Fantastic Contraption was originally a building game made way back in 2008. Millions of people played it obsessively and saved over 12 million contraptions. You can still play it for free. For years we loved the idea of a 3d Fantastic Contraption but couldn't figure out how it would work. Then we tried the Vive.
The new Fantastic Contraption has been designed from the ground up for room-scale VR. Imagine walking around a grassy island in the sky while you build a machine the size of a horse with your own hands. Press play and watch it trundle off to reach the goal on the other side of the island. With 40+ levels and infinite solutions, it's a VR experience you and your friends will play for hours.
Fantastic Contraption version 2.0 is now live! Happy Valentine’s day, Neko loves you!
We’ve been working on this update for a year now, and we’re excited(/relieved) to finally get it into your hands. This version is packed with new content, new features, and a ton of back-end improvements, but first:
Version 2.0 comes with a 33% permanent price drop. Fantastic Contraption is now available for $19.99USD everywhere!
Pricing has always been something we’ve had to approach carefully. As we were a launch title for the first commercially-available VR, there was no data on what was appropriate or expected from consumers. Now that the market has settled down a bit, we think that $20 or so is fair for everyone and in line with expectations. And if you buy now, you’ll essentially have $10 you didn’t before! That’s like… a pizza! A… a small pizza, but a pizza! You’ll be losing freemoney if you don’t buy today!
DOUBLE THE LEVELS!
We’ve put a ton of work into our puzzle-set and have created a whole new “B-Side” playlist for you to enjoy! The game now boasts over 100 levels, smoothing out the introductory learning curve and adding some high-end challenges for those Contraptionistas that find the late-game too easy. Share your new solutions! Show us what you’ve got!
Fantastic Contraption 2.0 runs faster on every machine now!
We’ve been making separate versions of Fantastic Contraption for different platforms, as each new piece of hardware had different technical requirements or minimum specs. Gameplay is the same between all platforms if you have the latest and greatest hardware, but what if you don’t have a supercomputer with a dedicated AC room? We’ve put a bunch of probably-disqualifying performance-enhancing code into each edition of the game to make it sing uniquely for each platform.
What we’ve done in Version 2.0 is merge all of our performance fixes into one master build. This means that if you have a computer that is below min-spec on any platform, you should still be able to play without our physics engine grinding your CPU to dust! This also means that if your CPU is heavily loaded with other tasks (Twitch streaming, mixed-reality compositing, etc.) the game will keep chugging along at a comfortable 90+ FPS.
This required us to rework how physics work so if reality starts falling apart for you, maybe try RAMing some CPUs onto your DVD-ROMs.
Fantastic Contraption has been hitting up the gym every week and is really starting to show some progress! It’s been simultaneously doing low- and high-carb diets and the results are amazing!
But also, now that you’ve made it this far down in the update news, I’ve got a secret to let you in on. All those dirty article-skimmers won’t know about this, but those B-Sides levels? They also include a handful of levels featuring all-new gameplay mechanics: Cactuses (that destroy bits of your contraption on touch) and Balloons (that give your Contraption buoyancy to float over Cactuses, gaps, and other challenges).
These new elements aren’t a big part of this update; they’re little teasers we’ve thrown in, things that we’ve been working on since version 1.0, way back when VR was just a baby. They’re just two fun toys in a whole toolbox of things that were cut for the initial version of the game. You can access these new elements in the Level Editor though – so you can generate (and share online) all sorts of zany things for the world to see!
PS VR and Microsoft Store contraptionistas: You are also getting the 2.0 update! It’s all done on our end, we’re just waiting for their quality control inspectors to finish going over it all with a fine-toothed-magnifying-glass. That’s a thing, right?
Chris Floyd from Radial Games here, with an exciting message from our giant videogame zeppelin flying high overhead. We’ve been working day and night to create a most exquisite and whimsical virtual reality morsel: Fantastic Contraption for PlayStation VR!
That’s right! We’ve been having a blast creating Fantastic Contraption for PlayStation VR, and we’re excited to announce that we’ll be sharing all of our hard work with you on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017. National Fantastic Contraption Day, mark it in your calendar! It will retail for $19.99 usd with an extra launch-week-special 10%-off if you have PlayStation Plus.
Seated Gameplay Specifically Designed for PS VR – The Most Relaxing Way to Play FC!
Sure, you could stand around, windmilling your arms in our magical virtual reality wonderland, but now you have the choice to sit back and play Fantastic Contraption right from your couch! Imagine! We redesigned the gameplay experience especially for PS VR, taking advantage of the likelihood that you have a favorite place to relax in front of your PlayStation 4. We’ve included special PS VR-only features that allow you to resize and position your gameworld at the press of a button, which we’re sure you’ll find slick and amazing.
It has fast become my favorite way to play, and makes contraption-building feel a whole lot like model-making, which we are Very Big Fans of here at Radial Games.
New, Unique Levels for PlayStation VR
We have a handful of brand-new, PlayStation-exclusive levels in the release. Try your hand bouncing around some moguls, attacking a big-bricked wall, and more! We’ve designed a few challenges specifically around seated play, and we know you’ll enjoy them.
Dynamically Resize the Entire World in the Brand-New Resize Island
Welcome to Resize Island, where you can dynamically resize the entire world around you! This opens a world of customization for your preferred way to play. You can make the world really huge to fit your standing-style gameplay preferences, or shrink it all the way down to fit on your lap, where you can marvel at tiny Neko. That’s right, THE CAT RESIZES TOO. You can do anything in videogames.
PS4 Pro Enhancements
For those of you with a lovely new PS4 Pro, we’ve spiced up the game a bit extra for ya:
8xAA – We averaged out all those sharp corners for smoother looking curves!
Higher-resolution textures – you can almost smell that wood-grain!
Improved backdrops and scenery
Additional special-effects and visual flairs
Extra island decorations
125% resolution oversampling – A fancy way of saying that things look real sharp in there.
Let us know below what you’re most looking forward to, and I hope to see you having a great time with Fantastic Contraption when it launches next Tuesday!
This is the last update we originally planned for the game, making 1.6.0 the final cherry on the Contraption sundae.
But why “Anti-Oppenheimer”? Because:
“Now I am become Editor, the creator of worlds”
Now you too can defy – nay, define – physics as the creator of your own Fantastic Contraption levels using the new built-in Level Editor. To get started, first put on the helmet to enter dark world, then look for a mask above a statue of a two-toed sloth. Don the mask to enter:
The Level Editor
As Andy Moore says in the video above, we think the level editor is a key piece to the Contraption experience. The original 2008 Flash game had 47 official levels, and half a million user-generated ones. Not only did player-made levels give the game more content, they let people come up with whole new ways of playing that we hadn’t even considered.
To be honest, the level editor’s practically a game in itself. Move aside TiltBrush, it’s time for art class with Mrs. Fox:
Next we’ll recreates a cartoonish prison stereotype using dynamic blocks (aka “moon cheese”):
Ring the bell to summon the Sarahfox, your tutorial guide to the Level Editor (voiced and acted by yours truly!). She’ll introduce the basic controls: grabbing, stretching, copying, and using the precision movement flowers.
We recorded the Sarahfox’s movement using a system we wrote into the game, so she can interact with pre-scripted objects and give a demonstration right front of you. It’s remarkable how much life a character can have in VR using only 3 points of motion capture data.
Switch the Dog
You’ll meet Button the Dog’s cousin Switch when you first arrive in the Level Editor. Use him to toggle between Build Scale (where it’s easier to reach the whole level) and Test Scale (where it’s easier to playtest). There are no functional differences between the two modes, so you can edit level pieces and build contraptions in both and it’s a cinch to test on the fly:
Contraption pieces will be saved along with the level terrain, so make sure to delete them when you’re done testing, unless you want to include them as a challenge or example to people who play your level. It’s also possible to save levels that don’t have a goal or are missing a goal ball. We recommend testing before you save!
If you save a level you made to any shelf on the save table, it will be published online. To delete your saved level or contraption, throw it into the Trashcan Frog’s mouth.
Lippy the Mouthmoth Keyboard
Grab Lippy or double-tap the trigger to call him down to you in the dark world. Move him over to the maquette minimap to name your contraption or level (if no name is set, a random one will be chosen when you publish online).
You can also move Lippy to the save table to filter it by contraption or level name. For example searching for “mi” will find things named Steep Mitten or Miserly Devil.
We’ve seeded the user-made levels with some we designed that didn’t make the official cut, or that we’ve been inspired to create since trying out the new editor (which is much easier to use than our old system!). To check them out, enter the dark world and set the save table’s mode lever (the one on the right) to Levels, then use the left lever to select Levels by Rating or Levels by Date.
Don’t forget you can favorite user-made levels (or contraptions) by giving them a kiss. This feeds into the online ranking for the Levels by Rating shelf.
Zumi the Moon Mouse
Zumi Mouse didn’t live in a house, he wanted to live on the moon!
As the world cat passed by, he rode up to the sky,
And round his head put a balloon.
He munched and he chewed, ’till the cheese moon was hewed,
And Zumi had plenty of holes he’d accrued.
But what a mistake – such a bad bellyache,
Zumi’s home is his favorite food!
We don’t have any more major updates planned for Fantastic Contraption, though we’ll continue to maintain the game and support new hardware (the PS VR version is coming soon!). Radial Games and Northway Games will be moving on to new (and so far unannounced) things next.
New Level editor! To use it, first put on the helmet, then put on the creepy mask in the corner and ring the bell for a tutorial. User-made levels can be shared online and loaded via the save table just like contraptions.
New Mouthmoth keyboard lets you name contraptions and levels, and search by contraption / level name
Added interactive art elements to side of maquette and Kaiju scale
Autohide the companion desktop menu and limit desktop display framerate
Show purple building bounds if cheating detected during tutorial
Hide black sphere during startup
Improve look of pins on Neko’s head
Adjust some sky characters
Sky color variation
Sounds for items including non-spinning green wheels and eyeballs
Disable musical sounds if you’re holding an item
Tweaked throw force for Kaiju scales
Improved tutorial text font
Optimized first person companion view smoothing
Optimized avatar shadows
Optimized Twitch panel memory usage
Fixed some menus not updating when language changes
Fixed models disappearing after you drop them on a save table shelf
Fixed Button the Dog ghosting
Fixed disappearing Neko eyes and ghosting
Fixed obscure crash bug with some webcams
Fixed cat skin modding
Fixed sticky tutorial messages
Fixed laserpointer positioning for Twitch/camera menu
Fixed feedback form submission issues
Cheers and happy 2017 from the Fantastic Contraption team!
Colin Northway is doing programming and design for Fantastic Contraption. He made the original Fantastic Contraption, Incredipede and Deep Under the Sky. He and Sarah Northway spent the last 5 years traveling the world while working on their games.
Kimberly Voll is our resident VR expert - she’s spent her career so far studying player cognition and game design, and specializes in UX, AI and gameplay. She’s got a PhD in computer science, and an honours degree in cognitive science, and has worked on too many games to list, including ROCKETSROCKETSROCKETS. (She blogs at zanytomato.tumblr.com.)
Lindsay Jorgensen is doing art and design for Fantastic Contraption. He’s worked at Bioware, Radical Entertainment, Big Fish Games and joined Radial Games in 2014.
Gordon McGladdery aka A Shell in the Pit is doing sound and music. He is a vocal binaural and VR audio enthusiast whose past projects include Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games), Invisible Inc. (Klei Entertainment) and is the composer for the Youtube Channel Smarter Every Day.
Sarah Northway is working on programming for Fantastic Contraption. She's best known for her popular Rebuild series which she wrote while traveling the world!
Andy Moore started his game development career doing Community Management and Design for the original Fantastic Contraption, and has since founded Radial Games -- responsible for ROCKETSROCKETSROCKETS, Monster Loves You!, and SteamBirds. He's also a licensed commercial pilot and will talk your ear off about airplanes. (He blogs at captain-andy.com.)