the Ravine


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This one is an odd one. You see, I decided to take part in the very first Game Maker’s Toolkit game jam. Because why not. The theme of the jam was – dual purpose mechanics. Yeah, I know. And this is what I came up with after… uhm… about 24 hours of thinking about it. The jam was already well on the way when I came up with this idea.  That left me roughly 36 hours to create this game. From scratch. Since they were very strict about rules and everything had to be done on the fly as I went – that’s how I did it. All code, graphics, ideas, sounds and everything was created during that 36-hour period on one weekend. When I count the hours I think I did it in about 32 hours, since I finished about 4 am, four hours before the deadline. It’s as good as it gets I guess. I found out that it’s really easier to take part in a comics 24-hour project than in 48-hour game design project.

Anyway.

Here it is. Enjoy.



Subnet Release


Click here to download.

And here we are. The most controversial and unexpected release of this year. Submachine Universe HD for free. This project started as an online exploration experience back in 2010, and now, almost seven  years later transformed into a proper HD sort-of game. And it’s also twice as big as the initial release. And it’s still an open project with more expansions on the horizon. It is the last and only project in Adobe Flash that is still active in my workshop. You can enjoy it for free before it’s inevitable recreation in more current technology. So take a long stroll along empty corridors of the Submachine and try to find all locations, all secrets, read all theories and discover all red herrings. Though it doesn’t look like much, there’s a lot to do here. But most importantly: enjoy!



Subnet Solution


This article is a follow up to >this one<, in which I expressed moral and technical problems that emerged while creating a HD version of Submachine Universe. Go read that one if you haven’t, it’ll make this one more cohesive.

First of all – thank you guys for all your comments, opinions and suggestions on what I should do in this situation. You really helped me to see the way. That’s why I’m doing this the way I am. I don’t want to keep you in suspense, so here’s what will happen and I’ll delve into the details afterwards.

I’ll be releasing Submachine Universe HD for free, as a downloadable game for PC and Mac OS X. It’ll be available to download just as my newer games, created in Game Maker on my website.

– From that point on, the Subnet will be updated regularly with new content on that free HD, downloadable version. These expansions will also remain free of any charge.

– Current small-windowed, online browser version therefore becomes obsolete and will be removed. You lose ability to play it in the browser, but you gain so much more, believe me.

– If you still want to pay for it, then please hold on to your money and spend it once my Big Game hits Steam. That will be exponentially more valuable than buying the Subnet right now.

Ok, Mateusz, that’s all great, but… WHY?!

I hear you ask, and just hold on for a minute, I’ll explain everything. Well, maybe not everything, like the meaning of life (32), but I’ll try to shed some light on why am I going with a solution that wasn’t even on the table in that previous article.

– Firstly and most importantly the Subnet was created for fans and in part by fans. As much as I hate the word “fan” as it doesn’t apply most of the times, here it actually kind of does. I’m talking about people who like Submachine so much, that they spend time writing theories about it, draw their own machines, locations etc. Some of them even created 3D renderings and real life models of parts of Submachine. As I said before, I can’t imagine this project stripped of that user-generated content. It would  be like ripping the heart out of it, and without it the Subnet is nothing more than bunch of empty rooms. All those people were making their contributions to the free version, and the only way to honor that is for the Subnet to remain free. As long as it is community-enhanced project, it has to stay free. So that settles the money issue right there.

– Secondly this move gets rid of the version multiplication problem. This one is more technical, but equally important to me. This solution allows me to keep the Subnet in just one version. No need for separate free, HD, enhanced, patreon-only or legacy builds. All reverted to the one and only free HD.

– Thirdly (thirdly?… Is there such a word?…) – let’s go back to your comments and suggestions. Most of you opted for the Steam solution, meaning recreating entire project in Game Maker and publishing it on Steam in due time. And I will, but that due time is probably several years from now, as I want to release my Big Game on Steam first, and then maybe go back to porting old stuff to it. And Steam version of Subnet will be drastically different from what we have now. That Steam version will have a price on it, so it probably will become a normal game, a large one, but stripped of user-generated content, rearranged and basically – completely new. But that’s ok, this current version of Subnet will remain free even then.

– Moreover, Steam version would mean abandoning current, Flash HD version. Which would be kind of sad, as I worked hard so it looks good. I just can’t toss it aside without sharing it with you. So once again, while selling it to you would be shady,  I can share it for free without any problems. I know some of you have been waiting for that HD version for a long time, and now postponing it another couple years when it is actually ready to be released seems kind of heartbreaking.

So…When’s the release date?

So here it is. A clean solution to all problems. Seems too good to be true, right? But you guys deserve this to be free as, in part, you’re responsible for it as well. I’ll be releasing the HD Subnet right after I finish two more locations for you to discover, which are kind of half-done.

You can wait a bit longer, right?

Cool.

See you later then.



Subnet Dilemma


Here’s the deal.

The Submachine Universe HD is actually ready and I’d be able to put it up in my shop even tomorrow. However, there are several non-development related problems with the idea of selling it.

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Problem 1: Creation of parallel versions of the Submachine Universe.

The first and biggest hurdle is that such a release would create a net of parallel universes of Submachine.  You see – all previous games I released were all done and finished. This one is not. It’s an open project, and I don’t mean it’s unfinished. It’s just open for future expansions, it always has been, it’s being expanded since 2010 up until this day. Yes, I changed something today in it. In it’s HD version, that is. The one that actually resides on my hard drive. I added main menu and in-game menu. You can control music, sound effects, window mode and so on. That’s because it’s fit to act like a standalone application. And here’s the issue. By releasing the HD version I’d be splitting the Subnet existence into two identities – the free online version, and the HD, paid version. Since I stepped away from flash, Subnet remains my only project that I still go back to in flash. I moved all other game design to Game Maker last year. This project is the only living reminiscence of previous era. But I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to maintain two different versions of it at once. You see, the online version differs from the HD version. Releasing the HD would have to mean abandonment of the free online. I’m not sure that’s what you guys would want.

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Problem 2: Inevitable Steam version in the future.

Moreover, I feel that in time all Submachines will have to end up on Steam, which means they will have to be recreated in Game Maker (or some other, non-flash engine I’ll be sporting by then). That means a third version of  it would be created. And by then, previous, flash versions of Subnet would have to be abandoned as well. You see where I’m going with this? Releasing the HD version now creates more problems down the way and also renders the free online version obsolete. The problem really is with it’s ability to expand. If it was jut a simple game – no problem there. I’d just create a legacy build of a finished game, release it and move on. But here, things are different. Creating new version means future expansions will be created on that new version, previous ones are obsolete. I feel, I’m repeating myself here, but that’s the most important issue I’m  tackling here, that the online version would have to be abandoned.

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Problem 3: Simultaneous selling and giving out for free doesn’t make sense.

Adding to that, I’d also have to leave behind my terrible, terrible politics of trying to sell you something, and at the same time giving it you for free. I explained that before, I felt like you guys deserved free versions of all Submachines from main story line up until the end of main series, just because that’s the way the series started. As free online. However, during those 10 years monetisation profile changed several times, but this philosophy haven’t. Up until Submachine 10, you can play all these games free online, even as that model doesn’t generate any income for me anymore whatsoever. But now? It would be completely idiotic for me to try to sell you Submachine Universe with all it’s free upcoming updates that can go on forever, and at the same time give it for free. Again, we’re back to the subject of it being an expandable project. I can’t give it for free anymore. Therefore, releasing the HD version would mean the end of free online. So I ask once again – are you guys ready for this? I’m not sure I am.

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Problem 4: User generated content.

There’s also another problem. Submachine Universe utilizes content created not by me, but by fans of Submachine. I’m not sure whether they would find it fine for me to sell this project.

First and foremost I’m talking about Submachine theories, all written by players trying to get the hold of this whole Submachine mess. Besides theories, the project also has fans’ drawings, photographs, maps, schematics, 3D renderings and so on. So the question is: should I be allowed to sell all of this as a part of my game, or not? Should I remove all user-created content from it and replace with something I’ve written myself? That would be like ripping the heart out. Again, I’m torn on this. Need your opinion.

And here it is. All issues related to the release of Submachine Universe. There are several paths I can take from here, I’d like you to chime in and tell me what’s your thoughts on all of this.

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Solutions:

What can I do:

  • Business smart: release HD version now, effectively abandoning free online version. All future updates would appear on that paid version;
  • Legacy and free expansions:  release HD version as a legacy build, but keep updates free online, meaning the project would expand for free, but paid version would be frozen in time and left for dead.
  • Steam option: don’t release HD version now, wait until I’ll be able to create Game Maker version and drop it on Steam alongside all other Submachine games as one combo pack;
  • do nothing: keep things as they are now, which means project stays free online as is, Subnet HD stays on my drive and no one ever sees it.

And that’s all. As you can see the problem is a bit more complicated than one might think.

On the other hand, I might be overthinking all of this.

What do you think?

Let me know, the future of the Universe depends on it!



2016 wrap-up


Ok people, let’s do this. I know it’s a bit late this year but there’s an explanation. Hear me out. For no particular reason I decided to fight Apple tooth and nail in order to create legal and legit Mac OS X builds of my games from 2016 by becoming a certified Apple developer and I also decided to do it right after New Years. Why not. After banging my head against the wall for next few days I finally managed to do it, with help from much more skilled friend (thanks, Mike). Skilled, as in: more apt in deciphering what exactly it is that Apple wants you to do now: pay up, jump the hoop or roll over. Now that it’s done, and it’s a REAL milestone in my book, the only regret I have is that I can’t put it on my to-do list for 2017. Because… it’s already done. Oh well.

Let’s look back at 2016.

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Mac OSX games now available


Hey Mac OSX users! Finally some good news from me!
I managed to become a certified Mac Developer, which means I can bring you totally legit and legal versions of my games created in 2016. In other words: Happy New Year!
Before I let you go, there’s one important thing I have to say:

If you are on Mac OSX Sierra (the newest one) and these games are not working for you, there’s a simple solution. Just move those game files from Downloads to Applications. That fixes the problem and everything works fine.

Also: 10 Gnomes is a big file (all those photographs, you know), please give it some 5 seconds to load properly before deciding it’s not working at all…
Than You for your time and, well, here are all four .zip files for you:

Mission to the Sun
Mission to Earth
10 Gnomes in Pothia
Where is 2017?


Rewolucje: Integral release announcement


Dla odmiany dobre wiadomości, zwłaszcza dla czytelników Rewolucji którym brak pierwszych, egmontowskich tomów. Do druku właśnie poszedł integral tej serii, składajacy się z pierwszych czterech tomów. Łącznie dwieście stron komiksu opatrzonych nową okładką.
Te cztery tomy składają się z pozornie niepowiązanych ze sobą krótkich historii, które, gdy spojrzeć na nie z pewnej odległości, układają się w zamkniętą, mozaikową historię.
Po przeczytaniu tego integrala polecam ponowne przeczytanie tomów 6-9, w których znajdują się drobne odniesienia do tej pierwszej tetralogii.
A teraz najlepsze: premiera integrala Rewolucji wypada już 29 sierpnia 2016!
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[Info techniczne na marginesie: ostatni miesiąc spędziłem przygotowując cały materiał na nowo do druku. Skanowanie, czyszczenie ramek i dymków, i co najważniejsze, nowe, zunifikowane liternictwo na wzór nowych tomów z tej dekady (patrz: Rewolucje 9 i 10).]

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10 years of Submachine – and now what?


I’ll try to keep it short, however we’ve got a lot to cover here, so bear with me. The Submachine is over, and with it, an actual era of my career. 10-year long era. I’ll explain in detail what will happen right now and the reasons why it’s happening. It’s all caused by the patreon-induced transparency, as this is the first year where I feel obliged to keep you guys in the loop about what’s going on and why. I’ll break the wall of text into smaller chapters, each named appropriately. That being said, here’s the first one:

 

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2015 wrap-up


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Now, for the first time, this feels right. Wrapping things up, telling you what happened in 2015, because now I use Patreon and your kind donations to create. It is only fitting for me to tell you what you got for your money’s worth. Actually a lot happened and you can see most of it in the above collage. Then we’ll talk about what’s coming up next, and that’s a handful as well.

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24 hour comics day 2015


Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

Well, yes, yes I did. Twice already. Here and here. If you’re still thinking: wait, what? then look for enlightenment here.

My take on this challenge is a bit different than what Scott McCloud proposes. Yes, I did create a 24-page comics in 24-hour span, that was on my first attempt in 2011, and right then this particular challenge lost it’s meaning because of the fact that I achieved it. Since then my take on this whole idea is this: create for 24 hours. The main condition is time, not number of pages. I’d rather create few pages but of high, printable quality, than a 24-page half-assed, rushed through comics that will be good for nothing actually. And that’s what I’ve been doing since 2011. This year I wanted to create a 4-page Rewolucje short, as I was asked by Andrzej Baron for something for his Znakomiks magazine. Last year I learned that creating one Rewolucje page takes about 6 hours, so the timing was perfect. The first page however (shown below) took me 7.5 hours. Luckily, that was the main establishing shot, most detailed opening of the short. Latter pages were simpler to create and I finished all of this around 5:30 A.M. Since I had few hours left I also created a cover for a 24-hour comic book anthology, as asked by the publisher and organizer of the event. You can also check it out below. Besides that I’m posting photos I’ve been taking more or less hourly through entire 24 hours (well, 20, since I split after 8 A.M. when I had literally nothing more to do). So here it is. The insanity.

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