2017 wrap-up


Well, here we are again.

I feel we’ve been doing this for so long, you already know what I’m going to say here. First wrap-up was, uhm, 5 years ago, a simpler time before we were all basically connected by the hip by social media. Nevertheless, let’s dig into this list for the sake of preserving the process. Let me open last year’s wrap-up in another tab, and see…


Plan A

The Big Game. Yes, the one that will end up on Steam eventually. It’s still an unnamed project which I call the Big Game (or TBG for short). In my head, as I see it, this game will be the biggest, most advanced and most important game up to date. I’m done with finishing old series, wrapping up lose ends and all that sort of thing. No excuses left. There’s only one way to go now and it’s TBG. The thing is – such games are not created in one year, this one might take two or more, but I’m starting working on it in 2017 and will keep you informed about the development process, whether through playable samples or graphical designs or other media. You will know what’s happening and where do I stand concerning TBG.

Well said, me from a year ago. So how are we doing on that front? “The Big Game” has shortened it’s working name to just “The Game“, but fear not! It stays big, there’s no decrease in size planned. If anything, it’s the opposite. I’ll let you in on another secret straight from my head. I don’t write anything, you see. I keep all ideas in my head in their fluid form, this way they fluctuate and change in time. I’ve been always doing this.

[side note] For example right now a brand new comic book album about my character named Blaki is rattling around in my brain, and it’s scheduled for 2019. But I started “writing it” in my head… uhm… 3 years ago. And it’s been stewing there ever since. [/side note]

The same goes for “The Game“. Can I call it the game from now on? Without bold font and quotation marks? There’s not much more on my radar this year, you’ll probably be able to figure out that when I’m talking about the game, I’m talking about “The Game“, right? Ok. So what was I talking about. Sorry about me rambling, I think it’s a side effect of streaming, where you get to see the entire creative process, this somehow feels similar now. Ah, yes.

There’s an EXACT moment in time that I can point to and say – this is when the development of the game started. The little big bang that exploded in my head. That little spark of an idea. What makes it unique is that I can’t pinpoint any other game that way. Not Submachine, nor Daymare Town. Not with such precision. But here? It’s January 16, 2017, 5:55 PM. Remember this tweet?

This is it. This IS the main character of the game. This is the moment when the game created a folder for itself inside my head and the story started growing. So I’ve been at it for the entire year already, as promised. And the story took a shape. It’s almost finished. But, again, it’s all only in my head and undoubtedly will grow even more once I start drawing/coding it. Knowing my OCD concerning polishing all littlest details in my games, it will not only grow, but also fill in blank spaces in between, leaving the final product almost spotless. At least in my opinion.

And by the way, the game isn’t called “the game” anymore. I mean it HAS a title already. I think I decided on it few months ago, I’d say around October?… I don’t want to release the title yet, because firstly I’ll make a video about it, or create some small event when the time comes, and secondly I’m keeping it close to my chest, since it’s not yet firmly linked to me an my work, like my other intellectual properties. It’s something brand new and you have to be careful when handling such newborn idea. But it’s there. It has a title, main character, and most of the story. It even has…

The engine. Yes, that’s arguably the most important thing I’ve created in 2017. Two separate engines, to be exact, point and click adventure engine and platforming engine, that will now be combined into one – and this will be the starting point of the game. Frankly speaking, the hardest part is already done. I’ve switched from Flash to GMS2 a year ago, now I kind of perfected the skill needed for the creation of the game. I feel we’re half way there.

2018 is the year of the game. Even if it will not be published this year, most of the development will take place now. I’m kind of excited for it, but at the same scared. Hold my hand, please. Ok, enough about it for now.

Unnamed short point and click game. While developing TBG I will surely need some testing grounds. 10 Gnomes are the foundation of a pnc game, but expanding it is a priority. Adding inventory, interaction and all that pnc stuff you know from my Flash years. Creation by example. And this example will be a short game, to the tune of Great Kitchen Escape or something similar in size. I’m also doing it because you are impatient lot, if there are no games from me for a long time your patronage goes down. The problem here is that creating a game is so different from creating a youtube video (youtubers get tons of money from Patreon). While you can do a video every week, that is not happening with game development. And since I’m going to develop TBG, which will take a year or more, I also have to do something smaller to keep you interested. So there.

Oh lord. 10 Gnomes is not a foundation of a pnc game, it’s a foundation of moving between rooms. :D

But yes, as I mentioned above, one of two engines needed for the game is the pnc engine. This unnamed game turned out to be the Peter Navarre Crecy Evaluation, released in November. While being a simple escape the room game it sports all important characteristics of a pnc game engine. The only things missing are more advanced inventory operations, like hiding places, active drawers, backpacks, shops, etc. Besides those, the engine is complete and ready for the game.

10 Gnomes in Trstenik and Gnomengine overhaul. I’ll share a little secret with you. Last year I finally figured out when will this series end. First series was a project of 12 months. It was done in 2008. The second phase, in which we are right now, is the project of 12 years. It started in 2010 and will last until 2021. We’re 7 games in, still 5 games to go. 10 Gnomes in Trstenik are already shot, I’ve got pictures on my drive, now it’s all about overhauling that engine (yes, I wrote Gnomengine in the title. What) and preparing pictures. No biggie in fact. This is happening around June I hope. Wait. Scratch that. I wasn’t supposed to estimate any release dates anymore. Ok, forget it. I didn’t say a thing about June.

Well, I wasn’t far off. This game was released in July. Nothing much to say here, it’s the 8th in the series (20th if you count the original series from 2008). Here’s the link to it. Overhauling the gnomengine is kind of a tradition by now, I think once I finish this series I’ll write an article about all gnomengines and especially about the game window sizes, which growth represents the idea of times changing perfectly. Until then, we’ve still got 4 games to go.

Where is 2018? Well, yes, sure. Moreover, since some of you criticized the length of previous game I’ll make sure this one is LONGER AND BETTER than Where is 2017? I want to make an adventure game with Santa, he turned out to be so adorable this year, and I like how his animations look. It’s a proper fine character and deserves something bigger this time. And this will be it!

Jesus, CALM DOWN, me from a year ago. Did I make Where is 2018? bigger than the previous game? Yes, but not by much, mind you. Not enough to grant that exclamation mark at the end of the sentence, bro!  As usual, I was crunching this game after Christmas. While suffering and crunching instead of taking it easy after holidays I thought: “Never again, dammit! Next year I’ll make it in goddamn JUNE!” But once I finished creating this game EXACTLY on New Year’s Eve it somehow felt right. Right then I felt that the year is over. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to recreate that feeling if I’ll make that game in June… Well, let’s just wait and see what happens. I really do wish to create a bigger game for you to play at the end of the year, but it’s kind of complicated, as you can see. It was always meant to be a kind of a postcard, something for me to thank You guys for a year of support instead of just posting seasonal drawing saying “happy new year” on Facebook or Twitter… But it grew in time. As all other projects I manage, I guess. Oh well. Here’s the game. Also let’s mark the occasion since this little, tiny ass game managed to somehow create a ripple on itch.io. It was a top popular game for few days if you can believe that. Yeah, me either. It also spawned a nice round of youtube let’s plays, most of which I gathered here. Who would’ve thought, right? Moreover, this little game is a litmus test for the main big game.

Let’s pause for a second. I don’t know if you can see the pattern here. The big game needs two engines. The Crecy Evaluation is the first (pnc engine), and Where is 2018? is the second (platforming engine).  Do you see how it all comes together? Just as it was pre-planned or something (wink, wink). Any way, let’s carry on.

Live Streaming Watercolor Painting and Digital Drawing. Once I started I can’t stop right now it seems. People are kind of counting on it. Not sure for how long, but I’ll keep this alive as long as you want to watch it.

This kind of blew up out of nowhere. I found a new home on twitch.tv, and streamed not only regular game-related drawing, digital and watercolor, but I also streamed the creation of this year’s comic book album, Morphs 4: the New Testament. I called this series Ink Companion, and You can watch it archived on youtube here. It’s 70 parts, each episode averages about 2 hours, or more. Yes, it was a massive undertaking. It was brand new experience for me and I must say streaming helped me finish this project on time. There was a sense of orderliness once I started drawing / painting and streaming daily. That’s thanks to you, the viewer. You can watch shortened versions of those streams here.

Mission to the Sun and Mission to Earth. No, wait, I made these already. I MADE THESE ALREADY! THE CURSE IS BROKEN, I CAN MOVE ON! OH GLORY DAY!!!

Oh lord, I’m getting PTSD flashbacks from this…


Plan B

Morfolaki, tom4 (Morphs, tome 4). Well, yes, sure, as usual, a yearly comic book. The definitive ending to the series of Morphs stories.

And ended they did… That was bitter sweet, let me tell you. Those last remaining un-drawn stories waited 15 years or so to be drawn, and now they’re done. It’s over. Not that it matters in the big scheme of things, but there was a sense of finality there. And I’m not getting younger either. Closing long-running projects seems to be my thing for some time now. Thanks to the nature of that comic book I was able to break a 5-year-old record of pages drawn in one year. Before it was 118, now it moved to 134. Here’s the mark. I doubt it will be broken anytime soon, if ever. It was a good run this year. This book turned out better than I thought. I managed to do a mental exercise of going 15 years back into the past, into my old (younger) self, looking inside that angry young mind and drawing it as it would have been drawn all those years ago. Was it easy? No. Was it refreshing? Most def. Watch the process here.

VormkfasA #58 & #59. Again, festival xerox zine to be handed out to good souls that come out to see me. In June and October, respectively.

Yes, but in June and September. They kind of were supposed to be half-a-year apart, but it’s not my fault that I wasn’t able to attend comic festival in Warsaw in may, and that they moved Lodz comic festival from October to September. But being flexible as I am – I adjusted. I still have some spare copies, come meet me in 2018, You’ll get one.

Rewolucje: Homunkulus and Rewolucje: Toxic Connection. These two short stories set in the Revolutions universe are the beginning of my 2018 comic book called Revolutions: Apocrypha. It’ll be an anthology of short stories written by people other than me. It’ll be fun, and it starts this year.

Well then. This is the only (mind you, the ONLY) project that I didn’t do in 2017. But fear not! First of all it was just plan B, and as we’re moving into 2018 it will not only get upgraded to plan A, but will be most definitely featured in Ink Companion season 2.

Plan C

All things I’ve done this year that were not listed above.

  • Submachine Universe, the Beginning and the End (of an Era). I have to tell you, this one feels strange. It was the most dominant project of 2017, and yet it wasn’t even listed on the to-do list. Life is strange I guess. Submachine Universe, standalone Exploration Project in HD, released in January, finished in December. In fact, this subject is so vast, that I’ll write a separate article about it soon. This project was being updated throughout entirety of 2017, effectively making it the year of the Subnet. It started as a Patreon goal, but then I decided not to hold this content hostage to the pledges which seemed a bit unfair and just let it grow without any obstructions. As I said – more on the subject soon.
  • OS X versions of my games created in Game Maker. Almost forgot that was a thing, it happened almost exactly one year ago in January. Quite a bit of an achievement, since navigating the treacherous trenches of Apple Development program is… treacherous. :D
  • the Ravine. This one is odd. There’s this channel on youtube that I follow, Mark Brown’s Game Maker’s Toolkit, which talks about game design and I learned a lot from it. So Mark decided to host a game jam in July. And I thought – why not (silly me). Game jams work a bit differently than comic book 24-hour projects. It takes place over one weekend, so you have 48 hours to create entire game from scratch. I wasted good portion of this time just thinking about what I want to do. By now you probably know this is not how my brain works, I hate sitting down with a blank sheet of paper in front of me and having to think of something on the spot. This is not how I do things. They stew in my head for several years, then come out. However, once I got the idea, there were 36 hours left. These were the hardest and most painful 36 hours of the year. You can read more about it here.
  • the traditional Easter Egg, this year sporting Branchwing – a character from the Morphs comic book series. You know, the usual cute character that you’d totally expect to appear on an Easter egg. Watch how it was made here.
  • Niebajka, the graphical design of this music album. This one uses my character named Blaki, as he fit perfectly with the tone and meaning of the album. Watch unpacking here.
  • Rewolucje: Untersuchung, a 4-page story created for a polish comic magazine. It will also be a part of the upcoming Rewolucje 11: Apocrypha album.
  • last, but not least, couple standout videos from last year: MFK 2017, Gdansk 2017, Gordon Freeman, Prince, Komiksofon 23, Branchwing, BlakiBrarian, SubRev and lots and lots and lots of streaming vods and speedpaintings on my channel on youtube.


That’s all.

I think.





2018 to-do list

Here we go. Oh boy. Happy times ahead (that’s what I’ve been telling myself for the last few years at least). :D

Plan A

  • The Game. Further development of the game. Let’s pinpoint: merging two engines into one, thus creating final base of development. Evaluating the main character of the game. Creating side characters, and lots of them. Sketching out locations. Creating environmental puzzles, as well as classic point and click ones. Trying to find final “look and feel” of the game. And so on. Do you feel it coming? I do.
  • Revolutions 11: Apocrypha. The series marches on, strong as ever, into it’s second phase. This time it’ll be a round up of older stories released in different magazines and anthologies, put together for closure reasons as well as new stories written by Polish best comic book writers that I managed to deceive into thinking writing for me was worth their time. All those new stories will be painted and streamed on twitch.tv this year as Ink Companion season 2.

Plan B

  • 10 Gnomes in Paris. Yes, Paris. It’s already shot and partly done. I want to release it before summer break, so expect it late June. Let’s say… June 20th. This time I can make that prediction with a certainty. Let’s see what will happen now that I’ve said this. Stupid, stupid me…
  • Where is 2019? Well, what a surprise, right? As I still want to make it a bigger game than before, let’s shoot for… let me think… 12 screens of content, ok? Let’s not overthink it for now. Santa returns, as he’s the character where it all started 10 years ago.
  • VormkfasA #60, the final issue. [This is the festival xerox zine that I give away to people who meet me during comic festivals]. Yes, all things must end. I seem to be killing more and more of my old projects each year. Last time it was the Morphs, now this. I’m ending it here because I wanted this run to last for as long as the first run lasted, seven issues. And as it rounds up nicely to overall 60 issues, this is the good point to let it go.

Plan C

  • streaming on twitch.tv. As I mentioned before, I found a new home on twitch. A new little corner where I can sit and share my things with you. I’m not expecting it to bring any money or fame as I am realistic about how many people might be interested in watching some old-fart draw live, but I genuinely just like doing it. And that’s a good sign. I’ll create my new comic book here and also parts of the game, those not-spoilery ones. Let’s shoot for, I dunno, 200 followers in 2018. And I promise to talk more.
  • Linux versions of my games. Last year I tackled OS X, Linux MUST be simpler, right? Right?… Guys?…


I think this is it. This to-do list seems shorter than before, but hey, we’re focusing here on the game. Joking around is over. Now is the time to shut up and just DO IT.

Now we can finally put 2017 to rest.

I feel this new year will be a decisive turning point in my career. I’m scared.

Again, remember that you can support it all on Patreon or Twitch! (Yeah, great idea, leave self promotion that really matters for the complete ending, where everybody stopped reading long time ago… Good job, man).

See you next January! :D