Trixels In Depth


Everything you always wanted to know about trixels, but were afraid to ask.

This post covers how trixels are represented in memory, how it all gets transformed to polygons and how we render them on screen while maintaining delicious 60 FPS.

17 Responses to “Trixels In Depth”

  1. Max Says:

    Yes! Finally! My nerdy heart has been crying for this exact thing ever since i first heard of trixels!!

  2. Pal Van Marrsterhausen Says:

    Zzzz… Is it ready yet!? No!? Trixels!? Trile!? Present/On!? Absent/Off!? Good Grief! Wake me up when I can press “purchase” in the iTunes Store! Zzzz…

  3. Max Says:

    His nerdpower is not powerful enough to appreciate this.

    One thing I’ve always wondered is how exactly does the engine decide which triles can be stepped on and which ones belong to a wall, but I guess that’s a lot easier once you already have all contigous surfaces grouped…

    But exactly how processor cycle expensive are your algorithms? Would it be possible to precompile the maps?
    How many polys do you have around on screen in a normal scene?

  4. Renaud Says:

    Collision is a whole another thing. I may blog about it later. But in short, triles have a collision type for each face and only the visible triles from the current camera angle are considered.

    Levels are kind of precompiled by the editor : the game loads polygon data for each trile, it doesn’t know about individual trixels. But I like to keep the triles separated even in the game, gives you some liberty to shift stuff around in the game while leaving the geometry intact. Anyway like I said geometry instancing makes the rendering of many similar small triles very fast.

    Polycount : No idea, and not exactly sure how to display that in XNA. The last image in the post should give you an idea, but who cares really.

  5. Max Says:

    so every single of the 6 faces of a trile is flagged as belonging to a wall, being being walkable (?) or being background geometry? Is this done by hand in the editor or does the game decide this on run-time?
    I asume it only considers visible triles so that gomez can’t walk on the invisible backside of any scene…

    Also, the game doesn’t compile the trile maps to polygon based geometry on the fly, but the editor does that for the game? Good idea.

    Poly count is not that important, I was just wondering about the complexity of the maps in game. The way the game seems to work, it might just be optimized enough to run full speed on an iPhone, and that’s quite impressive for such a game.
    (once again, fanboys: the game is not being developed for iPhone/iPod Touch, so don’t get your hopes up)

    Also, thanks a lot for the swift answer, I know you can’t andwer to every single comment people post on here, so it’s much appreciated.
    allez les gars, bonne chance!

  6. superbrothers Says:


  7. diegodd Says:


    well, that is like a confirmation that the game will be for XBLA (at least). I really hope it also appears for PC, otherwise i won’t be able to play it, and that would suck, since i’ve been looking forward to get my hands on the game for quite some time (since announced).

    Why don’t you, for once, confirm the plataform(s) it will be in? i wont ask for a release date, because it is almost sure going to be delayed several times (Braid for PC someone?) But we want to know the plataforms! PLEASE!

  8. GC Says:

    The more you beg, the less likely they are to release it on PC. Have patience.

  9. Wiseguy Knowitallicus Says:

    That’s fascinating. So, when will we see the game?

  10. Tuhd the internet Troll Says:

    Totally awesome. Tuhd feel smarter dan eeeever before. but if only some of da trix get rendered at a time, den Tuhd have to turn the world to eat da rest, right?

    “Tuhd is me, and Tuhd approve dis message”

  11. mam Says:

    fix your store i want to give you money and you wont let me

  12. Max Says:

    So this is the point where you won’t post any blog updates for a month or two, make people believe you’ve died in a horrible car crash, and then post an update on here to prove you’re still alive, but the shop’s still not getting fixed, right? Aye-aye sir!

  13. Fez Addict Says:

    Twitch… twitch… Need more fez info…….

  14. Roger Junior Chabot Says:


  15. Pal Van Marrsterhausen Says:

    “Buildind Fez One Block At A Time” Maybe this is why it’s taking so long…

  16. Sean Says:


    i’m a 3rd year CS student at uoft,

    I picked up your game yesterday and haven’t put it down yet!!

    First, I wanted to tell you that i’ve found FEZ incredibly inspiring! Every bit of it is beautiful. I love the cats, and water a lot.

    So then I realised you posted an awesome article about how your engine works! I wanted to thank you for making this transparent- i found it really interesting! i’ve been having troubles with DrawUserIndexedPrimitives myself, haha.

    I learned a lot from your posts about the engine- please post more!

  17. samir Says:

    Merci, est encore merci je passe un grand moment avec votre petit Fez sa fais longtemp que je n’avais plus retrouver cette sensation lol ! vivement une suite mdr !

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