Frets on Fire (abbreviated 'FoF') is a Finnish music video game created by Unreal Voodoo in which players use the keyboard to play along with on-screen musical notes to complete a song. Frets on Fire was the winner of the Assembly 2006 game development competition.
Frets on Fire is free software. The game is written in the Python programming language and is licensed under the GNU General Public License, though the game incorporates other free and open-source code under other licenses. The game's included song files and some internal fonts are proprietary, and their redistribution is not permitted.
Frets on Fire is a video game, designed for the PC platform which closely emulates the commercial game Guitar Hero. The player presses buttons in time to coloured markers, which appear on-screen, the markers are matched with the rhythm of the music. Frets on Fire can be played by using a keyboard by pressing the fret buttons and pick buttons, although there is support for joysticks, meaning that with the appropriate adapter and/or software, various guitar-type controllers can be used as well.
Colored, square-like markers appear on the screen, synchronized with the song, and are played by holding the fret buttons that correspond with the correct color, (default keys are F1 through to F5) and pressing one of the pick buttons,(default is Enter or Shift) at the correct moment. Every ten correct hits increase the score multiplier, which multiplies the points for every hit by up to four times. The multiplier is reset when the player misses a note or strums at the wrong time.
Since version 1.2.438, the game features hammer-on and pull-off notes(commonly abbreviated to HOPO(The game refers to them as "tappable notes")). A HOPO note allows the player to press only its fret button to play if the previous note was played correctly. Bugs were found in the new gameplay element, and version 1.2.451 fixed them, along with adding an option to disable HOPO notes.
While the game comes with three songs from Tommi Inkilä, it features broad support for other music. Frets on Fire includes a built-in song editor that allows editing and creation of songs, a feature introduced before commercial games like Guitar Hero. This lets users time frets to their favorite tracks, allowing people to play tracks that have not otherwise been released on a guitar game. The Frets on Fire Wiki has an extensive resource of custom song frets. Frets on Fire also allows users to import songs from various other guitar games. These include Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s .
Much like console guitar games, Frets on Fire comes with "World Charts", an official online high score list. However, since the entire system is open source, players have the ability to host their own server as well.
While the game contains a keyboard play mode, USB Joysticks can also be used. This allows regular joysticks and guitar controllers to be controllers for the game as well, helping to replicate the same feel that commercial guitar games provide.
The game also comes with a tutorial to let people new to the game get familiar with the game's play style.
Frets on Fire has received generally positive reviews on a variety of publications. Released for competition at Assembly, it won first place among its competition. As a free, open source game, it has not received as much attention from mainstream review sites, but many niche game sites as well as open source game review sites have discussed it, averaging between 7 and 8 out of 10. Gamespot's user ratings give the game an 8.1 as of November 2008; other sites such as Download.com average lower, around 3.5/5. However, because of the cross-platform nature of the game, it has garnered fans from both Linux  and Mac  gaming communities as well.
The game lacks the ability to allow players to use the "whammy bar", as the sound engine in Pygame cannot modulate the pitch of a track, though some editing to the games code, or use of a mod can somewhat simulate the effect of a "whammy bar".
|This page was last modified on 22 January 2009, at 18:10. This page has been accessed 4,251 times. Disclaimers|