game?
Don’t be disgusting.
Can the peons fall off the island?
Yes they can. Though for this to happen you have to either be incredibly unlucky, be doing something really silly or just be torturing your peons. I won’t judge.
Do peons have souls?
In the game sense, yes they do. In reality, I hope not – otherwise I really am a terrible person.
As I mentioned above, I’m always open to answer questions about Fringe Planet, so if you don’t see your question mentioned above, feel free to reach out and ask it. You can reach me on Twitter, by email or on Discord (see the links to the right!).
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try: